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  • Writer's picturePaulina


A very sensitive topic in breeding, and many people don't want to talk about it - those who don't think it's ok call it inbreeding, and those who do call it line breeding... It's the same thing but with two different names, and the consequences can get as bad no matter what you call it. Unfortunately, there are no restrictions on the degree of inbreeding within SVERAK, which for me is a little surprising. They write on their page: "The degree of inbreeding indicates the proportion of relatedness between the cat's parents by calculation as a percentage of specified generations. There are no rules about the degree of inbreeding, but avoid pairing closely related cats such as father with daughter, mother with son or full siblings with each other."

SÄSK (Society for Siberian cats), on the other hand, say this on their website. "To avoid inbreeding problems within the breed, you should always aim for as low of an inbreeding rate as possible before you planned mating. The inbreeding rate should not exceed 3.12% over four generations (half cousins) and ideally it should be much lower than that. You can calculate the inbreeding rate in the PawPeds database. There are also many interesting articles to read about breeding and health". My first female Helvina has an inbreeding of 3.12%, which I unfortunately did not understand as a new breeder. But the only thing I can do now is to mate her with males where the inbreeding rate should be 0% in four generations, and likewise with her offsprings - (example of one of her kittens from her first litter).

The bottom line is that you should not have to mate cats where the inbreeding rate is even over 2% (my subjective opinion - ideally it should be around 0% in four generations. There is a lot to read about the consequences of inbreeding and cats, and here is an article that I find well written. I suspect that us breeders are a bit more aware of researching pedigrees etc, and that it's probably not as common that a pet buyer would do the same amount of research. But I hope that will change, as most cats are sold are sold for companionship - not for breeding. Those of you who buy cats as pets should not have to but inbred cats (just because they look cute as kittens) with an inbreeding rate from 3- 20% in four generations. Rather choose a cat with a low inbreeding rate and you'd probably save yourself some potential hardship from inheriting duplicates of potential diseases. Having said that, there are always exceptions, and as a breeder you can of course choose to make a mating were there is a higher degree of inbreeding, but as long as it doesn't become a rule but more like an exception and you are clear about why you make a pairing like that - then I feel the saying "one time is no time"is suited to quote.


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