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© Suffolk Breed Cat Club 2019

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Breeding Policy

The Suffolk Breed Cat Club is a Provisional member of the Governing Council for the Cat Fancy (GCCF).  As such all members of the club agree to abide by the rules and regulations of the GCCF and subsequent amendments. 

 

Members are bound by the rules and disciplinary powers of the GCCF in accordance with the Constitution of the Council. The SBCC is working with the GCCF to ensure that  responsible Breeding Programme and Registration Policy is set out for the breed. 

 

The Governing Council of Cat Fancy (GCCF) require that all new breeds, and eventually all breeds, must have provision for an outcross policy within their Registration Policy.  With this in mind the club is working extremely hard to produce a policy that is acceptable to the GCCF but maintains the integrity of the breed by only allowing three outcross breeds that are  considered by the GCCF Genetics committee to provide integrity to the makeup of the Suffolk, while widening the gene pool.  This isessential to maintain the genetic diversity of the breed, in fact any breed, as this prevents inbreeding and maintains the health and vigour of the breed.

The benefits of outcrossing are widely known and it is incumbent on responsible breeders to ensure that they are breeding from cats that are not inbred.  Cats that are produced from an outcross programme by members of the club will be registered by the GCCF, will come with at least a 4 generation pedigree and will be correctly described when being advertised. It should be noted that, ideally, breeders that outcross should be experienced breeders with good knowledge of outcrossing in other breeds, and they understand and recognise the importance of widening genetic diversity.   Outcrossing should not be undertaken lightly and we advise plenty of

Eastpoint Brexit Boris - part of the outcross programme

research and discussion takes place when embarking on an outcross breeding programme.

The club as well as members of the GCCF Genetics Committee are  more than happy to offer help and advice, and experienced clubmembers are willing to ”mentor” new owners and breeders. We believe that dedicated breeders work together to both support each other and make a valuable contribution to developing and securing the future of the Suffolk cat. We do not set prices that breeders should charge for kittens sold as pets or as breeding cats, this is determined by the breeder. What we do ask is that there is honesty, fairness and combined agreement to develop  the  Suffolk  under GCCF  rules and  

and guidance. Many breeders are taking an early neutering approach to the sale of their pet kittens, and while the club does not enforce this, it is a recommendation to protect the wellbeing of cats not specifically chosen to be breeding cats.

Genetics and Breeding Practice

The Suffolk...SUF b is homozygous for normal chocolate brown (b/b)  colouration which is evenly distributed over the entire body.

 

The Suffolk SUF c is identical in every way except the colour which is the homozygosity of the blue dilution (d/d)

 

Suffolk breeders will strive to breed cats which will be on the Full Register, that is at least three generations of SUF X SUF breeding.

 

In this context it includes:

 

SUF b X SUF b

SUF b X SUF c

SUF c X SUF c

 

As genetic diversity is the most important factor in breeding, it is important that health is the overriding factor in any breeding programme.

 

The positive and negative features of individual cats should be assessed and weighed against each other before mating, this should include the possible passing on genetic faults or abnormalities.

 

Preference should be given to those individual cats that conform most closely to the GCCF Standard of Points, with particular emphasis on overall balance, size, quality, type and the soundness of the Suffolk coat.

 

All cats used for breeding should exhibit sound conformation, robust reproductive ability, good temperament and be free from deleterious and harmful alleles or defects known to be inheritable traits such as those listed in the GCCF Breeding Policy.

Genetic Defects

 

The Suffolk is a breed developed predominantly from an Oriental and Siamese background, and as of yet no reports have been made throughout the existing breeding group of any inherent problems. It is possible that the following conditions could be inherited disorders but it is likely to be very rare.

 

Haematological and or Immunological Conditions

 

Mast cell tumours are reported to be the second most common tumour in the cat (Miller & others 1991).   Two distinct forms of cutaneous mast cell tumours are recognised in cats.  The more common mastogenic mast cell tumour is histologically very similar to mast cell tumours seen in dogs. The test frequently sees histolytic mast cell tumours that have similar morphological characteristics to histolytic mast cells.   As some of the genetic make up of the Suffolk breed originates in Siamese, which are predisposed to developing both types, it is something to be aware of.

 

Mediastinal/Thymic Lymphoma

 

Again Siamese cats are over represented with cases of these types of Lymphoscarcoma, with cats typically under two years of age when diagnosed.  The mode of inheritance has not been confirmed but is suspected to be autosomal recessive in nature.

 

Amyloidosis

 

This is a diverse group of diseases.  Amyloid is a type of protein and has been seen to cause liver dysfunction and haemorrhage  from the liver.  It has also been known to cause sudden death in Siamese and Oriental cats.  It appears in related cats and therefore could be an inherited disease and although theorised, it has never been proven.

Mucopolysaccharidosis type VI (MPS VI)

 

This is a Lysosomal storage disease, with an autosomal recessive mode of inheritance.  It is caused by a deficiency of the enzyme Arylsulfatase B. This leads to an accumulation of Derma Sulphate within numerous cells of the body including liver, skin, muscle and bone marrow.   Clinical signs include reduced growth rate and skeletal deformity.  The face appears flattened, with wide spread eyes and small ears.   The cornea of the eye appears cloudy.

 

Signs become evident between 6 - 8 weeks, with skeletal deformities giving rise to a crouching gait. Two different mutations have been identified by means of PCR based molecular analysis of DNA samples.  A study in to the prevalence of mutations failed to find either mutation in Siamese cats from the United Kingdom. Therefore it is highly unlikely that this will become an issue within Suffolk cats.

 

Progressive Retinal Atrophy

 

This is caused by a mutation in the CEP290 gene, which produces a defective protein, in turn causing progressive degeneration of the photo-receptors in the retina. There is testing available to help eradicate this disease.

 

Permitted Outcrosses

 

To extend the gene pool for this new breed, the GCCF have given the following choice of outcross breeds:

 

Siamese SIA b,c only for at least 3 generations   

(NB: It is advised that if such an outcross is planned this should be confined  to Siamese of more moderate type)

 

Thai lilac (TAI c)

Colourpointed Tonkinese (TOS b, c33)

 

GCCF Thai Lilacs and also Colourpointed Tonkinese are more moderate outcrosses than the Siamese and these could be confined to the same colours.

 

The permitted outcross breeds provide the option of further improvement in the diversity of the breeds bloodlines, whilst staying within the confines of what the Registration Policy allows.

 

These outcrosses are for a limited period only, to strengthen diversity within the new breed.


Inbreeding

 

Inbreeding is an inclusive term covering many different breeding combinations and degrees of relationship,  including the more distant, less intense. 

 

It is consistently more efficient in eliminating heterozygous (varying and diverse) genotypes and increasing homozygous (similar) genotype, thereby ensuring a greater likelihood that kittens will closely resemble their parents. 

 

Used here, the term does not mean close, purposeful, inbreeding of closely related cats (brother/sister, father/daughter), but rather the moderate form that results from the mating of not too distantly related (but not directly related) cats (first cousins, half brother/half sister, second cousins etc). 

 

Some in-breeding is essential to stabilise formation around a definite type.   In-breeding is the act of mating individuals of various degrees of kinship, and if continued it produces ever increasing homogeneity in the offspring. 

 

It is important to monitor the intensity of inbreeding for any mating. Use this consideration as a key part of a decision making process when considering any mating and remember:  ”The more intense the inbreeding, the more careful must be the selection.  Loss of innate genetic variability must not be too great”

 

The overall approach should be one of balance and moderation in the degree of inbreeding coupled with constant selective breeding with a clear objective in mind, i.e. To eliminate weak traits or defective genes.

 

Breeders need to use acceptable levels of inbreeding to fix Suffolk type, but with sufficient variation to enable improvement and maintain health and vigour.   No cat with any evidence of health problems or lack of vigour should be used for breeding.

Breeders should also be aware that research shows that highly inbred animals are less likely to be show winners.

Acceptable levels of Inbreeding Coefficients

 

0 to 10% = Low

10 to 20% = Fair

20 to 25% = Acceptable

25 to 40% = High. (Only to be undertaken by experienced breeders for specific reasons.)

40%+ = Not advised.

The complete Breeding Policy Document can be accessed by clicking this link