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All cats, whatever their breed require certain treatments to maintain their health and pevent ill health. Vaccinations, regular worming and flea treatments and regular veterinary checks, are the minimum requirements to ensure a healthy life. Some breeds require more thorough investigations as covered below.

Langfords Veterinary Services

Langford Veterinary Services are a leading laboratory in Europe for the genetic screening of cats. Members of registered breed societies, such as the Rex Cat Association, are eligible for a 20% discount on all genetic testing. Please supply a Breed Society Promotional Code (obtainable from Hilary) to obtain discounted prices.

BAER Testing

Deafness in white cats and cats that are dominate piebald or spotted is not uncommon and the frequency rises if the cat also has blue eyes. The gene that carries deafness is hereditary and is passed on from one generation to another.

It is of paramount importance that White and mainly white cats are BAER  (Brainstem Auditory Evoked Potential) Tested prior to being used for breeding and is 'best practice' for pet kittens to also be tested.

Quincunx Laperm Kittens Breeder A Nicholls

The Animal Health Trust  (near Newmarket) are conducting a study into the genetics behind deafness in white cats. They are BAER testing complete litters of kittens free of charge as long as there are white kittens in the litter.

For more information Contact:

or of the neurology department or call 01638 552 700.

Your Veterinary surgeon will tell you of your local testing centre along with Langfords Veterinary Centre.




Arleela Kitten,

bred By S Taylor

Blood Tests

Blood tests are required in both the Devon and Cornish Rex that are to be used for breeding.

There are 2 major types of blood in Rex cats Type A and Type B.

There are few problems if you have a cat with type A blood who is mated to either blood type.

The problems only occur with type B blood group females. If a type B female mates with a type B male all is well, however, if the same female mates with a type A male, the female builds up antibodies.

JiP Jap'n Pacific


Owner M Carter

These antibodies are passed to the new born kittens via the colostrum (first milk) and can destroy the new kittens red blood cells. The resulting outcome is known as Fading Kitten Syndrome, where the kittens die over a few days. The only way to avoid this outcome is to hand rear the kittens for 16 hours. Following this period of time the kittens stomach linning becomes less porous and prevents the anibodies passing through. The queen is then able to feed and care for her kittens as normal.

DNA Testing

DNA testing takes a lot of the guess work out of colours, hair length etc.

Currently it is possible to test for a range of colours, hair length, as well as some genetic disease traits.

Testing is done by a simple cheek swab, which is far less intrusive than taking bloods.

Rogus kits_edited.jpg

Rogus Kittens, Breeder S Humphries Olliffe

A well taken mouth swab gives enough DNA to perform at least 20 different genetic tests, so usually Langfords only require one mouth swab per cat. The exception is swabs from breeders outside the UK where it is suggested to send two mouth swabs per cat. This is in case the first swab has insufficient DNA and a repeat swab is required.

PKD Screening

Polycystic Kidney Disease, PKD  is present in the Selkirk Rex. The disease is autosomal dominant, due to a mutated gene. To be affected by PKD, the animal only needs one abnormal gene from either of its parents.  An affected kitten will be born with miniscule cysts contained within each kidney, these cysts then grow throughout life leading to sever kidney failure. The average age for this to happen is 7, although it can happen earlier or later.

Imp Gr Pr & Gr Ch Crinkles Forget Me Not

Owner C Walker

Breeder K Dove

There are 2 types of screening for PKD, Ultrasound and genetic testing.

Both methods are comparable on accuracy.

For the genetic test., this can be done at any age, is a simple cheek swab, sent off to a recognised laboratory.

With ultrasound, the cat has to be over 10 months of age, may have to be sedated to remain still enough to scan effectively and has to be scanned by an approved ultrasonographer.

The main advantage of the ultrasound is it may be used to identify any cats with PKD caused by a different genetic mutation. Discussion with your veterinarian on which test to use is advised.

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