Thursday 22 May 2008

TIBS Lightning Fund

I have made an earlier post about the TIBS Lightining Fund. TIBS is the International Bengal Society and they are organizing funding the testing of Bengal cats to research the genetic causes of HCM (Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy - heart disease in layperson terms) in Bengal Cats (finding genetic "markers" so the cats can be screened in the future). This disorder would seem to be of growing concern for Bengal cat breeders and cat fanciers.

HCM is found in many cat breeds and mixed breed cats. It is present in some cat breeds more than others. Maine Coons (perhaps the most popular cat) are known to have a problem and now it seems Bengal cats are going down the same path.

On an update about the TIBS Lightning Fund, is it true that the fund has the money to carry out tests but not enough cat breeders coming forward to have to donate blood from an HCM positive cat? This seems to be the case. It wouldn't surprise me as breeders will naturally be concerned about their cats being known to test positive for HCM, which leaves them with a damaged breeding program. As I have said countless times before it is difficult to reconcile good cat breeding and commerce, the two clash.

It is clear though that the research is vital to the betterment of the Bengal cat breed as a whole so Bengal cat breeders who have cats who have HCM have a duty to the breed to come forward. It's really about long term thinking versus short term financial gain. The long term strategy is always the best way.

TIBS Lightning Fund to Bengal cats

1 comment:

  1. I have an HCM positive bengal cat. My breeder blew me off when I told her in early 2007. Now, I hear she just tested her breeding stock - mainly because her breeder partners are very diligent about it and probably pressured her.

    Please post the contact, not for the TIBS Lightning Fund, but the researchers. If they need a HCM positive cat, I am willing to donate blood.



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