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Inbreeding by breeders

Ishani Birch

Savannah Super Cat
This is something I noticed being done by a breeder in my town and I wanted to share it with breeders on this site because it personally has concerned me a bit.

In my town there are two SV breeders, I was looking to buy a male last year and both had litters of kittens. So of course I went and checked out both litters, each only had one male that was still available and I ended up buying the second one I looked at, Sterling. I just knew he was my kitten when I saw him.
I looked at the website of the breeder who I didn't buy a kitten from a few months later and I saw that they never ended up selling the boy I didn't buy and had him listed as their future stud. They are a small cattery so I thought maybe they plan on getting a second female. But now a year later I found out they are planning on breeding the male to his mother. They also have him titled as a higher generation then he is.

I'm not at all trying to slander them, they are very nice and seem to love their cats a lot.

But I'm under the impression that breeding a parent and offspring is not good for many reasons, especially health. And the fact that they are lying about the males generation also made me uneasy...

I'm of course not going to do anything or say anything but this all seems like .. Something that is a big no no in breeding..
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
You will get mixed views on this. I am not at all keen on inbreeding for the health reasons you mention. It is well documented in breeds that the more limited the genetics become the more issues crop up and the more unhealthy that breed is. We are fortunate in the Savannah breed to have started with a lot of outcrossing (especially having to outcross to F5 generation to get somewhat reliable fertility), hence I hope to keep it that way.

But on the other hand, people DO use inbreeding as a tool. Some breeders will do that kind of mother-son cross to "set" a trait that they really like or want. Some advocate it as the only way to get a consistent look.

And then there are the breeders that just inbreed for convenience...they don't want to buy another stud but want to keep a daughter so...

When you say "higher" generation do you mean later or earlier? So if an F5 for example does that mean the cat is listed as F4 or F6?
 

Ishani Birch

Savannah Super Cat
Yes, I knew breeders do use it as a tool sometimes, I actually didn't know parent-offspring was at all common when inbreeding is used.
Hopefully as you mentioned, because Savannahs are a young breed it won't take too much of a toll on the kittens. I've had inbred cats before, not Savannahs, just kittens coming from a bad home. And neither made it past 8 years old and never seemed right, so perhaps I'm a little more sensitive to inbreeding.

The kittens from the breeder where advertised as F7 SBT, but they have him shown as an F6 SBT. Not a huge difference but still untrue.
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
It's possible they miscalculated the filial number at first and it's corrected now also...if they are a new breeder those errors can be common..
 

Patti

Admin
Staff member
As Brigitte has pointed out, inbreeding is a tool that is sometimes used by breeders to lock in certain traits, but comes at the risk of bringing out unwanted recessive traits in the offspring as well, so should only be practiced by experienced breeders, and IMHO never as a routine practice. In addition, I would hope that the breeder provides full disclosure to the potential owners of the kittens produced because, even if they seem fine as kittens there is no telling what might crop up as they mature. I once had an 'oops' litter between half siblings - in fact, it was the pregnancy that proved my F4 male, but I gave away the kittens with full disclosure of their heritage since I had no idea what possible issues might crop up in the future.
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
Exactly, we had an accidental mother-son mating (proving that son at an early age) and placed that kitten with full disclosure of her background. Those kind of accidents can happen!
 

Kristin

Animal Communicator
I am not a breeder, so this is just my 2 cents.

My sister purchased a pure bred dog that was line bred...and she is a genetic disaster. Yeah, she is beautiful, but her beauty is marred by severe, severe allergies. She is on prednisone for the rest of her life (she is 3), and she has lost fur all over her stomach and legs from itching. She has also gained a ton of weight, and her personality has drastically changed since being medicated. When people see her next to her 10 year old GSD x brother, they think she is at least the same age, and on death's door.

The breeder she is from wanted to keep her for show, because she is "typey" and she continues the lines because of the look. Being aware of the risks of line breeding is so important.
 

sacred

Savannah Super Cat
I am not a breeder, so this is just my 2 cents.

My sister purchased a pure bred dog that was line bred...and she is a genetic disaster. Yeah, she is beautiful, but her beauty is marred by severe, severe allergies. She is on prednisone for the rest of her life (she is 3), and she has lost fur all over her stomach and legs from itching. She has also gained a ton of weight, and her personality has drastically changed since being medicated. When people see her next to her 10 year old GSD x brother, they think she is at least the same age, and on death's door.

The breeder she is from wanted to keep her for show, because she is "typey" and she continues the lines because of the look. Being aware of the risks of line breeding is so important.

Every single purebred cat, cow, horse, and dog that you've ever seen is the result of tight inbreeding. Every reproducible "strain" or "line" is the result of linebreeding back to a desirable member of an inbred/linebred kennel/cattery/etc. Without inbreeding/linebreeding you simply cannot reliably reproduce and improve any breed. Yes, it will magnify positives and faults alike, but careful selection in the breeding pair as well as those offspring retained for the breeding program going forward results in an improved animal that can reliably reproduce its desirable genetics as well as the elimination of deleterious characteristics from both phenotype and genotype.
 

Brigitte Cowell

Moderator
Staff member
I'm not sure I agree... there are many breeders that work to reduce an inbreeding coefficient and avoid that kind of inbreeding. Although it can be difficult to find a Savannah that one wants in one's program that doesn't share something like a great-greatgrandfather that is the level of "inbreeding" that is more common in our breed than siblings or parent-offspring matings.
 
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