PRA stands for Progressive Retinal Atrophy,which is an inherited disease that can lead to blindness.  To be affected a kitten has to inherit the gene from both parents – in other words it’s a recessive gene.

Back in the 1960s an Abysinian called Tranby Red Tutankhamen was used in a breeding program that was attempting to better understand some genetics of coat colour.  The program disproved what it was attempting to prove, but bequeathed several things to the Oriental breed:

  • the recessive longhair-gene which has lead to the development of the Oriental Longhair
  • the Cinnamon gene giving us cinnamon and fawn Orientals
  • the PRA gene

The first two are beneficial, the last isn’t.

Thankfully there is now a gene test for PRA.  I have tested Lola and she is negative – not a carrier – so none of her kittens can every be affected.

If you are interested here are a couple of links:


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