An inherited form of progressive retinal atrophy (PRA) is recognized in Persian cats; however, the prevalence of PRA in the breed has not been determined. Breeders suggest that cats from only brown ('chocolate') or Himalayan ('pointed') lines are at risk for PRA, suggesting the disease is not widespread. This study was designed to evaluate whether PRA in Persian cats is associated with three coat colors, including chocolate, or with a highly prevalent inherited disease in this breed - polycystic kidney disease (PKD). Sixty related cats were evaluated for PRA by ophthalmic examination and genetically typed for PKD and the mutations that cause coat color variants in agouti, brown and color (producing the pointed coloration in Himalayan). No associations were identified among any of the traits, including between PRA and chocolate. These data suggest that PRA is not limited to cats with chocolate coat coloration and breeders and veterinarians should be aware that the prevalence of the disease may be higher than currently claimed.
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