Genetics Picture

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Chryptorchidism

Sometimes it happens that a male kitten's testes, or one of them, don't descend from the abdomen to the scrotum. Instead they, or it, will stay in the abdomen or in the groin. This is when a cat is called chryptorchid. Testes that are not in place will not be able to produce sperms, but they will produce sexhormones. A bilateral chryptorchid cat will act just as a normal male, unless he is neutered, even though he is sterile. There are studies proposing a higher risk of cancer in testis's that are malplaced, and this might be yet another reason to neuter chryptorchid males, even if this means searching for the wandering testis in the abdomen, which sometimes isn't that easy.

One doesn't know how chryptorchidism in inherited, but it is for sure SOME type of "sex-restricted" inheritance. That the inheritance is "sex-restricted" means that even females can carry genes for chryptorchidism, even if they of course don't show it themselves. If one for instance wants to continue with a kitten in a litter where there is a chryptorchid kitten, it is safer to choose a normal male than choosing a female. The female might have the same genotype for chryptorchidism as the brother who has the defect and passing on the problem to her sons in the same way as the chryptorchid male would do, while a normal brother shows that he has a better genotype in regards to this.

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