Genetics Picture

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Flat chest

Kittens with this defect look as a rule normal at birth, but at approximately 1-2 weeks of age the chest falls inward and becomes compressed. Even the back might at the same time become bent. When this happens the kitten will gain little weight, maybe even the weight falls a bit, but then it picks up in a fairly normal rate, if the defect is not too substantial. In slight cases the flatness might reverse completely before the kitten is ready to move to a new home, so that it will not even be a remark on the veterinarian's examination. Of course such a kitten shouldn't be used in breeding, and the buyer should be informed of that the kitten has had a flat chest. In severe cases of flat chest it might be less room for the internal organs as the kittens grow, so that it will not be able to survive. Between these two extremes are the cats that easily get tired and out of breath, but in spite of this can live with the defect.

The hereditary has been studied on Burmese and it seems to be a single recessive gene in that breed.