Ask The Expert (3)

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Topics Covered in Experts (3) Include:

  • Goop
  • Leaving shampoo on the cat
  • URI Carriers
  • Growing back hair on an ear
  • Showing a cat with a scar
  • CPC
  • My kittens are small
  • Chocolate Point
  • Breeding a Bi-Color to a Himalayan
  • Program Injectable
  • Urinating/Defecating during Bathing
  • Smoke Kitten Colors
  • Behavior changes after Neutering
  • Newborn Kitten Deaths

Topic: Goop
You may think this is a strange question....BUT... what is your GOOP made from? I am in the United Kingdom and I was wondering if we had anything that was the same/similar or could I purchase it over the net? Tracy

Answer: I don't think this is a strange question at all :-). Goop is a multipurpose hand cleaner which removes grease, paint, ink etc. from hands and clothes. It contains Isoparafins, fatty acids, glycerin, and lanolin amongst other things. Goop is usually used on a dry coat to degrease the coat prior to bathing. There is a Goop which also contains pumice - DO NOT use this brand on your cats as the pumice will cut the coat. They have a homepage at

Topic: Leaving shampoo on the cat
My question concerns a reference in several of grooming articles -- you often write that a certain solution or shampoo should sit on a cat (especially the area under the eyes) for up to 30 minutes for full effect. What do you do with the cat during this period?? Do you put them into a small cage in a warm place? I'm worried (in the case of the eyes) that my cat will begin to try and clean herself and may get something harmful in her eyes -- I do always use ample eye moisturizing gel, but am worried about it none the less! Julie

Answer: If I need to leave a product on a dry cat, such as when I am using a bleaching pasting under the eye, I begin putting the product on nearest the eye first. Then I get busy putting the product on other places like the chest, paws or back legs. This allows the product nearest the eye to dry while I am still "working" on the kitty... and I am in complete control. When I am finished, I simply sit petting my cat on the grooming table for the remaining 15-20 minutes the paste needs to work.

If I am leaving a shampoo on a wet cat, I will put the shampoo on, set the timer on my microwave oven, then while the kitty is still in the sink, I will cut nails, trim eyes and eyes, clean ears, check anal glands, and tell the kitty how beautiful she is :-)).

If I still have time to wait, I put the kitty in a hard carrier with a hand dryer on low heat just to make sure the cat does not get chilled.

Of course before any product is used on your cat, you always use a protective ophthalmic tear gel so that if a bit of soap or product got in the eye, it would do not harm.

Topic: URI Carriers
I have had a reoccurring problem within my cattery of sneezing and sometimes runny eyes. I believe that I have URI carriers. I had a cat tested for Herpes but it came back negative but I understand that does not mean alot. What I would like to know is how do I identify carriers so that I can eliminate them from the cattery setting?? How do I ultimately clear this problem up?? I have altered and placed a couple of the cats that I suspected but now sneezing has started again. It did not start with just one cat but several seemed to start at the same time. I did not do any antibiotics as I know they do not help with viruses. I have a couple of litters expected next month and am worried about what could happen. I would appreciate all that you can tell me about identifying carriers and eliminating them and anything else to help me clear up this situation so I can protect the expected kittens. Thanks So Much, Nancy

Answer: You are really facing two challenges:

1) How do you identify what is causing the URIs in your cattery and how do you eliminate your URI carriers?

2) How do you protect your upcoming litters?

The problem with identifying URI carriers is that carriers are not constantly shedding the virus. Therefore, even when a test is accurate, when it is negative it may mean that the cat is a carrier but was not shedding the virus at the time of the test.

Plus cats can have more than URI at a time and you will not know because the symptoms are so similar.

It is probably not practical to culture every cat with a nasal discharge, but if a cat has a recurring problem or if you want to determine if the cat is a carrier, a swab can be taken from the back of its throat and sent to a specialty laboratory to positively identify the Herpes Virus 1 that causes Rhinotracheitis.

It may be impossible to identify all the carrier cats, simply because URIs are so common in multiple-cat households. And you may have more than you think.

Since you are having a problem, I would try to separate your cats into groups of 4. Make sure all you vaccinations are up to date. Eliminate cats from your breeding program who seem to "catch" a URI more frequently as they may have poor immune systems.

To protect your upcoming litters, you need to give your kittens the intranasal vaccine as soon as their eyes open. Read Vaccination Protocols to see what your choice of vaccine should be for your particular situation.

See the articles Upper Respiratory Infections in cats, Feline Calici Virus and Rhinotracheitis for more details regarding reducing the occurrence of URIs in your cattery. And Good Luck!

Topic: Growing back hair on an ear
How long does it take for ear hair to grow back on a Persian? He lost his hair to ringworm but the vet has cleared him of it? Brittany

Answer: How long the hair takes to grow back will depend on the individual cat, whether it is blowing coat or growing coat, how much damage was done to the hair follicle and even whether the skin is healthy or not. Ears sometimes seem to take longer than usual for the hair to grow back completely. Figure a good month at least. possibly a lot longer...

Topic: Showing a cat with a scar
My cat has a small scar on his upper left eye lid at the corner -- the result of his being smacked in the eye as a kitten by a littermate. I want to grand him, but I am concerned that a judge may see this scar and disqualify him. Can you give me some advice? Thanks Dee

Answer: Go ahead and show your cat. An eye scar is not a disqualifying fault. lf it bothers a judge, he/she may not use your cat - what we call burying it in the class - but most judges would overlook it.

Topic: CPC
I have a CPC question: Does the percentage of Himalayan ancestors have any bearing on the percentage of a CPC and Himalayan producing Himalayan vs CPC?
.. Marcia

Answer: Not really. The genetics are very simple statistically. If the CPC does in fact carry the Colorpoint gene, you would expect 50% of the kittens to be pointed when bred to a Himalayan.

If the CPC is not actually carrying the Colorpoint gene, it will produce no pointed kittens bred to a Himalayan.

The only thing that affects whether a CPC crossed with a Himalayan will produce pointed offspring is whether the CPC is in fact carrying the pointed gene. There are only a couple ways you can know for sure whether a CPC actually carries the recessive Colorpoint gene:

  • If the CPC parent has a Himalayan parent, then you KNOW it is carrying the Colorpointed gene.
  • If the CPC in question has already produced a pointed kitten when bred to a Himalayan (or another CPC), then you know it does indeed carry the recessive Colorpoint gene.
  • f a cat has no Himalayan parent but instead has at least one CPC parent, the cat is called a CPC not because we know for sure it IS carrying the Colorpoint gene, but because it has the possibility of carrying the Colorpoint gene.

Topic: My kittens are small
I am trying to find someone to help me discover why my Siamese cats are so tiny, I don't know a whole lot about their ancestry but I've been told by many breeders that there are people working with these recently discovered, miniaturized cats to learn more about them. When they are born they weigh 2-3oz each and only grow to be from 2-4 lbs. whereas the regular Siamese grow to be anywhere from 6-12 lbs. Can someone please point me in the right direction, I love these cats dearly and must learn more about what is causing this dwarfism
. April

Answer: It is important to understand that small does not necessarily mean a dwarfism gene is present. It may simply be that the cats are small in size because the parents are small. Think of it as short parents do not likely have children who become basketball stars.

The small size may also be a result of inbreeding and loss of vigor.

Frankly, if a cat was producing 2 pound adults, I would be very concerned about whether there could be major health defects at work. If you are a breeder, bring in an outcross for size or look for more vigorous individuals to use in your breeding program..

Topic: Chocolate Point
If a chocolate point is bred to a blue point that carries no chocolate or lilac, can this still produce lilac points?

Answer: Sadly... no :-(

The chocolate/lilac gene is recessive. Both parents must carry the chocolate/lilac gene in order to produce chocolate/lilac point kittens. When a chocolate point is bred to a blue point with no chocolate/lilac background, you will get seal points and blue points only. The kittens will all have a chocolate/lilac gene but it will not "show". Sometimes, seal or blue points who are carrying the chocolate/lilac recessive gene will have a slightly lighter point color or a paler paw pad color, but they are not chocolate or lilac points and will not produce chocolate or lilacs unless mated with a cat with the chocolate/lilac gene. Generally the slight lightness will fade as the kitten reaches adulthood.

Topic: Breeding a Bi-Color to a Himalayan
What happens if a bi-colored black/white Persian male is bred to a himmie? Is this a "legal" breeding or not a good idea? Christina

Answer: Breeding a bi-color to a Himalayan is a perfectly legal breeding. That's the easy part of your question.

"Is it a good idea?", is a little more difficult question to answer. It depends on what your goal is. Are you a Himalayan breeder? A Bi-Color breeder? Do you show and register in CFA? TICA? Are you interested in placing show kittens in show homes? The answers to these questions will help you decide whether to do a bi-color/Himalayan breeding, or not.

All the kittens produced would be CPCs - Colorpoint carriers... either solid or bi-colors. Any solid CPCs from the breeding would be quite useful to a Himalayan program. However, most people working with a solid or bi-color program would not be interested in a CPC.

The bi-color CPC kittens could also be used in a Himalayan breeding program but they open the door to producing "pointed and white" Himalayans, which are not recognized by CFA although they are in TICA. If the bi-color parent is a van, when bred to a Himalayan, all the resulting kittens would be bi-color CPCs.

If I were a bi-color breeder, I would not bring a Himalayan into my breeding program.

If I were a Himalayan breeder, I'd think carefully before considering the breeding, but I would not dismiss it out of hand if the bi-color was not a van and it had something I felt I needed in my Himmie program.

Topic: Program Injectable
Is the new Program injectible usable as a ringworm preventative? I have some kitties that just won't eat the liquid or the pill. I would like to have them on the preventive dose and this would be a wonderful solution if it would work as well.. Janet

Answer: Yes, you can use the program injectable and it is as effective against ringworm as the pill or the liquid.

Topic: Urinating/Defecating during Bathing
I have an unusual problem when giving my 8 month old a bath--she urinates during the 2nd shampooing and then defecates around the 3rd or 4th shampoo or rinse. Why is she doing this and what can I do to make her stop? L.R.

Answer: Surprisingly, yours is not the first cat I have heard of who defecates during bathing. It is most-likely the result of nerves - plus being in water and feeling a bit cold. I think especially with our Persians when they are being shampooed then rinsed and shampooed and rinsed, they get warm, then cool, then warm, then cool... and it makes them feel the need to "go" ;-).

There really is no way to prevent them from doing it. So just plan your bathing routine around it. I actually think of it as a good thing because that means my freshly bathed and blown dry cat is not going to need to use the litter box for quite some time :-)

Topic: Smoke Kitten Colors
On two occasions I have bred my Blue Smoke female to a Cream male (persians). In both litters there has been one kitten born that I am unsure of the color. The kittens appear to be black tipped with the root hairs being a whitish color as though it was a smoke and they are stripey. The female is a very dark blue smoke. There are no other males in my home so I know 100% that the Cream male is the father. Would this be a typical color type I should get?

Answer: Breeding smokes can be a challenge. One of the reasons that smokes can be a harder road to travel is the variability of the expression of the smoke gene. Neither parent in your breeding is a dominant color. When you breed a cream male to a blue smoke female all kitten must be dilutes... so although you have black tips on the hairs, none of your kittens can be blacks or black smokes. The "black" hair tips are a color fault - not an expression of a black cat.

Likewise, your whitish roots may not be an expression of the smoke gene, but may be a color fault. Blues can have untrue color - showing a pale striping. We call it having unsound color.

Your female kittens from this breeding should all be Blue-Creams or Blue-Cream smokes/shaded. Your males can only be blues or blue smokes/shaded. However, all kittens can have "ghost" tabby markings, and smokes can show some barring, especially as kittens. Your kitten may be a neither/nor - neither a true blue smoke nor a sound colored blue.

Or it may just be that your kitten is at an "in between" stage in its color and needs time.

Take photos, grow the kittens up a bit, and if possible have an experienced smoke breeder examine them in purr-son.

Topic: Behavior changes after Neutering
I have a solid black Persian that I show. I recently (one month ago) had him altered and since his arrival home he has appeared depressed. He doesn't have signs of illness and I had him checked by the vet. He just doesn't seem himself anymore. He used to be very active and hyper and always groomed himself. One other change that is getting very bad recently that I'm concerned about. He urinates all over his underside and he never grooms himself to clean it. The odor is horrible and I don't know why this is happening or what to do about it. Do you know the cause of him urinating the whole area between his legs and reasons to why he isn't grooming himself? Anne
Answer: These behavioral changes could be caused by a wide number of things. You really need to have more tests done by your vet. This could be a medical problem or a complex behavior problem or both.

Check your cat's scrotum and penis. Maybe there is some scarring of the scrotum that is causing his penis to deviate downward? Has he had blood work/CBC to check for a chronic infection? Has an urinalysis been done to look for infection or crystals? Is he eating well? Are his stools normal? Is he actually in the litter box peeing and it's going all over him, or is he just peeing wherever? These are all questions you need the answers to before coming up with a solution to your boy's change in behavior.

Topic: Newborn Kitten Deaths
I just had 6 kittens from a blue point male, female tortie. All the kittens except one so far have died, please tell me what's happening?? Susan

Answer: You didn't mention how old the kittens were when they died or if they were nursing and seemed okay or ??? But it sounds like what we call Fading Kitten Syndrome. This refers to kittens who are born, begin nursing, gain weight, than inexplicably begin to fade at 1-3 weeks of age. Even with hand-feeding they usually die no matter what the breeder does to try to save them. This is the result of a G Strep infection that seems to affect first-time queens the most. The solution is to establish a very specific penicillin protocol described in detail in our article titled Fading Kitten Syndrome. Unlike other antibiotic treatments, this is a one-shot protocol for kittens and the new mom. The penicillin is given to the newborns and their mom right at birth and it prevents the G Strep infection that kills the kittens.
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