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Flat Chested Kitten Syndrome, FCK

kai bengals

TCS Member
Thread starter
Top Cat
Sep 5, 2005
3,931
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North Carolina
Hi Dr Jean,

I've been reading with great interest all the responses to the many questions being posed to you in this section. Wonderful detailed responses! I'm very impressed.


Thank-you for taking the time to answer everyone's questions. I know it's very time consuming.

My question is regarding FCK, which presents itself randomly from time to time in our breedings. Over the past decade of breeding we've had this occur several times with varying degrees of severity. Only once have we lost a kitten due to a severe case. The others have all mostly outgrown it, becoming adults with no visible defect.

It seems very little is known about this problem, although all breeds suffer from it occasionally. Theories vary as to the cause, such as genetic, womb positioning, time frame of delivery, calcium deficiency in the queens and environmental factors.

One bengal breeder swears it is a calcium deficiency and since he has put his queens on extra calcium he has not had a single kitten affected.

What are your thoughts on this and do you have any suggestions to prevent this from occuring? Do you lean towards a genetic cause? Do you think environmental factors could play a role?

Thanks in advance! Nial
 

drjean

TCS Member
Veteran
Apr 9, 2008
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I would tend toward a genetic/heritable component. It is probably a multi-gene defect may also be triggered or worsened by environmental factors, so it wouldn't turn up too often. The breeder who is adding calcium is either feeding a homemade diet too low in calcium (most recipes are), or is probably just having a run of luck. Cats who have thrown kittens with FCK should not be bred because of the high likelihood that it is heritable.

There's tons of calcium in commercial pet foods, minerals are cheap and manufacturers add extra. Calcium can cause significant toxicity (decreased appetite and decreased growth in kittens), and extra calcium without magnesium can create a serious imbalance. Of course, magnesium (Mg) is associated with struvite crystals and stones, albeit more indirectly than previously thought. Cat foods are usually designed to be low in Mg. Adding more Mg to the diet is considered a no-no. Back to square one....
 

mews2much

TCS Member
Top Cat
Nov 19, 2007
13,424
26
Central Valley,California
My Oreo has FCKS. She went flat at about 10 days and so did Pancake her Sister. My Brother did not even know if they would live. I told him I would take one of the Kittens with it and went to the Bay Area to get her. Do you think she will grow out of it. You can not really tell she has it now. She is almost 8 months now. The other 2 Kittens were normal. Herehttp://www.thecatsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=142029&highlight=fcks is the link to mt Brothers Post when it happened. He said they were Boys Oreo and Pancake are Girls. Should I feed her a certain kind of food?
 

sharky

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Jan 30, 2005
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Originally Posted by mews2much

My Oreo has FCKS. She went flat at about 10 days and so did Pancake her Sister. My Brother did not even know if they would live. I told him I would take one of the Kittens with it and went to the Bay Area to get her. Do you think she will grow out of it. You can not really tell she has it now. She is almost 8 months now. The other 2 Kittens were normal. Herehttp://www.thecatsite.com/forums/showthread.php?t=142029&highlight=fcks is the link to mt Brothers Post when it happened. He said they were Boys Oreo and Pancake are Girls. Should I feed her a certain kind of food?
I know of one kitty that did ... I believe it was a savannah kitten
 

drjean

TCS Member
Veteran
Apr 9, 2008
92
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Actually, my (human) cousin had a similar condition, pectus excavatum. It was fairly significant when he was a kid, but he outgrew it. I think it depends on the severity of the defect, what genes might be operating and when they turn on and off. It isn't usually detectable in newborns but gets worse as they grow...then can turn around and disappear! Go figure!

Re diet, as you're probably getting tired of hearing, canned food (or any high-protein high-moisture diet...homemade or raw both fill the bill), the best quality you can afford...reduce or eliminate the dry--it causes *so* many health problems!
 
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