Head Defect - a short background and description:
With its shining jet black coat and amber eyes the traditional Bombay looks like a miniature
black panther. Nikki Horner had the black panther in mind when she created the Bombay breed.
To develope this miniature black panther she mixed brown Burmese with American Shorthair.
In the 1970s a line of Burmeses was bred in the east of the US. These cats had big success at shows
in the whole US. They were called Contemporary (modern) and had extremly short noses and round heads.
This hunt for short noses led to the catastrophe in the Burmese breed during the seventies and
has continued to do so. This new look caused a mutation in these Burmese lines, which was called
Head Defect. It lead to a lot of kittens being born with deformed heads, still alive (double whiskers,
no eyes, no nose). The only way to ease the pain is to put the kitten to sleep.
The result is that most Bombay/Burmese with Contemporary lines is carrier of this gene that causes
Head Defect, because the breeders longed for success at shows where judges preferred the extreme.
This gene that causes Head Defect is nowadays easily discovered by a simple DNA test.
Our intention is to keep our Bombays healthy and therefore only use tested
Contemporary Bombays in our breeding program.
The choice was obvious to us, morally and ethically we cannot defend a breeding where the defected
gene is passed on. It is a challenging task, but the knowledge of breeding healthy cats compensates
for all difficulties.
If you want to know more and for example read an interview with the legendary breeder Hilde Frank
or read a true story from a breeder that have experienced Head Defect you are welcome to contact us.