THE TICA BREEDING POLICY
Breeding Programme for the Australian Mists
The Australian Mist is a developed breed with a significant history. It was developed in Australia by Dr. Truda Straede and achieved championship status in Australia in the 1970s. The original crosses were one half Burmese (Australian style, more European type), one quarter Abyssinian, and one quarter Domestic Shorthaired Spotted tabby. Over thirty individual cats were involved in the original breedings so the breed has a very diverse gene pool. There have also been a few outcrossings since, further increasing the gene pool and adding diversity. The cats were selected for only shorthair, tabby, Burmese gene, and eumelanistic colours, because of the involvement of the Abyssinian, the cinnamon gene was introduced.
The desired cat was a spotted and later marbled tabby, in Sepia colours with a ticked overlay.
Therefore the accepted colours are Seal Sepia, Chocolate Sepia, Cinnamon Sepia, Blue Sepia, Lilac Sepia, and Fawn Sepia in spotted or marbled tabby pattern.
We do not feel that additional hybridisation with the source breeds is needed to maintain the health of the breed at this point in time at higher generations than is allowed in TICA. Therefore it is listed in TICA as a Category I breed (no outcrosses to other breeds within a 3 generation pedigree for showing in championship).
This is also consistent with the registration requirements in Australia. However there are further considerations that we recommend. It is strongly suggested that no further outcrosses be made using the Abyssinian and Burmese breeds.
The gene pool in the Burmese has issues of its own and outcrosses to the Abyssinian breed have resulted in various allergies that presented as skin and asthma like disorders. There are genetic health disorders in each of the two breeds as well. DNA testing is available for most of these, but at this point there is no test available to detect the cause of higher predisposition of South East Asian cats to develop FIP. The domestic cats in Australia are primarily identified as European sourced not Southeast Asian.
So it is our recommendation that further outcrosses be domestics, because the Australian Mists were developed in Australia from Australian cats we feel that this should continue at this point with any new bloodlines to be developed there or from cats sourced from Australia. Development of new lines in Australia is very closely controlled by the registries there. A breeder must first have a permit before they can develop new bloodlines.
Currently there are a couple of new lines being worked on – based on the addition of new domestic outcrosses. All progeny anticipated to be used in subsequent generations are being genetically tested before they are bred further –selecting against undesirable recessive factors such as the pointed gene cs and longhair.
GENETIC TESTING AND BLOOD TYPING
Many Australian Mists have already been DNA tested for a number of genetically carried aliments as well as Type B blood. One of the last group of domestics that was used was a Type A/B (b carrier) and it has shown up in the genetic testing. It is not felt that the gene pool is large enough to be divided into two groups – the A and the B blood types, so most Mist breeders are DNA testing and working to reduce, then eliminate the B group over a period of time.
PYRUVATE KINASE DEFICIENCY (PK DEF)
Dr. Lyons included some of the Australian Mists in a survey genetic testing in the United Kingdom and one or two were heterozygous for PK Def. Subsequent testing has been done and no homozygotes have been found. All of the cats imported from Australia to the U.S. have been tested and are negative. Selective breeding will eliminate this issue from the breed.
A number of AustralianMists have been tested for Burmese hypokalemia and none have tested positive. No cases of the ailment have arisen either, so it is believed that the breed is free of the ailment.
FAR FUTURE PLANS
Dr. Straede has always bred her Mists with health and temperament as major concerns and it is our intent to continue that legacy. She is also a scientist however and if there are further revelations in genetic testing in the future – such as highly disease resistant lines of cats then we could consider judicious outcrossing to such sources regardless of geographic location while still maintaining the type and temperament of the original breed.