Thursday, February 29, 2024
catsfeline healthfeline health studiesfeline hypertrophic cardiomyopathyfeline infectious peritonitisFIPhealth and safetyveterinary medicinewinn feline foundation

Winn Feline Foundation: Five Feline Health Studies, and Resources for Cat Owners and Veterinarians

two cats playing on bed
Namir and Lucy, “Let’s play!”

Above, kitten Lucy adored her fur brother Namir and invites him to play, and play they did. Namir had HCM, and Lucy had FIP, both benefited from studies Winn had funded as part of their treatment when each grew ill.

. . . . . . .

The Winn Feline Foundation, the only foundation focused exclusively on feline medical research financial support that helps to advance the body of medical knowledge about cats, is awarding $122,066 in grants for studies through the Miller Trust. Studies include stem cell therapy for asthma, wool sucking behavior in Siamese and Birmans, feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), and feline genome sequencing.


The studies

The asthma study will determine if maropitant, already safely and widely used to treat vomiting in cats, can reduce airway inflammation, clinical signs, and airway constriction in asthmatic cats.  The “wool sucking” study is a continuation of work previously funded by the Winn Feline Foundation to see if it has a genetic basis, important because the behavioral condition can cause a breakdown of the human-animal bond due to owners’ frustration with property damage and restricting their cats’ access to favored items.

Antiviral drugs may be able to treat, if not cure, the disease in a manner similar that currently used to treat people infected with HIV/AIDS, and an FIP study tests protease inhibitors as first-generation anti-corona viral drugs in cats to determine optimal dosage, routes of administration, duration of action, and acute and chronic toxicity. The second FIP study of Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs), small pieces of RNA that can guide the cell’s own machinery to inhibit viral replication and possibly provide a potential treatment, looks for a successful way to administer the siRNAs.

And the 9 Lives Cat Genome Sequencing Initiative proposes to whole genome sequence 9 cats (9 Lives) that have genetic disease traits previously identified, and will be the first step in providing a denser array and more accurate assembly of the cat genome.

Read more about all of these studies in this press release.


About health studies for cats and Winn Feline Foundation

The American Association of Feline Practitioners (AAFP) states that in the United States there are millions more owned cats than owned dogs, yet cats visit veterinarians less frequently than dogs. Studies have shown that older cats visit the veterinarian less often than younger cats and that owners of indoor cats are less likely to place a priority on veterinary care than owners of outdoor cats.

The Winn Feline Foundation is a non profit organization established in 1968 that supports studies to improve cat health, funding over $4 million in health research for cats at more than 30 partner institutions world wide through the support of dedicated donors and partners. Winn-funded research has led to improvements in cat food, the science behind most vaccines your cat receives, and progress in the fight against FIV, leukemia, diabetes, FIP, heart disease and a host of other illnesses in cats.

Resources for you and your veterinarian

Winn supplies cat health information from experts, including the results of grants for feline health research. While your own veterinarian is always your best source for information on your own cat’s health issues, Winn has a library of comprehensive articles written by veterinarians and researchers.

The Winn Feline Foundation has been instrumental in many of the advances in feline medicine and surgery in recent decades. Veterinarians benefit from the improved diagnostic methods and treatments for feline diseases that result from Winn-funded research.

Veterinary Honor Roll

Winn offers a special donation to honor veterinarians who have provided outstanding health care to their feline patients. The Veterinary Honor Roll offers a unique opportunity to both honor your veterinarian and give a gift that will resonate for years to come. For a minimum donation of $100 your honored veterinarian will be acknowledged on the website and receives a letter of notification and a framed certificate* suitable for proud display in the veterinary hospital.

The Ricky Fund for Feline Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM)

In June 2002, the Winn Feline Foundation announced the creation of The Ricky Fund, set up to accept donations specifically for feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) research. Steve Dale, nationally syndicated pet columnist and radio show host, worked with Winn to create this fund in memory of his Devon Rex cat, Ricky.

The Bria Fund for Feline Infectious Peritonitis

In November 2005, the Winn Feline Foundation announced the creation of the Bria Fund to accept donations for feline infectious peritonitis (FIP) research. FIP is a fatal disease primarily seen in young kittens, with no cure and no effective treatment.

Visit the Winn Feline Foundation website to read more about these programs and other work from Winn.

two cats playing
Namir “finds” Lucy hiding under the covers.

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From health and welfare to rescue and adoption stories, advocacy and art, factual articles and fictional stories, "The Creative Cat" offers both visual and verbal education and entertainment about cats for people who love cats, pets and animals of all species.

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