Printer Friendly

Veterinary advances for cats

Since 1950, Morris Animal Foundation has invested in more than 300 feline health studies for a total of more than $9.5 million. Here are some of the significant health advances that have occurred for cats because of our funding.

Dietary Management of Diabetes: Investigators determined that a high-protein diet could help cats with diabetes lose weight and may eliminate the need for insulin. Veterinarians now incorporate this information into treatment plans for diabetic cats.

Improved Shelter Management of Respiratory Illnesses: Multiple studies provided significant information into about how to improve the health and well-being of cats in shelters. This body of research has led to the development of a new type of cage and recommendations for shelter personnel. These studies are changing the way cats are being housed in shelters and reducing the spread of upper respiratory infection, ensuring more cats are healthy and adoptable.

Tool for Studying Genetic Diseases: The Foundation supported the development of a genetic tool that scientists across the country are using to discover genetic mutations and predispositions to feline diseases, thereby helping veterinarians provide early diagnostics and treatment.

First Vaccine for Feline Leukemia: Studies helped lead to the first vaccine for feline leukemia, which has saved the lives of thousands of cats.

Tools to Diagnose and Treat Cancer: Researchers developed tools to better diagnose and treat cats with inflammatory bowel disease and gastrointestinal cancer. Scientists also improved a technique to distinguish between injection-site sarcomas and other forms of cancer, thus helping veterinarians choose the proper treatment.

Potential Vaccine to Decrease Overpopulation: Researchers developed a long-acting, single-dose contraceptive vaccine for feral cats. Such a vaccine has the potential to help control feral cat populations worldwide and reduce the number of homeless cats in an inexpensive and humane way.

Treatment and Monitoring of Heart Disease: Cats at risk for blood clotting associated with heart disease were successfully treated with antiplatelet drugs. In another study, researchers used a device to monitor cats taking platelet-inhibiting medications. Now veterinarians can measure platelet levels in their clinics and adjust medications as needed.