Nearly 100 million pet cats live in the United States, and many households have more than one furry feline. February celebrates those cats with National Cat Health Month. Of course, at Morris Animal Foundation, it’s always cat health month.
We’re excited to be an active partner in funding quality research that addresses feline health issues. Since funding our first feline-focused study in 1950, the Foundation has invested nearly $14 million in about 350 studies to help cats. In fact, the Foundation is the worldwide leader in funding studies that improve feline health.
The earliest studies funded by the Foundation focused on the unique protein requirements of cats, knowledge we now take for granted, but at the time little was known about the unique dietary needs of cats. More recent nutritional studies helped in the development of guidelines for the dietary management of kidney disease, a major problem in older cats. Additional Foundation-funded studies helped lay the groundwork for the development of the first vaccine against feline leukemia virus.
Recent and ongoing feline health studies include intense research into feline infectious peritonitis, feline heart disease and pain management strategies for cats. Many grants also provide training to promising new feline-focused researchers, who will become industry leaders in the future.
As the Foundation reaches its 65th year of funding feline-focused health studies, our commitment to improving the quality of life for cats remains strong. Yet, our ability to move forward in addressing concerns is only as powerful as the many donors who give of their time and talents toward this important goal.
Each year, the Foundation receives many more grant requests than it can fund, and often we must turn away exciting studies and promising scientists. As we celebrate National Cat Month, consider supporting feline health studies through a donation to Morris Animal Foundation. Your gift will help us continue our quest to improve the health of these valued companions.
By: Kelly J. Diehl, DVM MS, DACVIM