We mentioned the Winn Feline Foundation in our recent blog post about stem cell research. This brilliant non-profit organisation provides funding for essential research into cat diseases and behaviour. Without the Winn Feline Foundation, these research projects might not get the go-ahead, and we’d be left still knowing very little about killer diseases such as FIP.
The Winn Feline Foundation also gives student scholarship awards to those who will become the cat-advocates of the future, who are already devoting their lives to the welfare of cats but who need a little support along the way. The Foundation’s funding focus is broad-ranging, but includes research into Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP), Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM), and breed-associated diseases. We should emphasise that such studies involve cellular research and assessment of cats that already have such diseases, and that funding does not support animal testing.
From its inception in 1968 the Winn Feline Foundation has invested more than $4 million in scientific studies of cat disease and health. If anyone were looking to support a cat charity that has scientific research as its basis and cat health at its core, we cannot think of a more worthy recipient.
News flash! We’ve just added a rather thorough article about pet insurance, which we hope will answer any queries you have, such as whether you should take out pet insurance, and if you do what you need to know.
If you think we’re missing any useful information then please be in touch using the Comments boxes. And if you found the article useful, let us know!
Well, we started writing you a post about this, but it became so long and interesting, that we made it into an article! Read the full article here.
In a nut-shell, we look at compulsive behaviours in cats, and wool-sucking as an example. We look at suspected causes and suggested solutions. We hark on about feeding and environmental enrichment a bit more, too!
So, what is wool-sucking? Here’s an example of a Siamese cat sucking its tail – it’s cute, but is a variation on the wool-sucking behaviour so also evidence of an interesting feline behaviour…
It is a relief to hear that a 36-pound (16kg) cat, who is so exceedingly obese he can hardly walk, has arrived in a cat shelter in Arizona where he can begin a strict weight loss regime. This news video shows him struggling to move around, but still managing to enjoy some human affection! Please don’t let your cats get fat, folks!!
Getting such a morbidly obese cat to lose weight must be done very carefully. Cats have a special liver metabolism that means if they are starved or made to lose weight too quickly, they can develop a liver condition called Hepatic Lipidosis. This is a potentially life-threatening illness that requires hospitalisation and intensive veterinary treatment. We recommend always getting advice from your vet about how to promote safe weight loss in your cat.
Cat owners beware! Anti-freeze (ethylene glycol) is very toxic to cats. It tastes sweet but can cause kidney failure and death within hours. Make sure you know the signs to watch for and more importantly know how to avoid this fatal toxicity. The Animal Health Trust in Newmarket (UK) has produced this useful leaflet.
Many vet practices have separate cat wards, but not all provide hospitalised cats with a hiding place in their kennel. Cats have 3 ways of coping with stressful situations – escape, hide, or go ‘up high’. Since a kennel environment prevents escape, emphasis should be placed on providing a hiding place and, if possible, a corner shelf from which to observe their surroundings without fear of approach from behind. Research has shown that providing a ‘Hide and Perch’ box, as opposed to an open cat bed, improves rescue cats’ welfare and reduces their stress levels. They were also more likely to get along well together. The UK’s Cats Protection charity have developed a cat hide to mimic this in the veterinary hospital – www.cats.org.uk/cat-care