Morris funds 5 feline health studies

Four U.S. universities and the University of Sydney will split more than $400,000.

Morris funds 5 feline health studies

Morris Animal Foundation has awarded more than $400,000 in grants to fund research into three deadly feline infections and drugs formulated for two other feline conditions.

The recipients and the studies are:

  • University of Sydney: Investigating the re-emergence of feline panleukopenia, or feline distemper, an often-fatal gastrointestinal disease in shelter cats. “Researchers will determine if multiple parvovirus strains or other viruses are contributing to the re-emergence,” Morris stated.
  • Colorado State University: Developing new diagnostic and prognostic tests for feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). “Researchers will explore novel ways to diagnose and predict the likelihood of a cat to develop feline infectious peritonitis, a highly fatal viral disease with no known cure,” Morris stated.
  • Michigan State University: Combating feline herpesvirus type 1 (FHV-1). “Researchers will identify genes responsible for the lack of immune defenses associated with feline herpesvirus, a major cause of upper respiratory infections in cats, with the aim of developing a more effective vaccine,” Morris stated.
  • University of California, Davis: Understanding why cats respond differently to a common heart medication. “The drug clopidogrel is frequently prescribed for cats with heart disease to help prevent and treat blood clot formation. However, individual cats may process clopidogrel differently, resulting in variations in drug efficacy. Researchers will determine if genetic mutations are directly linked to how well or how poorly a cat with heart disease responds to the drug,” Morris stated.
  • University of Tennessee: Evaluating the effectiveness of a commonly prescribed drug for chronic kidney disease (CKD). Omeprazole, a gastric acid suppressant, is prescribed to treat gastrointestinal symptoms in cats with chronic kidney disease, Morris reported. Tennessee received two grants, one of them a fellowship.

Morris Animal Foundation, which announced the grants Nov. 14, has funded more than 2,600 studies since 1948.