From the May 2015 Issue

Pursuing Drugs for Mammary Cancer

Pursuing Drugs for Mammary Cancer

Researchers studying feline mammary cancer at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine have set an ambitious agenda. They hope that their ongoing work will lead to better diagnosis, treatment and prevention of breast tumors in cats and humans. Much of their interest lies in how a novel class of drugs affects breast cell tumors. In a study funded by the Cornell Feline Health Center, Assistant Professor Gerlinde Van de Walle, DVM, Ph.D., and Associate Professor Scott Coonrod, Ph.D., both working at the Baker Institute for Animal Health, have identified a promising chemical, BB-Cl-amidine, that seems to kill off feline mammary cancer cells while leaving healthy cells unaffected.

Current Issue

So You Want to Add One More Cat?

If you’re debating whether to bring home a new cat, you may stop and wonder: Do I dare add one more? We love animals, but the point comes when we should stop adding them to our households and hearts, whether due to our current pet population, expense, time involved in caring for multiple pets or this basic point about feline nature: “Cats are mostly happy as only cats,” says animal behaviorist Katherine A. Houpt, VMD, Ph.D., emeritus professor at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine. It may seem that a second cat could provide companionship for your lone feline or that a new kitten could enliven an old cat, but Dr. Houpt cautions, “If you have a cat, there are lots of things you can do to improve the quality of his life — but getting another cat is not one of them.”

How to Handle a Fainting Episode

One minute your cat seems fine. The next he’s passed out on the floor. What should you do? Fainting, or clinically speaking, syncope, is the temporary loss of consciousness followed by a spontaneous rapid recovery. “Rather than an illness in itself, fainting is a symptom of illness caused by a lack of sufficient flow of oxygenated blood to the brain,” says cardiologist Bruce Kornreich, DVM, Ph.D., ACVIM, Associate Director of the Feline Health Center at Cornell. His advice during an episode: “Carefully monitor your cat, never put your hand in his mouth, and contact a veterinarian immediately.”

Doing The Math: 1 Cat + 2 Dogs = Harmony

When it comes to household harmony, animal behaviorist Katherine A. Houpt, VMD, Ph.D., emeritus professor at Cornell, offers these rules of thumb: One cat per household works best.

Short Takes: May 2015

Despite the potential consequences of obesity, up to 59 percent of cats are overweight, according to the American Animal Hospital Association. It lists some of the effects in “Weight Management Guidelines for Dogs and Cats,” published in the Journal of the AAHA: chronic inflammation caused by fat tissue releasing hormones and proteins called cytokines, skin and respiratory disorders, renal dysfunction, diabetes and orthopedic disease.

Ask Elizabeth: May 2015

I have a 12-year-old calico kitty who eats a regular diet of commercial fish cat food and some assorted cat food pates. She also loves whole milk, and we give it to her after her meals on a daily basis. A friend of mine told me that I should not give her milk, as this can be harmful. Is this true?