A New Era in Medicine: Feline Genetic Screening

Complete genomes — genetic blueprints — of numerous cats’ DNA have been sequenced in what has been described as a new era in veterinary medicine.

Cornell’s Veterinary Biobank, as one example, is a database of DNA and tissue samples from several species. The biobank is supported in part by the Cornell Feline Health Center.

Now the Winn Feline Foundation has awarded the University of Missouri a grant believed to be the first “precision medicine” screening of a domestic cat. Precision medicine considers individual variations in genes and environment in diseases. Researchers will map the genome of an American shorthair cat with neurological disease and compare it to their 99 Lives Cat Genome Sequencing database. The goal is to use the cat’s genetic signature to help determine the disease’s cause and novel therapies for treatment.