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Science Newsletter

Science Newsletter Vol.16: June 2022

 In This Issue

From the Editor's Desk: A note from TICA Science Newsletter Editor Anthony HutchersonTNNT2 ≠ HCM in Maine Coons | Feline Coronavirus (FCoV) Role in Feline Diarrhea | Best Test for Tritrichomonas foetus  | AGXT2 Gene Variants Correlate to Dietary Treatment of Bladder Stones in Cats  |  Temperature & Humidity Affect Male Cat Fertility | Trupanion Shares Most Common Cat Veterinary Claims According to Age | Sphynx Cats Diagnosed More Often & Younger with Ocular Disease | TICA News Briefs | Annual Hotel Block | EveryCat Health Foundation June 2022 Update

Editors Letter June TICA Newsletter  
Hello Friends,

In the midst of 2022, there are some fantastic new insights and identifications that will help in caring for, treating, and creating healthier and happier cats.  

Please read the TNNT2 gene article, especially if you use genetic screening to decide on what kittens to keep and who to breed to whom! The gene was identified last year as a causal variant for HCM in Maine Coons but there is an update. Please share and support the research that allows us to collaborate, investigate and interrogate the science that affects us all. This new information is possible because of cat enthusiasts (breeders, owners, exhibitors) providing samples and information to scientists. 

I love it when my cats join me outdoors for fun (and observation of functional & behavioral health) but I’m not a fan of the creepy crawlies that can join us when we come back indoors. Thankfully the most frequent uninvited guests on cats (fleas, ticks & ear mites) have a successful treatment available in Selamectin offered by multiple manufacturers that also treats the intestinal parasites roundworms and hookworms.  Read the reference document created by the Shelter Medicine program at the College of Veterinary Medicine at the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Also, for those who missed TICA’s Spring Board meeting last month, make sure you read the update at the end of this newsletter to catch up on all the news from the meeting.

Enjoy the season and hopefully the information from studies recently published regarding cat health, inheritance, and treatment are of value to you


Anthony Hutcherson



TNNT2 Story TICA June Newsletter

TNNT2 ≠ HCM in Maine Coons

 On May 30, 2022, the journal Animal Genetics published an article by Bart J. G Broeckx, PhD et. al “The TNNT2:c.95‐108G>A variant is common in Maine Coons and shows no association with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy” examining the genetic sequences of 160 Maine Coon Cats as well as 296 cats from the 99 Lives Database to further establish causation between the mutation and clinical disease. 

The variant was found in a variety of Maine Coon Cat lines -- as well as in individuals of British Shorthair, Ragdoll, Siamese, and Tennessee Rex breeds present in the 99 Lives data set.  The article clearly states, “this variant is currently classified as a variant of unknown significance and should not be used for breeding decisions regarding HCM”. Read more in the complete article.  

A TNNT2 variant has been identified as a causal variant for HCM in people. There was significant surprise and excitement in 2021 when University of Cincinnati cardiologists and researchers James McNamara PhD and Sakthivel Sadayappan, PhD published research identifying this variant in a family of Maine Coons where the individuals with HCM had two copies of the variant and the clinically normal cats did not have two copies. Read more about the research.  

The new article was published just days ago.  Basepaws is the only commercial cat genetic test that offered screening for TNNT2 when the company updated in screening set in Nov. 2021. There is now no conclusive reason to exclude or include a cat with one or two copies of TNNT2 (Troponin) from a breeding program based on all published research.



 National Cat Health Month

Feline Coronavirus (FCoV) Role in Feline Diarrhea

Feline Coronavirus (FCoV), NOT SARS-COV19, shedding ispresent in 87% of cats with diarrhea in multi-cat environments compared to 58.8% in cats with normal stool consistency according to a new study in the journal Viruses published April 22, 2022.  

The study involved 37 German catteries including 234 individual British Shorthair, Bengal, Maine Coon, Norwegian Forest Cats, and Persians. Read more about the study in the complete article and extensive research. 


Tritrichomonas foetus Story June TICA Newsletter  

Best Test for Tritrichomonas foetus 

Tritrichomonas foetus or T. foetus is a worldwide cause of diarrhea in cats. Diagnosing the presence of the protozoa in the gastrointestinal system of a cat is often frustrating and difficult as dealing with the ramifications of diarrhea.  

A recent study compared four commercial extraction methods with PCR and LAMP molecular assays to determine which test was the best. The ZR Fecal DNA MiniPrep was identified as the best. Read more about the parameters for this study and measures the authors used in compete article.


 AGXT2 Gene Story June TICA Newsletter 

AGXT2 Gene Variants Correlate to Dietary Treatment of Bladder Stones in Cats

April 22, 2022, the Journal Genes published an article in which Hill’s Pet Nutrition conducted a genome wide association study and metabolic profiles of 445 cats to determine that differences in the AGXT2 gene changed how diet impacted treatment of calcium oxalate stones in the bladder. Read more in the full article.  



Temp and Cat Fertility Story TICA June Newsletter

Temperature & Humidity Affect Male Cat Fertility

The July 2022 issue of Theriogenology an International Journal of Animal Reproduction features “Heat stress and sperm production in the domestic cat”.  M.A. Stornelli, DVM, PhD and her co-authors from the National University of La Plata in La Plata Argentina identify conclusively the negative effects of increased heat and humidity on sperm quality, motility and viability in domestic cats. Read More in the complete study that also identifies ideal temperature range for male cat fertility. 



Trupanion June 22 Science Newsletter Story

Trupanion Shares Most Common Cat Veterinary Claims According to Age

It’s common to notice changes in the health and behavior of our cats as they grow older. To help you understand what to expect as your cat ages, our friends at Trupanion, medical insurance for pets, analyzed their veterinary claims data to reveal what conditions and illnesses they see occurring most often for cats within different age ranges. 

Throughout its 20-year history, Trupanion has amassed claims data from more than 1.5 million pets that can be used to monitor changes and trends in pet health. Trupanion’s data reveals that vomiting, and diarrhea is the most frequently claimed condition for all cats enrolled in their policy, regardless of age. For kittens, who are often more likely to explore and get into mischief, the second most common claim is ingestion of foreign material. For senior cats above the age of 7, conditions such as kidney disease and weight decrease become more prevalent. 

Every cat can be prone to certain conditions in each stage of life, so it’s important to be prepared every step of the way. Just like insurance for humans, medical insurance for pets protects against the costs of unexpected illnesses and injuries. The best time to think about insurance for your cat is when they are a kitten or young adult. 

Trupanion was founded to help you budget and plan for veterinary costs throughout the life of your cat. If you’re a breeder, you have the chance to protect your litters and offer peace of mind to your buyers with Trupanion’s free Breeder Support Program. By joining, you’ll be able to provide your kitten buyers with a special insurance coverage offer that waives all waiting periods. That way, you can rest easy knowing your litters are protected as they head to their new home. 

Below, you can view the most common veterinary claims Trupanion recorded amongst cats enrolled in their policy from March 2013 to date, broken down into three age categories:


Most Frequently Claimed Conditions, Age 0-1



Average Annual Cost

(from claims occurring 2020-21)


Vomiting and diarrhea

$300 to $600


Ingestion of foreign material

$600 to $1700


Upper respiratory infection

$100 to $200


Urinary tract infectious disease

$200 to $400

Most Frequently Claimed Conditions, Age 2-7



Average Annual Cost

(from claims occurring 2020-21)


Vomiting and diarrhea

$300 to $600


Urinary tract infectious disease

$200 to $400


Dental disease

$500 to $700




Most Frequently Claimed Conditions, Age 7+



Average Annual Cost

(from claims occurring 2020-21)


Vomiting and diarrhea

$300 to $600


Kidney disease

$500 to $1,000



$500 to $900


Weight decreased

$300 to $700

Want to learn more? Click here to sign up for Trupanion’s free Breeder Support Program and explore all the benefits of pet medical insurance!

Trupanion is a registered trademark owned by Trupanion, Inc. Underwritten in Canada by Omega General Insurance Company and in the United States by American Pet Insurance Company, 6100-4th Ave S, Seattle, WA 98108. Please visit AmericanPetInsurance.com to review all available pet health insurance products.



Sphynx story June TICA Newsletter

Sphynx Cats Diagnosed More Often & Younger with Ocular Disease

A 9-year retrospective study was published May 8, 2022, in journal Veterinary Opthamology reporting a prevalence of ocular disease in 106 of 110 Sphynx Cats compared out of a total of 3282 felines. The ocular diseases included entropion, keratititus and conjunctivitis. It is important to note the entirety of the sample set included cats in Israel and the familial relationships between the Sphynx cats was not identified in the study. Read more in the complete study.  



TICA News Briefs

NewsletterGraphics board news

TICA Spring 2022 Board Meeting Update

The TICA Spring 2022 Board meeting was held May 20-22, 2022, in Harlingen, TX. The following proposals were discussed from the Agenda:

  • Board Governance Policy:Add Board Governance Policy, Article 10 (Actions on Behalf of the Board) – denied

  • Proposals – Registration Rules: Add New Registration Rule 33.10, Amend Definitions, Amend 34.3 (New Color Process) – denied. The Board asked to reword the proposal (make it less complex)

  • Amend Registration Rule 34.3 (Clarify status of New Colors) – denied. The Board asked to reword the proposal (make it less complex).

  • Proposals – Show Rules: Amend Show Rule 22.1.2 (Show Dates) – denied

  • Proposals – Standing Rules: Amend Standing Rule (Genetics Committee Role) – accepted

  • Amend Standing Rule 2014.1.1 (Judges Fees) – withdrawn after a discussion

  • Board Discussion – Presentation Official TICA Calendar by Summit


COO Update: 

  • Special acknowledgement was given to those helping at TICA’s EO and the volunteers working on TFMS.

  • Show Season Update: At the time of this meeting there was one catalog left to score (which is now done as of 5/22/22).

  • Standings posted the week of May 30, 2022.

  • Discussion of TICA's growth (53% since FY20) - more self-service added (approximately 18,000 cases run as self-service and avoided manual work at TICA’s EO).

  • Multiple Owner Transfer of Ownership in TFMS.

  • "Other" litter registrations almost ready for self-service.

  • Backlog Progress - only individual cat registrations remain.

  • Adding Value to Membership: View all scoring details for your cats, breeder listings.

  • Shift in Marketing, including Journeys, retargeting, in-line marketing listening, and defining our desired outcomes.

  • Toybob Working Chair Appointment approved.

  • Toybob Breed Standard Changes: approved.

  • Discussion and correction to UCD regarding CORIN (footnotes added to the tables in the UCD): approved.

  • Motion to accept CORIN coloration for Siberian and Kurilian Bobtail cats as of May 1, 2022, into championship: approved.


Financial Reports:

  • TICA Investment Policy/Strategy presentation

  • Approved the budget with the following amendments:

  • Added $500 employee bonus for their hard work.

  • Added $2500 for Feline Genome conference.

  • Donation of $5K with matching funds program (so up to $10K in total) to the club working on the Ukraine Relief approved.

  • Motion to amend the regional rebate to $35/cat (Top 25 kittens, cats, LH/SH, alters, HHPK and HHP) approved.

  • Per Diem, reimbursement for travel and payment for hotels for RD for spring 2022 meeting: approved.


TICA Judging Committee:

  • Debbie Prince was approved for advancement to Approved Allbreed Judge.

  • The Judging Committee also re-elected Carlos Lopez and Connie Webb as TICA Judge Administrator and TICA Deputy Judge Administrator respectively.

  • The TICA Board of Directors approved to honor Donnie Caruthers and Karen McInchak as Judge Emeritus:

  • Don Caruthershas been actively judging for TICA since 1985 when he was accepted as a Probationary Specialty Judge. He progressed in the judging program to the status of an Approved Allbreed Judge and Ring and School Instructor. He was also an Allbreed Sponsor for several others in the judging program. Don has judged in all regions of TICA except for Asia West, which became a region after he began to travel less. He was always received with respect and handled every entry he judged with care, knowing that the cat he was handling was certainly someone’s best cat. It is certainly undeniable that Don has been an ambassador to TICA, not only as a judge, but as a former Regional Director for TICA’s South Central Region for over 12 years.

  • Karen McInchakhas been judging for more than 37 years. She has judged 648 shows; 149 of which were foreign shows in many countries on five continents, and 36 were traditional judging as guest international judge. She also is a distinguished judge and ring instructor. Karen is a TICA lifetime member. When TICA started, scoring was not computerized and done by hand. Suzanne Servies was the head scorer and Karen was her assistant scoring numerous catalogs for many years. She also compiled the original clerking manual. During Bobbie Tullo’s term as judging administrator, Karen was her assistant and kept track of all the trainee’s paperwork as trainee coordinator. Karen been a great judge and TICA ambassador. We all have great respect for her and appreciate her dedicated work for TICA.


 May Newsletter TICA Annual Image

TICA 2022 Annual Hotel Block Almost Full

Attention anyone planning on attending TICA’s 2022 Annual who hasn’t booked their trip yet. TICA was just informed that our hotel block is over 80% full and while the block is open until the first of August, rooms are going quickly. The lowest rate ($149) rooms are being reserved at a very fast rate and there is no guarantee of these being available once they are sold out from our block. TICA’s Annual takes place on September 3-4, 2022, in Chicago, IL, USA. This is a holiday weekend in a major city, so if you are even CONSIDERINGcoming, please reserve your Annual hotel room now! Visit the TICA 2022 Annual website for the latest news on the event.




EveryCat Health Foundation Logo

EveryCat Health Foundation June 2022 Update

EveryCat Health Foundation, in collaboration with the University of Florida, College of Veterinary Medicine is hosting the feline-specific health symposium "Health Breakthroughs for Every Cat: FIP and Beyond" on July 8th and 9th, 2022 at the University of Florida, Gainesville.
Vanguard topics, including FIP updates, will be presented and discussed. RACE credits, pending approval, will be available to veterinary professionals. Presented as a hybrid event, this event will also be open to the public, and offer opportunities to engage with researchers, and other prominent veterinary professionals in the world of feline medicine. Register here. In-person enrollment is limited to 150, on a first come, first served basis.For complete information, visit the event page at the EveryCat Health Foundation website. Questions can be emailed to Virginia at vrud@everycat.org. Sponsorship opportunities are available. 


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