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Science Newsletter

 In This Issue

From the President’s Desk: A Message from TICA President Vicki Jo HarrisonTICA Major Projects Update | TICA Board Names Jim Armel Interim South Central Regional Director | TICA Board Officially Cancels 2020 Annual Awards Ceremony | TICA Winter Board Meeting | TICA Breed Committee Members Needed  | Wisdom Health Extends TICA Member Discount with New Code  | North Carolina State University Identifies DNA Mutation in Sixty-Percent of Sphynx Cats with HCM | Check out TICA's top social media posts you may have missed... | TICA January Breed of the Month: Turkish Van  | WINN Feline Foundation January 2021 Update  | TICA Regional Updates


tica election cat

From the President’s Desk:
A Message from TICA President Vicki Jo Harrison

Hello My Fellow TICA Members!

Happy New Year to you! I am so excited to begin my term as your new President! This year will bring many positive changes for TICA. Our new platform offering members fast and efficient TICA services will be up and running sometime this spring. Our new and improved website will also be ready to go at about the same time. Watch an update on both of these projects by TICA’s Chief Operating Officer, Danny Nevarez in this issue.

One goal I have for 2021 is to fill our inactive breed committees. I would like to invite those members interested in serving on a breed committee to consider going through the process of being appointed to your respective breed committee. Breed committees need to have a full complement of members to complete any work successfully. Read the article TICA Breed Committee Members Needed in this issue to find out what breeds are in need of additional members and to learn more about the important role you can play.

With the availability of the COVID-19 vaccine, it is my hope and dream that in 2021 shows will become a reality for all in TICA’s world and we will be able to see each other in person and not just through a computer screen. Until then, please stay safe and well.

Vicki Jo Harrison
TICA President

danny video still

TICA Major Projects Update

This year TICA is undergoing an exciting transformation with two projects that were announced late last year – the replacement of TICA’s data system, TDS, and the redesign and restructure of TICA’s website.

Watch TICA’s Chief Operating Officer Danny Nevarez give an update on both projects and get a glimpse into the exciting benefits they will offer TICA members.



vote cat

Jim judging a show in Moscow with five different cat associations and more than 1,000 cats

TICA Board Names Jim Armel Interim South Central Regional Director

Last month, the TICA Board of Directors announced Jim Armel as the Interim South Central Regional Director. Jim takes the place Vicki Jo Harrison left vacant after being elected TICA President. He began overseeing the SC Region on January 1, 2021.

TICA would like to acknowledge and thank Jackie Rose, Kerry Dolan, and Harley DeVilbiss who also stepped forward to be considered for the position.

For those who don’t know Jim, he’s been showing cats since 2003, and joined TICA as a member in 2005. His first show cat was a Ragdoll. He and his wife of 45 years, Donna, started breeding and showing Norwegian Forest Cats (NFC) in 2004. ForestKatz Treat was their first winning cat in 2006/2007. Since then they’ve shown multiple NFC’s to International Wins and Best Kittens and Cats in Regions over the years. Today, Jim and Donna don’t show cats as frequently as they once did, but still try to show as often as they can to remind them of their passion for the sport and love of cats that bonds us all.

Both he and Donna are also TICA Allbreed Judges. Jim received his license in 2012, and has since judged in almost every TICA Region – from Russia and Germany in Europe North to North and South America, Japan, and China. He was also invited and served as judge at shows set by feline associations in New Zealand and Australia.

He cites his most memorable TICA judging assignments being the two Annuals – in San Diego and last year Las Vegas – and says being asked to judge a TICA Annual is an honor one never forgets.

Jim is a retired dairy buyer and he and Donna are parents to two grown sons, one employed doing oil patch work and the other in the Army. They are also the proud grandparents to three beautiful granddaughters. Besides cats and TICA, Jim notes NASCAR as his other passion.

Join us in congratulating Jim on his new role in overseeing the TICA SC Region.



TICA Board Officially Cancels 2020 Annual Awards Ceremony

Due to the current state of the pandemic around TICA’s world, the TICA Board of Directors made the difficult decision to cancel the Annual Awards Ceremony that was rescheduled for Houston this month.

Rest assured, the Board is currently busy working out a Plan B so stay tuned for details. In the meantime, please stay safe and well and don't forget to hug your cats!



TICA Winter Board Meeting
Set for January 27-29, 2021

The TICA winter Board meeting will take place January 27 - 29, 2021 via Zoom. Please note that for security reasons, only authenticated users can participate in the meeting. This means that you must log on to Zoom in order to be able to access the meeting. View the full agenda. The meeting link and ID to participate will be posted online the week prior.




TICA Breed Committee Members Needed

TICA is seeking Breed Committee members for a number of breeds who are either operating without a Committee or are in need of a couple of members to complete the group.

Members who would like to apply for a Breed Committee that wasn’t filled during the recent election can contact TICA President Vicki Jo Harrison at vjhtx@aol.com.

TICA Breed Committees are made up of individual members who are responsible for proposed changes to Standards that define the ideal version of their breed and report any issues impacting their Breed to the Board.

They are also in charge of keeping Breed Seminars for Judges and new breeders up-to-date and current. If you are interested in serving on a breed committee please read through the list of qualifications to see if you qualify. A complete list of rules and qualifications can be found on pages 10-11 of the TICA By-Laws. The number of Committee Members elected for each Breed ranges from 3-7 individuals and is based on total Breed Section Members as of April 30th of the election year.

The following breeds are seeking Committee members:

Abyssinian – Two committee members needed.
American Bobtail – Currently no committee members representing this breed. Three committee members needed.
American Curl – Currently no committee members representing this breed. Three committee members needed.
American Shorthair/Wirehair – One committee member needed.
Australian Mist – Two committee members needed.
Birman – One committee member needed.
Burmese/Bombay – Two committee members needed.
Burmilla – Currently no committee members representing this breed. Three committee members needed.
Chartreux – Currently no committee members representing this breed. Three committee members needed.
Chausie – One committee member needed.
Cornish Rex – Two committee members needed.
Devon Rex – Two committee members needed.
Donskoy – Currently no committee members representing this breed. Three committee members needed.
Egyptian Mau – Currently no committee members representing this breed. Three committee members needed.
Havana – Two committee members needed.
Korat – Currently no committee members representing this breed. Three committee members needed.
Kurilian Bobtail – One committee member needed.
Lykoi – One committee member needed.
Nebelung – Currently no committee members representing this breed. Three committee members needed.
Norwegian Forest - Currently no committee members representing this breed. Five committee members needed.
Persian/Himalayan/Exotic Shorthair – Two committee members needed.
Peterbald – One committee member needed.
Pixibob – Currently no committee members representing this breed. Three committee members needed.
Russian Blue – Four committee members needed.
Scottish Fold/Straight – Three committee members needed.
Snowshoe – Currently no committee members representing this breed. Three committee members needed.
Tonkinese – One committee member needed.
Toyger – Two committee members needed.
Household Pets – Three committee members needed.



Blue Globe Name Cat No Website 

Wisdom Health Extends TICA Member Discount with New Code

Wisdom Health has extended the special 15% discount on their WisdomHealth and MyCatDNA genetic testing kits to all TICA members and clients using the new discount code TICAmember2021.

TICA members wishing to take advantage of the special 15% discount on WisdomHealth and MyCatDNA can do so when they log into their TICA TDS account and use the code TICAmember2021. Please note, this is a new code. This offer is only valid when using the new discount code.


siberian cat

North Carolina State University Identifies DNA Mutation in Sixty-Percent of Sphynx Cats with HCM

After more than a decade of research, Dr. Kathryn Meurs of North Carolina State University has identified one genetic mutation in roughly sixty percent of Sphynx cats with HCM. This highlights the importance of her continued research to locate the other mutation(s) responsible for the other forty percent of cases.

This research provides an additional tool breeders can use in conjunction with yearly echocardiograph screening. North Carolina State University now has a simple $40 DNA test that can be ordered here. DNA collection kits are mailed to breeders who want to gather the buccal sample themselves or can be collected by a Veterinarian. Results are mailed back within a few weeks. Additional information on how to read test results is provided.

In addition to regular DNA panels and echocardiograms, cat owners can request results of Sphynx HCM risk gene for any prospective new family member. It is important to keep in mind, a positive result (heterozygous or homozygous) does not mean a cat or kitten will ever develop HCM. While genetic mutations are causative for disease, HCM is a very complex disease. Mutations are heavily influenced by other factors, like other genes (protective modifier genes), diet, lifestyle, and viruses, among others. This DNA test is not a diagnosis for HCM, but should be considered a risk identifier. A Sphynx with two copies of the mutation can live into their late teens with a beautiful healthy heart for example, where as a Sphynx negative for this mutation might die of heart failure at 1 year old. This new test is just one more piece of the puzzle, and in combination with echocardiograms and careful breeding choices, will help reduce the prevalence of HCM in Sphynx breeds.

Dr. Meurs is still in need of saliva DNA samples of HCM positive Sphynx. Complimentary or heavily discounted Sphynx HCM DNA tests will be offered to participants. Those interested in helping can contact Dr. Meurs at kate_meurs@ncsu.edu.

Donations to Dr. Meurs HCM research can be made here.



In Case You Missed It…

Check out TICA's social media pages to learn the latest news about cats. Here are some top posts you may have missed...

On TICA's Instagram:

Win a FREE Registration to the Online Cat Conference!

On TICA's Facebook:

TICA Members and Cat Lovers Showed Off Their Adorable Holiday Helpers

On TICA's Twitter:

Fun Feline Facts About the Tabby Coat Pattern



 Breed of the Month TV

TICA January Breed of the Month: Turkish Van

Known as ‘the swimming cat’, the Turkish Van is an ancient breed thought to have originated in eastern Turkey. The playful and intelligent breed doesn’t reach full maturity until they are three to five years of age. These active, robust cats enjoy swimming and water games. Read more about the Turkish Van and find out if it is right for you and your family.




WINN Feline Foundation January 2021 Update

Winn Welcomes New Executive Director. Winn Feline Foundation welcomed Jackie Ott Jaakola as its new Executive Director on January 4th. With more than 30 years of experience in animal welfare, Jackie is a seasoned professional with expertise in nonprofit management, strategic planning, education program development, and fundraising. Jackie most recently served as the Executive Director of Cat Depot, located in Sarasota, FL. You can read more about Jackie at Getting to Know Winn and watch for the upcoming press release.

Winn’s 2020 Cures4Cats Campaign. Focusing on funding critical health studies about diabetes mellitus in cats has more than met its matching goal of $15,000. Read more about the Cures4Cats program at Winn and Thank You to all of you who contribute to the health and well-being of every cat, every day.

The Cats In Boxes Photo Contest has Concluded. Winn received almost 200 photo submissions with 24 selected to post one daily on social media from December 1st to the 24th. Check Winn’s website and social media to find our lucky (and adorable) winner.

Winn’s January Webinar, Feline Chronic Gingivostomatitis: Updates and Future Perspectives with Dr. Boaz Arzi, took place on January 13, 2021. For those who missed it, the webinar can be viewed online.




Regional Update

TICA Regional Updates

TICA Great Lakes Region
TICA Northeast Region
TICA Northwest Region
TICA South Central Region



TICA Great Lakes Regional Director Liz Brown:

Things still remain quiet and shut down in the TICA Great Lakes Region. The only movement we've had is that the March 2021 Showcats Columbus show (in conjunction with the All About Cats Expo) has been moved to May 14-16. We hope to celebrate the 2020 Regional Winners there as well.

I am happy to report that former GL (now SC) member Barb Martinec has completely recovered from COVID. We all send Barb our best wishes. Continued well wishes, prayers, and healing thoughts for member Chuck Becker as he continues his recovery from surgery he had late fall.

Our "Team GL" continues to attend shows that are able to occur, outside of our region. Here was the team at the Richmond, VA, show in December 2020:

GL Jan Regional Update VA Show

And here was the expanded team in Seguin, TX, in early November 2020:

GL Jan Regional Update TX Show


TICA Northeast Regional Director Tania Antenucci:

Happy New Year Northeast Region! At this time we have no scheduled events, but I am optimistic we will see each other at a NE show very soon. As many of you know, I have been busy deploying Covid-19 vaccinations and am hopeful we will be back on track planning shows and sharing our cats soon! Thank you for your understanding and patience. In the meantime, stay safe, optimistic, and hug your cat!


TICA Northwest Regional Director Elaine Hawksworth-Weitz:

Special Awards for 2019-2020. Due to the cancellation of the 2019-2020 TICA Regional Awards Banquet, scheduled for February, I am pleased to announce the results of the Region’s “Special Awards” for the 2019-2020 show year. Congratulations to:

Northwest Region Member of the Year 2019-2020: Tracy Hisel

Tracy Hisel NW Region

Northwest Region Humanitarian of the Year 2019-2020: Lucy Robinson

Lucy Robinson NW Region

Northwest Region Sportsman of the Year: Teresa McRae

Teresa McRae NW Region

Show of the Year: (tied)
The Maine Event – Spokane, WA – August 2019
The New Culture Club – Portland, OR – January 2020

Show Catalog of the Year:
The Maine Event – Spokane, WA – August 2019

Happy New Year to all! May you have a great year filled with immense happiness and luck! Stay in good health and achieve greater heights of success. Wishing you a wonderful year ahead!



TICA Southwest Regional Director Canie Brooks:

The TICA Southwest Region has no scheduled shows at this time. Scheduling of 2021 events will depend on Covid-19 restrictions.

I would like to wish you all a safe, healthy, and Happy New Year and I hope to see you soon.

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