Science Newsletter Vol.13: Sept 2021
In This Issue
From the Editor's Desk: A note from TICA Science Newsletter Editor Anthony Hutcherson | Modified Live Vaccine for Calicivirus, Please | At Home Treatment for FIP Works! | Twice as Many German Cats had SARS-CoV2 Antibodies by Feb. 2021 | Famciclovir for Upper Respiratory? | Rabies Threat is REAL, 100% FATAL: NY Blames Cats & Raccoons | Cats Use Catnip & Silver Vine as Bug Spray | Food for Thought & Discussion on The Domestic Cat | TICA News Briefs | TICA September Board Meeting Report | In Case You Missed It… | TICA September Breed of the Month: Turkish Angora
From the Editor's Desk: A note from TICA Science Newsletter Editor Anthony Hutcherson
Hello TICA Friends,
This issue of the science newsletter is focused on vaccines, cures, treatments and public health because we are still in a global pandemic. Understanding the relationship between the science in journals and our actions to treat, protect, and prevent harm to what we love (CATS!!! People too) can make complex ideas understandable and accessible. Science was sought from throughout TICA’s world and reflects researchers and institutions from across the globe. I hope that you enjoy.
Looking forward to the December 2021 Science newsletter, the focus will be on CAT GENETICS. I need your help to make the information valuable and useful to you. Please take a moment to follow the link to answer 3 quick questions. December’s content will be sent to the TICA TREND for printing too. In excess of 10 new cat genes have been published in 2020/2021 (with another more in the validation process right now) for colors, patterns, diseases, anatomical variation, and fur types. Planning for a future generation of cats has never offered more opportunity to increased precision. Click here to take the brief survey and help shape the December issue.
TICA Science Newsletter Editor
Modified Live Vaccine for Calicivirus, Please
By Anthony Hutcherson
A recent open access article in the Journal Viruses published 30 July, 2021, demonstrated modified live calicivirus vaccine (FCV F9) reduces illness and viral replication of exposed cats. Feline Calicivirus, a single strand RNA virus, is one of the most common viral infections of domestic cats causing a range of conditions including classic uppers respiratory symptoms, oral ulcers, pneumonia and virulent systemic disease. This virus mutates rapidly, over 200 variants strains have been identified and published.
Commercially available vaccines for Feline Calcivirus include modified-live single strain vaccines (FCV F9), inactivated single strain vaccines (FCV 255), or inactivated double strain vaccines (FCV G1 and FCV 431) via subcutaneously or intranasal administration. All owners of multi-cat households, breeders, rescuers and shelters are encouraged to discuss the FCV strain with their veterinary professional.
Read current issue of Cat Watch from the Feline Health Center at Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine for an informative article including a vaccine recommendation Feline Calicivirus.
At Home Treatment for FIP Works!
By Anthony Hutcherson
A formal evaluation of an unlicensed GS-441524-like therapy for cats suspected to have feline infectious peritonitis (FIP), a fatal disease caused by feline enteric coronavirus, was conducted by a collaboration of a veterinary college, public health college, and a veterinary clinic that was published 30 July 2021 in the Journal Animals.
The vast majority (88.2%!) of cats showed noticeable improvement after a week of treatment with return to normal noted as almost 4 weeks, according to the study. The number of cats who relapsed or did not respond to the treatment is also noted. Because there is no definitive diagnostic test for FIP, it is even possible that some of those cats did not have FIP.
The study confirms the effective cure of FIP administered by a crowd sourced community of cat owners that has yet to receive Federal Drug Administration (FDA) approval. Treatment with prescription and informing owners of the drug’s existence by federally and state licensed veterinarians is prohibited.
The article relies on owners who have used the treatment to complete a survey. The details of the survey include information such as intact/de-sexed, breed, age, and country of owner. Important details on the brand of medication, clinical symptoms, and reactions are included in the study.
All cat owners are encouraged to read more in the open access article.
Twice as Many German Cats had SARS-CoV2 Antibodies by Feb. 2021
By Anthony Hutcherson
A group of researchers recently published an update to a large study of SARS-CoV2 presence in domestic cats showing 1.35%, or 16 cats out of 1173 cats, screened from throughout Germany to have antibodies in the period from Sept. 2020 through Feb. 2021. The research is being conducted at the Institute of Diagnostic Virology in Greifswald, Germany and is published in the 27 May 2021 journal Viruses.
The study is a follow-up to a previously published report from the same group published in the Journal Vaccines in December 2020 that surveyed 920 domestic cats throughout Germany showing antibody presence in 0.65% among the cats sampled between April and September 2020. The data mirrors the increase of infections among the human population. The new article is open access and can be read in full. Read the article here.
PLEASE NOTE: No evidence of cat-to-human transmission of Sars-CoV2, resulting illness COVID 19, has been identified. So far as anyone knows, cats can only get the virus from people and give it to other cats.
Famciclovir for Upper Respiratory?
By Anthony Hutcherson
Cats given twice daily Famciclovir, at a dosage of 40-90 milligrams per kilogram, were less likely to have worsening upper respiratory clinical symptoms each day they received the medicine compared to cats receiving a placebo according to a study published in the Journal Animals 19 August 2020.
Sneezing, runny eyes, and overall illness associated with Feline Upper Respiratory Tract Disease (URTD) caused by the herpes virus affect shelters, multi-cat households, breeders, rescues, and the hobby of cat shows. Effective treatment and cures have eluded the relatively small veterinary medical research community.
The published study was relatively small (n =11 or there were 11 cats given medication and 11 cats that received a placebo) and the authors encourage additional research on therapy.
The research is a result of a collaboration between researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine at Tufts University, University of Pennsylvania School of Veterinary Medicine, and the School of Veterinary Medicine at Murdoch University in Australia. Read more in the open access article.
Rabies Threat is REAL, 100% FATAL: NY Blames Cats & Raccoons
By Anthony Hutcherson
Near exclusive transmission of rabies from raccoons to cats and dogs (raccoon rabies variant or RRV) is responsible for almost all 2014-2020 positive rabies cases in New York State (USA), according research published by the New York Health Department in the Journal Viruses on 10 March 2021.
Rabies is a fatal disease with no treatments once symptoms begin. Worldwide 60,000+ people die from rabies EVERY YEAR, 98% percent of the fatalities are attributed to canine to human transmission. Vaccination clinics, public education, and laws have significantly decreased rabies in the United States. The New York Health Department reports that among domestic species screened in their laboratory, cats were far more likely than dogs to have rabies.
New York State Health Department received 13,915 cats submitted between 1 January 2008 and 31 December 2019. A total of 314 (2.3%) tested positive for rabies. For comparison 76% more cats were submitted for testing than dogs. The authors point out the range in legal requirements for rabies vaccinations of cats throughout the United States and the management of un-owned populations as factors for future consideration. Read more in the open access article.
Please note the following statement from the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) website: No parenteral rabies vaccines are licensed for use in wild animals or hybrids (i.e., the offspring of wild animals crossbred to domestic animals). Read the AVMA’s recommendation that wild animals or hybrids should not be kept as pets.
Cats Use Catnip & Silver Vine as Bug Spray
By Anthony Hutcherson
Many domestic cats – lions, leopards, and bobcats – seem to enjoy rolling in silver vine and catnip. According to experiments within an article published in Science from researchers at Iwate University in Japan cats are applying nepetalactol, a natural mosquito repellent, during the euphoric rubs and rolls.
Leopards, jaguars, and lynx exhibited the same rubbing and rolling behavior as domestic cats when exposed to nepetalactol while dogs and mice weren’t motivated to move, according to the article. Cats exposed to nepetalatol had a higher blood endorphin level a full day later than cats who were exposed to a placebo. The stuff just makes them happy and recreational use is legal!
Read more about the remarkable study and its details.
Food for Thought & Discussion on The Domestic Cat
Clash of Cat Welfare Concepts
- How is the human population affecting the domestic cat population?
- More people and cats live in urban environments.
- More cats are neutered & eliminated from the gene pool than ever.
- More cats come into conflict with wildlife?
The March 2021 Journal Animals published a thoughtful study The Cohabitation of Humans and Urban Cats in the Anthropocene: The Clash of Welfare Concepts by Filip Jaroš, offering models of how cats and humans live together. The piece focuses on how they cohabitate, particularly in urbanized environments highly influenced by western European perspectives, institutions, and industry. Read more about the study and consider the ideas presented.
TICA News Briefs
TICA September Board Meeting Report
Awards Banquet/Next Board Meeting: The next official TICA Board meeting will be January 26-28 at the Marriott South in Houston, TX. There will be an awards banquet presentation on Saturday. January 29, 2020. More information will be coming at the end of September.
Breed Committee Update: The TICA Board approved members to the Cornish Rex Committee and the Burmilla Committee. These Breed committees are now active.
Breeder Listing Update: A presentation was given by Liz Brown (GL RD) for the TICA Board sub-committee on Updating the Online Breeder Listings (TICA.org). This committee has met twice and will be meeting again at the end of September to hopefully complete writing/revising the program. Sixty percent of the traffic to the TICA.org web site is for Breeders. E-mail Liz with any suggestions at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Update on the 2022 Annual: The event will be held in the Great Lakes Region. They currently have a great early bird rate of $50 for an entry until September 5th. Enter on TOES. Website www.TICAannual.com. Be on the lookout for hotel blocks opening soon. Vendor pricing, parking and banquet details still being finalized.
Legislative Committee Update: Currently our Legal Council, Susan Adler is working on reactivating the Legislative Committee, both American based and internationally based. The primary duties of this group will be to oppose anti breeding legislation, limit law legislation, specific breed/color legislation and to provide educational material about specific breeds when requested to do so by fanciers opposing such legislation.
- Motion to budget $30,000 for the year for the legislative working group which will be comprised of 5 or 6 members - passed
- Motion to pay each member of the working group a maximum of $2000 per each 6 month period. Members shall be required to document time for each 6 month period and will be required to provide services at least 40 hours for each 6 month period. - passed
- Motion to allocate the remaining funds for expenses incurred by the committee members which may include (but are not limited to) travel expenses, consulting fees, research and copying expenses. (Budget will be overseen and expenditures approved by either President or Chief Operating Officer) - passed
Annual 2024 Update: This event will be held in Chantilly, Virginia and hosted by the Central Jersey Cat Club.
COO Report – Registration Update: Registrations are up in 2021. Shows and claimed titles are down which is logical in light of Covid. The backlog increased exponential from January 2021, our processes are very inefficient but the reason for the exponential growth in backlog is not really known. The good news is that the data new system TICA Feline Management System (TFMS) is almost ready to launch and this will mean a huge improvement in the EO processes, which will increase the service level and reduce the time to do business with TICA!
New TICA Website: The new website will have exciting new options and easier navigation. The implementation date is unknown at this time.
Financial update: TICA had a great year looking at the financial results, mainly thanks to the increase of registrations. Discussion of extending “isolated status for 2022-2023” will come back on the agenda for the Winter meeting.
Marketing Report: TICA members should always use the term “Knowledgeable Breeder” instead of “Responsible Breeder” as TICA is a genetic registry based in science. Also Visitors should always be used when referring to individuals who visit our cat shows and events, and please try not to use the word “spectator.” The difference is significant and implies positive welcoming to Visitors [friendly] vs. Spectators [outsiders]. We want to welcome attendees to our shows and events to engage them to become participants.
New Wyndham Hotel Discount: Wyndham hotels are now affiliated with TICA and offer a 15% discount on bookings on all their hotel brands with groups of 10 or more. These rates will be offered through their website www.wyndhamhotels.com. Please contact Roeann Fulkerson or your Regional Director when you want the code needed for the discount. Roeann will discuss with Wyndham how we can get this code out to our members (as we are not allowed to release it on a public internet site).
- Amend By-Law 122.2 Complaints Procedure – passed
- Amend Clerking Program 51.6 Compensation – proposal withdrawn by Fralia
- Amend Judging Program 49.4 – Master Clerk experience for Judges Transferring – take no action
- Amend Show Rules Remove “sales” references – passed
- Amend Show Rules 212.3.1 Reconsider AB Alter Finals – did not pass
- Amend Registration Rule 31.7 Define “actively breeding” for the purpose of breed advancements – passed
- Add New Registration Rule 33.1.2 Duration in Experimental Record – passed
- Amend Registration Rules 33.3.1 and 33.4.4 Experimental Breed Names – passed unanimously
- Amend Registration Rules 33.3.2 and 184.108.40.206 Mutation Ownership Voting – passed unanimously
- Amend Registration Rules 220.127.116.11, 18.104.22.168, 33.8.16 New Breed Reporting – passed unanimously
- Amend Registration Rules 22.214.171.124.3 and 39.9.1 Use of Blue Slip (term “Blue Slip” is replaced by term “Breeder Slip”) – passed unanimously
- Amend Standing Rules 126.96.36.199 Prorated Membership Fees (option 2) – did not pass
- Amend Standing Rules 106.2.1 and 106.4.2 Judging Committee – passed unanimously
- Add Standing Rule 188.8.131.52 Standards Committee – withdrawn for rework and will be presented again at the Winter meeting
- Add Standing Rule 184.108.40.206 Mentorship Committee - withdrawn for rework and will be presented again at the Winter meeting
- Amend Standing Rules 109.2 Participation in Board Meetings – Amended rule passed
- Add Standing Rule 220.127.116.11 Non-licensed Ring Clerks – take no action
- Add Standing Rule 501.6.3 Ring Clerk Meal Breaks – take no action
- Amend Standing Rules 901.4.2.1, 901.4.3.2 and 901.4.3.5 add LA awards for international recognition – passed unanimously
- Amend Standing Rule 1017.1.2 UCD Changes – passed unanimously
- Amend Standing Rule 1022.2 Complaint Filing (change pages to electronic files) – passed unanimously
- Add Standing Rule 1022.2.1.6 Complaint Filing Fees The entire filing fee will be refunded if the final Board decision is in favor of the complainant - passed
- Amend Standing Rules 1022.5 Hearings – passed unanimously
- Amend Standing Rule 2012 Replace “Rosettes” with “Final Awards” – passed unanimously
- Amend Standing rule 1012.1 - Regional List. Add following country to the Europe South Region – Armenia – passed unanimously.
Proposals regarding By-Laws, Show Rules and Registrations Rules that passed will go on the Fall Ballot to the TICA members for your vote!
In Case You Missed It...
Check out TICA's top social media posts you may have missed...
On TICA's Instagram:
TICA Celebrated International Cat Day.
On TICA's Facebook:
Facebook Followers Played a Fun Breed Guessing Game.
On TICA's Twitter:
Rainbow Bridge Remembrance Day Honored Passed Pets.
TICA September Breed of the Month: Turkish Angora
Considered national treasures in their homeland of Turkey for their beauty and sweetness, the Turkish Angora is an affectionate breed that loves to be involved in everything you do. While a white coat and blue eyes are the norm, this breed is available in a variety of colors and patterns. This highly intelligent breed has a sense of humor and they aren’t above playing tricks on their families. Find out more about TICA’s Breed of the Month and if the Turkish Angora is right for you and your family.