Feline Health

A Drug Being Tested to Treat COVID-19 Is Almost Identical to a Black Market FIP Cure


You’ve probably heard a lot about remdesevir in the news recently. Manufactured by Gilead Sciences, Inc., this drug has shown promise in helping patients infected with COVID-19. On May 1, the FDA issued an emergency authorization for potential COVID-19 treatment, and on Saturday, the Department of Health and Human Services said the states with the greatest number of COVID-19 cases have been allotted doses of the drug based on their case counts. Gilead has donated 1.5 million doses of the drug to HHS. What you may not know is that this drug is almost identical to a drug available on the black market in China that has been used to successfully treat Feline Infectious Peritonitis (FIP.)Continue Reading

What Are the Small Pockets on Your Cat’s Ear?


A cat’s sense of hearing is much better than that of a human. A human ear can hear sounds of very low frequency of 20 Hertz to a very high frequency of 20,000 Hertz. Cats’ hearing is about the same on the low end, but they can hear high pitched sounds of up to 100,000 Hertz. Everything about a cat’s ear is designed by nature to aid her in hunting, and that includes the ability swivel her ears. But what is the purpose of those small pockets on the side of your cat’s ear?Continue Reading

Interactive Feline Behavior Survey to Help Cats in Chronic Pain


In March, I introduced you to a feline behavior quiz developed by British veterinarian Mike Farrell, BVetMed CertVA CertSAS Diplomat ECVS MRCVS, an orthopedic surgeon with a strong interest in chronic pain management. Thank you to al of you who took the quiz!

Dr. Farrell’s study is designed to provide pet parents and veterinary surgeons free access to clear and simple decision-making aids when it comes to dealing with cats in pain. “We currently rely on behavioral clues such as willingness to exercise and ability to jump, groom and interact,” says Dr. Farrell.Continue Reading

From Feral to Friendly: How the Assisi Loop Helped David Heal from an Injury


This guest post by Dr. Elena Contreras, DVM, MS, PhD
is sponsored by Assisi Animal Health

I met an approximately 3 year old male, intact, “feral” cat on my first day working at a new job in a nonprofit spay/neuter clinic. He was an outdoor “feral” community cat that was trapped by a wonderful volunteer trapper and cat advocate. Although the trapper had assumed that the cat would be euthanized due to his injury and his poor condition, she brought him to the clinic hoping that we would be able to help him and treat him (and neuter him!). Continue Reading

Support Your Cat’s Immune System


This post contains affiliate links*

The immune system is an intricate system of biological processes and structures that protects the body against disease. A healthy immune system is able to recognize and fend off invaders such as viruses, bacteria, and other pathogens. Keeping your cat’s immune system strong will help prevent health problems and protect her against disease.

In order to protect and boost your cat’s immune system, consider the following:Continue Reading

How the Assisi Loop Helped Formerly Feral Bob With a Leg Injury and Lymphoma


This post is sponsored by Assisi Animal Health*

Bob showed up at Cindy Jones’ neighbor’s house in the foothills above San Diego one day. “He was definitely feral,” says Cindy, “but obviously he knew food could be found where humans were.” Since the neighbors had no interest in feeding a feral cat, she began to feed him daily. “It wasn’t long before he figured out that humans weren’t that bad – as long as they played by his rules.” During the two years of living next door, Bob learned that “humans were entertaining as well as a source of food.”Continue Reading

Clearing Up the Confusion About COVID-19 and Cats


Guest post by Ingrid R. Niesman, MS PhD

This past week has been a firestorm for cat parents. First we learned that cats can be infected with a large dose of live SARS-CoV-2 virus, the virus that causes COVID-19, and may be able to transmit the virus to another cat. The next day we hear that even some shelter cats, assumed feral, had neutralizing antibodies against SARS-CoV-2. Then, the icing on the cake, a tiger tested positive for COVID-19 in the Bronx Zoo. But not all the news is discouraging; the latest study from France is demonstrating just how hard it may be to infect your pets¹.

This article is aimed at cutting through the confusion, offering a science-based explanation, and hopefully putting your mind at ease at least a little.Continue Reading

A New Study Says the Novel Coronavirus Can Infect Cats, But There’s No Need to Panic


Guest post by Ingrid R. Niesman, MS PhD

Yesterday we ran ran my piece titled One Cat Out of Million is Not a Trend: A Science-Based Look at the Unlikely Risk of COVID-19 Infection in Cats, which explained my analysis on ACE2 and cats, which supported the current belief that it is highly unlikely that cats could get infected by the novel coronavirus. The same day, Biorxiv, an open source platform for researchers to put up early and tentative results, published a paper by researchers in China that claimed that cats and ferrets can be infected. Papers published on Biorxiv are not peer-reviewed and represent data that might never eventually become published works. “Junk science” was a common response I received as I reached out to colleagues.Continue Reading

One Cat Out of Millions is Not a Trend: A Science-Based Look at the Unlikely Risk of COVID-19 Infection in Cats


Guest post by Ingrid R. Niesman, MS PhD

Like many of you, my two Siamese buddies have been keeping me company and keeping me amused while I struggle to figure out how to convert my lab-based life to an online life. With a recent report coming out of Belgium that an owner’s cat not only tested positive, but actually got sick with COVID-19, I am worried about our pets . Yet, as a biologist, I realize that one out of millions is most likely an anomaly, not a trend. There is probably an explanation, and the answer lies buried in molecular science.Continue Reading