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EveryCat Announces Two Grant Awards for Diet and Feline Kidney Health and a Second Request for Proposals for 2021

Wyckoff, New Jersey, January 19, 2021: Winn Feline Foundation, in a special funding opportunity co-sponsored by Nestlé Purina Petcare and Mars Petcare, is calling for a second round of proposals in 2021 that address the effect that dietary phosphorus and calcium to phosphorus ratio have on renal health in cats. Approximately $400,000 is available to fund proposals of sufficient scientific merit, relevance and potential to impact feline health. The maximum grant amount is $50,000 for 1 to 2-year projects. The deadline for proposal submission for this second review is April 12, 2021. Guidelines for proposals can be found at www.winnfelinefoundation.org. Proposals should be emailed to grants@winnfelinefoundation.org.

The overall goal of such research is to provide evidence that will lead to scientific consensus on safe levels and types of dietary phosphorus for feline diets. High priority areas have been identified and will be given special consideration. These include:

  •  Investigation of factors that influence phosphorus bioavailability and metabolism including source and form of phosphorus in foods.
  • Identification of biomarkers of renal injury, especially markers that detect early kidney changes.
  • Identification of in vitro assays that correlate with in vivo function of phosphorus sources.

“Kidney disease is the number one cause of death in older cats, but its cause is unknown. Winn Feline Foundation has teamed up with two giants of the pet food industry, Nestlé Purina Petcare and Mars Petcare, to fund health studies investigating these critical areas that improve the quality and longevity of every cat’s life.” states Drew Weigner, DVM, Winn Feline Foundation’s President.

Winn’s initial review of research proposals in November, 2020 approved funding for the following two studies on this critical issue:

CaPK20-001 – “Investigating the genetic basis of total body phosphate overload in cats with mild azotemic chronic kidney disease.” Principal Investigator: Dr. Rebecca Geddes; Royal Veterinary College, London, United Kingdom.  $49,950.

This study’s aim is to use new genome sequencing technologies to identify genetic variants in phosphate transporters and other genes, which may be responsible for cats with early CKD developing high phosphate levels. Variant identification will lead to future studies exploring methods of preventing phosphate overload for cats with CKD while improving their quality of life and survival time.

CaPK20-003 – “Impact of feline circadian rhythms on phosphorus and parathyroid hormone concentrations.” Principal Investigator: Dr. Andrea Fascetti, University of California-Davis. $34,563.

Chronic kidney disease (CKD) affects one out of three cats twelve years of age or older. Calcium and phosphorus have major roles in kidney function. As such, routine assessment of dietary and blood phosphorus concentrations is indicated in cats with CKD and is also often part of a wellness exam. The purpose of this study is to determine and characterize the circadian rhythm of phosphorus concentrations in healthy cats fed a consistent, complete, and balanced diet.