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MT13-002: Obsessive-Compulsive Behavior in Cats, “Wool Sucking” in Siamese and Birmans

This study is a continuation of work previously funded by the Winn Feline Foundation. “Wool sucking” is a behavioral condition that involves the repetitive searching, suckling, chewing and ingestion of non-­‐food items. A negative consequence of this behavior is breakdown of the human-­‐animal bond due to owners’ frustration with property damage and restricting their cats’ access to favored items. While wool sucking behavior can occur in any cat breed, the incidence is higher in oriental breeds, suggesting a genetic susceptibility. The goal of this study is to determine whether “wool sucking” has a genetic basis and whether the same genetic area of interest in Dobermans exhibiting a similar oral compulsion will be found in cats.

Identification of a genetic locus(i) of interest could uncover the physiological mechanisms involved in the disorder, lead to better treatment options and provide a genetic screening test to identify carriers.

Grant ID: MT13-002

Status: Active

Year Funded: 2013

Amount awarded: $20,000

Investigator: Dr. Nicholas Dodman, BVMS, DACVB Tufts Cummings School of Veterinary Medicine & Leslie Lyons, PhD, University of Missouri – Columbia