A Deep Dive into the Science of Cats

12 November 2019

Prague, 21 October, 2019. Leading scientists presented the latest discoveries about cats to an international audience of top feline practitioners, research veterinarians and nutritionists at the first Purina Institute Companion Animal Nutrition (CAN) Symposium in Europe, held on October 21st to 22nd, 2019, in Prague in the Czech Republic. Amongst a lineup of global experts who addressed key issues in feline health, Purina scientists revealed a revolutionary approach to managing feline allergens that could bring cats and people closer together. This inaugural European symposium was hosted by the Purina Institute, a global organization dedicated to advancing nutritional science so that pets can lead better, longer lives.

“This first European CAN Symposium offered a dynamic forum to tackle important topics,” said Daniel Rodes, DVM, PhD, Regional Leader in Europe for the Purina Institute. “Insightful conversations among colleagues are likely to challenge long-held beliefs. Importantly, the powerful scientific findings being presented will help shape the future of feline veterinary medicine and nutrition.”

The theme for the scientific program was: The Science of Cats: Challenging Perceptions. Changing the Conversation. Presentations reimagined the power of feline nutrition and included a novel approach to managing cat allergens, revisiting the roles of taurine in cat health, and rethinking feeding behaviours.

Key takeaways from feline experts included:

  • The cat-owner bond can be affected by many things, including feline illness or human sensitivity to cat allergens. Current research suggests that nutritional approaches may help reduce those negative factors.
  • Purina scientists introduced a breakthrough approach that can transform the way people manage the major cat allergen, called Fel d 1. From a series of published studies, they described a safe and proven approach that reduces Fel d 1 at its source in a cat’s saliva, before the active allergen can get into the environment and trigger a response in people sensitized to Fel d 1.1-3 
  • Chronic kidney disease will affect 1 out of 3 cats over 10 years of age.4 Despite the frequency with which veterinarians diagnose this medical condition, the role of key nutrients in feline diets is still an area of ongoing research.
  • In cats, taurine deficiency has long been linked with dilated cardiomyopathy, but the exact mode of action is still not well understood. Studying this amino acid deficiency in cats may help researchers learn more about the new cases of nutritionally-mediated dilated cardiomyopathy in cats and dogs.
  • Feeding patterns in cats may be influenced by timing, food texture and food availability. Factoring in these influences can help optimize cat health and well-being while potentially reducing the risk of obesity.

This Symposium continues a 25-year legacy of Companion Animal Nutrition Summits that bring together the most influential veterinary thought leaders from across the globe to discuss emerging and ground-breaking science in small animal nutrition. Proceedings and select video content from the 2017 and 2018 CAN Summits are available on the Purina Institute website: www.purinainstitute.com