Cats and those that love them are a force to be reckoned with! According to a survey by the American Pet Products Association, there are 8 million more owned cats in the US than owned dogs. Traditionally, cats have been treated like second-class citizens in a world of dogs, but there are efforts underway to see that change. A few weeks back, I participated in a campaign from BlogPaws for National Cat Day that would help fund the Winn Feline Foundation and benefit cats around the world.
Disclosure: I have not been compensated in any way for writing this post. Neither BlogPaws nor the Winn Feline Foundation is responsible for the content in this post.
What is the Winn Feline Foundation?
The Winn Feline Foundation was started by the Cat Fancier’s Association in 1968 under the name “The CFA Foundation.” The mission of the foundation was and continues to be “to promote the health and welfare of cats by developing or participating in projects for their betterment, including the contribution of funds for research and education.” Everything they do is donation driven and specifically geared towards cats though sometimes findings benefit other animals as well. To this day, the Winn Feline Foundation has awarded over $5 million to researchers helping to better the lives of cats everywhere.
Scientists and veterinarians are not the only ones involved with the Winn Feline Foundation. Cat lovers can use their website to learn about what the researchers funded by the foundation have learned. They have a blog, podcasts, videos, a place for cat memorials, and occasional cat photo contests.
Major Findings Funded By the Winn Feline Foundation
There are a lot of really important information regarding feline health that has been discovered through the support of the Winn Feline Foundation. You may know a cat who has benefited from these advancements in veterinary medicine! Below are a few of the discoveries made possible through the Winn Feline Foundation’s funding.
- In 1971, the first grant given by the Winn Feline Foundation, $1000, was awarded to the University of California, Davis for research on a cat colony that had been decimated by FIP.
- In 1982, the foundation helped fund the development of Echocardiography to diagnose feline heart conditions.
- In 1987, a study funded by the Winn Feline Foundation proves that taurine deficiency causes dilated cardiomyopathy causing cat food makers to change their formulas.
- Also in 1987, the Winn Feline Foundation funds the research that identifies and describes FIV.
- In 1988, the Winn Feline Foundation funded the development of a small blood pressure cuff for cats.
- In 1989, the Winn Feline Foundation funds a study that discovers the different blood groups in cats.
- In 1999, the Winn Feline Foundation funds a study that shows that a high protein/low carb diet is a great way to treat cats with diabetes.
- In 2004, the Winn Feline Foundation funds a study that discovers the gene mutation responsible for feline polycystic kidney disease.
- In 2005, the Winn Feline Foundation funds a study that finds the genetic mutation responsible for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in Maine Coon cats.
- In 2007, the Winn Feline Foundation funds a study that finds the genetic mutation responsible for hypertrophic cardiomyopathy in Ragdoll cats.
- Also in 2007, the Winn Feline Foundation partially funds a study that traces the genetic history of cat breeds.
- In 2012, the Winn Feline Foundation funds the research that discovers the genetic mutation that causes hypokalemia in Burmese cats.
National Cat Day Donations
This year National Cat Day was Thursday, October, 29. To honor the cats that we love so much, BlogPaws pledged to donate $1 for every image of a cat that was shared on social media using the hashtag #NationalCatDay and that tagged @PetSmart, up to $1,000. Those sharing the images were also entered into a drawing to win a year worth of Muse cat food from PetSmart. The campaign only ran for 24 hours.
The cats showed up in force to take over social media! BlogPaws did the counting and there was a total of 563 shares of cat images that met their specifications. That means there was a donation of $563 given to the Winn Feline Foundation to further research that can improve the lives of cats worldwide!
More Cats at BlogPaws!
The engagement on the National Cat Day campaign has shown BlogPaws the power of the purr! They are beginning to make a few changes to give cats more “air time”. One big announcement they made is that they are going to collaborate with the Cat Writer’s Association (CWA) again this upcoming year at the BlogPaws Conference in Arizona. This year it sounds like there were be even more great CWA events (which were fantastic learning experiences last year). As a side note, there have been a few members of the CWA that have won awards for their participation with the Winn Feline Foundation. Hopefully, we will be seeing a lot more campaigns and events supporting cats in the near future!