Winn Feline Foundation News
Winn Feline Foundation Newsletter
  Every Cat, Every Day Benefits from Winn-funded Research
April 2015
Winnie's Corner
Heartworm  in Cats! Say it ain't so! I was on the sofa basking in the sweet sunshine of a beautiful spring day when I overheard my human companion and a friend talking about my favorite subject - cats. Suddenly I heard that horrible and dreaded word - heartworms. Everyone knows cats can't get heartworms, right? Only dogs and their canine relatives, right?  Wrong!

In the words of my favorite matinee idol, "Thththsufferin Thththsuccotash! This is serious. The more I listened, the more I realized there was going to be a trip to the veterinarian for a checkup, various tests and heartworm preventative in the near future. I won't be hiding and scurrying from the carrier this time!


Memo to Cat Lovers:

While cats are atypical hosts for heartworms, testing and prevention are the only means of protection for cats from the effects of a potentially fatal infection, heartworms. There is no treatment for feline heartworm disease, but good supportive veterinary care is available.


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A charm of cats is that they seem to live in a world of their own, just as much as if it were a real dimension of space.


-Harriet Prescott Spofford


-American novelist and poet

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 Dr. Susan Little 
Honored by Winn


After 14 years (2001-2015) of dedicated service as a Winn Board Director and President, Susan Little DVM, DABVP (Feline) has retired from Winn Feline Foundation.


At the recent board meeting in Tampa, FL, the Board of Directors and panel of Scientific Reviewers surprised her with an engraved silver platter with the wording,

"In Recognition of Your Outstanding Leadership and Considerable Lasting Contributions to Winn Feline Foundation".  


An example of her influence on Winn is demonstrated by the quality of research supported through Winn funding. Dr. Little plans to continue helping Winn as a Scientific Advisor on the grant review panel. All of us at Winn thank her for her leadership and organization contributions.


For more details about Dr. Little, a wonderful tribute can be found at Steve Dale's Pet World.


Winn Feline Foundation 

On the Road:

Winn Feline Foundation Symposium


The 37th Annual Winn Symposium will be held Thursday, July 2, from 4 to 6:30 p.m. at the Westin Harbour Castle in Toronto, ON, Canada.


Register For The Symposium 


~This year's program includes~


Jody Gookin DVM, PhD, DACVIM from North Carolina State University College of Veterinary Medicine

Understanding the probiotic versus pathogenic role of gut bacteria in kittens with diarrhea


In this presentation, Dr. Gookin will cover her Winn sponsored research into the role of intestinal bacteria, specifically enterococci and pathogenic E. coli, in causing diarrhea and diarrhea-associated death in kittens. Discussion will include the discovery of the role these bacteria play in health and disease in kittens. Collaboration among several organizations has led to a better understanding of the bacteria both through modeling the pathogenic effects of the bacteria in the laboratory and case studies in kittens in foster or shelter care. She will also review the progress research has made in developing tests and treatment approaches for such critical infections.

Dr. Jody Gookin



Craig Webb, DVM, PhD, DACVIM from Colorado State University, Veterinary Teaching Hospital

Feline stem cells as a novel treatment for cats with chronic intestinal disease 


While the search for solutions to the common problem of chronic diarrhea in cats continues, Winn research is at the forefront of new potential therapies.  Evidence-based treatments of dietary intervention, Vitamin B12 supplementation, and probiotics will be briefly reviewed. Potential beneficial treatment regimens have been identified, as the properties and use of stem cells for various treatments are better understood. One example is fat-derived feline stem cells whose abundant properties appear to make them suited for the treatment of feline chronic intestinal disease or diarrhea. Dr. Webb will highlight how stem cells work and describe a pilot study that supports further study of this type of therapeutic approach. 


Dr. Craig Webb


Download the 2015 Symposium Flyer 


More Online Survey Results

Questions three and four of the recently completed 2015 Winn Online Survey asked respondents for their background and their top three areas of cat health concerns, respectively.

Question three:


Type                                     %                    Count

  • Cat Fancier                       36.1                 246 
  • Cat Loving Public              25.5                 174 
  • Veterinary Prof./Staff         12.0                   82 
  • Other                                 10.2                   70 
  • Humane/shelter                  8.6                    59 
  • Scientific researcher           2.5                    17 

For question four, here are the top cat health issues or concerns as identified by the respondents (three selections were allowed per respondent):

  • FIP/Coronavirus                   345 selections
  • Kidney Disease                    219 selections
  • Cancer                                 161 selections
  • Heart Disease                      160 selections

Again, thanks to all the respondents who participated in our 2015 survey.

~ Planned Giving Tip for April~


With the stock market at near record highs, now is a great time to donate publicly traded securities like stocks or mutual funds to the Winn Feline Foundation.  If you have held the security for *at least* one year you may deduct the securities' current fair market value without recognizing any gain on the appreciation.  You may avoid not only federal capital gains taxes but state taxes too.


More information is available on our Planned Giving page or by contacting Winn.


*Honored Donors for March 2015*

Atlantic Himalayan Club/Jim Land, Sec.
Jason/Rachael Benion
Michelle Boltik
Dr. Ann Brownlee
Diane Castor
Yu Chiu
Crown Family Philanthropies
Linda Donley
Vickie Fisher
Daniel Fleming
Joanne Folsom
Franciscan Silver & Golden Fanciers/ Sally Daniels
Meredith Galentine
Sarah Harrison
Alwyn Hill
Edward Hill
Milnea Irinel Marius
Duane Lacock
Kelsey Lakers
Joann Lamb
Joan Miller-Keys
Aubrey Nye Hamilton
Nicolae/Oana Petrencuic
Dr. Arnold Plotnick
Lindsay & Fran Preiss
Daylina/Trace Quirk
Miriam St. Clair
Robert/Vicki Thayer
Dr. Drew Weigner
Kim Wilkerson
David Wilson

Coming Up On The Calendar

April 19-25: National Pet ID Week

April 24: Hairball Awareness Day

April 26: National Kids and Pets Day

April 30: National Adopt a Shelter Pet Day

May 3-9: National Pet Week and Be Kind to Animals Week Topic of the Month

Feline Hyperthyroidism


For Veterinarians April 22: An Evidence Based Update

Thanks to Winn donors, researchers have touched the lives of hundreds of thousands of cats. Whether it was an urgent need, a devastating disease or a critical improvement in a cat's quality of life, Winn donations have made a difference. Winn-funded research has led to improvements in cat food, the science behind most vaccines your cat receives, and progress in the fight against FIV, leukemia, diabetes, FIP, heart disease and a host of other illnesses in cats.

For a view of our continuing outreach to cat lovers worldwide, please visit our website, our Facebook page, our Pintereswall or our blogTo learn more about Winn, please go to, and to support our efforts please select Give Now.

We are always interested in your thoughts, opinions and feedback. Please let us know what you think of our newsletter and the work we are doing on your behalf. Please feel free to send an email to

Thank you for your continued support.

Winn Feline Foundation Board of Directors