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Recent study finds differences in disease risks between purebred and mix-breed cats


The paper explored health risks faced by cats to determine disease rates



VetRecord recently published a paper exploring the health risks that cats face and discovered notable variations in the disease rates between mixed-breed and purebred cats. The study, funded by the Morris Animal Foundation, took place at the University of Guelph in Ontario, Canada.

"This study’s findings provide important insight for cat owners, veterinarians, breeders, and researchers, offering a comparative look at disease patterns in purebred cats versus mixed-breed cats," said Barr Hadar, DVM, BS, one of the paper’s authors and a researcher involved in the study, in an organizational release.1 "Information on feline disease frequency and risk is a valuable tool that can help guide clinical decision-making, assist in monitoring and planning of breeding programs, educate cat owners, and prioritize research. A more granular look into specific causes of morbidity would be beneficial."

For the study, researchers explained data from Agria Pet Insurance Company, the largest pet insurance provider in Sweden. According to the release, the data included information on insurance policies, claims, breed, age, and sex for around 550,000 cats.1 The finding revealed that purebred cats were most likely to develop diseases in most categories when compared to domestic cross-breeds. Purebreds had the highest relative risk in the following categories:1

  • Female reproductive issues
  • Heart disease
  • Complications from surgery
  • Lower respiratory infections
  • Immunological diseases

The researchers noted that they also found domestic crossbred cats were more likely to develop endocrine, mobility, and skin issues than purebred cats. The team is analyzing the insurance data base to develop predictive models with hopes of implementing them in a clinical setting to help predict the likelihood of specific diseases in cats.


New Publication Describes Differences in Disease Risk Between Purebred and Mixed-Breed Cats. News release. Morris Animal Foundation June 27, 2023. Accessed June 28, 2023. https://www.morrisanimalfoundation.org/article/feline-study-uses-pet-insurance-data-to-examine-health-risks

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