Dr. Kate Meurs Sphynx Cat HCM Research Project and North Carolina University

Sphynx DNA holds the key to help Dr. Kate Meurs' research laboratory at North Carolina University untangle the genetic causes of hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) in Sphynx Cats.  Dr. Kate Meurs and her team are currently researching the sphynx breed to find the genetic mutations that causes HCM in Sphynx.

Fine Mapping for Sphynx Cat HCM Gene (Grant received from Winn Feline Foundation)
Feline hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is the most common cause of heart disease in the adult cat. Affected cats are at risk of sudden death, breathing difficulties or development of a blood clot.

Feline HCM is noted to be inherited in the Maine Coon and Ragdoll breeds. In these two breeds, causative genetic mutations have been associated with the development of the disease. This project will continue the study of HCM in the Sphynx breed. A genome wide association study has identified a particular chromosomal area as a region of interest associated with the development of HCM. A close evaluation of this chromosomal region of interest will follow to determine the gene and ultimately the causative genetic mutation. Ultimately, the identification of a genetic cause for HCM in the Sphynx can be used to reduce the prevalence of the disease in this breed and provide information on this disease in many other breeds of cats as well.

This study needs additional sphynx participants.

You are eligible to particpate if you have a Sphynx cat this is:

  • HCM diagnosed affected by a licensed veterinary professional,
  • or, A Sphynx cat who is at least 8 years of age and who is cleared of disease

Note:   Also needed are tisse sample of cats that have deceased from HCM.  Please contact Dr. Meurs to inquire about the procedure for future partiicipation of you have a cat that you suspect may be a future candidate.  Contact Info:  kate_meurs@nscu.edu or (919) 513-6213

How to participate:

1.  Download, print and complete the Sphynx Cat HCM Study Form
2.  Have your veterinarian or veterinary technician obtain a DNA sample by withdrawling blood from your cat (see sample instruction below.)
3.  Make a copy of the cat's pedigree (if applicable) and or HCM screening test results (if applicable.)
4.  Submit the sample and documents via regular post to:

NCSU - College of Veterinary Medicine
ATTN: Veterinary Genetics Laboratory
Research Bldg. 228
1060 William Moore Dr.
Raleigh, NC 27607

Sample collection instructions

Please ask your veterinarian or a veterinary technician to pull a blood sample into an EDTAtube. Most veterinary hospitals have these readily available. 

1. Blood drawn into a Standard EDTA Tube does not need to be refrigerated.
2. Blood draw volume should be 1 to 2 ml, if possible.
3. Please label tube well, with cat’s call name and family last name and send the samples
to our lab via the address above.

Blood drawn does not need to be mailed back with ice packs or be shipped overnight. However, if possible please try to send the sample within a few days by standard mail. Until the blood can be mailed, it is a good idea to refrigerate it (i.e., if the blood was drawn late Saturday and cannot be mailed until Monday, it’s a good idea to refrigerate it between Saturday and Monday).

Questions? Contact Info: kate_meurs@nscu.edu or (919) 513-6213