The Cat Welfare Trust is the Fancy’s own charity, set up by the GCCF in 1988.
The Trust Deed was written to enable funds to be used for the widest possible range of activities to benefit cats. Currently the work of cat rescue is undertaken by GCCF Member Cat Clubs and so the Trust has turned to other ways of improving cat welfare.
Three projects have been completed so far, all of which have been funded because the subjects were of particular interest to pedigree cat owners and were not likely to attract commercial funding in their initial stages.
The first of these was a Ph.D. research project to study the preparation of a vaccine for ringworm and was undertaken by Ann Robinson at Bristol University Veterinary School. The second – the Genome Project was undertaken by Dr Matthew Binns of the Animal Health Trust and resulted in the identification and analysis of 211 markers on the feline genome map. The third – a study into feline chronic gingivostomatitis – was carried out by Kitty Healey at the University of Liverpool. Chronic gingivostomatitis is a condition familiar to many cat owners, this is a very painful disease affecting the gums and mouths of pet cats causing inflammation and ulceration and there is currently no cure for this condition. Kitty’s research has established a link between this condition and FCV reinforcing the need for regular vaccination.
The current project is a study being conducted by the Royal Veterinary College into HCM (hypertrophic cardiomyopathy), to identify the genetic architecture promoting the development of HCM in British Shorthair cats, to enable assessment of a novel therapeutic agent.
HCM has an exceedingly high prevalence in cats; it affects up to 1 in 7 cats and is the most commonly diagnosed feline myocardial disease. HCM is also diagnosed in about 1 in 500 people, and is the leading cause of sudden death in young adults. The aims of the study are to map and evaluate HCM susceptibility in BSH Cats; identify the gene expression profile; integrate results and identify genetic markers for prediction of HCM susceptibility.
The Trust is dependent on donations from the Clubs and members of the Fancy and so it is easy to see that in order to be able to make grants large enough to make a difference to cats’ lives we rely on you for all the financial support possible. Donations and legacies to the Trust will ensure the continuation of this work. Please remember the Trust when you or your club consider welfare donations.
Please send donations to The Treasurer, c/o GCCF, 5 King’s Castle Business Park, The Drove, Bridgwater, TA6 4AG. Further information is also available from the GCCF Office.
You can help us maximise your support by enabling the Trust to reclaim tax on your donations under the Gift Aid scheme. All you need to do is to state that you pay Income Tax and wish the Cat Welfare Trust to treat your donation as Gift Aid.
Registered Charity No. 800719