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Celebrate Valentine's Day from Your Heart to Your Cat's


An exciting announcement from Houston, TX at a Winn Feline Foundation Board Meeting (I’m a Board member). Throughout February, we hope call lovers give all cats a Valentine, so we can learn more about heart disease.

A heart disease, called Feline Hypetrophic Cardiomyopathy is surprisingly very common, and often fatal to middle-aged cats. And through funding by Winn, we want to – WE NEED TO – do something to change this.

Currently, there is no cure, no effective drug….and no prevention….Although, the good news is that we’ve recently made progress, through Winn’s funding a gene defect has been identified in two breeds (Ragdoll and Maine Coon), so breeders have begun to address the disease in these breeds, That’s great! But only a start.

My colleague Franny Syufy at wrote about the Fund. I began, which is called the Ricky Fund, to help raise money – so ultimately HCM can be treated or prevented….Giving to the Ricky Fund, might be a wonderful Valentine’s Day.

More in upcoming posts about the Ricky Fund. And if you continue reading here….

n 2002, I lost my best friend – a cat named Ricky. He was a unique
dude. Long before Nora, he also played the piano (improvisations jazz).
Being a social guy who didn’t relegate his musical skill to his own
home – he performed ‘in concert’ at places like Petco and PETsMart.
Ricky knew how to do as much as most dogs, the list included jumping
through a Hoola Hoop, sitting on command, giving ‘high-fives’ and more.
He helped to demonstrate cats can learn just as much as their canine

Everything seemed fine, until our veterinarian noticed
a heart murmur in our little prodigy, and was soon diagnosed with HCM. While some cats survive HCM,
many do not. There is no cure; there is no treatment. As often happens
with cats diagnosed with this surprisingly common disease, Ricky
suddenly succumbed – he was only six.

That’s when I began the
Ricky Fund at the Winn Feline Foundation
the goal, to raise money to
create a treatment or learn prevention for this disease
. The dollars
have mattered, But we’ve just scratched the surface; we need your help! 

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Steve Dale is a certified animal behavior specialist who has been a trusted voice in the world of pet health for over 20 years. You have likely heard him on the radio, read him in print and online, and seen him speaking at events all over the world. His contributions to advancing pet wellness have earned him many an award and recognition around the globe.

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