Cats: A Gold Mine for Ophthalmology
Over 200 hereditary diseases have been identified and reported in the cat, several of which affect the eye, with homology to human hereditary disease. Compared with traditional murine models, the cat demonstrates more features in common with humans, including many anatomic and physiologic similarities, longer life span, increased size, and a genetically more heterogeneous background. The development of genomic resources in the cat has facilitated mapping and further characterization of feline models. During recent years, the wealth of knowledge in feline ophthalmology and neurophysiology has been extended to include new diseases of significant interest for comparative ophthalmology. This makes the cat an extremely valuable animal species to utilize for further research into disease processes affecting both cats and humans. This is especially true in the advancement and study of new treatment regimens and for extended therapeutic trials. Groups of feline eye diseases reviewed in the following are lysosomal storage disorders, congenital glaucoma, and neuroretinal degenerations. Each has important implications for human ophthalmic research.
Narfström, Kristina, Koren Holland Deckman, and Marilyn Menotti-Raymond. “Cats: A Gold Mine for Ophthalmology.” Annual Review of Animal Biosciences 1 (2013): 157-177.