99 Lives

New goals for 2023 – 2024

Thank you for supporting the 99 Lives Cat Genome Sequencing!

Help us raise $21,000 for cat research!

The 99 Lives Cat Genome Sequencing Initiative is a project that will read the entire DNA sequence of your cat’s 38 chromosomes! This data is used to identify DNA mutations causing interesting traits, like different coat colors and ear and tail types, or health problems. Healthy cats can participate to define the normal DNA sequence of different cat breeds and populations from around the world. The DNA from many wild felids, such as lions, tigers, and cheetahs, are also included. The many successes of the project are described in scientific publications associated with the 99 Lives Cat Genome Project. We have found many disease mutations such as blindness in Persians and Bengal cats, but also interesting phenotypic traits, like the Lykoi – werewolf cats and the Ticked mutation for Abyssinians and other breeds.

The costs for WGS have drastically reduced and the University of Missouri has the computing facilities to help analyze your cat’s genome! The more cats in the 99 Lives database – the more success we will have with finding the DNA variant that causes health problems and interesting traits. Normal cats are important too. Please nominate a specific cat representing a breed for DNA sequencing (See breed list below). These cats can have interesting traits, health problems or be perfectly normal! Please submit DNA from your cat and support the genome sequencing of its DNA for the 99 Lives Project. You can dedicate your donation to a specific cat, breed, or project! Cheek (buccal) swab samples are always needed to help verify our discoveries – please continue to send in samples for cats this traits and health concerns.

Please see more on how to participate in cat research at this link.

Active projects include:

  • Ragdolls – absent uterine horn and kidney
  • Egyptian Maus – urate stones
  • Transylvanian cats – defining the Karpati coloration and pattern
  • Burmese – stretchy skin – Ehlers-Danlos Syndrome
  • Burmese – Feline oral-facial pain (FOP)
  • Siberians – hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM)
  • All cats – every cat – new heritable traits and diseases
  • Amyloidosis (in collaboration with the University of Milan and others)
    • Abyssinians/Somalis and Siamese/Orientals

Cats Rule! – Thank you for your support!

99 Lives Associated Scientific Publications

1.First genome-wide CNV mapping in FELIS CATUS using next generation sequencing data. Genova F, Longeri M, Lyons LA, Bagnato A; 99 Lives Consortium, Strillacci MG. BMC Genomics. 2018 Dec 10;19(1):895. doi: 10.1186/s12864-018-5297-2.
PMID: 30526495 Free PMC article.
2.Precision medicine validation: identifying the MYBPC3 A31P variant with whole-genome sequencing in two Maine Coon cats with hypertrophic cardiomyopathy. Ontiveros ES, Ueda Y, Harris SP, Stern JA; 99 Lives Consortium. J Feline Med Surg. 2019 Dec;21(12):1086-1093. doi: 10.1177/1098612X18816460. Epub 2018 Dec 18.
PMID: 30558461
3.Identification and quantification of domestic feline cytochrome P450 transcriptome across multiple tissues. Visser M, Weber KL, Lyons LA, Rincon G, Boothe DM, Merritt DA. J Vet Pharmacol Ther. 2019 Jan;42(1):7-15. doi: 10.1111/jvp.12708. Epub 2018 Aug 31. PMID: 30171610 Free PMC article.
4.Clinical, metabolic, and genetic characterization of hereditary methemoglobinemia caused by cytochrome b 5 reductase deficiency in cats. Jaffey JA, Reading NS, Giger U, Abdulmalik O, Buckley RM, Johnstone S, Lyons LA; 99 Lives Cat Genome Consortium. J Vet Intern Med. 2019 Nov;33(6):2725-2731. doi: 10.1111/jvim.15637. Epub 2019 Oct 25. PMID: 31650629 Free PMC article.
5.Precision Medicine in Cats: Novel Niemann-Pick Type C1 Diagnosed by Whole-Genome Sequencing. Mauler DA, Gandolfi B, Reinero CR, O’Brien DP, Spooner JL, Lyons LA; and 99 Lives Consortium. J Vet Intern Med. 2017 Mar;31(2):539-544. doi: 10.1111/jvim.14599. Epub 2017 Feb 24. PMID: 28233346 Free PMC article.
6.Whole genome sequencing in cats, identifies new models for blindness in AIPL1 and somite segmentation in HES7. Lyons LA, Creighton EK, Alhaddad H, Beale HC, Grahn RA, Rah H, Maggs DJ, Helps CR, Gandolfi B. BMC Genomics. 2016 Mar 31;17:265. doi: 10.1186/s12864-016-2595-4. PMID: 27030474 Free PMC article.
7.Precision medicine identifies a pathogenic variant of the ITGA2B gene responsible for Glanzmann’s thrombasthenia in a cat. Li RHL, Ontiveros E, Nguyen N, Stern JA, Lee E, Hardy BT; 99 Lives Cat Genome Consortium. J Vet Intern Med. 2020 Sep 16. doi: 10.1111/jvim.15886. Online ahead of print.
PMID: 32935881
8.Early-Onset Progressive Retinal Atrophy Associated with an IQCB1 Variant in African Black-Footed Cats (Felis nigripes). Oh A, Pearce JW, Gandolfi B, Creighton EK, Suedmeyer WK, Selig M, Bosiack AP, Castaner LJ, Whiting RE, Belknap EB, Lyons LA; 99 Lives Consortium. Sci Rep. 2017 Mar 21;7:43918. doi: 10.1038/srep43918. PMID: 28322220 Free PMC article.
9.Werewolf, There Wolf: Variants in Hairless Associated with Hypotrichia and Roaning in the Lykoi Cat Breed. Buckley RM, Gandolfi B, Creighton EK, Pyne CA, Bouhan DM, LeRoy ML, Senter DA, Gobble JR, Abitbol M, Lyons LA, 99 Lives Consortium. Genes (Basel). 2020 Jun 22;11(6):682. doi: 10.3390/genes11060682.
PMID: 32580512 Free PMC article.
10.A FAS-ligand variant associated with autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome in cats. Aberdein D, Munday JS, Gandolfi B, Dittmer KE, Malik R, Garrick DJ, Lyons LA; 99 Lives Consortium. Mamm Genome. 2017 Feb;28(1-2):47-55. doi: 10.1007/s00335-016-9668-1. Epub 2016 Oct 21.
PMID: 27770190
11.A Deletion in GDF7 is Associated with a Heritable Forebrain Commissural Malformation Concurrent with Ventriculomegaly and Interhemispheric Cysts in Cats. Yu Y, Creighton EK, Buckley RM, Lyons LA, 99 Lives Consortium. Genes (Basel). 2020 Jun 19;11(6):672. doi: 10.3390/genes11060672.PMID: 32575532 Free PMC article.
12.A One Health overview, facilitating advances in comparative medicine and translational research. Stroud C, Dmitriev I, Kashentseva E, Bryan JN, Curiel DT, Rindt H, Reinero C, Henry CJ, Bergman PJ, Mason NJ, Gnanandarajah JS, Engiles JB, Gray F, Laughlin D, Gaurnier-Hausser A, Wallecha A, Huebner M, Paterson Y, O’Connor D, Treml LS, Stannard JP, Cook JL, Jacobs M, Wyckoff GJ, Likins L, Sabbagh U, Skaff A, Guloy AS, Hays HD, LeBlanc AK, Coates JR, Katz ML, Lyons LA, Johnson GC, Johnson GS, O’Brien DP, Duan D, Calvet JP, Gandolfi B, Baron DA, Weiss ML, Webster DA, Karanu FN, Robb EJ, Harman RJ.Clin Transl Med. 2016 Aug;5(Suppl 1):26. doi: 10.1186/s40169-016-0107-4.PMID: 27558513 Free PMC article.
13.Precision/Genomic Medicine for Domestic Cats. Buckley RM, Lyons LA.Vet Clin North Am Small Anim Pract. 2020 Sep;50(5):983-990. doi: 10.1016/j.cvsm.2020.05.005. Epub 2020 Jul 8.
PMID: 32653264 Review.
14.Mutations in the Kinesin-2 Motor KIF3B Cause an Autosomal-Dominant Ciliopathy. Cogné B, Latypova X, Senaratne LDS, Martin L, Koboldt DC, Kellaris G, Fievet L, Le Meur G, Caldari D, Debray D, Nizon M, Frengen E, Bowne SJ; 99 Lives Consortium, Cadena EL, Daiger SP, Bujakowska KM, Pierce EA, Gorin M, Katsanis N, Bézieau S, Petersen-Jones SM, Occelli LM, Lyons LA, Legeai-Mallet L, Sullivan LS, Davis EE, Isidor B. Am J Hum Genet. 2020 Jun 4;106(6):893-904. doi: 10.1016/j.ajhg.2020.04.005. Epub 2020 May 7.
PMID: 32386558

Cat Breeds and Wild Felids in the 99 Lives Cat Genome Sequencing Project

Help us DNA sequence a representative from each cat breed & cat species!

Breed in 99 LivesBreeds NeededFelid Species / Subspecies in 99 LivesFelid Species / Subspecies needed
AbyssinianAmerican BobtailBlack-footed Cat – Felis nigripesAfrican Golden Cat – Profelis aurata
American ShorthairAsianBobcat – Lynx rufusAfrican Wildcat – Felis silvestris lybica
American WirehairBalinese (Javanese)Caracal – Caracal caracalAndean Mountain Cat – Leopardus jacobita
Australian MistBombayCheetah – Acinonyx jubatusAsian Wildcat – Felis silvestris ornata
BengalBurmillaClouded Leopard – Neofelis nebulosaAsiatic Golden Cat – Catopuma temminckii
BirmanChausieEurasian Lynx – Lynx lynxBay Cat – Catopuma badia
British ShorthairColourpoint ShorthairFishing Cat – Prionailurus viverrinusBornean Clouded Leopard – Neofelis diardi
BurmeseCornish RexGeoffroy’s Cat – Leopardus geoffroyiCanadian Lynx – Lynx canadensis
ChartreuxEuropean ShorthairIberian Lynx – Lynx pardinusChinese Desert Cat – Felis bieti
Devon RexExotic ShorthairJaguar – Panthera oncaClouded Leopard – Neofelis nebulosa
Don SphynxGerman RexJungle Cat – Felis chausEuropean Wildcat – Felis silvestris
Egyptian MauKhao ManeeLeopard – Panthera pardusFlat-headed Cat – Prionailurus planiceps
Havana BrownKurilian BobtailLeopard Cat – Prionailurus bengalensisIriomote Cat – Prionailurus iriomotensis
HimalayanManx (Cymric)Lion – Panthera leoJaguarundi – Herpailurus yagouarundi
KoratNorwegian Forest CatMountain Lion – Puma concolorKodkod – Leopardus guigna
LaPermOjos AzulesPallas’s Cat – Otocolobus manulMarbled Cat – Pardofelis marmorata
LykoiPixiebobServal – Leptailurus servalMargay – Leopardus wiedii
Maine CoonRagamuffinSnow Leopard – Uncia unciaOcelot – Leopardus pardalis
Munchkin / NapoleonRussian BlueTiger – Panthera tigrisOncilla – Leopardus tigrinus
OcicatSingapuraOncilla (Southern) – Leopardus guttulus
OrientalSokokePampas Cat – Leopardus colocolo
PersianSomaliRusty-spotted Cat – Prionailurus rubiginosus
PeterbaldTurkish VanSand Cat – Felis margarita
RagdollUral Rex
Selkirk Rex
Tennessee Rex
Turkish Angora

Active Feline Genetics Projects
University of Missouri – College of Veterinary Medicine
Feline Genetics and Comparative Medicine Laboratory (The Lyons’ Den)

The Feline Genetics and Comparative Medicine Laboratory actively accepts DNA samples from cats from all over the world.  Active projects are developed once funding and continued support from the owners and breeders is obtained.  DNA samples are often shared with other researchers throughout the world.  DNA can be collected via buccal swabs, blood, or tissue samples, depending on the needs of the project.  Projects that require additional funding and support are listed below and new projects are always open for consideration.

Domestic Cat Projects

  1. Silver coat color
  2. PKD Progression
  3. Amyloidosis in Siamese & Orientals
  4. Amyloidosis in Abyssinians
  5. Tail trait in ToyBobs
  6. Dilated pupils in Korats
  7. Absence of one uterine horn & kidney in Ragdolls
  8. Urate stones in Egyptian Maus
  9. Feline Oral Facial Pain (FOP in Burmese)
  10. Cancer studies (Whole exome sequencing of normal – tumor DNA pairs)
  11. New studies are always welcome!

Wild Felid Projects

  1. Wildcat subspecies sequencing
  2. Pallas’s Cats with polycystic kidney disease
  3. Snow leopards with ocular colobomas
  4. Lions with Vitamin A deficiency
  5. Fishing cats with transition cell carcinoma
  6. Black footed cats with amyloidosis
  7. Amur leopard melanism screening
  8. Black footed cat blindness screening

Genetic variation of captive tigers – with Tigers United Consortium