***Before taking the steps to participate in any of our research projects, please read the article here.


Lead contact: Maria Longeri – University of Milan (


Amyloidosis is characterized by abnormal deposits of a protein complex (amyloid) in tissues and organs, which affects their functions and eventually can lead to organ failure and death. It occurs in both wild and domestic felids, including random-bred cats. Amyloidosis is well known as a familial trait in the Abyssinian/Somali breeds that mainly affects the kidneys, and in the Siamese/Oriental breeds that mainly affects the liver.

In humans, several types of amyloidosis exist and are associated with myeloma, Alzheimer’s disease, and chronic inflammatory diseases. Single genes have also been identified as causes for different inherited forms of amyloidosis. Therefore, Feline Amyloidosis is an interesting model for understanding the cause and development of the similar human diseases.

Proteomic and Genetic Study

We are currently performing protein and genetic studies, including genome-wide association studies (GWAS) using DNA arrays to identify the causal DNA variant(s) for Amyloidosis both in Abyssinian/Somali and Siamese/Oriental felines.

How can you help?

  1. Send DNA samples of Siamese-Oriental and Abyssinian-Somali cats that have the following information:
    1. Cats with a reported diagnosis of Amyloidosis* and, when available, samples from their parents and littermates or half-siblings.
    2. Healthy cats older than 6 years of age that can be used as controls
    3. Cats older than 6 years of age whose necropsy/histology was negative for Amyloidosis that can used as controls

*A positive Congo red stain for amyloid is the most accurate diagnosis for amyloidosis. In addition, necropsy is preferred over isolated tissue analysis, if possible. However, a thorough disease history and veterinary report may be sufficient. Oriental and Siamese cats often succumb to a ruptured liver.

  1. Types of samples accepted (to be done by a veterinarian or pathologist)
    1. From living cats:
      1. A blood sample in EDTA (a 1 mL minimum)
      2. The gonads (ovaries or testes), if you decide to alter your cat
    2. From deceased cats:
      1. Small parts of organs (liver, kidney and spleen).
    3. Sampling Instructions:
      1. The instructions for amyloidosis sampling can be found here.
      2. The following paperwork must be included for each cat that is sampled:
        1. The cat’s pedigree or the link to where it may be downloaded online
        2. The necropsy/histopathology report and date of death if not otherwise specified
  • The submission form, which can be found here.

3. (Optional) A few sentences declaring that the sample is for the Amyloidosis study and a brief description of the affected cats in the family.


  1. Chew D.J., DiBartola S.P., Boyce J.T., Gasper P.W. (1982). Renal amyloidosis in related Abyssinian cats. J Am Vet Med Assoc.; 81:139-42.
  2. Van der Linde-Sipman JS, Niewold TA, Tooten PCJ, de Neijs-Backer M, Gruys E. (1997). Generalized AA-amyloidosis in Siamese and Oriental cats. Vet. Immunol. and Immunopathol; 56: 1-10.


This project is supported by a donation of Associazione Nazionale Felina Italiana (ANFI-FIFE).

Project partners:

Prof. Maria Longeri: Coordination, sample collection and biobank, genomic analysis

Dipartimento di Scienze Veterinarie e Sanità Pubblica – DIVET

University of Milan –

Prof. Gabriella Tedeschi: Proteomic analysis

Dipartimento di Scienze Veterinarie e Sanità Pubblica – DIVET

University of Milan –

Prof. Giuseppe Sironi: Anatomo-pathologist, pathology aspects supervision

Dipartimento di Scienze Veterinarie e Sanità Pubblica – DIVET

University of Milan –

Italian feline biobank and sample collection-storage are in partnership with: