Aging pet cats develop neuropathology similar to human Alzheimer’s disease
Aging pet cats can spontaneously develop Ab deposition and tauopathy (including neurofibrillary tangle formation) with neuronal loss in a similar distribution and with similar characteristics to Alzheimer’s disease (AD) in humans. These three major pathologies that characterize AD rarely occur spontaneously in other nonhuman animals. In addition, cats develop cognitive impairment with increasing age, and some studies show an association with neuronal lesions. These features suggest that the aging pet cat may be a more reliable spontaneously occurring model to investigate pathogenesis of, and therapeutic interventions for, AD compared to other domestic animals such as pet dogs. This review describes the unique translational potential of the domestic cat as a natural model of AD, with reference to other animal models of AD.
Keywords: Alzheimer’s disease, pet cats, feline neuropathology, aging, feline cognitive dysfunction syndrome