Fur-ever young? This new treatment could give our cats 30-year lifespans!

A Japanese scientist is developing an injection that improves feline kidney function and extends a cat's lifespan to 30 years.

Cats might actually have nine lives soon! A Japanese scientist at the University of Tokyo has discovered a breakthrough treatment that improves kidney function in cats and potentially helps our furry friends live up to 30 years.

Healthy cats typically live up to 15 years, but chronic kidney disease often cuts this short.

But Professor Toru Miyazaki, an immunologist, is developing an injection that targets the root of feline kidney disease from a protein called Apoptosis Inhibitor of Macrophage (AIM), which he first discovered 20 years ago.

AIM, present in many animals’ blood, protects kidneys by clearing out dead cells and other waste from the body.

“Over the course of his research, it became apparent that AIM improves kidney function. He is now working on developing medication that may substantially extend the lifespan of cats,” shared the University of Tokyo on its website.

The COVID-19 pandemic stalled his research due to funding issues, but cat lovers worldwide rallied to support him after a local Japanese press highlighted his struggles.

Some US$ 2 million in donations poured in, allowing Miyazaki to resign from his university position and fully focus on the AIM injection, which is expected to be commercially available next year.

But his mission doesn’t stop with cats. He dreams of using AIM to treat human illnesses too.

“I believe that perhaps my friend is one of the reasons why I was destined to save cats – I wouldn’t have ever imagined myself focusing on cats otherwise,” said Miyazaki on the university website.

He added, “In reality, however, I have witnessed many people passing away due to incurable illnesses, so I feel strongly about eventually using AIM to treat people. That is the greatest motivation that is supporting my research right now.”