Cat Phenotype and Health Information Registry (Cat PHIR)

Abyssinian cat

The Cat Phenotype and Health Information Registry (Cat PHIR) is a voluntary feline health database project for mixed and fancy cat breeds.  The overall goal of Cat PHIR is to provide investigators with “links” to cats with traits and diseases of interest. Cat PHIR is a nonprofit research database, with expenditures funded at the exact cost and reported to the NIH. There are no costs associated with the submission of samples or to the researchers. Database management and DNA storage is supported by NIH funding. 

Dr. Lyons encourages cat owners to send in samples from both healthy cats and cats with health conditions for the Cat PHIR project.

As a client of VGL you may agree to participate in Cat PHIR when ordering a cat test from your MyVGL account.


Cat PHIR is supported by the National Institutes of Health – National Center for Research Resources (NIH – NCRR R24RR01695) and University of California, Davis, School of Veterinary Medicine. The Cat PHIR database is a repository for domestic cat health data that is voluntarily provided by the clients of the UC Davis Veterinary Teaching Hospital, private practice clinicians, breeders, and pet owners. The health data can be deposited as confidential information or as public information that can be viewed openly. All data, public and private, will be available to investigators from recognized research institutions in order to facilitate the improvement of feline health. Researchers can request access to the database by submitting a Cat PHIR Project Research Proposal to the Scientific Oversight Committee. The oversight committee is composed of UC Davis and non-UC Davis researchers and a program officer from the NIH.

Cat registries or private individuals will not have access to the PHIR database.

The Cat PHIR database is composed of DNA samples, pedigrees, health and phenotypic trait information. DNA samples are submitted either specifically for storage and potential use in research projects, and /or obtained with permission of the client from the Supporting Feline DNA Typing Laboratories, such as the UC Davis Veterinary Genetics Laboratory. Worldwide laboratories supply their feline DNA information, only with the permission of the owner. These laboratories retain the DNA samples until they are identified for a research project and requested by an investigator. The Cat PHIR Project will attempt to follow the health of a cat throughout its life and requires long-term and continual commitment from the owners and breeders.

The Cat PHIR database is designed to assist scientific investigators with the analysis of both simple and complex genetic traits in cats. Cat PHIR will assist investigators with feline health research, but a variety of the tools in this database are useful to pet owners and breeders. Simple traits are generally analyzed with extended pedigrees. Complex traits need large populations, 100's to 1,000's of cats, for investigation. Simple traits can include coat colors, fur types, structural changes and inherited diseases. Complex traits studies are focused on identifying the genetic component of feline infectious disease (FIP) susceptibility and resistance, amyloidosis, diabetes, obesity, asthma, vaccine-related sarcoma, intestinal lymphoma, inflammatory bowel disease and many other health concerns.