The Benefits of Rapamycin for Cats

The benefits of rapamycin for cats

The benefits of rapamycin for cats have become clear with the completion of the Trivium study, which proved that rapamycin can safely minimize or even prevent the progression of fatal Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy (HCM) in cats. 

However, the benefits of rapamycin for cats are not limited to HCM.  Based on human studies showing that rapamycin benefits patients with chronic kidney disease, there are several studies in the works at vet schools to assess rapamycin's benefits in feline chronic kidney disease.

Another benefit of rapamycin for cats is its potential use in the frustrating and painful disease of stomatitis in our cats.  Rapamycin has been proven to reduce periodontal disease in other species, and this fact along with its proven immune suppressive properties suggest that rapamycin could be the first medical treatment for feline stomatitis that actually WORKS.

Yet another prospective benefit of rapamycin for cats is the fact that rapamycin is broadly effective against a number of cancers, including lymphoma, squamous cell carcinoma, hemangiosarcoma, and melanoma.  It has not been shown to benefit patients with osteosarcoma, but thankfully that is much less common in cats than large dogs.

There is also some interest in exploring the effects of rapamycin on diseases like feline cognitive dysfunction, a condition similar to Alzheimer's disease in humans.

Rapamycin, also known as sirolimus, is a drug that has been extensively studied for its immunosuppressive and anticancer properties in humans. More recently, it has attracted attention for its potential benefits in aging and age-related diseases in both dogs and cats, and this is well worth a discussion with your veterinarian.

There are several questions about rapamycin for cats that have yet to be answered.  These include...

  • Is rapamycin variably degraded by stomach acidity in cats, as it is in humans?
  • What is the optimal dose of rapamycin in cats? 
  • Are there long term side effects to rapamycin in cats?  As of this writing, we have about 2 dozen cats on rapamycin with no side effects noted.

At the end of the day, the benefits of rapamycin for cats in treating fatal diseases like hypertrophic cardiomyopathy and chronic kidney disease, along with painful stomatitis, are potential game changers for our cat family.   The facts that it is so safe and can be easily administered as an oral liquid make rapamycin a first line drug against diseases of inflammation and aging for cats.