The researchers are extremely interested in looking at the hearts from Birman cats.


The following information is for submission of Birman cats for post-mortem (necropsy) examination at the Royal Veterinary College in the UK. This service is provided free of charge as part of research into feline cardiomyopathies.

Inclusion criteria(1) for post-mortem examination:


  • Sudden death or

  • Confirmed cardiomyopathy with death or

  • Confirmed cardiomyopathy with euthanasia due to another cause or

  • Death due to signs suspicious of cardiomyopathy or

  • Euthanasia due to signs suspicious of cardiomyopathy.

In the UK


  • If your cat is presented for euthanasia, please consider taking 3ml of blood in an EDTA tube. This should be centrifuged within 30 minutes of collection and the cell pellet separated from the plasma. The pellet is then stable for transport and can be sent to Lois Wilkie to store DNA. This will enable future research into identification of a responsible genetic mutation.

  • If you would like a necropsy examination of your cat, please contact Lois Wilkie (Who is Lois? here >>). Lois will then be able to liaise with you and your vet regarding whether you would like to bring the cat to her (really very difficult and emotional), or have your vet remove the heart and just send the heart to Lois. If you elect to bring your cat for full necropsy examination, Lois will also make sure she knows your wishes regarding cremation, ashes and whether you would like your beloved cat to go with particular blanket/toy etc.

  • Lois will also require a copy of your cat’s pedigree certificate, any clinical history (which she can get your vet to fax to her) and results of any heart scans/biomarker tests.


Contact Info: Lois Wilkie, Email: or telephone at work: 01707 666 333 ext. 6021 or 07983044485 (personal)



Within the EU, USA and Canada


The heart can be removed by the vet in charge of the case, or a post-mortem conducted by a recognized pathologist in the country of origin.

  • Please send the whole heart fixed in 10% formalin where possible.

Note: If sending formalin-fixed samples, it is better to send the tissue (once properly fixed) in cotton wool soaked in formalin within a pot and then placed in double wrapped and sealed plastic bags to avoid damage and leakages.

  • Alternatively, if a full post-mortem examination is carried out in the country of origin, Lois would still very gratefully receive paraffin embedded sections of the heart +/- histopathology slides for review.


​Please send accompanying:

  • History, including any previous heart scan results, biomarker tests and any known family history of heart disease

  • Copy of the pedigree certificate


Please ensure all samples are accompanied by a general import license and adhere to the regulations for importation (note restrictions on volume of formalin in particular).


Label ‘non-infectious animal material (fixed), not neurological’, ship to:


FAO: Lois Wilkie - 'Birman Cardiomyopathy Study'

FO2 Hawkshead House

Royal Veterinary College

Hawkshead Lane

North Mymms

Hatfield, Herts


United Kingdom































(1) Inclusion criteria are a set of predefined characteristics used to identify cats who will be included in a research study.