Science & Technology

Vet Med offers clinical trial for cats with history of arterial thromboembolism

Athens, Ga. – Researchers at the University of Georgia Veterinary Teaching Hospital are seeking participants for a new multicenter randomized clinical trial. The three-year study dubbed “SUPER-CAT” for “study of the utility of rivaroxaban or clopidogrel for prevention of recurrent arterial thromboembolism in cats” aims to prolong life expectancy and improve quality of life in cats diagnosed with recurrent arterial thromboembolism (“saddle thrombus”) through anticoagulant treatment.

Qualified participants include cats with heart disease that have survived an arterial thromboembolism.

Arterial thromboembolism, or ATE, is a serious, life-threatening condition in which a blood clot becomes lodged in the aorta or other major arteries. Though ATE is a common complication of heart disease in cats, there is no way to predict which cats will develop ATE. Few treatment options exist for cats that develop the condition, and of those that survive the episode, the median life expectancy is approximately four months without therapy.

A new therapeutic option to treat or prevent this life-threatening condition is critically needed but currently elusive.

A previous study (the FATCAT trial, for which a summary of findings can be found at found that treating cats with clopidogrel, a drug that blocks the pro-thrombotic activity of platelets, delayed the recurrence of ATE up to eight months longer than aspirin. The SUPER-CAT study builds on the previous study by comparing the effectiveness of clopidogrel treatment to that with rivaroxaban, a novel anticoagulant that directly inhibits Coagulation Factor Xa.

The goal of SUPER-CAT is to further extend life expectancy and improve quality of life for cats following an ATE by preventing recurrence.

Cats diagnosed with cardiomyopathy that have experienced one ATE episode, have recovered from the acute syndrome and have no other significant health conditions may be referred by their veterinarian to enter the study. Study participants will receive a supply of either clopidogrel or rivaroxaban free of charge, as well as funds to defray the cost of four follow-up visits with board-certified veterinary cardiologists. Owners will be expected to fill out a 10-minute questionnaire every other month on their cat’s health and activity level. In the case of an ATE recurrence, owners can opt to continue or change their cat’s anticoagulant treatment.

The study is funded by the Morris Animal Foundation and is being conducted in collaboration with partners at Cornell University, North Carolina State University, Auburn University, Tufts University, Purdue University and Pharmaceutical Specialties Inc.

For more information about the study, visit or the official SUPER-CAT study website, hosted by the Center for Veterinary Critical Care Research, at