Wednesday, 6 March 2013

Do You Know Your Cat's Blood Type?

Animals of the same species have can have different blood types.

Some are universal donors just like people.

Do you know what your cat’s blood type is?

Why Is This Important?

Here are a couple of reasons…
  1. If your cat has an accident or needs an operation, and is in a life or death situation, if you have the paperwork documenting their blood type, you will save valuable time–saving the rescuing team the time to do the typing–should they need a transfusion.
  2. Should your cat get sick, you will be starting with a potentially valuable piece of information. Cats with the same blood type may have a proclivity to certain illnesses or reactions…
How to Get It Done?

Discuss this with your vet. Perhaps the next time you have a check-up this could be done at the same time.

Blood Groups

Cats have A, B and AB (rare) blood types. Most cats in the United States have type A blood – something like 99% of domestic shorthair cats have Type A blood. This ratio varies from country to country.

Other cat breeds have a much higher incidence of Type B blood. As the popularity of purebred cats increases it is likely that the ratio of cats with Type B blood will also increase.

There is no “universal donor” blood type in cats – a very small amount of the wrong blood type can kill a cat if it is sensitized to the blood. This can be an issue in some cat breeds.

In particular, British Shorthair, Cornish Rex and Devon Rex cats, where the percentage of Type B cats is much higher (perhaps as high as 50%). Other breeds with significant percentages of Type B blood include the Abyssinian, Himalayan, Japanese Bobtail, Persian, Somali and Sphinx breeds.

If a Type B mother cat gives birth to Type A kittens, severe reactions can occur in the kittens. Type B cats have strong antibodies against Type A blood. These antibodies are passed in the milk, which is very bad for any kittens that are Type A. Since A is the dominant blood type, this means that most of the kittens born will be Type A when a Type A father breeds with a Type B mother.

In breeds in which significant percentages of Type B blood occur, it is wise to know in advance what the blood types of prospective parents are. Your vet can arrange to have blood types tested.

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