Cat blood donations
Blood donation – can your pet help?
We desperately need to improve our list of blood donors to help save other pets lives in their hour of need.
We need cats who fill the following criteria:
- Healthy and fully vaccinated
(not on any long term medication)
- Friendly and easy to handle
- 1-8 years old
- At least 4kg in weight
- Has not travelled outside UK
If your pet cat fits this description, and you would like your cat to become a blood donor, we would need you to make an initial appointment at one of our hospitals to ensure they are eligible.
At this appointment, we assess their temperament to ensure they don’t get stressed by the blood taking process. We take a blood sample to test, to make sure they are in full health before being signed up. We also check which blood type they are.
If the results from the initial appointment are satisfactory, then your cats name will be added to our cat donor list. We call on suitable donors from the list when we have an emergency and critical care patient who needs a life saving transfusion. Our hospitals run 24/7, so this can sometimes be during the night and at weekends.
The blood donation process
- Full physical exam by a Veterinary Surgeon.
- A general health profile to ensure they are in full health.
- Your cat will be lightly sedated, so the blood donation process goes as smoothly as possible.
- Post transfusion we keep them in for four hours on supplementary fluid therapy, and to monitor their recovery post sedation.
- You will need to keep them indoors for the night, and keep them warm.
- Free annual vaccination
- Vet health check
- Regular blood screenings
How is blood obtained?
Blood is obtained directly from a large vein in the neck. We usually take 60mls of blood.
How often can my cat give blood?
Repeated blood donations over a short period of time should be avoided, as this can lead to anaemia, so your cat has to have a rest period of three months after donating.
Figaro came in one weekend after a trauma. He’d had a lot of internal bleeding due to a fractured pelvis, so his red blood cells were critically low and he urgently needed a blood transfusion. Without this he would have died.
We called one of our amazing blood donors and Ted came in straight away.
Thankfully the donation and the transfusion went extremely well. Figaro recovered well and was discharged from hospital and Ted was back to his usual self straight after donating.
Antonio is another blood donor superstar. He was adopted from The Mayhew Animal Home last year and gave his first emergency donation in August. The cat Antonio gave the blood to had fallen 3 stories out of a flat window and was suffering from internal bleeding. She was in a critical condition and needed an urgent blood transfusion to survive.
You can read the full story on the Mayhew Animal Home website.