Just not your type

By Connie Orcutt • Published: November 1st, 2013
Category: Animal Airwaves

When it comes to blood transfusions, dog rules don’t apply to cats. It all comes down to their types.

Blood types are based on the molecules, or antigens, found on the surface of red blood cells. If a blood donor and receiver, or recipient, have the same blood type, all the red blood cells appear identical to the body. But if a different blood type enters the circulation, the recipient produces antibodies to the foreign antigens. If that different blood type is transfused a second time, the donated cells are attacked by these antibodies, often with severe consequences.

That’s the case with dogs anyway. Cats, on the other hand, are born with antibodies to blood types other than their own. If cats receive the wrong blood type even once, the reaction can be severe and even fatal.

So before any transfusion, make sure you know your cat’s type.