Can my cat get a blood transfusion?

Our question this week was:

My cat is anemic and my vet recommended that she get a blood transfusion. They don’t know why she is anemic. Can you tell me if she can get one and what is involved?


Rochelle M, NYC


Hi – thanks for your email. You wrote that your cat is anemic (I’m sorry to hear that) and you want some information on blood transfusion in cats. Blood transfusions are done in cats. Basically what is involved is that a donor cat gives blood and that blood is transfused to your cat. It is important that the donor be healthy and that your vet knows his blood type. Your cat also needs to be blood typed to ensure that the blood is compatible from that cat to your cat.

Some vets have donor cats available and if so – then it is a matter of doing the blood typing, drawing blood from the donor then administering the blood to your cat. It can be a life saving procedure while they try to figure out why your cat is sick.

An article that might be helpful to you is Anemia in Cats. This article discusses why cats can be anemia and will explain some of the tests your vet is likely to recommend in order to determine WHY she is anemic.

Best of luck!

Dr. Debra

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