Is your cat:
- Healthy with no ongoing health issues
- Above 4kg in weight
- Aged 1 – 8 years old
- Fully vaccinated against flu/enteritis and feline leukaemia
- Calm temperament
- Ideally an indoor cat
- Not been outside of the UK
If so then they might be a suitable candidate to be a blood donor and be registered on our feline blood donor list. As in human medicine there is a service that can provide blood products for dogs but there is no such service for cats. Blood transfusions can be lifesaving and without donors many cats do not have the option of getting this treatment.
What is involved:
Your cat will be checked to ensure they are healthy enough to donate blood and this will be done by:
- Performing a complete clinical examination
- Check your cats blood type
- Check your cat for two viruses called FIV/FeLV and a parasite that can damage red blood cells called mycoplasma
- General health check bloods
All of the clinical check overs and blood tests will be performed free of charge and you will be informed and advised of any abnomalities found.
Once we have established it is safe for your cat to be a donor, we will keep your details on record to refer to if ever we have a patient in need of a blood donor.
AT TIME OF DONATION:
- When a cat is severely ill and requires a life saving blood transfusion and is the same blood type as your cat, we will contact you to see if it is possible for your cat to be a donor. If you cat has given blood in the previous 4 weeks they will not be ready to donate again or if they have eaten in the last 6 hours.
- If you and your cat are available then we will admit your cat for an average of 3-4 hours or if at night then they can stay for the whole evening and be collected the following day or whenever is convenient to you.
- Any blood tests required will be run and your cat will have a full clinical examination, blood pressure and red blood cell values checked to make sure your cat is fit and well enough to donate.
- If your cat appears fit and healthy for being a donor then they will be given a sedation to keep them calm and asleep while we collect the blood.
- Your cat will receive replacement fluids to replenish the blood that is removed.
- Your cat will be offered a meal and water as soon as they have fully recovered from their sedation.
- Once your cat has received all the fluids they need and is fully awake, we will call you to come and collect your cat.
- Due to the areas where we take the blood from and supply your cat with fluids they will have shaved patches on their neck and legs.
- Both you and your cat can go home happy in the knowledge that you have likely saved a cats life.
If you feel that this is something you and your cat would be interested in then please let us know. A vet or nurse can discuss any concerns or questions you have over the phone and then we can arrange an appointment for you and your cat to come in for the health checking.