If you’ve ever donated blood or needed surgery, you’re probably familiar with your blood type. But what about your cat’s blood type?
Knowing your cat’s blood type can be vital in times of emergency.
Here’s everything you need to know about the different cat blood types.
There Are Three Different Cat Blood Types
Humans have a complicated system of blood types. Your blood type is determined by two different blood groups, the ABO group and the Rh (positive or negative) blood groups. Your blood type determines what blood you can receive or donate without causing a negative reaction in the body.
Cat blood types are slightly less complicated than human blood types. There are three blood types for cats: A, B, and AB.
Type A is the most common, with an estimated 94 to 99 percent of all domestic cats having it coursing through their veins.
B is the second most common, and is usually found in exotic purebreds, if even then.
The most rare is AB.
There Is No Universal Blood Donor For Cats
With humans, O negative is the universal blood donor. Any human can have O negative blood put into their bodies without antibodies attacking it.
For cats, this is not the case.
There is no universal donor for cats, but fortunately, since nearly all domestic cats are Type A, there’s usually a donor available in a vet’s office if need be.
But There Is A Universal Recipient Of Cat Blood
Cats with the rare AB blood type are universal recipients of any type of feline blood transfusion.
Cats with the AB type do not have anti-A or anti-B antibodies, so they are able to accept Type A, Type B, or Type AB.
A Cat’s Blood Type Is Determined By Genes And Breed
The reason there are so many cats with Type A blood is because Type A is a dominant gene.
In order for a cat to have Type B blood, a recessive gene, a kitten would have to inherent B genes from both parents.
Many cats are born with Type A blood, but purebred cats like the British Shorthair, Cornish Rex, Devon Rex, Exotic, Ragdoll, Turkish Van, and Turkish Angora typically have more cases of Type B blood than other purebreds or mixed domestic cats.
Differences In Blood Type Can Harm Kittens
Occasionally, kittens can be born with different blood types from their mother’s.
Different blood types can lead to different anti-bodies in the kitten’s system than in the mother’s system. This can lead to complications, as the mother can have different anti-bodies in the milk she’s providing her kitten than the anti-bodies the kitten’s body is equipped for.
The antigens in the mother’s milk can destroy the kitten’s red blood cells, which some experts believe may be the cause behind the “fading kitten,” or the kitten who does not make it past a few days old.
In order to prevent this, some vets recommend bottle feeding kittens to avoid giving them antigens that may cause harm.
Do you know your cat’s blood type? Has your cat ever donated blood to another kitty in a time of need? Let us know in the comments below!