We’re making an urgent call to cat owners across Yorkshire for their pets to become potentially life-saving blood donors due to a serious shortage of suitable felines.
There are currently only two cats on our donor list and both have reached an age where it isn’t in their best interests to continue to give blood.
Feline blood cannot be stored, so we’re reliant on finding a suitable donor at the time the blood is required.
The appeal follows a case at our sister practice, Paragon Veterinary Referrals, in Wakefield, where a cat involved in a road traffic accident needed a transfusion and there were no suitable animals immediately available to help – although, thankfully, a donor was later found.
A road accident is one common scenario which requires a transfusion in cats, along with autoimmune conditions where the body destroys the red blood cells.
In another case, Salt, who belongs to Calder team member Gabby West, benefited from a blood transfusion to treat a severe case of anaemia.
His red blood count dropped as low as nine per cent but, luckily, fellow staff member Mary Ingle’s cat George (pictured) was a blood type match and a transfusion, along with further treatment, saved Salt’s life. The normal red blood count for a cat is 35 per cent or greater.
Laura Du Pre, lead veterinary surgeon at Calder Vets, said: “Finding a suitable donor match for a cat can be difficult. It really can be the difference between life and death.
“A blood transfusion can offer vital support and can often buy time for diagnostics to be performed and for medical treatment to bring the underlying condition under control.
“All cats that donate will have a full examination and blood test performed so their health will be closely monitored. We offer these additional checks as a way of saying thanks for them generously donating their blood.”
A donor cat needs to be healthy, fully vaccinated, under eight years old, weigh more than 4kg and never have travelled outside the UK.