Feline Blood Donation
The feline aspect of PABB is primarily supported by an in-house blood donor colony, consisting of a group of approximately 30 cats that provide the feline blood supply for our hospitalized patients.
Several differences exist between feline and canine blood donation. Cats are animals with a very strong will and are not as compliant or ready to please as dogs. For a cat to successfully donate a unit of blood, mild sedation is required. Because of the health risks associated with sedating any animal, PABB opted to create its own feline blood donor colony rather than beginning a community-based volunteer feline blood-donor program.
“Our Boys,” as they are so fondly known, come to us when they are about one year of age. They are housed in a large three-compartment room filled with various types of environmental enrichment. The cat room contains cat trees of varying height, ramps, tunnels, baskets and soft, comfy bedding that would make the most pampered kitty envious.
PABB nurses routinely do socialization and behavior modification activities four to five times a week. These activities can range from playing with a laser pointer (their favorite game) to clicker training to teaching them to sit—that’s right we have taught some of our boys to sit! After donating blood for approximately two years, these very special cats are available for adoption. Usually a line forms outside the blood-bank door when the posting goes up because they are so well socialized. Owners usually send us pictures of their newest addition happily enjoying their retirement, all of which are proudly displayed on a Wall of Fame in the blood bank.