Breeding with Cat Blood Type B >^._.^<

Heather Roberts wrote:

The chances are quite high in Bengals (from a very limited sample size) that all your cats are type A. However, there is still the chance that your cat may be type B. The problem arises when you breed a type B queen to a type A tom.

Those kittens, when born, that are type A will begin to go through Neonatal Isoerythrolysis. The antibodies from mom that they receive when nursing the colostrum begin to attack their very bodies. It is very often mistaken for fading kitten syndrome. The major sign of this is when you get the kitten to pee, and they pee blood. However, this is almost always missed as mom usually potties the kittens and is very meticulous about it and cleans up all the evidence.

There are suggestions, if you know your queen is type B, that you can take the kittens when born are put them on a surrogate mom for the first 36-48 hours to nurse - then you can put them back with the original queen. but I am not sure how much data from this actually exists. You can blood type your kittens when born from the umbilical cord with special blood typing cards that I would be more than happy to supply you with the manufacturer.

This really hit home personally in one of our most recent litters. We had a kitten quickly fade on us and we could not figure out anything wrong. The vets could not figure out anything either. Everything looked fine - no structural defects, etc. History revealed no viruses or bacteria. This particular queen does spot a lot after her litters are born. And we had noticed blood spots around on her white towels - but more so this time. But again, we attributed that to her typical spottiness. However, we are now thinking that perhaps these spots were the remnants of when she was pottying the kitten. And that MAYBE she had Neonatal Isoerythrolysis.

This was just recently and we plan to blood type this girl next week. Some food for thought..... Many meows,


The time limit to withdraw the kittens from the dam is 18 hours - the kittens can be fostered on a type B queen, or bottle fed. Do not make the mistake of just putting the kittens on another queen with older kittens - cats are unique in that the antibody level in the milk remains pretty constant throughout lactation and there are no more antibodies in colostrum than later in lactation - and the problem is the age of the kitten - not the milk - kittens can only absorb the large globule antibodies in the first 18 hours of life - and these are what cause the problem. Most of you know that I breed Devons - and we have a LOT of type B cats, so the Devon breeders have to be pretty "up " on all this.

Ellen Crockett Vicrock Devon Rex ICQ #11529064

Pat Harbert <> wrote:
Is the problem the same if a type A queen is bred to a type B male?

Not nearly as much of a problem. There is still a blood type incompatibility. BUT the majority of the kittens resulting from that mating would be type A kittens - which would be compatible with the mom's antibodies. In this case, only type B (small chance) kittens would be affected.

Meows, Heather

There are no problems breeding a type A queen to a type B male - however, in breeds with very few type B animals, the general wisdom is to attempt not to perpetuate the gene in the gene pool.

Ellen Crockett ----------

NO! The A queen does not produce any antibodies that are dangerous to either type A or type B kittens. Only the A kittens are at risk for antibodies from a B queen.

Ellen Crockett

Really? I was told at the conference that in this situation that those type B kittens would still generally develop ill symptoms (not NI) that may linger for a short while - and may or may not even be noticed by the breeder. So that there was perhaps still something going on that may make them slightly ill, but not a major concern? Or perhaps I have been given erroneous info??? Plus, I'm an Aggie so I guess I can always blame that??

Meows, Heather

Hi again, Now I am concerned. I would really love to find out the percentage of "B" type Bengals around. I suspect that this is not a study that the government or any private organization has had much of an interest in assessing.:-)

Ellen, who undertook the studies of the breeds you mentioned with a high percentage of "B" type blood? Where would I be most likely to find breed specific information like this?

I want to make educated decisions re: my breeding program but do not want to act prematurely. If there is a significant presence of "b" type blood within the Bengal breed then it does not make sense to go out & neuter/spay all "B" type cats. Rather than panic & eliminate valuable information from the gene pool it would be better to scan resources to discover the effects of blood type incompatibility in regards to breeding. What are the real pro's & con's of breeding out a particular blood type from a breed of cat? What about the ALC? What type of blood does it have primarily? Is it more a matter of educating breeders about these issues, and planning uniouns carefully thus ensuring the safety of the kittens?

How many breeders out there really know what blood types their cats have & do they make decisions based on this knowledge? I for one will be tryoing to amass facts regarding this issue & will then be making decisions based on those facts. This really gives me food for thought......any input would be appreciated.

Lisa Kostrzewa, Artemis Bengals

Dr. Urs Giger at the University of PA Vet school

A the seminar in July, it was reported to be a very small percentage (6%?). I cannot remember exactly now and the sample size for Bengals was extremely small - so may not be accurate. But certainly nothing high like your Devons, or the British Shorthair, or Cornish. That seems to be approaching 40% A and 60% B? What are you seeing?

Meows, Heather

Where did the type B blood come from? the domestic or the ALC?
Michelle, Royalpaws Home of Bengals & Old Style Siamese & Traditional Himalayans

I blood type all of my cats at the moment. I am in the process of typing my bengals. I started this because I breed aby's as well and I believe something like 11-15% of Abys were blood type B (someone correct that % if its wrong but it was around the low teens). Luckilly all my Abys were A type and I've managed to continue bringing in only A type females and males.

I've had a mongrel litter I was taking care of so they wouldn't go to the SPCA that had two kittens die of blood type incompatibilities... usually kittens die with this problem in the first few weeks... mine were 8 weeks old... it was awful. Autopsy confirmed the reason for death and the lab was stunned they were as old as they were. Amazingly enough it was the two longhaired kittens that died and the three short-haired lived.

Anyhow, with the bengals you have so many different "starter breeds". Like burmese/siamese/mau/whatever that we probably have a higher amount of B type cats than most of us thought. I don't think what blood type the ALC is, is really relevant since there have been so many different out-crosses we are pretty guaranteed of a mixed amount of A and B types. As to what decisions I make based on the knowledge of the cats type...I try to pair it with a cat of the same type. I try to keep one type within my cattery (its not a HUGE deal) and I test cats upon entering my cattery.

The other reason I blood type is we have no whole blood or serum stored here for cats at all. Most vet clinics here will not transfuse to a cat because of the risks and blood typing here takes at least 24 hours (cat would be dead if you took the time to blood type it).

I have cats who's type I know and can be donor cats for anyone's cat if they know the blood type. If you get a queen who is B having kittens to an A stud... don't worry. Just bottle feed for the first 24 hours and you will be fine. Or put them on an A mum.

One thing I would watch though is we had a report in our lab bulletin the other week on the blood typing cards (now they may be a different kind or not I don't know) but they recommended against using them as they were 98% correct for testing A blood types and very very low in being correct testing for B types. Have those of you ever double checked if the cards were correct?


I would like to make the list of my experience with type B blood. I have an Oci male who I inadvertently found was typeB/ I never realised the value of typing until this. I was losing the odd kitten in every litter he sired. There never was any explanation on necropsy. I decided to type all my breeding cats and there it was! Now it has been made very clear to me that this was NOT the cause of kitten mortality. A type B queen is the problem m. I never could find any info saying anything to the contrary.

Abys have a higher incidence of type B and I figure this is where Hunter inherited this. I had a difficult time deciding which way to go as he was (and still is a wonderful male) . I did alter him and he will always live here with me.

I now have all my cats blood typed. I would suspect that theB type would originate with the domestic rather than your Bengal. I am not however sure of this and would appreciate any additional info re type B and bengals. Great and informative thread!

Blessings, Cheryl Cheracat Ocicats Bred with love, Cher'd with you

Devons are pegged at between 40-50% - so we just deal with it.

Ellen Crockett

Hi list,

I tried to dig out the old mail I once posted on this list but to no avail. I had learned at a cat show as I visited in my native country Austria that the mortality rate of kittens was drastically reduced after it became mandatory for reputable breeders to blood type and match up stud and queen accordingly.

When I asked my vet and several others from the yellow pages about blood typing I sort of run into a cement wall. No one wanted to do it and if, the blood sample would have to be sent out of State, to a clinic somewhere in Maryland for typing. Forgot the price, but remember it was outrageous.

I did not have much response from the list back then either when I suggested blood typing. All I know is that I am sulking and can barely wait to live in Austria again for a while, where all my babies will get blood typing done and where house calls of vets and Doctors are a normal thing,

Meanwhile, I hope blood typing catches on here in the States to and becomes more available and therefore affordable.

Sincere greetings, Eva
Eva’s Paradise Bengals

I really wonder how many otherwise "unexplained" kitten deaths are due to this. I wonder what symptoms present themselves when kittens do die from blood type incompatibility. Could you ask the person who sent that email?

When I raised Himalayans years ago I ran into this incompatible blood type. The kittens would be perfectly big fat and healthy and then dropped dead instantly at 3 weeks of age. When I bred that queen twice to the same stud I then blood typed them and found out the reason, then I bred her to a different stud cat and the litters were fine She was a self-chocolate. Dad was a chocolate point.

From: Pat Killmaier

The major signs are : Very sudden onset of lethergy and very jaundice Yellow, as it mainly attacks the kittens livers.



Hi there,
This is probably a crazy plan but it could work with your co-operation. In light of recent events it has become apparent that it could benefit Bengal breeders & pet owners alike to discover the ratio of “B’ type to “A’ type blood in the Bengal breed. I for one will be typing all of my cats from here on in & would really appreciate any feed back from others who do the same. For those of you who have Asian Leopard Cats, please participate also.

Mismatches in blood types for breeding cats might be a significant cause of kitten mortality. After following the thread on the bengals-l for the last couple of days it has occurred to me that various exotic breeds – some known to have fairly significant percentages of “b” type cats have been used to develop the Bengal breed. This leads me to be curious about the ratio of “B” type blood to “A” type blood in the Asian Leopard Cat also.

Please help out if you can. You may email me privately & your replies will be held in the strictest confidence. I don’t need any cattery/cat names. Only #’s of cats typed & results of the typing. I will set a deadline & list the results so we all know what we are dealing with. I’d really appreciate your participation & would love to see breeders educated on this issue. Who knows, perhaps we can make a breakthrough & make blood typing of breeding cats the rule rather than the exception thus reducing kitten mortality rates & human heartache.

I would appreciate any input/information/guidance I can receive regarding this matter/plan.

Yours in anticipation,

Lisa Kostrzewa, Artemis Bengals Phone: (847) 201-1165
Email: Website:

Hi there, I have had it suggested to me that we might want to keep a track of the colors/characteristics of the typed cats to see what the effect of the cats heritage has on the blood type. I thank the knowledgeable individual who gave me this feedback & welcome more from any one else either publicly or privately posted.

( specific example given was SLP snows- Siamese are apparently 100% “A” type). Any other suggestions anyone?

Lisa Kostrzewa Artemis Bengals

It has nothing to do with the pointed gene - and we certainly have pointed cats that are type B in other breeds - once you outcross, you can get other types.

Ellen Crockett

Lisa, I think this is a terrific idea! If you were willing to maybe volunteer to gather a data bank of sorts.... I would suggest if any opportunity for any of us to have a kit, while routine blood work, request typing - it can't cost more, or little if anything. We could post to this list or to you personally, and if you monitored it, collected it..... There's got to be some way we can gather this info, at least for bengals if not other breeds as well. Heck, I'd even be the recipient of the data if you didn't want to, or had no time to and report to all as it redefines in stats. Anyone that is aware of blood type info presently could begin to post the info. And as we go along, anyone who gets new info add to it. Reminders posted to the list from time to time, to keep in mind to get the blood type data when possible.

Relevant info would be, breed/sex/color/pattern?/ parental blood typing (if known).

I'd say, go for it.


More than happy to let everyone know what my cats blood types are... Just let me know who to send it to.

Let's get this organized and see if everyone will participate. Lisa are you up to it? It may take time, but what the hey? Wendy

I had to have a cat transfused years ago. I asked the vet about blood types and he said that on the FIRST transfusion it was not that important. It wouldn't cause a problem. Please note that this vet as an extremely high priced specialist in Houston. People travel big distances to get to him and the truly superior services they give.


And he is DEAD wrong! Ellen Crockett

The first transfusion can cause a problem but it is very rare (almost impossible but I'd never say impossible with a cat anymore). It is usually the second one that causes problems. Then the body starts to make antibodies to the blood it is being given. It happens in dogs as well but they tend to cope better. I hope you cat was ok?


Color/pattern is probably not an issue in blood typing. Siamese are the high % blood type that they are most likely because of the degree of inbreeding within their gene pool, not because of the pointing genes.

Since Burmese, Abyssinian, Mau, Ocicat, Domestic and heaven only knows what else that no one wants to fess up to, are in the BG breed, there could be a large A/B ratio or there could be a small one ... you won't know until you have the study done.


In humans, blood type incompatibility often occurs when Rh factors differ, i.e. that positive or negative sign after the letter, A positive, B negative, etc...

Is feline blood type also typed for Rh? Do cats even have this? If so, we might as well get that information when typing our cats. I guess.....Lisa

Hi, If the bloodtype is different for both male and female, could this cause her to reabsorb?

thanks, martha

After I heard about the poor Suki, I called the nearest blood bank for animals and gave them my name and # for donations..I have a least 5 cats that would be healthy enough to give blood, domestic and if you can please call your local bank and donate for the unfortunate ones that are in need..
thank you all.. t

Dear List, Took my friend/Vet to a ballgame the other night. She was telling me about reabsorption or partially formed kittens, and that they are finding the blood types ABO incompatibility, Similar to humans. She had just read something and needed more information, but it would be worth researching if you have had problems in the past. I will be typing my cats at our next regular vet appointment and will let you know.

Bill and Patricia Loynd

List, If someone else can collect the data, I would be happy to put it on the web for everyone to check when they need to, if there is interest in having it available that way.

(I could set up an system by which everyone inputted their own data on the web, but there might be some secuirty problems---people---not list members!---deliberately inputting bad data, for example, so it might be preferable to have the data collected via e-mail and snail mail instead.)

Just an offer


Hi Nancy & list,

I have volunteered myself to be responsible for collecting the data & have had a couple of offers from people who are good with statistics to help sort it out. I’ve also had responses already from people who have or are currently having their cats blood typed. Also, I am getting feedback re: interesting resources linking blood type incompatibility to fetal reabsorbtion, fetal malformations & as already discussed here higher/ unexplained infant mortality rates. Further there has been discussion of trying to get some veterinarians involved in holding lower cost blood typing clinics if we can get groups of breeders on local levels to come on a particular day or weekend. Looks like people are interested ……..

It would be fantastic if we could have a web-site to put the results on & perhaps links to various educational resources related to this issue…….

Lisa Kostrzewa

Ahem, can't let this pass without a comment <gg>. Perhaps so, but imports from the UK and Australia were used in the U.S. Siamese lines. Remember that during WW2, moggies were used in the UK to help maintain the Siamese breed. I've read that the blue points came about by bringing Russian Blues into the Siamese gene pool. At any rate, there were outcrosses to keep the breed alive. So I wouldn't buy into the inbreeding that easily. I'm thinking that since the Meezers are such an "old breed" it could have happened by attrition. Those type B's didn't survive .....

Sheila and Archie Cox Greenmansions Bengals and Seashai Siamese ( Ariel Pet Food

I stand corrected (thanks Lisa-Maria)! I should have said Russian Blues were used with the Siamese to create the OSH.

Thanks! Sheila and Archie Cox

This website has some info on Blood Type Incompatibility & Kitten Mortality

Michelle, Royalpaws

Felines do not carry Rh factor. Only primates can have it. The Rh actually stands for Rhesus as in Rhesus monkey, which was the first animal found to have it.

Rh is a coating on the red blood cells. You either have it (Rh positive) or you don't (Rh negative). The problem in humans occurs when an Rh negative mother is carrying an Rh positive fetus. (Obviously, the father must be Rh positive in order to have donated the Rh coating gene to the fetus.) Some of the infants red blood cells leak into the mother's blood stream. Her body senses this as a foreign body and develops antibodies against the Rh coating. These antibodies attack the infant's blood cells and destroy them, causing hemolytic anemia. When it is bad enough, it will kill the infant.

With each succeding Rh positive infant she carries, the reaction gets worse and worse. The first infant is usually Ok. The next one is sick. The next one sicker. And so on until they start to die at birth and then before birth and then earlier and earlier fetal deaths until the mom just has miscarriages as fast as she gets pregnant. Henry VIII's first wife, Catherine of Aragon, undoubtedly had this problem. Her first child survived and then she lost 16 babies/pregnancies.

ABO can cause some incompatability problems in humans, but they aren't nearly as bad. Again, A and B are coatings on the red blood cells. O means you don't have a coating. A means you have the A coating. B means you have B. And AB means you have both. These are weak antigens compared to the RH antigen, however. The problem usually is seen in type O moms and you get mild jaundice in the A, B or AB infant.

Bonnie Rajahpurr Bengals

In humans, blood type incompatibility often occurs when Rh factors differ, i.e. that positive or negative sign after the letter, A positive, B negative, etc...Is feline blood type also typed for Rh? Do cats even have this? If so, we might as well get that information when typing our cats. I guess..... No, cats don't have Rh factor

Ellen Crockett

One of my older cats (not a bengal) had to have surgery last year and needed a transfusion afterwards. My vet has five cats of her own (her personal pets) and she used two of them to get the blood for the tranfusion. I'll ask her next week if she had them typed and so on. She may have been relying on the fact that most cats are "A", but on the other hand she works closely with the University of Tennessee Vet school in Knoxville and they may do typing there.


OK, I have a suggestion. Many years ago, when we did rabies titers on our cats as a project, we negotiated with one lab which agreed to give us a price break if we all sent our specimens to them. The head of the lab was also given permission to write a research paper if she so desired as a result of our testing.

It might be of benefit to all involved if someone would contact some labs and see if they can negotiate a group rate. I just took a quick look a minute ago and Kansas State University Vet Labs quote a rate of $10 for the AB blood type testing for a cat. I would imagine that that rate could be brought down to something more like $6-7 if enough people did it. And, of course, the lower the price, the more people would able to afford to test their cats and the more cats that would be tested.

There is a whole list of veterinary labs who are on-line at <>.

Bonnie, Rajahpurr Bengals

$10 seems a fair price but you'd still have to pay your vet for the blood draw, and shipping to Kansas :-)

Just curious: How many vets actually type in their office? I know that mine do not. That means that no matter what, I am going to have to pay to have the blood drawn and shipped to some lab and then pay the lab fees. I know that if I could manage financially to test all or most of my cats, I wouldn't hesitate to ask my vet if he would give me a group rate. And, if we could negotiate a group rate for testing at a lab, the only thing we would have to pay regular price for is the shipping.

Bonnie Rajahpurr Bengals

I have my cats blood typed and it is done in the vet's office. Yes I do pay for the transport but if I do one or more at once it saves . We now do blood typing in Winnipeg so I guess the cost is somewhat minimised. It is worth the heart ache.

Cheryl, Cheracat Ocicats

Hi, The Rh factor is not figured here. I understand it is the B females that cause the problems. I have recently learned from this list that other problems may exist in these matings. This has been my premise. I would like to hear from others who have experienced this difficulty. What we hear is not always the whole truth.

Cheryl, Cheracat Ocicats

I've been following this conversation with great interest. Being a health care professional (for humans) it has conjured up dozens of questions for me. Cats must be totally different from humans because giving a human a transfusion with an incompatible blood type has immediate and disasterous effects. As soon as the 2 types mix, they immediately coagulate causing massive blood clots, an acute, life threatening situation within seconds.

Also, just one of my many questions, Are there only 2 possible types in cats?

Sharrin Clark

Just to throw some more light onto the subject, I am a Bengal and Birman breeder here in New Zealand. This problem was noticed in Birmans about 10 years ago and thought to be a small problem - about 80% A, 20% B, in fact when a national testing scheme was undertaken it was found that the numbers were 60% B and 40% A.

We have never had any problems ourselves but have seen some others who have. The results are quite unmistakable - kittens go yellow and bleed from nose, mouth, anus etc.

Kittens mildly affected lose the tip of their tails.

I get annoyed with people who say it is a problem of "B" queens, it can be looked at just as easy as a problem with "A" studs!! I know the numbers of litters born before testing came in and at least 1 in 4 must have been a "bad" mating - A Stud, B Queen and this would have averaged 200 to 250 litters annually across the country (Birmans are popular here). At its height 1 to 3 litters had problems so it certainly doesn't happen all the time, not even a lot of the time, but is very distressing if it happens to you!!

We also found everyone then blaming it for every kitten death since the dark ages, so be careful - the signs are obvious and I have never heard of it past 4 days - although kittens who survived and had severe damage done to kidneys, liver etc may live a long time.

More than happy to send more info if you wish to.....

Regards David Scadden LapLepid Bengals & Magwai Birmans
Hi Gerry,
Thank you for passing on to me info on blood types, I will certainly pass it on. I blood type my breeders when they have their vaccinations.

Best wishes Stephanie, Imprints (bengal cats)
Catwalk Inn (boarding cattery)
I received an email from Auburn Veterinary College in response to an inquiry about what is being taught about cat blood typing and cross matching as well as kitten incompatibility of blood types. The Dean Dr. Timothy Boosinger was kind enough to assign the questions to a Grad Student by the name of Joseph Spano.

This is in part what he said:
Compatible Feline Blood types"
Type A Cats can receive Type A,B,AB (Aor AB being best)
Type B Cats can receive Type B only
Type AB Cats Can receive Type A, B, AB (Aor AB being best).

Type AB cats are very rare. The college seems to make the assumption that all Pedigreed cats are type B. All of the literature and text books that are currently being used state that a type B cat cannot survive a transfusion of A blood. The literature that stated otherwise is 10 years old.

Kitten Blood Type Compatibility: Joseph Spano said:

.."If the kittens receive their father's blood type, their mother may have antibodies to this blood type in the colostrum which is the first milk the newborn drinks. They then can have this problem called neonatal isoerythrolysis.

In our experience this is fairly uncommon in cats in dogs and is most frequently seen in horses."

The moral of the story is Type your cats and stick to A to A, B to B, and if you have one of those rare AB's, don't worry about it.
Hope this helps everyone,
From: Don Demeter []

Hi Folks, I got this interesting email from Suki's people today. Bottom line is that "B" type cats cannot tolerate "any transfusion of blood other than "B" blood. The thing about being able to do it just once is incorrect.
Lisa Kostrzewa, Artemis Bengals
Package Insert - Catalog # HF 105
Blood Group Determination Assay
For in vitro use

Description and Intended Use: As the practice of veterinary transfusion medicine has undergone tremendous growth in recent years, the importance of identifying blood groups in cats has increased. In particular, the demand for identifying the blood groups of Persian, Abyssinian, and other expensive breeds is on the rise, because only by predetermining the blood type of a blood transfusion recipient can potentially fatal transfusion mistakes be avoided.

One blood group system consisting of two antigens expressed either alone or in combination has been described in cats: Type A, Type B and Type AB. (1)The antigens are unrelated to human A B O antigens and are defined by feline alloimmune sera. Blood group incidence varies among breeds. Blood groups in cats are inherited as simple autosomal traits, with type A being dominant over type B. Most cats possess the A antigen, and about one-third of those have naturally occurring, low-titered, anti-B antibody. Type B cats all have a naturally occurring, highly titered anti-A antibody. A recent survey in the United States showed that the percentage of cats with the B antigen varied from 0.3% to 59% depending on the breed. (2-6) Those breeds with high frequency of blood type B are noted below:

Abyssinian 20
Birman 16
British SH 59
Devon Rex 43
Himalayan 20
Persian 24
Scottish Fold 15
Somali 22

Type AB cats are rare and since such cats have both A and B antigens on the erythrocyte membrane, they do not have or develop anti-A or anti-B antibodies.

Blood typing of cats is important in veterinary medical practice to prevent transfusion reactions (7-10) in cats with A or B erythrocytes. Cats with B erythrocytes exhibit an immediate and catastrophic systemic anaphylactic reaction (hypotension, bradycardia, apnea, urination, defecation, vomiting, and severe neurological depression) and hemolytic signs (hemoglobinemia and hemoglobinuria) when transfused with type A blood because of their natural high-titered anti-A antibody. Those cats with A erythrocytes and natural low-titered anti-B antibody will exhibit only a mild reaction when transfused with the B blood, but even this can make a difference in recovery rates in a medical situation and the transfused erythrocytes have a short life span. Other cats with A erythrocytes will not exhibit a reaction when first transfused with type B blood but will, as a result, develop moderate titers of anti-B antibody that will result in a serious reaction upon a subsequent incompatible transfusion. Cats with type AB blood do not develop transfusion reactions based on type A or type B incompatibility, and can receive either type A or type B blood.

Blood group determinations in cats is also important in making breeding decisions and in understanding medical problems in kittens. Neonatal isoerythrolysis can occur when there is blood group incompatibility between maternal and fetal blood.(11-14 )Because of the naturally occurring highly titered anti-A antibodies in type B cats, neonatal isoerythrolysis can occur in type A kittens resulting from a mating of a type B queen with a type A male. The maternal anti-type A antibody occurs in the colostrum where it can be absorbed by the newborn kitten, and consequently, destroy its erythrocytes. Clinically, the kittens can seem normal at birth, but develop signs after nursing, fade and die within the first days of life. Determining the blood groups of the queen and the tom prior to mating, coupled with appropriate genetic counseling, can minimize neonatal isoerythrolysis.
RapidVet-H (Feline) is intended for use to classify cats as blood group type A, type B, or type AB.

Principle and Explanation of the Assay: The RapidVet-H (Feline) assay is based on the agglutination reaction that occurs when an erythrocyte which contains either a type A, type B or a type AB antigen on its surface membrane interacts with a lyophilized antisera specific to the particular antigen. The material lyophilized on the Test Card is not easily visible.

Type B cats have naturally occurring highly titered antibodies specific to type A blood 14. The RapidVet-H (Feline) uses these antibodies to detect the presence of type A blood. The antibody molecule gives it the ability to cross-link and agglutinate antigens specific to type A blood.

Type A cats have only low-titered, unstable, short-lived antibodies to type B blood. (14 ) Thus antisera from type A cats is not suitable for a highly reliable test for type B blood. Type B erythrocytes are characterized by the Neu Ac2 Gd3 form of neuraminic acid present in the ganglioside and lack the Neu Gc present on type A erythrocytes. (15) The binding specificity of this form with a lectin, Triticum Vulgaris, has been established. (16) The RapidVet-H (Feline) uses the Triticum Vulgaris lectin to detect the presence of type B blood.

In both cases, the antisera lyophilized on a Test Card is reconstituted and well mixed with whole blood from the patient. All type A erythrocytes react with their specific antiserum causing agglutination; all type B erythrocytes react similarly; all type AB erythrocytes react with both antisera causing agglutination in all cases. The results are visually identified.
Reagents and Materials: This test kit contains sufficient reagents and materials to determine the blood group of 5 cats when run individually. Store upright.

5 Agglutination Test Cards. Each card has 6 visually defined wells arranged in 2 columns with one column identified as Type A and the other as Type B. Each column has 3 wells identified as "Control A," "Control B" and "Patient." The cards are packaged individually in sealed polyethylene sleeves each containing two small desiccant packages. The cards must be stored in a freezer at -20C, or they can be refrigerated at 2-7C if the cards are to be used within 2 months.
1 Bottle Diluent. The clear plastic bottle contains 3 ml of 0.02 mol/L phosphate buffered saline (PBS) at pH 7.4. The flip-top lid accurately dispenses 50 ul. Refrigerate (2-7C).
1 Bottle Control A. The white plastic bottle contains 0.75 ml of a biological material. The flip-top lid accurately dispenses 50 ul. Refrigerate (2-7C).
1 Bottle Control B. The white plastic bottle contains 0.75 ml of a biological material. The flip-top lid accurately dispenses 50 ul. Refrigerate (2-7C).
5 Bags Pipettes and Stirrers. Each polyethylene bag contains 2 plastic pipettes and 6 stirrers.
Materials Required But Not Provided: None
Reagent Preparation: None
Storage and Stability:
1. If kept in a freezer (-20C), the Agglutination Test Cards are stable for a period of 12 months from date of manufacture. Each Test Card has an imprinted expiration date. Storage in a refrigerator (2-7C) shortens the period of stability but has no detrimental effect on the assay if used within 2 months from the date of manufacture. It is not necessary to bring the Test Card to room temperature prior to use.
2. The diluent is stable for 1 year from the date of manufacture if refrigerated (2-7C). Each bottle of diluent is labeled with an expiration date.
3. The controls are stable for up to 6 months from date of preparation if refrigerated (2-7C). Each control is labeled with an expiration date. When shipped by the manufacturer, the controls have at least 5 months of shelf life.
NOTE: Each RapidVet-H (Feline) test kit is imprinted with an expiration date which represents the date of expiration of the shortest dated component in the kit. While some components may have later individual expiration dates, their use with other components from other kits is not recommended.
1. Draw a minimum of 0.4 ml blood from the patient into a syringe containing EDTA as an anticoagulant. The assay requires only 50 ul whole blood.
2. Remove the Test Card from its plastic sleeve. Save the plastic sleeve but discard the desiccant bags.
3. Write the name of the cat and the testing date on the card.
4. Place the Test Card on a flat surface.
5. Dispense 1 drop of diluent (50 ul) from the flip-top bottle into each well. The diluent assists in the reconstitution of the lyophilized material.
6. Gently swirl the bottles containing the controls and the patient sample to resuspend any solid material.
7. Flip open the top of the control bottles and place them on table in front of the Test Card.
8. Dispense 1 drop (50 ul) of Control A into well marked Control A/Type A and another drop into the well marked Control A/Type B. Using a stirrer, spread and mix the materials within one of the wells for about 10 seconds. When using the stirrer, press downward to reconstitute the material lyophilized on the card. Take a new stirrer and similarly spread and mix the materials within the other well for about 10 seconds. Discard the stirrers in a safe manner.
9. Dispense 1 drop (50 ul) of Control B into the well marked Control B/Type A and another drop into the well marked Control B/Type B. Using a stirrer, spread and mix the materials within one of the wells for about 10 seconds, pressing downward. Take a new stirrer and spread and mix the materials within the other well for about 10 seconds in the same manner. Discard the stirrers in a safe manner.
10. Aspirate a small amount of patient sample into the pipette and release 1 drop (50 ul) into each of the 2 wells marked Patient. Using a stirrer, spread and mix the materials within one of the wells for about 10 seconds, pressing downward. Take a new stirrer and similarly spread and mix the materials within the other well for about 10 seconds. Discard the pipette and the stirrers in a safe manner. (See Note 2 for correct use of the pipette).
11. Rock the card with a transaxial motion for 2 minutes, being sure that the materials are mixing and "rotating" within each well.
12. Set the card at a 30 - 45 angle to allow excess blood to run to the bottom of the wells.
13. Read the results and note the wells where gross agglutination has occurred.
14. After the materials on the card have dried, replace the card in its plastic sleeve for a permanent record.
15. Before replacing the control bottles in the box, tap each bottle firmly on the table to cause residual liquid in the dropper snout to fall back into the bottle. Store upright.
Results: If the assay was run correctly, visible, gross agglutination should have occurred in the well marked Control A/ Type A and in the well marked Control B/ Type B.
If the patient sample shows gross agglutination in Column A, the cat tested has blood group A. If the patient sample shows gross agglutination in Column B, the cat tested has blood group B. If the patient sample shows gross agglutination in both Column A and Column B, the cat tested has blood group AB.
NOTE 1: Any fine, granular appearance developing after 2 minutes should be disregarded in determining the results. The character of the agglutination in the Type B well is different from that in the Type A well. Agglutination in the Type B well usually includes a small number of large, tight globs. The agglutination in the Type A well will usually be in the form of a large number of discrete small aggregations or a moderate number of amoebic aggregations.
NOTE 2: Use of the pipette: Hold the plastic tube between thumb and forefinger near the flat, sealed end, squeeze tightly and do not release pressure. Hold the specimen tube vertically and place the open end of the plastic tube below the surface of the specimen. Release finger pressure to draw up the sample.
Next, hold the pipette in a perpendicular position directly over the well to which the sample is to be delivered. Squeeze gently and allow 1 free drop to fall into the well (50 ul). Each pipette is designed to expel slightly in excess of 50 ul to compensate for a small amount of specimen retained by the stirrer.
Repeat for the second well.
Use each pipette for only one patient sample, then discard. Under no circumstance should the pipette be used for more than one sample as cross-contamination will occur, and the test results will be inaccurate.
NOTE 3: At times, due to improper handling (see "15" above) fibrin filaments may form in the snout of a control bottle. The diameter of the bore of the snout is such that it is unlikely that an available pin or needle will penetrate the bore. The extra pipettes are provided as a precautionary measure. The top of a dropper bottle can be unscrewed and a pipette used to dispense 50 ul of the control.
Limitations of the Procedure:
1. To obtain accurate results it is essential that correct procedure be followed.
2. Always use a new dispensing pipette for each specimen and a new stirrer for each well. Reusing the devices will cause cross-contamination and inaccurate results.
3. Always run the controls on each Test Card even if testing several patients and using several Test Cards. The controls are used as evidence that the assay has been performed correctly, to provide comparison results and to create a proper permanent record.
4. The stability of the individual components of the kit varies. Store the components as indicated on the labels. Do not use any component beyond the indicated expiration date. Use of expired materials may cause unreliable results.
5. The diluent is provided in a bottle with a flip-top lid to minimize inadvertent bacterial or other contamination. Diluent from other sources in the laboratory should not be utilized.
6. The physical integrity of the patient sample is critical to correct results.
7. Always draw a minimum of 0.4 ml blood into a lavender tube containing EDTA. Less blood will cause too high a concentration of EDTA in the specimen to be tested.
Known Interfering Substances: None
Performance Characteristics: A total of 391 feline erythrocyte samples, randomly chosen, were tested on the RapidVet-H (Feline) assay. Of these, 370 were determined to be type A, 15 were determined to be type B and 6 were determined to be type AB. The results conform to results obtained by cross-matching with known antisera and by other reference methods.
Disposal: Dispose of all biological materials in a safe and approved manner.
Quality Control: All reagents and materials incorporated into this kit have been quality controlled by standard testing procedures using a routine quality control program during manufacture.
1. Auer L, Bell K: The AB blood group system in cats. Anim Blood Grps Biochem Genet 12:287, 1981
2. Giger U, Kilrain CG, Filippich LJ, Bell K: Frequencies of feline blood groups in the United States. J. Am Vet Med Assoc 195:1230, 1989
3. Holmes R: The occurrence of blood groups in cats. J Exp Biol 30:350, 1953
4. Ikemoto S, Sakurai Y: Individual difference within the cat blood group detected by isohemagglutinin. Jpn J Vet Sci 43:433 1981
5. Ejima H, Kurokawa K, Ikemoto S: Feline red blood cell groups detected by naturally occurring isoantibody. Jpn Vet Sci 48:971 1986
6. Giger U, Bucheler J, Patterson DF: Frequency and inheritance of A and B blood types in feline breeds in the United States. J Hered 82:15, 1991
7. Giger U, Akol KG: Acute hemolytic transfusion reaction in an Abyssinian cat with blood type B. J Vet intern Med 4:315, 1990
8. Bucheler J, Giger U: Transfusion of type A and B blood in cats. Proc 8th ACVIM Forum, Washington DC, May 1990, p 1113
9. Wilkerson MJ, Wardrop KJ, Giger U, Myers KM: Two cat colonies with A and B blood types and a clinical transfusion reaction. Feline Pract 19:22, 1991
10. Auer L, Bell K, Coates S: Blood transfusion reactions in the cat. J Am Vet Med Assoc 180:729, 1982
11. Hubler M, Kaelin S, Hagen A, Fairburn A, Canfield P, Ruesch P: Feline neonatal isoerythrolysis in two litters. J Small Anim Pract 28:833, 1987
12. Cain GR, Suzuki Y: Presumptive neonatal isoerythrolysis in cats. J Am Vet Med Assoc 187:46, 1985
13. Gandolfi RC: Feline neonatal isoerythrolysis: A case report. Calif Vet 42:March/April, 1988
14. Giger U: Feline blood groups and incompatibility reactions. Proc 8th ACVIM Forum, Washington DC, May 1990, p319
15. Andrews GA, Chavey PS, Smith JE, Rich L: N-Glycolylneuraminic Acid and N-Acetylneuraminic Acid Define Feline Blood Group A and B Antigens. Blood, 79,9:2485-2491, 1992
16. Butler M, Andrews GA, Smith JE: Reactivity of lectins with feline erythrocytes. Comp Haematol Int 1:217, 1991
Manufactured under license from:
dms/agrolabo products ag
Neuhausen am Rheinfall, Switzerland
Manufactured under U.S. Patent #5,143,826 by:
dmslaboratories, inc.
2 Darts Mill Road
Flemington, NJ 08822
Tel.: (908) 782-3353
(800) 567-4367
Fax.: (908) 782-0832
RapidVet is a trademark of dmslaboratories, inc.
Printed in the USA

Don Demeter wrote:

I have been reading with interest all the comments on lockets, tail faults and genetic disasters in our breed. I however think that we are overlooking a much more fundamental, if more easily solved, problem that is very wide spread among breeders.
It is now scientifically proven that when you breed your "B" Blood type Females with "A" Blood type Males, you will lose all of your "A" Blood type Kittens. Yes this is the famous "Fading Kitten Syndrome. The Colostrum kills the "A" Blood type Kittens.
You may have heard my story about my girl "B" Type Suki dying from a transfusion of "A" blood. This is what prompted me to research the subject. She also lost her first kitten. It was a very healthy looking Boy who just faded out and died in 5 days. I have heard of breeders getting out of breeding because they are sick of watching kittens die. This is also partially what prompted this post.

As we all know kittens die from a number of things. However, I would bet that 50% of all kitten mortality is caused by breeding incompatible blood types.

Now let me be clear, I understand some breeders reluctance to type their cats and limit there chances of breeding with top ranked Bengals. I also understand that there is a business aspect involved. I won't throw stones at anyone whose approach is "Yeah, I lose some kittens but the ones that make it will be top notch and typie.

However for those who are bothered by losing kittens, type your cats and breed "B" Types to "B" Types or those rare "AB" Types. If your females are "A" Types you have nothing to worry about. Incidentally, ask you vet why he charges $80.00 to type your cat when there is a kit available that does 5 tests for $15.00 right on the premises.
Don Demeter
Not true! For reasons unknown and impossible to predict, some type A kittens from B dams are not affected.

“The Colostrum kills the "A" Blood type Kittens.”

Nope - not colostrum - it is the antibodies in the milk - which are present in all stages of lactation. The major factor is the kitten's ability to process the antibodies - which ends by the time they are 18 hours old. Breeders have made the mistake of fostering the kittens on a queen with an older litter - and if that queen is type B there will still be problems due to the antibodies in the milk.

In some breeds you are probably correct - in others not. It is VERY easy to lay fading kittens at the door of blood type incompatibility - and not always correct.

Actually ABs breed as A.

Ellen Crockett
I was relying on the research done by DMG Laboratories in Switzerland. I only know if you take the precautions that I suggested you will not lose kittens to incompatible blood types. You can review the product insert at .
Don Demeter

The blood typing kits are not accurate. It should only cost about $20.00 to sent blood into the lab and have it typed (it costs $18 here so I can’t imagine it being more expensive there.. it just doesn’t work).
and that cost is just for the labwork! I also wonder why they have to draw 20cc of blood out of a cat's juggler vein. why that much? my cats had to be anesthetized for the procedure, for obvious safety reasons, so the bill was even higher. and mine wasn't an isolated case. that seems to be the standard. why are the kits inaccurate? they HAVE to use the kits in some cases. if a cat needs a transfusion, that is an emergency situation.

Sending 20cc of blood to a lab and waiting a week for the results doesn't exactly work very well, I'm afraid. $18.00 sheesh! I was told everything was way more expensive in New Zealand!
pearl []
My reply was based upon research done at the University of Pennsylvania, one of the first research centers to do work on blood groups in cats, and the one that has led the way in this research for many years - I would never base a reply like that on personal experience.

I do breed Devon Rex, which have a large percentage of type B cats. Under those circumstances, I have followed the research very closely since it was first begun, and have reports sent to me directly by the U of PA.
Ellen Crockett
I asked one of my vets about blood typing in an emergency situation and his solution was so simple.
He mixes the blood from the 2 cats together-out side of the cats-if it clumps up he doesn't transfuse. This doesn't tell what type they are but it sure is simple for compatibility and can avoid the problems.
Robin -
Dear Ellen and list!

As I previously mentioned on the list several month ago, blood typing is
mandatory in many European countries amongst reputable breeders of any breed.
No reputable breeder will do stud service without it. I heard it had
decreased mortality rate in kittens and health problems.
I was very disappointed to learn that here in the United States not only is
it not common practice but it is also almost impossible to find a vet who
does it. The vets I around here have to send the blood work to Maryland and
charge an arm and a leg for it.

I can hardly wait to get back home to Austria in March and have it done.
Should I decide to use my boy for stud services (many people have asked me
too but I have not decided to stud out yet) then I definitely would do the
blood typing here and expect the same from the owner of the queen.
In my humble opinion I think we all should blood type. Even if not as
affordable then in other countries it is a lot cheeper and less painful in
the long run then flying without a net and taking risks.
Well, this is just my humble opinion.

Sincere Greetings,
Eva Weissberg, EvasParadise Bengals
Blood typing should be mandatory in breeds with a high incidence of
type B cats - in breeds with a very low incidence (Siamese for
example) it could be considered a waste of money. In breeds that fall
into that vast middle range, it is debatable whether it is cost
effective for breeders who have never had difficulty with fading

I believe the U of PA charges $20 - and that is in addition to
whatever your vet charges to draw the blood and the cost to ship it
there. The test strips don't seem to have a very good level of
accuracy (based on Devon breeders who have tried them) and even some
of the other labs which have done the testing have been known to make
Ellen Crockett

This discussion was collated from the Bengal-List
by Gerry in Oz
Besotted with Bengals


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