‘I can haz blood?’ The surprising world of pet blood transfusions

Don Juan, Napoleon, Gucci, Azur, and Marissa are very friendly and will rush to welcome anyone who enters their room, and that’s what makes them good blood donors. “I chose them for their hematological characteristics, but also for their good disposition. We didn’t want cats that would be stressed when handled or that needed excessive sedation,” said Dr. Marie-Claude Blais, Professor at the University of Montreal’s Faculty of Veterinary Medicine. Where they are housed, the five cats (four males and one female) can climb to the top of their trapeze and out into the yard through a cat flap. They can lounge on a hammock all day long or play cat and mouse. What is more, the door to their room is never locked, so they can get their daily dose of hugs, a benefit not necessarily stipulated in their contract.

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