A cat from Cheshire has been saved from an autoimmune condition thanks to a blood donation from her brother and intense treatment at a Runcorn animal hospital. 

One-year-old Mabel had been rushed to Linnaeus-owned Northwest Veterinary Specialists (NWVS) with severe anaemia, reduced white blood cell count and platelet counts, lethargy and a lack of appetite. 

Initial investigations revealed Mabel was suffering from an autoimmune condition in which the body attacks its own red blood cells in the bone marrow before they are released into the circulation. 

Mabel needed an urgent blood transfusion before the investigations could be completed, however, in the UK there isn’t a blood bank for felines as is the case with dogs, so the blood for the transfusion was donated by Mabel’s brother Jefferson. 

Once the diagnosis was made, Mabel was started on a suppressive medication to stop her immune system attacking its red blood cells and she has responded incredibly well. 

Mabel’s owner, Jayne White from Widnes, said: “There wasn’t a donor cat able to give blood, so we were asked for Mabel’s brother Jefferson to be brought over to test if he was a match for her. Incredibly, he was a match and was able to donate his blood, saving his sister’s life.” 

Francesca Venier, internal medicine specialist at NWVS, said: “Thanks to Jefferson, we were able to complete the investigations and start Mabel on treatment. 

“Her anaemia improved and we were able to send her back home after four days of hospitalisation. 

“Mabel continues to do well and she is back playing in the garden with Jefferson. She is still on treatment but we are hoping to wean her off medications soon.” 

NWVS is calling on cat owners to see if their pet is suitable to be added to its feline blood donor list. Donor cats have to meet certain criteria, such as being fit and healthy, not on any medication, never travelled outside the UK or Ireland and have a good temperament, to be considered. 

Those interested in registering their feline friend as a potentially lifesaving blood donor should email Leanne at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Mabel’s owner Jayne added: “Everyone we came into contact with at NWVS was helpful, lovely and kind. Even when Mabel was discharged, Francesca has called to check on Mabel’s progress.” 

NWVS itself is recognised as a gold level cat-friendly clinic (CFC) by the International Society of Feline Medicine. 

Steps the hospital has taken to reduce stress in cats, both as in-patients and out-patients, include creating separate dog and cat waiting areas, a separate cat consulting room, feline-friendly hospitalisation cages, and using veterinary equipment specifically for treating cats, such as small scales and quiet clippers. 

Most importantly, staff are encouraged to approach and handle cats sensitively and respectfully

NWVS is one of the UK’s leading specialist-led animal hospitals. It offers care in anaesthesia and analgesia, diagnostic imaging, internal medicine, neurology and neurosurgery, oncology, orthopaedics and soft tissue surgery. 

For more information on Northwest Veterinary Specialists, visit www.nwspecialists.com or search for Northwest Veterinary Specialists on social media.

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