Anemia in Cats | PetFirst
Pet Care & Health

Anemia in Cats

by PetFirst Pet Insurance
2 years ago

What is Feline Anemia?

Anemia in cats means they have a decrease in red blood cells. In a healthy cat, bone marrow responds to a low red blood cell count and increases the red blood cell production. If a cat has nonregenerative anemia, this means the bone marrow response is not sufficient enough to produce a high enough red blood cell count.

Cat being held in its owner's arm

Are Any Breeds More Prone to Feline Anemia?

No, there is no particular breed prone to feline anemia. Cats who have Feline Leukemia or Feline Immunodeficiency Disease are more prone to developing anemia.

Causes of Anemia in Cats

The causes of feline anemia range but in many cases, the anemia is caused by feline leukemia, feline immunodeficiency disease or lead poisoning. Other causes include bone marrow disease, kidney failure, cancer or drug reactions.

Symptoms of Anemia in Cats

Symptoms of feline anemia include:

  • Depression
  • Lethargic behavior
  • Pale ears
  • Pale gums
  • Excessive sleeping
  • Lack of grooming
  • Lack of appetite
  • Increased heart rate
  • Rapid breathing

Diagnosis and Treatment

Anemia is generally a symptom of a disease. This means the diagnosis is based upon your cat’s medical history, symptoms, physical examination, urinalysis and blood screen. If a cat is found to be anemic, the underlying disease is then treated. In some cases, the veterinarian may recommend the owner to restrict exercise as well as a blood transfusion.

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