Cats blood group
In cats there are 3 blood groups: A, B and AB.
Group A is largely the most common while Group B is much less common. The AB group is very rare.
The geographical origin of the cats would also have an influence on the frequencies of the different blood groups.
The blood group is of genetic origin and is predominantly determined by the CMAH gene. There are several versions of this gene (allele) A, AB or b.
Each individual carries 2 alleles of this gene.
Which test to choose: blood group DNA or serology?
Your goal is breeding
If you are a breeder, you need to choose this blood group test by DNA in order to make the right breeding choices for your breeders. The serological blood test will not protect you from neonatal erythrolysis. there is also a specific blood group DNA test for Ragdoll
Your cat must be transfused
If your cat needs to be transfused, you must choose the blood group test by serology to protect you from blood incompatibilities.
Correspondence between blood group and genotypes
|Blood Group (Serotyping)||A||B||AB|
|DNA mutation test b (Genotyping)||non-b/non-b||non-b/non-b||non-b/b||b/b||non-b/non-b||non-b/b|
The A allele is dominant on the AB allele which is dominant on the b allele
Blood group and neonatal erythrolysis
Unlike humans, there is no rhesus or universal donor in cats.
Group A cats have autoantibodies against group B (antiB), and conversely group B cats have autoantibodies against group A (antiA). Cats in the AB group do not have autoantibodies.
Neonatal erythrolysis of the kitten occurs mainly when the mother is in group B and the father is in group A. Group A kittens take their mother’s group A (antiA) autoantibodies while breastfeeding maternal milk. The red blood cells of the kitten are destroyed and it dies quickly.
The opposite case also exists (mother of group A and kitten of group B) but it causes reactions less important.
Blood group and blood transfusion
Transfusing a group B cat with blood from a group A cat results in the death of the recipient after a few minutes causing acute haemolytic anemia.
Conversely, transfusing a group B cat with blood from a group A cat does not lead to such a important reaction: there is a decrease in the life of red blood cells.
Blood transfusion in a cat
Blood group crossings by DNA
The DNA test is used to determine whether the breeding stock (mother and father) are b / b (blood group B), non-b / b (blood group A or AB) or non-b / non-b (blood type A or AB).
In the cross-breeding table below, it can be seen that the DNA test makes it easy to choose breeding stock for breeding to avoid neonatal erythrolysis.
|Mother b/b||Mother non-b/b||Mother non-b/non-b|
|Father b/b||100% of kittens b/b|
Frequency of blood groups in different breeds of cat
|Group A||Group B||Group AB|
|Abyssin||86 à 95 %||3 à 14 %||< 1 %|
|American Shorthair||99 à 100 %||0 à 1%||< 1 %|
|Sacré de Birmanie||82 à 87 %||9 à 18 %||< 1 %|
|British Shorthair||60 à 64 %||35 à 36 %||< 1 %|
|Burmese||99 à 11 %||0 à 1 %||< 1 %|
|Cornish Rex||~67 %||~33 %||< 1 %|
|Devon Rex||56 à 59 %||41 à 44 %||< 1 %|
|Ecotic Shorthair||73 à 100 %||0 à 27 %||< 1 %|
|Himalayan||~94 %||~6 %||< 1 %|
|Bobtail Japonais||~84 %||~16 %||< 1 %|
|рэгдолл||~58 %||~29 %||< 1 %|
|Maine Coon||94 à 97 %||3 à 6 %||< 1 %|
|Norvégien||93 à 100 %||0 à 7 %||< 1 %|
|Oriental||~100 %||< 1 %||< 1 %|
|Persan||73 à 86 %||13 à 14 %||< 1 %|
|Bleu Russe||~100 %||< 1 %||< 1 %|
|Scottish Fold||~81 %||~19 %||< 1 %|
|Siamois||~100 %||< 1 %||< 1 %|
|Somali||77 à 82 %||17 à 18 %||< 1 %|
|Sphynx||~83 %||~17 %||< 1 %|
|Tonkinois||~100 %||< 1 %||< 1 %|
|Angora Turc||~100 %||< 1 %||< 1 %|
Source: Université de Pennsylvanie
The optimized test at Genimal
The methods conventionally used to test the blood group of cats by DNA are not 100% reliable.
The work of the Tasker team in 2014 clearly demonstrates that the analysis of 5’UTR Δ-53 or G139A mutations carried out by the laboratories leads to discordant results observed by some breeders.
The research team Tasker et al. demonstrate that the C136T mutation must also be analyzed in addition to one of the mutations above.
The GENIMAL laboratory now offers you, for the blood group test by DNA, the analysis of the C136T mutation in addition to the G139A mutation.
Type of sample
- Buccal swab
- Blood in EDTA tube
- Blood in dry tube
Available breeds for the test : Cat Blood Group by DNA
The following breeds are recognized :
- American Curl
- American Shorthair
- American Wirehair
- Autre Race
- Bleu Russe
- Bobtail Americain
- Bobtail Des Kouriles
- Bobtail Japonais
- British Longhair
- British Shorthair
- Burmese Americain
- Burmese Anglais
- Californian Rex
- Californian Spangled
- Cornish Rex
- Devon Rex
- Exotic Shorthair
- German Rex
- Havana Brown
- Highland Fold
- Highland Straight
- 31 other breeds are available. Display all these breeds.
Certificate example for the test : Cat Blood Group by DNA
Click on the example certificate below to open it.
Bighignoli B., Niini T., Grahn R. A., Pedersen N. C., Millon L. V., Polli M., Longeri M., Lyons L. A.: Cytidine monophospho-N-acetylneuraminic acid hydroxylace (CMAH) mutations associated with domectic cat AB blood group. BMC Genet. 2007 Jun 6;8:27.
Tasker S., Barker E.N., Day M.J., and Helps C.R., Feline blood genotyping versus phenotyping, and detection of non-AB blood type incompatibilities in UK cats.J Small Anim Pract, 2014.55(4): p. 185–9