Buffy coat preparation from six cats with 600-4560 circulating eosinophils/μL was collected by either blood centrifugation or sedimentation, fixed in 2.5% glutaraldehyde, post-fixed in either 1% osmium or in 1.5% potassium ferrocyanide-reduced osmium, ultra-sectioned and examined by transmission electron microscopy. Ultrastructural changes of piecemeal degranulation (PMD), which is a mechanism of eosinophil granule contents release indicative of eosinophil activation, were observed in specific granules from all the samples examined. The spectrum of PMD included coarsening of the granule matrix, budding vesicles, fragmented granule cores and lucent granules. The number of presumably activated eosinophils with ultrastructural evidence of PMD did not correlate with the level of eosinophilia. The lack of correlation suggested that, analogously with humans, blood eosinophil count might not represent the best criterion to evaluate the contribution of eosinophils to tissue damage in certain feline eosinophil-associated diseases. © 2003 Elsevier Science Ltd. All rights reserved.