Wild felids blood group system

Ana Silvestre-Ferreira*, Josep Pastor Milan

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articleResearchpeer-review


Wild felids and domestic cats share the AB blood group. However, there have been few studies regarding the characterization and prevalence of the different blood types in wild animals. The erythrocyte membrane glycolipids of the wild cats correspond to the major disialoganglioside patterns observed in domestic cats. Like in domestic cats, type A blood seems to be the most common, although wild felid species seem to exhibit one single blood type. Of the species studied, the wild domestic cats, and the Panthera and ocelot lineages, all had type A blood; the Puma lineage showed almost exclusively type B blood. The prevalence of wild felids blood types show that there seems to be variation between species, but not within species, and no evidence of geographical variation has yet been found, showing apparently no genetic variability. The presence of alloantibodies has also been demonstrated, so the risk of life-threatening transfusion reactions due to mismatched transfusions and neonatal isoerythrolysis is a possibility. Like in other species, the recognition of wild felids blood groups is clinically relevant, as it can also be important in establishing phylogenetic relationships within the Felidae family. We will review the current knowledge on this topic and give insights into the wild felids blood groups potential for zoo transfusion medicine and phylogenetic studies in order to help support reintroduction projects and to preserve genetic diversity.

Original languageEnglish
Article number3533
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - Dec 2021


  • Alloantibody
  • Blood transfusion
  • Blood type
  • Cat
  • wild felids


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