19 April 2023

low white blood cell count in cats

By Donald

low white blood cell count in cats

There are many health conditions that involve cats. Now, if a cat’s first line of defense, the white blood cells, is affected, it can be really difficult. A low white blood cell count in cats can mean a number of things. Don’t worry though, as there are some symptoms to look out for in detecting this condition in cats. You can learn more about low white blood cell counts in cats as you read further.

Understanding the soldier inside your cat

In humans, white blood cells act as a defense mechanism against foreign substances that can disrupt the natural flow of body processes. They are often called soldiers, because as soon as an unrecognized organism is detected in the body, white blood cells rush to the location of the foreign body and immediately destroy it. That’s what it does to cats, too.

Does it affect both male and female cats?

Low white blood cell counts in cats have nothing to do with gender, age, or breed. All cats are at risk for this condition. This is because cats are susceptible to a number of diseases that cause low white blood cell counts.

To better illustrate this, imagine a cat with fleas. Due to their parasitic relationship, the presence of fleas on cats can eventually lead to a low white blood cell count. In this particular case, we were lucky that the problem could be minimized by addressing the flea infestation with flea treatments. But in some cases, it can be worse, and it can take a long time to properly address a low white blood cell count.

symptom low white blood cells

We say that a low white blood cell count is the result of a variety of diseases. Therefore, it is safe to say that the symptoms that we will be discussing here are only general and broad. The symptoms that your cat will display will depend on the health problem or illness that he is experiencing. Here are some symptoms:

  1. loss of appetite leading to weight loss

  2. gingivitis and pale gums

  3. Vomit

  4. diarrhea with dehydration

  5. epileptic attack

  6. drowsiness and feeling weak

  7. A noticeable change in the cat’s behavior.


Causes of Low White Blood Cells

There are many reasons why a cat’s white blood cell count can drop dangerously low. Here are some things to keep in mind:

Viral infection

Viral infections such as feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) and feline infectious peritonitis (FIP). These types of viral infections are directly related to white blood cells, as they invade cells to make copies of themselves. This ability makes the virus undetectable to white blood cells, mustering their strength while depleting them in the process.

Bacterial infections

As mentioned above, infections caused by viruses are not the only cause of low white blood cell counts in cats. Bacterial infections can also cause a cat’s white blood cell count to drop. These include respiratory infections, sepsis, abscesses or ulcers, and swelling.

bone marrow disease

This is the source of energy that produces white blood cells. If there were complications at the power plant itself, it would be quite a difficult situation. With these disorders, the tissues that make white blood cells are destroyed, resulting in a low white blood cell count.

The bone marrow, which produces white blood cells at a very rapid rate, can be targeted by the panleukopenia virus, or what many call feline parvovirus, due to the virus’s aggressiveness against rapidly dividing cells.


A low white blood cell count is not always related to the development of a disease or any other health complication. It can also end up being caused by the stress and discomfort the cat may be feeling. Unnecessary suffering is also a plausible suspicion.

They say prevention is better than cure

Before it’s too late, you’d better address the possible causes and take steps to prevent them. Take steps to prevent viruses and bacteria your cat may come into contact with. Keep an eye on what your cat eats, make sure she has a balanced diet, and even give her vitamins and supplements.

Remember that all the data presented here is just a compilation of information from the internet, be careful when using it. Always consult an expert before making a decision about the health of your pets.