Cat Veins

Cat Veins


NOTE: Although not a complete list of all of the veins of the cat, these are the major veins that you should be able to identify.  For the vessels listed, “v.” indicates an unpaired vein; “vv.” indicates a pair of veins.  In addition, to view and print off online color digital photos of the vessels of cats from IVCC’s Biology lab, go to:


I.          Coronary vv. - (in general); veins that drain the heart muscle


II.          Anterior vena cava (precava)

            Vessels draining into the precava include:


            A.        Right brachiocephalic (innominate) v.


            B.        Left brachiocephalic (innominate) v.


            C.        Internal mammary (internal thoracic or sternal) v. - drains the ventral chest wall


            D.        Azygous v. - drains the dorsal wall of the thoracic activity


            E.        Intercostal vv.


III.         Vessels draining into the brachiocephalic (innominate) veins:


            A.        Vertebral vv.


            B.        Subclavian vv.


            C.        External jugular vv. – the larger, more lateral vessel

                        1.         internal jugular vv. (often reduced or absent in the cat)

                        2.         transverse jugular v. – connects the two external jugular vv.

                        3.         transverse scapular vv. - drain into external jugular vv.

                                    a.         cephalic vv. (drains into the transverse scapular vv.)


IV.        There are two major vessels draining into the subclavian veins:


            A.        Subscapular vv. - drain shoulder region


            B.        Axillary vv.

                        1.         long thoracic vv. - drain blood from the pectoral region into the axillary vv.


V.        Brachial vv. – drain into the axillary vv. – located along the brachium next to the brachial aa.

VI.        Posterior Vena Cava (postcava) – connects to right atrium


            A.        Hepatic portal system (injected with yellow latex)


The posterior (inferior) mesenteric v. drains into the anterior (superior) mesenteric v., which joins the gastrosplenic v. to form the hepatic portal v..  The hepatic portal vein drains blood into the liver.  This blood is rich in nutrients and poorly oxygenated.


            B.        Adrenal (adrenolumbar) vv.


            C.        Renal vv.


D.        Gonadal veins: spermatic (testicular) vv. in male cats or ovarian vv. in female cats

                        *Note the left gonadal v. drains blood into the left renal v.


            E.        Iliolumbar vv.


VII.       Vessels serving the lower extremities which drain into the posterior vena cava:


            A.        Common iliac vv.


            B.        Internal iliac vv.


            C.        External iliac vv.


            D.        Femoral vv.


            E.        Great saphenous vv.










Last Updated 12/31/06


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