Between October 1999 and February 2000, 691 blood samples examined routinely for either haematological or virological assessment were screened by culture for the presence of Bartonella species. They came from 615 animals: 360 cats, 211 dogs, 27 horses, 16 cattle and a gorilla. The samples were incubated for long periods on 10 per cent horse blood agar at 37°C in an atmosphere containing 5 per cent carbon dioxide. Isolates were obtained from 35 samples from 34 (9·4 per cent) of the cats, but not from any of the other animals. Comparison of citrate synthase gene sequences from the isolates indicated that they were all Bartonella henselae. Analysis of 16S rRNA gene fragments indicated that 30 of the cats were infected solely with B henselae genotype II, two were infected solely with B henselae genotype I and two were infected with both genotypes.