Osteosarcoma is considered the most common bone cancer in cats and dogs, with cats having a much better prognosis than dogs, since the great majority of dogs with osteosarcoma develop distant metastases. In search of a factor possibly contributing to this disparity, the stem cell growth factor receptor KIT was targeted, and the messenger (m)RNA and protein expression levels of KIT were compared in canine vs. feline osteosarcomas, as well as in normal bone. The mRNA expression of KIT was quantified by reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction, and was observed to be significantly higher in canine (n=14) than in feline (n=5) osteosarcoma samples (P<0.001). KIT protein expression was evaluated by immunohistochemistry, which revealed that 21% of canine osteosarcoma samples did not exhibit KIT staining in their neoplastic cells, while in 14% of samples, a score of 1 (<10% positive tumour cells) was observed, and in 50% and 14% of samples, a score of 2 (10-50% positivity) and 3 (>50% positivity), respectively, was observed. By contrast, the cancer cells of all the feline bone tumour samples analysed were entirely negative for KIT. Notably, canine and feline osteocytes of healthy bone tissue lacked any KIT expression. These results could be the first evidence that KIT may be involved in the higher aggressiveness of canine osteosarcoma compared with feline osteosarcoma.