When you peek into your cat’s litterbox and see a red pigment, you might think it’s just something she ate but the moment you realize that it is blood, panic will most definitely arise. When your cat has bloody stools, you should be immediately concerned.
What could be the problem? Should you call the vet? Reasons for blood being in your cat’s stool may vary, with some being graver than others. Identifying these reasons will help you get the appropriate treatment for your cat.
Why Does My Cat Have Bloody Stools?
So, here are a few reasons why there is blood in the poop:
If your cat has diarrhea, it could be experiencing irritation of the lower gastrointestinal tract’s lining, which then leads to bleeding. Diarrhea or soft stools are sometimes followed by some blood in the stool.
If you have been constipated before, you know the pain and strain it takes to get all the stuff out. Cats are not different and, after too much strain, the blood vessels in the tract begin to rupture. When this happens, you will notice that the stool has a hard appearance, is small, and has some blood covering it.
Stress, parasites, infections, foreign bodies, toxin exposure, sudden dietary changes, and inflammatory bowel disease are all causes of diarrhea and constipation. Stool from diarrhea is usually watery, which is why a lot of diarrhea causes dehydration. Dehydration is a cause of constipation, and so happens when your cat has not taken enough fluids. Chronic constipation leads to enlargement of the intestines due to the accumulation of fecal matter, a condition known as megacolon.
A more serious cause of bloody stools for your cat is the presence of growths like cysts, polyps, and tumors. These growths, found mostly in the gastrointestinal tract or intestines, may bleed from time to time, and the blood will then be passed through the stool.
Dark-colored stools that look like coffee grounds may also be a sign of a problem. You may not think it is blood at first because of the dark appearance because digested blood is dark, even if only partially digested. Therefore, dark blood in the poop may point to some bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract- could be the stomach or small intestines.
Sometimes, there may be blood droplets in the litter box or on its sides. In this case, it is not safe to assume that it’s related to the stool. A possible reason for this could be a urinary tract infection (UTI) which may cause blood in the urine. If you aren’t sure of the source of the blood, it would be a good idea to take your cat to your vet.
What to do If Your Cat Has Bloody Stools
The first course of action to take when you notice abnormal bowel movement should be contacting your vet, regardless of whether or not blood is in the stool. You may also notice blood once after the stool has been normal for a while. In this case, you will need to monitor your cat for one or two days. If blood appears in the stool again, or if your cat begins to show illness signs, then contact the vet.
If there has been diarrhea for more than a day, you need to visit your vet so that the root cause can be identified. This is an important action to take even though there has not been any blood in the stool.
Your cat may also not have had bowel movements for a day or two and may appear to be straining to defecate. Now, this is a sign of constipation, which may cause bleeding in the gastrointestinal lining, as we mentioned earlier. You should report such discomfort to your vet so that the symptoms can be alleviated. Meanwhile, it would be a good idea to add a lot of fiber to your cat’s diet so that constipation can be avoided.
Finally, you must follow your vet’s advice on parasite screening, which is often done at least once a year. However, if your cat has been having abnormal stools too many times not to cause worry, the vet may recommend more screening.
Treatment of abnormal stools in cats is directly proportional to the root cause of the presence of blood. If it was something to do with a problem with the gastrointestinal tract, the vet will prescribe medications, supplements, and perhaps a change of diet, if necessary. If there was a problem with the urinary tract, medications for the same will also be recommended. Constipation is usually treated with medication, but your vet will recommend an increase of fiber in your cat’s diet. Sometimes, your cat will need to be put on probiotics for some time.
Note that these remedies apply only if no acute illness was detected. Otherwise, further action may need to be taken.
Frequently Asked Questions On Cat Bloody Stools
What happens at the vet?
Once you arrive at the vet, they will conduct a full examination of your cat. Next, they will collect a stool sample, after which it will be checked for bacterial overgrowth and internal parasites. Lab tests may also be recommended to check whether there may be a problem with organ function, blood cells, and the urinary tract. Sometimes, your vet will do an ultrasound to examine the abdomen properly.
Many cat owners who notice blood in their pets’ stools may ignore it and assume that it will go away on its own. But this should not be the case. Bloody stools in cats may have more serious causes other than dietary causes.
More often than not, it’s an issue that requires prompt medical attention. I hope this piece has made you, as a cat owner, more aware of the possibilities surrounding this problem.
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