If the cat has blood in its stool, this is a clear alarm signal for pet owners. In addition to harmless causes, serious illnesses or injuries to the digestive tract are often the cause. In this overview, you will find out how you can recognize blood in the cat’s stool, what the most common causes are and when you should go to the vet.
Cat Has Blood in Its Stool: Symptoms
In healthy cats, the feces are medium to dark brown in color. If bleeding occurs in the pet’s gastrointestinal tract, the stool will turn red or black.
Fresh blood in the stool
Blood in a cat’s stool can manifest itself in two different ways. In so-called hematochezia, the feces are discolored red by fresh blood. The fresh blood signals that there is bleeding at the end of the digestive tract, for example in the large intestine or anus of the cat. Bloody diarrhea with fresh blood can also be caused by an earlier section of the digestive tract.
Black blood in the cat’s feces
If the cat’s excrement is black and tarry-like, it is known as melena. Most often, the cause of the bleeding is in the cat’s stomach, small intestine, esophagus, or mouth. As the blood goes through digestion, bacteria and digestive enzymes change the color of the blood. This leads to the typical black coloration.
Causes of Blood in the Poop in Cats
Bloody stool suggests that there is an injury to the cat’s digestive tract. The damage to the mucous membranes or internal organs can have various causes.
Diseases of the gastrointestinal tract
There are a variety of digestive disorders that can lead to blood in your stool. Diseases that are often associated with bloody stool include:
- Diseases in the anal area such as anal pouch infections or hemorrhoids;
- Benign polyps in the colon;
- Cancers, tumors, and carcinomas of the gastrointestinal tract;
- Chronic bowel inflammation (Inflammatory Bowel Disease).
Parasites as a cause of bloody feces
Parasites such as hookworms or giardia can lead to digestive tract bleeding in cats because the parasites attach themselves to the cells of the mucous membranes. Bloody excrement usually only occurs when the infestation with worms or giardia is advanced. The parasite infestation is often accompanied by other typical symptoms such as weight loss.
Bleeding from foreign objects
Swallowing foreign objects can be life-threatening for cats. In particular, pointed or sharp-edged objects such as needles, bones or toys can lead to serious injuries to the mucous membranes and organs. If the cat accidentally eats a foreign object, it can injure anything from its mouth to its intestines and cause blood in the stool. If the cat cannot pass the object naturally, it must be surgically removed.
Occult Blood in the Stool of Cats
Another form of bloody stool can be particularly dangerous for the cat. So-called occult blood cannot be seen with the naked eye and therefore often goes unnoticed. Only an examination of the cat’s feces can show that it contains blood. In these cases, the cat often suffers from anemia and symptoms such as weakness.
Cat Has Blood in Its Feces: When to Go to the Vet?
Depending on the cause, the sick cat can show accompanying symptoms such as nausea and vomiting, apathy and weakness, and loss of appetite. If your pet shows typical signs of illness, be sure to see a vet. But even if there are no other symptoms of the disease, you should immediately see your cat to the veterinarian if there is blood in the stool.
Serious injuries and illnesses can be painful or even life-threatening for the cat.
So don’t hesitate for a long time, but have your house tiger thoroughly examined and treated. The vet will palpate the cat and possibly do an ultrasound or x-ray. Blood and fecal examination can also provide information about the cause.