If the cat has blood in the urine, the owners are very scared. The cat should be presented to a veterinarian as soon as possible. It can be a relatively harmless cause, but it can also be a serious problem.
Cat Has Blood in Urine
- Cats usually have light to dark yellow urine and in rare cases orange urine;
- Cats can have blood in their urine without the urine being red in color;
- Most often, blood in the urine comes from red blood cells.
How Does the Blood Get into the Urine?
Basically, blood can get anywhere in the urine because it crosses several organs: the kidneys produce the urine, from there it goes through the ureters into the urinary bladder. It also flows out of the body through the urethra. All urinary organs can be the source of the blood in the urine. However, it can also come from the genital organs. In female cats, the urethra opens into the vagina, in male cats at the tip of the penis.
If blood comes from the sexual organs, it can mix with the cat’s urine there as well.
How Does Blood Get into the Urine?
There are various reasons why bleeding occurs in the urinary and genital organs. The most common cause is lesions or bleeding wounds. They can arise due to inflammation, tumors, or rough structures such as urinary stones.
Bleeding caused by a coagulation disorder is less common. When blood does not clot properly, spontaneous bleeding occurs all over the body. This can be the result of poisoning by rat poison, for example. If such bleeding happens in the urinary or genital organs, it shows up in bloody urine. Affected cats usually also bleed from other organs such as the nose, skin, or stomach/intestines.
Hemoglobin or myoglobin in the urine
In rare cases, the pigment in the blood alone can be responsible for the red color in the urine. The kidneys filter the blood, so the dye can get into the urine and turn it reddish. Usually, it is hemoglobin, in rare cases myoglobin. Hemoglobin is the pigment in the blood and myoglobin is the muscle pigment. Hemoglobin ensures that the red blood cells bind oxygen. If the first red blood cells in the blood vessels are destroyed, they enter the blood in free form. This can happen with autoimmune diseases. It is hemoglobinuria if it gets into the urine.
In most cases, the affected cats also suffer from anemia.
Myoglobin, on the other hand, binds oxygen in the muscles. If a muscle is severely damaged, it gets into the blood. That can happen in an accident. If it gets into the urine, it is myoglobinuria. Very rarely, the color can also come through the food, for example when a cat eats a large amount of beetroot.
What are the Possible Causes of the Bleeding?
There are many causes for blood in the urine of cats. It can be idiopathic or bacterial cystitis or urinary stones in the bladder or urethra. These causes are the most common.
Very often idiopathic cystitis is to blame
There is no cause for this cystitis. It seems that stress plays a role. Young to middle-aged cats usually get them. The cats have a constant urge to urinate, they can only pass little or no urine and sometimes have noticeable pain. The disease leaves many house-trained cats unclean. Excessive cleaning and licking of the genitals and abdomen can also be other symptoms, such as indifference, loss of appetite, or abdominal pain.
A life-threatening urethral obstruction can occur, especially in male cats.
Bacterial cystitis when the immune system is weak
Bacteria are the cause of bacterial cystitis. They can damage the bladder wall so badly that blood can be seen in the urine. As a rule, cystitis, if it is caused by bacteria, only occurs in cats with a weak immune system. A bacterial infection usually affects middle-aged to old cats. The symptoms are the same as in idiopathic cystitis.
Urinary stones, injuries, and tumors as culprits
Most cats have urinary stones in the urinary bladder. They often have a rough surface and rub against the bladder wall. This leads to blood in the urine. Cats show the same symptoms here as they do with idiopathic cystitis. The stones can be washed away into the urethra, especially in male cats. They cause a dangerous urethral occlusion there. They are more common in middle-aged, neutered, and/or overweight cats.
Occasionally, injuries, tumors, or congenital or acquired anatomical malformations can be to blame in the lower urinary tract, i.e. the urinary bladder and urethra. They are often accompanied by an urge to urinate, the passing of small amounts of urine, uncleanliness, and pain when urinating.
A problem with the kidneys or genital organs
In the upper urinary tract, i.e. kidneys and ureters, there is pelvic inflammation, inflammation of the kidney corpuscles, tumors, kidney infarction, kidney cysts, urinary stones, or injuries. Symptoms can include loss of appetite, listlessness, vomiting, diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss and/or increased thirst, and passing large amounts of urine.
The causes are rarely found in the genital organs, such as uterine ulceration or inflammation, vaginal inflammation, injury in the vagina, uterus, or penis. The symptoms can be bloody or purulent, smelly discharge from the vagina or penis, loss of appetite, vomiting, fever, increased thirst, and the passing of large amounts of urine, regardless of urination.
If the cause is blood clotting, it can be due to various infectious diseases, autoimmune diseases, various tumors, poisoning, or heat stroke. Symptoms may be accompanied by nosebleeds, bloody feces, bloody vomiting, bleeding into the skin, pale mucous membranes.
When Does the Cat Have to Go to the Vet?
- If the cat has blood in the urine or the urine is reddish in color, you should take your cat to the vet. Blood is often drawn there for a more precise diagnosis.
- Depending on the cause, rapid treatment is important in order to avoid consequential damage.
- If the cat shows a very poor general condition regarding the blood in the urine, it is an emergency and must go to the vet immediately.
What Can the Owner Do?
If blood appears in the cat’s urine, the owner should be aware of the warning sign.
Here you should neither wait nor start your own treatment with home remedies.
It is important for the veterinarian to collect important information that will help him make a diagnosis. To do this, the cat must be watched closely. When is the blood visible when urinating? Does the cat have a discharge without passing urine? Does she have pain when urinating? Is the amount of urine the same as always or less or more? Is the cat more thirsty than before? And does she show other symptoms?