Causes of Blood in Stool in Cats
Upon noticing blood in the stool many cat owners may become concerned, perhaps primarily because they have learned to associate the presence of blood with the intimidating letter ''C'', however, it may be reassuring for cat owners to learn that unlike humans, blood in the stool does not generally have such a poor prognosis, especially when dealing with younger aged cats.
It is important first of all, to learn about where the blood is deriving from. As a general rule, fresh red blood (medically known as hematochezia) usually derives from either the lower intestines, or the rectum.
* It is very important to find out if the blood is actually coming from the rectum and not from the urethra. Cats at times, may suffer from urinary tract infections where they may strain to urinate and produce bloody drops of urine. In this case, if the cat is a male the risks of a urinary blockage are high and life threatening, therefore the cat may require veterinary treatment at once.
On the other hand, the presence of black, tarry, blood (medically known as melena) derives most likely from the upper intestinal tract and stomach. In this case, the dark color derives from digested blood which is often seen in cats suffering from bleeding stomach ulcers.
Following are some common causes of blood in the stool in cats:
The cat's rectal area including the anal sac area should be inspected carefully to locate possible injuries. The passage of dry stools sometimes may cause limited bleeding. In some cases, the ingestion of sharp bones may cause the bones to scrape on the lower intestine or rectal area as they pass by causing a small amount of bleeding.
Cats may be affected by various parasites and protozoans that may cause irritated bowels and blood in the stool. Roundworms, hookworms, coccidia are often the culprits. A fecal test will be able to detect them.
These are benign masses that present in the rectal area. They tend to be highly vascularized, therefore tend to bleed easily when the feces pass through the rectum.
Foods that cause allergies sudden diet changes, intolerance or other complications that may irritate the lower bowels may eventually cause blood in the stools.
-Rat Poison Ingestion
Rat poison is meant to cause rodents to bleed to death. If a cat indirectly eats a poisoned rat or if the cat directly eats some rat poison, it will interfere with the cat's blood clotting system often causing spontaneous bleeding from the rectum, mouth, nose or under the skin.
-Blood Clotting Disorders
In this case, the cat may be affected by a disorder that interferes with the proper clotting of the blood. In this case, the cat will bleed sometimes spontaneously or sometimes with a minimum amount of trauma.
While not very common, cancer is always a possibility and should be ruled out especially when dealing with senior pets.
As seen, there are various causes of blood in a cat's stools. If the bleeding episode is a one time ordeal with minimal bleeding and the cat is bright and alert, very likely it may be something minor that will not continue to persist, however, if the cat has a lot of blood loss, exhibits pale gums (suggesting anemia) and the bleeding episodes continue, a prompt vet visit is highly recommended.
Disclaimer: the above article is not to be used as a substitute for professional veterinary advice. If your cat has bloody stools please consult with a veterinarian for a hands on examination.