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Causes of Blood in Stool in Cats

Updated on July 1, 2009

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:

-Injury

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.

-Parasites

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.

-Rectal Polyps

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.

-Dietary Intolerance

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.

-Cancer

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.




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    • profile image

      Alex 6 months ago

      I think this site is really good helpful and even interesting

    • alexadry profile image
      Author

      Adrienne Janet Farricelli 6 years ago from USA

      Thanks a bunch! All the time I worked for my vet never encountered a case with Spirocerca Lupi, maybe it is more common in certain areas than others? quite interesting, looking this parasite up...

    • afriqnet profile image

      Joe Njenga 6 years ago from Nairobi Kenya

      Hi,

      I think parasitism and poisoning are the highest on the list of the causes of blood in the cat's stool. You should also ensure you look at the nature of the blood in the feces since it may be helpful for identifying the cause. Example: Blood in feces that seems to have gone through the entire GIT would be more likely come from the upper GIT. In dogs, the Upper GIT may at times be infected by a notorious worm Spirocerca Lupi. All the same your hub is comprehensive and well written, thanks

    • Lucky Cats profile image

      Kathy 7 years ago from The beautiful Napa Valley, California

      Thank you, alexadry, for this really informative hub. You've answered several of my concerns, keeping in mind the caveat you've included at the conclusion of this article. I appreciate your indepth discussion about this condition; and all the possibilities listed are, indeed, useful to know...and, yes, of course, one should consult a Veterinarian when / if there is doubt. Great article! Thank you!

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