It's easy to jump to conclusions and think the worst when you see blood on or around your pets, and this is definitely the case with blood in your cat's stool. As humans, we're taught to see a doctor immediately if we see such a symptom, so it's no wonder we immediately assume the worst when it happens to our precious pets.
The good news is that seeing blood in your cat's stool is not always as bad as it might appear. Please allow me to explain why.
- What Does Bloody Poop in Cats Look Like
- Causes of Blood Stool in Cats
- What to Do if There is Blood in Your Cat Poop
- How Can Emergency Fund Help with Blood in Cat Poop
What Does Bloody Poop in Cats Look Like
Blood can look rather different in your cat's poop depending on whether it is new, fresh blood or older, digested blood.
New, fresh blood is red. You can see it around your cat's poop, sometimes in mucus or a jelly-like substance that may also be pink or red from the blood. Sometimes, the stools will just be smeared or flecked with blood, and you may also notice blood smeared around and/or your cat will be leaving blood drops from the anus around the home.
Older blood, referred to as 'digested blood' because it has been digested, is much darker in color. It will usually make the whole poop appear black, or close to it.
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It is possible for your cat's poop to have both undigested, fresh blood (red) and digested, old blood (black) at the same time.
Causes of Blood Stool in Cats
One of the most common causes of finding blood in your cat's poop is parasites, such as worms, and this is more often the case with younger cats and kittens, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) study.
Stress can cause a range of medical complaints in pets, such as stress colitis (or just colitis believed to be caused by stress). Intruders, too many people in the home, loud noises such as fireworks, and other big scares can cause your pet to become stressed and anxious, so it's worth taking a peek at your pet camera, if you have one, to see if something has upset them during the day.
Anxiety, stress, and general upset disrupt cats' stomachs much in the same way that humans can get stomach aches when they're in a confrontational or anxious situation, causing colitis and other anxiety- and gut-related conditions. Many of them come with blood in the cat's stool as a symptom.
Some of the other most common causes of blood in stools in cats include:
- Polyps in the rectum or bowel;
- Food allergies or intolerances;
- Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS);
- Bacterial infections, such as feline panleukopenia and salmonella;
- Clotting or bleeding disorders;
- Secondary poisoning, such as consuming rat poison;
- Consuming toxic materials such as lilies and other toxic plants;
- Cancer, specifically bowel and gut cancers;
- Certain medications, such as steroids;
- Anal gland issues;
- Food changes.
Read more: Why Do Dogs Eat Cat Poop?
What to Do if There is Blood in Your Cat Poop
Blood in your cat's poop should be treated as an emergency until a licensed and qualified vet tells you otherwise. Although this symptom is common for many easy-to-treat conditions, it is also associated with long-term, potentially fatal diseases such as cancer.
The most dangerous conditions must be ruled out first, for obvious reasons.
Your vet will ask you for information about your cat's eating, drinking, and urinating or defecating habits. As unpleasant as it sounds, it will be a lot easier to take a photo on your phone of your pet's poop than it will be to describe it. Your vet will likely appreciate the 'evidence', too.
Cats usually hide their pain and discomfort very well, so even though it may appear as though your pet has no other symptoms than blood in the stool, there could still be something wrong that requires treatment.
How Can Emergency Fund Help with Blood in Cat Poop
If the blood in your pet's poop is an emergency, such as consuming rat poison, Petcube's Emergency Fund could be cheaper, quicker, and easier than expected — especially if you haven't opted for pet insurance.
Your cat's symptoms will be assessed in real time, and you can send over any photos or other videos you've taken to show them just what you mean. If the situation isn't an emergency and can be treated at home, you won't have wasted time, money, and effort on a vet trip.
If it is an emergency and the fund is activated (as per your pet's circumstances), you will then have up to four hours to get your furry friend the medical care they need. Even better than that, Petcube will pay the licensed veterinarian where your pet is treated directly.
Everything could be done and dusted in just a few hours. Doesn't that sound nice and stress-free?
Can worms cause blood in cat stools?
Yes, worms can cause blood in your cat's stool, and it tends to happen more often with kittens and very young cats. Giardia and roundworms are common causes, and it is wise to have your cats wormed if they haven’t been recently. This is especially important for outdoor cats.
Is blood in cat stool an emergency?
Yes, it is an emergency — at least at first. You don't know what's causing the symptom, so it could just as easily be poisoning as it could be stress-based colitis. Only by seeking medical care for your pet will you be able to determine if the symptom needs urgent treatment or more long-term care.
My cat has bloody diarrhea. What should I do?
Bloody diarrhea could be a symptom of a food allergy, toxic poisoning, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), or a range of other medical conditions. With that one symptom alone, it's difficult to pinpoint the cause. Why not get in touch with one of Petcube's 24/7 licensed vets to find out the right course of action to take?
Blood in your cat's stool is not always an emergency, but it can be. That's why it's important to seek medical advice as soon as possible. Blood and mucus are two things that shouldn't be in your cat's poop, so it's definitely something that should be checked out further. In some cases, a simple change of food could be the trick that sorts it out.
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