Causes of Blood in a Cat Stool

Although it may occasionally be difficult to notice, blood in cat stool can be symptomatic of several diseases in your pet.

Symptoms that May Accompany Blood in Cat Stool

Cat blood in the stool can be linked with a number of symptoms in order to form a diagnosis. Case to case, things vary, but if you notice frequent urination or drinking, vomiting, anorexia, weight loss, or lethargy, you may have a serious problem on your hands, and you should see a vet.

Many cats experience a one time occurrence of bloody stool, which is typically a result of straining due to constipation. This shouldn't be a cause for alarm, provided that the problem goes away in a day or so. However, if you notice bright red blood, an increase in volume of feces or problems defecating, you should make an immediate trip to the vet. Feline diarrhea may be present.

Tests to Diagnose Cause of Bloody Stool

Your vet will do a number of blood and physical tests to determine the cause of your cat's bloody stool. He will examine the rectal area and take a blood sample to determine a chemical profile and a blood count.

You're encouraged to bring a recent stool sample, as this can show evidence of parasites. More serious cases of bloody stool will require x-rays, ultrasound or colonoscopy.

Location of Bleeding

The color of the blood can frequently point to the location of the bleeding. Older blood, which will appear dark and tar like in the faces, is the result of bleeding in the upper GI tract. On the other hand, bright red blood is newer. This blood is likely the result of bleeding in the rectum or lower intestines.

Possible Causes of Bloody Cat Stool

Anal bleeding can be the result of any number of things, from infections to blood clot disorders to cancers. Before undergoing a course of treatment, it's important to find out what is causing the bleeding.

If you notice your cat is constipated, the bleeding could be caused by dry stool agitating the rectum and anus during defecation. A feline enema administration could help to solve this problem, as well as switching the your pet's diet to food that is high in water and in fiber.

Behavioral cues can also help in diagnosis. If you see your cat rubbing its hindquarters on the ground, it may be suffering from itchiness due to anal sacs. Make a note of this before seeing your doctor, as it will cut the time spent diagnosing and reduce the number of tests needed.

Trauma to the anal region could account for bright red blood in the stool. This is especially likely in outdoor cats, who could be bitten during a fight, or may experience a fractured pelvis. Trauma could also have occurred during a health care exam, such as during a probing or enema.

There are a number of bacterial infections and cancers, which occur mostly in older cats, that could cause anal bleeding. If you suspect this is the case, visit your vet immediately.

An equally urgent cause for medical attention is the digestion of mouse or rat poison. These poisons use Warfarin, which disables blood clotting factors in your cat. If you notice anal bleeding in combination with lethargy, see your vet immediately.