Help! I Saw Blood In My Cat’s Stool!

First things first, stay calm 🐈

Blood In Cat Stool

Blood in cat stool can definitely be concerning — but don’t panic! First, take a deep breath, and then call your veterinarian.

There are a variety of reasons you might find blood in your cat’s poop, and many of them have easily treatable solutions. As with any health issue, though, early detection and a treatment plan from your vet are key to getting your cat back to feeling his best again.

We spoke to Jamie Fischer, a veterinary nurse and education specialist at TeleTails, for more insight on why you might be seeing blood in your cat’s poop.

Reasons for blood in cat stool

If you see blood in your cat’s stool, there may be some irritation or inflammation in his gastrointestinal (GI) tract. This can occur for many different reasons, according to Fischer:

  • Stress — A recent move, boarding your cat while on vacation and even fireworks can cause severe stress in your cat and lead to blood in his stool.
  • Intestinal parasites — Cats can become infected with intestinal parasites (examples include tapeworms, roundworms and giardia) by ingesting infected fleas during grooming or by eating infected rodents. Intestinal parasites can cause inflammation and bleeding in the intestines, which can lead to blood in the stool.
  • Anal sac disease — When the anal sacs become impacted, infection and abscesses can occur. As a result, a cat can experience pain when defecating, and bleeding can occur.
  • Diet — If changing your cat’s food, it’s recommended to do so gradually. Suddenly changing your cat’s food can cause an upset stomach, resulting in blood in his poop.
  • Food allergies — Interestingly, a dietary allergy can also cause blood in your cat’s stool. If your cat’s unknowingly allergic to proteins in his food, it can lead to inflammation and bleeding of the large intestine (colon).
  • Pancreatitis — When the pancreas becomes inflamed, pancreatitis can occur. Signs include vomiting, dehydration, a painful abdomen, lethargy, fever, diarrhea and sometimes blood in the stool.
  • Toxin exposure — Curiosity in cats could lead to ingesting something poisonous (examples include fertilizers, houseplants, some medications and household cleaners), which can lead to blood in their stool.
  • Tumors — Intestinal cancer and tumors should also be a consideration. As tumors grow or the cancer spreads, a rupture of the intestinal wall can cause internal bleeding, which can be seen in your cat’s stool. Other signs of intestinal cancer include vomiting, lack of appetite, weight loss, diarrhea, constipation, lethargy and dehydration.

Once again, since there are so many potential causes of blood in your cat’s stool, it’s recommended to contact your veterinarian as soon as you notice blood.

Treatment options for blood in cat stool

Treatment options will vary depending on your cat’s diagnosis.

“Many of these causes are mild and require only outpatient treatment, while some can be life threatening and may require a more intense inpatient treatment protocol,” Fischer told The Dodo. “Treatment may include deworming, diet change, fluid therapy, oral medications or surgery.”

When to contact your vet

In short, call your vet as soon as you notice blood in your cat’s stool. When you go in for your appointment, your vet may recommend you bring in a stool sample for testing.

“Other diagnostic tests may include X-rays/imaging, blood work and/or biopsy,” Fischer said.

Since there are so many potential causes of blood in your cat’s stool, you’ll want to get this issue identified quickly. The sooner you begin a treatment plan, the sooner your kitty will be back to feeling his best again!