Blood in Cat Poop? When you Should be Worried

Is your cat pooping blood? Blood in poop can be alarming, but it’s not always a cause for concern. If you notice that your cat is passing red or pink stool, there are some steps to take before rushing off to the vet. The first thing you should do is try and figure out if this is an ongoing issue or just a one-time occurrence.

Why is there blood in cat poop?

As per U.K.’s Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition, some of the significant reasons why blood can appear in cat poop – Constipation and diarrhea top the list followed by growth and others discussed here. Let us look at this subject in depth.

Common reasons for blood in cat poop

Blood in a cat’s poop can occur due to various reasons. Some reasons that can cause bloody poop in cats can be severe, but others are not that serious. The factors that lead to blood in cat poop include digestive and gastrointestinal disorders. 

So, let’s have a look at them.

Constipation

This comes about by your cat struggling to defecate and therefore causing rapture of lower G.I blood vessels. You will find a characteristic brutal or bloody small stool.

Diarrhea

Bleeding is likely to arise from irritation of the lower G.I lining. If your cat has diarrhea and it goes on for some days, you might notice some bloodstains if uncontrolled.

Diarrhea and constipation can be caused by different factors like parasites, dietary intolerance or changes, stress, toxin exposure, foreign bodies, infections, and inflammatory bowel disease.

Dehydration leads to constipation in cats, but diarrhea, on the other hand, causes dehydration.Megacolon/enlarged intestines is a condition that results from chronic constipation.

Growths like tumors, polyps, and cysts are also causative agents of blood in the stool.

What are gastrointestinal and digestive disorders?

A disorder that affects digestion and absorption of food or alters peristalsis can be a digestive disorder. The effects of G.I disorders touch the stomach and intestines and can result in pain and others issues like blood in the stool.

Healthy digestion is beneficial to cats for them to obtain essential nutrients and energy.

Your cat is likely to have digestive disorders quite often, but most of them are not severe and may not last long. However, your cats may need long-term management due to permanent or regular digestive issues. 

G.I disorders may result in constipation or dehydration that may need the vet’s attention because they may lead to death.

What are the types and causes of digestive disorders?

There is a wide array of digestive disorders with different causes that stretch from food intolerance, new food items in the diet, infections, sensitivities, to deficiency in digestive enzymes. As discussed earlier, diarrhea and constipation also fall under this category.

Cat breeds like rex, Ragdoll, and Sphynx are exceptionally prone to some digestive disorders. Always work with your vet to establish G.I problems with your cat.

Here are common G.I conditions:

 Colitis

Commonly affects cats under 5yrs of age. Colitis results in inflammation of the colon and may be a cause of painful and frequent defecation. With colitis, you might find mucus and blood in your cat’s stool. Polyps, tumors, allergies to food, a change in diet, among other conditions, are the major causes of frequent colitis.

Pancreatitis

Pancrease is a tapered elongated gland found behind the stomach. Therefore pancreatitis refers to inflammation of the pancreas and mostly has no known etiological causes. Some potential causes include trauma, diseases, or infections that may reduce blood flow due to dehydration.

Exocrine pancreatic insufficiency

This is characterized by an increased appetite, weight loss, and passing large amounts of soft poop. It is majorly caused by chronic pancreatitis.

Irritable bowel syndrome

Is linked to discomfort and inflammation of cats bowel but technically not linked to G.I disease. There are several speculations concerning the same, like food intolerance, mental distress, and effectiveness of peristalsis.

Small intestine malabsorption

When the small intestine walls are impaired due to inflammation, it interferes with absorption of nutrients, loss of appetite, diarrhea, and weight loss.

What does blood look like in my cat’s poop?

It is always disgusting to look at the cat’s poop, leave alone the smell. The biggest challenge comes in identifying the blood in your cat’s poop. It could be tricky for beginners, and therefore, that’s why we are here to help you out. Color changes can sometimes be attributed to litter, and it can affect the general appearance.

Otherwise, the appearance of blood in the stool can also be determined by the origin. If the blood originated from the lower intestinal region like the rectum and colon, it would be characteristically fresh blood.

You will occasionally discover drops of pink or red dots on the stool, litter on the litter box sides.

If the blood originates from the higher intestinal system like the small intestines, it will be brown or black. These characteristic color changes are a result of partial digestion by enzymes predominantly found in the small intestines. The blood will therefore look like dark specks, dots, or coffee grounds.

Bright red blood with no prior history of diarrhea or dry stools indicates that the blood is close to the anal region. 

What does normal cat poop look like?

Tootsie rolls. Sounds funny, but yes, cat poops are usually a one-half-inch diameter with a length of two-three inches, brown or tan, and well-formed. If you want more information, you can check out “Faeces Scoring System,” published by researchers from  U.K.’s Waltham Centre for Pet Nutrition. Grading the cat’s stools will give you vital information on any abnormality. 

The fecal quantity and quality are crucial elements that your vet will use to get the correct diagnosis of your cat’s condition.

Your cat is likely to defecate once a day, and the odor shouldn’t blow off your nose. The poops are ordinarily solid and compact, allowing you to pick them up with hands or gloves and stuffs like that. If that sucks, consider some litter box for your pet, and it will be kind enough to you.

What to Do if Your Cat Has Bloody Stool

 If you notice your cat’s bowel movements are abnormal for a few days, contact the vet ASAP, even if there is no blood or mucus in the cats’ poops. The earlier you address G.I issues, the less likely to find blood in the stool.

If your cat has been okay, then you notice an abrupt bloody stool, be on the lookout until the next day. If your pet recovers, then there is no need for alarm, but if you notice some illness signs or blood in poop again, reach out to the vet to sort the issue out.

In case of diarrhea cases that go for more than two days, with blood or without blood, always reach out to the vet to be on the safe side.

If your cat has no bowel movent or constipation in days, call the vet so that you get the right direction to handle the whole issue. Constipation can be evident by your cat having difficulties in defecation. If you notice some blood, then it’s time to sort out the issue and establish the cause, and your vet will be an integral part.

Your vet’s advice on routine parasite screening is very vital. It is recommended once a year, but if your cat goes outdoors or has abnormal poops, then you should do it frequently.

In finding out the cause of blood in your pet’s poops, your vet will first do a gross examination. After that, stool samples will be needed to determine bacterial overgrowth or parasites.

Your vet may recommend further lab tests to rule out issues with organ function, urinary tract, and blood cells. Abdominal ultrasound and X-rays may be necessary for foreign bodies, structural abnormalities, growths, and a general overview of the abdomen.

Proper management of bloody stools depends on the origin and cause. If there is no acute illness, G.I support supplements and medication as approved by your vet will be perfect. This may include dietary change or the use of probiotics for a certain period.

Conclusion

If you have ever wondered why you could see some blood while cleaning up your pet’s mess, you now know how to handle it. It is prudent enough to be on the lookout as a pet owner, especially for unusual signs like diarrhea and constipation. Some of these signs, if ignored, can be fatal or cause severe effects on your pet.

Regardless of the availability of so much information on handling issues concerning your pet, consulting your vet is the most important thing. You will get good information about home care and when to seek further management. Signs like diarrhea for more than two days don’t need any more evaluation. Call your vet ASAP if you care about your cat. A healthy diet is very vital for a healthy pet.

Disclaimer: This article is for informational purposes only and is not intended to be a substitute for professional veterinary care. Always talk to your veterinarian about questions you may have regarding your pet’s medical condition. Do not delay seeking professional veterinary advice because of something read on the internet.