Blood in the stool can be distressing to a cat owner. However, blood in the feces in cats does not have to indicate a serious condition, it can also be caused by something harmless. If it occurs once without additional symptoms, there is no need to worry immediately. However, if the cat often suffers from blood in the stool, it is wise to visit the vet so that the cause can be found and treated.
Many possible causes
There are many factors and conditions that can lead to blood in the feces in cats, ranging from relatively harmless to very serious. In general, it is not serious unless there is a lot of blood present or it lasts longer than one to two days. However, it is always best to consult your vet when in doubt.
Below are some common causes of blood in the feces in cats.
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Constipation in the cat
One of the causes of blood in a cat’s stool is if the stool is very hard and dry. In that case, one speaks of ‘constipation’. The feces remain in the large intestine for too long, causing it to dry up and form an increasingly larger and harder mass. This may be accompanied by constipation; that is when the cat itself can no longer expel the feces, no matter how hard it squeezes.
Dry, hard stools can irritate the lining of the gut as well as the anus, resulting in light bleeding. As a result, some blood may be visible in the stool. Constipation can be caused by diet. Food with sufficient ballast materials and the intake of sufficient fluid is important.
Diarrhea (whether or not) with traces of blood can indicate the presence of intestinal parasites, such as worms. Coccidiosis, a parasitic disease caused by single-celled parasites of the genus Eimeria, can cause bloody diarrhea. In addition to coccidiosis, an infection with the unicellular flagellate Giardia lamblia can also cause bloody diarrhea.
Feline distemper is a very serious viral infectious disease of the gastrointestinal tract. This is accompanied by high fever, vomiting, bloody diarrhea, dehydration, and severe abdominal pain. Without treatment, the chance that the cat will die from it is very high. Especially with kittens.
Other Causes of Blood in the Stool in Cats
If the anal glands, which are located on either side of the cat’s anus, become inflamed, it can result in blood in the stool. Trauma to the anus or colon can also lead to bloody stools, as can the presence of (bowel) polyps. In older cats, the presence of bright red blood from stool may indicate a tumor in the last part of the intestine.
When to go to the vet?
Contact the vet as soon as possible if you have one or more of the following symptoms:
- Bright red blood: if more than once or more than one speck.
- Problems with bowel movements, such as when the cat adopts a pooping position for a long time, while little or no stool is released. The cat keeps the back arched, the tail held off, while he/she squeezes firmly. The cat can meow, blow and even scream in pain.
- Significant increase in the number of times the cat defecates.
When the cat suffers from additional symptoms, such as those listed below, there is all the more reason to call the vet: