It is more common than you might think for cats to pass some blood in their stool. Although seeing the blood can be scary, the causes vary significantly in severity and the most common cause, colitis, is often straightforward to treat.
Often mild but certain causes can be more severe.
Table of Content
- Blood in your cat’s stools is not always a sign of serious illness.
- Stress and anxiety are common causes of colitis, leading to blood in a cat’s stool.
- In certain cases, a bland diet can lead to the resolution of the symptom.
- A veterinary examination is needed to check for a more serious underlying cause.
- Some cats are prone to colitis and the condition may continue to flare up throughout their life.
Cats that are stressed and those who are not up to date with parasite treatments. Any age, gender, and breed can experience blood in their stool.
Symptoms and types
Understanding the diagnostics
The first step to finding out whether the cause of your cat’s bloody stools is anything serious is an examination with your veterinarian. They can check your cat’s weight, take their temperature, and feel their belly for any lumps and bumps, blockages, or sore areas.
Following the examination, your veterinarian may be happy to trial treatment for the symptoms or may need more information from blood tests, stool samples, ultrasound scans, or biopsies.
Learning about the causes
Blood in the stools might also be caused by bacterial or viral infections, and the symptom might be combined with vomiting, reduced appetite, and lethargy.
Blood in your cat’s stool could also be related to straining from constipation, and if this were the case you may see small amounts of hard, dry, poo produced after a lot of straining.
Although tumors of the gut can cause blood in the stools, not all tumors are cancerous. Benign lumps and growths like polyps could also be the cause of bleeding.
5. Bleeding disorders
If you suspect your cat could have come into contact with rat poison, or you have noticed blood in other bodily fluids or bruising of the skin, this could be a sign of a bleeding disorder. Make sure you let your veterinarian know if rat poison is a possibility.
Best treatment options
Home remedies and their effectiveness
Provide Light Diet
If the blood in your cat’s stool is recent, and a small amount, you may choose to feed them a bland diet for forty-eight hours before seeking veterinary advice. It is important that you only consider this option if they are otherwise well and the symptom is not severe or long-standing.
Supplements and diffusers
If you suspect that stress could be a factor in your cat’s symptoms, you may be able to remove the trigger. However, this is not always possible, and you may need to consider using a home diffuser or spray, like Feliway or Pet Remedy.
Soothe your pet
Calming medications can be very effective and your veterinarian will be able to advise you on the best option for your cat. If you are struggling to tackle your cat’s anxiety, you may need the help of a behaviorist.
When to see a vet
It is important to see a veterinarian if the blood has been present for longer than two days, is more than a few specks in each stool, or if the condition has not responded to a bland diet. If your cat is off their food or water, is acting unwell, or is showing signs of bleeding from elsewhere, you should speak to a veterinarian without delay.
If your dog comes to you for reassurance, talk to them in a calm voice. As long as it is safe to do so, you can pet him, groom him, or do anything else he likes. Going for a walk, playing a game, or practicing easy tricks can all help to distract your dog. If your dog would rather take himself off, don’t pressure him to engage in play – instead, make him a safe space, play calming music, and keep an eye on him.
Dogs experiencing a panic attack will generally be trembling, with wide eyes, and a stiff posture. They’re likely to be drooling, panting, and barking or howling. Pacing, destructiveness, or attempts to escape are also common. They may also urinate or defecate involuntarily.
A dog can experience a panic attack for a number of reasons. Common triggers include noises, strange or scary places, or separation anxiety, but we don’t always discover the trigger. Keep your dog calm, and book a visit with the vet to get to the bottom of it.
Choosing a well-bred puppy can help to reduce the risks of panic attacks in dogs, as neonatal and early-life experiences can trigger later panic attacks. Puppies should be from calm dogs without symptoms, who have been wormed throughout pregnancy. They should not leave mum until 8 weeks of age, regardless of whether they are weaned.
Properly socializing your puppy to sounds and stimuli is an important part of preventing panic attacks. Take the opportunity to introduce scary noises, vet visits, the dog crate, and ‘alone time’ to your dog from a young age.
Remember to keep calm during training, and always to use positive methods, as physical punishment can cause anxiety.
Dr. Hannah Godfrey MRCVS graduated from the Royal Veterinary College in 2011. Although she initially worked in mixed practice treating all species, she found a love for small animal work and has worked exclusively with dogs and cats since 2014. She lives in Wales with her partner, son, and two cats (named Poppy and Ashton Kutcher), and writes comedy fiction in her spare time.