Do you inspect your cat’s poop? It’s natural to assume such a trivial thing and assume that all is fine. Unfortunately, felines are prone to bowel problems just as humans are. Inspecting your cat’s poop every time he or she defecates is vital to identifying and addressing such problems early on.
The most common intestinal problems is blood or lots of mucus in cat stool. According to petinsurance.com, intestinal diarrhea was the sixth most common medical condition among cats in 2015. This statistic echoes the need to inspect cat poop and look out for signs of blood.
Here’s what we’ll cover in this article:
- What is blood in cat poop?
- Types of bloody cat poop
- What are the causes of blood cat poop?
- How does a vet examine blood cat stool for underlying problems?
- What can you do to prevent blood cat stool?
Why Is There Blood in My Cat’s Poop?
Blood in cat stool is often as a result of a condition known as dyschezia. The condition makes defecation difficult and painful, and is characterized by traces of bright red blood in the stool.
The presence of bright red blood in stools is also known as hematochezia and it indicates bleeding in the intestines or the rectum.
Cats experiencing these conditions may be suffering from an underlying disease causing irritation or inflammation of anus; hence, the need to visit a vet as soon as you notice these symptoms. Both old and young cats are prone to the problem.
What are the Types of Bloody Cat Poop?
There are different types of bloody cat stools. The most common is the bright red blood color that forms as a result of problems in the lower digestive tract. Also, some cat’s stool may appear soft or mushy with traces of red blood.
The most severe case is when soft stool has dark red blood. The dark color shows that the food has been partly digested and may be originating from higher up the gastrointestinal tract. Schedule an appointment with your vet immediately if you notice these signs and symptoms.
What Causes Blood in Cat Stool?
There are many different causes of blood in cat stool with some more severe than others. They include:
If your cat is having a difficult time passing stool, then it’s likely to be a result of digestive system problems. A healthy cat defecates once a day. As such, it is skips a day or two and strains during the process, it only means it is constipated.
Constipation does not always need medical attention unless the cat is showing other worrying symptoms.The condition should improve on its own, if not take him to the vet. He or she will examine the cat and the fecal matter to determine the underlying problem.
The vet may recommend a stool softener to deal with the condition. However if the problem is a result of obstruction in the bowels, then a surgical procedure may be conducted. This isn’t a super likely outcome, so don’t get too worried. The odds are low that your cat will need surgery.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
It is the chronic inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract which leads to diarrhea and vomiting. Some cats also experience depression, lethargy, gas, weight loss, and abdominal pain.
During such scenarios, the vet takes the cat’s medical history and conducts a blood count test, urine and fecal analysis.
Blood cat stool may also be a result of injury on the anus area or the rectum. The cat stool usually has fresh blood and may experience pain or discomfort when passing stool.
It occurs when there is an abnormal growth in the small intestine restricting stool from passing through and leads to severe pain. The growth does not clear up on its own hence the need to visit a vet.
Cats also have sensitive stomachs making it a little difficult to find the right food for them. If you suddenly change your cat’s brand food, your feline friend may lead to an upset stomach.
This is because the new ingredients irritate the GI tract leading to food intolerance. Cats often develop intolerance to wheat gluten, soy, lamb or dairy.
As such, it is important to make the transition slow by adding the new product with the old one. It allows the cat to adjust to the new ingredients without having to adapt to the new formula at once.
Sometimes finding the element causing intolerance can be challenging. A visit to the vet should helps conduct a proper diagnosis after making a thorough examination.
The prevalence of gastrointestinal parasitism in cats is as high as 45%. The parasites can be wormlike or one-celled organisms, and are also known to cause blood cat stool.
The most common is giardia transmitted when your feline comes into contact with contaminated feces. Once the parasite enters the host’s body, it attaches to the intestinal wall to feed. If sufficient numbers are present, clinical symptoms such as blood in poop begin to manifest. Eventually, your feline friend passes infectious cysts in his stool.
It is an inflammation of the colon and is often caused by IBS or bacterial infections. The condition may linger for a short or long duration depending on the severity of the underlying cause.
Cats with this problem exhibit symptoms such as diarrhea with fresh blood in the stool. Other symptoms include frequent stools and constipation.A series of tests on the cat’s abdomen should help your vet diagnose the problem and recommend a treatment plan.
How Does a Vet Examine Blood Cat Stool Underlying Problems?
Contact your vet from the onset of blood cat stool. Although it may be a result of minor problems like hardened stool or constipation, allow your vet to examine your feline.
You will need to provide a thorough history of the health of your cat to help the vet identify underlying problems. The vet then performs a physical examination on the cat including a complete blood count, urinalysis, and an electrolyte panel.
The blood count should show if the underlying disease is causing infection or inflammation on any part of the intestinal tract. The vet may also use x-ray imaging to inspect the abdominal space for disorders and foreign bodies on the stomach wall or internal fractures.
For greater visualization the vet may employ a different diagnostic technique like an abdominal ultrasound. This imaging method helps the doctor determine if there masses in the lower abdomen.
How to Treat Blood in Cat Stool
The treatment depends on the underlying problem. For example, if the cat has developed blood cat stool as a result of giardiasis, the vet will recommend a specific prescription medication to get rid of the infestation.
The vet may also recommend balloon dilation, a procedure used to relieve structure of the intestinal canal. It works by widening the canal gently, using a balloon, so blocked fecal matter is released.
Feline pets suffering from food intolerance may be required to take a rather bland diet until the symptoms disappear. From then you can add the regular food diet to find out if that product is safe.
Most of these treatments are performed on an outpatient basis unless the underlying condition is so severe that it needs monitoring or supportive care.
For example, internal bleeding or dehydration may need to be controlled before any other treatment is administered. The vet may also schedule follow-up appointments to carry on treatment of your feline’s underlying condition, modify treatment in case of allergic reaction and evaluate his progress.
What Can You Do to Prevent Blood in Cat Stool?
Developing a healthy lifestyle goes a long way in preventing blood cat stool. Regular veterinary visits also come in handy as they make it easier to treat with a better prognosis. Pet owners should also develop healthy cat grooming habits.
This is because when extra fur enters the digestive tract, it can cause blood cat poop. Other healthy routines you can develop to prevent blood cat poop include:
- Serving a healthy diet enriched with adequate fiber
- Prevent the cat from eating non-food items like threads, toys of paper
- Ensure the cat has plenty of water
- Giving a high-quality pet probiotic once a day
- Serving moist or canned food instead of dry food
- Reducing cat stressors
- Switching to a hypoallergenic or low residue diet
- Ensure there’s adequate space for all your cats
- Monitor your cat’s litter box after usage
- Provide enough litter boxes for all your cats
- Examine fecal matter regularly for traces of blood
- Spend some time in the outdoors. Fresh air is an excellent stress reliever for cats
No pet owner wants to see their furry friend in pain. Identifying the problem from the onset and taking the necessary action goes a long way in helping your feline live a normal life. Keep in mind, blood in cat stool is only a sign of an underlying problem.
As such, you shouldn’t wait for the problem to recur three or four times to visit a professional. Your promptness in treating the condition makes the difference between having medication prescribed and performing surgery.
It is especially important when your cat is experiencing other symptoms like generalized weakness, vomiting and lethargy. Also, experts emphasize the need for routine checkups. It enables the vet to identify the problem early on and prescribe treatment.