Cat Diarrhea With Blood

Maintaining the litter container is certainly not the best thing on the owner’s list of preferred tasks when you own a feline friend. Regularly inspecting your pet’s potty patterns, on the other hand, might reveal information regarding their overall health.

Discovering blood in your feline’s feces is a scary view, and it is natural to assume that it always means something bad. However, there seem to be a variety of explanations why your feline’s feces may include blood, and most problems are simply curable.

Food intolerances or ingesting something inappropriate, illness, pathogens, drug reactions, anal organ disorders, and diarrhea are all possible reasons for blood in feline feces. Other potential causes involve gastroenteritis, intoxication (such as consuming rat poison), malignancy, or a clotting problem.

Although most of these situations are minor, some are life-threatening and require immediate medical attention, so always consult a veterinarian.

What Causes Bloody Diarrhea in Cats?

Bloody diarrhea in felines can be caused by a variety of ailments ranging from minor to life-threatening. It is essential to figure out what is causing your feline’s bloody diarrhea because this is the primary approach to addressing the disease. The following are some of the most prevalent reasons for bloody diarrhea in felines:

  • Lesions or infections in the Digestive system.
  • Microorganisms, viruses, or parasites.
  • Pathogens like intestinal worms, tapeworms, coccidia, and salmonella.
  • Allergies to certain foods.
  • Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS.)
  • Toxicity.
  • Treatment-related side effects.
  • The illness of the liver.
  • Colorectal infection OR colitis.
  • Rectal polyps are non-cancerous collections of tissues that could become infected or malignant.
  • The cat measles virus causes panleukopenia, an infectious illness.
  • Sounds or a quick transition in the surroundings are common triggers for stress.

Types of Bloody Diarrhea in Cats 

There are two types of bloody diarrhea: vivid crimson blood and dark muddy stains.

Hematochezia, or vivid crimson blood in the feces, is typically an indicator of injury to the big intestine’s bottom canal. It is because pure blood indicates that it never experienced any substantial changes before passing through the intestines.

Black or muddy blood in the feces is frequently a sign of injury to the gastrointestinal system, such as the liver, gut, throat, or digestive organs. The blood’s black color indicates that plasma has undergone significant changes that could occur in the top Gastrointestinal tract.

Cat Diarrhea With Blood-sick cat1
Image credit: Linh Nguyen from Unsplash

Causes of diarrhea

Usually, diarrhea is triggered by an illness of the gut (basic gastrointestinal illness) or, rarely, a condition of some other system (functional disease) that affects the gut (e.g, stomach or renal disease). 80% of diarrhea problems are caused by a basic gastrointestinal infection.

Many occurrences of gastroenteritis are minor, temporary (lasting just some days), and disappear on their own. A particular underlying ailment is rarely discovered in these situations, and felines might improve on their own or react to symptomatic and therapeutic therapy. In some situations, examinations could be required to discover the underlying reason and suitable therapy. Particularly if the gastroenteritis is serious or chronic.

Some of the prevalent reasons for diarrhea follow:

  • Diet – Moderate and temporary diarrhea is commonly caused by a rapid healthy eating plan or the addition of new cuisine (or hunting and fishing meal outdoors). As the gut adjusts to the new lifestyle, this usually subsides. It is very frequent in kittens, and if hand-rearing or maturing a kitty, using non-cat food or excessive intake are typical errors that could result in diarrhea. Elderly felines (particularly those who roam outdoors) might eat ruined (eroded) food, which could trigger diarrhea. Some felines are allergic to specific meals, and constipation would not go away till the meal is altered — a classic illustration is that several felines are lactose allergic (sugar in milk).
  • Infectious causes – Diarrhea in felines could be triggered by a number of pathogenic causes. Pathogens (which generally produce moderate and temporary diarrhea; however, some pathogens, like cat rotavirus and cat leukemia infection, may produce serious life-threatening illness), germs (like Salmonella and E. coli), and worms (like Giardia, Tritrichomonas, and coccidia). Pathogens commonly affect many felines in a home and are much more prevalent in smaller felines.
  • Dietary allergy – Even though it is rare, certain felines might get a reaction (oversensitivity) to anything in their food (typically a protein). It is more likely to occur when a meal has been provided for a considerable time instead of being connected with a sudden dietary change.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease – Acute (long-term) recurrent or periodic diarrhea and/or nausea in felines is caused by a broad collection of illnesses. It is a rather frequent type of severe diarrhea, but it is linked to a lot of irritation in the intestinal lining.
  • Intestinal tumors – are much more prevalent in felines who are seniors. Lymphoma, as well as adenocarcinoma, are indeed the 2 highest prevalent cancers in the gut. They may induce sickness and physical symptoms by compromising regular food intake and producing partial intestinal blockage.
  • Benign polyps and growths – While unusual, benign developments called polyps could form in the gut and induce sickness by gradually obstructing food flow.
  • Pancreatic insufficiency – While pancreatic dysfunction is a common source of diarrhea in canines, it is unusual in felines. But, the liver is in charge of creating vital digestive juices, and if these are not created (pancreatic dysfunction), diarrhea may occur since food won’t be processed effectively.
  • Vitamin B12 deficiency – Even though the link between severe diarrhea in felines and vitamin B12 (cysteine) shortage is not entirely explained, it is significant. These felines might require vitamin B12 supplementation medication if their diarrhea clears up.
  • Systemic diseases – They’re less prevalent diarrhea sources than primary gastrointestinal illnesses, however, they are crucial to evaluate. Hyperthyroidism (an enlarged thyroid hormone), kidney illness, and renal illness are all chronic conditions that could impact the bowel and produce diarrhea.

Signs of diarrhea

Diarrhea intensity varies widely amongst felines, based on a component of their underlying reason. Some diagnostic indications are determined by the part of the gut damaged; for instance, if the major intestinal (colon) is afflicted, frequent indicators involve struggling, increased rate and releasing mucus, and occasionally even new blood in stools.

It could be hard to tell if a feline has diarrhea if you never use a litter box inside, and other symptoms like losing weight could be more noticeable. If diarrhea gets extreme, outdoor felines might begin to have incidents in the home, and mushy excrement could have adhered to the hair beneath the spine.

cat diarrhea with blood-sleep
Image credit: photosforyou from Pixabay

Diagnostic tests

While deciding whether or not more procedures are required, your veterinarian would inspect your feline and speak with your family about everything that has been happening. Among the challenges could be that there are several distinct possible reasons for diarrhea since determining the source could need extremely thorough studies in certain situations.

If constipation has just recently appeared, is minor, and the feline is still active and vibrant, your veterinarian could only recommend preventive medication to observe if the condition goes away. Or else, or if the constipation is severe, additional testing could be required. Veterinarians would attempt to conduct these studies in an organized and rational manner in order to rule out any probable reasons for diarrhea. Research might involve the following:

  • Dietary changes to check if anything recently has been changed.
  • Blood and urine tests to eliminate away chronic illnesses and conditions such as hepatic failure and vitamin B12 deficiency.
  • Examination of fecal samples – These could be tested for worms (typically three distinct bowel specimens are obtained to ensure worms are not missed) and also for the detection of possibly dangerous bacteria by cultivation.
  • Radiographs (X-rays) and ultrasound are frequently used to check and discover physiological problems in the bowel system.
  • Endoscopy – During local anesthetic, a tiny endoscopic camera is introduced into the gut (either by the nasal cavity or via rectum) such that the gut wall may be viewed and specimens could be taken. It is particularly useful if malignancies, lesions, or irritable bowel syndrome are detected.
  • Exploratory survey – It is occasionally used as a stand-in for gastroenterology or when surgery has refused to offer a solution. It permits most of the bowels (as well as systems like the kidney and stomach) to be inspected; therefore, it’s a great method to acquire specimens from various areas of the gut.


Gastrointestinal therapy could either be targeted or comforting. The majority of mild to serious diarrhea instances would involve some type of therapeutic care, but a particular procedure necessitates determining the root problem and focusing medication on that.

Supportive therapy

Medical treatment may help many felines having diarrhea which has been present for a long time. It might involve the following:

  • Resting the gut – Simply delaying meals for a shorter amount of time (24 hours) might assist things to calm down in situations of severe (unexpected and recently developed) diarrhea. However, if otherwise specified, a feline must not be left to starve for more than 1 day because this might be harmful.
  • Dietary therapy – Regardless of the specific reason, shifting to a basic, highly nutritious meal can be quite useful in treating diarrhea. Mostly in temporary cases, a home-cooked meal of meat or salmon with some white grain may suffice, but just for long-term maintenance, a completely healthy diet is desirable, and your veterinarian would be happy to suggest several possibilities. Furthermore, to exclude any food sensitivities or reactions, a food experiment is an essential component of the examination of chronic diarrhea. Special meals offered by your veterinarian are frequently utilized in these situations.
  • Probiotics – Probiotics are living microorganisms that may be taken in the form of a supplement. They may occasionally aid with diarrhea control by boosting healthy digestion, although they aren’t always necessary. Several probiotics have now been created particularly for domestic animals.
  • Fluid intake – Felines can get dehydrated if they have more serious diarrhea, so pay close attention to their liquid balance. Your doctor also might recommend that you urge your feline to consume a suitable ionic liquid instead of normal water to aid with this.

Specific therapy

The treatment for diarrhea would vary depending on the root problem; however, it might involve:

  • Anti-bacterial and anti-parasitic drugs –If contagious pathogens are discovered, appropriate medications to cure and eradicate them could be offered. Medications, on the other hand, must not be given inappropriately since they might lead diarrhea to worsening, interference with other examinations, and encourage microbial development.
  • Anti-inflammatory and immunosuppressive drugs – are frequently utilized to treat irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Surgery and/or chemotherapeutic drugs – could be beneficial in the treatment of malignancy of the intestine.
  • Vitamin B12 – Whenever a B12 shortage is detected, monthly vitamin B12 infusions are usually given.


The source of diarrhea would determine the prognosis. Disorders that can be treated with food and/or medication have a positive outlook, and several instances would disappear entirely with proper treatment. In certain circumstances, long-term treatment is necessary.

In all felines, identifying the root reason for recurrent diarrhea upfront can help avoid long-term, incurable abnormalities in the stomach.


There are numerous reasons for the presence of blood in a feline’s feces that it’s hard to identify if it is an urgency without understanding further details. Whereas several reasons for bloody feces are minor, some are serious and need immediate medical attention, such as swallowing rat toxin. It’s usually a good idea to discuss your feline’s problems with a professional and everything that could have caused them to discharge blood.

Based on how the discussion proceeds, they may suggest keeping an eye on your pet, scheduling an exam to have them examined thoroughly, or encouraging you to take her to a veterinarian real soon. Calling your veterinarian would either set your worries at rest or guarantee that your pet gets any necessary care.

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