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What is Blood in the Stool?

Blood in the stool in cats is a condition in which varying quantities of blood might appear in your cat’s stool. There are two different types of blood in the stool, Hematochezia which appears as bright red blood, or black, tarry blood. Blood in the stool is typically a symptom of an underlying condition. Blood in the stool can result from common and minor ailments or may be an indication of serious underlying infection or sickness. While this is not always an emergency condition, if the blood in the stool persists for more than short periods of time or occurs frequently, you should seek veterinary care for your cat.

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Blood in the Stool Average Cost

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Symptoms of Blood in the Stool in Cats

The main symptom of blood in the stool in your cat will be the presence of bright red or dark brown to black blood. This symptom may occur on its own or in combination with other signs such as:

  • Diarrhea or loose stools
  • Mucus in the stool
  • Inappropriate defecation in other parts of home
  • Frequent unproductive trips to the litterbox
  • Vomiting
  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy
  • Increased thirst

Types 

Blood in the stool in cats typically occurs in one of two different forms. Bright red blood in small or trace quantities is generally an indication of an underlying irritation or inflammation in the lower intestinal tract. This type of blood in the stool is referred to as hematochezia.

Dark brown, black, tarry or coagulated blood in the stool is typically an indicator of irritation or other source of blood further up in the intestinal tract or stomach. The black color of the blood, or melena, can occur when stomach acids begin breaking down the blood.

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Causes of Blood in the Stool in Cats

Blood in the stool in cats can be caused by a number of irritants or infections. Common causes may include:

  • Change in food causing upset stomach
  • Consumption of too much human food
  • Eating too much
  • Stress
  • Colitis or inflammation of the colon
  • Parasites
  • Protozoa infections such as giardia or coccidia
  • Panleukopenia caused by exposure to feline parvovirus
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Trauma to the rectum
  • Idiopathic or unknown causes
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Diagnosis of Blood in the Stool in Cats

Diagnosis of blood in the stool of your cat will require your veterinarian to diagnose the underlying condition that is causing the signs. During the initial veterinary exam you should provide your veterinarian with a complete history of your cat’s signs. Noting whether your cat is also suffering from diarrhea and vomiting, whether they have been eating regularly, and any other behavioral changes will be important. You should provide your veterinarian with information on the type of food your cat eats, as well as if there have been any dietary or lifestyle changes in the household that may have induced the signs. 

Your veterinarian will then use the information you have provided, the results of the physical exam of your cat, and possible lab tests to come to a possible diagnosis. 

Your veterinarian will most likely perform a fecal smear of your cat’s stool in order to check for parasites that may be irritating your cat’s intestine. This is typically performed quickly in your veterinarian’s office. Your veterinarian may order blood work, which will give a detailed report on your cat’s white blood cell count and may help identify the presence of any infection.

If these tests come back negative, your veterinarian may perform more detailed analyses. These may include an ultrasound of the abdomen, x-rays, or colonoscopy to provide images of your cat’s digestive tract. For most of these procedures, your cat will need to be sedated or anesthetized so that a clear image can be obtained.

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Treatment of Blood in the Stool in Cats

Treatment of blood in the stool of your cat will depend on the underlying condition causing the signs. If food is the suspected culprit, your veterinarian may recommend a bland or prescription diet to help eliminate irritation. Food changes should generally be done gradually to eliminate additional digestive upset. For stress related colitis, you and your veterinarian should discuss ways to eliminate stress for your cat, up to including prescription medication for anxiety or nervousness.

For parasites, your veterinarian will administer appropriate medications and will also recommend a regular parasite prevention treatment. For more serious infections such as coccidia, giardia or panleukopenia, your cat may need temporary veterinary hospitalization in order to stabilize their condition and treat with strong antibiotics. In any case of extreme dehydration or diarrhea, your veterinarian may administer IV fluids to help stabilize your cat while they undergo treatment.

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Recovery of Blood in the Stool in Cats

Prognosis for a cat experiencing blood in its stool will depend on the underlying cause, but for most cases is good. In the case of severe infections, your veterinarian may choose to allow your cat to recover at their office where it can receive around the clock medical care. In many cases, blood in the stool will resolve shortly after treatment or altering of diet. If your cat has been diagnosed with sensitivities to types of food you should develop a plan to avoid accidental consumption of the irritating ingredients. 

For most cases of blood in the stool, your cat will heal with time and appropriate care and will have a normal happy and healthy lifespan.

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Blood in the Stool Average Cost

From 396 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,000

Average Cost

$800

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Written by a lover Michele K.

Veterinary reviewed by: Michele K.

Published: 11/13/2016, edited: 02/24/2021

Blood in the Stool Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Feline

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4-6 weeks

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Black Stool

Rescued stray kitten on 9/22, has only pooped twice, both black and firm. Do we need to bring him to urgent care or just monitor him?Has appt at vet on Tuesday 9/29. Eating, drinking, urinating very energetic and playful

Sept. 26, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay in my reply, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. If he was doing well otherwise, you were probably okay to have him seen at his regular appointment. If he is still having problems, It would be best to have your pet seen by a veterinarian, as they can examine them, see what might be going on, and get any testing or treatment taken care of that might be needed.

Oct. 19, 2020

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4-6 weeks

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Black Stool

Rescued stray kitten on 9/22, has only pooped twice, both black and firm. Do we need to bring him to urgent care or just monitor him?Has appt at vet on Tuesday 9/29. Eating, drinking, urinating very energetic and playful

Sept. 26, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. I apologize for the delay in my reply, this venue is not set up for urgent emails. If he is doing well otherwise, you are likely fine to have him seen at your regular appointment time.

Oct. 19, 2020

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Rag doll

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One Year

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Blood In Stool Vomiting

Had normal stool with bright red blood on top, vomiting often

Aug. 5, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. If your cat is having bloody stool and vomiting frequently, they should probably be seen by a veterinarian as soon as possible. They will be able to examine your cat, see what might be going on, and get treatment so that they can get better. I hope it all goes well for your cat.

Aug. 5, 2020

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Blood In Stool

My cat has been pooping bloody stool the pet couple of days otherwise he’s been acting normal still eats and drinks I recently was on vacation and the people who were watching him noticed the blood I’m just wondering if I should take him to an emergency clinic or not bc the vet I work and go to is booked up and closed today I officially stopped working there yesterday so they aren’t letting me get my car in till next week I’m just very worried

Aug. 4, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. If he is bright and happy otherwise, and eating normally, it may be a bit of stress colitis. You can try feeding him a bland diet of boiled white chicken and boiled white rice for a few days, and see if that helps. If not, then you have your appointment next week, and they will be able to see what might be going on that is causing this. I hope that all goes well for your cat!

Aug. 4, 2020

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Diarrhea Blood In Stool

One of my kittens has diarrhea and blood in stool she didnt have it yesterday

July 28, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. Diarrhea and blood in the stool in cats can be caused by parasites, a change in diet, or eating something that they shouldn't have. You can try feeding a bland diet of boiled white chicken and boiled white rice for a few days, and see if that helps clear things up. If it does not end the diarrhea is continuing or you see more blood, it would be best to have a veterinarian take a look at your kitten. I hope that all goes well for her.

July 28, 2020

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Herb

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unknow

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9 Years

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Lethargic

9yr old cat, awoke to him howling. Found clear vomit and drops of tar like poop around the house. Lethargic, panting and extreme distress. Nothing has changed, food, home etc. Inside only. After about 30 mins of living and calming, he got up and walked to his food bowl. Fresh water, but wouldn't drink. Was able to jump to his favorite spot. Tar like is on his butt but not oozing out. Purring and responsive when you call his name. Vet or monitor? Add pumpkin? Wet food as he has no teeth (he's old) has been fine up until the last 12 hrs. Noticed odd weak behavior when we arrived home (7pm night before) it's now 330am the next morning.

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Zarbout

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unknow

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7 Months

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Diarrhea
Lethargy
Weakness
Loss Of Balance
Loss Of Appetite

Every couple of weeks my cat becomes weak , but gets back in shape in like 48 hours . He’s lethargic , lose his appetite , loses his balance .. But good news , he doesn’t vomit or has a severe diarrhea. But today as he got weak , his stool seemed a bit watery and has small blood spots on it .. it’s medium dark and smells like a baby poop .

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Unknown

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Multi

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10 Years

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Blood In Stool

Recently my family has been noticing cat feces containing blood in our bathroom (where there are no litter boxes). We own four cats so we have no idea who may have done it, but it has happened twice now. I have only seen one of the two incidents with my own eyes; the stool was small and firm, and was located on a towel on the floor. There were smears of bright red blood and what may have been mucus on the towel by the stool that hadn't been there previously. Otherwise, all of my cats have been exhibiting normal behaviors, as far as I can tell. They do have a flea infestation that we've been trying to handle, but it's been getting pretty bad. Do the fleas have anything to do with the blood, or could it be a different and possibly more serious problem? Age in description is an estimation.

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Loki

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short hair

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4 Months

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Bloody Stool. Tapeworm.

Started medicine 3 weeks ago. as soon as I did, I noticed a huge difference. The segments started coming out with hard stools. And I mean alot of them. Even found a dead head within the first 3 days. His bowels seem to go from hard with alot to runny mucous with tints of blood in it which never did this before back to hard. The first week it did this 2xs. Each time the segment count was less and less. Once the 2 weeks were up we were only seeing 1 and his poop was normal. Then the segment count rose again once the medicine dosages ended so we figured there was a worm that didnt die so back on the natural meds he went just to try to kill this thing that's inside him. We has doing fine. Seeing maybe 5 per stool but he has the diarrhea again. Not sure if its the food hes eating with the medicine as its pate can or the worms doing it as its the 3rd time since starting the medicine or if its just meaning they are dying and I'm about to have another clear out? I cant afford a vet visit at the moment til I get car out of the shop so any advice would help here. Never experienced this before.

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Gracie

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Snow shoe

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18 Years

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Blood In Stool

My 18 year old female cat has been recently diagnosed with kidney disease. She has been on special food for it. She is doing well eating. She recently started urinating with blood to find she had a UTI. She just finished her prescription Veraflox. Now finding blountilod in her stools. Is this a something totally unrelated to what she’s been going through. She has been very healthy with no other health issues up

Blood in the Stool Average Cost

From 396 quotes ranging from $200 - $2,000

Average Cost

$800

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