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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.

Blood in the Stool Average Cost

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

Average Cost

$800

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:

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:

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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.

Blood in the stool can be expensive to treat. If you suspect your cat has blood in their stool or is at risk, start searching for pet insurance today. Brought to you by Pet Insurer, Wag! Wellness lets pet parents compare insurance plans from leading companies like PetPlan and Trupanion. Find the “pawfect” plan for your pet in just a few clicks!

Want more info on pet health insurance? Check out our guide to pet insurance 101.

Paying for your pet’s routine shots, bloodwork and tests can be also difficult to budget for. Fortunately, Wag! Wellness plans cover costs for routine care for your pet, getting your money straight back into your bank account within 24 hours. In the market for wellness plans? Compare wellness plan packages to find the right plan for your pet!

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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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Blood in the Stool Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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dog-breed-icon

Feline

dog-age-icon

4-6 weeks

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

5 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

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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5 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

Was this experience helpful?

dog-name-icon

dog-breed-icon

Feline

dog-age-icon

4-6 weeks

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

thumbs-up-icon

0 found helpful

pill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filledpill-rating-filled

Unknown severity

Has Symptoms

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

answer-icon

Dr. Michele K. DVM

recommendation-ribbon

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

Was this experience helpful?

Blood in the Stool Average Cost

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

Average Cost

$800

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