Vomiting of Blood in Cats

Written By Darlene Stott
Published: 10/18/2016Updated: 07/01/2021
Veterinary reviewed by Michele K.
Vomiting of Blood in Cats - Signs, Causes, Diagnosis, Treatment, Recovery, Management, Cost

What is Vomiting of Blood?

Hematemesis is often a sign of gastrointestinal disorders or bleeding. Contact your veterinarian immediately during the first instance if possible, as this can be a sign of a problem.  

While vomiting in cats can be quite common, vomiting of blood, known as hematemesis, may be an indication of a serious condition in cats that warrants immediate veterinary attention. The blood in a cat’s vomit may be bright red or dark-colored with an appearance often likened to “coffee grounds”, which can be differentiated from spots of blood present in the vomit. Spots of blood in the vomit may result from irritation caused by vomiting. However, it is a good idea to seek veterinary attention despite what the blood looks like or what you think the cause may be.

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Vomiting of Blood Average Cost

From 427 quotes ranging from $200 - $3,000

Average Cost

$800

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Symptoms of Vomiting of Blood in Cats

If blood in your cat’s vomit is bright red, it is fresh and may have been caused by external trauma to the esophagus, such as swallowing a foreign object, or an oral condition. Darker blood may indicate issues lower in the digestive tract. If the problem persists, seek immediate veterinary attention for your cat as soon as you notice any of the following signs:

Causes of Vomiting of Blood in Cats

There are several causes of vomiting of blood in cats. Your veterinarian will be able to determine the cause upon diagnosis. Possible causes include, but are not limited to:

  • Adverse reaction to medication
  • Gingivitis
  • Trauma to the esophagus
  • Ulcers located in the gastrointestinal tract or esophagus
  • Respiratory disease
  • Certain cancers, particularly if tumors are bleeding
  • Blood clotting conditions

Diagnosis of Vomiting of Blood in Cats

Your veterinarian will ask you about any specific events or known disorders that may have led to the vomiting. Be sure to answer all your veterinarian’s questions to the best of your ability, and be prepared to provide a list of any medications your cat is currently taking.

Your veterinarian can use a number of tests to determine the cause of vomiting of blood. The veterinarian may make a tentative diagnosis based on presentation of symptoms. Tests are required for a definitive diagnosis. Your veterinarian may analyze your cat’s blood and urine in addition to performing an endoscopy, c, ultrasound, or x-rays. If cancer is suspected, the veterinarian may take a biopsy of the gastrointestinal tract.

Take a small sample of vomit or stool to the veterinarian with you if you can, as while veterinarians cannot effectively test vomit samples for disease and other conditions, seeing the appearance of the vomit or stool may be helpful.

Treatment of Vomiting of Blood in Cats

Treatment will vary based on the underlying cause:

Disease

In many cases of vomiting of blood caused by disease, treatment may be more aggressive depending on the disease. Certain diseases may be managed by drug therapy. Gingivitis can be treated through a thorough dental cleaning. Hospitalization and intravenous fluid therapy may also be required to restore electrolytes and fluids lost during vomiting.

Ulcers

The veterinarian may prescribe medication that will help prevent the ulcer from causing any more harm to the lining of the stomach and reduce the acidity of the stomach environment. A special or bland diet is usually also prescribed. Surgery is another possible method of treatment for ulcers, which will require an endoscopy beforehand to locate the ulcers. Your veterinarian will schedule a follow-up appointment to monitor the ulcers through endoscopy.

Cancer

Depending on the location and stage of the cancer, treatment methods may include surgery, chemotherapy, or radiation treatment. Your veterinarian will discuss your options with you based on your cat’s specific needs.

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Recovery of Vomiting of Blood in Cats

Recovery and prognosis will vary based on the underlying cause and the recommended course of treatment. Be sure to follow all your veterinarian’s treatment and recovery instructions carefully.

If your cat has been diagnosed with gingivitis, you will need to ensure that you take proper care of your cat’s teeth by brushing them each day, if it is not painful for your cat. Your veterinarian will be able to advise you on a dental care regimen.

If your cat has been prescribed drug therapy to treat gastrointestinal ulcers, it is imperative that you administer the medication for the entire duration of the recommended treatment period even if symptoms start to clear up. Failure to do so could result in aggressive recurrence.

If your cat has had surgery, ensure that he or she does not irritate the surgery site. After any major operation or procedure, you’ll need to provide a warm, safe place for your cat to rest. Additionally, you should ensure that clean drinking water is always available and accessible. Your veterinarian will be able to advise you on dietary changes.

Vomiting of Blood Average Cost

From 427 quotes ranging from $200 - $3,000

Average Cost

$800

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Vomiting of Blood Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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maine coon

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Seven Years

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28 found this helpful

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28 found this helpful

My pet has the following symptoms:
Vomiting Blood
Two of my cats are vomiting blood that is bright red. Neither one has been outside or exposed to plants or poison. I did give them canned meat last night and they don't usually have it. The only emergency vet near by is an hour and a half away. Is there anything I can do or watch for to help them or should I go to the vet?

Jan. 29, 2021

Answered by Dr. Sara O. DVM

28 Recommendations

Hello, vomiting blood is very concerning and the best thing that your cats see a vet. This meat could have been bad and upset their stomachs. Usually, when a pet is vomiting, I recommend a bland diet. But vomiting blood could be an indication of a GI ulcer or something more serious wrong that would need immediate vet attention.

Jan. 29, 2021

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charishmakatari@gmail.com

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6months

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0 found this helpful

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0 found this helpful

My pet has the following symptoms:
Vomiting
He has been spayed on Saturday and is now vomitting in red colour foam worried

Sept. 28, 2020

Answered by Dr. Michele K. DVM

0 Recommendations

Thank you for your question. Vomiting blood is a problem, I see why you are concerned. If he/she is still having this problem, it would be best to have your veterinarian look at your pup to make sure that all is okay, and see if any treatment is needed. I hope your puppy is okay!

Oct. 8, 2020

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Vomiting of Blood Average Cost

From 427 quotes ranging from $200 - $3,000

Average Cost

$800

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