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What is Bleeding?

Cats can develop several different types of conditions related to bleeding. These conditions could be related to wounds on the skin or the bleeding may come from other body parts, possibly indicating further trauma is occurring internally. Some of the most common types of bleeding in cats include:

  • Bleeding from the anus
  • Bleeding from the ear
  • Bleeding from the mouth
  • Bleeding from the nose
  • Bleeding from wounds
  • Blood in the urine

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Why Bleeding Occurs in Cats

Bleeding in cats can occur for many reasons. Knowing where the bleeding is coming from is one of the first steps in determining why the bleeding has started in the first place.

Bleeding from the Anus

Bleeding from the anus frequently signifies a serious disorder and veterinary professional should be consulted when this symptoms strikes. Possible causes of bleeding from the anus can include polyps or tumors of the colon or anus, abscess or infection of the anal gland, constipation, blood clotting disorders, or even certain types of poisoning. 

Bleeding from the Ear

Some of the conditions that may cause bleeding from the ear are serious whereas others are trivial. It depends on where on the ear the bleeding is coming from and the amount of the bleeding. Scratches or hematomas on the outer portion of the ear may require only minimal treatment; however, underlying disorders such as infestation by mites or carcinomas will require assistance from a veterinary professional. 

Bleeding from the Mouth

The most common type of bleeding that originates in the mouths of felines is due to injury to the mouth, teeth, or tongue, but it can also indicate a foreign body lodged in the patient’s mouth, gum disease, some forms of poisoning, and even the rupture of the internal organs. With a very few exceptions, bleeding from the mouth should be evaluated by a veterinarian.

Bleeding from the Nose

Like humans, cats may get a bloody nose simply from running into something nose first. This type of injury should stop bleeding after twenty minutes or so; if it does not stop bleeding or if it becomes a recurring condition it may be indicative of a more serious origin such as a foreign body trapped in the nose, a dental abscess, a blood clotting disorder, or even cancer, and further diagnostic tests should be run.

Bleeding from Wounds

Cats can receive external wounds without any internal damage from a number of sources including cat fights, falls, and general misadventure. Although small lacerations may be able to be treated at home, wounds larger than an inch should be treated by a veterinarian and wounds of any size that exhibit discharge, swelling, or a foul odor should be medically addressed as these are signs of infection. 

Blood in the Urine

Urine with blood in it is a reddish-brown or red color and can indicated disorders like a urinary tract infection (UTI), exposure to certain poisons, and bleeding disorders. Although rare, finding urine in the blood may also indicate the presence of bladder cancer in felines. If you find evidence in the litter box that there is blood in your cat’s urine you should contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.

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What to do if your Cat is Bleeding

Where the blood is located, the amount of blood present, the length or frequency of the bleeding, and additional symptoms will all need to be taken into account when deciding how to handle cases of feline bleeding.

While small lacerations, hematomas on the ear, and short-lived nosebleeds generally do not necessitate contact with the veterinarian, they quite often benefit from some sort of treatment. In many cases, the length of a nosebleed can be reduced by both keeping the animal calm and by placing an ice pack on the bridge of the cat’s nose in order to constrict the blood vessels in that area. With small lacerations and hematoma wounds you can apply gentle pressure to stop any active bleeding, then the area will need to be flushed out gently, with something like a syringe without a needle, and then it should be dried by patting dry. Once it is clean and dry it may be treated with a disinfectant like betadine. Do not use hydrogen peroxide on cats as this can actually slow the healing process. Most of the other types of bleeding that your cat can experience should be evaluated by a veterinarian as they can indicate disorders that are much more detrimental if they are not properly treated.

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Prevention of Bleeding

Some circumstances that are related to bleeding, such as hereditary bleeding disorders, may not be preventable once the feline is born, however, actions can be taken to lessen the chances that many of the other types of bleeding might develop.

Indoor cats, by and large, are less likely to get wounds or run across toxins that are out in the open like snail and slug bait or pools of antifreeze that may cause internal damage and bleeding from the gastrointestinal tract. Cat owners will also want to ensure that their houses are cat proof and that there are no small, interesting objects in their cat’s reach that might get caught in the animal’s throat or sinus cavity and regular veterinary examinations may help to catch certain disorders before they progress to the point where bleeding is seen. Cancers can attack any body part and in many cases they cause bleeding as well so steps to prevent cancer, such as not allowing smoking or vaping in their environment, reducing the number of toxic cleaning materials they may be exposed to, and creating a low stress environment at home should be taken.

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Cost of Bleeding

In some cases, the cost of treating bleeding may only be the cost of the disinfectant used to prevent infections; in many of the other cases the expenses run quite a bit higher. Urinary tract infections average around $500, and tooth loss tends to set owners back around $800. As the conditions become more life threatening and complicated, the cost to treat them increases with disorders like anemia costing an average of around $3000, and averages for treating cancer between $6000 and $8000.

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Bleeding Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

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Siberian Black and White Cat

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Two Years

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Unknown severity

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1 found helpful

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Has Symptoms

Skin Scab

Hair loss, blood in urine, skin scabs. For his scabs I’ve been putting Vaseline and a gauze over it, I’ve been monitoring him to drink his water as usual so he’s not dehydrated. I’ve been feeding both (not at the same time) dry and wet food. But Im not sure if it’s his diet that makes him have blood in his urine and has been licking his bum very often. For his hair loss he’s been having for about 1 1/2 months at first I thought like he losses his hair to grow a new hair coat but I wanna make sure from a vet that that’s what it is.

Dec. 19, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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1 Recommendations

Hello this hair loss can be from many different t thing. You can put Neosporin on the scabs to help. The blood in his Irvine could be a bladder infection or crystals in his urine. It would be best for your vet to see him. They can start him on antibiotics that would help his skin and urine. Switching him to a urinary diet will help if he just has crystals in his urine but I would suspect that he also has an infection and needs antibiotics. I hope you cat starts to improve soon.

Dec. 19, 2020

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domestic cat

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3.5 Years

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7 found helpful

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Blood In Urine

We just got our fixed female cat looked wet around her bottom area and in wiping it, it was noted to be blood. We did observe her going to the bathroom and she seemed to only urinate a little bit and it appears rusty colored. She has no other symptoms.... Seems to be eating and drinking fine. Just wondering if this could be a urinary tract infection?

Oct. 22, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Linda S. MVB MRCVS

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7 Recommendations

Hi there, you are through to Dr Linda. Blood from a spayed female coming from the back end (assuming it is not her bottom) is most often associated with a bladder issue at her age. It would be best to have the urine analysed by a vet to check for crystals, bacteria, protein etc. Oftentimes, there is not an actual bacterial infection so antibiotics are not needed. Many cats develop a condition known as FLUTD (feline lower urinary tract disease) which can be associated with being over weight, not drinking enough water, stress etc. These cats typically respond well to lifestyle and diet modifications as well as a short course of anti inflammatories.

Oct. 22, 2020

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cat

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Ten Years

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3 found helpful

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Spotting Blood

There isn’t any blood in her urine ... and she’s going to the bathroom fine , but where ever she lays on my bed she spots , what could this possibly be?

Oct. 19, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Sara O. DVM

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Hello, So sorry to hear about your cat. This could be a urinary tract infection or vaginal infection. If she is not spayed, this could be her in heat. It would be best for your vet to look at her and start her on antibiotics to clear up this infection. I hope your cat starts to feel better soon.

Oct. 19, 2020

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tabby cat

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Nine Years

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3 found helpful

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Bleeding From Rectum

My 9 year old cat has been bleeding from his rectum even when he hasn't pooped. It randomly drops and ill find the drops and then see where its come from his rectum. He has been acting strangely the past couple of days and being extra clingy.

July 30, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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Thank you for your question. There can be many causes for bleeding from the rectum, including parasites, intestinal infection, or more serious inflammation. If this is something that is going on and not getting better for your cat, it would be best to have him seen by a veterinarian. They will be able to examine him, see what might be going on, and let you know what treatment options are available. I hope that all goes well for him.

July 30, 2020

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Cat

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2-3 years

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1 found helpful

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Has Symptoms

Lump Right Under Jar. Found Blood

Found drops of blood on my couch and on the floor. I couldn’t find anywhere on my car that had blood on him. What do you think the problem could be? I found a about nickel size lump under his jaw more towards the side. Should I be worried about that? He is a male cat. And is fixed.

July 15, 2020

Owner

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Dr. Michele K. DVM

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I would be a little concerned, yes. Without seeing him, I can't say for sure what might be going on, but it would be a good idea to monitor him closely and see if the bleeding continues, or if the lump is getting bigger. If so, then having him seen by a veterinarian would be a good idea. If things resolve and the lump gets smaller, and you don't see blood anywhere, then he may be fine. I hope that all goes well for him.

July 15, 2020

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Francis

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Domestic shorthair

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1 Year

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Moderate severity

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My cat is a one year old neutered male who lives indoors. He will often start bleeding from his anus out of nowhere. He doesn't seem to have a difficult time going to the litter box but I'm concerned because he will just be sitting there and start bleeding with no indication of pain or meows. I took him to the emergency pet care when it first occurred but the vet said that they checked his stool and found traces of blood but other than that, his vitals were fine and he was responding well. She told me to look out for any vomiting or pain in the stomach area, but nothing like that is happening.

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Lexi

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Black

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16 Years

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Moderate severity

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Scratching
Irrit

My cat is 16 years old and has become careless about her claws on her back paws. I’m scared she’s tearing her ear tissue when she scratches herself. I have noticed blood clouts near her ears and on my bed I see small pieces of dried up blood with fur on it.

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Onix

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Unknown

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3 Months

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Serious severity

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Serious severity

Has Symptoms

Eye Bleeding
Mucus Discharge
Bleeding,

Bleeding from the ears and the right eye, also has respiratory infection. What would cause the bleeding? We are taking him back to the get when my brother-in-law gets back from off the boat in a couple of days, but would really like some professional thoughts on what it might be before hand.

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Guera

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egeptian meow

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2 Months

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Fair severity

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Has Symptoms

Nose Bleed
Letargic
Pooped Herself

My kitten is about 2 months old when we noticed it squirming and bleeding out of its nose, she choked on the blood and seemed very lethargic but the bleeding only lasted shortly, she is now sleeping but breathing normal and seems fine. Any advise on what to do? should I be worried?

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Bootz

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Long hair domestic cat

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2 Years

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Fair severity

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Bleeding From My Cats Butt

My cat caught fleas someway somehow she don't even go outside. So we gave her a bath and she started to bleed it look like out of her butt I mean she was scared but is that normal when I got her out it was she wasn't bleeding any more but you could tell it was blood does anybody know why or experienced this before if so can you please comment me back I appreciate it it really had me worried but like I said when I got her out she wasn't bleeding no more but I could swear it was coming from her butt .

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