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What is Peeing Blood?

If your cat’s urine changes from its usual yellow to a brown or brownish-red, this may indicate the condition known medically as hematuria, or blood in the urine. Hematuria may be accompanied by crying when using the litterbox, or missing the litter box entirely. Blood-tinged urine is a sign to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.  

  • Dehydration
  • Physical trauma
  • Urinary cancer
  • Urinary crystals
  • Urinary tract infection

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Why Peeing Blood Occurs in Cats

Cats may end up with blood in their urine for a number of reasons, some of which have a simple fix while others have a more complicated treatment plan. Some of the more common reasons include:

Dehydration

Felines in the wild get the largest percent of their moisture from the prey that they eat. Housecats who are fed dry food are not getting as much hydration from their food, and they must supplement with fresh water more often. As cats have a low thirst drive, they may not be motivated to drink, particularly if ill or as they age, and in those circumstances, it may be advised to add wet food to the diet as well. 

Physical Trauma

In some cases, physical trauma can cause internal bleeding which leaks into the urine at some point along the urinary tract. In these situations, your cat may also show signs of pain or weakness and may be reluctant to eat. If you believe your cat is bleeding internally due to trauma, the cat should be taken to the veterinarian right away. 

Urinary Cancer

The tumors and ulcers that form when cancer attacks the urinary system can cause hematuria to develop. Although fairly rare compared to the other possibilities, this should always be ruled out; this is particularly true for senior cats or cats that continue to exhibit blood in the urine after antibiotics. 

Urinary Crystals

Microscopic crystals may clump together in your cat’s urine and cause larger crystals that are unable to pass through the urinary tract, and that can cause damage to the tissue membranes. These crystals, as they grow larger, may develop into bladder stones and can potentially be fatal if left untreated.  

Urinary Tract Infection

Known by a number of different names, including feline interstitial cystitis (FIC), feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD), or feline urologic syndrome (FUS), infections in the urinary tract can cause your cat a great deal of pain. Many cats attempt to find a new place to go to the bathroom where it won’t hurt, making it more likely for the cat to soil the house when it is experiencing this condition. A urinary tract infection can occur at any point along the urinary tract, including within the bladder itself.

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What to do if your Cat is Peeing Blood

If you notice blood in your cat’s urine, you should definitely contact your veterinarian, and they will most likely wish to examine your pet as quickly as possible. If bloody urine is followed by an inability to urinate, a distended abdomen, or lethargy and pale gums, it should be treated as an emergency, and the cat should be transported to the nearest veterinary clinic right away. Once you are in the clinic, your cat will likely undergo a complete physical with a focus on the condition of the abdomen, as well as standard diagnostic tests such as a complete blood count, biochemical profile, and, of course, a urinalysis. 

The examining vet may also wish to get a clearer image of how the urinary system is functioning by utilizing x-ray or ultrasound technology in order to uncover obstructions such as bladder crystals and stones, If any growths are located within the urinary tract, a tissue sample will be taken, and a biopsy performed to see if it is cancerous or benign.

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Prevention of Peeing Blood

Dehydration on its own can cause bloody urine, and many of the other conditions that lead to hematuria are often triggered or made worse by a lack of hydration, so one effective way to help protect your cat from these disorders is to ensure proper hydration. Felines do not have a high thirst drive in general as they typically receive a large portion of their hydration from the foods they eat in the wild, so sometimes they need to be convinced to drink water. 

Switching to a wet food diet quite often will help with hydration for cats that are reluctant to drink water, as can adding an ice cube in with the food. Keeping several water bowls throughout the house full of clean, fresh water may encourage your cat to drink more on their own, and sometimes adding a very small amount of tuna juice or chicken broth may make the water more enticing to your cat.

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Cost of Peeing Blood

Treating a feline for a cancerous condition can be very costly. For example, to treat bladder cancer the cost may average at $6000. To remove ureter stones, the expense may be $1200.

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Peeing Blood Questions and Advice from Veterinary Professionals

Need pet health advice? Ask a vet

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Ask a Vet

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Puddles

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Cat

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10 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Have been and seen vet about my 10yr old cat peeing blood done blood test everything came back clear she was put on nutraease tablets for 7 days but hasnt changed anything

June 28, 2018

Puddles' Owner

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0 Recommendations

There are various causes for urinating blood which include infections, urinary stones, inflammation, trauma, tumours, clotting disorders among other causes; without examining Puddles it is difficult to say what the specific cause of the blood is, however you should return to your Veterinarian for a more thorough examination. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

June 28, 2018

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Garfield

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tabby

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3 Years

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Moderate severity

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0 found helpful

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Moderate severity

Has Symptoms

Peeing Blood And Urinating

My cat had his shot for his uti but is peeing blood alitte bit and had oral antibiotics before that when will the medicine stop making him pee blood we thought he was done peeing blood but we but saw in the bathtub

June 12, 2018

Garfield's Owner

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0 Recommendations

Typically once an infection is treated and the urinary tract is healed, a cat will stop peeing blood; however it is possible that the infection is still present and if this is the case it may be worth having a culture and sensitivity test done to find an antibiotic the infection is susceptible to. Regards Dr Callum Turner DVM

June 12, 2018

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