Blood in stool

by Diana
(Ontario Canada)

Im wondering if you could give me some reasons why i would find blood in my cats stool.


ANSWER:

You say that your cat has blood in its stool but you don’t mention any other symptoms that you’ve noticed such as your cat straining more than normal when having a bowel movement, that your cat is drinking more water than normal, or that the cat is vomiting or also has diarrhea or appears depressed. With this lack of additional information I will attempt to cover most bases in order to help you and your feline friend.

Although seeing blood in your cat’s stool can be a little disconcerting, it may be something minor. Usually, unless there is a lot of blood or it lasts more than one or two days, it’s minor. However, the blood can be either bright red or dark, tarry black. Each has different reasons and different solutions. If this is a frequent thing that happens then it’s more serious and you should get your cat to your veterinarian. The vet can determine the reasons for the blood by rectal exams, blood tests, urinalysis, abdominal ultrasound, colonoscopy and fecal lab exams….to name the main ones.

Common causes for red and fluid blood in a cat’s stool are that dry and hard stools are irritating the rectum and anus resulting in bleeding. Typically, a change in diet will resolve this issue and there are foods that are lower in fat and have moderate fiber that work well. In an older animal it might be a cancer warning or internal parasites have taken up residence inside your younger cat. Common gastrointestinal parasites, such as roundworms, hookworms and tapeworms (to name a few) can lead to blood in the stool. Others are single-celled organisms called protozoa. De-wormers will usually take care of those. While roundworms and tapeworms are the most common in cats it is the bacterial infections they can cause that manifests a result like blood in the stool. Clostridial bacterial infections that cause colitis which is an inflammation of the intestines can lead to blood in the stool also. Antibiotics will be needed in this case.

Giardia and coccidian are two organisms which can cause your cat to have bloody diarrhea and the bacteria can cause an infection which would show blood in the stool. Sometimes if your cat’s stomach or bowel is irritated, it can result in some blood in the stool. Cat Inflammatory Bowel Disease is another possibility. If the anal glands, which are on either side of your cat’s anus, become impacted, this can result in a bloody stool. Polyps present in the anus or lower intestine is another reason for blood. In an older cat, blood might be an alert that cancer is in its lower bowels. Detailed descriptions of parasites is here at Cat Internal Parasites.


As for the black, tarry and less fluid blood, this can be a sign of melena which happens when blood has been digested much higher up in your cat’s intestinal tract. Of course there are other reasons for blood in your cat’s stool such as bacterial infections, allergies, polyps in the colon or rectum, injury to the lower bowel or anal area, colitis and other inflammatory bowel problems and the parasite infections already mentioned.

Treatments will vary according to the cause of the blood in the cat’s stool. You can try a de-wormer and change your cat’s diet to start with. If you determine it is more than having to change your cat’s diet and deworm, then proceed to your veterinarian to search deeper for the causes. Prolonged loss of blood could result in your cat becoming anemic which is life threatening.

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Pooping outside the kitted box

My 11year old cat is in good health, an indoor cat. He uses the litter box almost all the time to pee but rarely to poop. He prefers a rug or couch for that. We have placed Scat in several places but that is an expensive solution.
What can we do to get him to the litter box. We acquired him one year ago from an elderly relative who had multiple cats. She passed away and we took him. This has been an ongoing problem since we got him.
What can we do?
.
Thank you.


ANSWER:

I can understand the frustration that you must be feeling with your older kitty’s behavior but I see numerous anxieties and stress issues that the cat is experiencing that may cause this behavior.

  • Your cat has lost a beloved person (your elderly relative).
  • Your cat has lost his friends (it was a multiple cat household).
  • Are you using the same brand of litter that your relative used? Cats are funny critters when it comes to their litter. My 5 cats prefer clumping litter to alternatives. Another important factor is the litter box location. Peeing is fast whereas defecation takes longer. Is the litter located in a noisy area?
  • Since your cat is urinating in the litter box but not pooping there then he may have used one litter box for peeing and another one for pooping. In a multiple cat household there are typically several litter boxes.
  • If you scold him for this behavior, then stop doing it. A cat has reasons other than wanting to be mean or disobedient for their behaviors. You have to get to the cause to alleviate some of the stress.
  • This cat has also been relocated and cats are very territorial and can become depressed and stressed trying to adjust….yes, if the issues aren't dealt with it can take even more than a year.


  • Also, there is the possibility of an underlying gastro-intestinal infection that makes defecating painful for him and he could be associating the litter box with pain. The fact that he still gets pain when he does his business elsewhere isn’t the way cats think…..the box is to blame because it was first. Older cats can also get a form of arthritis and it makes it difficult for them to position themselves properly in the box, especially if the box is not a large one…..so the floor or sofa gets the “gift”. To rule out medical reasons, have your vet check for parasites. They are easy to treat. Imaging with ultrasound may be necessary to make sure the gastro-intestinal tract is okay.

    However, I’m inclined to think its stress induced fecal incontinence which is a behavioral inappropriate pooping reaction to stress. There are many manifestations of stress behavior ranging from aggression to scaredy cats that I mention on the page Cat Behavior Problems. On the second section lower on that page you will see where I mention a product that I use called Feliway which is dispensed in a diffuser that you plug into the wall. It is a synthetic copy of the feline facial pheromone, used by cats to mark their territory as safe and secure. When a cat rubs its cheek along your leg it is depositing this pheromone on you. There is also a spray but I haven’t found that to be very effective. This stuff is expensive so I started with just one bottle which lasts a month and then when I saw success, it became a part of our household needs. The cheapest outlet I’ve found is Entirely Pets. Also, their shipping is fast. Simply scroll down the list of options to the bottom and click on "cat supplies".

    If you choose not to try Feliway because of its cost then I would suggest that you try to resolve some of the stresses your cat is experiencing. Give him a second litter box and confine him in a small room with little furniture giving him food and water. With the two litter boxes he will have choices. Try this for three days and see if it helps. Go in and play with him a few times each day to show him you care. If that doesn’t improve his behavior then try the Feliway or talk to your vet about other alternative medications. I’ve named a few on the Cat Behavior Medications page. Once you have his pooping resolved you might think about getting him a friend, but not until he is relaxed. He doesn’t need more stress right now.

    I hope that you will find these suggestions useful but each cat reacts differently. If all else fails then I suggest that you get a feline behavioral professional who is better equipped to assist you. Best of luck to you and your feline friend.

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organ transplant patients & cats

by Eileen Tigges
(Pen Argyl, PA 18072)

I have had 2 organ transplants ('96 Liver, dialysis inbetween, 2010 Kidney). I am disabled and home all day. I need to move. My 10 yr. old cat has been my major companion through these recent years.
Most apartments require my 10 yr. old cat to be de-clawed. No such restrictions on dogs (I used to rent apts. to tenants- beside cats urinating...dogs do more damage all over).
I have been subjected to home inspections by health teams during this time...my cat is up to date on shots, well behaved. I am worried he will start to urinate on carpets and he will have to be put down.
Most of these places are stubborn in their requirement, not amount of deposit will be considered.

I need help!

Eileen Tigges
eileen_brown@hotmail.com
610-295-5201


ANSWER:

I am a little confused because I went to Google and put... Pet Friendly Apartments... in the search box, followed by your town and state. A page full of answers came back and when I clicked on a few and went to pet requirements most of them simply listed a deposit for a cat, there was no mention of declawing.

Personally, I would never declaw my cats. It is a cruel and inhumane procedure that even a lot of vets will not perform. Please read my page on this topic for details at Declawing Cats. Plus, just because you relocate a cat doesn't mean it will start urinating outside the litter box. Stress can cause this to happen for a brief period but it's not a permanent thing. For situations like this, there are Cat Diapers to remedy the situation until the stress is gone and your cat is happy in his new surroundings.

You mention that you have had organ transplants and that you are somewhat handicapped because of this. So, do you mean that you need assisted living facilities, or government subsidized facilities and they are the ones with the declawing requirements? If this is the case, then please write me: (webmaster@cat-health-detective.com) and we can try to find a sympathetic person or department to deal with. If that is not the case then try going to www.peoplewithpets.com and click on your State. There were a number of towns listed from your state and if your area is not listed they have a Relocation Help Form to fill out and then they will put you in touch with a locator in your area.

I hope that these suggestions help you. Your cat is your buddy and your friend...don't declaw him...use every alternative method possible. There are apartments out there that don't have this barbaric requirement.

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