Bloody pee is one of the typical reasons cat owners look for veterinary assistance. It is a heartbreaking situation when you notice the drops of blood in a litter box, on sheet material or the floor. This article will share the common causes of blood in cat urine and the related treatments.
The medical term for having blood in the urine is called “hematuria”. Hematuria might make pee pink or red or appears in dull shading. Although hematuria can be as obvious as blood in the pee, it may not always be visible when there is just a little blood.
You might see the following symptoms of a cat urinating blood alongside the coloured pee.
- Increased thirst and drinking
- Urinating more often than normal
- Facing difficulty in peeing
- Spending a long time in the litter box but only passing a small amount of pee
- Pain when urinating, e.g., crying out in the litter box
- Peeing at unusual places instead of the litter box
- Foul-smelling pee
- Excessively licking of the private part
- Not urinating, this is an alarming situation to contact the veterinarian as soon as possible.
Causes of Cats Peeing Blood
Urinary diseases such as urinary tract infections and bladder stones or tumours are the most common causes of cats peeing blood. Keep scrolling to understand the causes better.
The term “cystitis” means inflammation of the urinary bladder. Cystitis in cats is also known as Feline Idiopathic Cystitis or Feline Interstitial Cystitis (FIC) and Feline Urologic Syndrome (FUS). All of them fall under the umbrella of Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD).
- Stress and anxiety
- Tumor or cancer in the lower urinary tract
- Bladder stones
- Blood clotting disorder
- Bacterial infection (more common in cats over ten years old)
Crystalluria means the presence of crystals in urine. It can happen in both male and female cats.
When remain untreated, the crystals can accumulate and lead to blockage of the urethra in cats. Male cats have higher chances of a urinary blockage because the urethra is long and narrow. While female cats have wide as well as short urethra so, there are fewer chances of blockage. Nevertheless, these crystals with minerals like calcium and urate can lead to stones in the kidneys, ureters or bladder. Crystals or stones in the urinary tract not only cause blood in urine but can also cause chronic urinary tract infection.
There are a couple of reasons for the formation of crystals and stones, including poor diet, long-term dehydration, urine pH out of balance and dietary supplements or medicines.
Diagnosis of Blood in Cat Pee
Before applying any treatment, a proper diagnosis of the disease is very important. The veterinarian is the only best person who can diagnose your cat’s actual problems and guide you with the treatment.
Your veterinarian will begin by asking you questions relating to your cat’s diet, behaviour and any trauma in the past. Provide as much information as you can for your veterinarian to find clues about the reason for peeing blood. Even the most minor details also matter in proper diagnosis.
After taking all the possible information from you, your veterinarian will perform physical examinations and medical tests on your cat, including urine analysis and blood tests. He will collect a urine sample to evaluate how concentrated the urine is and determine the presence of crystals, blood cells or even bacteria. While blood tests can help to search for other evidence of urinary tract diseases like kidney issues and bleeding disorders. Your vet may also perform an in-house X-ray or urinary tract ultrasound to help identify urinary tract tumour, stones or other abnormalities.
Treatment of Blood in Cat Urine
There is no universal treatment for cat peeing blood. Each case should be investigated and treated according to the specific problem. Successfully treating urinary problems in cats always requires extra care and patience.
Dehydrated cats will be treated with IV fluids. Increased water consumption helps treat hematuria because drinking a lot of water can flush wastes from the body in the form of pee and keep the urinary tract clean.
The treatment of urinary stones depends on the types and composition of the stone. Urinary stones like uric acid stones can be treated with prescribed food and medical, which can dissolve the stone. Certain stones like calcium oxalate are resistant to being dissolved hence require surgical removal, known as a cystotomy.
Emergency treatment is required for cats with the blocked urethra. When the urethra is blocked, your cat cannot pass urine and further affect the function of kidneys to remove toxins from the blood. Such a situation is life-threatening that can even cause death in 24 to 48 hours. Most blocked cats will need to be hospitalised immediately to relieve the obstruction and empty the bladder by using a urinary catheter. This treatment usually continues for several days until your cat can urinate normally. After that, the vet will likely recommend a special diet formulated for urinary health to prevent blockage from happening again.
For hematuria caused by bacterial infection, your vet may recommend antibiotics treatment until the infection clears. It usually takes two to four weeks.
Always follow your veterinarian’s instructions and do not try any remedy on your own because it may do more harm than good. During your cat’s treatment of hematuria, keep it indoors all the time so that you can keep an eye on its activities and recovery progress.
Some medicines may cause side effects for your cat such as vomiting, diarrhoea and poor appetite. In such case, contact your veterinarian for further advice.
Recovery of Blood in Cat Urine
The recovery will depend on the cause of the problem, how quickly the cat was diagnosed and the treatment your vet prescribed. The earlier the problem is diagnosed, the higher the chances of a better recovery. It is important to attend all follow-up visits and report your cat’s condition, be it positive or negative changes, to your veterinarian from time to time. In most cases, cats can fully recover from peeing blood with proper care and treatments. Certain situations may require ongoing care and treatment, such as feeding a therapeutic diet, daily supplements and medicines.
How to Avoid Cat Peeing Blood
Whether your cat has a urinary disease history or you just want to protect your cat from any diseases, these tips can be a lifesaver for you and your cat:
Encouraging frequent urination and producing more dilute urine in your cat appear to be helpful in treating many urinary diseases. If you are feeding your cat with kibbles, it is recommended to change the dry diet to a wet diet in order to increase your cat’s water intake. You can also add water to dry food like freeze-dried cat food so that your cat can drink more water while enjoying the wholesome food.
Your cat should also eat a complete and balanced diet whereby all the essential nutrients are available sufficiently and appropriately.
An optimal level of water intake will keep your cat healthy because it helps to keep the urinary tract clean and prevent blockage. In this way, it will reduce the chances of hematuria and all other general diseases.
Always keep fresh water available for your cat and keep the water bowl clean. If your cat does not like to drink water, consider changing the water bowl into a drinking fountain as cats prefer running water to still water. Feeding flavoured water is also an excellent way to encourage your cat to drink.
Just like humans, cats with obesity tend to face more health problems than normal weight cats. Diet is the key to controlling your cat’s weight. You should avoid feeding cats with excessive carbohydrates, such as kibbles full of grains, rice and other cheap fillers. On the other hand, pet owners should encourage their cats to exercise by playing with them regularly or providing toys that stimulate physical activity.
Anxiety and stress may play a part in urinary disease. Provide your cat with a healthy and fresh environment. And do not let the cat get bored all day; otherwise, it may cause your cat mental illness in the long run. Spend time with your cat regularly. Provide it with toys to reduce the chances of being lonely or bored because cats are natural predators. Each cat should have access to a private rest area, toys and scratching boards.
Your cat can be stressed if the household has many cats and they have to compete for food, litter box, toys, private rest areas and the owner’s attention. Frequent bullying and fights among the cats can also be a stressful environment. Hence, you should ensure to have one bowl per cat because no cat would like to share the food. The number of cat litter boxes should be sufficient (at least one litter box for one cat) and spread around the house so that the cats have some privacy to do their business. Be sure to clean the litter box daily, as a dirty litter box can contribute stress to cats.
It is necessary to regularly visit the veterinarian to ensure the health and thriving of your pets. As we know, precautions are better than treatment. So, regular checkups can reduce the possibility of your cat facing severe health problems. Adult cats should have their comprehensive checkup at least once a year, while senior cats over ten years of age are advised to visit a veterinarian every six months. Cats hide discomfort and pain well, so do not be misled by their apparent well-being and skip this important visit.
If you observe blood in your cat’s pee or any other symptoms, have it diagnosed by your veterinarian right away. The quicker you start the treatment, the speedier your pet can get back to a trouble-free life.