Causes of Blood in Cat Urine
Cat Urinary Problems
It could happen to you—one day, you find a few suspicious diluted blood drops in your bathtub or on your kitchen floor. You check your cat and cannot find any obvious signs of injury until you notice that they're urinating blood in the most inappropriate places, regardless of being perfectly house trained. Concerned, you schedule an appointment with your veterinarian.
Causes of blood in cat urine, a condition is medically known as hematuria, may vary. The most common is a condition known as FLUTD, or a urinary tract infection. Often, owners have difficulty telling if their pet is urinating blood or defecating blood, as they find them straining and producing only a few drops of blood. More often than not, they are urinating blood, and because it is mixed in the urine, the blood drops usually assume a pinkish diluted tint.
The following are some of the most common causes of hematuria in cats.
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD)
In this case, crystals tend to form in the urine and cause complications. There are two forms of crystals: struvite crystals and calcium oxalate. These crystals may aggregate and turn into stones that may be painful to pass. Such stones may form in the male cat's urethra and form a plug that may cause a urinary blockage, which may become potentially fatal within a few days or hours. When this happens, because the blockage prevents the cat from urinating, he will become poisoned from its own toxins (uremic poisoning).
The following are key symptoms of FLUTD in cats:
- Painful urination
- Straining to urinate
- Urine limited to a few drops or worse, no urine output
- Bloody urine
- Cat Licking its genitals
- Urinating out of the litter box
Symptoms of the blockage progressing in male cats:
- Loss of Appetite
- Death if left untreated once toxins overwhelm the body, poisoning the cat to death (uremic poisoning)
In this case, prompt treatment is what can make the difference between life or death. Upon seeing the vet, an obstructed cat will exhibit a large, hard bladder. The vet at this point will insert a catheter to unblock the cat. At this point, the cat will urinate abundantly. He may be kept at the hospital for a few days until he's peeing normally and given intravenous fluids in the meantime.
Urinary Tract Infection
Urinary tract infections (just as those affected by FLUTD) tend to lead to urinating in the bathtub or other places outside the litter box, because the cat is in pain and tends to associate the litter box with pain. Therefore, he looks for alternative places. The cool surface of a bath tub or ceramic floors may appeal as well as relief from the from burning sensations near their genitals. Affected cats develop symptoms similar to FLUTD, which means painful urination, bloody urine, urinating in odd places, and licking genitals.
While males are the most common victims of FLUTD, females are more likely to suffer from urinary tract infections. Because females have wider urethras, it is easier for them to get bacteria to climb up the urethra and infect the bladder. Males have more narrow urethras, therefore it is less likely for bacteria to make it up there. Urinary tract infection treatments in cats consist of a course of antibiotics.
Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC)
If the urinalysis is negative for crystals or bacteria, then Feline Idiopathic Cystitis may be another suspect. Idiopathic means "of unknown cause," therefore, it is difficult to find a culprit. Some cats are prone to this disorder after episodes of stress. Treatment often consists of an administration of fluids, reduction of stress, and supportive care. In some cases, the drug Amitriptyline is prescribed.
A cat that has been a victim of some sort of trauma may have blood in the urine if the bladder was badly bruised. In this case, immediate veterinary attention should be sought.
Exposure to Rat Poison
If there are no symptoms suggesting a urinary tract infection, there is a chance that he or she could have been exposed to rodenticides. In this case, a vet visit is in order.
Pets exposed to rodent poison may develop bleeding problems because rodenticides contain products meant to cause the mouse or rat to bleed to death. Affected cats should be put on Vitamin K, which will help the blood clot properly again. A prognosis depends on how fast the cat is treated.
Bleeding disorders are another possible culprit. For instance, the cat may have a decrease in blood platelet or poorly functioning blood platelets, which may cause unexplained bleeding episodes, and the unexplained presences of bruises with blood under the skin.
Even though this is quite rare, this should always be ruled out—especially in senior felines that do not respond to antibiotics and still exhibit blood in the urine and other symptoms similar to a urinary tract infection.
These are some possibilities for your cat. If you see blood in the urine, make sure a proper vet evaluation is sought immediately. Especially when dealing with a male cat, which can progressively worsen within a day or two, or even hours.
In preparation for your visit to the vet, it could be helpful if you were able to collect a small urine sample so that your vet can swiftly test it. This means a quicker diagnosis so that the vet can properly prescribe treatment.
This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.
Questions & Answers
How do you get a urine sample from a cat to take to the vet?
When I worked for a vet, we suggested replacing the normal litter with lentils, beans, or Styrofoam packaging peanuts or shredded plastic shopping bags and then collecting the urine in a sterile cup with date and time on it and refrigerating it if not taking it to the vet immediately. I think there is also a non-absorbent litter made just for the purpose, your vet may stock it. If you can't collect a sample this way, your vet can collect a sample directly from the bladder through a procedure known as cystocentesis.Helpful 15