It’s a cat owner’s worst nightmare: looking around and finding blood. When there are no injuries on your cat, you panic until you realize it’s bloody urine you’re looking at. It’s definitely frightful to see blood in cat urine, but luckily most of the causes are not fatal if you rush over to your vet for treatment.
Table of Contents
- Causes of Blood in Cat Urine
- You’ve Heard of Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s), Right?
- Blood in Cat Urine Male Cats
- Home Remedies
Causes of Blood in Cat Urine
There are a few common causes for blood in cat urine, also known as hematuria, but as we said, these are usually treatable if you get your pet to the vet quickly. The most important thing is to take a breath and call your vet if you see your cat urinating blood outside the litter box or around it. Don’t try and treat this at home! It could be serious, and even if it’s not, it’s best to get your vet’s opinion.
You’ve Heard of Urinary Tract Infections (UTI’s), Right?
This is actually a fairly common problem in humans, especially in females. Well female cats deal with UTI’s too, but for them it’s just a little more serious sometimes. If you have an older cat, this is something you should look out for thanks to their more dilute urine. A UTI usually only affects the bladder, but if you leave it too long and it gets serious, it can start to involve the kidneys too.
Look for signs of weight loss, poor appetite, a very thirsty cat, increased frequency of urination, and straining to urinate before seeing blood in the urine. Blood in the urine is a sign that the infection has been there for a while, so don’t waste any time getting to the vet. Thankfully, medication can fix this infection in about a month, with six weeks being the maximum before your cat is perfectly fine again.
Also Read: Using apple cider vinegar for your cat
Crystals or Stones in Urine (Just as Bad as Kidney Stones)
Older female cats deal with UTI’s. Unfortunately though, younger (mostly male) cats are not free of worry. A common cause of bloody urine in younger cats is crystals that block up the urethra. This is quite serious; if the urethra is blocked up, in only a few days your cat can die due to kidney failure. While crystals are a little more common in male cats, sadly both genders experience problems with stones and crystals.
Female cats more often get crystals that form into stones, which wedge themselves in the kidneys, ureters, and the bladder. This can cause a UTI. Luckily though, the stones are a little rarer. Both the stones and the crystals are simple to treat with diet if they can be dissolved or actual surgery to remove them.
Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease (FLUTD)
This is yet another common cause of crystals. Two forms of crystals can be present that might turn into stones that any human dealing with stones knows are painful to pass. Male cats get stones too that might cause a urinary blockage that can become fatal. They prevent urination and poison the cat from the inside. This is known as uremic poisoning.
All cats can get FLUTD when they display painful urination, straining, or barely any urine. Male cats get blockages a lot though, and might vomit, lose their appetite, become lethargic, or even die if not treated properly. Your vet can feel around the bladder with ease and insert a catheter to help him go.
Have You Heard of Interstitial Cystitis?
Unfortunately, interstitial cystitis is much more difficult to understand. Doctors are just figuring out this disease, which is a very common cause for bloody urine. In this case, you will see crystals, stones, UTI’s, and abnormal urine cultures. Thankfully, it treats easy with a change in diet and increased canned food for more hydration and a decrease in urine concentration.
Feline Idiopathic Cystitis (FIC)
If there are not crystals or bacteria in the urine, Feline Idiopathic Cystitis might be the cause. This is more of a disorder since there’s no specific cause, and it might be brought on by stress. Treatment is simple though with fluids, reduction of stress, and supportive care. Your cat might even be given the drug Amitryptiline, so be sure to ask your vet what’s best.
Trauma and Exposure can be Painful
Trauma, like stress, is definitely a cause. If the cat’s bladder was damaged in some way, they may go bloody urine. Go to your vet for this one; they’ll know best.
There’s also the cause of poison. Your cat might not have a UTI and you absolutely can’t figure out what’s wrong. What next? They might have been exposed to rat poison (We know, it’s not as dramatic as being poisoned in the movies, but it’s just as serious). Your cat may start bleeding because the rodenticides are meant to kill the rodent by causing them to bleed to death. Your vet will put your pet on Vitamin K to help them clot properly, but the prognosis really depends on the speed of treatment.
My Poor Female Cat
If your female cat is over four months old and isn’t spayed, she could be in heat. We won’t go over the symptoms of heat for you here, but there is a possibility of blood in the urine. Run to your vet just in case, and maybe consider getting your cat spayed to make sure there are no poor lost kittens running around.
Also Read: Feeding your cat coconut oil
Disorders and Cancers
Humans have a bleeding disorder known as hemophilia, but cats can also develop such disorders. They might not have enough blood platelets or poorly functioning platelets, leading to bleeding in urine or bruises.
Bladder cancer, despite how rare it is, is also another unfortunate possibility. Once again older female cats may suffer from this. If they aren’t responding to antibiotics for a UTI and display other UTI symptoms still, this might be the answer. Chemotherapy and piroxicam are given, along with radiation, and if the tumor is small enough, surgery.
Blood in Cat Urine Male Cats
It’s a little strange to think about, but male cats actually might get worse faster than female cats. They are more prone to FLUTD and crystals, although female cats suffer from stones and UTI’s a little more. Regardless of the problems each gender suffers from, they can both experience this issue of bloody urine. Male cats specifically need treatment quickly though, especially since the causes in male cats are slightly more serious. Blockages are very common in male cats. Treat it within a few days and rush your male cat to the vet as soon as possible. Don’t let it get worse.
- If your cat has urinary tract infection, try giving it cranberry juice. It is known to help stop bacteria from getting to and remaining on the lining of your cat’s bladder. Try to give your cat Vitamin C as well. That helps to make the lining of your cat’s bladder stronger. It also helps to boost your cat’s immune system in general and is anti-inflammatory.
- Understand that high pH levels in your cat’s diet can contribute or even lead to urinary tract infections. To reduce the chances of this, make sure your cat’s diet is more balanced and perhaps, if possible, even phase out dry food. It could actually be a reason. Keep an eye out for specific cat food brands that specifically cater to your cat’s urinary health. I recommend this Purina Pro Plan one and Nine Lives Cat Food.
- Shop for over the counter remedies. There are medicines such as Better Bladder Control and UTI Free. They help to treat your cat’s urinary tract problems and also help to boost the health of your cat’s bladder and urinary tract.
- Keep your cat’s litter box clean and help your cat to exercise more. Remember to give your cat bottled water too. This can help because bottled water specifically does not usually have chlorine or fluoride which can cause your cat toxic harm.
There are so many things that might cause the unfortunate occurrence of blood in your cat’s urine. If you see little splotches of blood around the litter box or on your tile floor, consider the symptoms and take your cat to the vet if you’re unsure. It’s scary, but it doesn’t have to be serious.