What causes blood in a cat feces?

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Our question this week was:

My cat has blood in feces, what is this caused by?

TJ Dibiaso

Answer

Hi – thanks for your email. Blood in the feces can be caused by several reasons. Fecal blood can be digested (look black and tarry) which means it comes from the stomach. The most common reasons for that is a stomach problem or an oral problem (such as a tooth problem from which they swallowed blood). They can have ulcers and cancer.

Bleeding from the lower gastrointestinal track is more likely to look like fresh blood.

It can be caused by a variety of things including:

  • Infectious agents
  • Certain drugs
  • Cancer
  • Foreign bodies in the stomach or intestines
  • Infiltrative and inflammatory gastrointestinal diseases
  • Ingestion of blood
  • Coagulopathies (bleeding disorders)
  • Metabolic and other diseases that cause gastrointestinal ulceration
  • Perioperative hemorrhage (bleeding associated with surgery on the intestinal tract)
  • Gastrointestinal ischemia (lack of blood supply)
  • Ingestion of heavy metals (uncommon causes)

    I'd recommend that you take her and a fecal sample to your vet for evaluation. An article that might be helpful to you is Melena (Digested Blood in Stool) in Cats and Hematochezia (Fresh Blood in Stool) in Cats.

    Best of luck!

    Dr. Debra

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