What's Causing the Blood in My Cat's Stool?

Our veterinary expert, Arnold Plotnick, DVM, says that colitis is the most likely culprit behind bloody cat stool.

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Q: My cat Roofis is about 8 months old. I noticed that sometimes when he defecates there is blood in his stool. I recently treated him for worms. Could the worms cause my cat to have blood in his stool, or could it be something more serious?

A: When bleeding occurs from the stomach or the small intestine, the blood gets digested, and this turns the stool black, like tar. When bleeding occurs in the large intestine, digestion has already occurred, and the blood has its familiar red appearance. The fact that you see red blood suggests that he has colitis, which is an inflammation of his large intestine.  

In a young cat, intestinal parasites are certainly a possibility, and a fecal sample should be evaluated by your veterinarian. A sudden change in diet is another common cause for colitis, so be consistent in the food you offer to your cat. If you ever do alter his diet, do it gradually, throughout the course of several days to minimize the chances of colitis.
Stress is another common cause of colitis. Any sudden change in his environment — a new cat in the household, a new person, a drastic change in the owner’s schedule — can sometimes trigger colitis. In any event, an 8-month-old kitten is pretty unlikely to have a serious problem. In most cases of kitten colitis, a parasite or a dietary cause is usually the culprit.  

Arnold Plotnick, DVM

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Reader Comments

Kim    Seattle, WA

2/11/2014 7:22:40 PM

My cat has some blood when he is finished making a bowl movement. He seems completely fine. He has a good diet of dry and wet food and is portioned controlled. I have been working on him drinking more water. Could it be worms? Hemorrhoids? Does the vet need a stool sample? I have been trying to get a stool sample to the vet but he is not incorporating.

CatChannel Editor    Irvine, CA

9/30/2013 9:33:35 AM

Amanda -- This is a case for a vet, especially if going back to your cat's regular food didn't end the problem. Please take your cat in right away.

Amanda    Granite Falls, NC

9/27/2013 9:01:03 AM

My cat also has a bloody stool, I just noticed it today. She is on a diet of meow mix. Last week my boyfriend brought his cats and they were on a diet of friskies in the can. My cat was eating it as well. Could that be the reason? The cats are gone this week, so she is eating just her meaw mix. She is 9 yrs old and is spayed.

CatChannel Editor    Irvine, CA

5/8/2013 1:06:38 PM

Mark -- That is indeed a possibility. The only sure way to know what's going on with your cat, however, is to take your cat to the vet. All the other signs indicate a healthy cat, so you have a good chance that all is well. Good luck!

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