The Cat Health Guide is not intended to replace the advice of a Veterinarian or other Health Professional. This site accepts advertising and other forms of compensation for products mentioned. Such compensation does not influence the information or recommendations made. We always give our honest opinions, findings, beliefs, or experiences. Most pet parents are understandably concerned about blood in cat urine. Learn what could be causing it, and how you can find out for sure. Blood in Cat Urine: What Does it Mean?
Enter the terms you wish to search for. Sometimes you can’t see the blood until the urine is examined with a microscope or detected on urinalysis. Blood in the urine is called hematuria. Hematuria can be identified by the presence of pink, red, brown or black urine or by the microscopic presence of blood cells. Blood tests are usually needed to verify or exclude a bleeding or clotting disorder. The most common, general diagnosis for hematuria in cats is cystitis. The term cystitis does not imply a specific cause.
In cats, diseases of the lower urinary tract, the bladder and urethra, are often categorized by the term feline lower urinary tract disease or FLUTD. We use these broad medical terms because it can be challenging to distinguish between the various diseases of the bladder and urethra, and many conditions affect the entire lower urinary tract. Idiopathic is a term that means the exact cause is unknown. What are the symptoms of cystitis? The typical symptoms of cystitis or FLUTD in cats are associated with inflammation and irritation of the lower urinary tract. Affected cats often spend a long time straining in the litter box while passing only small volumes of urine.
The presence of bloody, foul-smelling, or discolored urine. Urinating in unusual places such as on furniture, floors, and corners, called periuria. These cats strain to urinate producing a few drops or no urine. What are the causes of cystitis? Blood in a cat’s urine can have many potential causes. How will blood in your cat’s urine be diagnosed?
The initial diagnosis for a cat suffering from hematuria is based on the presence of symptoms consistent with lower urinary tract inflammation. A complete urinalysis with sediment exam is the most common diagnostic test used to confirm the presence of urinary tract inflammation or infection, and is often performed in the practice, real time. Treatment for feline hematuria is based on the underlying cause. Bacterial infections of the lower urinary tract typically respond well to antibiotic therapy for two to four weeks. For sterile or idiopathic cystitis other treatments such as dietary changes, anti-inflammatory drugs, environmental changes, encouraging more water intake, and others may be recommended. If a cat develops a blocked urethra, emergency treatment is required to remove the blockage. Urethral obstruction occurs almost exclusively in male cats.
Other treatment options may be recommended based on your cat’s specific blockage. In some cases, an initial treatment can be determined by the results of a urinalysis. There is no universal treatment for hematuria, cystitis, or FLUTD. Each case has to be diagnosed and the treatment tailored to the individual cat. Not uncommonly, despite appropriate tests and treatment, clinical signs and hematuria may recur, requiring further therapy and diagnostic testing. Successfully treating lower urinary tract disease in cats often requires patience and perseverance. I’m always searching for ways to prevent conditions such as hematuria from happening.
Unfortunately, it’s impossible to completely prevent diseases of the lower urinary tract in cats. These factors may partially influence the frequency of a cat’s urination. Having an enriched environment, with clean and accessible litter boxes also may help. If bladder stones or crystals are the cause of blood in the urine, special therapeutic diets may help prevent relapse. If you suspect your cat may have blood in its urine, please have it examined by your veterinarian immediately. The faster you obtain a diagnosis and proper treatment, the quicker your cat can return to a healthy and pain-free life. If you have any questions or concerns, you should always visit or call your veterinarian — they are your best resource to ensure the health and well-being of your pets. Ernie has more than 20 years of experience in the veterinary industry and is a well-known veterinarian, media personality and author. He is also a founding member of IDEXX’s Pet Health Network team. Why do I have to complete a CAPTCHA? Completing the CAPTCHA proves you are a human and gives you temporary access to the web property. What can I do to prevent this in the future? If you are on a personal connection, like at home, you can run an anti-virus scan on your device to make sure it is not infected with malware. If you are at an office or shared network, you can ask the network administrator to run a scan across the network looking for misconfigured or infected devices.