General Cat Care and Tips

My Cat is Peeing Blood What do I do?

It’s scary when you notice your cat has been peeing blood. You start to wonder what is wrong with them. Was it something you did, and what do you do? Almost everyone will tell you that you need to call a vet, and they are correct; you do need to call a vet. However, if you’re like me and find this problem before the vet opens, you have come to the internet to learn why your cat is peeing blood to help keep yourself calm.

What should you do if your cat is peeing blood?

If you are here hoping you can avoid a vet visit, you can not. Instead, you will need to take your cat to a vet; if this is the first time this has happened, you are stressed and worried; however, most of the time, peeing blood is not life-threatening if you catch it early, and the vet can get treatment started quickly.

You will also want to watch your cat closely to learn if there are any other signs of distress, such as breathing issues or other strange behavior. Also, please remember if your cat is eating or drinking regularly; this will help your vet determine what is wrong.

Many vets will do payment plans, or you can apply for credit, such as care credit, to help spread the payments out. You may also be able to find help if you are low-income and need assistance to pay your vet bills. If you can’t pay your vet bills, please check out this link. 24 Organizations That Help Pay Vet Bills; this is an excellent list of places to help you with veterinary bills.

Why is your cat peeing blood?

There are many reasons your cat may be peeing blood. For example, your cat could be stressed, have bladder stones, or have a urinary tract infection. Your vet will be able to run test to find out what is causing the problem

I will discuss a few reasons your cat may be peeing blood, starting with my experience dealing with a cat that chronically pees blood. Seeing a vet is a must anytime you have a cat peeing blood. However, it’s also not a reason to panic unless you see other signs of distress. So many articles online will focus on the worst things that could happen and can scare many cat owners; I’m here to tell you that this is very uncommon, and in most cases, your cat will be just fine.

Blood in your cat’s urine can be caused by stress.

My sweet boy Pumpkin is now considered to have chronic crystalluria, though in general, it is not known what causes them, both of my vets and I believe it is due to stress in Pumpkin’s case. I have been to three different veterinarians for this issue due to moving and flooding problems with one vet, and they all have the same conclusion, stress, and here is why:

The first time I found pee in his urine, my sister and her family moved in with me. The second time was when we had to dog sit for another sister; this last time involved me being out of town and work being done on the building behind us.

Because we have found this stress connection, we believe that my cat’s feline idiopathic cystitis is caused by stress. He has been put on Hills Diet Urinary Prescription food that I buy on, and he was given pain medication. The last episode happened just days before I wrote this and inspired this article. He has completed his pain medication treatment, and the blood in his urine was gone in a few days.

I do want to stress the quick recovery was helped by already having the prescription food on hand, as the last time he was peeing blood was just a few months ago. The first and second times this happened, the results took a few days as I had to have the food shipped to me. However, he was on pain medication during the wait, and that does help. Another thing that helped is having a water fountain; having a fountain encourages your pets to drink more often; this is very important for cats as they tend not to drink water as much as dogs do.

You can find some great water fountains on Amazon here or on Chewy here. If you would like to buy the fountain I have, you can find it on Chewy here.

Bladder Stones

Bladder stones are rock-like formations that will form in the bladder. They can be large or small and can cause blood in the urine. Without treatment, a cat could die in just two or three days. For bladder stones, you must see a vet as soon as possible.

Signs of Bladder Stones in Cats

  • Blood in the urine
  • Hiding, reduced appetite or reduction in movement due to pain
  • Urinating outside of the litterbox
  • Straining to urinate

Bladder stones are removed by your vet performing a cystotomy, a surgery where your vet opens the bladder, and the stones are removed. It is a routine surgery, and most cats recover quickly.

Urinary Tract Infections

Urinary tract infections (UTIs) happen in cats, humans, and other animals. UTIs in cats are relatively common and can cause discomfort and health problems if left untreated. Your cat may have a UTI for many reasons, including bacteria such as E. coli or Staphylococcus. Norwegian Forest Cats are a type of large house cat that is prone to getting UTIs.

Certain factors can increase a cat’s susceptibility to UTIs. These factors include urinary tract abnormalities, blockages or obstructions, bladder stones or crystals, weakened immune system, diabetes, and age (older cats are more prone), and female cats are generally more susceptible.

Symptoms: Cats with UTIs may exhibit various signs and symptoms, including:

  • Frequent urination or straining to urinate
  • Urinating outside the litter box
  • Blood in the urine (hematuria)
  • Foul-smelling urine
  • Lethargy or decreased activity
  • Crying or vocalizing while urinating
  • Excessive grooming of the genital area

If you suspect your cat has a UTI, it’s essential to consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis. The vet will perform a physical examination and may recommend additional tests, such as a urinalysis to examine the urine for the presence of bacteria, red or white blood cells, and crystals. Sometimes, a urine culture may be done to identify the specific bacteria causing the infection and determine the appropriate antibiotic treatment.

A few years ago, my friend’s cat ended up with a UTI; when she called me asking what to do when she noticed her cat peeing blood, I told her to get into her vet asap and to get her cat some wet food or water, as I was going on my own experience at the time. Once the vet ran the test, they realized it was a UTI and started her sweet kitty on a treatment plan.

Treatment for UTIs in cats typically involves a course of antibiotics prescribed by a veterinarian. The specific antibiotic and duration of treatment will depend on the severity of the infection and the identified bacteria. It’s crucial to complete the entire course of antibiotics as prescribed, even if your cat’s symptoms improve before the treatment is finished.

Prevention: To help prevent UTIs in cats, you can take several steps:

  • Always provide fresh, clean water for your cat to encourage frequent urination.
  • Maintain proper hygiene and cleanliness of the litter box.
  • Regularly clean and empty the litter box to prevent bacterial buildup.
  • Feed your cat a high-quality, balanced diet to promote overall urinary tract health.

Remember, it’s crucial to consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan if you suspect your cat has a urinary tract infection. They can provide tailored advice and guidance based on your cat’s needs.

Cancer of the Bladder

Bladder cancer in cats is a relatively rare condition, but it can occur occasionally. The most common type of bladder cancer in cats is called transitional cell carcinoma (TCC), which arises from the cells that line the bladder. TCC is more commonly seen in older cats, particularly those over the age of 10.

Symptoms of bladder cancer in cats may include:

  1. Blood in the urine
  2. Straining to urinate
  3. Frequent urination
  4. Urinating outside the litter box
  5. Pain or discomfort while urinating
  6. Urinary accidents
  7. Lethargy
  8. Weight loss

If you notice any of these symptoms in your cat, it is essential to consult a veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and appropriate treatment. The vet will likely perform a physical examination, take a detailed history, and may recommend additional tests such as blood work, urine analysis, radiographs, or ultrasound to evaluate the bladder and rule out other possible causes of the symptoms.

If bladder cancer is diagnosed, treatment options for cats include surgery, radiation therapy, chemotherapy, or a combination of these treatments. However, it’s worth noting that bladder cancer in cats is often diagnosed at an advanced stage when the tumor has already spread. Therefore, treatment may focus more on managing symptoms and improving the cat’s quality of life rather than attempting to cure the cancer.

It is essential to work closely with your veterinarian to determine the best course of action for your cat, as treatment approaches may vary based on the individual cat’s condition and overall health. Regular follow-up visits will be necessary to monitor the cat’s progress and adjust the treatment plan.

Overall, if your cat is peeing blood, you must call your vet and have your cat checked out. Though the likelihood of your cat having severe issues that need attention ASAP is low, you do want to get your cat seen the same day; a few hours, however, should not make a difference in most cases. If you feel your cat is in a real emergency, find the nearest emergency vet clinic and get your cat there as soon as possible.

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