What Causes Melena In Cats
Melena is a symptom, not a condition, and can be caused by many different things. Anything that causes bleeding into the GI or gastrointestinal tract, or swallowing large amounts of blood could cause this. Conditions that may cause melena include:
Tumours in the GI tract
Infectious disease bacterial, viral or internal parasite infections
Obstructions or foreign bodies in the GI tract
Toxicities e.g. anticoagulants such as rat poison
Chronic kidney disease
If you think your cat has melena, speak to a vet as soon as you can, as many of these causes need urgent medical treatment.
Vet Approved Cat Stool Chart: Decoding Your Cats Poop
Why use a cat stool chart? Because your cats feces is one of the biggest indicators of their health.
Put simply, a healthy cat should have healthy stools. While there are many specific health issues that can cause signs from constipation to diarrhea, its a simple rule that normal faeces are a good sign that your cat is thriving.
When you visit your DVM veterinarian, its likely that you will be asked to describe your cats stools, as part of the general gathering of information about your cats health, and in particular, information about the gastrointestinal tract.
Cat Poop Color Chart What Do The Colors Mean
Your cats poop color is more significant than you may think.
Stool condition is an incredible peak into their overall health, and can offer a few hints of what could be wrong with your furry friend.
So what do certain stool colors mean for a cat?
In this article we will discuss our detailed cat stool color guide, and help you understand the importance of stool health in your feline companion.
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What About Mucus In Stool
Mucus in your cats stool isnt necessarily worrisome. Unlike blood, mucus is a normal secretion from the intestines. Its slippery texture helps facilitate the flow of waste from the intestine down to the rectum. Usually, its just small amounts and colorless. You should only take it into account if its excessive or if its in shades of green and yellow.
Treatment For Blood In Cat Poop
The first step will be to either remove or help them adjust to any possible stressors, which could be anything from a new animal in the home, to a change in their routine. If the stress is caused by a new animal or person you can help them by providing them with their own safe place that they can escape to. If its due to a different routine, you may need to revert back to your original schedule and then work in the new routine over a period of time to help them slowly adjust to the change.
If the problem is connected to a dietary issue or food intolerance your vet may suggest changing their food for a while, or may try an elimination diet in order to discover which ingredient in your cats food is causing the problem.
When the blood in cat poo is due to parasites or infections, the necessary prescriptions will be given and its absolutely essential that the course is continued until the end for the treatment to be successful. When the blood is dark, more serious treatment is usually required and could result in surgery as it might be a blockage.
If youre concerned about your cat and they seem to be displaying extra symptoms as well as having blood in their poo, be sure to take them to the vet straight away. Your vet will be able to perform a thorough examination and can help get your cat back to normal as soon as possible.
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What To Do If Youre Concerned About Your Cats Poop
Cleaning your cats litter box and seeing bloody poop is definitely alarming. Abnormalities in your cats poop is not something to take lightly. Your cats poop can indicate a lot about their health, so its important to know what to do if youre concerned about the appearance of their poop.
First and foremost: Never use home remedies to treat your cats defecation issues. Always check in with your veterinarian before you do anything, and always make sure your cats food and water are fresh.
If your cat is constipated, your vet will likely recommend feeding them more fiber, upping their water intake, feeding canned foods, and increasing their exercise. If your cats stool has blood in it, that means theyre likely suffering from a health issue, like an infection or parasites, that will require additional medical treatment.
The treatment your cat needs will ultimately depend on what is causing their poop abnormalities. For example, prescription medication, like metronidazole or prednisolone, may be prescribed to treat inflammation in a cat. But if your vet thinks an allergy, intolerance, or inflammatory bowel disease is causing their poop abnormalities, they may recommend putting your cat on a special diet. Deworming medication or probiotics may also be given depending on the cause.
Why Is My Cat’s Poop Mucus
If there is copious mucus in your cat’s poop, this indicates that the wall of the wall of the intestine is inflamed, causing increased production of mucus. There are many possible causes, including parasites and inflammatory bowel disease, and you do need to take your cat to your local veterinarian for this to be investigated further.
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Why Is My Cat Straining While Pooping
Straining to poop can be a sign of constipation. Small, hard, dry feces or lengthier, thin feces are two forms of poo your cat could pass, both of which could indicate constipation. Constipation can be caused by a variety of factors, including hairballs from excessive grooming, nutrition, dehydration, or gastrointestinal disorders. Although straining to poop can be an indication of constipation, its vital to make sure this symptom isnt misinterpreted as a sign of anything else. It may look that your cat is having problems defecating, but they are actually having trouble urinating, Experts explain. This is far more frequent than constipation, particularly among males. Older cats, too, may have trouble passing stools as their bowels lose tone and the capacity to wring out the feces a condition known as megacolon.
Frequency Of Your Cats Bowel Movements
Cats are all different as far as regularity, but most will have once daily bowel movements, Schwartz says.
As cats age, however, they may have less frequent bowel movements, Waldrop says. You may even see times when they skip a day.
But if your cat goes more than two days without stool production, its best to call your vet. When cats are constipated, they will strain or take an inordinately long time in the box, or frequent the box with no stool produced, Schwartz says.
On the other hand, too much stool can also indicate something is wrong. If your cat consistently has more than two bowel movements a day, you should consult with your vet, Waldrop says.
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The Consistency Of Your Cats Poop
Normally, cat poop should not be too soft. It should be rather firm and quite malleable. If the stool is too hard, this could indicate constipation problems, while loose stools are a sign of diarrhoea.
Constipation in cats: hard and dry stools are one of the main indicators of constipation. Dehydration and a sedentary lifestyle are some of the main factors leading to this digestive problem. But hair ingestion or having problems with the litter tray itself are other causes to keep an eye on. Talk with your vet if you notice symptoms of constipation in cats such as hunched posture, tense abdomen and small, dry stools.
Diarrhoea in cats: look out for stools that are watery, too soft or dont have a form. This is classed as diarrhoea and its usually a sign that your cats digestive system didnt agree with their recent meal. However, if this is a symptom that keeps recurring or happens for days in a row, you should address this with your vet. Health issues such as irritable bowl syndrome, bacteria, food allergies and even feline anxiety are some of the causes of diarrhoea in cats.
Diagnosis Of Blood In The Stool In Cats
Diagnosis of blood in the stool of your cat will require your veterinarian to diagnose the underlying condition that is causing the signs. During the initial veterinary exam you should provide your veterinarian with a complete history of your cats signs. Noting whether your cat is also suffering from diarrhea and vomiting, whether they have been eating regularly, and any other behavioral changes will be important. You should provide your veterinarian with information on the type of food your cat eats, as well as if there have been any dietary or lifestyle changes in the household that may have induced the signs.
Your veterinarian will then use the information you have provided, the results of the physical exam of your cat, and possible lab tests to come to a possible diagnosis.
Your veterinarian will most likely perform a fecal smear of your cats stool in order to check for parasites that may be irritating your cats intestine. This is typically performed quickly in your veterinarians office. Your veterinarian may order blood work, which will give a detailed report on your cats white blood cell count and may help identify the presence of any infection.
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What Will The Vet Do For A Cat With Bloody Stool
Once you arrive at the hospital, the veterinarian will usually do the following:
- Take a medical history from you, asking about your cats health, environment and lifestyle.
- Conduct a complete physical examination of your cat, feeling her body and looking into her eyes, ears and mouth.
- Perform a fecal test on your cats bloody stool .
Depending on your cats other symptoms and the type of blood seen in the stool , the veterinarian might also want to:
- Draw blood for blood work, such as a complete blood count .
- Collect urine for analysis.
- Take X-rays or perform other diagnostic tests like an ultrasound.
- Recommend exploratory surgery or endoscopy.
If you end up going to an emergency animal hospital, your cat may be transferred to your regular veterinary clinic for further care in the morning.
Treatment for blood in cat stool is highly dependent on the cause of the bleeding. Once your veterinarian is able to pinpoint the source of the blood in your cats stool , he or she will be able to identify an appropriate treatment. Your cat may require fluids, medications, special food or other care.
What To Do About Blood In Cat Poop
For bright red or pinkish blood droplets, waiting a day can alleviate the issue. Colitis caused by stress can subside without intervention by removing the stressors. If the kitty has eaten something slightly disagreeable, it will usually pass quickly. Chicken broth, chicken-based baby food, or wet cat food can soften stools. However, if your cat is acting abnormal or sick, get him to the veterinarian right away. If hes acting normal but hes still got blood in his poop for more than 24 hours, get him medical attention. Dramatic weight loss also requires a medical exam.
If there are dark or tarry blood spots in the cat poop, thats an immediate cause of alarm. Get to your vet ASAP. A battery of tests will most likely unearth the underlying issue. Your vet will determine which tests to run first blood work, x-rays and sonograms should illuminate the issue. A seasoned veterinarian will be able to recommend which tests to run, and in which order, from the initial exam.
Dont forget to take a stool sample to the vets office!
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Reasons Your Cat Has Blood In Their Stool
It depends on what the underlying problem might be. Bragdon says a small amount of blood observed once is unlikely to be a sign of life-threatening disease. Whew! Nevertheless, pay attention.
“The main reasons for blood in cat stool are trauma associated with cat constipation or blood from colitis . Other reasons include a foreign body, cancer, inflammatory bowel disease, an infectionthere can be a lot,” Bragdon says. Even intestinal parasites such as worms, which don’t always present symptoms such as blood in cat stool, actually might in particular cases.
This is why watching for blood in your cat’s poop and keeping a record of it and any other symptoms your kitty displays will help your vet get to the bottom of the condition. For example, Bragdon says black, tarry stool is often a sign of an upper gastrointestinal disease, and the volume of blood is important to note. “If feces are black, it could indicate bleeding in the stomach and small intestine,” she says.
Here are some of Bragdon’s additional explanations for blood in cat stool:
- Fresh, red blood indicates a problem in the large intestine or rectum
- Hard feces with bright red or fresh blood could point to constipation, which might be the primary problem, or a secondary symptom to stricture or obstruction of the gastrointestinal tract
- Soft or watery stools with fresh blood may be a sign of large bowel inflammation
What Should I Do About Black Cat Poop
Ive gone through six possible causes of black cat poop. But how can you tell which is responsible? Are you just dealing with old, dry cat poop? Or do you need to get your cat to the vet urgently? Thankfully, it is easy to tell the difference! Take a closer look at the poop and youll discover it reveals all there is you need to know.
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Ulcerations In The Gi Tract
Another cause of black cat poop is nothing to do with the hydration of the stools. Instead, it is to do with its blood content. When blood is digested, it turns the stools black and tarry. Therefore, any bleeding along the upper gastrointestinal tract can cause your cats poop to change color.
Ulcerations commonly lead to internal bleeding. In fact, internal bleeding of ulcers is the most common complication. This happens when your cat has ulcers at the site of a blood vessel. The ulcers will steak to leak blood into the GI tract. They might bleed a little or a lot it all depends on placement and the size of the vessel beneath.
Ulcers can appear anywhere along the digestive tract for all kinds of reasons, including parasites, inflammation, and infection. However, for your cats poop to turn black, the ulcerations are either in the stomach or small intestine.
What Your Cat’s Poop Says About Their Health
Your cat’s poop says a great deal about their health. Here are some of the more common things to watch for in cat stool.
Diarrhea – The presence of runny stool or diarrhea is usually accompanied by vomiting. While it is natural to assume “the worst” when your cat has diarrhea or vomiting, these health issues can be common for cats. When diarrhea is rare, not to worry much when it is severe or does not let up, we recommend you contact our veterinarian. Cats with diarrhea may have an inflammatory bowel disease, food allergies, food indiscretions, and unknown causes of the inflammation. It can usually be treated or controlled. Diarrhea can also be due to parasites or viruses, so it would be wise to have the cat checked by your veterinarian to find the cause.
Red blood in stool – Fresh, red blood in your cat’s stool may indicates parasites, cancer, stress, and food intolerances. If a cat eats decorations or other foreign substances, that could irritate the colon and cause streaks of brighter blood.
Black, tarry blood in stool – If you notice black, tarry blood in stool, it indicates that your cat has digested blood. This generally happens when your cat has bleeding in the stomach or small intestines. This kind of stool is from higher up in the intestine, such as the stomach or small intestine. This type of bleeding can be caused by ulcers, parasites, foreign bodies, food allergies, and viruses.
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What Cat Poop Reveals About Overall Health
Just like for humans, your cats feces can be a predictor of important things going on inside his body. For example, a cat with abnormal feces may be suffering from a digestive disorder or liver or kidney disease, says Dr. Alan Schwartz of Compassion Veterinary Health Center in Poughkeepsie, New York. In a relatively normal cat, can also be a sign of a sensitivity to the diet offered, as well as parasites, he adds.
Many times, when cats start to show signs of kidney disease, they become dehydrated, which causes them to have hard stools, says Dr. M. Duffy Jones of Peachtree Hills Animal Hospital in Atlanta, Georgia. This can lead to constipation, but also should tip you off to get some blood work run to see if there is early kidney disease. Of course, constipation can have other causes as well, including anything else that leads to dehydration, intestinal blockages, dirty litter boxes, inactivity, neurologic disorders, painful defecation, and the use of some types of drugs.
Diarrhea can also indicate intestinal upset and inflammation, Jones adds, so its important to get it checked out. It can be caused by anything from worms to things stuck in the intestines, and many other potential problems, he says.
What Should I Do If My Cat Gets Sick
You should take your cat to the vet right away if he seems ill. He needs to see his doctor as soon as possible.
You should keep your cat indoors during cold weather. Cold temperatures slow down the metabolism of your cat.
When your cat gets sick, you need to give him plenty of fluids. Water is best, but you can use milk, juice, or even soda. Dont feed your cat after midnight. Feed him before bedtime so that he wont wake up hungry.
Dont let your cat sleep on dirty surfaces such as carpets or rugs. Cleaning his litter box regularly helps prevent illness.
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