I Found Blood in My Cat’s Urine: Vet Reviewed Signs, Treatment & Care
Cat urine is normally pale yellow with a strong ammonia-like odor, but some conditions, including urinary tract infections and urethral obstructions, can cause cats to have bloody urine and difficulty peeing. Hematuria is the medical term for the condition.1 Blood in your cat’s urine is almost always a sign that something is going on with your pet that needs to be evaluated. Reach out immediately to your veterinarian for guidance.
What Does Blood in Cat Urine Look Like?
It can sometimes be difficult to see blood in your cat’s urine, particularly if only a small amount is present. Your veterinarian can examine your cat’s urine under a microscope if they suspect hematuria, or use a urine dipstick to detect it.
Cats having difficulty urinating sometimes prefer to go to the bathroom on cool, smooth surfaces. They also often strain and only produce small amounts of urine. The best way to be sure everything is okay with your cat is to take a picture of anything causing you to be concerned and have a veterinarian take a look.
What Information Do I Need to Provide the Veterinarian?
Take a few pictures of the urine so your veterinarian can see precisely what you’re concerned about. Before you call, write down your cat’s health signs so you can remember to mention all the relevant details. Be prepared to tell the veterinarian when you first spotted the bloody urine and how often your pet goes to the bathroom.
Let them know if your cat is straining or appears to be in pain while urinating or has been using the litterbox or peeing elsewhere. Also, make sure to provide any other relevant information, including if your cat seems lethargic or has been recently eating or drinking more or less than usual.
When Should I Contact the Veterinarian?
Contact your veterinarian immediately if your cat starts straining to urinate or begins going to the bathroom outside of the litterbox, particularly if they’re only producing small amounts of pee when they do. Don’t wait until your cat starts peeing blood to have them seen by the veterinarian.
Blood in your cat’s urine is an emergency; speak with your veterinarian immediately and be prepared to take your cat in for an examination. Signs such as lethargy, lack of appetite, weight loss, and behavioral changes often indicate illness. Most conditions are easier to address when caught early.
How Is the Condition Treated?
Hematuria isn’t a disease or condition; it’s simply a way of describing the presence of blood in the urine. It’s abnormal and can be caused by several conditions, including urinary tract infections (UTIs), bladder conditions, and even urethral blockages.
To determine how to proceed, veterinarians often rely on physical exams, blood tests, urine cultures, and imaging studies such as X-rays and ultrasounds. Information you provide about your cat’s health and what you’ve observed is also factored into the diagnosis. Treatment depends mainly on the underlying cause.
Cats with UTIs are often treated with antibiotics and pain medication as needed. Increased water intake and dietary changes can often address bladder stones and urinary crystals. Cats with urethral blockages often need to be sedated and catheterized, and some require hospitalization. Veterinarians often prescribe pain and anti-nausea medications to help relieve cats’ discomfort while healing.
Is There Anything I Can Do to Prevent the Situation?
You can do several things to reduce your cat’s chances of developing urinary tract and kidney issues, including ensuring your feline gets enough water and exercise. Reducing your pet’s stress by providing enrichment activities and creating a feline-friendly environment may also help.
Encourage Your Cat to Drink More Water
Cats generally prefer running water, and it’s one of the reasons they love drinking from faucets. Some don’t enjoy drinking still water, particularly if served in bowls harboring bacteria or nasty smells. Keep in mind that cats have stunning senses of smell and are able to pick up scents that humans can’t detect. Consider giving your buddy a cat fountain since the running water often encourages cats to drink more, which is excellent for kidney and urinary tract health.
Increasing the amount of wet food your cat eats is another way to boost their water intake. Wet food generally contains a substantial amount (up to 78%) of moisture compared to dry food, which has almost none. Most cats love the taste of wet food, so it’s often an easy way to tempt them into consuming enough water.
Keep Your Cat’s Weight Under Control
Bladder and urinary conditions are more common in overweight indoor cats. Being overweight also contributes to chronic conditions such as heart disease, diabetes, and high blood pressure.
Ensuring your pet maintains a healthy weight can go a long way toward contributing to their overall well-being. Cats need physical activity to remain happy and healthy, and playing with your cat is a great way to help them maintain a healthy weight. Aim for multiple short daily play sessions to keep your companion interested.
Give Your Cat Lots of Toys & Ways to Stay Engaged
Providing your cat with enough mental stimulation may also reduce its stress level. Some particularly sensitive cats may develop bladder and urinary tract conditions when stressed. Cats often do best when provided with sufficient opportunities to interact with their environment in ways they enjoy.
Go crazy with the scratching posts! Give your cat several choices, including posts with different textures. Some cats love carpets, and others can’t keep their claws out of cardboard. Scratching is not only a favorite feline activity; it’s instinctual and can help relieve stress.
Other ways to reduce feline stress include using food puzzles and games to reduce boredom and allow your cat to use their smarts to liberate treats. Give your cat plenty of toys they can enjoy when you’re unavailable for playtime. Relaxing pheromone diffusers may also help reduce your cat’s stress level.
Improve Your Litterbox Game
If your cat has urinary tract or bladder issues, consider elevating your litterbox game to give your buddy a squeaky clean place to relieve themselves. Make their litterbox environment as pleasant as possible; most cats don’t want to deal with unsanitary conditions on top of not feeling well.
Consider scooping and changing the litter more frequently than usual if your pet has health issues. More frequent scooping also allows you to keep tabs on whether your cat is getting better or not.
Blood in your cat’s urine almost always indicates an underlying medical issue that needs to be addressed. Because several conditions that often cause bloody urine can be quite serious, it’s essential to contact your veterinarian for guidance. Record your cat’s health signs and how long the issues have been going on to ensure you provide the veterinarian with accurate information. Pictures are helpful and can provide your veterinarian with information that may be useful during the diagnostic process.
Featured Image Credit: Yaya Photos, Shutterstock