Sometimes grooming a cat isn’t just about taking cute selfies on the phone and enjoying warm hugs and cuddles on the couch. If you notice something like blood in your cat’s urine – known as hematuria – it’s not all shocking. It can also scare you downright for your kitten’s health.
Strange, worrying symptoms can result from gross conditions like a urinary tract infection (UTI) or other bladder problems. If you see blood when your cat goes to the potty, it definitely is Time to visit the vet to find out what’s wrong.
However, you will be relieved to know that most problems that cause blood to appear in the urine of cats are easy to treat and quick to fix. Here’s what you need to know if you see some blood in your cat’s urine.
What can blood mean in a cat’s urine?
In young, otherwise healthy cats, bloody urine is usually a symptom of what is known as idiopathic cystitis. This is more commonly known as feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD).
It is important to know that this is not really a “disease” in the traditional sense of the word. It is a group of clinical symptoms that represent an inflammatory syndrome of unknown origin.
Living with Feline FLUTD.
Cats with lower urinary tract infections can have a variety of symptoms, including the following:
How does a veterinarian diagnose FLUTD?
Diagnosis is primarily a process of ruling out other causes of the symptoms. The most common first test a veterinarian will do is a urinalysis.
Depending on the duration and severity of the cat’s clinical symptoms, tests may also include urine cultures, x-rays, and ultrasound of the abdomen.
What treatments are available for FLUTD?
Veterinarians usually prescribe an antibiotic regimen for two to four weeks if they discover that a bacterial infection is causing blood to appear in the cat’s urine.
Although antibiotics don’t treat all urinary tract infections in cats, there are other treatments that can help. The main treatments are pain relievers, fluid therapy, and drugs to reduce urethral spasms.
All of these can alleviate the cat’s discomfort and restore normal use of the litter box.
Veterinarians can also prescribe diet changes, recommend higher water intake, and prescribe anti-inflammatory medications.
In the rarer cases of urethral blockage, the vet may flush the cat’s urethra to clear the blockage. If bladder stones are present, special diets and additives can break down the stones. In some cases, the veterinarian may need to surgically remove bladder stones.
The good news is that most episodes of bloody urine usually only last a few days – but the bad news is that bladder infections tend to reappear.
What can cause FLUTD to return?
Stress and diet are both potential triggers for FLUTD to recur. So talk to your vet about your cat’s home environment and ask for food recommendations.
Cats with this problem should ideally only eat canned food, which is usually formulated to lower the pH of the urine and prevent urine crystals from forming.
Have you ever seen blood in your cat’s urine? How did the vet treat this? Let us know in the comments below!