What to do if your cat is peeing blood

Is your cat peeing blood? It is common for this to occur due to infections, tumors, bladder stones, or even stress. Have you noticed any red stains in your cat’s litter box? Have you found small, reddish puddles all over your home?

ginger cat straining to urinate and peeing blood in a litter box
photo by Ivan Mochtar Olianto

Whatever the scenario, if your cat has blood in his urine, it is a sure sign that you should visit the veterinarian as soon as you can. Here’s why.

Causes of cats peeing blood

A cat may pee blood for many reasons, and only a veterinarian can offer a proper diagnosis and determine the necessary treatment plan.

The most common causes of blood in a cat’s pee or litter box are:

  • Urinary system infection
  • Urinary system inflammation
  • Feline idiopathic cystitis (bladder inflammation of unknown cause)
  • Tumors and cancer in the urinary system
  • Stones and crystals in the urinary system, most commonly in the bladder
  • Urinary tract plugs
  • Injured urinary tract
  • Anatomic abnormalities
  • Heat cycle of a female cat

The above list does not include specific causes, but instead shows broader categories. For example, infections can be viral, bacterial, parasitic, or fungal. Each of these types, of course, requires a different treatment plan.

Tell your veterinarian about other symptoms

The only option for you is to take your cat to the veterinarian, but you can be a great help in trying to figure out what is wrong with your cat. The diagnosis will be based on your cat’s health history, other symptoms present, and the results of urine and blood tests.

Here are other symptoms that cats with blood in their urine may show:

  • straining to urinate
  • leaving small amounts of urine frequently
  • suddenly begins to urinate outside the litter box
  • vocalizing during or before urination
  • has become less active than usual
  • has little appetite and is also losing weight
  • is frequently grooming around the urinary opening

Your veterinarian will also ask for a urine sample from your cat for testing. Often, veterinarians will create an initial treatment plan based on the symptoms present and then send the patient home to bring back a urine sample. For this reason, you should not postpone the veterinarian visit. However, if possible, bringing a urine sample in with you may speed things up.

The most convenient way to collect cat’s urine is to empty a litter box and then, once the cat uses the box again, use a syringe to get the urine from there. You can also see other ways to collect a cat’s urine here. If you are unsure, you can ask your veterinarian for advice. You may be able to arrange for a sample to be taken at a veterinary clinic.

The prognosis and how to prevent further problems

Since cats can pee blood due to large variety of diseases, it’s not possible to determine the prognosis, which can vary from very good to poor in most cases.

For example, feline idiopathic cystitis usually goes away if your are able to minimize your cat’s stress. Infections and inflammations are treated medically with good results, while another common cause, benign tumors in the urinary system, may be lethal, depending on how soon the treatment is started.

The best answers to your questions can be provided by a veterinarian. Do not hesitate to make an appointment if your cat his peeing blood, since this is a symptom that should never be taken lightly.