When the lumps in the litter box suddenly turn red, alarm bells ring for many owners – and rightly so, because it is usually caused by a urinary tract infection, which can lead to dreaded complications such as a urethral obstruction. Find out all about the causes, symptoms, diagnosis, and treatment if you find blood in your cat’s urine!
Blood in cat urine: you need to know that
Blood in the cat’s urine is a real warning sign for most owners. In fact, a quick visit to the vet is called for, because the blood in the cat’s urine can have many causes, ranging from a relatively harmless bladder infection to a life-threatening urethral obstruction.
Blood in the urine in cats: These are the causes
Bloody urine in cats is often caused by lower urinary tract disorders.
- main causes are
- idiopathic cystitis,
- bacterial cystitis,
- Mucus plugs in the urethra or
- urinary stones.
These diseases trigger very similar symptoms in cats and are difficult to distinguish from one another. Veterinarians therefore also speak of the FLUTD complex (“Feline Lower Urinary Tract Disease”).
Idiopathic cystitis is present when no exact cause can be identified. However, stress seems to play an important role. Young to middle-aged cats are more commonly affected. In a bacterial bladder infection, bacteria in the urinary bladder cause inflammation. Middle-aged and old cats in particular are prone to bacterial cystitis. Urinary stones have a rough surface, irritate the bladder and lead to urine in the blood
Rarer causes of blood in cat urine are injuries, congenital malformations, tumors, inflammation of the renal pelvis, inflammation of the uterus, or blood clotting disorders.
Symptoms of urinary tract disease
Diseases of the urinary tract do not always lead to serious symptoms. There are cats that have blood in their urine and are still fit and not in pain. Nevertheless, you should always have the background for blood in the urine clarified by a veterinarian, especially if the following symptoms are present:
- Constant urge to urinate
- Passing only small amounts of urine, sometimes with – severe – pain
- loss of housebreaking
- Excessive cleaning
- Licking the genitals and abdomen
- loss of appetite
Treatment options and prognosis
The vet will use a variety of diagnostic tools to determine the cause of the blood in the cat’s urine. Even the urine itself provides evidence of bacteria or crystals, for example. This is usually followed by an X-ray or ultrasound examination. If cancer is suspected, a biopsy (tissue removal with analysis) is often performed. Treatment depends on the diagnosis. With bacterial bladder infection, your cat will need to take antibiotics. If idiopathic cystitis is present, the entire environment of the cat must be included in the treatment. This should reduce the animal’s stress and improve water intake. Targeted activity for the cat also increases the well-being of the animal. If the veterinarian has discovered urinary stones, an attempt is made to dissolve them with special food or a targeted administration of medication. If unsuccessful, surgical removal may be necessary.
The prognosis for cystitis without urethral obstruction is usually good; with urethral occlusion but to be placed “carefully”. However, some cats develop bladder infections again and again. With recurring urinary tract diseases, the risk of chronic kidney failure (CRF) increases. Therefore, prophylaxis is of particular importance.