Blood in Cat’s Urine – Is it a Reason to Visit the Vet?


In vet terminology, the appearance of blood in urine in cats is called hematocyturia, which translated from Latin means “bloody urine” (Hema – blood, urina — urine). Identification of this symptom is a serious warning for the owner to immediately pay close attention to the health of the pet. Hematocyturia can become a symptom of many diseases and ailments in cats. The main thing you should  remember is that the cat is not a human being, it cannot say where and what hurts it. Therefore, at the first signs of blood in the urine, you should immediately consult an experienced specialist. It is better to collect urine for analysis immediately and to bring it to the vet clinic together with the sick animal, which will significantly increase the speed of the correct diagnosis.

How does normal urine of a cat / kitten look like?

Urine is a liquid formed in the kidneys and released out through the urinary system. With excreta, harmful metabolic products, salts, foreign substances, enzymes, hormones, vitamins are removed from the body. This whole process helps to maintain the normal internal environment of the body, the so-called homeostasis.

A healthy cat’s urine is clear, yellow or orange. Color greatly depends on the type of food and metabolic pattern.

How does the urine of a cat / kitten look like when hematocyturia?

Blood in cat’s urine can be seen with the naked eye, the color changes from straw to red or brown. The color intensity depends on the number of red blood cells and may vary from bright to barely visible. In rare cases, clots in the form of blood strands or inclusions may be observed. With a mild course of one of the diseases listed at the beginning of the article, the blood is not always visible. It is possible to detect it only with the help of laboratory research, namely microscopic analysis. In the urinary sediment red blood cells are detected. Some red blood cells retain their shape, while others, on the contrary, are severely deformed: wrinkled, swollen, flattened, etc. Urine can be of dark color also in cases not related to any disease. For example, if the pet likes to eat beets or carrots. There are not many such animals, but they exist. Exclusion from the diet of these products quickly leads to the normal color of urine.

How to collect a cat’s / kitten’s urine for analysis?

It is not difficult to collect cat urine. This should be done with gloves to protect yourself from possible infection. Also, do not forget about the disinfection of the cat’s toilet before and after sampling. Remove filler from the tray, leave the grill. After a cat does a wee, the liquid should be carefully poured into a transparent container (urine collection cup). However, only the urine collected no more than 3-4 hours ago is suitable for.

There is another way to collect an animal’s urine for analysis. For collection disposable sterile syringe without a needle is used and a tray in which there is no filler, or filled with special non-absorbent filler. It is sold in pet stores as a set for collecting urine. The tray must be washed thoroughly in advance. Not all cats have a docile character. Especially the “shy” or wayward cats it is possible to take an urine analysis from especially “shy” or nasty cats only with the help of a catheter. Naturally, the procedure should be carried out by a specialist. Both general and biochemical blood tests should be taken on an empty stomach, which is very important for a correct diagnosis. If there is a need for ultrasound, it should also be done on an empty stomach.

How to notice the appearance of blood in the urine of a cat / kitten?

Hematocyturia often can be revealed accurately enough by change of the urine color. In cases when red blood cells (erythrocytes) cause a change in the color of urine and it can be seen with the naked eye, the condition is called apparent hematocyturia. But when the blood is released into the urine in small quantities, neither the owner nor a doctor could notice the change of the urine color, such a condition is called hidden hematocyturia. It can be identified only with the analysis of urine. Sometimes cats secrete pure blood, and out of the tray, also the remains of blood can be seen on the animal in the crotch area. The collected urine sample is considered in transmitted light: the urine sample cup is raised to eye level, placing it in front of a window or other light source. Red or dark brown urine, the presence of blood clots indicates hematocyturia. You should not postpone a visit to the vet in this case.

If the fluid has no obvious signs of staining and the condition of the pet is difficult to diagnose as normal, to you should send the cat’s urine for analysis to a veterinary laboratory for conscience’s sake. With the help of special methods, veterinarians in the laboratory will accurately determine whether there are red blood cells in it or not, and at the same time check the delivered sample for other positions: the presence of protein, leukocytes, acetone, pus, microbes, epithelium, etc. On the basis of the data obtained, coupled with the clinical examination data, the veterinarian will be able not only to find the cause of the pathology, but also to prescribe the correct treatment.

Reasons of blood in the urine of a cat / kitten

There are 4 main reasons for blood in pee in cat.

  1. cat's urinary sistem with bloodParenchymal renal hematuria-the appearance of blood due to kidney problems. Parenchymal renal hematuria occurs due to: high proteinuria – there is an increased level of protein in the urine. Inflammatory processes in any part of the kidney or kidneys. Specific bacterial and viral infections, during which pyuria may occur – the appearance of bacteria in the urine. Lymphosarcoma (nephroncus). One of its signa is the appearance of blood in the urine of a cat. Injury – any fall from a height, accidents on the road, etc. Nephrolithiasis, polycystic kidney disease, kidney parasites, kidney infarction or any vascular abnormalities.
  2. Hematuria because of the pathology of the urinary tract. If the pet’s kidney is all good, and blood in the urine is observed, then problem is likely to be associated with the urinary tract: pyuria and dysuria – difficult of painful urination may occur due to inflammation or infection of the bladder, urethra or ureters. Acute inflammation, toxic effects of drugs, tumors can cause quite severe bleeding, which threatens the life of the pet. Changes in the bladder shape due to the occurrence of polyps, concretions (stones) in the ureters (urolithiasis), urethra, bladder due to injuries and irritation of the mucosa. The recent trauma of the bladder and, as a consequence, the appearance of hematuria is an absolute indication for the need of immediate veterinary care.
  3. Hematuria associated with diseases of the genital tract. When inflammatory processes of the prostate cat’s blood can get into the urine. Blood can get into the urine through discharge from the vagina or prepuce., blood can get in the urethra of males with inflammation of the prostate.
  4. Hematuria, as a consequence of systemic disease. Diseases of the blood, liver, some systemic infections, heart failure, hyperthermia (overheating) and other pathologies can cause hematuria. Hematuria may also occur after heavy physical exertion. In any case, if the cat has blood in the urine, you should definitely see a vet.

First aid when appearance of blood in the urine of a cat / kitten

The owner of a cat with hematuria can hardly help the animal by himself/herself, on the contrary, inept actions will lead to irreparable consequences. The only thing that is required from the owner is to deliver the cat to the veterinary clinic or consult a friend specialist as soon as possible. If you cannot quickly bring the animal to the clinic, you can try to get advice by phone, describing in detail all the signs that have been observed. Conversation rarely has a positive effect, because only through personal inspection a veterinarian could make conclusions about the condition of the cat and severity of the disease process. As a first aid a cat owner should:

  • cat's urine with bloodTo keep a sick animal at rest, placing it in a warm, draft-free room on a bed.
  • To inject pain reliever drugs (noshpa, balargin).
  • To exclude all solid products from the nutrition, instead of them offer liquid food and digestible food; plenty of water.
  • In order to disinfect the urinary tract before going to the vet you should give the cat decoctions bearberry, parsley root, furadonin.
  • Inflammatory products can be removed from the urinary tract with a restorative drink of juniper, bottlebrush.

Do not experiment with antibiotics, since their uncontrolled use will only complicate the situation, worsen the condition of the cat and require longer treatment in the future. Do not forget, that all these manipulations will facilitate a painful condition of an animal, but will not lead to cure. Therapeutic measures for hematuria should be carried out only by a veterinarian, after a comprehensive clinical and laboratory study.

Diagnosis of causes and treatment of diseases that lead to the appearance of blood in the urine of a cat / kitten

As a rule, a veterinarian will need a number of studies to determine the causes of blood in the urine, as the effectiveness of treatment will depend on it. This will require a detailed history of the disease, the results of observation of urination. Feeding and behavior of cats are important too. The most detailed information will allow you to determine the correct diagnosis quickly and accurately. Chemical and physical analysis of urine can easily determine bacterial cystitis or urolithiasis, as well as other diseases of the urological sphere.

When the blood source is in the lower parts of the urinary system, the urine, as a rule, assumes the color unevenly. The first or last portion of urine may be contaminated with blood, while with the renal origin of bleeding the so-called total hematuria (color “meat slops”) is observed. At that, the urine is of evenly red color. The X-ray of the bladder and ultrasound examination of the organs of urination are required to clarify the diagnosis. If your pet is over five years old, in cat's urine bloodit is recommended to take blood for analysis to determine the functional abilities of the kidneys and other internal organs. Diagnostic measures in the detection of blood in the urine are aimed at identifying the pathology and further assessment of the degree of inflammation and the general condition of the body. This will help in predicting the outcome of the disease, choosing the right treatment and further prevention.

Blood in the urine is most commonly caused by kidney stones. This is due to the anatomical features of the urethra structure. It is narrow and long, has an S-shaped bend. This contributes to the difficult passage of clots, crystals and leads to blockage of the urethra. In such situations, a urinary catheter can help, which is placed for a few days to empty the bladder.

Treatment of hematuria depends on the initial state and reasons of it. When clogging the urethra with sand or stone (which is much more common in cats), an urgent operation may be required, with bacterial cystitis, antibiotics are supposed to be used. If a tumor is diagnosed, surgery followed by chemotherapy may be recommended. Blood in cat’s urine after surgery is also a common thing. Diets that change the composition of urine and/or necessary medicines can be proposed to solve problems associated with the urinary tract or kidneys. Treatment depends on the correct diagnosis, but most often similar groups of drugs are used. Anti-inflammatory, analgesic, antispasmodic drugs (eg, human noshpa or drotaverine) are often prescribed. If the treatment was not taken in due time, a small course of antibiotic therapy may be required. Immune remedies, fortified complexes, herbal medicines are prescribed only by a veterinarian. It is impossible to appoint the pet treatment yourself, even if you have a medical education. You should remember that the cat is not a human being and some human drugs can only aggravate the situation.

Blood in the urine of a cat / kitten – how not to lead to the advanced stage of the disease?

It is unlikely that the fuzzies’ owners consider the piss every day, trying to see if there is blood or not. It makes no sense to do this on a daily. Unusual behavior of a cat associated with the process of urination may only be the reason for concern. In most cases, such an unpleasant symptom as hematuria is accompanied by oppression of the pet, refusal of food, an increase in body temperature. The animal may experience pain while coping with natural physiological needs, which is manifested by his anxiety, throwing around the apartment, heart-rending meow, attempts to “do a wee” in places not intended for this and other signs of discomfort at the time of urination. If such signs appear, it’s time to conduct a home mini-examination.

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