butt blood!
November 28, 2005 5:36 PM   Subscribe

Is blood coming from a cat's butt always serious?

Nice start, eh? Yesterday was the second day where we discovered that our cat had eaten some of my hair. This was fairly obvious, as he was tracking his poop around with him by a strand of it hanging out of his rear end. I know--gross. Anyhow, I cleaned him up, and I know you aren't supposed to "pull things out of cats butts" because of the intestinal issue, but hair is so fragile that I figured it was ok. And anyhow, it came out really easily. I then had to wash/scrub his butt and the surrounding area because he had made quite a mess of himself. I'm sure I irritated this highly sensitive area for him, but what can ya do? The bottom line is--today, right after he pooped, I checked out his butt to make sure there was no trail (because now I'm worried that he's going to drag poop around with him all over the house) and he had a small amount of red blood on his anus. There didn't seem to be much, if any, on his poop, as far as I could tell in the littery mess. He also pooped yesterday after the incident, and it was just fine. Should I be worried? Does he need to see a vet? I know I should just ASK a vet but since it's late, I just wondered if anyone had any first-hand experience with this type of thing. I called the emergency vet and they said it sounds like it can wait until tomorrow, but I'm just wondering if I should even bother taking him to his regular vet. He is acting perfectly normal, eating, drinking, being himself, etc. He's also not vomiting, which is something the emergency people asked me. In addition to this main question, has anyone else had a cat who seemed to like to eat their hair? My hair is pretty long and it's hard to not get it all over the place--I try to clean up/vacuum a lot, etc. but he's still getting his hands on some somewhere!
posted by fabesfaves to Pets & Animals (11 answers total)
I had a cat who bled regularly from his posterior for a long time, about once every few days, and nobody could figure out why. I'm afraid I can't remember specifically what the vet said, but the gist was that there *are* reasons why a cat might bleed that aren't serious, and he felt there wasn't anything to worry about with my cat. The bleeding stopped after I moved to a different home, so I assumed something he was getting at in his old environment was irritating him. However, I still think you need to take your cat to the vet to make sure nothing's really wrong.
posted by JanetLand at 6:06 PM on November 28, 2005

I'm an engineer, not a vet. The nominal state of my cats is not bleeding from their butts. If either of them were to start bleeding from their butt, I would take them to a vet.
posted by Fat Guy at 6:21 PM on November 28, 2005

You might have given him a little hair cut (like a paper cut) when you dragged out that hair; next time, just clip it off.

Anyway, the vet will let you know if there's something serious going on.
posted by flabdablet at 7:07 PM on November 28, 2005

I think if the cat has some real internal problem he will act sick. My cat used to eat strings and he got surgery for it a couple time. Each time, he made it really clear that something was wrong. He didn't eat, he didn't run around, he acted really unhappy. I don't think you need to take the cat to the vet right away. Take him if his eating, pooping or just general mood changes. Also take him if he keeps bleeding.
posted by thirteenkiller at 7:22 PM on November 28, 2005

Is blood coming from a cat's butt always serious?

If I was the cat, I would say yes! Would you go to the doctor if you were bleeding out of your ass? Would you take your son to the doctor if he was bleeding out of his ass? Your cat deserves no less. Take that boy to the vet.

thirteenkiller says: I think if the cat has some real internal problem he will act sick.

Don't rely on that. Deadly diseases don't necessarily cause pain until it's too late!
posted by evariste at 7:35 PM on November 28, 2005

Our cat had a bloody butt recently but didn't seem to be in any pain. We took her to the vet repeatedly trying to figure out what's wrong.

1) Blood in urine, but no crystals (which I guess means a kidney infection or stones). They put her on antibiotics for a week.

Blood returned. Back to the vet...

2) Test #2 was more thorough. Showed no blood in urine, but crystals. They essentially said "we don't know what's going on, you could try a special diet or get an ultrasound.

Blood is still there, very lightly.

3) Back to the vet for a pricey ultrasound. This at least relieved our mind that our 10-year-old cat does not have a mass (tumor, cancer) or any stones. She did show sediment in her bladder and a blood clot. I'm still waiting to hear back on what this means, but the first vet said she's probably fine and it will just pass on its own.

On all vet visits involving this, they did tell me over and over that sometimes cats just get these urinary tract infections, and they come back occasionally and go away on its own.

Our cat had (and has) no symptoms except blood on her rear and in the litter box (not much) and increased litter box usage. So yes, go to the vet, but be prepared for a possibly frustrating time and no good diagnosis.
posted by GaelFC at 7:48 PM on November 28, 2005

It really depends. If he's still bleeding in the morning, I would take him to the vet tomorrow. If he shows ANY signs of something not being right (decreased appetite, vomiting, lethargy, change in litterbox habits, bloody stool etc.), he needs to go to the vet immediately (cats can get what's called "string gut" from eating things like string, dental floss or large amounts of long hair, and it can be fatal). He could also have an anal gland issue, a constipation problem, or all kinds of other things.

Without being able to see it, and going by what you describe, I suspect that the problem is most likely something along the lines of what flabdablet suggests - not a paper cut, but irritation from you scrubbing his posterior. In my opinion, if it's a one-time small amount of blood, it's likely not a problem, but if it continues or increases, or if he shows ANY signs of something being wrong (and cats can hide it very well) he needs the vet.
posted by biscotti at 7:49 PM on November 28, 2005

When my cat was bleeding from her butt, the vet said that a common cause of this was the cat's butt itching, and the cat rubbing it on the carpet till it bled. He checked her anal sacs, and said they were kind of swollen or infected or something, and he purged them. He gave me some butt ointment, and she got better in a few days.
posted by agropyron at 9:02 PM on November 28, 2005

Wait a few days. If it continues go to the vet.
This could be a coincidence with the whole haire incident and he may have a parasite or other irritation that is causing the blood.
does the cat have loose bowel mouvements?
posted by sandrapbrady at 7:26 AM on November 29, 2005

Our cat had this problem. We took him to the vet several times before finding out that we just needed to give him more canned and less dry food. That instantly solved the problem.

Strangly, he did great on the mix that we were giving him until one day he developed the problem. I don't know why it started, but he's been good now for a couple of years.
posted by richardhay at 9:31 AM on November 29, 2005

There is a product called Petromalt. .which is basically psyllium seeds for pets.

If I had a cat with that prob, I would try that, to clean him, out, then reasses.

That said, if any of our (3) cats is acting sluggish or feverish, they go to the vet THAT DAY, even if it's an expensive weekend vet.

Cats can crash very fast. . but digestive stuff, I would posit that there is more time to evaluate.
posted by Danf at 9:48 AM on November 29, 2005

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