Hematochezia is characterized by presence of bright red blood in the feces. It usually occurs due to bleeding in the lower intestine. Hematochezia is commonly confused with melena which leads to tarry or black appearance of the stool. Apart from presence of blood in stools, there are few other symptoms that can help you confirm hematochezia. These include lethargy, change in behavior such as reduced playtime, increased bowel movements, excessive urination, and sudden loss of appetite in cats.
Foods causing allergic reaction, sudden diet changes, and intolerance to certain food ingredients can irritate the lower bowels, causing blood to be passed in stools. Ingestion of rat poison can be a possible cause. This can happen if a cat eats a poisoned rat, or directly consumes the rat poison. Injured lower bowel or anal area or anal gland abscesses might possibly cause bloody stools. Dry and hard feces, along with presence of fresh blood is commonly caused due to dietary problems. Intestinal parasites in cats including worms, protozoa, viruses, bacteria or other infectious agents can also be responsible.
Clostridia, E. coli and salmonella are some of the common bacterial infections which may lead to this condition. Colitis is one of the inflammatory bowel diseases in cat that leads to mucus and blood in cat stool, and is the most common cause of hematochezia in older cats. Another cause of this problem can be benign tumors in the colon or rectum. A rare but serious health condition leading to this problem is cancer of the lower bowel, which commonly causes bloody stools.
The first thing you need to do after you notice blood in cat stools is to stop feeding packaged and canned cat food. Homemade food is essential, and make sure you do not feed leftovers. Feed your cat a fiber-rich diet, containing high amount of proteins low levels of fat. Changing cat's diet will help cure the problem if it is caused due to food intolerance. If the problem persists, take you cat to a vet.
He will probably prescribe an antibiotics course to get rid of the bacterial infections or a de-worming medication in case your cat has parasites. He might also suggest some changes in the diet. Apart from this, the vet might give medications to control the rate of movement of food through the intestines. Fluid therapy might also be suggested.
In case you notice blood in cat stools, it is recommended that you take your cat to a vet immediately. He will thoroughly examine the cat and its medical history. Diagnosis can include rectal examination, colonoscopy, fecal examination, urinalysis and abdominal x-rays or ultrasound. He will prescribe the right medications by finding the root cause of this problem.