Medically termed as hematuria, meaning 'blood in urine', blood in the urine is a sign of a serious feline or cat illness which can be a cause of concern for any pet owner. Blood in urine basically means the presence of red blood cells in the urine, which if gross can be seen by the naked eyes, else can only be seen under a microscope. Although not a life-threatening disease, there are various factors that contribute to this condition.
There are various causes for hematuria in cats which includes feline lower urinary tract disease (FLUTD), that affects the bladder, causing production of tiny crystals in the bladder which eventually become bigger and result in large bladder stones. Also termed as feline cystitis, it is common in both male and female cats. Cancer and bacterial infections like cystitis or vaginitis of the urinary and genital tracts are some other common causes of blood in urine. Presence of calculi (stones) in the urinary tract or congenital urinary tract abnormalities can also lead to blood in a cat's urine. Poisoning, accidents or injuries, trauma, stress, etc. are some probable causes for a blood discharge in the cat's urine.
Blood discharge in the cat's urine is not the only indication that your cat is affected by some severe medical condition. Behavioral changes like becoming flaccid and unreceptive, frequent urination, pain while urinating, or pain in the stomach area can also be signs or indications that the cat is unwell. Frequent visits to the litterbox, straining while urinating, passing very small amounts at a time, and licking the genitals more frequently or more intensely than usual are some other symptoms along with the presence of blood.
The vet may conduct several tests to rule out possible causes. He/she may take the cat's urine sample to detect the presence of blood, bacteria, crystals that indicate bladder stones, and other abnormalities. He/she may probably conduct some blood tests to evaluate the overall health of the cat. A series of clotting tests may be done to assess whether the cat's blood can clot normally. X-rays and ultrasounds will be helpful to check the presence of bladder stones and tumors in the cat. Serum biochemistry tests may be performed to evaluate kidney and liver function and to diagnose electrolyte and acid base disturbances.
Treatment for cat urine with blood primarily depends on the cause and the severity of the condition. If the cause is urinary tract or bladder infection, it can be treated with oral antibiotics that may help to subside the pain and discomfort. For bladder stones or crystals, the vet may prescribe a diet low in calcium, magnesium, and phosphate, that may help in dissolving the crystals and prevent them from developing in the future. Fluid therapy may be recommended for cats that are dehydrated as this will help in increasing their urine output. In severe cases like cancer, surgery or chemotherapy has to be done.
Naturally, cats don't drink enough water as they tend to get moisture from the food they eat. Therefore, improving their fluid intake and restricting their dry food consumption are two of the most effective home remedies that can prevent hematuria in cats from reoccurring. This will properly cleanse their system and will also maintain the pH level in the urinary tract. Acidification of the cat's urine is a significant way to minimize the crystal formation in the urinary tract. Ingredients like arctostaphylos uva ursi, berberis vulgaris, cantharis, and staphysagris are well-known natural remedies to create and maintain a positive and healthy impact on the cat's bladder and urinary tract.
Before following any of the aforementioned treatments and remedies, it is recommended to consult a vet to diagnose the underlying cause and prescribe the necessary treatment. However, maintaining proper hygiene and keeping a track of the cat's behavior and dietary requirements, one can surely avoid the risk of having this ailment.