What Does It Mean if My Cat Is Throwing Up Blood?

Vomiting blood, or hematemesis, is a condition that requires immediate medical attention. There may be several different reasons for this, whether minor or life-threatening. Vomit that contains blood may have a coffee-grounds appearance.

Vet listening to cat's  heart.
Vet listening to cat's heart. (ckellyphoto/iStock/Getty Images)
Hemorrhage

A hemorrhage in the stomach or intestines can cause vomiting blood. A hemorrhage can affect the heart and cause a heart murmur and low blood pressure. A severe hemorrhage can result in rapid breathing.

Woman pointing to a cat's x-ray.
Woman pointing to a cat's x-ray. (Brian McEntire/iStock/Getty Images)
Gastrointestinal Disease

A cat may vomit blood when suffering from ulcers or an inflamed bowel. An inflamed bowel is common in cats with inflammatory bowel disease.

A sick cat with head low to the ground.
A sick cat with head low to the ground. (Purestock/Purestock/Getty Images)
Infection

A cat suffering from a respiratory or viral infection may have occurrences of hematemesis. Other metabolic or neurological infections can contribute to this as well.

Vet holding young girl's cat.
Vet holding young girl's cat. (Comstock/Stockbyte/Getty Images)
Critical Illness

A cat that is critically ill will likely throw up blood. Drugs such as NSAIDs can increase the risk of vomiting blood.

Cat gives cat a syringe full of medicine.
Cat gives cat a syringe full of medicine. (Oksana Byelikova/iStock/Getty Images)
Trauma

A cat may experience vomiting blood after a traumatic incident. This could include a burn, major surgery or snake bites. Toxic plants, pesticides and heartworm can cause vomiting blood.

Close up of cat wound.
Close up of cat wound. (Eileen Kumpf/iStock/Getty Images)
What to Do

Call the vet right away if you notice any blood in your cat's vomit. A vet will perform blood, urine and fecal tests and possibly an X-ray or ultrasound to determine the cause.

Cat with veterinarian getting checked.
Cat with veterinarian getting checked. (tyler olson/iStock/Getty Images)
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