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

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What Does It Mean if My Cat Is Throwing Up Blood?thumbnail
Vet listening to cat's heart. (Photo: ckellyphoto/iStock/Getty Images)

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.

Woman pointing to a cat's x-ray. (Photo: Brian McEntire/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.

A sick cat with head low to the ground. (Photo: Purestock/Purestock/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.

Vet holding young girl's cat. (Photo: Comstock/Stockbyte/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.

Cat gives cat a syringe full of medicine. (Photo: Oksana Byelikova/iStock/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.

Close up of cat wound. (Photo: Eileen Kumpf/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.

Cat with veterinarian getting checked. (Photo: tyler olson/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.

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