Bleeding in cats may be a minor incident or a major one. The amount of bleeding and the location of the bleeding all play a factor in the seriousness of the condition. If in any doubt, it is always a good idea to speak to your veterinarian. Most cases of bleeding have a simple cause and are not life-threatening, however, some do have serious causes.
Cat bleeding from a wound
A wound over 1 inch long requires veterinary attention, smaller wounds can be treated at home if they are not deep or bleeding too heavily. First, you should apply gentle pressure on the wound to stop the bleeding. Once bleeding has stopped, use a syringe (without the needle) filled with to flush the wound out. Gently pat dry and apply a disinfectant. Betadine is a good choice, diluted 1 in 10. Don’t use hydrogen peroxide or Dettol on cat wounds.
If the wound is largish, you may need to apply a bandage once it has been cleaned and disinfected.
Keep an eye on all wounds to make sure they are healing well. If you notice any redness, swelling, discharge, odour then seek veterinary attention as it may have become infected.
Cat bleeding from the mouth:
There are several reasons why your cat may be bleeding from the mouth. There may be an injury to the mouth, tongue, teeth etc., or the blood could be coming via an internal wound or disorder. Common causes of mouth bleeding from the mouth include:
- Broken tooth
- Dental abscess
- Gum disease
- Foreign body lodged in the mouth
- Internal bleeding
This is not something you should treat at home. If you notice any blood coming from the mouth, take your cat to a veterinarian immediately. He may ask you for a history including other symptoms you have noticed such as vomiting, anorexia, ataxia etc.
Cat bleeding from the nose (epistaxis)
Most cases of nosebleed are due to trauma or blow to the face, other causes include;
- Foreign body
- Broken capillary
- Dental abscess
- Blood clotting disorder (low platelet count) due to parasites or anemia
- Infections (viral, bacterial, fungal)
If this appears to be a once-off and you can see no cause such as foreign body, dental abscess, signs of infection, you can try to stop the bleeding by gently applying an ice pack to the bridge of the nose. Sneezing may also occur during your cat’s nose bleed. This is normal.
If the bleeding doesn’t stop, or you notice other symptoms, seek veterinary attention immediately. Check for signs of a foreign body lodged in the nostrils, have a look in the mouth, is the bleeding from one nostril or both, can you see any signs of injury? Look out for other symptoms such as nasal swelling, loss of appetite, blood in the stool, nasal discharge, eye discharge, signs of parasites.
If the cause of sneezing can’t be easily determined, your veterinarian may wish to perform x-rays to look for a possible foreign body lodged deep in the nasal cavity and blood tests to check for anemia, infection, and overall health.
Cat bleeding from an ear
Causes of bleeding from the ear may include:
- Ear hematoma
- Injury to the ear caused by scratching due to ear mites
- Foreign body
Check the ear for lumps and bumps. Ear mites have the appearance of coffee grounds. They cause intense itching, which results in damage to the ear. Ear hematomas are a collection of blood under the skin, usually caused by trauma. Small hematomas will be drained by your veterinarian, large ones will need to be opened up and allowed to drain.
If the ear has been cut, and the bleeding/wound isn’t too severe you should be able to treat this at home using the methods described above for cat wound treatments.
If you notice any lumps, bumps, growths, odour coming from the ear, prompt veterinary attention is required.
Ear mites will need to be treated with an anti-parasitic medication, and if the ear is infected a course of antibiotics may be required.
Cat bleeding from the anus
See your veterinarian if your cat has anal bleeding. Possible causes of bleeding from the anus include;
- Straining to defecate, which can cause tears
- Anal gland abscess or infection
- Anal polyps
- Blood clotting disorders
Is the blood actually coming from the anus or is it on/in the stool? Has your cat had access to poison? Has he been straining to go to the toilet recently? Are there other symptoms? These are all questions your veterinarian will ask.
Cat bleeding from claw
Bleeding from the claw is usually caused by injury or accidentally cutting the claw too short. Is one claw bleeding or several? Car accidents often lead to claw injuries so even if your cat appears to be well if multiple claws are bleeding and injured veterinary attention should be sought.
If you have trimmed the claw too short, then this is something that can easily be treated at home. Either a styptic pencil or ordinary household flour can be used on the claw to stop the bleeding. As you can imagine, the claw will be a little sore for a day or so afterwards.
Cat bleeding after giving birth?
A small amount of blood is expected after your cat gives birth, but if this bleeding lasts more than a day, or is heavy, immediate veterinary attention is required. It could mean that a kitten or placenta has been retained, there is an infection of the uterus.
Other symptoms to watch for:
Female cats don’t have menstrual periods like humans, when they are in season, there may be a small amount of discharge from the vagina, but no bleeding as such.