is black cat poop an emergency

Your cat’s upper GI tract is made up of the mouth, stomach, and small intestine each of which can be affected by a range of issues, from toxicity to intestinal parasites. Black cat poop should always be reported to the vet because internal bleeding can be life-threatening if not addressed right away.

Fresh, Red Blood in Cat Stool (Hematochezia)

Hematochezia is the term for bright red, fresh blood found in a cat’s feces.

Hematochezia could indicate a relatively minor issue or something potentially more serious in the animal. A single case of hematochezia could be a small, fleeting incident. Repeated or ongoing hemoptysis is a serious condition that should not be disregarded. There are several possible causes. Cancer is the most common cause in older pets, while parasites are the main cause in younger pets. This usually happens when there is bleeding in the colon or rectum of the lower intestines. It’s important to distinguish melena—the passage of dark, tarry, black feces—from hematomezia.

There are many potential causes of hematochezia. The gastrointestinal tract is typically linked to the most frequent causes, though occasionally there are other, entirely unrelated causes (e g. clotting disorders or coagulopathies). Finding the cause of hematochezia is crucial because these patients frequently require specialized care.

Go here to find out more about the causes and available treatments for hematochezia in cats.

Vomiting and Diarrhea in Cats

Diarrhea is commonly accompanied by vomiting in cats. The symptoms of acute vomiting and diarrhea usually appear suddenly and last for less than two to three weeks. Both acute vomiting, a reflex action that causes the stomach’s and/or duodenum’s contents to be forcefully expelled through the mouth, and diarrhea, which is characterized by an increase in the water content of the feces combined with an increase in the frequency, fluidity, or volume of bowel movements, are exceedingly common in cats.

While cats occasionally experience vomiting and diarrhea, severe, acute vomiting and diarrhea is abnormal and may be linked to potentially fatal illnesses. It may result in severe electrolyte disturbance, acid-base imbalance, and fluid loss.

For more information go to Acute Vomiting in Cats. The recommendation of particular diagnostic tests will depend on the severity or co-occurrence of other signs. Monitoring the amount of time and how often the vomiting occurs is one of the most important factors. If your cat throws up once and then eats normally, not throwing up again, has a regular bowel movement, and acts playful, the issue might go away on its own. Medical attention is necessary if your pet continues to vomit after eating, appears lethargic, or refuses to eat.

Not sure whether to see a vet?

Our vet-created Symptom Checker asks you a few questions about your pet’s symptoms and provides you with the most likely causes and recommended course of action.

FAQ

Should I be worried if my cats poop is black?

Cat poop is usually dark brown. But sometimes you might notice other colours too. Black cat poop: this colour might mean that your cat is bleeding into the gastro-intestinal tract. If you notice black, tarry poop in your cat’s litter box, contact the vet to rule out internal bleeding issues.

What does sick cat poop look like?

If their stool is watery or if it has a red, orange, black, yellow, or green hue, that likely means something is wrong. If your cat is having a hard time passing stool, or if they can’t pass it at all, that also is an indication that something is wrong.

When should I be concerned about cat poop?

If it’s mushy or rock-solid, your cat might be having a health issue. If it’s watery, your cat is likely having a bout of diarrhea, which can be caused by: Eating toxic substances, such as harmful foods or plants (see a list of troublesome plants)

Can food make cats poop black?

This can be a sign of bleeding in the upper gut, especially if it has a ‘coffee grounds’ appearance – the black colour is digested blood. Dark cat poo may be normal in cats that eat a diet with a high blood content, or hunt and eat their prey.