A cat throwing up blood is a severe situation warranting immediate treatment. The most common causes of cat vomiting blood include chronic digestive system irritation, ulcers, blood disorders, foreign bodies, poisons, clotting disorders, systemic infections, and parasites. 

The medical term for blood in cat vomit is hematemesis. A hematemesis is sometimes hard to notice because blood resembles bright red streaks or dark coffee grounds. 

Fasting, a bland diet, supplements, CBD Oil, and herbal teas are at-home remedies for mild vomiting management in cats. A cat vomiting blood requires prompt and aggressive veterinary treatment with intravenous fluids, supportive therapy, blood transfusion, or surgery. 

Preventing a cat from throwing up blood requires a strictly indoor lifestyle, maintaining current vaccinations, dewormers, and parasite control, and regular veterinary visits for checkups and preventative care. 

Dietary supplements, like CBD oil, probiotics, and dietary fiber or prebiotics, help maintain a healthy gut, reducing the risk of vomiting blood due to digestive issues. Cat owners starting CBD supplements are able to use CBD oil calculators to ensure optimum dosage and support for cats. The answer is yes for cat owners wondering whether CBD is safe for animals. 

Why is my Cat Throwing Up Blood?

Your cat is throwing up blood because of an underlying medical condition, such as foreign bodies in the cat, parasites, poison intoxication, viral infections, a blood condition, inflammatory bowel disease, or cancer. 

Occasional vomiting is regular in healthy cats, but a cat vomiting up blood requires immediate veterinary help. A cat throwing up blood, based on the circumstances, is in a potentially life-threatening danger. 

A cat vomiting bright red streaks signals blood from the esophagus, stomach, or upper small intestines. Blood in cat vomit resembling coffee grounds means the blood is partially digested and originates from the lower sections of the gastrointestinal tract, mainly the large intestines.  

The pathophysiology of vomiting blood in cats is complex, and vomiting causes bleeding, and bleeding causes cats to vomit. Knowing whether the bleeding or the vomiting comes first is difficult to determine in cats.

Chronic vomiting irritates the lining of the digestive tract, which results in bleeding. Severe bleeding causing the stomach to fill with blood triggers the vomiting reflex. Foreign bodies and poisons cause vomiting and bleeding at the same time. 

What Causes Hematemesis in Cats?

The causes of hematemesis in cats are listed below. 

  • Chronic GI Tract Irritation: Cats that eat from the trash or unusual items are prone to chronic vomiting. Chronic vomiting is irritating and damages the digestive tract’s lining, resulting in blood in the vomit. Sudden cat food changes and feeding the cat table scraps are other causes of chronic gastrointestinal tract irritation. 
  • Oral Problems: Bleeding problems inside the cat’s mouth sometimes result in a cat throwing up blood. For example, gingivitis or gum inflammation is accompanied by bleeding. The cat swallows the blood, and the blood in the stomach makes the cat nauseous, triggering vomiting. 
  • Gastrointestinal Ulcers: Gastrointestinal ulcers are rare in felines but cause vomiting blood. Ulcers are deep sores in the mucous membranes and are prone to bleeding. Ulcers form on the esophagus, stomach, or intestines. Ulcers in cats are typically associated with tumors. 
  • Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a serious, chronic gastrointestinal condition with an unknown cause. Experts believe the inflammation is associated with normal gut microbiome hypersensitivity or food allergies. Vomiting blood is possible in cats with severe forms of IBD. 
  • Foreign Objects: Accidental swallowing of foreign bodies sometimes results in a cat throwing up blood. Linear foreign bodies, such as ribbons, threads, and tinsels, are prevalent and dangerous in cats. The linear body attaches to the spikes on the cat’s tongue, causing the cat to vomit blood. 
  • Cancer: Adenocarcinoma is a malignant tumor in the cat’s gastrointestinal tract. Tumors occur everywhere, but they are common in the stomach, small intestine, large intestine, and rectum. Male cats are at higher risk of adenocarcinoma compared to females. Adenocarcinoma causes hematemesis in cats.
  • Medication Side Effects: Medications, such as non-steroid anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs) and corticosteroids, induce the formation of GI tract ulcers, which result in bleeding and a cat throwing up blood. The risk of ulcers is higher when using the medication in high doses and for a long time.
  • Toxin Ingestion: A cat throwing up blood is caused by ingesting toxic substances. Different poisons work differently. For example, rat poison impairs the cat’s blood clotting ability, while corrosive cleaning solutions burn the lining of the GI tract. 
  • Blood Clotting Disorders: The most common genetic bleeding disorder in cats is hemophilia A or factor VIII deficiency. Cats with hemophilia do not bleed spontaneously but are prone to severe and prolonged bleeding, even due to the smallest of trauma or irritation. Blood clotting disorders result in a cat throwing up blood.
  • Feline Panleukopenia: Feline panleukopenia (FP), or feline distemper, is a contagious viral disease. The signs of feline panleukopenia include high fever, depression, the cat throwing up blood, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and abdominal pain. 
  • Heartworm Disease: Heartworm disease in cats is caused by a parasite, Dirofilaria immitis and spreads via mosquito bites. Cats with heartworm develop an associated respiratory disease (HARD), which manifests with vomiting blood, coughing, asthma-like episodes, and weight loss. 
  • Kidney or Liver Disease: Kidney and liver disease in cats manifest with chronic vomiting. Continuous or frequent throwing up irritates the lining of the digestive tract, causing bleeding. A cat throwing up blood has an underlying kidney or liver problem. 
  • Postoperative Complications: Hematemesis, in some cats, is a complication following surgical procedures involving the gastrointestinal tract. 
  • Shock: Cats suffering shock due to burns, heat stroke, venomous animal bites, or stings cause very low blood pressure (hypotension) and damage the gastrointestinal tract, culminating in bleeding and blood in the vomit and, or stool. 
  • Brain Injury or Disease: Brain injuries increase the pressure within the cat’s skull resulting in the cat throwing up blood. The increased pressure in the head stimulates the vagus nerve. The vagus nerve increases the acidity in the cat’s stomach, leading to bleeding ulcers. 

What are Home Remedies for Cat Vomiting Blood?

The home remedies for a cat vomiting blood are listed below. 

  • Restrict Food Temporarily: A short fasting period of around 12 to 24 hours helps the cat’s digestive system rest and recover. Withhold food, ensuring the cat has access to fresh, drinking water at all times. Introduce a bland diet with small but frequent meals after fasting. 
  • Provide Bland Diet: A bland diet is easy on the cat’s stomach and allows it to recover without putting too much pressure and strain. Boiled white chicken combined with plain boiled rice is the best option for a bland diet. Replace the bland diet with regular cat kibble slowly once the vomiting subsides. 
  • Give Small, Frequent Meals: Serve cats small portions of food frequently to allow the cat’s stomach to process the serving without being forced to work at total capacity. Small, frequent meals help prevent vomiting in some cats. 
  • Use Probiotics: Probiotics balance the beneficial bacteria in the cat’s gut, supporting digestive health. Probiotics are often combined with prebiotics or dietary fiber, essential for nourishing healthy gut bacteria. Always buy probiotics explicitly formulated for cats and consult the vet before using new supplements. 
  • Prepare Herbal Teas: Chamomile and ginger teas are excellent for stomach issues in cats. Brew a mild chamomile tea, let it cool down, and offer it in small amounts. Add ¼ of a tablespoon of finely chopped ginger to 1 cup of boiling drinking water and let the mix simmer for around 15 minutes to make ginger tea. 
  • Try Petroleum Jelly: A cat throwing up blood caused by hairballs benefits from Petroleum jelly (vaseline). Rub the jelly on the cat’s paws or let the cat lick it directly from the tub. Cats do not metabolize the jelly, meaning it is safe to expect soft stool after the treatment. 

Could Foreign Objects Be Making My Cat Vomit Blood?

Yes, foreign objects could be making your cat vomit blood. Ingesting foreign bodies in cats causes injuries to the inside lining of the digestive tract and, in severe cases, gastrointestinal obstruction. Sharp bones, small toys, or irregularly shaped foreign objects damage a cat’s esophageal wall and stomach and cause bleeding and a cat to throw up blood. 

Commonly ingested foreign bodies in cats include plants, bone fragments, threads with or without needles attached, rubber bands, wool, and paper. 

Linear foreign bodies, like threads, tinsel, ribbons, strings, and yarn, are hazardous and common in cats. Foreign objects attach to the spines on the cat’s tongue and are difficult to remove. 

What Diagnostic Tests Can Determine the Cause of a Cat’s Bloody Vomit?

Diagnostic tests that can determine the cause of a cat’s bloody vomit include laboratory tests like complete blood cell count, blood chemistry panels, fecal tests, urine analysis, blood clotting profile, and specialized laboratory tests. 

Diagnostic procedures such as ultrasound, x-rays, endoscopy, tissue biopsy, and explorative surgery are performed in some cases of a cat throwing up blood.  

The veterinarian decides which diagnostic tests to order based on the cat’s history and the physical exam findings. There is no universal test for a cat vomiting blood. 

The veterinarian takes the cat’s complete history. The more details the owners provide, the easier for the vet to narrow down potential diagnoses. The veterinarian then performs a complete body exam and orders specific diagnostic tests and procedures based on the initial results. 

What Are the Treatments for a Cat Throwing Up Blood?

The treatments for a cat throwing up blood are listed below. 

  • Intravenous Fluids: Intravenous fluids are the first treatment for managing a cat vomiting blood. The fluids help rehydrate the cat and speed up the distribution of medications used to stabilize the cat and control the symptoms. 
  • Supportive Therapy: Supportive therapy includes all medications used to control the accompanying symptoms of a cat throwing up blood. The medications control diarrhea, nausea, and high temperature. There is no universal supportive therapy for a cat throwing up blood. The medication depends on the cat’s condition and specific situation. Antacids and stomach lining protectants are the most commonly used medications. 
  • Blood Transfusion: The veterinarian performs a blood transfusion in severely anemic cats that have lost too much blood via the vomit. A precise measure for blood transfusion is a hematocrit of less than 10 to 15%. Cats have three blood types (A, B, and AB), and the procedure is safe when done correctly. 
  • Antidote Treatment: A cat throwing up blood is given antidotes when the vomiting is caused by poisons. An antidote is a specific substance that counters the effect of the poison. Not all toxins have known antidotes, and the toxin is not always determined. The antidote for rat poison is vitamin K1. 
  • Surgery: A cat throwing up blood because of a foreign object is treated with surgery. The vet uses a minimally invasive approach with the help of an endoscope or a classic, invasive surgery based on the location and size of the foreign object. Foreign body surgery on cats is performed under general anesthesia. 
  • Dietary Supplements: Supplements such as probiotics, dietary fiber, and CBD oil are recommended when the blood vomiting is caused by IBD or inflammatory bowel disease. 
  • Dewormers: Dewormers are used when blood vomiting is associated with heavy parasitic infections. Cats must be dewormed regularly and preventatively, and if a cat throwing up blood is caused by intestinal worms, the vet prescribes dewormers in a therapeutic dose. 

How Urgent is Vomiting Blood in Cats?

Vomiting blood in cats is very urgent. The presence of blood in cat vomit is an emergency and requires immediate veterinary attention. 

Felines hide disease symptoms, and a cat throwing up blood is often sicker than it appears. Call the vet or head to the nearest veterinary emergency clinic if dealing with a cat vomiting blood. 

The different causes of cats throwing up blood vary in severity, with some being more benign and others life-threatening. All cats vomiting blood need veterinary assessment and proper treatment regardless of the underlying cause. 

When Should I Worry About My Cat Vomiting Blood?

You should worry about your cat vomiting blood if there are large amounts of blood in the vomit or if the issue is accompanied by other worrisome signs and symptoms, such as bloody stool, nausea, loss of appetite, lethargy, increased or decreased water intake, loss of coordination, confusion, altered breathing patterns, and low urine output. 

Vomiting blood is worrisome in kittens. Young kittens are prone to life-threatening infections and are more fragile, meaning the condition goes from bad to worse in a matter of hours. A pregnant cat throwing up blood or a cat with co-existing medical issues requires immediate veterinary treatment. 

A cat throwing up blood is a serious condition without other signs and symptoms and is present alone. Always schedule an urgent vet visit if dealing with blood in the cat’s vomit. 

Pet owners ignore cat vomit because it is common for healthy cats to cough up or vomit hairballs. Vomiting blood is dangerous and must be treated promptly and aggressively. 

How Can I Prevent My Cat from Vomiting Blood in the Future?

To prevent your cat from vomiting blood in the future, keep the cat indoors, stay up to date on vaccines, dewormers, and external parasite preventions, and practice regular veterinary exams. 

Keeping the cat indoors reduces the risk of contact with poisonous substances and acquiring infectious diseases. 

Regular vaccination prevents bacterial and viral diseases causing bloody vomiting, and parasite control eliminates the chances of worms making the cat vomit. 

Regular veterinary exams are important because they catch conditions before evolving into more severe problems, culminating in a cat throwing up blood.  

Is Severe Parasite Infestation Linked to Bloody Vomit in Cats?

Yes, severe parasite infestation is linked to bloody vomit in cats. Intestinal worms and parasitic infections caused by roundworms, tapeworms, and hookworms irritate the lining of the digestive tract, leading to bleeding and a cat throwing up blood. 

Cats’ most common intestinal parasites are roundworms, predominantly Toxoscaris leonina, and Toxocara cati. 25% of adult cats and 75% of kittens are infected with roundworms, according to the Cornell Feline Health Center. 

“Age, reproductive status, breed, and season are significant risk factors for roundworm infection, according to the American Veterinary Medical Association study, “Estimated prevalence of nematode parasitism among pet cats in the United States,” 2006. 

Can Poisonous Substances Cause Cats to Vomit Blood?

Yes, poisonous substances can cause cats to vomit blood. The prevalent poisons are rat poison and caustic cleaning agents. 

Rat poisons or rodenticides are a widespread problem. A cat throwing up blood either ate the bait itself or chewed a dead rat that had ingested the substance and died as a result. 

The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals Animal Poison Control Center received approximately 9265 calls related to rodenticide toxicosis in 2007. Around 5% of the cases involved cats. 

Can Depression Make my Cat Throw up Blood?

Yes, depression can make your cat throw up blood. Vomiting occurs in some depressed cats, and frequent vomiting irritates the lining of the digestive tract, resulting in the cat throwing up blood. 

Blood in cat vomit is not immediately associated with cat depression, as the depression must be very severe for the throwing up to contain blood. 

Depression is a serious mental health condition in which the cat is in an ongoing low-mood state and is disinterested in activities that once brought it joy.

The Mayo Clinic defines depression as a “persistent feeling of sadness.” Cat depression is a complex issue that lowers the cat’s quality of life. 

Depression in cats affects general behavior, sleep-wake cycle, and appetite. Depressed cats are reluctant to groom themselves, more vocal than usual, and prone to accidents outside the litter box. 

Can CBD Oil Help Hematemesis in Cats?

Yes, CBD oil can help hematemesis in cats. CBD does not treat the medical issue causing hematemesis in cats. CBD Oil helps reduce the urge to vomit and supports a healthy gastrointestinal tract. 

CBD’s effect as an antiemetic is demonstrated in many studies. Cannabinoids have the ability to relieve the nausea feeling and reduce the vomiting urge. 

“Cannabinoids, including CBD, may be effective clinically for treating both nausea and vomiting,according to the human study  “Regulation of nausea and vomiting by cannabinoids,” 2011, published in the British Journal of Pharmacology.

Small doses of CBD act as a probiotic and improve gut health, and “in high doses, it can cause leaky gut syndrome, according to a study, “Potential Probiotic or Trigger of Gut Inflammation – The Janus-Faced Nature of Cannabidiol-Rich Cannabis Extract,” published in the Journal of Dietary Supplements.

The CBD studies are not performed on cats, but CBD works through the endocannabinoid system (ECS), which is present in all mammals. The endocannabinoid system is the same across species, and similar positive results on digestive health are expected in cats. 

A cat throwing up blood is unable to be managed solely with CBD oil. Talk to a veterinarian for a treatment strategy that includes CBD to support the cat. 

How can CBD Oil be Used for Treating Hematemesis in Cats?

CBD oil can be used for treating hematemesis in cats as a part of a multimodal treatment plan. A cat throwing up blood is a serious problem requiring urgent veterinary help. 

The exact treatment depends on the underlying cause. Treatment for hematemesis is a dewormer if the vomiting is triggered by parasites or complex surgery if dealing with an ingested foreign body. 

CBD oil is an excellent complementary aid for a cat throwing up blood. CBD supports gut health, reduces vomiting urges, and relieves anxiety, which aggravates the situation as it manifests with vomiting itself. 

CBD, or cannabidiol, is a naturally occurring compound with health-boosting properties. CBD is part of the cannabinoids family that includes over 113 active ingredients and is found in the Cannabis sativa plant. 

Hemp-sourced CBD made for cats is safe for daily use and pairs with many traditional medications. Consult the veterinarian before using cat CBD, and always buy from reputable pet CBD brands to ensure maximum safety, quality, and efficacy. 

How Much CBD Oil Dosage Can I give to My Cat with Hematemesis?

Give your cat a CBD dosage of between one and five milligrams per 10 pounds of body weight. Always start with a very low dose when dealing with a cat with hematemesis. A CBD dose for a cat throwing up blood is between 0.1 to 0.2 mg per pound. 

Cats respond better to higher-range doses, but reaching high doses must be done slowly and gradually. Sudden CBD introduction does not allow the cat’s body to adjust to the new product and increases the risk of side effects. 

Use a CBD oil calculator for cats and consult the veterinarian before using CBD to manage a cat throwing up blood. The vet determines if CBD is safe to use in the specific situation and help determine the correct dosage. 

Is CBD Oil Safe for Cats?

Yes, CBD oil is safe for cats. Hemp-sourced and THC-free CBD, made exclusively for use in pets, is perfectly safe for cats. THC is the compound in CBD that causes euphoria, and THC is toxic in cats. Buy cat CBD Oil that contains less than the legally permitted 0.3% THC or THC-free. CBD Oil is safe to use with other mainstream meds and requires no prescription. 

PetMD, based on reports by pet parents and veterinarians, concluded that “CBD itself appears, on the surface, to be very safe in cats.” 

CBD is well-tolerated in cats according to “Safety and tolerability of escalating cannabinoid doses in healthy cats” 2021 by Justyna E. Kulpa and associates. The answer is yes for pet owners wondering, “Is CBD safe for animals?” 

“CBD appears to have good bioavailability and safety profile with few side effects,” according to a study titled Scientific Validation of Cannabidiol for Management of Dog and Cat Diseases” in 2023, published in the Annual Reviews of Animal Biosciences.