If your cat’s anus has blood in or around it, there’s a chance it could be cancer, says a veterinarian.

Have you noticed what appears to be blood near, around or in your cat’s anus, and wondering if this might be a sign of cancer?

Can cancer cause blood around a cat’s anus?

“Yes, bloody stool or fresh blood around the anus could be a sign of several cancerous processes, as well as other, less sinister diseases,” says Dr. Jules Benson, BVSc, chief veterinary officer with NationwideDVM, a pet insurer company.

He continues, “Gastrointestinal lymphoma and anal gland adenocarcinoma (two different types of cancer) can both cause bloody stools.”

Gastrointestinal lymphoma is the most frequently diagnosed form of lymphoma in cats.

Anal gland adenocarcinoma is uncommon, and it can spread quickly. And unfortunately, the prognosis for this condition is usually poor.

Other Symptoms of Cancer in Cats that Can Cause Blood About the Anus

Symptoms of gastrointestinal lymphoma:

  • Suppressed appetite
  • Lethargy, constipation
  • Diarrhea
  • Vomiting and what appears to be gooey tar in the stools
  • As well as fresh blood in the stools.

Symptoms of anal gland adenocarcinoma:

  • A mass in the rectal area, usually small
  • Constipation
  • Difficulty defecating
  • Suppressed appetite
  • Excessive thirst and lethargy.

So if you think there is blood near your cat’s anus, do not hesitate to bring your pet in for a full examination by your veterinarian.

Can blood near or in a cat’s anus have benign causes?

Yes, says Dr. Benson. He lists the following possible benign causes: inflammatory bowel disease, intestinal parasites, trauma and over-licking (which could be caused by irritation, anxiety, diarrhea or constipation).

What will happen at the vet’s office?

“To determine the cause of the blood, your vet will examine your pet and probably recommend a basic baseline of blood work, urine and fecal analyses, with the possible addition of radiographs (X-rays), ultrasound exam, endoscopy and/or specific GI blood work,” says Dr. Benson.

All of those diagnostic tests  –  and the treatment that your vet recommends  –  can add up, which is why many veterinarians recommend pet insurance to help cover these unforeseen costs, Dr. Benson explains.

He points out that pet insurance must be in effect before your cat (or dog) begins showing symptoms, so it’s wise to start an insurance policy while your pet is healthy.

Dr. Benson is regularly consulted by many media outlets including ABC, NBC, FOX, The Wall Street Journal and The New York Times to provide pet health advice to pet parents nationwide. pupp
Lorra Garrick has been covering medical, fitness and cybersecurity topics for many years, having written thousands of articles for print magazines and websites, including as a ghostwriter. She’s also a former ACE-certified personal trainer.  
Sources:   ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3092124/;     petmd.com/cat/conditions/cancer/c_ct_lymphoma#.UiqhcNKor20