Q. For the past three months, my 2-year-old male tabby has been having soft stools that occasionally have blood in them. I have taken several samples to my veterinarian but they have all been negative for worms. The cat has a good appetite and eats both canned and dry food. I haven't noticed any weight change, and he seems to be normal otherwise. What else can I do to stop him from having blood in his stools?
A. Usually when a cat has soft stools or diarrhea with blood and occasionally mucus, an inflammation of the large bowel or colitis should be considered. Most often, parasites are the cause and even though your pet's stool samples were negative, you should observe your cat closely for tapeworm segments that may appear around the rectum or even on the stools. Other causes of colitis can be from infections, tumors and even stress. You may need to keep track of the diets that your cat eats and note which diets may cause your pet to have soft stools. Your veterinarian may need to take an X-ray of your cat and take some blood for tests to help rule out metabolic or infectious problems. If all these are normal, you may need to put the cat on a strict diet and even antibiotics to treat the cat's symptoms. A biopsy of the colon should be considered if the problem remains and does not respond to medication.