Q: Whenever my cat gets stressed, she has bloody poop. The blood is bright red and sometimes there’s a jelly-like mucus. No bacteria or parasites were found in her poop sample. The vet says the stress makes her bowels irritated. What can I do to help her cope or ease her bowels?

A: If there is bright red blood in the poop, it indicates that there is bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract, which comprises of the food gullet, stomach, small intestines and large intestines—with the latter lying closest to the anus. Hence, bright red blood in your cat’s stool indicates that the problem is in the large intestines.

A jelly-like mucus may be produced when the large intestines suffer from an inflammatory process or infection. When you see this in the poop, it further confirms that there is an issue in the large intestines.

If bacteria and parasites have been excluded, stress may have induced excessive production of gastric juices, which led to an inflammation of the stomach and intestines. If severe, ulcers may form, leading to chronic bleeding and perforation of the gut, which can be fatal.

Your feline can be placed on a bland, easily digestible diet that is minimally irritating to the stomach and intestines. You may also consider hypoallergenic prescription diets available at any veterinary clinic. Medication to protect the stomach and intestines, as well as to reduce gastric acids, can be given.

When strangers come to visit, introductions and contact should be made gradually and without force. Provide a safe place for your furkid to hide if she wishes to.