Best Pet Home Remedies

Cat Anemia


It may sound quite odd to think that a predominantly carnivorous species such as a cat can become anemic. However, anemia tends to occur in cats, it may not be that common as in humans, but it is not unheard of. The causes may be various, but are normally not diet related since most cat foods are naturally supplied with all the nutrients the cat requires.

Since cats generally do not get anemic because they lack iron in their diets, the main causes of cat anemia are diseases and conditions that cause extensive blood loss, that disrupt the production of red blood cells and that destroy red blood cells interfering with proper blood clotting.


Cat AnemiaThe causes for cat anemia can be various and also serious, therefore, have your cat properly assessed by your veterinarian. The following remedies are only for cats that have been diagnosed with anemia and are recovering properly.

Home Remedies for Cat Anemia

Pump up the Iron

When cats become anemic,  giving foods rich in  iron and B vitamins helps, explains veterinarian Lee R. Harris in the book “The Doctor’s Book of Home Remedies for Dogs and Cats.” In particular, some cooked liver may be very helpful to anemic cats. One ounce of liver given for 1 to 2 weeks may help the cat recover faster.

Look for Supplements

There are several over the counter supplements that provide iron and extra nutrients to sick pets.  Always best to consult with your vet before changing diet or giving supplements to your cat.

Limit Exercise

Anemic cats tend to get tired easily, by limiting exercise, you may expedite recovery. Rest is also helpful since, exercise causes more oxygen intake and oxygen in cats with anemia may be scarce to start with.

Check Mouth

Since cats are furry, it is hard to tell when they are pale. However, anemic cats will exhibit pale mucous membranes. Normally, cats have bubble gum pink gums and pink tongues, however, when anemia strikes them, these gums and the tongue turn a very pale pink or even white.

Check Eyes

The conjunctiva as well may help determine anemia. This can be observed, by pulling down the lower eyelid. Normally, this area is pink.

Check for Parasites

Heavy infestations of parasites that feed on blood such as fleas, ticks and hook worms may cause anemia especially in small kittens. Ensure your cat is free of fleas by using safe monthly topicals and have your vet run a fecal sample.

Avoid Onions

Studies reveal that cats fed onions (and even garlic) are prone to a certain type of anemia called Heinz Anemia. Ensure you are not feeding foods with onions in them such as broth, baby food or other commercially prepared foods.

Anemia in cats may have various origins however, it is almost never diet related. Therefore, an injury that causes copious external or internal bleeding may cause anemia and shock. Heavy infestations of parasites that feed on blood such as fleas, ticks and hook worms may cause anemia especially in small kittens. Hemobartonella felis, a parasite beloging to a group of bacteria called “mycoplasmas” is also associated with causing anemia. Ingestion of toxins such as Tylenol and Zinc (often found in pennies) have been associated with anemia. The feline Leukemia virus and the Feline Immunodeficiency virus may cause anemia. Cancers may cause blood loss that may go undetected until tests are run. Rat poison also may cause extensive blood loss. There are also several blood diseases including some immune related conditions that may affect cats ultimately causing anemia.

*Disclaimer: all remedies are not to be used as a substitute for professional veterinary advice. If your pet is sick please refer to your veterinarian for a hands on examination.

7 thoughts on “Cat Anemia”

  1. I have a 4 year old Siamese who became ill in April. He is currently on second round of treatment for anemia.
    This time around he is not responding as quickly but he is not in any danger. All test are negative and organ functions are good.
    Thank you for the information about feline anemia.

  2. I have an albino DSH cat that was orphaned as a kitten and bottle raised. When he was 1 he was so severely anemic we feared organ failure the cause was never determined, though I think it my have been onion tops. He survived and now at 14 yr he is once again anemic. We are in the process of trying to determine the cause. Hope my deaf little guy does well.

  3. its difficult to see your cat being so ill and found it hard as we get so attatched to our pets who are family as much as the human family. They are loved and we have to make a fuss. Anemia is just awful as when we don’t know what the cause is, it can make things a worry too.

  4. my cat has anemia and had poor appetite but through perseverance I hand fed him with cat food with small portions. I also gave him some fresh cooked chicken too. Its been a long way and he is sitting in the garden again with a ten minute spell. Had two blood tests proved negative for cancer and has healthy organs. He is 15 years old and still lively and responsive to his name. Two weeks ago very lethargic.

    • Can I ask you specifically what else did you do to help him with his anemia, if anything? Please let me know if you get this!

    • Alice, did you ever find out the cause of the anemia? My 14 year old is experiencing the exact same problem. Anemia, lethargy, all tests are negative.

  5. Thank you a lot for caring about animals and making feel them safe and comfortable. Some didn’t even know that cats can have human diseases like feline anemia too.


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