Your cat’s feces might not have the expressive qualities of the poop emoji or the singing skills of Mr. Hankey from South Park, but they can still tell you a lot about your cat’s health. When you clean the litter box, you’re preventing odors from stinking up your house and giving your cat a hygienic place in which to do his business, but you’re also getting the opportunity to monitor your cat’s wellness. We’re giving you the scoop about cat poop and healthy bowel habits so that you know what’s normal and what isn’t.
What Your Litter Box Should Look Like
Although every cat’s bathroom habits are different, you can get a sense of what to expect by scooping poop every day. Take note of what your cat’s feces look like so that you can tell when something is off. Most cats eliminate solid waste once a day. If your pet’s food contains grains, its feces will be bulkier. A grain-free diet can result in smaller, softer stools. Avoiding food with fillers can make your cat’s poop less stinky.
Diarrhea is distinguished by repeated loose or watery stools. It can come on suddenly and go away quickly, or it can develop over time and linger for weeks or months. Cat diarrhea may be accompanied by gas, straining, or vomiting. Its color can be green, orange, or brown.
Many things can cause feline diarrhea. Your cat might be sensitive to a change in its diet, or it could be sick. Cats can also develop diarrhea from allergies, a bacterial infection, parasites, kidney or liver disease, cancer, medications, or colitis. If your cat has loose stools for a day, you probably don’t need to worry. If the condition continues for more than a day or two, you might want to bring your cat to the vet. Dehydration is likely to occur when your pet has a stomach ailment, and it should probably be examined so that you can determine the best way to treat the problem.
Hard, dry, small feces can be an indicator of constipation. While minimal waste is normal in cats that are fed a raw diet, it’s not customary in cats that eat other kinds of food. Constipated cats may have trouble passing waste. As the excrement remains in the colon, the intestines become stretched out. Over time, this can cause the muscles to lose tone, making it even harder for the cat to go to the bathroom.
Sometimes, male cats strain when they have urinary blockages. This can look like constipation, but it’s accompanied by a lack of urine. An obstruction in the urinary tract is an emergency. Take your cat to the vet if you see signs of this.
Vet Street says that constipation in cats can be dangerous. Dehydration often occurs along with the condition. It’s important to make sure that your cat is drinking water. Cats with kidney disease or another ailment that predisposes them to dehydration may need IV fluids. Talk with your vet about providing your cat with a diet that encourages elimination.
Cat Pooping Outside The Litter Box
A cat that has been successfully using the litter box may stop using it if he feels sick. Eliminating outside of the designated bathroom area can also be a sign that your cat is emotionally upset. If you’ve recently brought home a baby or another pet, your cat might express its angst by leaving you a stinky surprise. Dr. Sophia Yin says that separation anxiety can also cause cats to poop throughout the house. Stress can upset your kitty’s stomach and make it hard for him to get to the bathroom in time.
You can usually tell if kitty has an aversion to the litter box when he rushes in and out to use it. Why the rush? Your cat may not like the smell or feel of the litter. Many cats don’t like litter liners. If you’re using them to make your life easier, they could be making things more frustrating for your feline. Cats that eliminate over the edge of the box might be trying to tell you that they’ve outgrown it. Try getting a larger box or one with a cover.
Cats with medical problems may end up leaving feces in strange places. They might be too lethargic to make it to the litter box. They may also be trying to tell you that they don’t feel well. Impacted anal glands and parasites are often associated with misplaced poops. However, the problem may be more serious. It doesn’t hurt to take your cat to the vet if you’re dealing with litter box problems.
Worms In The Poop
One of a cat owner’s biggest fears is seeing worms in the stool. Just thinking about it can make your skin crawl. Intestinal worms may be visible in your cat’s feces or anus. Roundworms are long and look like spaghetti. Tapeworm eggs look like rice or sesame seeds. Weight loss, diarrhea, and vomiting can be caused by worms. Your cat will need treatment if he has intestinal parasites.
Sometimes, objects that aren’t parasites can be found in cat poop. Undigested fur, feathers, grass, and animal bones may show up in the litter box. This usually isn’t a problem. However, if you feel like your cat is eating too much grass, you might want to try growing cat grass indoors and offering it to her at scheduled times. If your cat is ingesting a lot of fur, try brushing her more often.
When To Go To The Vet
A cat pooping blood or passing very dark stools might be telling you that there’s a bleed in her digestive tract. It’s not necessarily an emergency, but you should take her to the vet fairly soon. You should also seek medical attention if your cat’s poops are light gray or green. Pale stool can be a symptom of liver disease. Diarrhea or constipation that lasts more than a day or two and the presence of parasites in the stool warrant a vet visit. Any time your cat seems unwell, don’t hesitate to take her to the vet.