I'm going to talk about a topic that may be a little uncomfortable, but completely necessary in the world of cats and that is - cat poop.
When you look inside the litter box, what do you see? If you see soft poops (stools that are soft, almost diarrhea like and not solid), your cat's health may be telling you something. So what are some characteristics that you look for and what are the tall-tale signs of poor health?
The color, texture, smell, and the frequency is important to note when your cat goes number two. When I was a cat sitter, I would be amazed on the things that I would see when cleaning the litter boxes. Cow patties, a light brown hue, runny and on the side of the box, I would make sure to inform the cat parent that this was not normal. Cat poop should be a medium-to-dark brown in color, semi-solid, but not too hard because that could mean that kitty is constipated/dehydrated, and should not be offensive in odor.
If you see soft poops, there could be a variety of things going on. Firstly, I would suspect the food that kitty is eating. Poor food choices, especially those that contain high fillers such as wheat, soy, and corn, just to name a few, can cause the poop to be soft. A diet of limited ingredient protein or a raw food diet will allow the poop to be in it's natural state.
If it's not the food, it could be an intestinal parasite or gut issue. Bring the kitty to the vet and have them take a stool sample and do a regular check-up to ensure that it's not a more serious issue. From there, they may put kitty on a prescribed diet, provide medication and/or recommend healthy gut probiotics such as FortiFlora from Purina.
Offensive odor and very runny poop could be the food or an intestinal parasite, as mentioned above. Typically, recently adopted kitties from the shelter or rescue group can carry intestinal parasites (multiple cats living together type situation) so it's a good idea to make sure to follow-up with a veterinarian after adopting kitty to rule out any giardia, coccidia, or worms such as hookworms or tapeworms.
Also, the frequency of bowel movements is important. Is your kitty going at least once a day? Every other day could mean a variety of things so if your kitty is not going daily, I would talk to the veterinarian. It could indicate a health issue.
If your cat has soft poops, this is NOT NORMAL. I cannot stress this enough. I put together a checklist below to help you determine if your kitty's stools are a-okay.
Kiki and Messi trying to use the bathroom at the same time. What did you think I was going to show you, a picture of poop!?
Cat Poop Health Checklist:
Is it medium-to-dark brown?
- If it's another color, check for intestinal parasites or try changing foods to see if this is the culprit.
- Is it medium-to-dark brown?
Is it long, short or in little pieces?
- It should resemble tiny human poops or tootsie rolls.
- Little pieces can indicate dehydration and/or current food.
- Feeding dry food in the morning and wet food in the evening can give your cat's poop the right flow. If you can do wet for both meals, constipation should not be an issue.
Is the stool hard, semi-hard, soft, or runny?
- Normal poops are semi-hard. Not too hard, not too soft.
- Is it long, short or in little pieces?
Does the smell stink up your house soon after your kitty goes?
- If so, it could be the food! Try another brand and/or protein and you may see a difference.
- Does the smell stink up your house soon after your kitty goes?
Is kitty going at least once a day?
- Daily bowel movements means good kitty health. Anything less than that may indicate a problem.
- Is kitty going at least once a day?
Any insight, comments or tips on the above? Post below to join in on the discussion about cat poop!