Looking at your cat’s poop can give you some ideas about her health. Here’s what to check for in your cat’s discharge.
By Linda Butts of Pawsometalk.com
I know that your cat’s poop is the last thing you’d want to look at, but if you care about your cat and her health, then you should never ignore it.
In fact, many veterinarians will tell you that poop provides a wealth of information about the state of health of the cat.
And we’re not only talking about the color, content, and consistency of your cat’s stool. Even her bathroom habits will give you an idea of how she is feeling.
What does a healthy cat’s poop look like?
You may wonder— what should your cat’s poop look like so that you won’t be worried about her health?
Well, the ideal cat poop is colored dark brown. It should not be too hard or too soft. If it is watery, then it may likely be due to diarrhea. If the stool is as hard as a rock, then it is possible that your cat is having a health issue.
Here are some of the things to look out for whenever your cat litters.
1. The Color Of Your Cat’s Poop
As I mentioned a bit earlier, a healthy cat produces a dark brown stool. This is due to the fluid bile that is released from the cat’s gallbladder for food digestion, as well as the pigment called bilirubin that is released in the bile.
It’s okay to have some color variations. This means you shouldn’t be alarmed if the poop is light brown.
Of course, if you fed your cat with kibble with food coloring, you can expect her stool to have some changes in color.
If there are bright red streaks in her poop, it is very likely that there is bleeding in the GI tract. It is also possible that your cat was constipated and had a difficult time in excreting.
Black or maroon stools are also indicative of stomach or small intestine bleeding. Meanwhile, a pale yellow stool may be a symptom of liver or pancreatic problems.
2. The consistency of the poop
It’s hard to determine the right consistency of a cat’s stool for an untrained individual. But you would be surprised that veterinarians even utilize a numerical system to rate the stool of a pet. That’s how specific these specialists are!
In the said fecal scoring system, vets assign a numerical value (from 1 to 7) wherein 1 is the hardest and 7 is the softest. The ‘healthiest’ stool in terms of consistency is a 2. Just to give you an idea, the said waste is as soft as Play-Doh clay when you press it.
If your cat has rock-solid poop, it could be due to constipation. In such case, you should encourage her to drink more water. You should also give her a more high-fiber diet and ensure that she gets more exercise.
It’s OK for cats to have a stool that is too loose. This could be due to a temporary virus, or maybe she’s still adjusting to a new food. What’s more alarming is if she continues to have loose poop for more than 24 hours. I suggest you bring her to a vet if the problem persists.
3. The contents of the poop
I would not be alarmed to see some hair in your cat’s poop. Cats, after all, are notorious for their grooming habits; it is perfectly normal for them to digest some hair and excrete it later on.
But if you notice long and spaghetti-like strands in your cat’s stool, then beware! Your cat likely has roundworms. Meanwhile, cat discharge that has small pieces similar to rice grains can be tapeworm eggs.
Suffice to say, your cat should be brought to a veterinarian once you observe the said contents in her waste matter.
4. Cat’s behavior while pooping
Finally, even your cat’s behavior while she is using the litter box can give you some clues on her health.
The general rule of thumb about cat poop frequency is at least once a day. In the event that your cat hasn’t discharged waste for more than 48 hours or 2 days, then you should be worried. A trip to the veterinarian should be scheduled to rule out any potential problem, and for your peace of mind as well.
Does your cat make vocalizations while excreting? If so, then she may be in pain or constipated. Again, a visit to the veterinarian can help you rule out more serious problems.
A cat’s poop isn’t the most pleasant topic, but one thing is for sure—it can give you a lot of clues about their health. Any cat owner would surely be interested in promoting the better health and welfare of their feline friends, so start being more observant whenever your cat poops!
Linda Butts is the owner of the Pawsome Talk blog. She aspires to use her personal experience to help others have the best possible relationship with their pets, as she is a huge animal lover herself. You can check out more of her articles on her website by clicking the link above.