What Constitutes Healthy Cat Poop
Most indoor cats poop in litter boxes, which is a considerable benefit of keeping cats indoors. Poops that end up in litter boxes are usually seen by human caregivers and can point to health issues before they become serious. Because we love cats and want to help keep yours healthy, we thought it might be fun to talk about indoor cat poop and what constitutes healthy cat poop.
First and foremost, scooping litter boxes is not just a chore that indoor cat parents should do at least once daily. It’s also a reconnaissance mission! When scooping litter, make sure you take your time…
The Look of Poop
Keep a keen eye on the shape, consistency, and overall appearance of your cat’s poop. If your cat’s poop changes suddenly, call your veterinarian and ask if the change merits a visit to their office. If the difference in poop is an isolated incident, your veterinarian may tell you to keep them posted on additional changes or other symptoms that may come up.
Without additional symptoms, a short-lived change in the visual of your cat’s poop is likely nothing to worry about. That said, a worsening of the quality of the poop is indicative of a health issue and should be addressed with a vet visit or fecal analysis. Some vets will allow you to collect a stool sample at home and drop it by their practice for a quick test if they cannot fit your cat in for a full workup.
The Smell of Poop
The smell of poop varies according to your cat’s diet but unusual strong-smelling poop may indicate a food allergy or bacterial infection, among other things. If your litter box suddenly smells like a landfill or rotten eggs despite numerous attempts at keeping it clean, it’s time to contact your veterinarian to discuss your options.
The Consistency of Poop
Please note that runny poop or diarrhea can signal a significant health issue in cats. While we may think nothing of an urgent trip to the toilet in adult humans, cats can dehydrate quite quickly therefore watery stools should be discussed with your veterinarian as soon as they are noticed. Additionally, mucus in stool may indicate inflammation in the GI tract and could be a sign of parasitic infection or illness.
The Color of Poop
Poop is usually brown. (#poopemoji) Therefore, if you ever notice green or yellow poop, red poop, or poop in other odd colors, it’s best to contact your veterinarian immediately. Just as in humans, irregular poop colors may indicate blood in the stool or anus, liver/bile issues, and more.
The Absence of Poop
Constipation is not only uncomfortable for our cats, but it can also become an emergency if left untreated. According to All About Cats, “there are no absolute rules about frequency and quantities of cat poops, but most cats in good general health pass stools once or twice daily, with lengths of four to six inches (10 -15cm) on each occasion.” If your cat stops pooping or seems to be struggling to move their bowels, make an appointment to bring them to the vet.
Due to a recent outbreak of parasites in the Yorktown area, we encourage you to keep an especially close eye on your cat’s stools. Many parasites can infect the humans in your home therefore by keeping a close watch on your cat’s bowel movements, you’re not only keeping them safe, but you’re also keeping your family and other members of the community healthy by preventing further spread if your cat becomes infected.