Cat Poop: What's Normal?
Although catsí bowel habits can and do vary, there are certain characteristics of ďnormalĒ that indicate digestive health. Most cats will have bowel movements at least once a day. These poops should be deep brown in color and well formed not too hard, not too soft or mushy. Normal cat poop should not smell too foul (some odor is normal, of course).
Cat Poop Problem: Diarrhea
Diarrhea is not uncommon among cats, and there are many reasons why your cat might develop frequent loose, runny bowel movements. Sometimes, cat diarrhea develops quickly and the condition resolves as quickly as it arose. Other times, it can last for days, weeks, or months, or recur on a regular basis. Although diarrhea that lasts for 24 to 48 hours is not likely to cause a problem, episodes of watery stools that continue may cause dehydration Some common causes of cat diarrhea include:
Dietary changes and/or food allergies or intolerances Inflammatory bowel disease Colitis Hyperthyroidism
Worms (intestinal parasites) Pancreatic disease Cancer If your cat has diarrhea that lasts more than a day or two, be sure to see your veterinarian to determine the cause of the problem. You should also consult your vet immediately if the diarrhea is black or bloody, or if it is accompanied by vomiting lethargy, or a loss of appetite.
Depending on the cause of your cat's diarrhea, your veterinarian may suggest you try a variety of different remedies. Some cats will benefit from the use of prescription medications, such as metronidazole or prednisone, which are used to control the inflammation associated with inflammatory bowel disease. Your veterinarian may recommend a special diet or foods if IBD or colitis is suspected.
You can help prevent diarrhea by refraining from giving your cat dairy products like milk or yogurt, because many cats are unable to digest these properly. Also, when switching the brand or type of food you feed your cat, be sure to introduce any new food over several days by mixing it with smaller and smaller amounts of the old food until your cat has transitioned to eating only the new food.
Cat Poop Problem: Constipation
As is the case with diarrhea, you donít need to worry if your cat has an occasional, brief bout of constipation. But if your cat frequently strains excessively to poop or is unproductive in her attempt to have a bowel movement, you should contact your veterinarian.
There are a number of things that can cause cats to become constipated, including:
Over - grooming, which leads to extra hair in the digestive tract Kidney problems Feline megacolon Some type of obstruction, including string or bones Diets that are low in fiber Colon abnormalities such as strictures or tumors Spinal problems or pain To help ease your catís constipation, your veterinarian may suggest increasing the fiber in the diet, such as by adding canned pumpkin to your cat's regular food. Or your veterinarian might recommend switching to a diet that is very easily digested, thereby lessening the amount of poop in your catís digestive tract.
Encouraging your cat to get more exercise and drink more water may also help poop move through her system more readily.
The chart below may help you to identify the cause of your cat's poop problems:
Cat Digestive Problems