Can Your Cat’s Poop Tell You How They Feel?

It’s fair to say that no one enjoys cleaning a cat’s litter box, but if you don’t have some magic litter that changes color, assessing your cat’s health through its poop can provide valuable insights into its overall well-being. Here are some indicators to consider:

1. Color
 Brown: Normal, healthy cat poop is typically a deep brown color.
 Black or Tarry: This may indicate bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract and requires a vet visit.
 Red Streaks: Can be a sign of blood, which might be due to issues like constipation, anal gland problems, or more serious conditions.
 Yellow: Might indicate liver issues or problems with bile.
 White or Gray: Could suggest a problem with the pancreas or liver.
 Other issues with color might be attributable to something colored that the cat has eaten or a new sort of food.

2. Consistency
 Firm but Pliable: Ideal cat poop should be firm but not hard, similar to Play-Doh.
 Hard and Dry: Often a sign of dehydration or constipation.
 Runny or Liquid: Indicates diarrhea, which can be caused by dietary indiscretion, infections, parasites, or other health issues. (From foster experience, we can say that kitten poop may be runnier and more frequent than adult poop, but still should not be watery, bloody, or contain a lot of mucus.) Many underlying diseases can often lead to similar changes. While a cat having diarrhea due to stress has a mild condition, a cat having diarrhea due to panleukopenia virus has a more severe condition. 

3. Shape
 Log-Shaped: Healthy cat poop should be log-shaped, resembling a sausage.
 Small and Pellet-Like: May indicate dehydration or constipation.

4. Size
 The size should be proportional to the amount of food your cat eats. A sudden increase or decrease in size might indicate dietary changes or health issues.

5. Smell
 Mild Odor: Normal cat poop has a smell, but it shouldn’t be overly strong or foul.

 Foul Odor: Strong, foul-smelling poop might indicate digestive issues, infections, or dietary problems.

6. Frequency
 Regular: Most adult cats defecate once or twice a day. Any significant change in
frequency, either more or less often, might be a sign of a problem.

7. Contents
 Undigested Food: Could suggest digestive issues or that your cat is not chewing food properly.
 Mucus: May indicate inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract.
 Parasites: Visible worms or eggs in the poop are a clear sign of a parasitic infection.

When to Consult a Veterinarian
 Persistent diarrhea or constipation lasting more than 48 hours.
 Presence of blood, mucus or worms/eggs
 Significant changes in color or consistency.
 Foul odor that is unusually strong or different from normal.
 Any other sudden and unexplained changes.
Monitoring Tips
 Routine Checks: Regularly check your cat’s litter box for any changes.
 Diet: Ensure your cat has a balanced diet and stays hydrated.
 Environment: Keep the litter box clean to encourage regular use.

If you notice anything unusual or have concerns about your cat’s health, it’s always best to consult with your veterinarian for a professional evaluation. Be sure to obtain a sample of whatever poop you want them to study.

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