September 21, 2022 6 min read
As a cat parent, you can learn a lot about your cat from its poop. When examining the poop, the size, consistency, smell, and colour make a huge difference. Whether you have a kitten for the first time or have been living with cats all your life, by looking at your cat's poop, you can know a lot about your cat's health.
If your cat is healthy, it should poop at least once a day. The colour should be dark brown, and the consistency should not be too hard or soft; it should be normal. An extremely foul smell is a sign of a health problem.
To mark their territory, animals often use their urine and poop. In fact, for centuries, cats have buried their poop to stay away from predators or have used it to mark their boundaries whenever required.
If the poop has a very foul smell on some days and less on others, you may wonder why this is happening. In this article, we will explain what the colour of poop showcases about your cat and how you can use odour and colour to understand your cat's health.
If your cat is healthy, its poop will smell. However, the smell will be bearable. However, if the poop smell makes you leave the room or if you gag every time you smell it, your cat is unhealthy and needs immediate attention. Also, if the poop is watery and sticks to the litter box or scoop, your cat is unhealthy. Remember, a cat which is less stressed and healthy will always use the litter box.
Smelly faeces means there is an issue with the digestive system. This can either be due to the diet or bacteria. However, you can ignore the smell as a pet parent, but what if the consistency of the poop isn't adequate and the colour is odd?
If the poop of the cat is light dark brown, there is nothing to worry about. But if the poop looks like coal or has blood in it, you need to make an appointment with your vet immediately.
Cats do not like dirt around them; therefore, whenever they get dirty, they clean themselves up by licking their body. However, if they are not shedding that poop off their body, your cat may be having health issues.
Like humans, cats prefer to poop once a day. However, with age, this can change. There will be days when cats do not want to poop. However, this could be a problem if your cat does not poop for more than two days in a row. Furthermore, if your cat is spending more time in the litter box than usual, she may be constipated. If your cat is producing too much poop several times a day, you should get your cat checked by a vet.
The consistency of the poop should be like a ground nut or a log. A loose stool can be a symptom of diarrhoea in cats as they suffer from inflammatory bowel diseases frequently.
As mentioned earlier, cats groom themselves by licking their bodies. Therefore, in a cat's poop, you will find hair. But if you see a lot of hair in your cat's poop, it might be facing stress, anxiety, or itchy skin which causes its hair to fall.
You may find tapeworms—which are white and shiny and look like small grains of rice—if your cat has an infection. In this case, you should visit the doctor immediately.
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Your cat might be suffering from diarrhoea or constipation, and there are several justified reasons for this.
Keep a check on the diet: A well-balanced diet is a must for any cat to have a good digestive system, just like humans. Things that are hard to chew and digest should not be a part of your cat's diet as they cause stomach issues.
Parasites harmful to cats: Parasites like Giardia and Tritrichomonas affect the gut of cats. Parasites, roundworms, and coccidia can also affect the cat's digestive system and might produce smelly faeces.
Pancreatic disease: Pancreas in a cat's body secretes enzymes to help the breakdown of food. The pancreas is a part of the digestive system and when it does not function properly, the cat might suffer from an inflamed pancreas.
Allergies: Yes, your cat can be allergic to some food items especially fish, beef, and chicken. This may lead to inflammatory bowel disease in cats due to indigestion and allergic reactions. However, without any food allergy, there can be inflammation in the gut which will produce smelly poop.
Medication: If your cat is on medication such as antibiotics, chances are your cat's digestive system is disrupted. This leads to smelly poop because the good bacteria in the gut die and harmful bacteria affect the immune system of cats. This effect is short-lived and you may see normal poop again once the cat is off medication.
Liver diseases: A cat's liver filters the toxins from the food and helps with bile and several nutrients. Also, the gallbladder plays a crucial role in digesting food. However, due to liver or gallbladder disease, the poop of the cat can smell foul.
Stressful situations: Like humans, stress can upset the hormonal balance in cats. This might upset the gut of your cat, leading to smelly poop. There are several reasons for stress in a cat's life.
If your cat's poop smells foul, it is recommended to see a doctor immediately. The vet will ask you to run some required tests before recommending treatment for the condition. However, in most cases, if there is no underlying medical issue, the vet will ask you to make some changes to the cat's routine to determine the cause. Some things that you may need to change are:
Change in the diet: For constipation and diarrhoea, a vet will recommend a high-fibre diet. This diet includes food items that are easy on the gut and break down easily.
Medication: After a complete checkup, a vet might give medication to your cat to cure its illness. The treatment might be long-term or short-term depending on the magnitude of the issue.
Probiotics: Probiotics are good bacterias that help in the digestion of food in the acidic stomach of the cat. These also help in balancing the nutrients in the gut of a cat. Thus, ensuring the poop is of the right consistency, colour and smell.
Reduce stressful situations: Observe the behaviour of your cat, if your cat is stressed in a certain environment, you should avoid placing the cat in such situations. For example, if your cat does not get along with a family member or another pet, its stress levels can increase.
As a pet parent, you want to get rid of that stinky smell as soon as possible. Here is a list of products that can help you with it.
Have more than one litter box: Your cat roams around the house. Therefore, ensure to have litter boxes placed in different locations and on different levels of the house. Also, if your cat is suffering from diarrhoea, it will need more than one litter box.
Time to buy a new litter box: If you are wondering why your cat poops almost everywhere except in the litter box, chances are your cat does not like the litter box you bought for it. It is a sign to buy a new one which is comfortable for your cat.
Air fresheners: Air fresheners are a quick and easy solution to get rid of the foul smell. Place an automatic air freshener next to the litter box so that the smell is overpowered by the air freshener. However, ensure to have cat-safe air fresheners in the house.
Also read: How to Cut Down Cat Odor in the House
Having pets at home is great. But as a pet parent, you need to remember that pets need care just like a baby. From their diet to cleanliness, everything plays a crucial role in keeping a cat healthy and fit. You can know everything about a cat from its poop and smell. Ensure to do regular checks on your cat's poop to know how it is doing.
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