How Often Should My Cat Poop
Its not a fun subject to talk about but just as a popular childrens book states, everyone poops. Since your cat cant tell you whether shes having trouble with elimination, its up to you to monitor the litter box, not only to keep it clean, but to notice the appearance, smell, and frequency of her waste. A cats bowel movement should be well-formed, relatively moist, dark brown in color and without traces of mucous or blood. Your cats poop will certainly have an odor but it shouldnt be unbearable.
When trying to determine how often your cat should defecate, there are several things to take into consideration:
Why Is My Cat Drinking And Peeing So Much
Posted 08.24.17 by Amanda Shoemake, DVM
Excessive drinking, or polydipsia, and excessive urinating, or polyuria, are common presentations in any age dog or cat, but are especially prevalent in our older cat populations. People most commonly think these are related to the urinary tract and must mean a urinary tract infection. Sometimes thats the case, especially because our aging pets are more prone to urinary tract infections. But often, these are clinical signs of other disease.
Diabetes Mellitus is one of these diseases. Often, the first sign an owner notices in a diabetic cat, is having to change the litter box more frequently and fill the water bowl more often. Other signs may include weight loss, sticky urine, or loss of appetite. Diabetes is a treatable disease in cats, but often requires special food, insulin injections and frequent blood and urinalysis monitoring.
Hyperthyroidism, a disease caused by the over-production of thyroid hormone, is frequently diagnosed in older cats. The most common presenting complaint in a hyperthyroid patient is weight loss in the face of an increased appetite. However, this disease also increases thirst, causing polydipsia and polyuria. Hyperthyroidism is another disease that is very treatable and actually has several different treatment options, ranging from daily oral or topical medication, to one time radioactive iodine treatments.
Your Cats Digestive System
As obligate carnivores, cats dont need the longer gastrointestinal tracts required by omnivores like dogs and humans, who eat a much broader diet, or herbivores like cows and rabbits, who eat plants. A cats digestive tract is relatively short, and a high-protein meal moves through quickly. It typically takes a cats food about 20 hours to pass through the whole GI tract, whereas in a human, digestion may take as long as 72 hours. The fast transit rate of food through the feline GI tract reflects its adaptation to a hunting lifestyle, making the cat ready to pounce on the next prey item.
Different illnesses arise in different parts of the intestinal tract, so in figuring out the cause of your cats problem, its helpful to determine whether the diarrhea originates in the small intestine or the large intestine .
For example, because the small intestine is where most nutrients get absorbed, problems here can mean the body is missing out on a lot of the nutrition in your cats food, which can create additional problems, like weight loss and nutrient deficiencies. Your cats poop can offer important clues:
The color of your cats poop may also help you figure out whats going on. This chart describes the most common poop colors and what causes them:
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Cat Poop In Adult Cats
Jack experienced a bout of cat diarrhea during his adult years caused by an allergy to his food. The main source of protein for the diet was chicken, so with the encouragement of my vet, I gradually transitioned him to a food with beef and salmon protein sources. The change in food solved the diarrhea issue, and the overall condition of Jacks coat and skin improved, too. Diarrhea in adult cats also can be caused by inflammatory bowel disease or colitis and inflammation of the colon. Both of these conditions can be diagnosed by your vet. In adult cats, constipation is most commonly linked to hairballs that a cat has difficulty passing, though your cat should be examined by a vet to rule out other causes such as megacolon.
Dont worry: If your vet rules out more serious concerns, you may be able to treat your cat for constipation at home. Hairball ointment, when given two or three times a week, is good for controlling hairballs, Dr. Plotnick said. When given daily, it may work as a stool softener. A change in diet might also help. Cats who are prone to constipation should be given mainly canned food, rather than dry food, which can be more constipating, Dr. Plotnick explained.
What If My Cat Only Goes Every Few Days
According to Litter-Robot resident veterinarian Dr. Justine Lee, cat constipation can be an uncomfortable, chronic problem in felines. Constipation is more common in middle-aged and senior cats. Left untreated, constipation in cats can lead to an enlargement of the colonwhich is difficult and costly to treat.
If you notice that your cat only poops every 2-4 days, strains to poop, or takes an unusually long time in the litter box, make an appointment with your veterinarian. There are many ways to treat cat constipation, including dietary changes and safe laxatives. However, never give an over-the-counter enema to your cat without consulting your veterinarian.
Constipation can be especially dangerous for very young kittens. If you notice your kitten hasnt pooped in 3 days, get to a veterinarian to check for blockages and other issues.
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What Causes A Cat To Have Diarrhea And Constipation
Another obvious symptom is diarrhea which can result in dehydration, and if untreated can be fatal. Diarrhea is caused when too much water is expelled with the stool, thus creating a loose or watery stool. On the other hand, constipation occurs when your cat produces small, hard, and infrequent stools.
Not Covering Up Their Poop Or Pooping Outside The Litter Tray
Even if your cats poop isnt any smellier than usual, if theyre not covering it up in the litter tray, then its going to start to smell bad. This may be a sign that the litter is hurting your cats paws, or they dont like the texture or smell of the litter. Cats pooping outside the litter tray may be having trouble accessing a tray with high sides, or the tray is too small.
- Solution: Try switching to a different brand of litter or offering your cat a tray with lowered sides or one thats much larger. Ask your vet to check that your cat isnt in pain. Cats who are stressed about a recent change in circumstances may also poop outside their litter tray.
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The Location Of The Litter Box
For some cats, the position of the litter box might be a problem. Owners frequently place litter boxes in areas easy for people to access. While this is wonderful for humans, it may not be so for our cats. Because some cats also need privacy.
On the other hand, if you put it too far away, your cat may become too stressed and not reach the box in time. So, the cat keeps pooping on the floor. As a result, she attempts to keep the box closed, where she spends most of her time.
In conclusion, difficulties may produce such a vexing problem. Make sure you have a thorough understanding of the issue. Only then will you be able to take the necessary steps to resolve the issue.
How Often Should A Cat Poop
Whats important to know is that defecation habits do vary from cat to cat. They have no specific frequency or timetable to defecate.
Poop frequency changes for cats when they are suffering from a disease or feeling stressed out.
As a general thumb rule, cats poop once or twice a day.
If your cat is defecating more than its normal routine, there may be a problem. Keep your cat off feed for 24 hours or feed your cat small quantities of easily digestible low-fat food.
What can this be?
Sometimes a home-prepared food like pasta with boiled chicken or boiled rice is best to see if your kitty can get back on track with its digestive health.
Ensure the accessibility of fresh water 24/7 to keep your cat hydrated. A vet may also prescribe probiotics , dewormers, or antidiarrheal agents.
Should cat poop be stinky?
Definitely, poops smell is always unpleasant. But it should not smell too foul that it may force you to hold your nose and run away from the room.
If you observe that your cats poop smells too stinky, you should discuss it with your vet.
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Your Cats Medical Condition
The frequency of bowel movements may be affected by certain medical conditions. Issues such as inflammatory bowel disease, constipation due to hairballs, blockage, megacolon, arthritis, parasites, hyperthyroidism and other medical conditions, can have a direct impact on the number of times your cat will poop during the day. Obese cats may suffer from constipation and might poop less frequently
Cats Mark Their Territory
Suppose theres a neighborhood cat on the prowl, a new dog in the house, a new infant, or wildlife prowling in the area. Then, your cat could be trying to mark its territory with the smell of its excrement. Wild animals use this approach all the time, so dont be shocked if your domesticated cat wants to do the same.
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Should I Take My Cat To The Vet For Pooping Too Much
If your cat is pooping more frequently than twice per day, it is worth having a look at the full picture to get an idea of what might be wrong and if a veterinary appointment is needed. A nicely formed poop will be firm and log-shaped take a look at the Fecal Scoring Chart to see whether your cats poos are normal.
Soft poos or watery diarrhea is a sign of gut troubles which should be addressed by a veterinarian. If you see bright red blood or the feces become tarry in color, there is likely to be intestinal bleeding present which must be assessed by a vet as soon as possible.
Soft Or Contain Mucus
If your cats poop is frothy, soft, greasy with mucus, it is due to the intestinal parasites. Its frequency varies.
Ive known cats to poop more often before being diagnosed with a parasite problem. Its as if they want to let us know there is a problem and want us to take notice something is off!
If diarrhea persists for more than three days, visit your veterinarian.
If your cat has a bloody or black colored poop, along with sluggishness, fever, or vomiting, call your veterinarian immediately.
The bloody stool may also be due to constipation but its important to dig further quickly.
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Keeping Your Litter Box Clean
Keeping your litter box clear of waste will keep your cats wanting to use it. You likely prefer a toilet that is clean and clear over one that has been used and not flushed. Your cat has similar preferences and may choose not to use a litter box that is full of its own waste.
There are two types of litter box cleaning to do: daily scooping and weekly cleaning.
Scooping the litter box is a daily activity to keep your cat healthy and litter box odor under control. Make it a habit, such part of your morning or bedtime routine. Check your local laws about proper pet waste disposal. Some localities require using biodegradable bags, while in many places you can reuse plastic grocery bags to contain your daily scoops.
Once per month, change the litter entirely by dumping any remaining litter and washing out the box. Do not use strong-smelling cleaners or bleach, which may repel your cat. Some disinfectants are even toxic to cats, so its best to use only hot water and mild, fragrance-free soap to clean the litter box.
Sweep up any litter that made its way outside the box and wipe down the floor before returning the clean litter box to its home. Refill it with three to four inches of fresh litter and youre good to go! Remember, simply adding more litter is not an alternative to cleaning out the litter box with soap and water monthly.
Our Cat Is Constantly Pooping
What are the Symptoms and Signs of this Disease?The clinical manifestations of the disease are multisystemic and relate to increased metabolic rate. Owners often overlook early symptoms or assume the changes are a normal part of the aging process. Obvious weight loss is usually the problem that takes the cat to their veterinarian. Other signs include tachycardia , muscle weakness, goiter, tachyarrhythmia , hyperexcitability, polyphagia , heat intolerance, increased frequency of bowel movements, polydipsia , polyuria , vomiting, and an unkempt hair coat.
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Consistency Of Your Cats Poop
To know what loose or hard stool looks like, youll first need to know what regular, healthy stool looks like. The ideal stool should be firm and shaped like a log, a nugget, or a combination of the two, Waldrop says.
Keep in mind that the ancestors of domestic cats were desert dwelling creatures. As such, their colons are very effective at removing moisture from the stool, which means its normal for their stool to be firm, Waldrop says. I have a lot of clients bring in normal stool for analysis thinking their cat is constipated, he says.
Anything that is not formed is considered diarrhea, Waldrop says. Whether its liquid or pasty, its abnormal and should be evaluated.
Schwartz notes that its important to keep an eye on the consistency of your cats stools, especially since cats are prone to inflammatory bowel disease, which is a relatively common cause of diarrhea.
Where You Place The Litter Box Matters
Cats prefer privacy when doing their business. Youll need to find the right place in your house or apartment to put your litter box. If you have a kitten or an elder cat, youll want to put a litter box on each floor of your house so they dont have to travel too far to find it. If you have multiple cats, youll need one box for each cat to avoid territorial disputes. Ideally, youd have one more box than you have cats.
Put your litter box in a quiet location, away from high-traffic areas of your home and away from their food and water. Make sure your cat has access to the box at any time.
Choose a litter box location and leave it there. Moving your litter box around will confuse your cat and potentially cause them to urinate or defecate elsewhere.
Once your litter box is in its proper location, its time to teach your cat where the litter box is. Gently pick your cat up and place them in the litter box. Watch them for the next day or so, and if you notice them scratching, crouching, or looking like they need to eliminate, pick them up and deposit them in the box. Cats instinctually will dig in dirt to cover their urine and feces litter mimics dirt and stimulates this reflex.
Pay attention, though. If your cat continues to prefer another place in the house to do their business, you havent found the root of the problem yet.
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Choose A Diet With A Higher Digestibility
A highly digestible diet will be well-absorbed in the gut and will leave less waste to come out the back end. Unfortunately, it is challenging to determine which diets are truly the most digestible without testing them out first! One guideline to keep in mind is that diets which are lower in fiber will tend to be more digestible. You can find the fiber content of your cats food listed on the label or contact the manufacturer for more information.
How Is The Cause Of Diarrhea Determined
It is important to provide your veterinarian with a detailed medical history. Ideally you should write this out in chronological order before you go to the clinic. Be as detailed as possible on the date you first noticed a problem, and the progression of the clinical signs. Was there any change in your cats diet such as a new bag of food? Note what diets and treats your pet has eaten in the last 1-2 weeks. Note any changes in the normal routine of your cat or your household. How frequent are the stools? What is the color, consistency, and smell of the feces? Is the cat showing any other signs such as vomiting, loss of appetite, lethargy, or loss of weight? To help you put this history together, please see the handout “Diarrhea Questionnaire and Checklist for Cats”.
Your veterinarian will usually ask you to bring a representative sample of fresh fecal material with you to your appointment. Besides a thorough clinical exam, your veterinarian may recommend additional diagnostic tests. In mild cases of diarrhea, these tests may be deferred unless initial treatment fails or the condition worsens. In-depth diagnostic tests may include blood work, stool, and rectal swab samples for parasite examination, DNA testing and culture, radiographs , and endoscope exam.
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Making An Informed Decision
Additionally, the vet can remove discrete intestinal masses, which is the treatment of choice with the most common intestinal tumor in cats. Doing so early on increases the animals life span an average of six to 15 months, and some cats live more than four years.
Unfortunately, even with the most thorough evaluations, nothings a guarantee. If youre lucky, you find the problem fast and make your choices from there. But perhaps most importantly, you find that your cats pooping problem is not her fault.
To find out more about urine spraying in cats, read Urine-Spraying Cats: How To Deal With Kitty Graffiti