Is my cat’s poop normal? Here’s how to tell.
Most cat owners deal with the everyday litter box issues:
- Getting your cat to use the litter box
- Remembering to clean it out
- Finding an easy way to contain the odor after scooping
But are you paying attention to what happens inside the litter box?
Your cat’s poo says a lot about his internal health. And while it sounds gross, it’s actually really important to take note of how it looks and smells.
Abnormal stools could be caused by something simple like stress or an incompatible diet. Or they could be signs of something more serious that requires vet attention.
Although it’s not very glamorous to talk about cat poo, noticing an abnormality could literally save your cat’s life! So it’s totally worth a few minutes of poo talk to help your cat live all nine of his lives healthily.
Here’s the scoop on your cat’s #2:
How often should you check your cat’s poo?
The easiest way to monitor your cat’s bowel movements is to simply pay attention every time you clean out the litter box.
It doesn’t need to involve a huge examination — just take a quick look inside the scoop before you dump the poo into your Dooli™ Litter Genie® Compatible Refill Bag.
Take a quick mental note of these five things, so you can spot abnormalities:
What’s normal and what’s not?
Quick disclaimer: We’re not animal experts here at Dooli™ — just your garden-variety pet lovers!
We want to make it easier to share a home with your pet and empower you to take an active role in monitoring your cat’s health.
But of course, your vet knows best. If you have any concerns about your cat’s bowel movements, don’t let this (or any other) blog post be your guide. Always check with your veterinarian to be safe!
That being said, here’s what a typical cat poo usually looks like:
Shape and consistency
Most cat poo is shaped like a log or little nugget. A healthy stool is firm but not too solid; around the consistency of Play-Doh.
Here’s a handy chart to help you identify the shape and consistency of your cat’s poo. It can be helpful to share this information when you call the vet.
If you see any of these in your cat’s poo, check with your vet:
- Really thin or skinny stools
- Very hard or mushy/runny poo (diarrhea) that lasts longer than 24 hours
- A thick, mucus-y coating around the outside of the stool
As far as what’s inside the poo? If you notice an abundance of hair, it’s worth checking with your vet to see if your pet is over-grooming, and if so, why.
If your cat has any internal parasites, you may notice them in the poo. (Horrifying, we know!) If you notice anything that resembles a bug or a worm or anything else that moves in your cat’s stool, take your pet to the vet.
Cat poo usually tends to be dark brown in color. Any other color than dark brown (black, green, red, or light brown) should be discussed with your vet.
Red or bloody stools can be a scary sight for cat owners. Don’t panic if you find blood; there are some normal reasons why this could be happening! But it’s worth a call to the vet to see if they recommend coming in for testing.
Every cat has his own rhythm but most cats go #2 around once daily. Older cats tend to go less frequently.
If your cat is having bowel movements:
- More than 2-3 times per day
- Fewer than every other day…
It’s worth checking with your vet to make sure everything’s okay.
Your cat’s poo isn’t going to smell like a walk in the Yankee Candle factory. (Because, duh. It’s poo.) Some odor is normal. But it shouldn’t smell too terrible, either.
There isn’t a standard “smell” for cat poo. Each cat is different, depending on diet, exercise, age, and other lifestyle factors.
But — hmm, how should we say this? — you know what your cat’s poo smells like, right? You’re familiar with what’s “normal”?
The guideline here is to keep an eye (or nose) out for any changes. If you notice it stinkier than normal, that’s usually worth paying attention to. It could be a sign of intestinal disease.
What to do if you notice something abnormal
Like humans, your cat will occasionally have irregularities in his bowel movements. Don’t panic if you notice something strange! Take a deep breath and moment to think before you rush into action.
Of course, it’s always better to be safe than sorry. So if you want to call the vet, by all means, do.
These two symptoms that are always worth a vet visit:
- If behavior changes (lethargy, changes in appetite or temperament, hair loss, vomiting, etc.) accompany the abnormal stools
- If the abnormality lasts longer than 24-48 hours
In the end, you know what’s best for your pet.
Be mindful of what’s normal for your cat and aware of the warning signs.
And always listen to your Pet Mama intuition! It rarely leads you astray.
Cat poo stinks. But your house doesn’t have to.
We created the Litter Genie® Compatible Bag Adapter so you can use ANY bag in your Litter Genie®...not just the confusing brand-name refills!
Re-use plastic shopping bags, try our easy 7-layer bag refills, or clip in any other bags you have around the house to keep cat poo contained.