How to check your cat’s feces at home

  • Mochi
  • September 17, 2023
  • 75 Views

Checking your cat's feces is an essential aspect of monitoring their health. Stool can provide valuable information about your cat's digestive system and overall well-being. Here's a detailed guide on how to check your cat's feces at home:

Consistency

  • Normal: A healthy stool should be firm but not hard, and maintain its shape when picked up.
  • Soft or Liquid: Diarrhea can be a sign of dietary indiscretion, infections, parasites, or other health issues.
  • Hard and Dry: This can indicate constipation, which might be due to dehydration, blockages, or other health problems.

Color

  • Normal: Typically, cat feces should be a chocolate brown color.
  • Black or Tarry: This can indicate bleeding in the upper digestive tract.
  • Red Streaks: This may suggest bleeding in the lower digestive tract.
  • Pale or Clay-Colored: This can be a sign of liver or gallbladder issues.

Size and Shape

  • Consistent Size: The feces should be consistent in size, indicating regular bowel movements.
  • Thin or Ribbon-Like: This can be a sign of an obstruction or other issues in the colon.

Odor

  • Normal: While cat feces naturally have an odor, a particularly foul smell can indicate infections, poor diet, or other health issues.

Presence of Foreign Material

  • Worms: Look for signs of parasites like roundworms (spaghetti-like) or tapeworm segments (resembling rice grains).
  • Hair: While the occasional presence of hair is normal due to grooming, excessive hair can indicate over-grooming or other issues.
  • Undigested Food: This can suggest malabsorption or digestive problems.

Frequency

  • Regular Elimination: Cats typically defecate once or twice a day, but this can vary based on diet and individual habits.
  • Infrequent: If your cat is not defecating daily, it might be constipated or have other health issues.

Mucus or Blood

  • Mucus: A shiny or slimy layer can indicate inflammation in the colon.
  • Blood: As mentioned, bright red blood can indicate lower digestive tract issues, while dark blood can suggest upper digestive tract problems.

Tips

  • Safety First: Always use gloves when handling feces to prevent the transmission of parasites or diseases.
  • Litter Box Maintenance: Clean the litter box regularly to monitor the feces and ensure your cat's comfort. A clean box also encourages use.
  • Dietary Observations: Changes in diet can affect feces consistency and color. If you've recently changed your cat's food, monitor their stool closely.
  • Hydration: Ensure your cat has access to fresh water at all times. Dehydration can affect stool consistency.
  • Consultation: If you notice any prolonged or significant abnormalities in your cat's feces, consult with a veterinarian.

Regularly checking your cat's feces can provide early indications of potential health issues. However, it's essential to combine this with regular veterinary check-ups for a comprehensive understanding of your cat's health.