The color, consistency, shape, and smell of cat feces reveal a lot about the cat’s state of health. Read here what changes and signs you should look out for.
Even if the daily cleaning of the litter box is not one of the cat owner’s most popular duties: Instead of going straight to the disposal with a shovel and pinched nose, you should always take the time to have a close look. Symptoms of illness and errors in feeding can be recognized by the color, consistency, shape, and smell of the cat’s feces.
This is What the Pile Should Look Like
The cat poo of a healthy cat with ideal nutrition looks like this:
- formed into an even sausage
- firm but not too firm inconsistency
A characteristic smell is in the nature of things, but the heap shouldn’t stink too much. Cat feces generally have a very strong smell. This is related to the breakdown of proteins and amino acids, of which cats eat a lot as carnivores. If the balance of the intestinal flora is upset, e.g. B. due to an illness or a sudden change of food, the smell of feces can become much worse.
Is the Cat Poo Too Soft? Recognizing Diarrhea in Cats
Every cat will probably suffer from diarrhea at least once in its life. Consistency, color, and smell can be the first indications of possible causes of diarrhea:
- Tarry, black, liquid: indication of bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract. Please go to the vet immediately!
- Pudding-like, strong smell: Indication of a feed intolerance and/or chronic intestinal inflammation (IBD).
- Sticky and with a lot of mucus added: Too little dietary fiber in the feed; can also indicate inflammation in the colon.
soft, e.g. T. Foamy, greasy, with mucus: It may be that there is an infestation of worms or giardia. In the latter case, the feces usually smells noticeably strong and sour, blood admixtures are also possible.
- Sticky, very greasy, with a pungent odor: the so-called fatty stool can be an indication of a disease of the pancreas.
If diarrhea lasts longer than 24 hours and accompanying symptoms such as tiredness or fever develops, a veterinarian should be consulted – especially if a kitten or older cat is affected.
Is the Cat Poo Too Hard? Constipation and Its Consequences
Hard feces and the difficulties associated with going to the toilet are very painful and can even stress cats to the point where they become unclean.
- Small pieces of stool, dry and hard: Indicates dehydration, chronic obstruction of the large intestine (megacolon), and/or inappropriate food.
- Small pieces of droppings, dry and hard, with a lot of hair in them: With so-called “over-grooming”, the cat grooms itself an above-average amount and swallows a lot of hair. There is a high risk of hairballs and later bezoars forming.
- Very thin sausages, removed with great effort: indication of a narrowing of the large intestine, e.g. B. by a tumor.
Collect a Stool Sample for the Vet – This is How it Works
If the vet asks for a stool sample, it is best to collect it in a lockable box for 3 to 5 days and store it in a cool place. The sample can only be examined by the vet for certain worm eggs or Giardia.