Cat Poop Chart – Is Your Cat’s Poop Normal?
A cat’s digestive habits can offer a peak into their overall health. While it may seem a bit gross to examine your cat’s poop, it’s an easy way to ensure that you are offering a diet that works for them! Not only can your cat’s stool give you the okay on their food intake, but changes in their poop can point to developing illness as well. So how do you know if your cat’s poop is normal?
In this article we will discuss the many forms of cat poop that you may see in the litter box, and help you understand what healthy stool should look like in our feline friends!
What Does Poop Tell You About The Health Of Your Cat?
Before we dive into the different types of cat poop, you should first be aware of just how important it is to stay on top of your cat’s litter box habits. While we tend to think of our cat’s poop as something we should quickly scoop and avoid looking at, a quick glance is more helpful than you may think.
A cat’s poop appearance can tell you quite a bit about their digestive health. Their stool can be a direct reflection of how they’re feeling, and if they are battling any unseen medical complications. Some of the many conditions that can affect the appearance of your cat’s poop include:
- Food intolerance
- Gastrointestinal upset
- Intestinal parasites
- Digestive abnormalities
- Kidney and liver disease
- And more
What Does Healthy Cat Poop Look Like?
If you are going to identify abnormal poop in your feline friend, you must first know what healthy cat poop looks like. Cat droppings can come in many forms, but there is a general description of what you should expect in a healthy cat. Healthy cat poop should be classified by normal color, consistency, and frequency.
Healthy cat poop should be formed (yet pliable) and brown in color. Cats should also have at least one bowel movement a day, or at least follow a normal schedule in terms of their litter box habits. Not only should their poop be brown in color, but the color should not change if their diet remains the same. If their stool texture or color ever has a sudden change in appearance, it’s best to contact your veterinarian for further advice.
What Are The Different Types of Cat Poop?
Now that we have discussed what healthy cat poop should look like in a cat, let’s dive into our detailed cat stool guide. Changes in a cat’s diet and health can cause abrupt changes in their poop, making it important to be aware of all the stool forms you may see.
To better understand your furry friend going forward, let’s discuss the different types of cat poop.
Hard Balls Or Pebbles
Hard balls or pebbles of cat poop can point to constipation in your furry friend. This stool will often be a rich brown color, and may occur inside or outside of the litter box. You may notice your cat straining each time they attempt to pass stool, or may take longer in the litter box than usual. Some cats are even noticeable struggling each time they have a bowel movement, or may begin to avoid the litter box all together.
Not only will constipation cause their stool to be noticeably hard, but you may also notice that litter does not stick to this stool. Stool in constipated cats will often lack moisture, meaning litter will have nothing to cling to. Poop in constipated cats will also be in hard segmented balls, as their stool is often separated during passing due to struggling so much.
Sausage Shaped & Slightly Firm
Sausage shaped stool that has the consistency of soft playdough is a sign of a healthy digestive system. This often means that your cat is responding well to their daily diet, and are likely free of any intestinal parasites that cause diarrhea. This stool should be brown in color, and remain consistent in texture and color as long as their diet remains the same. Litter will also stick to this form of cat poop, as each passing will contain some moisture.
Formed but Slightly Mushy
Formed by slightly mushy stool can be normal in some cats, but may also point to minor irritation in their digestive tract. This description refers to stool that can still be easily scooped when cleaning the litter box, but may seem to contain more moisture than usual. This stool may also have a more pungent smell than their usual stool, and may even have a slight change in color.
This stool type does not have to be a major cause of concern, but should be monitored for any additional changes. If their stool resolves back to its usual form within 24-72 hours and is not accompanied by any other symptoms, you generally have nothing to worry about.
If your cat’s stool is in the form of mushy blobs, this can be a sign that they are lacking fiber in their diet or are beginning to show signs of gastrointestinal upset. This stool may stick to the scoop when you are trying to clean their litter box, and will likely have a change in color from their usual stool. Not only will this form of poop have a change in appearance, but it may also have a more pungent odor.
This type of stool can tell you that your cat needs a bit more fiber in their diet, but if their diet has remained the same, this likely points to another underlying issue. Sudden mushy stool should warrant a trip to the vet, as this could mean your cat is displaying symptoms of a developing illness.
Mushy & Very Challenging To Scoop
If a cat is passing mushy stool that is unable to be scooped, this is often considered to be diarrhea. Diarrhea in cats may vary in color, and will often be accompanied by a strong odor. Your cat may be passing stool frequently, and may be displaying other gastrointestinal symptoms as well.
The sudden appearance of diarrhea in your cat’s litter box can point to gastrointestinal illness, intestinal parasites, or other complications that can cause GI upset. Diarrhea should always warrant an immediate trip to the vet, as this requires medical intervention to treat.
This type of diarrhea is extremely watery, and is unable to be scooped unless it is coated in litter. Liquid diarrhea in cats is never normal, and always points to some type of underlying complication. Diarrhea is not necessarily a disease in itself, but rather a symptom to another cause. Because of this, liquid diarrhea in cats should always lead to a prompt visit to your veterinarian.
Liquid diarrhea in cats is a serious symptom, and will lead to dehydration if it is not addressed quickly. Not only can liquid diarrhea cause dehydration, but it is also extremely uncomfortable for our feline friends. If your cat is experiencing diarrhea of any kind, you should always contact your veterinarian for further advice.
My Cat Has Hard Poop
If your cat has hard poop, you may be wondering how to get them through their constipation. If your cat is still able to pass their stool and is not straining too much in the litter box, then there are a few changes you can implement in their routine.
First, you can monitor their daily water intake and make sure they are spending enough time at their water bowl. If you don’t think they are consuming enough water, you can entice them by purchasing a cat water fountain, putting more water bowls around your home, or even flavoring their water with a taste they enjoy.
Another option you can consider is discussing your cat’s daily diet with your veterinarian. Your vet may be able to recommend a diet that has more fiber, or may even point you in the direction of cat approved laxatives and probiotics. Some cats also benefit from a prescribed laxative in severe cases of constipation.
Another way to relieve constipation in our feline friends is through daily exercise or weight loss. Obese cats struggle with constipation more than others, and can benefit from daily exercise to help promote bowel movement. If your overweight cat is struggling with constipation, it may be time to implement more daily exercise.
My Cat Has Loose Poop
If your cat has loose poop, it is usually best to visit your veterinarian. While slightly loose stools that only last for a couple days may not be a major cause of concern, anything that lasts longer than 48 hours or transitions into diarrhea should be taken seriously. Loose stool can be due to minor GI upset or inflammation, but diarrhea is often a symptom of something more.
Diarrhea in cats can be a result of dietary indiscretion, unhealthy diet, intestinal parasites, pancreatitis, kidney disease, liver disease, and many other medical complications. Diarrhea in cats can quickly lead to dehydration, so we always suggest contacting your veterinarian for further advice.
As you can see, there are multiple types of cat poop that can point to different issues in our feline friends. Be sure to review the information that we discussed above, and you can stay on top of your cat’s digestive health going forward!
My name is Amber. I am a dedicated animal lover that turned my passion into my career. I am a Licensed Vet Tech with 10 years of experience in veterinary medicine, but I recently took my career online to help spread accurate information on animal care. With how vast the online world is, I have a strong desire to ensure that the reader always walks away with helpful pet advice. With the experience I’ve gained from my time in this field, I have been able to travel the world, offering my services to as many animal rescues as I can find. If I am not at my laptop, or back home visiting family, you can find me somewhere in the world, cuddling every furry friend that I can find! Read more about us here.