If you see red
blood in your cat’s
stool, it is coming
from your cat’s
rectum or lower
GI tract. If the
blood is dark or
black, it is coming
from the small
intestine or upper
GI tract. In either
scenario, take your
cat to the vet.
ment, which could involve removing
part of the colon.
Advanced and untreated constipation can render the cat incapable of
emptying his bowels. The intestines
become so stretched that bacteria can
move from your cat’s feces into his
bloodstream, causing systemic illness,
which can be fatal.
A high-fiber diet along with medication is the first-line treatment. If
that doesn’t help, your vet might try
enemas until the condition clears.
If that doesn’t work, the vet will
anesthetize your cat and remove the
hardened feces using instruments that
can go into the colon. In addition to
increasing the fiber in your cat’s diet,
offering pumpkin can be a helpful
adjunct to veterinary treatment.
This stool is too soft
Stool that is too soft is less painful,
but diarrhea can cause dehydration
from losing too much fluid as well as
malnutrition because the body doesn’t
have time to absorb enough nutrients
from the food. Diarrhea produces
watery stool that has no clear form,
can be gray or yellow and even fouler
smelling than usual.
Some common causes of diarrhea
include an abrupt change in diet or a
stressful situation like a trip to the vet.
Kittens are especially prone to diarrhea
while they adjust to solid food. Usually,
What should a normal feline
poop look like? Just like a
SORRY... WE HAD
TO SHOW IT ...
diarrhea resolves itself in a few days.
If diet or stress is not the cause, the
cat may have inflammatory bowel disease
or an infection or tumor in the gastrointestinal tract. Persistent diarrhea can
also indicate an underlying condition
that is not related to the cat’s GI tract.
Disorders that can cause persistent
diarrhea include: hyperactive thyroid,
kidney or liver disease, neurologic
abnormality, viral infection, immune
system abnormality, feline panleukopenia or lymphoma.
Clues that your cat is not just
having a typical bout with diarrhea
and possibly a more serious condition
include abnormal behavior, poor appetite, vomiting and lethargy. If your cat
is showing these signs, take him to the
vet right away. The sooner your cat
sees the vet, the more treatable the
This stool is just right
The feline digestive system consists of
the mouth, esophagus, stomach, liver,
pancreas, small and large intestines,
rectum and anus. Digestion begins
when your cat starts chewing, and
the saliva’s enzymes begin chemically
breaking down the food. The stomach breaks down the food further.
Nutrients from the food are absorbed
in the intestines, and the waste is
Cat poop should not be runny; it
should be formed and firm but not
hard. Normal cat poop looks like a
Tootsie Roll — dark brown, tubular
and a couple of inches long. That is
what you want to see in your cat’s litter box every day.
The former editor of Cat
Fancy magazine, Susan
specialized in pet and vet-
erinary topics for nearly
20 years. She and her hus-
band are the proud, adoring parents of two
9-year-old red tabbies.