Welcome back to our third blog for the month! We are going to keep on that train we started last time, looking at our pet’s stool and what it can tell us about their health. Remember, just like babies our pets can’t speak to us and tell us what’s wrong, it is on us are responsible pet owners to keep a vigilant eye on all possible health clues. One such clue is stool. That’s right, cat poop. If you have been following along this month then you already know, there is a lot to be learned from your pet’s leavings.
First, what’s normal.
A normal, healthy cat will usually poop at least once a day. The stool will be deep brown in color, be neither hard nor mushy, and also not smell too terrible. Don’t get us a wrong, there will be an odor but it won’t be the worst. These factors are similar to the healthy stool of a dog if you recall.
Diarrhea is not at all uncommon for felines and like dogs (and humans for that matter) there are many reasons a cat may have it. Usually it clears up within a day but if it goes longer dehydration can be a concern.
The most common cause of diarrhea includes:
- inflammatory bowel disease
- pancreatic disease
- or – the absolute most common: changes in diet or food allergies.
As you can see they range a huge spectrum between innocuous and deadly serious. If your cat has diarrhea that lasts for more than a day or so, bring them into your vet to diagnose the cause.
On the flipside of diarrhea, constipation is another common affliction for feline friends. You will know your cat is constipated if they are straining a lot in the litterbox or they go to the box frequently without being able to produce. Like diarrhea, this has a number of possible causes and if it happens infrequently it is likely nothing to be too worried about.
Here are some possible causes for it:
- Spine pain or problems
- Kidney problems
- Blockage in the colon, string or bones perhaps
- Problems in the colon, narrows portions or tumors
- Feline megacolon
As with diarrhea, if you see your cat is suffering from constipation regularly then it is time to get them to the vet to diagnose the causes.
Here’s an example of how your cat’s poop can clue you in on their health.
You notice your pet is struggling to go. They’re constipated, that much is clear. When you go to investigate you see that their stool is small, hard, dry and has a lot of hair in it. Ah! This tells you your cat is overgrooming. But why are they doing that? With this information in hand you can see your vet and get further assistance in diagnosing and treating your cat. It may be they are anxious or nervous about something or possibly trying to nurse a wound you have not seen.
Similar to dogs, cat stool is also graded on a scale 1-7 for their consistency. The same scale applies, 1 is hard pellets with the higher number a decrease in firmness up to 7 which is a watery puddle. If your cat’s poop is frequently anywhere between a 4-7 then they very well may not be getting the proper nutrition or are otherwise having suboptimal health. No matter what, your pet is certainly not thriving like they should. Get them to your vet and begin to find the cause. The sooner the cause is found, the sooner the treatment can begin and the sooner your cats health will bounce back!
We hope you have found some useful information this month in our blogs. We always strive to answer those questions we see or hear frequently. If you are in the Tucson area and your cat appears to be suffering from some sort of ailment, please contact us and together we can get started on the healing journey. We will see you next month here at Acoma!