The Scoop on Cat Poop

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Cat Poop: What’s Normal? Diarrhea Constipation
You can learn a lot about your cat’s health from their poop. Whether you’ve just adopted your first kitten or you’ve shared your home with cats for years, watch for a few key signs when you scoop out the litter box.

Cat Poop: What’s Normal?
Most cats will poop at least once a day. If they’re healthy, their poop should:

Be deep brown in color
Feel not too hard or too soft or mushy
Not smell too foul, though some odor is normal
Diarrhea
Diarrhea is not uncommon for cats, and there are many reasons why your cat might have it. Sometimes, it comes and goes quickly. Other times, it can last for days, weeks, or months, or come back on a regular basis.

Diarrhea that lasts for 24 to 48 hours probably won’t cause a problem unless you have an older cat or a kitten. But if it lasts longer, your cat can get dehydrated, which can be dangerous.

Some common causes of cat diarrhea include:

Changes to their diet or food allergies or intolerances
Inflammatory bowel disease
Colitis
Worms (intestinal parasites)
Pancreatic disease
Cancer
Hyperthyroidism
If your cat has diarrhea that lasts more than a day or two, see your veterinarian to figure out the cause. Call your vet right away if the diarrhea is black or bloody, or if it happens along with fever, vomiting, sluggishness, or a loss of appetite.

The treatment your cat will need depends on what’s causing their diarrhea. Some will need prescription medications, such as metronidazole or prednisolone, to control inflammation. Your vet may recommend a special diet if they think a food allergy or intolerance, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), or colitis is the problem. For some cats, a deworming medication or probiotics may also be needed.

To prevent diarrhea, don’t give your cat dairy products like milk or yogurt — many cats can’t digest them properly. Also, if you switch the brand or type of food you give them, be sure to introduce it over several days by mixing it with smaller and smaller amounts of the old food until they are eating only the new stuff.

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