What the Litterbox Can Tell You About Your Cat

This isn’t the most pleasant topic of conversation, but if your veterinarian has ever asked for a stool sample, this is what he/she is looking for:

Color

The normal color for a cat’s stool is chocolate brown. If the stool is red or streaked with red fluid, it’s an indication of blood. If the stool is black, it may indicate bleeding in the gastrointestinal tract. If the stool is light in color, your cat may be suffering from liver disease or a lack of digestive enzyme production. If you’re sifting through the litter and your cat’s stool isn’t chocolate in color, it’s time to head to the vet’s.

SHAPE/CONSISTENCY

Normal stool looks like a log and is formed yet moist enough that litter clings to it. It should have an odor, but the paint shouldn’t be peeling off the walls. Stool that is hard, dry or misshapen, your cat may not be drinking enough water, he may have a kidney disease or diabetes. If the stool looks more like a cow pie or pudding, your cat has diarrhea and may have an intestinal problem, a food intolerance, parasites or a bacterial or viral infection.

SIZE

His stool should be consistent with the amount of food he eats. Smaller sized poop signals a reduced appetite, which may indicate an illness.

CONTENT

A cat’s stool should be free of mucus, blood, undigested food, large amounts of hair and parasites. A large amount of hair in the poop can contribute to constipation.

If you see anything abnormal in your cat’s litterbox, make an appointment with your vet immediately.

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