Looking at Cat Feces Can Help You Determine Their Health Status and Conditions


When it comes to cleaning your cat’s litter box, one of the advantages of doing it manually is that you can observe the appearance of cat feces. You can determine whether it is loose or solid, and if there are any unusual colors or foreign objects. This can be beneficial in detecting any abnormalities and seeking timely treatment for your furry friend.

1. What is Normal Cat Feces Like?

Adult cats usually defecate once or twice a day, while kittens may go more frequently within the same timeframe. Here are the characteristics of healthy cat feces:

  • Size: It should be small, compact, and elongated, although the length and quantity may vary based on the size of your cat.
  • Color: Dark brown, although cats that consume more meat tend to have darker feces.
  • Consistency: Clearly defined and firm, with enough moisture for it to stick to the litter.
  • Odor: It should not have an excessive foul smell, although some degree of odor is normal.

Normal Cat Feces

2. Diarrhea in Cats

Diarrhea is not uncommon in cats, especially among kittens and older cats. It can come and go quickly or persist for a few days, weeks, or even occur more frequently.

Contrary to popular belief, diarrhea in cats does not always mean watery stools. It can also refer to loose stools, similar to yogurt or mousse-like consistency.

Diarrhea in Cats

The color of diarrhea in cats can vary, ranging from green to yellow or orange, and even brown, black, or red in some cases.

If your cat has diarrhea for more than 24 to 48 hours, and it is still playful, eating, and drinking normally, you can try some home remedies outlined in our guide on “Treating Cat Diarrhea at Home.”

See also  German Shepherd Dogs: Intelligent, Sensitive, and Incredibly Loyal

Common causes of cat diarrhea include:

  • Sudden changes in diet leading to digestive upset.
  • Allergies or food intolerance.
  • Inflammatory bowel disease or colitis.
  • Parasites, such as worms.
  • Pancreatitis.
  • Liver disease.
  • Cancer.
  • Hyperthyroidism.

If your cat has diarrhea that lasts longer than 2 to 3 days, is a kitten or senior cat, or has bloody stools, seek veterinary attention. Immediate veterinary care is required if your cat’s diarrhea is accompanied by fresh blood, black, tarry stools, fever, vomiting, lethargy, or reduced appetite.

Cat Diarrhea

Treatment for cat diarrhea depends on the underlying cause:

  • Some cases may require prescription medications, such as metronidazole or prednisolone, to control inflammation.
  • Your veterinarian may recommend a special diet (a bland diet) if your cat has allergies or food intolerance, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), or colitis.
  • For some cats, your veterinarian may prescribe deworming medication or probiotics.

To prevent diarrhea, avoid feeding your cat seafood, milk, dairy products like yogurt and cheese. Also, if you plan to change your cat’s food brand or type, make the transition gradually over a period of up to 3 weeks. Start by mixing the new food with the old food in a 1:4 ratio for a few days. Then gradually increase the ratio to 2:4 over the next few days, and continue increasing to 3:4 until the new food constitutes 100%.

3. Constipation in Cats

When a cat is constipated, they may strain excessively while trying to defecate or not be able to pass anything at all. Signs of constipation include small, hard, dry, or fragmented stools. Occasional episodes of constipation are not a cause for concern. However, if your cat experiences frequent constipation, you should consult a veterinarian.

Cat Constipation

Causes of cat constipation include:

  • Excessive grooming leading to ingesting more hair in their digestive system.
  • Kidney problems.
  • Megacolon, where the colon becomes very large and its muscles are unable to contract properly, resulting in hardened feces accumulating within.
  • Intestinal obstruction.
  • Inadequate fiber in the diet.
  • Structural issues or pain in the spine.
See also  7 Reasons Why Dogs Experience Recurring Urinary Tract Infections

To alleviate constipation in cats, your veterinarian may recommend adding fiber to their diet, such as incorporating pumpkin into their regular meals. Alternatively, you can follow the home remedies for constipated cats outlined in our guide.

4. Odor of Cat Feces

The smell of healthy cat feces should be mild and not very noticeable. Overpoweringly foul-smelling or strongly pungent feces can indicate problems in the stomach or intestines, caused by digestive disorders, bacterial overgrowth, or a poor diet. Cat feces with a strong odor can also result from a diet high in carbohydrates and low in protein.

Digestive disorders are common in cats, and you can try some measures at home to alleviate them. If you find it difficult to tolerate the strong odor, you can use Mela cat litter deodorizer powder to eliminate the pungent smell of the litter box. It is an effective, odorless product that is safe and non-irritating for both cats and humans.

Mela Cat Litter Deodorizer

5. Abnormal Colors

As mentioned earlier, the color of cat feces can serve as a useful indicator for identifying issues. Red or dark brown feces indicate digested blood, and it could be due to your cat licking a wound or recently giving birth. It can also be a sign of bleeding or ulceration in the digestive tract, although this is relatively rare.

Cat feces can also appear in various colors, ranging from yellow-green to white. However, the color itself rarely provides specific information about the condition.

Abnormal Cat Feces

6. Foreign Objects

Sometimes, you may notice unusual objects in your cat’s feces, such as bones, hair, wood, or fur. This is entirely normal, as long as these objects are not causing an obstruction in their intestines.

See also  3 Things to Know About Mini Lop Rabbits Before Owning One

If you see small white rice-like spots in the cat feces, they are commonly remnants of intestinal worms. Occasionally, you may also find worms or larvae in the feces. This is when you should consider deworming your cat. You can refer to our guide on how to deworm cats for further information.


By observing your cat’s feces, you can gain insights into their health conditions. That’s why we always recommend manually cleaning your cat’s litter box instead of using automated devices. Healthy cat feces should be elongated, dark in color, firm, and not overly smelly.

Any variations in texture, color, or odor indicate an underlying issue. At this point, it is crucial to monitor your cat more closely and pay attention to other signs they may exhibit. If the abnormality persists for more than 3 days, or if your cat shows warning signs like bloody stools, live worms, or mucus in their diarrhea, promptly take them to a veterinarian. You can refer to the table below for guidance on interpreting your cat’s health based on their feces.

Condition Indication Frequency Possible Causes
Constipation Small, hard, dry stools Less than 1x Dehydration, megacolon, inappropriate diet
Constipation Small, hard, dry stools with excessive hair Less than 1x Hairball formation, excessive grooming
Constipation Thin, ribbon-like appearance Less than 1x Bowel obstruction, such as a tumor
Diarrhea Loose, black, mucus-filled feces Variable Gastrointestinal bleeding or ulceration, seek veterinary care
Diarrhea Loose, malodorous feces 2-3x Food intolerance, inflammatory bowel disease
Diarrhea Shaped like goat droppings, slimy consistency Variable Low fiber intake, colitis
Diarrhea Varies, sometimes soft, foamy, mucus or blood in feces Variable Parasitic infection

Remember, as a responsible cat owner, it’s essential to provide the best care for your furry companion. Paying attention to their feces is just one part of ensuring their overall well-being and health.

Proudly powered by WordPress | Theme: Looks Blog by Crimson Themes.