cat pooping

Is that mine?

What’s Healthy and What’s Not


Author, Professional Pet Sitting Etc.



Sure, it’s not the most pleasant topic to discuss, but your cat’s poop can give you an inside look at her health (pun intended!). Your cat is an important part of your life, and knowing what normal poop looks and smells like, and recognizing what isn’t normal, is a responsibility you, as a pet parent, must own.


Healthy Habits


Bowel habits vary from cat to cat, but a health cat will typically have one bowel movement per day. A normal poop will be solidly formed and easy to scoop, with the size depending on your cat’s size and her diet. In general, cats with a diet that is grain-free will have smaller poop and they will be less stinky than those fed a high-filler diet. Why, you might ask? You see, nutrients in higher quality diets (i.e., those with little to no fillers) are better absorbed by the body, meaning less smelly waste as a result. Healthy poop is usually dark brown but that, too, can vary depending on your cat’s diet.




When indigestible portions of food (such as fillers) pass through your cat’s intestines too quickly, diarrhea can be the result. Sadly, diarrhea is quite common in cats and can also be the result of parasites, a virus, exposure to toxins, kidney disease, intestinal cancers, and a variety of other diseases.


With diarrhea, soft stool may be formed, or your cat’s poop may resemble more of a cow patty. It can also be complete liquid mixed with mucous. If your kitty has one or two soft poops, but isn’t showing any signs of distress such as no desire to eat or drink, then diarrhea typically is not an issue and should resolve itself within 24 – 48 hours. But, if your cat experiences multiple episodes of diarrhea per day, in conjunction with lethargy, refusal to eat, and/or vomiting, then dehydration is a great concern and your cat should visit your vet.




When poop is retained in the colon, constipation occurs. The longer the poop remains in the colon, the harder it becomes, causing water to be removed from the colon. If your kitty is constipated, she will likely strain in the litter box and the poop she does produce will be very small, dry and hard. If you notice your cat is suffering from constipation, seek veterinary assistance.


Pooping Outside of the Litter Box


Both diarrhea and constipation may cause your cat to poop outside of her litter box, but some healthy cats do this, too. If you experience this with your cat, the first course of action you should take is to bring your cat for a vet visit in order to rule out any medical issues. If medical issues are ruled out, then the problem is likely a behavioral one, and you’ll need to pay close attention to your cat in an effort to determine the problem and work to correct the behavior.


Abnormal Poop


If your cat’s poop is pale white, grey, black or green, she may require immediate veterinary care. Pale white, grey or green poop may signal liver disease or an intestinal infection, and black poop usually points to internal bleeding.


Yes, poop isn’t a pleasant topic, but it’s one that deserves special attention when it comes to the overall health and well-being of your favorite feline.






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Dorinne Whynott, is a long time animal professional.  She is a successful business owner establishing one of the largest pet sitting companies in New Hampshire since 1990. Click to Read her complete History. 

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