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The Scoop on Cat Poop

(continued)

Cat Poop Problem: Constipation continued...

There are a number of things that can cause cats to become constipated, including:

  • Over-grooming, which leads to extra hair in the digestive tract
  • Kidney problems
  • Feline megacolon
  • Some type of obstruction, including string or bones
  • Diets that are low in fiber
  • Colon abnormalities such as strictures or tumors
  • Spinal problems or pain

To help ease your cat’s constipation, your veterinarian may suggest increasing the fiber in the diet, such as by adding canned pumpkin to your cat’s regular food. Or your veterinarian might recommend switching to a diet that is very easily digested, thereby lessening the amount of poop in your cat’s digestive tract.

Encouraging your cat to get more exercise and drink more water may also help poop move through her system more readily.

The chart below may help you to identify the cause of your cat’s poop problems:

 

Symptom

Appearance

Frequency

Possible causes

Constipation

Small, hard, dry stools

Less than once a day

Dehydration, megacolon, dietary issues

Constipation

Small, hard, dry stools containing large amounts of hair

Less than once a day

Hairballs, over-grooming

Constipation

Thin, ribbon-like poop

Less than once a day

Tumor or stricture

Diarrhea

Black, tarry, loose stools

Variable

Stomach or intestinal bleeding. Seek immediate veterinary attention.

Diarrhea

Smelly, pudding-like stools

2-3 times daily

Dietary intolerances, inflammatory bowel disease

Diarrhea

Gooey poop filled with mucus

Multiple times daily

Inadequate dietary fiber; colitis

 

WebMD Veterinary Reference

Reviewed by Amy Flowers, DVM on March 24, 2013
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