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What is your cat's poop telling you?

As a cat owner, you may not see your cat's poop as regularly as dog owners, especially if your cat goes outdoors.
Cat standing next to a litter box

However, when you do see your cat's poop, keep an eye on the consistency, shape and color, and try to learn what is a normal frequency for your cat.

Your cat's poop can indicate whether their digestive and overall health is in a good place. Therefore, it's good to have an understanding of what is a healthy-looking poop for your cat, as well as the warning signs which indicate a trip to your veterinary clinic is needed.

What consistency should you be looking for?

Your cat's poop can be broken up into different categories; too hard, ideal, and too soft or liquid. 

If your cat's poop isn't an ideal consistency, it could be a sign of gastrointestinal sensitivity which may require further advice and management, such as a change in diet, from your veterinarian.

Paying attention to your cat's poop is important and you can assess your cat's poop at home using our 5-stage cat fecal scoring chart below. Using a cat fecal scoring chart can help you identify if you need to take your cat to a veterinarian for an examination, to make sure their digestive system is functioning as it should be.

At stages 1 - 2, look out for the different phases of cat constipation, stage 2.5 represents the ideal cat poop consistency, while stages 3 - 5 highlight the different phases of cat diarrhea.

The different stages of cat constipation

If your cat's poop is too hard, it could be a sign that they need more fiber in their diet or that they need to drink more water.

Illustration of pebble shaped poop

1. Pebble-shaped

Very hard, pebble-like, dry and crumbly
Illustration of hard poop

2. Hard

Hard with visible cracks

If your cat's stool is too hard, or if they strain to defecate, speak to your veterinarian as they will be able to suggest management options. Management options that your veterinarian may recommend, include increasing the fiber in your cat's diet or encouraging them to drink more water throughout the day, by placing additional water bowls around the house.

What is an ideal consistency?

If your cat has moist, compact and easy to pick up poop this is the ideal consistency and texture.

Illustration of ideal cat poop

2.5. Log-shaped

Log shaped, firm and moist

The different stages of cat diarrhea 

If your cat has diarrhea, this should be easy to spot as their poop will be very wet or the consistency of liquid. If you notice this in your cat's litterbox, you should speak to your veterinarian. Ongoing diarrhea could be a sign of underlying health issues and it is always better to seek a diagnosis and potential management options as soon as possible.

Illustration of very moist poop

3. Very moist

Very soft with some shape and no cracks

Illustration of partially liquid poop

4. Partially liquid

Wet with no defined shape

Illustration of liquid poop

5. Liquid

Entirely liquid with no texture

Check the color of their poop

Did you know the color of your cat's poop can also provide an insight into the health of their digestive system?

Illustration of a cat using a litter tray
Illustration of ideal cat poop

Ideal color - chocolate brown

If your cat has chocolate brown colored poop with an ideal fecal score, this indicates they have healthy bowel movements.
Illustration of red poop

Red or blood-stained

Red poop suggests bleeding and could be caused by straining, a cut near the bum, but it could also be a sign of something more serious.
Illustration of white and grey poop

White & grey

This could be caused by a biliary or pancreas issue.
Illustration of poop with white spots

White spots

Little rice-like grains may be a sign of tapeworms.
Illustration of orange and yellow poop

Yellow or orange

This may suggest there's an issue with your cat's liver or biliary system.
Illustration of black poop


Black poop could be a sign of internal bleeding in your cat's upper gastrointestinal tract.

Getting a proper diagnosis is essential if your cat's poop is showing any of the colors mentioned above. Your vet will be able to carry out the necessary tests and suggest management options, such as a change in medications and diet, or surgery if necessary.

Find a veterinarian

What is the ideal poop?

Ideal cat poop illustration

1. Color

Chocolate brown.

2. Consistency

Firm and not watery or loose. 

3. Shape

Like a log, maintaining its shape when picked up.

4. Frequency

This varies from cat to cat and can be difficult to know, especially if you have an outdoor cat. However, if possible try to make sure their 'normal' frequency is consistent.

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