Monitoring your cat’s poops is one way to do a quick audit of their health. You have probably noticed that poop questions will frequently be asked by your veterinarian during a checkup. Regular bowel movements are a clear indication that your cat is eating and that the gut is healthy enough to pass waste out.
Drastic changes in the poop schedule can indicate a clinical problem and it may be advisable to book a veterinary appointment. Read on to learn more about what to do if your cat is suddenly pooping more than usual or changing her poop routine.
How many times a day should a cat poop?
Why is my cat pooping more than usual?
If your cat has access to the outdoors, you may not be able to track her pooping schedule very closely. These cats will commonly choose a hidden spot in a garden or flower bed as their toilet. Understandably, it can be concerning if you have to start cleaning out the litter box more frequently than usual.
As long as it isn’t more often than 1-2 times every day, your cat has probably just chosen to change her preferred toileting spot to inside. Heavy rain or a bitter wind can make a temperature-controlled, dry litter box far more tempting for poop duty. Similarly, an indoor litter box may be preferred if your kitty finds that her favorite outdoors toilet spot has been claimed by another cat in the neighborhood.
Another reason for changes in the poo schedule is a change in the diet. Foods that are less digestible will produce more waste to have to come out the back end. For instance, foods that are marketed as “hairball reducing” may have higher levels of indigestible insoluble fiber. Examples of insoluble fiber ingredients include cellulose and beet pulp. They help keep things moving in the gut to encourage hairballs to move through the gut rather than be vomited up on the new rug.
Should I take my cat to the vet for pooping too much?
If your cat is pooping more frequently than twice per day, it is worth having a look at the full picture to get an idea of what might be wrong and if a veterinary appointment is needed. A nicely formed poop will be firm and log-shaped — take a look at the Fecal Scoring Chart to see whether your cat’s poos are normal.
Soft poos or watery diarrhea is a sign of gut troubles which should be addressed by a veterinarian. If you see bright red blood or the feces become tarry in color, there is likely to be intestinal bleeding present which must be assessed by a vet as soon as possible.
Litter Box Woes
A cat may change her pooping habits even due to subtle changes in her home environment. A change in the litter box location or litter type might discourage a cat from using her box. It may lead to a few accidents on the floor until she gets used to the new set-up. An unwelcome change can also cause some cats to stop burying their poop. This could be something as seemingly insignificant as meeting a new person or a reorganization of the furniture. Even these small upsets can bother a sensitive kitty enough to change her toileting behaviors.
This can occur even after a routine surgery such as neuter or spay procedure. Your veterinarian will be able to confirm what to expect in terms of toileting and when the regular schedule is expected to resume.
Over-grooming and Scooting
Excessive grooming of the rear end can also be a sign of a problem. You may catch your cat repeatedly liking her back end or find irritation of the skin in the area. Along with this, you may find your cat dragging her back end along the ground. This is referred to as “scooting”. It is normally in response to something being stuck to their bottom or a strong itch.
If scooting behavior does not stop after a few days, your veterinarian should check your cat’s anal glands for impaction. Anal glands are small liquid-filled sacs which normally empty regularly with the passing of feces. Any disruptions in poop schedules or poop consistency brings the risk that they may not empty naturally and become overfilled. A veterinarian can safely express anal glands and quickly bring relief to a scooting cat.
Firm stools are uncomfortable and can lead to constipation. You may see your cat straining in the litter box and licking her hind end if she is struggling with passing a bowel movement. If this continues for over 24 hours, medical treatment is advised. A veterinarian may administer a laxative or stool softener to help to get things moving. In rare cases cats may have to be hospitalized for some time for long-term treatment.
- Please note that male cats that appear to be constipated may have a blocked urethra, which is an emergency. If you are unsure, you should head to the vets for assessment immediately.
An especially smelly poop is an unwelcome surprise, but it isn’t necessarily a sign for concern on its own. Most commonly, they indicate mild upsets in the gut which can arise because of changes in the diet. If your cat is stinking up her litter box more regularly, be on the lookout for other symptoms which indicate a health concern.
What is causing my cat’s poop problems?
What should you feed a cat who is pooping too much?
Choosing the right diet can potentially help with a cat who poops too much. If you are looking to switch your cat’s regular diet, ensure to check with your veterinarian if there are any ongoing medical conditions. Another thing to keep in mind is to always choose a food with an adequacy statement on the bag. The diet should be ‘complete and balanced’ to ensure that it will provide all the nutrients your cat needs. With that in mind, read on for some guidelines to follow to pick out a diet for a cat with a too-frequent poop schedule.
If you’ve noticed that your cat is pooping more frequently, it is likely that you will pick up on other subtle changes that can indicate a health concern. As long as you keep monitoring your cat closely and know when to go to the vet, you can be sure that any poop problems will be dealt with quickly!
Want more free vet advice? Check out some of our other Ask-a-Vet posts:
- Why Is My Cat Throwing Up Undigested Food? (Vet Answer)
- My Cat’s Nose is Dry: Is This Normal? (Vet Answer)
- My Cat is Suddenly Pooping a Lot: Is it Normal? (Vet Answer)
Featured image credit: Stefano Garau, Shutterstock
- How many times a day should a cat poop?
- Why is my cat pooping more than usual?
- Should I take my cat to the vet for pooping too much?
- What other poop-related problems should I look out for?
- What is causing my cat’s poop problems?
- What should you feed a cat who is pooping too much?
- Final Thoughts