Feral cats are those that have had minimal to no human contact, living and thriving in the wild. As a result, their poop may differ slightly from that of domesticated cats, depending on what they’ve eaten or hunted recently.
Understanding what feral cat poop looks like is essential for pet owners, wildlife enthusiasts, and those dealing with feral cat colonies. To help you learn more, we will discuss the appearance of feral cat poop, why it’s important to recognize it, and how to handle it safely.
Do Feral Cats Poop in the Same Place?
Since feral cats aren’t domesticated like house cats, they will poop anywhere and everywhere. This leaves some people wondering if feral cats choose one specific spot to use as their toilet.
They can and will poop anywhere they feel safe and comfortable, but there are a few things you should know about where feral cats may be pooping. First, it’s important to understand that feral cats have a much bigger territory than their domestic counterparts.
While a house cat may stick to one or two rooms in a home, feral cats can roam over an entire city block or neighborhood. This means that they will find spots all over their territory to use as their bathroom, and it’s not uncommon for them to move from place to place.
Feral cats tend to be incredibly territorial creatures, and they may use specific markers, such as scents or markings, to claim certain areas as their own.
If a feral cat feels that another animal is encroaching on its territory, it may choose to mark the area with poop to assert dominance.
Identifying Feral Cat Poop
Size and Shape
Feral cat poop is typically cylindrical and measures about 1 to 2 inches in length and 1/2 to 3/4 of an inch in diameter. It’s generally segmented, with one or both ends tapering to a point. However, the consistency can vary depending on the cat’s diet, ranging from firm and well-formed to soft and loose.
The color of feral cat poop is typically dark brown, similar to domesticated cat poop. However, it may vary depending on the cat’s diet.
Feral cat poop has a distinctive, pungent smell similar to domesticated cat poop. This strong odor is due to the high protein content in their diet and secretions from their anal glands, and can be a useful indicator when identifying cat feces.
Why Identifying Feral Cat Poop Matters
Health and Safety
These wild cats can be a potential source of contagion to both humans and other animals, as they are capable of transmitting illnesses, like toxoplasmosis, through contact with their excrement.
Monitoring Feral Cat Colonies
Recognizing feral cat feces can help you monitor the presence and activity of feral cat colonies in your area. This information can be valuable for local animal control agencies and organizations managing and controlling feral cat populations.
Identifying feral cat feces is essential to protect your pet’s health if you have outdoor or indoor-outdoor pets. Contact with feral cat feces can expose your pets to parasites and diseases carried by feral cats.
Handling Feral Cat Poop Safely
Always wear gloves when handling or disposing of feral cat feces. This will help protect you from possible exposure to diseases or parasites.
Use a Scoop or Shovel
Use a scoop or shovel to remove the feces without directly touching it. Place the feces in a plastic bag and seal it before disposal.
Dispose of Properly
Dispose of the bag containing the feces in an outdoor trash can to prevent the spread of diseases and parasites within your home.
Wash Hands Thoroughly
After dealing with feral cat feces, do not forget to cleanse your hands using soap and water. Doing so will help ensure you are safe from any potential germs or bacteria.
Understanding what feral cat poop looks like is crucial for pet owners, wildlife enthusiasts, and individuals dealing with feral cat colonies. Recognizing feral cat feces’ appearance, odor, and contents can help keep you, your pets, and your community safe.
Featured Image Credit: Shino, Unsplash