Our cat’s poop tells us how it is, and it can change according to its age. Let’s find out when and if there is to worry.
With age, our cat’s bowel movements have changes. And of course, his needs change in the same way. Although many will turn up their noses, our cat’s poop can make us understand a lot about its health, and we can be useful a guide to interpret it according to the various stages of the cat’s life.
The needs of cats and their health
Many cat owners notice that in the course of their animals’ lives, their needs change, and what is normal at a certain age is no longer normal within a few years.
How can we tell if our cat is healthy, just by looking at its poop? It can be easy, but it depends on its age.
There are normal and abnormal aspects and behaviors in a cat based on how old it is, because obviously a young cat does not have the same needs as an elderly one.
Let’s try to understand then when and if we worry, based on the poop of our cat in the various stages of its age:
- When it is a kitten;
- When the cat is an adult;
- In the elderly cat.
Understanding kitten poop
Puppy cats typically do their needs several times a day. Since these are small residues, bowel movements and their changes must be monitored.
If our kitten stays a whole day without doing its needs, it may be necessary to monitor its case.
If constipation lasts a day or even longer, we may have to worry. If not recognized and treated in time, it can have serious consequences.
If within a day or two, we do not notice poop in the litter box, or if the kitten struggles when trying to defecate, let’s take them to the vet as soon as possible.
If, on the other hand, the kitten has diarrhea, it is better to take them to the vet. Diarrhea in a kitten can create problems such as dehydration, due to the small size of the body.
Puppy cats have great problems in case of dehydration, and can quickly get sick even severely if diarrhea is not treated in time.
Over time, the cat will grow, and the risks in case of mild occasional diarrhea, or constipation, will not be so severe. It will usually resolve on its own or with small dietary changes.
The needs of the adult cat
Often when an adult cat has an occasional attack of diarrhea, it is linked to a food intolerance, due to a food eaten perhaps for the first time.
In that case, veterinarians simply advise to eliminate the food in question from the cat’s diet, to avoid problems in the future.
The dietary change should solve the problem in a short time, often also improving the overall health of the cat (for example, in the conditions of coat and skin).
Diarrhea in adult cats can also be caused by inflammatory bowel disease, or by colitis and inflammation of the colon in cats. Such conditions will be diagnosed by the veterinarian.
Constipation in an adult cat, on the other hand, is commonly linked to the presence of hairballs that the cat cannot evacuate.
But it may be better to have the cat examined by the veterinarian, to rule out more serious causes such as megacolon (a congenital malformation).
If the veterinarian excludes more serious problems, it will be possible to treat our cat and its constipation at home. In case of hairballs in the cat, a special ointment will be useful.
Such ointment is given two or three times a week to check the boluses. When administered daily, it may be useful as a stool softener.
A great method to help our cat in constipation can also be a change in diet. Better to choose canned food, than dry food.
However, colitis can have various causes. Among them, there are:
- Bacterial infections;
- Giardia (an intestinal parasite);
- Food allergies;
- Having eaten something unusual;
- Sudden changes in diet;
An occasional attack of colitis in cats is not uncommon, because they are animals that are very sensitive to what are the changes in their environment.
Regular and recurrent episodes of diarrhea, on the other hand, can be a problem for which we must worry and take the cat to the vet.
A thorough examination is necessary, to understand the causes of the problem and thus find the best care for our cat.
Analyzing the poop of older cats
In older cats, diarrhea can be a symptom of hyperthyroidism, for example, when associated with other signs such as weight loss, thirst and excessive hunger, vomiting and urination.
In most cats, a sporadic episode of diarrhea and constipation is common throughout their lives. If it does not exceed the day or two, however unpleasant, it is not serious.
If our elderly cat has diarrhea or constipation for more than a day, however, it is better to book a visit to our trusted veterinarian as soon as possible.
With advancing age, cats become more fragile and problems such as diarrhea or constipation, if not treated in time, can quickly shorten their lives.