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Abnormal Cat Poop Chart: What Colors and Consistencies Mean

Cat inside a covered litter box
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Cleaning the litter box isn’t a pleasant experience. But did you know your litter box holds important information about your cat’s health? The color and consistency of your cat’s poop offers a window into their wellness. If you can identify abnormal cat poop, you may also be able to identify when it’s time to see the vet.

Healthy Cat Poop: What Should It Look Like? 

Healthy cat poop should be brown to dark brown in color and have a segmented, sausage-shape. While the poop should be firm, it shouldn’t be too hard or pebble-like. You should not see obvious blood or mucus in the feces. 

Normal cat poop does have an odor, but it shouldn’t smell foul, rancid, or metallic. If the smell sends you running out of the room holding your nose, your pet’s poop may be abnormal.

Healthy adult cats will usually poop in their litter box once or twice daily. A lot of cats will defecate shortly after eating. While not all cats consistently poop after a meal, it’s a normal response to eating in those that do. After all, they’re going to need to make space for what they just ate! 

Kittens may poop three or four times daily, sometimes more. Kitten poop may be softer than adult poop but should not be watery, bloody, or contain a lot of mucus.

Abnormal Cat Poop: A Sign of Potential Health Problems

View from above of cat in litter box

Noticing changes to the color, smell, consistency, or frequency of poop can help you detect health issues in your cat. 

Your cat’s poop can become irregular for several reasons. While your vet will determine why your cat’s poop is abnormal, they rely on you to monitor your cat’s poop at home. They won’t know about it unless you bring it up! Keep track of when your cat is constipated, passes stool that looks or smells different than normal, and any other notable changes you observe.

Luckily, litter-trained cats give us a built-in opportunity to check for abnormalities. While self-cleaning litter boxes may make it more difficult to observe changes, some smart litter boxes track details like how often your pet enters the litter box and how full the waste drawer is. You can also pick up on changes to the color or consistency of your cat’s feces when you dispose of them.

Not every change to your cat’s poop may be significant. But it’s helpful to track these changes so you can share details with your veterinarian if necessary. Download the GreatPetCare app as a tool to log these details with the Health Journal feature.

Abnormal Cat Poop Chart

Many different types of irregular cat poop exist. The Abnormal Cat Poop Chart below outlines the different types of abnormal cat poop, what they could mean, and how concerned you should be.

Type of Cat PoopWhat It Could MeanSeverity Level
Red cat poop (usually streaks of red or red liquid noted on poop)Blood in cat poop from lower GI tract (hematochezia). Causes include straining/constipation, infections (e.g., panleukopenia virus), dietary indiscretion, stress, parasites, inflammatory bowel conditions, cancer, and more.Mild to severe 
Black cat poopBlood in cat poop from upper GI tract (melena). Causes include stomach ulcers, infections, parasites, inflammatory bowel conditions, cancer, and more.Moderate to severe
Yellow cat poopStool may be moving too quickly through the gastrointestinal tract. Causes include bacterial or parasitic infections, liver conditions, gallbladder conditionsModerate to severe
Green cat poopStool may be moving too quickly through the gastrointestinal tract. Causes include bacterial or parasitic infections, liver conditions, gallbladder conditionsModerate to severe
Runny cat poop or watery cat poopCat has inflammation in their gastrointestinal tract, intestines are moving too quickly, or the cat is having trouble absorbing liquid in their intestines. Causes include rapid change of diet, dietary indiscretion, stress, infections, parasites, systemic conditions like hyperthyroidism, or cancer.Mild to severe
Mucus in cat poop or jelly-like cat poopUsually associated with inflammation in the large intestine. Causes include stress, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), dietary changes, infections, or parasites (especially giardia). Mild to severe
White cat poopUncommon but may indicate issues with bile duct system. Causes include bile duct blockage or decreased bile flow (cholestasis). Some white cat poop may simply be moldy from remaining in the box a long time.Severe 
White worms in cat poop or white specks in cat poopSmall white specks that look like rice grains are usually tapeworms. Long, thin, white worms are usually roundwormsMild
Hard, pebble-like cat poopCauses include constipation, dehydration, and difficult defecation due to bowel or anal sphincter conditions.Mild to moderate

Keep in mind that some changes in your cat’s poop color may be related to their diet. For example, if your cat is eating food with a green dye or color, you may notice a green tint to their feces. In this case, it’s likely not a cause for concern if they’re otherwise acting normal. If you’ve recently changed your cat’s diet and notice a slight change in their poop color, it’s likely due to their new food.

You will note that the severity level of these irregular cat poops ranges, sometimes all the way from mild to severe. This is because many underlying diseases can often lead to similar changes. While a cat having diarrhea due to stress is a mild condition, a cat having diarrhea due to panleukopenia virus points to a bigger cause for concern. 

Cat Poop Chart

When to See a Veterinarian

Lethargic cat

If your cat has one abnormal poop but is otherwise acting normal, you can usually monitor your can from home. But if your cat has runny poop, is regularly having irregular bowel movements, has intermittent loose stools, has undergone a sudden change to bowel movements, or is otherwise acting differently (vomiting, loss of appetite, etc.), then you should follow up with your veterinarian. 

If you see worms in your cat’s stools, you should contact your veterinarian. Your veterinarian will easily identify the type of worm and how to treat it. 

In most cases, blood in the stool at least warrants calling your veterinarian.

Signs to watch for which may indicate that your cat needs veterinary attention include:

  • Vomiting
  • Changes to your pet’s appetite
  • Straining to defecate or urinate
  • Weight loss
  • Unkempt coat
  • Lethargy
  • Fecal staining on your cat’s backside
  • Abdominal pain when picked up
  • Hypersalivating
  • Dehydration causing a prolonged skin tent (skin between shoulder blades does not return to normal position when pinched up) or a sunken appearance to eyeballs
  • Excessive drinking 

Stress, treats, and dietary changes can all impact your cat’s stools. If changes are mild and your cat’s poop returns to normal over a couple days, veterinary attention is not necessary.

Keeping Your Cat’s Poop Normal

Owner gives cat a treat by hand

Although you cannot prevent every potential cause of abnormal poop in cats, the following steps will help you keep your cat’s digestion and poop healthy.

  • Feed a regular, high-quality diet approved for your cat’s life stage.
  • If you change your cat’s diet, do so slowly over the course of a week.
  • Keep your cat on parasite prevention as recommended by your veterinarian.
  • Keep your cat up to date on vaccinations as recommended by your veterinarian.
  • Avoid feeding your cat foods intended for human consumption.
  • Keep food scraps and other consumable objects like string away from your cat. 

Most cats do not need over-the-counter supplements to help with their feces and will have normal poop with a regular, healthy diet. However, some cats may benefit from supplements like probiotics or fiber. Speak with your veterinarian before adding any supplements to your cat’s daily regimen.