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How Often Do Cats Poop? (And Bathroom Habits to Watch Out For!)

Posted in: Cat Litter - Last Updated: September 5, 2023 - Author: Dexter Jones
Posted in Cat Litter 
Last Updated: February 20, 2023  
Author:  Dexter Jones

While owning a cat has a lot of upsides, they also come with a few things most owners would rather avoid if they could. One of those happens to be dealing with cat poop and pee. 

And while cleaning up after multiple cats can be a crappy job in and of itself even just one cat can leave you shocked at how quickly a cat litter box can be filled.

how often do cats poop

This can often lead you to wonder about how often your cat (or kittens) needs to handle their business in a day or just what happens internally between a cat running to eat before running to their toilet.

How Often Do Cats Poop? In Short!

The truth is that there is a multitude of different factors at play when it comes to our pet’s bathroom habits and their digestive tract

This means that all adult cats behave differently and every situation is different for each cat. As a result, it's virtually impossible to definitively state the exact number of times a cat can or should hit the litter box in a day. 

Generally, it's been determined that a can will defecate between one or two times a day, and while this is certainly a good baseline to be aware of, it's more important to know the general frequency and consistency of your cat's restroom habits and if anything has changed.

How Often Should Your Cat Poop In A Day?

In this breakdown, we'll get into what's the ideal amount of times a healthy cat should poop as well as what factors can play a role in its increased or decreased rate. 

We'll also get into what different types of cat poop may look like so that you can actually immediately identify their health.

While the number of one or two poops a day may shift and vary based on some of the factors below, the ideal amount of times a cat should handle their waste is around two times a day.

Because of the cat's internal digestive system, it can take between 12 and 20 hours for food to hit from one end and find its way down to the other. 

how often should cats poop

Below are several potential factors that can play a role in how many times you can find your cat running off to the litter box.

  • Diet: Starting off our list is the first place you want to look - diet. Whether you're feeding them wet or dry cat food, human food, or just raw meats, these all can play an impact on the frequency of your cat's pooping. For example, a higher carbohydrate count can result in more BM movements while more raw or wet foods can potentially mean less. Be mindful of how often your cat "should" be going to the litter box and make sure that what you feed them helps maintain this schedule rather than speeding it up or slowing it down. Ensure your cat has a diet full of foods with high fiber, minerals, and natural ingredients. And always provide them with a water supply to avoid any chance of dehydration. If your cat is a fussy eater you may even want to consider supplements but only after you have sought professional advice.
  • Food Allergies: In addition to general dieting issues, your cat may have specific food allergies to be aware of. If your cat is allergic or intolerant to certain types of food, it can result in either constipationdiarrhea, or just more frequent bowel movements.
  • General Health Conditions: Outside of what your cat is eating, there can be other potential health conditions that are affecting its colon and bowel movements. For example, if they have IBS, inflammatory bowel disease, hyperthyroidism, an obstruction, or suffer from kidney issues, these can all lead to either more or fewer trips to the litter box.
  • Intestinal Parasites: Many different digestive parasites exist that can irritate the GI tract. This can cause waste and feces to move through the body at a much faster rate. Not only are some of the most common signs going to include feline diarrhea, but there will also be parts or even whole worms found in their waste. If you find that they are running to the litter box more often while having diarrhea, it's worth it to check for worms or any bacterial infections and then head to the vet.
  • Stress: Last on the list is good ole' fashion stress. Whether you're bringing him in late for his appointment, making him eat foods he doesn't want, or getting him neutered, these all can resort in a cat feeling very stressed and potentially running to the bathroom more often than they normally would.
  • Colitis: is a health condition that causes colon inflammation and irregular bowel movements. Your vet may recommend a special diet if they think a food allergy or intolerance, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), or colitis is the problem.
how often do cats poo

One thing you may have noticed is that nearly all of these issues are due to digestive problems. 

This is because, for a cat, their stomach's microbiome hosts a combination of several hundred different microorganisms, all of which help in the aid of their digestion while also dealing with different viruses and pathogens. 

By making sure your cat's gut microbiome is healthy and clean, you're able to ensure that they have normal and properly timed bowel movements that aren't overly excessive or subdued.

What Can Cat Poop Look Like? 

As with the frequency, the shape and consistency of cat poop can also vary based on their internal stomach health. For example, a normal healthy cat should have poop that is between dark and medium brown in color. It should also be log-shaped while also firm without being too dry.

If your cat's poo looks like this, you know they're doing ok. However, there can be other conditions for your cat's health that you can surmise based on the nature of the cat's stool and how it looks.

  • Constipated: A cat that is constipated is not only going to have less frequent trips to the litter box, but its stool will also be very lumpy and highly segmented, often coming out as hard clumps. This is because the waste has already begun hardening itself while in the cat.
  • Normal: As mentioned, if your cat is normal and natural it should have brown poop that is log-shaped while also being on the smoother side, and with as few cracks along its surface as possible. A cat's poop should naturally have an odor, but that smell should be mild only, never being so bad that it becomes overwhelming.
  • Loose: For loose stools, can range from extra wet and soft blobs all the way to a liquid-like substance with no actual solid pieces.
  • Infected: If your feline friend is suffering from a disease or illness, it may exhibit symptoms that fits any of these categories while also being a different color. Often, these colors can range from jet black, to red, green, tan, or even white. Depending on the severity of the illness, there also be mucus running through the poop. No matter what, this is not normal and should be reported to a local vet as soon as you can.

When Should You See The Vet?

As we've mentioned a few times, there's rarely a time when visiting a vet is a bad or premature idea. If you notice anything wrong with your cat's poop or its frequency, going to the vet to have a check-up is always wise. 

For instance, if you go to clear your cat's litter box and find no feces for over three days in a row, find that they've pooped in another part of the house, or see that their poop is especially dry, they may be suffering from constipation and need to see a vet. They may recommend or prescribe a cat food for constipation to help get things moving.

On the flip side, if your cat is going three, four, or even five or more times in a day, that also can be a clear sign that something is wrong and that they'd need to see a vet. 

Simply put, if you notice anything unusual about your cat and its pooping cycle it's a safe bet that you should get a veterinarian and possibly medications involved in the process.

how often should cats poo

How Often Do Cats Poop? The Verdict

In conclusion, the frequency of a cat's bowel movements can vary greatly depending on various factors such as age, diet, and health. While some cats may defecate several times a day, others may only do so once or twice a week. 

It's important for cat owners to be aware of their pet's normal bowel habits and to take notice of any changes, as this can be an indicator of a health problem.

Regular veterinary check-ups and a balanced diet can help ensure that your cat remains healthy and has regular bowel movements.

 By understanding the intricacies of a cat's digestive system, owners can provide their furry friends with the best possible care and ensure that they lead happy and healthy lives.

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About the author

Dexter Jones has been a solid member of the ‘Mad Cat Dad’ club since time began! Dexter has been a keen cat writer for many years and lives in Croatia. He lives with his two tabby cats, Milly & Marly, who also flew in from the UK to start their new Adriatic island life together.