It’s amazing how much confusion there is about how often a healthy cat passes a stool. It’s also amazing how much confusion there is about the consistency of a healthy cat’s stool.
Of course the diet has a lot to do with it. So here, let’s explore what a healthy diet is for cats and so what their stool should be like, versus an unhealthy diet and their stool.
The Unnatural Diet For Cats
It goes without saying that a natural diet for cats is their healthiest. You can’t eat garbage and expect health, although the majority of people seem to miss that idea judging by the consumption of fast food. Perhaps it needs to be re-labelled frankenfood.
Commercial cat food comes into the same realm as human frankenfood. It is, for the most part, made with cheap ingredients, mostly unsuitable for cats, with added chemicals, to preserve and ‘fortify’. The food is neither fresh nor nutritious. Some consists entirely of plant based food. Others contain a large amount.
Plant based food is for herbivores and omnivores, not carnivores. And your cat is an obligate carnivore. Plant based food is high in fibre. A diet high in fibre makes for soft and frequent stool. And smelly, if you’re a cat.
This means, the majority of cats will pass a stool at least once a day, which will be soft and very smelly. That’s normal. But it isn’t healthy.
So normal doesn’t mean healthy. Normal simply means it’s what most people do. It’s what most people have been told to do by their vet. And vets have been well trained by the commercial pet food industry.
There’s a conflict of interest here, as vets should be trained in what is healthy.
The Natural Diet For Cats
A natural diet for cats is in keeping with that of their wild cousins. This consists of eating raw prey. So it’s muscle meat, organ meat and bones. No plant food, except perhaps a tiny amount that may or may not be present in the stomach of the prey.
Since there is no fibre in the diet, stool will not be soft or frequent.
However, there is an additional factor to consider in cats, that is rarely factored in to the whole idea of how often a healthy cat passes a stool. And that is their origin.
Where Cats Come From And What That Means
Cats come from the arid areas of the world, where water is scarce, maybe it’s seasonal or every few years. This means they had to adapt to finding their liquid needs elsewhere.
Since cats are hunters and since every body contains a good amount of blood, this is where cats get their liquid needs. If you have ever been witness to a cat (big or small) eating their prey, you won’t see much blood. They don’t waste a valuable resource.
When translating that into domestic cats, not only should their food be suitable for a carnivore (ie meat and bones), it should also be wet.
The cat holds onto as much water as they can. It’s extracted from the food as it passes through the digestive tract. Not a drop is wasted. The resulting stool will be dry and hard. But not difficult or painful to pass.
This means a stool is more likely to be passed every two days, rather than every day.
It’s dry, hard, usually crumbly and infrequent. And it will be almost odourless. It WON’T smell the house out. It won’t offend.
A simple question, such as how often a healthy cat passes a stool, often requires a complex answer, if you want to understand the why. An answer of ‘every other day’ may lack credibility, unless you understand the reasoning.