Cat Poop Talk

| February 17, 2012 | 42 Comments

Guest Post by Julie Lesser

Like most new kitten “moms” (I won’t say “owner” because we all know who really “owns” who!) when I first got my Ragdoll, Mooshu, I ran out and bought the best food money and (LOTS of research) could buy! I was determined to do this right! It was going to be dry food for healthy teeth…and for my sanity…or so I thought.

What my research didn’t tell me is about is the poop! Yes, I said it…Poop! Turns out the “best” dry food was not so “best” for Mooshu. He had what I call, “poopy butt”…I won’t go into great detail…but let’s just say that every morning at 6am…in the dead of my sleep…he alerted me that his butt needed my immediate attention! And to the sink we would go!

I was at a loss…I called my vet and she told me that sometimes the higher quality dry foods are too rich for cats sensitive tummy’s and I would not be a horrible mom for feeding a lesser quality brand…that I should feed him what he likes and what works for him. Great! All set! 12 pound bag of Purina One here we come! Since that’s what the breeder had him on to start with. I mean afterall, breeders know everything right? WRONG!

A year later and here I was…still cleaning “poopy butt”! HELP! I turned to my favorite facebook page and blog: www.floppycats.com. I sent Jenny a desperate email for help. “Help!”, I said, “my kitty has poopy butt!” I explained in great detail what was going on and she said two words that changed our lives!! “WET FOOD”.

I thought the transition would be a futile attempt. It was not. Mooshu is clueless!! I am blissful…and thankful!

Here’s what I did:

First, I started a food (and poop) diary. I was worried about over feeding him. Truth is…he is eating about three or four cans in a 24 hour period which seems to be doing perfect for him. He is not very “piglike” with his feeding.

Day One:

  • Friday 6:00pm (remove dry food)
  • 1 small can upstairs (where kibble was kept for free feeding) and 1 small can downstairs as a “sit down” meal

Friday 11pm

  • 1 small can downstairs

Saturday 6am – no poops at all!

  • 1 small can down stairs

Saturday 2:30pm

  • 1 small can upstairs

Saturday 7pm

  • 1 small can downstairs

Saturday 11:30 pm

  • 1 small can upstairs

Sunday – Today (Tuesday) was very similar…Sounds haphazard timing wise…but it’s working for us and the best part…NO POOPY BUTT! (ask Jenny…I sent her a gorgeous picture of his perfect poop!)

Besides the many other benefits of wet food feeding (as Floppycats said) this is a HUGE one!

Thank you Floppycats!!

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Category: Eat, Health Care

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About the Author ()

Hi, I’m Jenny Dean, creator of Floppycats! Ever since my Aunt got the first Ragdoll cat in our family, I have loved the breed. Inspired by my childhood Ragdoll cat, Rags, I created Floppycats to connect, share and inspire other Ragdoll cat lovers around the world,

Comments (42)

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  1. Michelle says:

    Hi Julie, I’ve never had that problem with my Milly. The breeder I got her from was giving her from day one biscuits to graze on and wet food in the morning and at night so I kept doing that. But Milly cleans her bum after she goes to the potty anyway, thank goodness. The litter box smells bad enough when she’s done let alone having to clean her bum as well, yuck.

  2. Julie says:

    Hi Michelle!
    Milly coulda taught Mooshu a thing or two about bum cleaning! Haha! But happy to report that “poopy butt” is all gone…two weeks later and we have beautiful, perfect poops!! I so wish all kittens started on wet food! What a difference! Kisses to Milly!

  3. Betty says:

    Hi Julie – So good to see one of my first Andy issues being addressed! The daily bath we both endured because of his poopy butt resulted in his aversion to the basement bathroom – and all faucets. So now he drinks much less water – which is now a urinary health problem for him. Jenny helped me with my struggle to find the right wet food for Andy to address the crystals forming in his urine. Changing to wet food (mostly Fancy Feast) stopped Andy’s poopy butt; however, the ph balance must have been too alkaline for his system. Research & recommendations put us on the right track. Andy now has beautiful urine, does not linger in litter box and is losing some weight gained while indulging his dry food addiction. I am grateful everyday for floppy cats, Jenny and the community because even when there are no pressing issues, there are smiles shared. Thank you. BTW, since the window for poo commentary is open, I would like to add that Andy’s poops are sized more like a medium sized puppy than any cat I have ever seen! Is this everyone’s experience? His first poop in the litter box was a shocker!

    • Michelle says:

      Hi Betty, my Milly’s poos are the biggest I’ve ever seen to come out of a cats bum, and they rival any small dogs poo. LOL

      • Betty says:

        Hi Michelle – Thanks for your response. You know, I don’t know anyone, other than those on Floppy Cats with a rag doll to cop are notes to. And really, what Andy leaves in the litter box is so far beyond what my other guys leave, it was disconcerting. Could the anatomy be so different? Now I know – it is not just Andy. It is the breed. Thank you!

  4. Julie says:

    Hi Betty…Ok..now I am freaked out!! Mooshu is TOTALLY drinking less water! I didn’t even think that switching to wet could have a downside! Like your Andy…he is mostly on Fancy Fest along with some ProPlan to mix it up! What research & recommendations put you guys on the right track? How can I get him to drink more? I don’t think he has any urinary issues… He pees like 4-5 times in a 24 hour period…good size pees too!

    Oh…and yes…Mooshu’s poops are also rather large sometimes for a cat…in my opinion…but he only poops like twice a day.

  5. Betty says:

    Oh no. I think I was not clear. I am sorry. They all drink less when on wet food & that is fine. Andy stopped drinking enough while he was still on kibble with wet food 2x a day. He loved the kibble and was not drinking. That set him up. Then the ph balance in the wet food diet put him over the top At least that is what I believe happened. Of course the vet said he needed a script diet for the rest of his life. The ingredient list on that food (and the price & inconvenience) put me off though. Jenny sent me to cat info.org and it was very empowering. Andy is currently having his Fancy Feast chicken mixed with Weruva cat food (chicken). I add a probiotic enzyme powder and sprinkle in Liv-a-Littles (by Halo) crumbs to entice him. I mix up enough food for 1 – 2 days and warm it up before each feeding. When the blood was still showing in his urine, I mixed a little cider vinegar with water and used a string to quirt it into his mouth – twice. The blood is gone. Now its actually how he gets some water every night. He does not mind it one bit – I chase it with a Liv-a-Little snack! He is such a prince! I sit him, like a child, on my lap and he just flops there till he’s had his treat. Check out cat info.org. There is hours of info there, all very digestible. Yes, Andy poops once a day, unless he is constipated. The wet food, probiotic and water should help with that too.

  6. Betty says:

    syringe not string.

    I watched Andy in the littler box. He stayed in his position long after he stopped passing urine – like the feeling was still there. That is what made me put a little cup under him to catch some urine to see the color. And yes, Andy pees a river!

  7. Julie says:

    Ohhhhhhh! Ok! Phew! I feel better! I figured since I am giving him only wet now there was a lot more water in his diet naturally…so what you say makes sense. Just makes me nervous to come home & see a full bowl of water…unless of course he knocked it over to play with it! Hahaha! Thank you for explaining…and for loving your Andy the way you do! And the way I love my Mooshu! Sounds like you got him all straightened out! That’s GREAT news! Thanks for the tip on catinfo.org I will go check it out! I LOVE this floppy cats forum…I learn something every day!

  8. Julie says:

    How could you tell with all his fur? Mooshu takes up the whole inside of his box…I have a large hooded one too!

  9. Carrie Wehmeyer says:

    I would love to feed my cats wet food. We fed the raw diet for a while, but they really mostly liked pork chops and they dragged meaty bones all over the house. I’m talking on my pillow all over the house. They did have super clean teeth and almost odorless poos, but I just couldn’t keep that up. I worry about their teeth if they only eat soft food. What cleans them?

    • Jenny says:

      Carrie, it’s my understanding that dry food cleaning teeth is a myth. Raw food, however, with bones and everything is known to drastically improve cat teeth – as you can see images of on http://www.catinfo.org. I brush Charlie and Trigg’s teeth – http://www.floppycats.com/how-to-brush-cat-teeth.html

      • Connie says:

        dry food is a myth. If you see a cat eat dry food they do one of two things, they either inhale it whole, or they shatter it with their sharp pointy teeth. There is very minimal if any “scraping’ of teeth. Wet food is no more apt to make teeth ‘bad’ than a steak is yours.

        Letting their teeth rip flesh from bones and crack those bones for marrow will help keep teeth cleaner, but brushing is really the only sure way to keep those teeth healthy.

  10. Julie says:

    Carrie!!! The whole visual of “on your pillow” just made me giggle…sorry!! I too worry about Mooshu’s teeth!! Dental cleanings costs a fortune too! Would love to hear any advice on this!!

  11. Julie says:

    Sorry! My last comment posted before i saw Jenny’s! I think i will try the brushing as suggested…wish me luck!!

    • Jenny says:

      some people also feed raw or let them gnaw on a bone or something as a supplement to the wet food. good luck, julie! based on how Mooshu puts up with your tongue holds, he’ll probably be fantastic.

  12. Julie says:

    Hahahaha! He DOES let me get away with some crazy stuff! He loves chewing on the stick end of a few toys…so maybe a bone is a good idea…it’s mostly the back teeth I worry about reaching while brushing…but you’re right…I should at least attempt it!

  13. If poopy butts continue – you can always try adding FortiFlora. Morgan has been on ProZyme his whole life and Fancy Feast. He still gets Poopy Butt at times. But then again he is Morgan – and always proving he is unique. When he gets it I do 10 days of the FortiFlora and it gets him back to tootsie rolls. Plus he LOVES the taste!

    We may just start giving him a sprinkle on all of his food – since he’s been eating picky, and his blood sugar is wacky again.

  14. Julie says:

    Thanks for the tip Donna & Morgan! Mooshu & I will research it for sure!!

  15. If you go on Amazon.com – there are a bunch of places that sell it. I paid $22.00 for a box of 30 packets. You do it for 10 days – and I usually do Morgan with a full pack, and the other 4 cats get a pack on their food.

  16. Julie says:

    Good to know!! THANK YOU!!

  17. Betty says:

    Is the fortiflora for constipation? Andy’s poopy butt was large poos smushed onto his back end – not loose though (sorry).
    Julie – I know that Andy was trying too long to pee and then, because it was quiet, I could hear it and then not. He should have stood up when I no longer heard it but he did not. The box is not covered. He goes into a trance when he takes his position and it seems he is unaware of me tucking a 3 oz Dixie cup under him. I can’t see where it is going. I sort of center it under his tail and wait to hear the stream hit the paper cup! It’s hit or miss – mostly hit. Luckily, hands are washable!
    Carrie – Pork chops?! I can just see it too! So funny – but glad it was not my pillow! πŸ™‚ Thanks for the laughter.

  18. The Forti Flora is kind of the pet version of Activia. It corrects the flora in the intestines – and makes things work the way God designed them to πŸ™‚

  19. Paula says:

    OMG this is so helpful. We brought now 7 month old Hawkeye home on new years eve, and he had been fed an expensive dry diet also. Poopy butt every day. After doing research and reading floppycats etc, I just bought my first case of canned food. My problem is, how much to give him? I’m afraid I wont’ give him enough, or too much. I currently have the little 3 oz cans. I still have dry food down in case he is hungry. I started giving him half a can in the evening, but now it sounds like he could eat a lot more. He is 9 lbs currently. Is there any kind of guideline? I could sure use the advice. thanks!!!!!

    • Betty says:

      Hi Paula –
      Its hard to know how much to feed. I always fed as much as they wanted – but that has not worked for Andy, as now he has to lose weight. The dry food was his undoing; he loved it to the point of over-indulgence. Anyway, he is on the path to health now (note: the dry food also caused a barrel-like shape on him that was not fat. I think it must have been bloat). The guideline the vet told me and then was reinforced on the catinfo.org site, is “feed to the targeted weight”. I know that is hard with a kitten because how does one know what the target weight is. Keep asking questions & looking. Contact his breeder – or find a reputable one open to questions. Remember, what works for one does not work for all. You need to find what works for you and Hawkeye. Best of luck – kittens are so much fun.

  20. Julie says:

    You guys are FABULOUS and FUNNY!! So wonderful to have a “safe” place to talk about cat poop!

  21. Betty says:

    Donna & Morgan – Thanks for the clarity. Then its like the stuff I have. Its a powder that is kept in fridge. I don’t know if my guys love it or not since I mix it in tot he wet food but I know that within a couple of days of using it, everyone seemed closer to what should be. All 3 of the guys have health issues to varying degrees. Oscar is on chemo and the probiotic seems to help him too (a bonus I was not expecting). Thanks for the help and clarity.

    Julie – As the eyes are the window to the soul, the litter box is the window to the inner workings of the body! πŸ™‚

  22. Awh Betty – I hope Oscar will be ok with his Chemo.

    Morgan gets ProZyme in everything – his pancreas is just window decoration – never worked well. That is added to all the food (for the whole cat crowd) as it increases the amount of nutrients they actually get from their food. He’s a Fancy Feast Kid (and ProPlan/Medleys once in a while) – and he eats 2 1/2 cans a day, plus he’s allowed a little bit of Evo Dry as a treat. And even though he’s a diabetic he is the pickiest of eaters.

    His Royal Pirateship just hit an all time high of 10 pounds on Friday.

    The rest of the crowd eat Friskies or 9-Lives cans, with ProZyme and get S/O Dry thanks to Mr Amigo having the worst urine crystals on the planet.

    Mine range from Willow – the Snowshoe Gato – 6 1/2 pounds, Apache my polydactel is about 13 pounds, Amigo is HUGE at 18 pounds, and Lakoda is another big guy at 17 pounds.

    Paula – depending on how big Hawkeye is depends on how much to feed him. Most of the cans have recommendations on them. If he’s not used to it – you may want to start out small – maybe 1/4 of a can – and see what flavors he really likes. Do the switch over gradually – because change in diets can create the “runs”.

    I hope no one gets mad – just a humble opinion – it’s better not to leave dry food out all the time. It’s better to feed at the same times – and monitor what they eat.

  23. Betty says:

    Hi Donna – Thanks for well wishes for Oscar. He actually feels better on the chemo, just as the vet told us he would. My 2 old guys – tabby twins – are doing much better on the wet diet. The dry food was having different detrimental effects on both of them. The effects on Andy were the worst (bloat). Are Amigo & Lakoda raggies? Are they their target weights? Mr. Amigo has urine crystals? So does Andy. It is the main reason I soughtto change the diet & feeding arrangement. I only just found the Friskies special diet for lowering ph cans and am going to try adding that to the weruva instead of FF. How long has Amigo had the crystals? How do you manage it? And with a family of cats all sharing the boxes, how do you track Amigo’s urine? These are all issues I am currently working out. Tummy rubs to Morgan & the tribe!

    As to the dry food being left out, I think it all depends on the cats. Some cats graze all day, some cats consume everything in site and need it meted out. Andy has no self-control, while the other 2 are grazers. Soon after Andy joined the family, my senior Oscar & Felix started not tolerating dry food very well, so it was meted out with the wet food. More recently, dry food is off the menu, probiotics are on, and everyone is clearly benefiting. Except me. The dry food was SO convenient. But the trade off in healthy results is so worth it.

  24. Betty,

    I have a gang of mutts here – Lakoda is a white long hair with Tiger Patches, Amigo is a huge black & white long hair who likes his Dad, Apache is his sister and she’s a short hair black & white who looks like her Mom but with her Dad’s feet. Mom moved in 3 weeks after we moved here – and we thought she belonged to someone. She was a feral and had a few litters. Dad moved in a year later – Sadly DAD was killed by a coyote, the first kitten by a car, and thank heavens their Mom know lives next door with her last litter – all now fixed.

    Morgan & Willow are both kitten rescues from the streets of Puerto Rico. Morgan is a long hair chocolate Himalayan – and Willow is a tiny short hair snowshoe mix. She’s the official Gato Ragdoll because of her personality. She has everyone – human, canine and feline wrapped around her tiny paws.

    Amigo was screaming one morning – scared the heck out of us. In all our years owning cats we never saw anything like it. Dropped him at the Doc and turned out he was totally clogged with crystals. He had to clear him a few times – and he was amazed that he never had to knock him out. Worst he did was his eyes get HUGE!

    He was on prescription cans for a few months – and we’re tying him off of it for a while – but only using the S/O Dry – which is fine for all but Morgan.

    In my opinion crystals are genetic – and I say that because his half brother also has them. He’s been on S/O for a few years now.

    The biggest challenge was Morgan’s arrival. We had to monitor everything with him – and for the first 3 years he ate 6 times a day. He took over my computer room for feeding/shots.

    When we had to feed Amigo alone – he took over the Pig/Prairie Dog Room – and that worked out great. That room has 2 prairie dogs, 1 guinea pig and 2 litter boxes. Eventually it will be a sewing room I hope. Then the guest room/dining room can be what they should have been πŸ™‚

    Having multiple cats is a challenge for sure. Trying to figure out who did what – unless you catch them can be nerve wracking.

    I am soo glad Oscar is doing good with the chemo! And hoping Andy’s crystals will resolve soon.

    Everyone says Thanks for the Tummy Rubs

  25. Paula says:

    Well, after a month on the wet food, Hawkeye’s got poopy butt again. At first I thought it was the treats I was giving him so I cut those out, but now that you all mention it, I have not given much thought to sticking with one brand of canned food (duh!) and that is probably why he has the runs right now. dang. I’m going to stick with one brand of wet food (and no dry at all) . What is prozyme and what is it for? Should I just try the multiflora? Poor Hawkeye mostly tolerates my cleaning his bum, unless its so bad that he needs a half bath….ugh. He puts up quite the fight and I feel bad for stressing him out. Thanks for all of your helpful advice! Love the website!

  26. Paula says:

    Also, where can you obtain the multiflora and prozyme?

  27. JL says:

    Hi all – hoping someone can help. Just got through giving Stella a half bath after I realized she had this problem! I’m really frustrated b/c I have her on a great diet, and she always is doing good, then all of a sudden, problemo! I have her on a mixed diet, b/c when we are out of town, I need her to be able to graze on dryfood as a snack in between caretaker’s feedings of her wetfood. It’s wellness core, so the good stuff. Her diet right now is 2 small cans of tiki cat or wellness per day, sometimes less depending, and then 1/4 cup as the bowl gets emptied of the dryfood. I’m trying to feed her nutritious food, but it seems like when she is on the crappy stuff, i.e. Science Diet, poopy butt is never a problem. She fights/claws/groans when we try to give her a bath – it’s a two person job and traumatic for everyone involved b/c she hates it so much! I’m at a loss, should I switch her back to the crap food? Also, her poops are completely normal in the litter box, so I know she is healthy. The problem is it sticks to her fur back there. HELP! Stella is almost 7 months old.

    • Michelle S says:

      You say that her stools are good in her box, so all she needs is a sanitary trim from a groomer (or learn to do it yourself). They simply do a little trim “back there” to prevent stool from clinging to their fur. While I haven’t had to do this for a cat in awhile, I have had to do it for each and every Pomeranian that I’ve owned. Simple stuff!

      What you do NOT want is stool so dry that you ultimately end up with a cat that has chronic constipation, or even mega colon! One of my boys (a rescue) has been very ill the past month, and his “managed” mega colon is adding to his current issues. He has had two sedation/stool removals within 2 weeks, and that’s not even his main medical issue right now!

    • RA says:

      At first I was all for swapping food, but when you said that the poo is very healthy in the box, obviously the most important thing is the health of the cat.

      I’ve never owned a long haired cat, so forgive me if this advice is ridiculous, but would it be possible to trim the hair around her but?

      Alternatively you could try to find some version of baby wipes that cats don’t hate the smell of, since most cats hate being submerged in water. Dry cleaning for cats?

  28. Paula says:

    Now my Hawkeye is about 1.5 years old. Wet food diet. He rarely gets poopy butt but it does happen. I also find taking him to the groomer every 6 weeks to get a ‘sanitary shave” helps a lot. This is just a small shave around the anal area so that the hair around there is very short and doesn’t get caught up in his poops. It doesn’t interfere with his beautiful look or coat or anything. I think it costs 6 dollars, maybe 10 every 6 weeks. Definitely worth it if it is a continuing problem.

  29. Barbara Hirsch says:

    When you were feeding your kitty dry did you have a water fountain for them in the house? My kitty won’t eat wet food, but I have a Drinkwell 360 stainless water fountain (prevents cat acne from plastic). I clean it, change the water and filter once a week. Because my baby tends towards hairballs I also give her Laxitone tuna flavor once or twice a week and fill in with some less caloric hairball treats.

    “Poopy butt” comes from constipation. When you changed to wet food you got more liquid in your kitty and therefore she was no longer constipated. Also cats can get kidney infections from not enough water in the diet, so one way or another, you need to get some into him! Most cats won’t drink water out of a bowl, but get a fountain and they will play with the water and drink it.

  30. Amber says:

    Our cats used to have the poopy butt problem too. We started taking them to the vet to get sanitary shears and that fixed the problem for us. I know a lot of people shave the area themselves but it is easier for us this way. Good luck!!

  31. Karalee says:

    Our Gary has a sensitve poopy butt too. And we do feed our three dry food for the same reason you do. Our vet (a cat only vet!!) recommended Medi Cal Gastro Intestinal. We also mix in some Royal Canin Dental, as both our boys are prone to tartar. They mainly get wet food, but do get a bit of a mixture of these two kibbles right before we head to bed. So far, it has been great, even when we are away for a weekend, and only have someone stopping in once a day. All three of our rags did NOT respond well to the Wellness kibble – it was simply too rich for them.

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