Cat Poop Talk

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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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,

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42 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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!!

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

    1. 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!

    2. 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?

  6. Also, where can you obtain the multiflora and prozyme?

    1. Forti-Flora is the correct name – and PRO-Zyme – both are available on Amazon.com

  7. 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!

  8. 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 🙂

    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

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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! 🙂

    1. Haha! I’m using that quote as my next facebook status!! Love it!!

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