Fact checked by Dr. Antoinette Martin, DVM
While it may seem like a trivial topic, litter box behavior can tell you a lot about your cat’s health. As it turns out, cat owners should keep an eye on how often their cat poops.
How Can We Help?
To help you understand what is healthy and when you should be concerned, we are going to go over everything you need to know about your cat’s bowel movements. We will explain how often your cat should be pooping and what it could mean if they are going too frequently or not often enough.
To ensure you are providing your cat with an environment where it can be both happy and healthy, we will also go over some litter box management tips and explain how an online veterinarian appointment can be the perfect way to make sure you have the ideal set up for your feline friend!
How Often Should a Healthy Cat Poop?
While the exact frequency will vary from one cat to another, veterinarians agree that a healthy cat should poop at least once or twice per day. If your cat’s poop schedule does not fall within this range, the following factors could be the cause:
The Cat is Still a Kitten:
It is worth noting that kittens usually poop more frequently than adult cats, partly because they are still growing and regularly suffer from mild digestive issues. This is particularly true during the period when the kitten is first adjusting to kitten food, rather than only drinking its mother’s milk.
Besides age, other factors can impact the frequency that a cat produces bowel movements. Diet plays a major role, as cats with proper diets tend to have more regular and healthy litter box schedules than those provided sub-standard food. The amount of food a cat consumes will also have an impact on how often they poop. Diets that contain insufficient or surplus calories can also be the cause of irregular bowel movements.
Side Effects of Medication:
Some medications and supplements can have an impact on your cat’s litter box behavior. If your cat has recently been prescribed a new medication or supplement, it may be causing some digestive issues. If you have concerns, you should always contact your veterinarian or book an online vet appointment. While these issues are usually temporary and not overly serious, it is still better to be on the safe side.
What if Your Cat Regularly Poops More Than Two Times a Day?
If you notice your cat is making excessive trips to the litter box, the first thing you should do is make sure that your cat is pooping. Sometimes cats will go to their litter box and make all the usual sounds, like kicking litter, but they do not go.
Going to the litter box frequently can be a clear sign of constipation. If this is the case, it could be as simple as a food-related issue, or it could be the sign of something much more serious. Again, to play it safe, you should book an appointment with an online vet if you notice your cat regularly goes to its litter box but not defecating.
Possible Dietary Issues:
If your cat is consuming too much food or you are providing it with low-quality cat food, there is a good chance it will result in excessive defecation. Booking an online vet appointment is one of the easiest ways to make sure you are providing your cat with a healthy diet. During a virtual vet appointment, a vet will be able to recommend appropriate daily portions, as well as reputable cat food brands that will help protect your cat’s health.
Stress and Anxiety Issues:
If the cat is pooping more than two times per day regularly, it could be a sign of anxiety or stress-related issues. Cats are very particular creatures, so you need to be mindful of their stress levels. If you cannot think of a specific reason why your cat would be experiencing anxiety issues, you can always book an appointment with an online veterinarian. They will be able to go over common causes of stress and anxiety with you.
If you suspect your cat’s litter box behavior has changed as a result of stress, read through our Cat Enrichment Guide, which will help you manage your cat’s stress levels and make sure your furry friend has a stimulating and enjoyable lifestyle. A Hello Ralphie virtual vet appointment is also a useful way to make sure you have the ideal home set up for your cat!
What if Your Cat Does Not Poop Daily?
Infrequent bowel movements can be a result of constipation. Not only is chronic constipation uncomfortable for the cat, but it can also lead to some very serious health issues, including colon enlargement.
If your cat is straining and struggling to poop or only goes once every few days, you should take this seriously. While it is possible that the issue could be as easy to address as providing the cat with a cleaner litter box, it could also be the result of a more serious health issue.
Constipation is particularly dangerous for young kittens, as it could be a sign of a blockage. If your kitten has not pooped in more than two days, you should book an appointment to speak with a veterinarian.
Maintaining a Clean Litter Box:
Cats are very picky about where they will urinate and defecate. They are so particular that if they cannot find a clean place to go, they will often hold it, which can be extremely detrimental to their health.
It is so important that you provide your cat with an appropriately sized and well-maintained litter box. Whether you choose clumping litter, scented litter, or unscented litter, you may need to change it up. Read through our helpful litter box guide, which will explain How Often You Should Change Cat Litter, as well as other useful tips about litter box maintenance.