When to worry about poop color?

Discussion in 'Feline Health - (The Main Forum)' started by CassandraCatface, Feb 3, 2019.

  1. CassandraCatface

    CassandraCatface Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2019
    Alice had a high fecal score and recently started to normalize. Her body condition is improving, her appetite is back, she is gaining needed weight. My attempts to test glucose have so far been a failure. She's been eating poultry based wet foods, fancy feast and friskies alternating throughout the day, currently, and the food change is what I imagined was helping her best actually.

    So I noticed she has two large poops in the box today with that pale almost colorless grayish tone. They look generally still about as well-formed as the rest of the past week. She was super hungry when I went in to check on her, and that's normal, too.

    I do know that stool color is related to things like the gallbladder and pancreas, though. Emergency vet? Monitor for changes? I was planning to bring her to her regular vet this week for a checkup. I may not be able to afford that if I take her to an emergency vet today. Soooo. How alarmed should I be? She's been so much healthier seeming lately. I feel confused. A bit of beef-based fancy feast made its way into her mix so maybe she isn't used to the type of meat? That's all I can think of.

    Please help me learn and understand this! Thank you.
     
  2. tiffmaxee

    tiffmaxee Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Nov 15, 2013
    What do you mean by a high fecal score? Gray stool can be a sign of malabsorption of nutrients. While not an emergency I would see what happens the next few days and if it continues call your vet. Different foods can cause different color stool but gray is usually not typical. My young ones’ stool is yellow and brown depending on which protein they eat.
     
    CassandraCatface and JanetNJ like this.
  3. CassandraCatface

    CassandraCatface Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2019
    https://goo.gl/images/fAAuS6 fecal score chart

    I wouldn't have fretted as much or so quickly I don't think if it weren't for the diabetes in the first place! I'll continue to monitor her litter box and call the vet tomorrow. Thank you for the reassurance. Unfortunately she isn't sleeping in my room for the past year almost, since we separated our cat who contracted herpes. I worry when she isn't next to me.

    Everything I've found on the topic of stool color basically says it would be related to bile and liver/pancreas/gallbladder... I would like to understand it better so I know what to panic about and what not. Shrug. :\
     
  4. Carol & Murphy

    Carol & Murphy Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 9, 2015
    Does it have a really bad odor? That's also a hallmark of malabsorption.
     
  5. Maggies Mom Debby

    Maggies Mom Debby Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2009
    My cat’s stool definitely changes color depending on the food. I find poultry makes the stool a lot lighter and a little grayish, when compared to beef. But do have it checked out.
     
    CassandraCatface likes this.
  6. Tina and Boozle

    Tina and Boozle Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2013
    We are going through this now. Vet says that it may be EPI or malabsorption, but could also be a byproduct of the good bacteria being killed off in the gut. We are pretty tapped out on cash and the test for EPI is pretty expensive. We are trying probiotics first and going from there.

    Sorry I am not much help, but I am interested in what you find out.
     
  7. CassandraCatface

    CassandraCatface Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2019
    I wish I remembered what it was like then, specifically, compared to other times. I mean it's all been bad since she got sick. The urine odor is terrible too. I'm not sure what to think sometimes.
     
  8. CassandraCatface

    CassandraCatface Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2019
    Well then. I can't say I can offer you any help but thank you, now I have another thing to ask my vet about. (No sarcasm there, I genuinely just want information and that's more information and possible direction.) Her suggestion last week, since Alice had lost weight again, was to start weighing her. The vet said she thought I was doing better with her diabetes than many people and to stop being so stressed. My vet also said she looked brighter, less "depressed" for lack of a better word.

    We discussed her urine output and it's still been high due to the increased water intake.

    Buuuut her poops seem bulky, and like there are a lot of them. I wonder if that relates to her not absorbing things. She had more feces in the box when I scooped today than she did urine chunks. That's sort of new, too.

    So anyway I got a baby scale from a friend and I am tracking her weight every day. She is two kilograms. All I can really do is feed, shoot, monitor, record, hope.

    Good luck @Tina and Boozle , I would be interested in what you find out, too.
     
  9. Teresa & Cricket

    Teresa & Cricket Member

    Joined:
    Nov 5, 2018
    Hiya!
    Higher volume stool plus greyish plus extra stinky is generally malabsorbtion. Could be intestinal problems like IBS or could also be a food allergy/sensitivity. I went thru this with Cricket, the high volume eventually turned into loose, messy stools. Horrific odor.
    I started giving her S. boulardii, and that helped immensely with firming it up, then after much back and forth with foods, I finally figured out she couldn't have turkey or most fish. I had to feed her the same food for about 3 days in a row to figure out what the problem was. We have had normal stools since.

    Fingers crossed it is simply food for Alice!
     
    CassandraCatface likes this.
  10. membeth

    membeth Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2017
    Adding another voice for possible malabsorption. That can commonly be from IBD, EPI, or food allergies (my kitty has all three).

    The testing for those conditions is expensive, but if cost is an issue, diet change to a food with a different protein and probiotics sometimes help. (If your vet suspects allergies and your kitty is on a chicken based food, watch out for chicken as a secondary ingredient in other foods -- I had to read a bunch of ingredient lists to come up with low carb, fully chicken free rabbit and lamb options.)

    However, just color change alone could be diet related. Are you feeding new or different food? Pants starting having greyish stools when she switched to a lamb-based food, but it was much darker and browner on rabbit.
     
    CassandraCatface likes this.
  11. CassandraCatface

    CassandraCatface Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2019
    She is still having issues and I'm feeling lost and helpless about it today. :\

    Thank you for your responses. I think it would be worth trying to change her food. Did you find that your cat ate less in total when you got them on a food that worked for them? What system did you use to go about figuring out what to feed/what not to feed? To what extent did you document and track litter box and food issues? Maybe I need a spreadsheet and a schedule of when to check.
     
  12. CassandraCatface

    CassandraCatface Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2019
    I found this and I'm trying to make sense of it so I have a good idea of what to ask my vet about:

    "Veterinarians often ask which tests we recommend for dogs and cats with clinical signs of gastrointestinal disease. While every patient is different, there are some guidelines we use to determine a systematic diagnostic approach. For dogs and cats with chronic diarrhea we first recommend evaluation for parasitic infestation. Even if fecal smears and flotation are negative, the patient should still be treated with a broad-spectrum anthelmintic agent. If diarrhea continues or in patients with chronic vomiting we recommend ruling out secondary causes of chronic diarrhea and/or vomiting by performing a complete blood count, serum chemistry profile, urinalysis, and in cats above 6 years of age a total serum T4 concentration. If no specific abnormalities are determined a reasonable next step is to evaluate the exocrine pancreas and the small intestine. In dogs with chronic diarrhea and weight loss we recommend starting out with a serum cTLI concentration to rule out EPI and serum cobalamin and folate concentrations to rule out chronic intestinal disease, such as small intestinal bacterial overgrowth or malabsorptive disorders. If the clinical picture includes anorexia, vomiting, or abdominal pain the initial work-up should also include measurement of serum cPLI concentration to rule out pancreatitis. As pancreatitis in cats usually leads to rather non-specific signs we would recommend the measurement of serum fTLI, fPLI, cobalamin, and folate concentrations in all cats with chronic signs of gastrointestinal disease. We have recently found that hyperthyroid cats appear to be at increased risk for presenting with low serum cobalamin, low serum folate, or both. Thus, we recommend measurement of cobalamin and folate in all hyperthyroid cats, to screen for subclinical small intestinal disease."
    http://vetmed.tamu.edu/gilab/service/faq

    What testing processes have you gone through? Which specifically have you not?
     
  13. Gracie85

    Gracie85 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2018
    My new half-grown kitten's poops were getting to an ungodly level of stench, and getting lighter and yellow-gray in color. Removed chicken from her diet, and things are much better. She's finally gaining weight and growing, too. When she gets in the other cats' food and gets some chicken, things get worse again.
    When eliminating something, READ every can, pouch, bag, carefully! Have found that FF slips chicken or turkey into most of their "fish" flavors! Silly me, I thought a can of "Ocean Whitefish" food would have JUST FISH in it. Nope, third ingredient is chicken.
    Once we work through the cases I had already ordered (we now have 4 cats) I am going to try to make them all chicken-free, so we don't have to work so hard to keep her out of the others' food. It's a six-ring circus here at feeding time--four cats and two dogs and everyone is certain that whatever's in the other bowl is better than their own.
     
    CassandraCatface likes this.
  14. membeth

    membeth Member

    Joined:
    Jul 11, 2017
    Gracie, if you find a reasonably priced, low carb chicken free option that your kitties like, I'd love to hear about it. Pants is eating Hounds & Gatos lamb, but it's quite expensive and she doesn't love it. She doesn't barf on it and her poops are fairly normal, so we've stuck with it so far, but other choices would be great.
     
    CassandraCatface likes this.
  15. CassandraCatface

    CassandraCatface Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2019
    Hahaha. Oh, I know what that's like. 4 cats and a rabbit right now. When all the cats were in general population together (each of the girls are separated into rooms due to their health issues and attitudes), I would have to prepare a bowl for each one of them and put them down all right away and distract them as I prepped food, and so on.... Keep down the fights. Lol.

    I wondered if it was the turkey and giblets flavor so I removed that. It's hard to tell. She and her litter mate brother (deceased about 5 years ago) both always threw up a lot. I've worked hard to learn about their diets and upgrade their food over the years, get rid of corn fillers, so on... But I'm at a loss now!
    And if I can't feed her chicken I think I might be screwed. It really does seem to be in most all flavors because it's the cheap protein bulk for it!

    But yes, please let us know what chicken-free ones you find!

    The color has been better ish the past few days, but the form is still questionable.

    I have been trying to document what food flavor she gets and keep notes and take pictures of her bowel movements, but the past couple of days I wasn't able to be home often enough. I do feel really comforted though when my vet happily looks at all the poop pictures with me. Earlier in the week when I took Alice in, I got to hear my vet say to the tech how she gets so excited about anal gland expression. Worth the visit just for that.
     
  16. Gracie85

    Gracie85 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2018
    OMG what is wrong with that woman??? We once had a cat with frequent anal gland issues, when she would "butt cheese" as we called it, we'd have to leave the apartment because of the stench!
     
    CassandraCatface likes this.
  17. Gracie85

    Gracie85 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2018
    Fancy Feast Kitten Tender Salmon Feast Canned Cat Food,
    Fancy Feast Classic Pate Cod, Sole & Shrimp Feast,
    Tender Beef Feast,
    Classic Salmon & Shrimp Feast,
    Classic Savory Salmon Feast
    Classic Turkey & Giblets Feast
    Classic Ocean Whitefish & Tuna Feast

    These all have no chicken, as a specific ingredient. You have to guess, or use your judgement, on "liver" and "poultry" and "meat byproducts" ingredients, or try to get more specific info out of Fancy Feast/Purina (good luck, I'm pretty well disgusted with their lack of competent customer service lately).
    Some of these have turkey in them. Some of the fish have beef or turkey, some of the beef have fish or turkey. Clearly the names are flavors, not actual content statements.

    Our diabetic cat likes FF classic pates, the other older cat has begrudgingly agreed to go along with this, and the two kittens don't know any better, plus they get free access to dry kibble since with the two big cats around we can't leave them excess wet food, it won't last two minutes with the big piggy cats cruising for extra. The kittens' dry food is in the kitten crate-pens, where the big cats won't go because they are wary of them being traps.

    In about 3 months my son will be taking his cat, the diabetic-hyperthyroid one, with him to his new apartment, job, life in another state. It will get a bit easier feeding the rest after that, since we won't have to be quite so careful on what we feed, or when, or how; and that one is the biggest "bowl cruiser" trying to steal everyone else's food.


     
  18. CassandraCatface

    CassandraCatface Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2019
    Hahaha. I don't know but I admire the nerdiness she exhibits about her profession and I figure it's a good sign for a vet if they get excited about the little (gross) things then they must enjoy their job enough to want to do it well. :D
     
  19. CassandraCatface

    CassandraCatface Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2019
    And thank you for the list, @Gracie85 ! :)

    With my 4 cats I have similar issues/tricks with feeding. Once I can get Alice more stabilized I have to start working on one of the cats being on a diet. My two girls each have separate bedrooms. Now if Alice gets out into the living room she goes straight for the boys' dry food up on their tower. Between her and the bunny trying to eat the dry food, my cranky herpes cat, Jakey licking his fur off constantly.... I've got one healthy "normal" cat. Lol. And a circus of fur. <3

    Also I would like to report Alice had a beautiful poop in the litter box this morning. It'll probably change again, but it's such a relief to see.
     
    Kris & Teasel likes this.
  20. Gracie85

    Gracie85 Member

    Joined:
    Oct 20, 2018
    We put both cats we had at the time on FF canned food when Lamborghini was diagnosed. Too hard to keep them separated reliably. At first, Lambors liked non-fish flavors, and Ferrari liked only fish flavors, so that worked well. Then they each decided they liked the other's food. Now we mix them up, so it all tastes the same. Doesn't matter, the other bowl is always better.
    When we took in the kittens, we introduced them to FF canned food, but they also have bowls of lower-carb dry available to them, since it's hard to judge how much canned food will keep up with kitten energy and growth needs. Kitten dry food is where it's difficult for adults to get to, and vigorously defended by me if I see them trying to get in to it. But if he does, at least it's a better kind of dry, not high carb, and by feeding them all canned food four meals a day, he's not so hungry that he eats much of it.

    We are cracking open 8-9 cans of Fancy Feast a day right now. Sure wish they sold it in a bucket.
     
  21. sherrib

    sherrib Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2015
    I’m so glad this topic has come up! One of my cats has grayish color now and his is always smaller and his will get stuck hanging out and I need to finish pulling it out. It does not smell as bad as his brothers poo, actually they smell very different. The smelly, big poo comes from my diabetic one . I can always tell which one has went even when I don’t have to “ help” get it off or out of one.
    I’m gonna go back & check out all the links above
     
    CassandraCatface likes this.
  22. CassandraCatface

    CassandraCatface Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2019
    I've been taking pictures of almost all her bowel movements. I'm so ready to post photos. Haha. Holding back for everyone else's sake.

    @Gracie85 , I'm trying to get by on friskies right now because my two males are large cats, one is overweight and food obsessed. Alice, my diabetic, is constantly absolutely starving and she alone can run through 3 cans a day and friskies is 5.5 oz vs the ff 3 oz!!! Basically, I feel your pain. Plus the expensive dry the cats all get except the diabetic. I'm just freaking out a little because my chubs got into my herpes cat's room and ate her whole bowl of dry. The funny thing about the wet food is I have been having to teach my herpes cat to eat it and I have to prepare it so it has enough scent, etc. She would probably benefit more from a fishy flavor because there's usually a stronger smell. The herpes makes her sinuses clogged almost all the time. :(
    I bought some of those Sheba perfect portions recently as a treat. So expensive but Alice appreciated them. :)

    @sherrib , please, come back and visit this thread and let us know if you have any updates on the issue! How long has he been having the strain and gray/clay-colored stool?
     
  23. CassandraCatface

    CassandraCatface Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2019
    @sherrib I think I shared a fecal score chart link up there somewhere. How is the consistency of their bowel movements?
     
  24. Tina and Boozle

    Tina and Boozle Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2013
    Gag. That and butt cheese. Glad it has been hours since I ate. Hah.

    I am starting to believe we are looking at a food allergy too. Boozle has been on probiotics for a while now and it helps. His poops are still rank, but it's tolerable compared to the "we are all going to die from exposure" smell we were experiencing. Poor little guy spontaneously lost all the hair on his neck and the vet has no clue why. It just all fell out at the same time. No bumps or scabs. No identifiable source. Just bare skin. He is still high energy, eating like.crazy, and hasn't needed insulin for quite a while. He has gained two more pounds since January.

    They gave him an antihistamine, and he seems less anxious. He is becoming more picky about what he eats too, which I feel may be an indication of the direction we need to go.

    Better but still no real answers. We will see, I guess.
     
  25. Veronica & Babu-chiri

    Veronica & Babu-chiri Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Aug 5, 2016
    When Babu had an allergic episode just like the one you just described once it was the food Royal Canin for Persians and the second time was after he had his vaccines
     
  26. CassandraCatface

    CassandraCatface Member

    Joined:
    Jan 8, 2019
    I think my Jakey who licks off half his fur could benefit from an allergy medicine because it is triggered by allergies and continued as a behavior because of anxiety, plus he is the only healthy ish one that overeats.

    I am glad to say right now, since removing the friskies turkey and giblets pate, she has not had any fully colorless poops. The color isn't perfect, but it's better. Her insulin dose has gone up too. She was consistently under 2kg about a week ago. Her fecal score/consistency has improved and sometimes she has rounded solid enough poops, but sometimes she has little piles of goop poop still.

    What was Boozle's low weight? Current weight? I would love so much to see my Alice gain even a pound. Sigh.
     

Share This Page