The color, consistency, and amount of bodily fluids tell the doctor much about the health of a human and animal. There are 26 different body fluids, and humans and their cats have most of those same fluids. For example, blood, mucus, feces, and urine are fluids that tell a health story of you and your pet, depending on color, consistency, and amount. The focus is cat feces, in which some of this information runs a close parallel to a human.
The color of your cat’s poop helps you and your vet understand possible underlying health issues and disease processes. Some colors of cat poop mean that your cat needs to visit the vet immediately due to the possibility of a severe illness. You need to know the differences between these poop colors and if a vet appointment is immediately required.
What Does it Mean if a Cat’s Poop is Grey?
This Crazy Cat Lady is a nurse. However, I have no degree in animal health. All I have is what I have learned from several vet doctors and my experience in cat rescue and care since 1992. I realized the significance of the different colors of cat poop, what the colors mean, and the possible seriousness of these colors.
For instance, if your cat eliminates poop that has specific colors, you need to call your vet for an appointment as soon as possible. Colors of feces that warrant immediate attention by your vet include black, green, yellow, pale white, and grey. I will explain later on what these colors mean.
The color of grey clay indicates that your kitty may have liver, pancreas, or gallbladder disease. Your cat may not be absorbing nutrients from its food. However, this issue does not constitute an emergency run to the vets. There could also be an issue with an intestinal bacterial infection. If your kitty displays grey on more than one stool, you need to get to the vets as soon as possible. It would be helpful for the vet if you brought a stool sample with you.
If your cat has grey stools, it means that the stool contains little to no bile. This sometimes means that the cat has a biliary obstruction. This can be caused by a gallstone or tumor in the duct of the pancreas or gallbladder. The biliary system in cats includes the gallbladder, liver, and pancreas. When your cat’s stools appear a pale, clay, grey color, this means that one of these systems needs help. If the cat’s stool is only a bit grey, get your cat to the vet.
If your cat has liver failure, it will have some or all of the following symptoms.
- Sudden weight loss
- Blood in stool
- Decrease appetite
- Yellow color in eyes and inner ears
- A possible yellowish tint to white fur
Cat Poop Colors and What They Mean
The primary thing I discovered is how closely the health of a feline and a human are related. I have put myself in a cat’s place hundreds of times to help me answer a difficult question regarding a cat. For example, if a human and cat are dehydrated, they may display the following symptoms.
- Dark yellow urine
- Strong smelling urine
- Increased thirst
- Dry mouth, lips, eyes
- Decreased peeing
- Skin tenting and dry
- Mucous membranes may be pale and dry
The feces of a cat tell a lot about what may be going on in that tiny kitty’s body and are the same things that your primary care physician looks at to determine a health problem in your body.
Feces (poop) can display some different colors and consistencies. Most times, the color of feces has much to do with what your cat eats. It is wise to monitor your kitty litter pan habits and note the color and consistency of its poop. This monitoring of poop may help you stop a health issue in its tracks and alert your vet.
Poop color is a significant factor in the health of your cat. You can always tell how healthy your cat’s gut is when its poop is dark to medium brown in color. Many of the health issues that a cat can get have much to do with how healthy their gut is and if they have a tip-top digestive system.
If you have multiple cats, your job becomes a bit more challenging. When cleaning the litter pan, you see where a cat had diarrhea, but you do not know which cat; you will have to be vigilant because one of your cats has a problem that could be anything. This problem could even be contagious to your other cat.
- Well-formed, consistent brown cat poop means that the cat has a healthy digestive system. This brown color can be shades of brown from nearly black to light brown, which is all good. These brown colors depend on what food you feed your cat. If you notice significant color changes, you should have your cat checked. As long as your cat eliminates these consistent brown stools, you are doing things right with their diet.
- If your cat eliminates black tarry-looking poop, there is bleeding somewhere in the upper digestive tract. The upper digestive system consists of the small intestine, stomach, and mouth. Bleeding has many reasons, but a few more common causes are parasites and toxic substances that your cat may have eaten or drank. You need to get your cat to the vet immediately.
- Red feces is much the same as the black color of stools. Your cat is passing blood in their poop. The origin is usually the lower gastrointestinal tract.
Sometimes you may notice streaks of red in the poop, which means there is bleeding somewhere in the lower GI tract. The difference is that the color red indicates the blood has not been digested.
The blood found in black stools means the blood is digested. Bleeding occurs when the lower intestine is irritated, or the cat must strain to eliminate stool. The reason may be an intestinal obstruction such as constipation, cancer, or a tumor in the GI system.
Red streaks can present randomly, and there may not be a severe health issue. Look for increased episodes of red in the stool, behavior changes, vomiting, decreased appetite. If well-formed stools with occasional red turn into diarrhea, get your cat to the vet immediately.
- If you notice your cat’s poop to be green or yellow, your cat has a severe problem related to digestive issues. These colors mean that the digestive process is going too quickly.
Your cat could have a liver or gallbladder problem or infection in its intestinal tract. Immediate vet intervention is needed. If food passes through the intestinal tract too quickly, the feces may look yellowish in color.
- Sometimes you will notice white spots on your cat’s brown poop. These white spots are worm segments, and your cat has parasites. Your cat needs deworming.
These parasites can rob your cat’s body of essential nutrients. Cats pick up parasites from the soil, other cats, fleas. There are different parasites, such as roundworm, ringworm, tapeworm, or heartworm.
It is best to take a stool sample for your vet to examine and identify which parasite your cat has and treat it accordingly.
What to do if My Cat’s Poop is Grey?
If your kitty poop is gray in color, you need to call your vet and ask for an emergency visit as soon as possible. Of all the various colors that can end up in your cat’s feces, including blood, the gray color is most alarming and needs attention as soon as possible.
When you notice that your cat has grey poop, there is nothing you can do at home until your vet examines your cat and can find the exact problem. I know that you will be sitting on pins and needles until you find out what the problem is and the course of treatment your vet takes. I have been in this position many times, and it is difficult until your kitty gets treatment and receives a clean bill of health.
- At the very least, document when you notice your cat’s grey stools, the amount, and how often. Try to get a stool sample to take to the vet.
- Documents how your cat eats, what they eat, and how often.
- Record the activity of your cat.
- List all the things that seem different about your cat since you noticed grey stools.
Know Your Cat’s Feces
Your cat’s feces need to be a uniform brown color. The stool is firm and moist.
Your cat’s feces are watery and have had color changes. The stool can be hard and dry. If your cat eliminates hard balls of poop, they are constipated.