A few weeks ago, I came back home from a very stressful day at my work. And just when I thought it couldn’t get any worse, I saw my kitty sitting next to her litterbox like she was waiting for me. That’s when I noticed that her cat poop was half firm, half soft. Apparently, the day could get worse and it did.
I’m a pessimist by nature, so I always assume the worst. For a second, I even thought that maybe I hadn’t noticed it before and it was actually going on for a longer period of time. Instead of calming myself down, I made myself even more stressed.
My kitty looked totally fine, but her poop was telling me that something was wrong. I called my friend who’s a proud mother of 7 cats, and she told me not to worry about it. But that still wasn’t enough for my skeptical mind. So I decided to call my vet and retell him everything that happened.
Luckily, he wasn’t that busy so he was able to answer the 34 questions I had while panicking about my fluffball’s health. And my friend was right, I didn’t need to worry about it. My cat had stool issues because of the new food I gave her the day before.
However, since the vet mentioned more possible reasons, I want to share them all with you. It’s usually nothing we should worry about that much, but there are still a few health issues that may require a vet’s help. So let’s learn about all the possible reasons your cat’s poop could change its form.
7 possible reasons your cat’s poop is half firm, half soft
While talking to the vet, I made sure to quickly write down everything that seemed important. I always do that so I don’t have to call him again and panic about the same thing twice. Honestly, I sometimes feel embarrassed for stressing that much. But hey! Better safe than sorry, right?
At least now I’m able to share these possible reasons your cat’s poop is half firm and half soft with you. So, are you ready to learn something new? I’m sure you are, so I won’t keep you waiting any longer.
1) New food
When it comes to serving your cat her daily meals, there’s nothing more important than freshness. Of course, it should be healthy and tasty. However, its freshness has a lot to do with bacteria and parasitic load.
When you’re switching from one food to another, you shouldn’t do it all at once. Instead, gradually mix it with the old food, and slowly get rid of the old ones over time. That way, your kitty will get used to her diet change more easily.
If you recently changed your cat’s usual meals, and then noticed her poop became half firm and half soft, it’s likely that the new food is the reason.
Your kitto might have an upset stomach, which caused the change in her stool. It’s best you give her the old food again, and gradually introduce the new ingredients.
To lead a healthy, active, and normal life, cats need to have a good diet. And a good diet includes a certain amount of fiber they need to keep their digestive systems healthy. If your cat’s poop is half firm and half soft, it could be because of an imbalanced diet.
When I was searching for the best things I can add to my kitty’s diet, I found out that I can add psyllium husk powder to her wet food. It’s great for improving her stool quality and consistency. Canned pumpkin also has a soothing effect on a cat’s digestive system, so it’s perhaps also a good idea to add that to her wet food.
Just like stress affects us, it can also affect our cats’ health. If you think she’s been feeling anxious about something, then seeing half-firm, half-soft cat poop should not be surprising to you.
Maybe you’re unsure of what can cause a cat to feel anxious, so here are a few most common reasons. It can be moving to a new home, renovating your house, getting a new pet, having guests, or her owner not paying enough attention to her.
Sometimes it’s about some smaller changes we don’t notice that easily, like the ones that happen outside. It could be a tree she’d been climbing for years that just got cut. Or maybe it was time for the birds to leave because winter is coming. Your kitty notices all those changes!
The best way to help her out – spend more time together!
4) Too much water
Of course, water is very important. It’s true for us, and our kitties too. But even though it’s one of the most important things in the world keeping us alive, there’s still some kind of a limit. Yes, it’s possible to drink too much water!
Luckily, it can’t cause any huge problems, but if your cat drank too much water, it may cause her poop to appear half firm and half soft. So always be careful about how much water you give her as too much can also cause her body to flush out important nutrients and electrolytes.
5) Eating too fast
Another thing we’re also guilty of is eating too fast. You can’t tell me that you have never been in a hurry and ate so fast that your stomach started hurting. Well, cats sometimes do the same. Why? Maybe because they can’t wait to play with their new toy, and the excitement forced them to do it.
If your cat swallows large pieces of food, her body won’t be able to digest it properly. That might lead to her poop changing its consistency.
6) Inflammatory bowel disease
Maybe you know inflammatory bowel disease by its other name, gastrointestinal inflammation. It requires immediate medical attention.
It makes it extremely difficult for your feline’s digestive tract to function normally. That’s because it’s hard for it to process and digest food like it usually does, and that can cause your cat’s poop to become half firm, half soft.
But what’s the cause of this condition? It could come about due to stress, allergies, different kinds of bacteria or parasites, tumor, or cancers.
However, these are not the only possible reasons your cat may have inflammatory bowel disease. Other possible causes are hairballs, fur, or other items your kitty could’ve swallowed that are difficult to digest. That’s why you need to observe your cat closely.
The key to getting the right treatment is to contact your vet as soon as possible. If they think it happened because of food allergies or some food intolerance your cat has developed, they might prescribe a change of diet.
It’s possible that the vet will take a stool sample, too, so they can determine the main cause. That way, they will be able to exclude certain health issues.
7) Intestinal parasites
As we all know, there’s nothing our kitties like more than playing, sleeping, and eating. However, sometimes when a cat eats, she may also ingest bacteria or parasites that can stay inside her intestines and further cause various problems.
These can be a huge issue for a cat. They mostly come from water, but it’s also possible that they’ll hide in her food if she doesn’t eat it at once. The parasites will have enough time to get into the food while your fluffball is taking a break from eating.
If your cat has been drinking water somewhere outside, and a few days after that you saw that her poop is half firm and half soft, it’s likely that the water was contaminated. And it might have introduced parasites such as worms into her digestive tract.
To make sure this doesn’t happen, you should keep a regular preventive deworming schedule. And if you take her to the vet and explain that her poop has changed, the vet might suspect it’s because of worms. In that case, they will likely give a deworming treatment.
What are the most common parasites found in cats?
Since I’ve mentioned that one of the possible reasons for changes in the stool could be parasites, I thought I should tell you about the most common ones found in cats.
There are many parasites that attack animals, but these three are the ones that often threaten our cats’ health. So let’s take a look at them.
These parasites might be tricky because they sometimes hide so well that one of the only symptoms you might notice is that your cat’s poop became loose and mushy. On top of that, also watch out for lack of appetite or sudden weight loss.
If this is the case, take her to the vet where he’ll look at the feces through a microscope. Hookworms are almost always successfully treated when a vet prescribes deworming medications.
Tapeworms usually appear when a cat eats fleas. That’s why you should always keep an eye on your kitty and exterminate any fleas as soon as you spot them. The good thing is that tapeworms usually don’t cause much damage or cause any kind of hard-to-treat diseases.
They can be cured by several different medications, so the best advice I have is again to contact your vet. They will give you the appropriate deworming medication that will help quickly.
Roundworms are common in the cat world. Their eggs can be picked up from an infected cat’s feces. Or they can even be ingested if a feline eats a mouse that had the roundworms. Another possibility is that a mother cat transfers them to kittens through milk.
Roundworms can even be visible to the human eye if you look at cat poop or vomit. It’s important to treat this as soon as possible. The diagnosis will be given after examining the feces and the right medication will be given.
Since human children and adults can also get roundworms, it’s very important to keep your cat healthy and clean. Especially if you have kids as they touch everything they can and later put their hands in their mouths.
Half-firm, half-soft cat poop – is it diarrhea?
If we’re talking about a runny poop that’s almost completely liquid, then we’re talking about diarrhea. However, cat poop that’s half firm, half soft could also be considered a form thereof. But don’t immediately worry about it.
Diarrhea is not necessarily a health issue that should keep you up at night. However, you still need to keep an eye on your kitty because it can lead to dehydration if it lasts for a long time. That said, two days is within the normal range, so you can compare it with that standard.
Changes in variations of the stool are considered normal when it comes to animals. On their own, they aren’t a major sign that something’s wrong.
However, if your cat shows additional symptoms like lethargy, sudden loss of appetite, fatigue, or vomiting, I advise you to contact your vet as soon as possible. That way, you’ll know how to treat your feline and help her regain her strength quickly.
In most cases, though, a simple change in diet will do the trick.
When is the right time to consult your vet?
Everybody wonders when’s the best time to consult a vet. Is it as soon as you notice something unusual, or you should wait to see if it stays that way?
It’s never too early to contact a professional. If your cat’s poop is half firm and half soft, and she’s never had that problem before, you can contact your vet right away. Then according to her medical history and examination, the vet will give your kitty the best treatment.
If, for some reason, you cannot contact them immediately, here are some things you can try before you get a chance to talk to the vet.
– Try to remember the last thing your cat ate before her poop changed.
– Don’t give her any new food, instead give her something she usually eats and never had problems with.
– Make sure everything you give her are fresh and cat-friendly options.
– Clean and change the food and water bowls.
– Don’t give her any medication before consulting with your vet.
What kind of treatments should you expect?
I know that going to the doctor or dentist is very stressful. And for many pet owners, going to the vet might even be worse. It’s because you can only assume what your fluffball is going through but you can’t feel her pain (although you see the changes in behavior) and you can’t help her on your own.
Luckily, the professionals are always there to help! When you arrive at the veterinary clinic, the vet will first take a look at your cat’s medical history. And then, they will perform a physical exam. It usually includes bloodwork or x-rays.
Why? Because that way, they can rule out some of the causes and proceed to search for the real cause. Sometimes they will even suggest a biopsy, so don’t get scared if you hear the vet request it. It’s all for the purpose of helping your kitty.
The treatment depends on the root of the problem. If we’re talking about the changes in poop consistency that were caused by stress, the vet will most likely prescribe anti-anxiety medication and give you a list of behavior modification techniques.
If an infection is to blame for your cat’s poop being half firm and half soft, then the treatment will likely be an antibiotic. Sometimes, it’s possible that the cause is cancer. And if that’s the case, the treatment will depend on its stage and type.
However, the key to recovery is to react on time. So as soon as you spot any changes, you should contact your vet. It’s never too early to do so.
So why is your cat’s poop half firm, half soft? It could be for one of the above reasons. But the most important thing to remember is that if it lasts for more than 2 days, you should contact your vet as soon as possible.
That way, you’ll be able to sleep at night knowing that a professional is going to help. And on top of that, almost every issue is treatable if you react quickly, so don’t waste time.