Scatalogical Musings

Scatalogical Musings


In case you don’t know off the top of your head, scatalogy is “the study of fecal excrement.”  Yes, I do mean poop, ca-ca, or whatever else you call it around your kids.  Admittedly, a fascination with this stuff is usually the provenance of three year old boys.  But, here at Tabby’s Place we spend an inordinate amount of time with cat poop.

Particularly because cats can’t talk, examining their “output” is a crucial tool in maintaining a cat’s health.  Poop tells us a lot about cat’s state.

For example, during their quarantine period, we take multiple “stool samples” to check for internal parasites (e.g., hookworms and roundworms are common).

The presence of blood in the  stool can also be an indicator of a a gastrointestinal issue.  Dark blood means that the problem is before the stomach (the blood is dark because it has been digested).  Bright blood indicates a problem after the stomach (usually in the large or small intestine).

Even the color of the stool can tell us a lot.  Clay-colored stool can mean a problem with gall bladder or bile ducts.  Yellow stool is often a sign of pancreatitis, a serious disease in cats.purina-fecal-scoring-system1

In fact, we take the examination of stool so seriously that we use a formal Fecal Scoring System, developed by Purina.  The number of each cat’s stool is noted in their record ruing their three week quarantine period.

Of all the poop issues we have, however, our biggest headache is intractable diarrhea.  We have a number of cats who have chronically runny stool (e.g., Blossom, Hawkeye, Nimbus, Beatrice, Hootz) that have so far resisted every attempt to restore normal consistency.  These cats have been examined through every opening, been medicated, had dietary changes and seen specialists.  All to no avail.

But, we may have found a new arrow to add to our quiver of scatalogical weapons.  It is a technique known as Fecal Microbiome Transplantation.  I will have more information for you as (and if) we move forward.  I warn you, however, that it is not for those with weak stomachs.

Poop on.

4 thoughts on “Scatalogical Musings

  1. Hi Jonathan, well, it is true, everyone and every critter poops, and now with that handy chart, I will never scoop cat poop again without assigning a score to it! Maybe you can let us know what each score means – I assume number 2 is a healthy poop? What do the others indicate, particularly number 5….I know a cat with that number! Thanks, NN

  2. Ha! Gross, fascinating, and funny at the same time, and I am not a three year old boy. I’m sure Angela will be thrilled to see your poopy guest blog. 😛

  3. Well smack my bottom and call me poopy.
    Tis I, the Rumpy Bump Stumpnots! Plagued of the dribble off and on, on and off, then on and on and on. Till Dad made me homemade Chicken cat food with all the good vita-mins and mini-reals and the magic ingredient, Guar Gum. (He thinks that is the key anyhoot)
    My bum is now nice but does need the occassional fur trim to prevent another sticky issue we will pass over.
    And elder Buddy had less, ah, back ups.
    May your kittes gain from these new good microbies to balance their systems

  4. I saw the video of the FMTs you did. I have a 7 month old kitten with frequent diarrhea (probably colitis), and am wondering how things are going with your test kitties? What types of tests did you run to eliminate other conditions before you selected these particular cats? I’d love any info you could give about the entire process. I’m not sure if my kitten’s problem is severe enough for FMT, but I’d rather head it off instead of waiting for it to get worse. Thanks!

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