Internationally known homeopathic veterinarian, Dr. Christina Chambreau, is a lecturer and author of the Healthy Animal’s Journal. She is also the editor of the Integrative Veterinary Care Journal. Ask her a question by leaving a comment on the Animal Wellness Magazine Facebook page. She’ll choose questions to answer every other week!
Q. My cat has soft, beige stools. Should I be worried?
One of the perspectives I learned from holistic approaches to health is that every person, dog, cat, plant, etc is an individual, and unique. Each being’s health can be judged by many different criteria and some are more important than others. It is wonderful for you to wonder if a constant soft stool could be an indication of less than ideal health in your cat (this would be true for other species, too).
First step is to read the list of Early Warning Signs of Internal Imbalance to see if your cat has any other indications.
Then, as I suggest in my Healthy Animal’s Journal write a timeline of your cat’s health since you have lived together. Pay attention to energy and activity as very important. Do not accept that aging produces less energy. Only less than great health is responsible for most “aging” symptoms. For your cat, also pay attention to how the stool has been over the years, especially on different foods.
Stool is a great indicator of internal health, and is often related to the diet. The healthiest cats and dogs, usually on a raw meat/pureed vegetable diet, have very small stools (size of last 1/3 of your little finger) that pass easily (no straining) and either merely dissolve (if in the yard) or are easy to pick up from the litter. However, some animals have formed but soft stools their whole life with no straining, no odor to the stool and the stools, if outside easily break down. Some holistic practitioners feel a soft stool is more normal, others a small firm one. If most food is being digested (reason to not feed poorly digestible fibers, grains and byproducts) the stools will be small – soft or firm.
An animal is not completely healthy if the stool is so soft it makes a pudding; the cat or dog strains to push it out; they keep straining, often walking forward, while passing it.
If your cat has always had a formed, soft, not stinky stool, does not strain and has none of the other early warning signs, I would not worry. Read the 7 Steps to a Healthy Animal and explore various health improvements, especially getting trained in Reiki so you can build health for your cat.
If this is new, or seems related to stress, or to food changes, or any other factor, first address the diet. Add a probiotic for a month and note any improvement. Switch from dry to canned or fresh food. If there are other signs of internal imbalance or the stool is not improving, begin to work with an integrative veterinarian.