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To Poo or Not to Poo



Growing up, if you couldn’t poo, we were told to eat a bag of apples. The surge of fiber would help break the dam, let nature’s broom sweep out the unwanted parts of yesterday.


Recently, one of my cats had loose stool, so loose that it was splashing down the back of her legs. It slid down the back of her legs, her tail dipped into it throwing the mess onto parts of her back, her feet, and even on her face. She had lots of gas, splattering wet feces on her bedding, and anyone unfortunate enough to be nearby. I was on-call with warm washcloths, cleaning supplies and clean blankets at the ready. There wasn’t enough Febreeze to fix the air quality issue.


There was no change of diet, no rich treats, and no exposure to pathogens that were found to cause the diarrhea. I monitored her diet, making sure she wasn’t overeating, that she was getting enough water, that she wasn’t chewing on anything that could make her sick.


After a couple of days I added a veterinarian recommended anti-diarrheal medication. The medication had little impact and the diarrhea continued. The cat played normally, ate normally and drank normally. She had no signs of illness, simply diarrhea.


I’d heard the recommendation of feeding cats pumpkin purée, that the fiber would stop the diarrhea. Doesn’t fiber help with evacuation? Why would fiber stop diarrhea when it helps loosen stool? Out of suggestions, I leaned into the pumpkin purée and fed my little gal ¼ cup of pumpkin each day. I left it next to her normal food so she could graze as she pleased. I was happy to find that she would eat it alongside her normal food. If this didn’t help it was on to the vet we would go.


I became a poo inspector. With the rustle of cat litter, I’d hop up and spy on my sweet, stinky girl. Two days, only two days, and I noticed she was no longer spray painting her litter box with feces. She was no longer dripping liquid cat food down her legs. Her rear end still looked a little red and in need of assisted cleaning, but there was improvement.


On day three, her stool returned to normal. Tootsie Roll makers would be jealous of her form. I remain shocked that the fiber found in pumpkin purée helped stop diarrhea instead of causing the opposite result. In the future, I’ll recommend pumpkin purée to any cat parent that finds their four legged kids spackling instead of dropping.

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