It can be very upsetting to wake up and find that your cat has been leaking poop all over your home. I have frequently found mysterious ‘skid marks’ on my bedsheets and carpet.
Even though it can be a common occurrence in many cats, it does signal that something is amiss with your cat’s health.
What could be causing your cat to leak poop everywhere?
A cat that is leaking poop everywhere is suffering from an underlying bowel issue. This can be caused by parasites, cancer, food allergies and inflammatory bowel disease. Addressing the root cause will help your cat regain back its bowel control.
We will be taking a closer look at the possible causes and what you can do to resolve your cat’s leaky butt.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IDB)
Cats owners will be glad to know that inflammatory bowel disease (IDB) is considered more a syndrome than a disease.
This happens when there is an adverse reaction to your cat’s digestive system that is causing chronic inflammation.
There are two types of IDB, one that affects the stomach and another that affects the intestinal tract.
If you can is having IDB of the stomach, the tell-tale sign will be frequent vomiting.
When the intestines are inflamed, this will result in your cat having chronic diarrhea.
Here are some possible causes of IDB in cats:
Having worms in your cat’s intestinal tract is a very common problem. Up to 45% of cats do have this problem at some point in their lives.
There are a few common parasites that can infect your cat:
The most common mode of transmission are:
- Ingesting infected fecal matter
- Ingesting infected prey
- Passed down from mother cat at birth
- Ingesting infected fleas
These parasites are a bane to your cat’s health and need to be eradicated.
They feed on the same nutrients that your cat consumes and deprives the cat of its proper nutrition.
If your cat appears to be losing weight even though it is eating normally, it could be due to a parasitic infestation.
The worms can multiply at an alarming rate and can end up causing an intestinal blockage in your cat which can be life-threatening.
How Do I Get Rid Of Parasites In My Cat?
Thankfully, this problem in cats is easily treatable.
The fastest and most accurate way of checking for such parasites in your cat are stool and blood tests.
The veterinarian will be able to check under the microscope for the eggs and worm parts.
Once confirmed, your cat will be given some deworming tablets to take until the infestation clears.
It is also important to isolate the infected cat from other cats to prevent the worms from spreading.
If you have recently adopted it is best to get it checked for worms just to be sure. Cats that are allowed outside need to be regularly checked as well.
One thing to note is that dewormers contain very powerful active ingredients, so please do not overdose your cat on dewormers or your cat can have a bad adverse reaction.
Similar to humans, our cats can be allergic to certain types of food.
For your cat to develop an allergy to a food, it needs to be exposed to it in the first place.
it is also possible for your cat to develop an allergy out of the blue to something that it has been eating for years.
Common allergic reactions in cats are:
- Excessive grooming
- Itchy and inflamed skin
- Dragging its bottom on the floor
It was a food allergy that gave my cat explosive and uncontrollable diarrhea. There was something in his wet food that just didn’t agree with his stomach.
Took me almost a month and countless vet visits before I finally managed to weed out the root cause.
It was rather unexpected as he has been eating the same brand for almost a year without any problems.
If you find that your cat starts to leak poop and scratch itself silly every time it eats something, there’s a high chance your cat is allergic to that.
The leaky bum will stop once you remove that particular food item from your cat’s diet.
Bowel Incontinence In Cats
Bowel or fecal incontinence is a lack of control when the cat wants to poo. The majority of adult cats can hold it till they reach the litter box.
Cats with bowel incontinence don’t always have diarrhea. It is also possible to drop little poo nuggets all over the house without even realizing it.
You might even find your cat meowing while it poops if it is experiencing any discomfort.
There are two broad categories when it comes to bowel incontinence in cats.
This happens when the anal sphincter of the cat isn’t able to close properly which allows for fecal matter to drip out.
It can also cause urinary incontinence which prevents your cat from holding in its pee too.
If you have no idea where your anal sphincter muscles are, get someone to smack you hard on the butt.
The first muscle that you feel clenching up will be your anal sphincter.
It is rather common for old senior cats to have this problem as their anal sphincter muscles weaken as they get older thus giving them less control over their bowel movement.
When this happens, they can have poop stuck to their behinds and smell like a tray of rotting eggs in the house.
A wound or an abnormal growth can prevent the anal muscle from closing properly.
Studies have shown that damage to the cat’s spinal cord often results in fecal incontinence as well.
The fecal matter of a cat is held at the end of its intestinal tract called the rectum.
When the cat is having reservoir incontinence, the rectum isn’t able to hold the stool in normally which gives the cat an urge to defecate.
This is often caused by diarrhea, IDB and cancer.
Can Cats Bowel Incontinence Be Cured?
It largely depends on the cause of bowel incontinence in your cat. If it is caused by a mass or growth that can be removed, then the chances of your cat pooing normally will be good.
However, if it is due to nerve damage or just having weak anal sphincter muscles, it is something that might have to be managed with medication.
A rectal prolapse happens when one or more layers of the cat’s rectum are exposed and can be seen jutting out of the cat’s anus.
This can happen when the cat strains too hard when trying to pee or poo. Other causes like parasitic infection, giving birth or an obstruction in the cat’s anus can cause a rectal prolapse.
I’ve seen this condition in a young cat before when I was helping out at an animal shelter.
An inch of his rectum sticking out and it was just red and swollen. The poor guy probably wanted some affection but wasn’t socialized well enough to do it gently.
I gave it some pets before I left the place with a heavy heart.
How do we save them all?
You might have heard of other cat owners rubbing vaseline on their cat’s bum to help heal the area. But I doubt vaseline can work on a rectal prolapse which requires immediate medical treatment.
Anal Gland Infection
If your cat is leaking smelly fluid, it might not always be due to its poo.
Cats do have a pair of anal glands at the entrance of their anus that it uses to communicate with other cats.
These anal glands contain a dark brown oily fluid that smells musky. Cats will spray it on surfaces to mark their territories and send a signal to other cats.
The anal sacs can become infected by bacteria and start to get inflamed.
When this happens, the anal sacs can start leaking their contents.
Is It Normal For Kittens To Leak Poop?
If you have a kitten at home, you can expect it to make more of a mess at home.
Most kittens start to have some form of bowel control at about 4 weeks of age. Then again you can’t expect a kitten to able to hold it in like an adult cat.
For every one month of age, a kitten can hold it for an hour.
So a two-month-old kitten can hold its poop for two hours before letting it rip.
Kittens tend to have soft or watery poop more often if it still on a milk diet. And the amount of food that a kitten consumes turns it into a pooping machine.
This is necessary as kittens need as much nourishment as possible to fuel their rapid growth.
Teething In Kittens
It can also be a common occurrence for kittens to be leaking poop when they are teething.
When your kitten is between three and six months of age, it will start to replace its baby teeth with permanent adult teeth.
It can be a painful and uncomfortable period for the kitten which can put stress on the body and cause diarrhea.
Campylobacteriosis isn’t a common bacterial infection in cats but when it does happen, kittens under six months are in the vulnerable group.
Campylobacteriosis is a gastrointestinal disease that causes stomach pain and watery poop in cats.
Thankfully this condition isn’t life-threatening to cats and can be easily treated with antibiotics. This infection is common in crowded living spaces like animal shelters and cat colonies.
How Do I Stop My Cat Pooping Liquid?
Don’t press the panic button just yet if your cat is leaking poop. There are a couple of things that you can do to try and make it better.
Feed Pumpkin Or Psyllium Husk
One way to try and stop the diarrhea is to add bulk to the poop.
You can do this by adding some fiber like pumpkin or psyllium husk to your cat’s food.
A quarter to half a teaspoon daily is more than enough for most cats.
When using pumpkin, you can use fresh pumpkin or those sold in cans but without any added ingredients.
Encourage Your Cat To Drink More
If your cat has leaky poop, there’s a good chance that it is losing a lot of water and electrolytes.
You should try to rehydrate your cat as much as possible by giving it a fresh bowl of water as often as possible. If your cat likes ice, you can add a few ice cubes to cool its water.
What works very well for me is to add some homemade chicken or tuna broth to my cat’s food.
Add Some Probiotics
There have been many studies about the benefits of probiotics for animals. These microorganisms help to improve and normalize your cat’s gut flora and digestive system.
You can get probiotics for pets from your pet store or make your own fermented veggies for your cat.
When Should I Bring My Cat To The Vet?
If your cat is still leaking poop without any signs of improvement after a day or two. Or if your cat has blood in its poop and isn’t eating, you need to get your cat to the vet right away.
The vet will need to carry out diagnostic imaging to find out the root cause if it’s more than just a bad tummy.
Prolonged diarrhea in cats can be life-threatening if it is allowed to go on for too long.
How Do I Get Rid Of The Stain And Smell?
If you think cat urine is tough to get rid of, wait till you try removing cat poop from the surface.
The mixture that works well for me is to mix white vinegar with some water and pour it into a spray bottle.
Spray a generous amount of this liquid on the affected area.
Take some baking soda and turn it into a paste with some water.
Spread this paste where you have sprayed and let it sit for an hour.
Once the time is up, take some water and clean up everything.
Rinse and repeat until you are satisfied with the result.
You can also get an enzyme cleaner which is supposed to help make things easier by breaking down the stain and odors.
This solution isn’t harsh or toxic and is pet-friendly.