Even the best and most loving cat parent dreads the litter box. But the key to your feline's health lies in their stool. If your cat produces brown-hued logs each time they go, your pet has a healthy digestive system. But black cat stool may be concerning.

Get a Pet Insurance Quote

What You Should Look for in Your Cat’s Stool

Here are some of the things you should look for in your cat’s stool to determine their health:

The Color

The color of your cat's feces is an indicator of their health. The hue may range from a consistent brown color to a dark brown if your pet is disease-free and on a healthy diet. But colors other than those within that range may point to health concerns.

For instance, cats that poop out yellow feces may have a liver condition, and those that poop green may have a bacterial infection. Red or black stool may indicate bleeding in the upper gastrointestinal tract.

The Contents

Besides digested food, your cat’s poop may have undigested materials. These can be anything from unprocessed bones and stones to worms.

The Consistency

The consistency of your cat’s poop is also a health indicator. For example, if it is covered with a strange substance, your pet’s colon may be inflamed. The same is the case if it is slimy to the touch or runny.

The Quantity

A healthy feline usually produces a large pile of feces. If your cat is straining too much in the litter box and producing only clumps or drops of poop or cat black stool, it may be sick.

The Smell

The way your cat's poop smells is also a health indicator that you will notice immediately if you clean out the litter box daily. A change in the odor can indicate the presence of parasites or a damaged GI tract.

The Shape

Typically, the poop of a healthy cat is shaped like a log or sausage and is hard or soft. If it is runny or in the form of circular pellets, it could indicate gastrointestinal distress, such as constipation.

How Many Times Should Your Cat Poop?

Keep a close eye on your pet to see how many times it goes in the litter box daily and how many times you have seen cat black stool there. The info will be invaluable for your vet, who can use it to determine a diagnosis and provide appropriate care instructions. Experimenting with remedies you find online is ill-advised – they may do more harm than good.

The frequency depends on your cat's diet, food intake, hormonal health, metabolism, and mental health. A stressed-out feline may have difficulty 'going potty.' As a general rule of thumb, a healthy, young cat will pass number 2 in the litter box at least once or twice a day, and older ones may pass it once a day or every other day.

If your pet is frequently showing bowel incontinence, a vet trip is advisable, even if you know what the issue is. A consultation on cat stool can reveal unaddressed issues you are unaware of.

What Makes Cat Poop Black?

Cat stool can turn black or tarry for several reasons. Some of them include the following:

Old Stool

Healthy stool left for a few days in the litter box can dry out and turn black. Break it open; if it is brown inside, you may have nothing to worry about.

Diet Alterations

If you changed your cat’s diet recently by saying switching to a raw one or by adding vegetables to it, the poop may turn black for a while. It may also vary in shape and form.


Stool that your cat cannot pass because of constipation can turn black the longer it remains in the gut. This is why your pet may be struggling to pass it. If successful, the poop will be hard, dry and tarry.

Bile Production

If your cat's gallbladder is blocked, it can deposit bile in the intestines, leading to runny or solid black cat stool. The stool can also be a result of pancreatic cancer and intestinal distress.

Stomach Ulcers

Cat stool can turn black if your feline has a painful stomach ulcer. With time and without treatment, the damage can worsen, leading to fatal bleeding. A prompt trip to the vet is advisable in this case.


Hookworms can cause your pet's stool to turn tarry, whether runny or solid. A serious infection can also cause blood loss – in this case, the stool may have reddish streaks in it. Deworming and vaccines can go a long way in preventing these parasites from making your cat’s gut their home.

What You Should Do If Your Cat’s Poop Is Black

Black cat stool is almost always a sure sign that a cat is far from healthy and requires medical care. Here are some tips that can help:

Switch to a Bland Diet

A bland or tasteless diet without any spices or additives can make your cat's gut healthier, leading to brown and healthy poop. Vet-recommended options can include food that your pet can digest easily, such as chicken. The protein breaks down easily in the gut, giving your cat's distressed GI tract some much-needed rest.

However, make sure the change is gradual, or your cat's gut issues may worsen. Give the digestive system time to adjust to the new diet to prevent unnecessary stress and black stool. Besides giving the cat’s gut the chance to recover, a bland diet will also help you root out potential allergies or triggers causing the stool to turn black.

Keep an eye on your cat, how it reacts to the new diet, and especially stool color, frequency, and consistency. Share your observations with the vet for an accurate diagnosis so they can recommend more diet changes if needed.

Get a Pet Insurance Quote

Give Probiotic Supplements

Probiotics can turn stool that turns black from GI distress to a healthier color. These issues can ruin the bacterial balance in the gut leading to that problematic poop. A healthy dose of probiotics can restore that balance and trigger healthy gut bacteria and environment growth.

The supplements can reduce the disruptions caused by stress, dietary changes, and medication. With time and consistent doses of the supplement, your cat's stool can turn a healthy brown color once again. However, never give your pet a supplement without consulting with your vet first. They can recommend the best ones that suit your furry companion's needs per their health and age.

Secure Your Cat’s Health and Wellbeing with PawDarling Pet Insurance

Black cat stool is problematic only if it isn't addressed early. With timely intervention and supplements, your fur baby can produce healthy poop daily. But the issue is more common than pet owners realize. Tailored and reliable pet insurance from PawDarling can ensure you have the funds and peace of mind needed to care for your beloved cat. Contact us for the best packages. By consulting with a vet first, you can determine the best options for your cat's health and well-being.