The Pet Tree House - Where Pets Are Family Too : Do Cats Eat Their Poop Like Dogs? - Yes, They Do

Monday, May 14, 2012

Do Cats Eat Their Poop Like Dogs? - Yes, They Do


Eating one’s own stool, a behavior also known as coprophagia, is common in dogs but very rare in cats. Dogs are notorious for eating things that humans find extremely distasteful, stool included. However cats do not normally eat their own stool, and when they do this type of behavior could be a sign of an underlying mental problem.


Cats that have been severely abused or kept in extremely unsanitary conditions with little food or water may have picked up the practice of coprophagia as a survival mechanism. Even though the cat is now in a safe place, it may still feel like it is necessary to eat its own stool.

Young cats and kittens may also develop coprophagia from a type of mental disorder. Cats are prone to developing mental disorders, such as obsessive compulsive disorder, and coprophagia in cats could be a manifestation of some type of mental disorder. Kittens may also confuse their own stool with food, and it may take them awhile to realize that their stool is not food.

If our cat is eating its own stool, have your cat examined by a veterinarian to ensure first that no medical conditions are causing the behavior. Keeping the litter boxes clean, and making sure that your cat feels safe and secure in its environment, may help to reduce further incidences of coprophagia.

Did you know that mother cats eat kittens feces while kittens are suckling on the mother?

It's perfectly normal and quite safe in that a mother cat licks her kittens' bottoms while and just after a kitten has nursed on her. They do this to stimulate the kitten to wee and poop as kittens don't have an automatic nerve self stimulus to do so until they are about 3 - 4 weeks old. If the mother cat does not do this the kitten will stop feeding, get very poorly, get blood poisoning and die. The mother cat swallows her kittens' defecation at this time to keep her nursing nest clean. The kittens' wee and poop at this age are so small that it's almost undetectable.


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