The consistency of your cat’s stool is essential to keep an eye on because it gives you a lot of information about your cat’s health. If you’re good at paying attention to this sort of thing, you might find yourself wondering whether wet cat food contributes to soft stool.
Does Wet Cat Food Cause Soft Stool?
No, wet cat food will not directly cause soft stool, despite its high water content. Usually, the soft stool will be caused by a change in diet or overeating, and it should sort itself out after a few days. If it doesn’t, check in with your cat’s vet.
What Is Soft Stool?
You might not want to spend hours thinking about your cat’s poop, but it is vital to address this because it gives you a lot of information about your cat’s health and how its digestive system is functioning. Before you can work out the cause behind soft stool, it’s important to know how to identify it.
It can be confusing, especially since you usually don’t look at your cat’s poop until you clean the litterbox.
In general, your cat’s waste should be firm and solid. It should not be hard but around the consistency of modeling clay. Hard stool is as much of an issue as soft stool or diarrhea.
HillsPet says it should also be neither very dark nor very light, but a reasonably dark brown color. Nearly black stool is concerning.
Soft stool is something that you are likely to recognize as being a little squishier than your cat’s regular waste. It will leave marks behind, rather than picking up cleanly. Instead, it’ll be more like soft-serve ice cream or whipped cream, making it hard to pick up.
It is not actively liquid (this would be classed as diarrhea instead) and will not run if tipped, but it will not be as firm as you should expect.
So, now that you know what to look for, what causes soft stool?
Can Wet Cat Food Cause Diarrhea?
Wet cat food does not directly cause soft stool or diarrhea. Although, your cat’s diet will make a big difference to the consistency of its poop.
According to FloppyCats, a widespread cause of digestive problems is a change in food, even if this change is positive.
It takes a while for your cat’s digestive system to get used to the new food and sometimes for your cat to get accustomed to the quantities of the food that it needs to eat. So if you have recently swapped your cat onto a new brand of wet cat food, don’t worry if its poop changes consistency for a few days.
This change should normalize again after a while, and if it doesn’t, you should speak to a vet. A few days of soft poop is nothing to worry about, but ongoing issues should be raised with a professional who can help. If you are concerned, don’t wait, but speak to a vet promptly.
Another common cause of soft stool is your cat overeating. That may sound surprising. You might expect that eating a lot could lead to constipation and hard stools.
However, the fact remains that too much food often leads to soft stools.
This is because cats have relatively short digestive tracts. So when a cat consumes more than its body can handle at once, the cat will pass most of the food through its system without really digesting it at all.
This dilutes the fiber in your cat’s digestive system, and fiber is what gives stools structure and firmness. If most of the food in your cat’s system is not getting digested, this fiber will become very diluted and will not properly regulate the consistency of the cat’s waste.
If you notice that your cat’s stools are soft and you have not recently changed its food brand, you should ensure it is not overeating. Check the recommended daily amounts and talk to your vet if in doubt.
Does Wet Food Give Kittens Diarrhea?
No, kittens won’t get diarrhea from eating soft food. Like adult cats, they are likely eating too much food, or you’re feeding them low-quality cat food.
Kittens younger than a year old shouldn’t eat the same food as other adult cats in your home. It’s important to feed them high-quality kitten formula to fuel their growth and ensure proper development.
Wet Food Vs. Dry Food?
If you have just made the switch from dry to wet food, you might be worried that the high water content is what is making the stool soft. This makes total sense; you have increased the amount of soft food going in, so why shouldn’t this result in soft poop coming out?
However, this is not the case. Dry and wet cat food can cause soft stool, but usually only if it is a low-quality brand. Dry food is often blamed because it contains corn fillers, while wet food can be blamed because it has more moisture.
As long as you are buying good quality dry food, it should not be worse for your cat than wet food, but it has been recognized that having plenty of moisture in the digestive system will help your cat to better digest its food.
Because cats have a relatively low thirst drive and may not automatically drink enough water if they are on an exclusively dry food diet, dry food can lead to more digestion issues – which may cause soft stool.
This isn’t as simple as dry biscuits cause soft stool, but it is important for your cat to get enough liquid to digest food properly and form healthy stools. On the whole, wet foods are slightly more likely to be able to provide this moisture.
However, you should remember that low-quality wet food can also cause issues because the cat’s digestive system might struggle with the ingredients. If your cat can’t digest the food properly, it will produce soft stools – because essentially, the food is passing through it without being processed fully.
How Soon Should I Be Concerned?
You might be wondering how long you should wait for stool to normalize before contacting your vet.
It depends a bit on the circumstances and your cat. If it seems very healthy in other ways, you may want to monitor the situation. However, soft stool and other symptoms should result in at least a telephone conversation with your vet.
It is a good idea to keep an eye on your cat’s waste for at least a few days if you’ve noticed some soft stool. Then, check each time you clean the litter box out and consider whether you have done anything that might have caused a change.
If the softness persists for more than a few days or there is no apparent cause for it, make your cat a vet’s appointment. While it may be nothing to worry about, it’s a good idea to get your cat checked over. Digestive problems can be serious, so it’s best to get an expert’s opinion on them.
Wet cat food on its own does not cause soft stool, no. However, a sudden switch from dry food to wet food (or vice versa) or from one food brand to another could cause this.
If you haven’t recently changed your cat’s food, make sure your kitty is not eating more than it should be, and talk to your vet for further advice.
Don’t ignore your pet’s poop – it contains a lot of information about how healthy your cat is and can serve as an early warning sign for something going wrong!