Do cats eat poop?

Cats are very clean animals. They would spend long hours grooming. Cats would not use a dirty litter box and whenever these animals defecate they would cover their poop. Cats are also finicky eaters. Unlike dogs that would gobble the food, cats would eat like little ladies. This is why cat parents would be perplexed at the pet’s habit of eating poop. Eating feces is a disgusting habit of dogs. This indiscriminate eating habit is one of the most common concerns of dog owners. Poop eating is rare in cats but some of these furry feline friends do manifest this unwanted behavior. Some cats have the inclination to eat poop.

Pica is a medical concern that refers to the craving and to the subsequent eating of non-food items. Animals would be seen eating dirt, rocks, wood and other items that are not normally eaten. Animals would be seen eating their own and other animal’s feces. This behavior is known as coprophagia. Coprophagia is a concern commonly noticed in dogs. Dogs are voracious and indiscriminate eaters. To the consternation of owners that provide the dog enough premium quality foods, the dog will still be seen eating its feces or other animal’s poop. As dogs have the habit of licking the faces of the human family, this habit would really be disgusting. Coprophagia or the habit of eating feces is normally a part of animals’ grooming behavior. As a housekeeping habit, mothers would normally eat the feces of the newborn. Moreover, ingestion of feces is done to protect the young from predators within sniffing distance. The young can be safely hidden from predators as the smelly excrement that would give away the presence of the nest is removed. Most animals though would stop eating feces once the young have grown and left the nest.

Cat do not normally eat poop. A cat that eats feces can be crying out for help as this behavior often points to a medical or a mental concern. Malnutrition, vitamin deficiency, parasites or health concerns like diabetes or thyroid disease are some of the reasons for the cat’s inclination to eat poop. Increased appetite will also make a cat eat its own or other animal’s poop. Experts believe that the inclination to eat feces is a result of abusive treatment. Underfed cats and cats that are confined in extremely unsanitary conditions would develop the habit of eating poop as a survival mechanism. The undigested food in the poop will entice the starving cat to “recycle” the poop. Even if the abused cat has already found a loving home where enough food is provided, it would still manifest its habit of eating poop. Coprophagia can be associated to a mental disorder. The habit of eating poop is more prevalent in kittens and in young cats. At this age, cats are more prone to developing mental disorders like an obsessive compulsive behavior. It is also possible that kittens would view feces as food. Parasite infestation is another reason why cat would eat feces. Some intestinal parasites are excreted with the feces and cats would be inclined to eat poop that has some foreign matter.

A cat that eats poop would need medical attention. As mentioned, this habit can be caused by an underlying disease. A vet’s examination will be necessary to rule out the possibility that the pet is suffering from a medical concern. Eating feces is a repulsive habit not only because the pet parents have the inclination to cuddle and to kiss the pets. Some diseases and parasites are transmitted through the feces. Eating poop can be prevented with good housekeeping. Remove the feces as soon as they are excreted by the pets. The pet can be discouraged from eating feces by spraying the poop with bitter, spicy or pungent smelling substances.