A small amount of mucus in stool is not unusual for cats, as it is integral to the process of defecation.
It is uncommon to have recognizably larger amounts of mucus in stool, such as feces covered in a film of mucus, especially repeated occurrences over a period of time. Such symptoms may be a sign of a range of conditions, from intestinal parasites to colitis (inflammation of the colon) to more serious conditions such as intestinal cancer.
Common causes of mucus in stool are generally related to conditions that involve bowel inflammation.
A difference in the severity of mucus in stool does not indicate the severity of the cause, though where the mucus is found may suggest certain conditions. A lower bowel condition like colitis may present with a thin film of mucus covering the stool, as opposed to mucus throughout. The presence of mucus in the stool accompanied by other symptoms may indicate a more serious disease process.
Elderly cats, kittens, and cats with pre-existing conditions have a higher potential for serious illnesses. In these cases in particular, a large amount of mucus in the stool over a few days is enough reason for a veterinary appointment. Vomiting, bloody stool, collapse, lethargy, and abdominal pain accompanying mucus in the stool may also be a sign that veterinary care is necessary regardless of the age or previous health of the cat.
Exams diagnosing mucus in the stool include:
Potential underlying conditions causing mucus in the stool can be identified by:
After diagnosis, treatment depends on the underlying cause and can include:
Mature tapeworms can resemble mucus in the stool, but their presence is generally discernable upon close inspection.