Tag Archives: feces

My goal as a cat behavior consultant is to further people’s understanding of their cats – inside and out! Many of the calls for help we get are to help clients whose cats are experiencing litterbox avoidance. Sometimes the reasons are obvious. Other times I’m on a housecall for an unrelated problem, and I see some things going on in (or out of) the litterbox that I wish weren’t happening.

First of all, there is a good reason to have a litterbox for your cat (even if your cat goes outside) and clean the box daily (even if you don’t want to): your cat’s “output”, so to speak, is a key to their health. Cats are notorious for hiding pain, and sometimes what you can find in the litterbox is the first sign of illness. But it’s also important to know, WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR WHEN YOU’RE SCOOPING ANYWAY? I’m here to help you out.

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What's in our poop?

Turns out it's a pretty complicated question to answer. We have heard a lot of talk about our microbiome and what kinds of bacteria live in our gut, helping us digest our food, but also aiding our immune system. In this guest post in Scientific American, Tami Lieberman walks us through the process of getting your poop's microbiome analyzed - so many questions: where do you do this? how do you even sample feces? what do the results tell us? you will now know).

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We all do it, most of us do it at least once every day, but we don’t like to talk about it much. You never see people doing it in the movies or on TV, and there aren’t many songs* about it. When we do it, we try our best to hide the sounds, smells or sight of it from others. Despite the secrecy, it has implications for our health as individuals, but perhaps even more importantly, on a global level. What the heck am I talking about? Defecation.

originDefecation, also known as pooping, shitting, dropping the kids off at the pool, number 2, crapping, pinching a loaf, laying cable, dropping a bomb, taking a dump…I could go on…and on, BUT, someone else has already done that for me. David Waltner-Toews’ recent book “The Origin of Feces” caught my attention immediately from the title. I’m a sucker for Darwin and a good pun, plus who doesn’t want to learn more about poo? So I knew I had to check this toilet-twinkie tome out.

Waltner-Toews takes us on an exciting journey exploring the ecology of feces and how we as humans deal with it. The key question of the book is: how did shit become such a huge problem for us? But the subtext is why is it so hard for us to talk about feces frankly, and why are we so quick to flush and forget?

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