Cat Health

Why Stool Test Your Cat?

Why Stool Test Your Cat?

Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC) reports the number of U.S. cats testing positive (i.e., infected) with these parasites in 2020: 

73,657 with Roundworms  
67,385 with Giardia
10,930 with Hookworms

Stool (fecal) testing is crucial for your cat’s health. Parasites like roundworms and Giardia can cause digestive upset and other illnesses in cats, and some can even be transmitted from cats to people. This is especially important for children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems. Did you know that parasite infections often have no symptoms in cats? So the only way to know is to test routinely (twice yearly).

What are intestinal parasites?

Stool parasites which include wormsGiardia and microbes can secretly live in your pet’s gut and make them sick if untreated. They are common throughout the U.S. and some are zoonotic, meaning they can harm people. Most gut parasites cannot be seen with the naked eye, which makes testing especially important. You can learn more about the types of cat stool parasites at ClueJay Learning Center or Cornell University Feline Health Center

Why Stool Test? Meet Layla

A cat sitting on a table

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Layla is a 13-month-old long-hair cat that lives in Columbus, Ohio, and doesn’t go outdoors at all. She had soft stool on and off for several months without any other abnormal signs. Layla’s pet mom purchased ClueJay Cat Stool Test Level 1 (screens for worms) from Amazon. She simply collected a small amount of stool out of Layla’s litter box at home, placed it in two test tubes included in the test kit, and mailed them to the lab in the pre-paid return box. Results showed Layla had roundworms which can infect cats and people. The worm egg pictured is from her stool sample (included on her results report). The report was shared with her vet who prescribed treatment to Layla and her cat sister, since roundworms can easily be passed between cats. Layla will be retested three to four weeks after treatment. Owner Amazon review: 5.0 out of 5 stars “Super simple and easy to use!”

Are stool tests for indoor cats?

Yes! Intestinal parasites are common even in well-cared cats that live indoor-only (just like Layla). Worm eggs can be brought in on shoes or come indoors with rodents like mice. Parasite infections can go unnoticed which is why routine testing is so important.  

Do vets recommend stool testing cats?

Yes, veterinarians advise stool (fecal) testing 2x per year for all indoor and outdoor adult cats and 4x for kittens, even if they are healthy with normal appearing stools. This is based on the guidelines from the Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC). Vets also recommend stool testing right away when the stool appears abnormal (e.g., soft, loose, or bloody) or when abnormal signs appear (e.g., vomiting, weight loss, poor appetite) that could be caused by an intestinal parasite infection.

What does a stool test screen for?

There are a variety of common parasites routinely screened for in the stools of healthy cats including worms (roundworms, hookworms, tapeworms, whipworms), coccidia, and Giardia. Stool testing can be taken to a higher level to detect disease-causing microbes (bacteria, viruses, and protozoa) for cats with frequent or ongoing abnormal stools or signs. The testing includes detection of Toxoplasma which can be a serious health concern for babies in the womb of pregnant women. This Level 3 testing is also used for raw fed cats because Salmonella and Campylobacter are bacterial contaminants of raw food that can be harmful to both cats and people. 

How can I get a stool test?

  • Order a ClueJay stool test (use promo code KITNIPBOX10 and save 10% off the purchase of a test kit) to get started protecting your cat and human family – early detection can help avoid costly care later. 
  • Watch How It Works. No vet visit or prescription needed.
  • Which stool test? 
    • Level 1 is for twice yearly stool checks and normal appearing stools.  
    • Level 2 is for twice yearly stool checks or abnormal stools. 
    • Level 3 is for abnormal stools or raw fed cats.
  • If your cat or kitten tests positive, visit ClueJay Learning Center to understand test results and take next steps. Share your pet’s report with your local or virtual vet for pet-specific advice.
  • Share your story @ClueJayPetTest on Instagram! 

ClueJay Learning Center
Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine
Companion Animal Parasite Council (CAPC)