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           CAT SCAT

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   the importance of Poop.. 

What goes in must come out!

     
 Panther Poo
 

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I new that would get peoples attention, that’s right this article is about poo. Some folks may say ew yuk, but it is in fact very important stuff.

 

Poo has almost as many names as a panther. Veterinarians sometimes call it a stool, whereas biologists use the term scat. Those are just a couple of its other names, there are loads more. 

 

Scat is simply a natural waste product, it is the unused or non digestible material that remains after an animal has ingested its food. The nutrients that can be used are absorbed into the body and what cannot be utilized gets expelled.

 

Bathroom matters can be a very interesting subject, especially to a scientist, veterinarian, or a tracker. You can learn a lot about an animal’s whereabouts and well being by studying what comes out.

 

Animals can be identified by their scat; the size, form, color & content of the scat can be a key. Investigating its content can reveal what the animal has been eating. Scat can contain parasites, bacteria, & other organic substances that can be harmful to humans, so do not attempt to handle animal scat unless you have been trained to do so.

  

A meat eater’s scat is usually within the dark to mid brown ranges. The darker the scat the fresher it will tend to be. As it gets older and when exposed to the sun, it dries out and eventually turns white, becomes brittle, & will crumble to a powder as it breaks down in the elements.
  
The organs and red meat of animals are richer and will produce a darker scat, but for pumas eating chicken, or what would be considered white meats, the color will be lighter. A female panther that is close to giving birth will have a very dark almost black and tacky stool, the result of iron. Reproduction, prey type, stress & illness, can all cause changes in the consistency and color of the scat.
 

A healthy scat is well formed and composed of a few large segments, these segments may stay connected or separate into smaller sections, they will be brown in color & reasonably solid. Bones & hair from prey may be noticed within these segments, and hair that gets ingested during grooming is also passed via the stool.

 

A panther’s catch of deer or pig will provide several meals. They will feed first on the organs and fleshier muscle meats such as the inner thighs and possibly shoulders, and then consume the other parts of the body including limbs. So in the latter feedings more bone & hide is consumed. Expect the scat after the first feed to be darker, smooth & maybe a little soft, the next few will be firmer and contain remnants of bones & hair.

 

Scat will be found near a cache site, the panther will often nap near by, and scat will likely be found around their day beds. A big meal will produce larger portions and amounts of scat, smaller amounts of food and smaller size prey will produce less.

 

Cat scat may also be laid as a territorial marker. Often a pile of debris will be scraped into a mound & a scat will be left on top. Some piles made by a female may be covered up by dirt & scat can be found buried beneath it. Fresh scat will usually have quiet a strong odor especially if stepped in, older scat will have next to no odor at all.

 

As we have learned, scat is a tell tale sign that a panther is or has been present, as well as giving us clues as to what has been eaten, and what kind of condition the animal is in. So poo is really not that awful after all. 

 

This pile was left for me by a captive male panther, I was truly impressed..

    

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