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Dense poop: The request could not be satisfied


What to Do and When to See a Doctor

Hard stools are a result of your colon absorbing too much water. That can happen when food passes too slowly through your digestive system. This results in hard, dry stools that are difficult for you to pass. Hard stool is often a symptom of constipation, which is a condition where you pass less than three bowel movements per week. 

Some common causes of hard stool that lead to constipation include:   

  • Medication you are taking
  • Not getting enough exercise
  • Pregnancy
  • Aging
  • Lifestyle changes
  • Taking too many laxatives
  • Intestinal issues
  • Lack of fiber in your diet
  • Not drinking enough fluids
  • Diagnosis of irritable bowel syndrome  

Constipation symptoms vary depending upon the cause of the problem. You may experience one or more of the following constipation side effects due to hard stool:

  • Painful bowel movements
  • Abdominal pain
  • Feelings of bloating and discomfort
  • Sluggishness

You should see a doctor if you suspect that you are dealing with dry stool. How they go about diagnosing your condition depends on the severity of the dry stools and other symptoms that may be present. 

Diagnosing Hard Stool

A doctor may perform one or more of the following when trying to diagnose the reason why you are dealing with hard stool. There could be an underlying medical condition other than constipation of which you may not be aware.   

  • Review your medical history
  • Ask questions like how long you’ve dealt with hard stools and the frequency of your bowel movements
  • Give you a physical that includes a digital rectum examination (DRE)
  • Perform an abdominal x-ray
  • Conduct a lower GI (gastrointestinal) series, also called a barium enema
  • Perform a colonoscopy to get a view of the entire length of your intestine
  • Perform a sigmoidoscopy, where they insert a short, lighted, flexible tube through the rectum to obtain an inner view of the large intestine
  • Conduct a colorectal transit study, where you swallow a capsule that leaves markers that doctors track over three to seven days while you follow a fiber-free diet
  • Conduct anorectal function tests to see if you have constipation caused by abnormal anus or rectal functions  

Other complications can develop if you have constipation. Some of the issues you can end up with due to your hard stools include:

  • Hemorrhoids
  • Tears in the skin of the anus (anal fissures) because of excessive stretching of the muscles in that area
  • Rectal bleeding due to anal tears
  • Rectal prolapse
  • Fecal impaction

You can also end up with hard stools because of other problems within your rectum and colon. There may be neurological issues that affect the way muscles contract in the colon and rectum, causing your stool to pass more slowly. Those problems can be caused by:  

  • Multiple sclerosis
  • Parkinson’s disease
  • Injury to the spinal cord
  • Stroke
  • Autonomic neuropathy

Remedies and Treatments for Hard Stool

Your doctor may recommend some lifestyle changes as part of your hard stool treatment. The intent is usually to increase the speed of your bowel movements. 

Increasing Fiber Intake

You may be asked to make diet changes that include more fruits and vegetables during your meals. Other recommendations for adding fiber often include eating whole-grain cereals and bread. Your doctor may have specific advice about the amount of fiber you should try to consume each day. 

Starting an Exercise Routine

Physical activity can help increase muscle activity in your intestines. You may wish to consult with your doctor on how many days per week you should try to exercise. Make sure that the program does not have any adverse impacts on your overall health. 

Take Supplements

Your physician may advise you to start taking laxatives to soften your hard stool and ease your bowel movements. There are a variety of different laxatives on the market that may work depending on your circumstances, including: 

  • Fiber supplements to bulk up your stool
  • Stimulants that help your intestine contract
  • Osmotics that increase the fluid secretions in your bowels to help stimulate bowel movements
  • Lubricants that ease the passage of stool through your colon
  • Stool softeners that draw water into hard stools from your intestine
  • Enemas and suppositories to soften stools and stimulate a bowel movement

When to See a Doctor

You may wish to contact your primary health care provider if your hard stools cause you to experience symptoms like abdominal pain or other severe discomforts. If your hard stools are the result of constipation, you could end up with more serious complications without timely treatment.  

7 Textures of Poop and What They Mean

Liia GalimzianovaGetty Images

Sure, everyone poops—but that doesn’t mean we like to talk about it or acknowledge it in any way, shape, or form. It also doesn’t change the fact that sometimes a trip to the bathroom can leave us scratching our heads, because of, well, our poop’s many shapes and forms.

“Your bowel movements are the only real marker you have about what your GI health is like,” says Anish Sheth, M.D., a board-certified gastroenterologist at Penn Medicine’s Center for Digestive Health. Getting familiar with what’s normal for you in terms of stool shape, consistency, and texture can help you better take care of your body and pick up on any changes that may signal a problem. Here’s what your poop says about you—you know you’re curious!

1. Separate lumps

Hard poop will often come out in separate lumps and can be painful to pass. When poop is this texture (similar to pebbles), it’s a sign that it sat in the large intestine and colon for an extended period of time. In other words, this type of stool often signals that you’re constipated.

If this is commonly what you see in the toilet—and you aren’t suffering from another illness that comes with funky bowels—you may have a gastrointestinal condition called chronic idiopathic constipation, or CIC. Drinking more water, making exercise part of your daily routine, and slowly adding more fiber to your diet may help.

2. Sausage-shaped but lumpy

Firm stools that are connected but still lumpy can also be a sign of constipation. This signals that your waste has hung around in the intestine long enough to become dried out, but not so long that it’s dry enough to break into smaller pieces, according to UnityPoint Health experts. You can try eating more of these foods to relieve constipation to get things moving, but if nothing seems to help, ask your doc if a prescription medication is a good fit for you.

3. Sausage-shaped with cracks

If this describes what you’re used to seeing when you go to the bathroom, then congrats! This is considered to be a healthy stool, according to the Bristol Stool Chart, a tool used by medical professionals and dietitians. The cracks, however, do indicate that you may be a bit dehydrated. Gastroenterologist Robyn Karlstadt, M.D., suggests drinking six to eight 8-ounce glasses of water daily to keep your GI health in tip-top shape.

4. Sausage-shaped, smooth, and soft

Doctors consider this type of stool (think: sausage- or snake-shaped) to be the gold standard—especially when it’s also medium to light brown in color and remains intact as it is flushed. If this is what your poop looks like, give yourself a pat on the back because it’s a clear sign you’re eating a wholesome diet and staying nice and hydrated.

5. Soft blobs with clear-cut edges

This is considered to be a slightly loose stool, but it’s fairly common for folks who have bowel movements two or three times a day, typically after eating a main meal, UnityPoint Health medical experts say. (If this is normal for you, and it’s soft and passes comfortably, consider it A-OK.)

6. Fuzzy or fluffy pieces with ragged edges

When waste passes through the colon quickly, this texture of poop is often the result.

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According to the Bristol Stool Chart, fuzzy, jagged pieces may indicate inflammation of the bowel or an inflammatory bowel disease like ulcerative colitis or Crohn’s disease. It can also indicate a major change in your diet. Check in with your doc to make sure there’s no reason to be concerned. (Sure, it can feel like an embarrassing conversation, but it’s always best to err on the side of caution and physicians used to these types of questions. )

7. Watery (liquid poop)

This advanced stage of diarrhea occurs when the small intestine is irritated. There are numerous causes of this type of stool, including viruses and bacteria, digestive disorders, and lactose intolerance. Sometimes eating or drinking things with lots of fructose or artificial sweeteners, or starting a new medication can be the cause, according to the Mayo Clinic. If your diarrhea lasts more than two days, contact your doctor.

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Dana Leigh Smith
Dana Leigh Smith is currently the Health Director for HearstMade, overseeing all branded health, fitness, and wellness content across the Hearst portfolio, including Women’s Health, Prevention, Cosmopolitan, and Good Housekeeping.

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It’s a Messy Topic, but Let’s Talk About Poop

There are a lot of ways to describe it: soft, hard, brown, green, runny and stinky. It’s a messy topic often discussed behind closed doors, but today, we’re breaking down what you need to know about poop – from its color, consistency and frequency, to what to do when a child is backed up.

According to Dr. Mollie Grow, a pediatrician at Seattle Children’s and the University of Washington, it can be challenging for some families to be open about the body’s natural process of elimination. In other words, it can be hard to talk about poop. There’s often embarrassment talking about the subject when there shouldn’t be.

“As pediatricians, we get really comfortable talking about poop,” said Grow. “We try to normalize the conversation with patients and families.”

Breaking it down

According to Grow, normal, healthy poop can range in color. This is especially true for babies, when parents are more aware of poop changes day to day. Grow says to think about the colors of fall when evaluating if there is cause for concern.

“Green, brown and yellow can all be normal,” said Grow. “But if the colors are more like Mickey Mouse – black, white and red – then you should call your child’s doctor. These colors are abnormal and can indicate something might be wrong.”

If a child’s poop is black it can be a sign of internal bleeding. If there is red, or blood, in the stool, a child may have a cut around their bottom or in their intestine. White poop occurs when there is a lack of bile and may indicate an underlying problem, but according to Grow, it is very rare.

“It’s a good idea to check in with your child’s doctor if you see any of these colors,” said Grow.

It’s also important to note that diet can play a role in the color of child’s poop. For example, eating a lot of iron could cause poop to look darker and eating beets could make a child’s poop look red.

When it comes to frequency, Grow says children should poop every one to two days and the consistency should be soft and formed, much like soft serve ice cream. If a child’s poop is hard, dry, resembles pellets, or if a child has to strain, they may be constipated.

According to Grow, constipation is one of the most common complaints she sees during clinic visits, and a quarter of referrals to gastroenterologists are related to constipation.

“One of the most common symptoms is abdominal pain,” said Grow. “If a child has tummy pain, the first question you should ask is, ‘When was the last time you pooped?’”

Backed up

According to Grow, there are a number of risk factors for constipation.

“Low intake of fiber and fluids can cause constipation,” said Grow. “It’s important to make sure kids are drinking water between meals and eating enough whole fruits and vegetables. Pitted fruits, like apricots or plums, and also pears tend to be really good sources of fiber. Don’t overdo it on bananas, which can be constipating. Also, avoid too much dairy and offer primarily whole grains. Many kids suffer from constipation due to high intake of fast foods and processed foods, which tend to have very little fiber. Admittedly, it is a challenge for families who are always on the go. Looking for ways to add whole foods and food cooked at home is helpful.”

Grow also recommends regular exercise to keep constipation at bay.

“Our digestive system works better when we’re active,” said Grow. “Children should get at least 60 minutes of daily activity. A great way to stay active is by encouraging outdoor time and physical play. A sedentary lifestyle can increase your risk for constipation.”

Seeking intervention

If a child is constipated, it’s key to seek early intervention. According to Grow, the biggest concern in not treating the problem is that constipation can lead to a child’s inability to feel when it’s time to go to the bathroom. If a child is constipated and has a large collection of stool in their rectum, a child can leak poop, called encopresis. If a child holds their poop, they can also lose tone in their rectum.

“It’s a really big problem,” said Grow. “Kids can’t control the leaking poop and it can be a big source of embarrassment. What we’re trying to avoid is the retention of poop.”

Another sign a child could be constipated is if they have a sudden increase is bedwetting. When a child holds in their poop, the collection of poop can push on their bladder. With early intervention, the issue can be managed.

“The combination of what we can do from a feeding standpoint and activity standpoint, work hand in hand,” said Grow. “Constipation is a common cause of distress in families. The earlier we can intervene, the better. Often, diet changes can help manage it, but if it doesn’t, there are good medicines that can help.

Talking about poop, just like going to the bathroom, doesn’t need to be a straining experience. Talk to children about poop and make the experience enjoyable.

“We want kids to not have a fear of poop, especially when they are learning to toilet train,” said Grow.

Grow also recommends to talk to children as they get older about their poop. As children get older, parents will be less in tune with their toilet habits, and so being able to talk about poop will help parents identify if something needs to be addressed with their doctor.

So the next time a child says, “My tummy hurts,” it’s helpful to ask, “When was the last time you went poop?”



What Your Poop Says About Your Health

Everybody poops, but most of us don’t talk about it. And when it comes to your poop, everyone is different. Your stool is affected not only by what you eat, but also your sleep, water intake, hormones, exercise and medications.  

You should pay attention to your bowel movements, because the consistency, color and frequency of your stool can tell you a lot about your digestive health.

When It Comes To Poop, What’s Normal? 

The Bristol stool scale categorizes stool types into seven categories, based on texture and size:

·        Type 1: Stool is pebble-like, made up of hard lumps like nuts

·        Type 2: Lumpy and sausage-like, hard to pass

·        Type 3: Firm, but with cracks on the surface

·        Type 4: Like a sausage or snake, smooth and soft

·        Type 5: Soft blobs with clear edges

·        Type 6: Mushy, ragged edges, fluffy

·        Type 7: Watery, no solid pieces, entirely liquid 

Types 1 and 2 stools are considered constipation, while Types 6 and 7 are considered diarrhea. Stool Types 3 to 5 are considered ideal. 

You should know what your normal is and take note of any changes in your stool color, consistency and frequency. This may be a warning sign that signals something is amiss with your digestive health or diet.


The color of your stool can vary daily, depending on what you’ve eaten and any medications you’ve taken. Sometimes, the color of your stool can be a sign that something is wrong, with potential issues including:

Brown. Brown is the most normal poop color — ranging from light brown to fairly dark brown. The liver breaks down red blood cells in the body and produces bile, which contains bilirubin (a pigment compound) and is responsible for the coloration. 

Pale. This indicates a potential blockage in the bile duct obstructing the flow of bile into the lumen and mixing with stool so that it looks like clay, pale and colorless.  

Black. If you haven’t taken Pepto Bismol (which can change your poop to black), a dark stool can indicate bleeding in your upper gastrointestinal tract that changes color as it moves through the intestines. This bleeding could be related to ulcers in the stomach or duodenum, cancer in the stomach or small intestine and overuse of medications like high-dose aspirin, ibuprofen or naproxen sodium that can erode the intestine. Black bowel movements also can be caused by high levels of iron intake. 

Green. If you’ve been eating a lot of leafy green vegetables or foods with green food coloring, your stool may be greener than usual. Green stool can also be a sign of food poisoning. It may also mean that food is moving too quickly through your large intestine and is common in people with conditions like colitis and irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). 

Red. Before you panic about seeing red poop, think about what you’ve eaten or had to drink in the past 24 hours. Some foods — such as beets, tomatoes and food colorings— can cause red stools. If what you’ve consumed isn’t the culprit, red stools may mean hemorrhoids, a polyp, diverticulitis or sometimes can indicate colon cancer. 

White. Some medications, like those containing barium, can cause pale stools. White stools may also indicate lack of bile, which is common in people with liver conditions leading to a blocked bile duct from strictures or cancer in the bile duct. 

Yellow. Yellow stools that float may indicate that your body is having trouble digesting fats. If you have consistently yellow, greasy stools, this may be a sign of chronic pancreatitis due to a condition called exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (EPI), in which the pancreas is not producing enzymes in enough quantities to digest fat. 


You may occasionally notice your bowel movement floating on the surface of the water in the toilet bowl. This means the stool is less dense and is not always an indication that something is wrong. Sometimes it can be caused by an increased amount of gas, water or both.

If your stool is frequently floating, this can be a sign of malabsorption, meaning your body is not adequately absorbing nutrients from the foods you’re eating. Malabsorption is usually caused by celiac disease, lactose intolerance or pancreatitis.

People with celiac disease struggle to digest gluten (found in grains), and people with lactose intolerance have trouble digesting lactose (found in dairy products). With pancreatitis, the floating stool is caused by a lack of pancreatic enzymes during the digestive process.

Hard stools indicative of constipation can be because of inadequate water intake or excessive water loss from the body, medications or problems with colon movement. This could also be due to colon cancer or problems with the anal sphincter or the pelvic floor muscles.

Alternating constipation and diarrhea is worrisome and needs immediate attention to determine whether it’s caused by irritable bowel syndrome or potential colon cancer.


A healthy frequency of bowel movements can be anywhere from three times a day to three times a week. In western countries like the United States, many of us don’t get adequate fiber in our diets, so a large percentage of the American population doesn’t poop every day. In other places in the world with high dietary fiber intake, people may go once or even twice a day.

How To Improve Your Poop 

There are ways to keep your bowel movements healthy, including: 

●   Eat a healthy, high-fiber diet. Foods rich in dietary fiber —beans, fruits, whole grains and vegetables to name a few — can help prevent constipation and improve digestion. If you need a little help increasing your fiber intake, dietary fiber supplements dissolved into water are a good over-the-counter solution.

●   Exercise regularly. Exercise can help improve digestion and decrease the time it takes for food to move through the large intestine.

●   Stay hydrated. Drinking two liters (or eight 8-ounce glasses) of water each day will help prevent constipation and keep your digestive system working as it should.

●   Judicious use of medications. Some medications, especially pain relievers, may affect the movement and health of the colon and intestine, so only use them when you really need to. 

When To See a Doctor About Your Poop 

The occasional bout of constipation or green poop is generally not cause for concern. However, there are times when it’s important to speak with your doctor, particularly if you’ve experienced: 

●   Blood in your stool

●   Changes in consistency or color

●   Chronic diarrhea or chronic constipation

●   Foul-smelling stools 

Your doctor can help you determine the cause for your stool issues and work with you to come up with a treatment to restore your bowel health.

Poop 101 – Steven and Chris

Nothing says good health like a good bowel movement (BM)! So Dr. Melissa Lem has the scoop on poop and what yours is saying about your health.

Photo Credit: Steven and Chris


“Normal” is what’s normal for you. Some people go after every meal, others, once every few days. Familiarize yourself with your bowel habits so that if there’s a consistent change, you’ll recognize it and bring it up with your doctor.

Shape & Consistency

An average bowel movement should be between four and eight inches long and have the consistency of peanut butter. The Bristol stool chart (see above) is a handy medical aid for classifying stool. A shape similar to any of Types 1-3 may indicate constipation, while something more akin to Types 6 or 7 means diarrhea.


It’s totally normal for stool to smell bad, thanks to the digestive bacteria in your colon. That said, a particularly pungent odour can be a sign of trouble (e.g. infection, inflammatory bowel disease or celiac disease).


It’s not uncommon for colour to change from one BM to the next, but persistent changes can be a sign of trouble. Here’s how to interpret your poop’s changing palette:

Any shade of brown is considered normal. It’s a result of the bile secreted by the liver.

Green stool is not uncommon and is usually caused by eating green foods or taking certain medications. Loose, green bowel movements, however, can indicate that food is moving through the intestines too quickly.

Yellowish stool can indicate problems with fat digestion. Such stool is also usually greasy and has a particularly foul odour. This can be the result of an issue with your liver or pancreas, which produce substances that break down fat.

Red stool can be a sign of lower intestinal bleeding due to tumours, inflammatory bowel disease or even hemorrhoids. Non-threatening things like beets or food dye can also cause your stool to turn red.

Black stool can indicate bleeding—anywhere from your esophagus to the middle of your small intestine—and is caused by the breakdown of iron in your blood. Stool that is black because of internal bleeding usually has a tar-like consistency and smells particularly bad.

White stool is generally not normal, and is usually caused by a lack of bile in the stool either because the liver is having trouble producing it, or bile is somehow being prevented from leaving the liver or gallbladder.


3 Causes of a Poop So Big It Clogs the Toilet

There are three common culprits behind a poop so big it clogs the toilet.

Image Credit: boonchai wedmakawand/Moment/GettyImages

Oh my gosh, it’s your worst nightmare: You poop and, quite honestly, you feel so much better. Like a lighter, better version of yourself. Only then you turn around and look in the loo. The log is so large you’re worried it’s not going to flush down. (Seriously, ​will it​?)

“[Taking a large poop] can be really embarrassing for people, especially if it happens when they’re out at a restaurant or someone else’s house,” says Jacqueline Wolf, MD, a gastroenterologist at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston and author of ​A Woman’s Guide to a Healthy Stomach​.

A toilet-clogging BM can happen for a few reasons, Dr. Wolf says. Either it’s your diet, the fact you haven’t gone in a while or you’re not getting everything out completely when you do go. Let’s chat about each of these.

1. Your Diet (and It Might Be Super Healthy)

You’ve probably been told at one point or another to eat more fiber. Indeed, when it comes to fiber recommendations, the 2015-2020 Dietary Guidelines for Americans advise getting between 25 and 34 grams a day if you’re under 50, or 22 to 28 grams if you’re over.

Since fiber is considered one of the shortfall nutrients — meaning most of us aren’t getting enough — it’s probably safe to say you should be eating more than you are now. And if you’re making an effort to really pack in more fiber-rich foods (broccoli, leafy greens, beans, whole grains), well, that’s a boon for your overall and GI health, but the change may have some unexpected side effects.

“Fiber helps bulk up the stool, while water also gets drawn into your stool. And so, sometimes, if you’ve consumed a lot of fiber and fluid, you’ll make a big stool,” Dr. Wolf says.

That’s certainly not a call to eat less fiber or get dehydrated — indeed, both help promote regularity and healthy, pliable BMs. But if you’ve really been hitting the fiber, that might be the reason your poop is different.

2. You Haven’t Gone in Awhile

You don’t have to go every day to have a healthy GI system. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases says that constipation is having fewer than three BMs per week, stools that are hard and dry or stool that’s difficult to pass.

Basically, everyone is going to have their own unique rhythm that dictates what’s normal for them. But if it’s been awhile for you, well, things might be building up or drying out, making it harder to pass.

To avoid this problem in the future, you’ll want to make sure that you eat the recommended amount of fiber for you, Dr. Wolf says. And focus on physical activity.

“Exercise will increase stool output because it moves things along. It does this by changing the hormones in your gut and also impacting the way muscles [in your GI system] are moving,” she says.

What also helps is having a BM when you get the urge to go.

“When you hold it in and you lose the urge, stool just sits there,” Dr. Wolf says.

Giving yourself time in the morning to go or consuming coffee can encourage things to get going when you’re in an opportune and comfortable place (your home) versus when you’re out.

3. You’re Not Getting All of Your Stool Out When You Go

So, here’s a little (entirely beginner) anatomy lesson: Once stool travels through your digestive tract and gets to your rectum and fills up, it sends a signal that the contents must go. Your pelvic floor then relaxes rectal muscles and the anal sphincter opens.

“In some people, this process doesn’t work very well,” Dr. Wolf says. Straining to go actually works against you because you’re holding onto stool while pushing really hard.

Dr. Wolf recommends elevating your feet, which will straighten out the angle toward the anus so you can poop more completely. This is where the Squatty Potty comes in.

That said, raising your feet might not be the answer for everyone. You may need to get evaluated for pelvic floor disorders. In that case, Dr. Wolf wants you to know that there are people out there called pelvic floor physical therapists who can teach you how to use everyday tools like breathing exercises to relax and have a full poop.

Bowel Movements in Babies | CS Mott Children’s Hospital

Topic Overview

How often do newborns have bowel movements?

You may be surprised at the number of diapers your newborn goes through every day.

Many newborns have at least 1 or 2 bowel movements a day. By the end of the first week, your baby may have as many as 5 to 10 a day. Your baby may pass a stool after each feeding. The number of bowel movements may go down as your baby eats more and matures during that first month.

By 6 weeks of age, your baby may not have a bowel movement every day. This usually isn’t a problem as long as your baby seems comfortable and is healthy and growing, and as long as the stools aren’t hard.

What will the bowel movements look like?

Your newborn baby’s bowel movements (also called “stools”) can change a lot in the days, weeks, and months after birth. The stools can come in many different colors and textures—all of which may be perfectly normal for your child.

  • The first stool your baby passes is thick, greenish black, and sticky. It’s called meconium.
  • The stools usually change from this thick, greenish black to green in the first few days. They’ll change to yellow or yellowish brown by the end of the first week.
  • The stools of breastfed babies tend to be more yellow than those of formula-fed babies. They may also be seedy-looking.
  • It’s normal for your baby’s stool to be runny or pasty, especially if he or she is breastfed.

How do bowel movements change as your baby grows?

As your baby grows and begins eating solid foods, you may notice changes in your baby’s stool.

  • When you formula-feed or breastfeed, the stool can range from soft to loose or even runny.
  • When you start to give your baby solid foods, the stools will become firmer and may have a stronger odor.
  • If food is not strained, you may see pieces of food in the stool.

Stool color

Many parents worry about stool color. But most color changes are caused by food coloring or additives to food and not a serious problem. When you notice a color change, think about what your baby has been eating.

  • Brown, tan, yellow, and green are all normal colors for a baby’s stool. Green stools could be caused by green vegetables or green gelatin.
  • Black or red stool can mean bleeding in the intestine, but it can also be caused by beets, tomato juice or soup, or red gelatin.
  • A white stool could mean a liver problem. It could also be caused by medicines or a diet of milk only.

What should you watch for?

Your newborn’s soiled diapers can give you clues about your baby’s health.

Because a baby’s stool does change a lot, it can be hard to know if your baby may have a problem. In general:

  • A hard or dry stool could mean that your baby is not getting enough liquids or that your baby is losing liquids because of a fever or other illness.
  • An increase in the number of bowel movements or a lot of liquid in stools could be a sign of diarrhea.
  • Explosive diarrhea may be a sign of infection with a virus or bacteria. Diarrhea is usually caused by a virus, and medicines don’t help. Diarrhea may cause a loss of fluid (dehydration).

When should you call your doctor?

Call your doctor or get medical help right away if:

  • Your baby has new symptoms such as vomiting.
  • Your baby’s stools are:
    • Maroon or very bloody.
    • Black (and your baby has already passed meconium).
    • White or gray.
  • Your child is having a lot more stools than normal for him or her.
  • Your baby’s stool has large amounts of mucus or water in it.

Contact your doctor if:

  • Your baby’s stools are hard, or he or she strains to pass stool.


Current as of: May 27, 2020

Author: Healthwise Staff
Medical Review: Susan C. Kim MD – Pediatrics
Kathleen Romito MD – Family Medicine
John Pope MD – Pediatrics

Current as of: May 27, 2020

90,000 The best food for Maine Coons – mirkorma.ru

The basic principles of nutrition are the same for all cats, but purebred breeds are always small differences in anatomy, habits, a tendency to specific diseases. In the article you will find recommendations from breeders, veterinarians, as well as a list of premium food for Maine Coon and prices for ready-made rations.


Features of the breed and nutrition

What to look for in the composition of feed

Rating of super premium food for Maine Coons

Maine Coon kittens nutrition

Super premium food for Maine Coon kittens – rating from “World of food”

Breed features and nutrition

Raccoon cats have massive skeletons and muscles that are more developed than other domesticated felines.

Maine Coons are very mobile, they need more calories to replenish their energy losses. The recommended daily allowance for males is 300 kcal, for females – 250 kcal, that is, 60 kcal per 1 kg of body weight.

The coat is thick, water-repellent, prone to grease. It is impossible to preserve its high quality if the diet lacks B vitamins, unsaturated Omega-3, 6, 9 acids.

In addition, raccoon kittens mature more slowly.An individual is considered a cub up to 15 months, weight gain lasts up to 3 years, and all this time a special food is needed.

Breeders also know that Maine Coons, like Siamese cats, tend to eat too quickly, to swallow food in chunks. From this, the jaws do not receive sufficient load, the blood circulation of the gums and surrounding tissues is impaired.

The table shows the weak points of Maine Coons and the resulting requirements for nutrients (nutrients).

Breed peculiarity

Risks, characteristic diseases and condition

Preventive nutrition

Late maturation of the individual.Great weight.

Increased load on the skeleton.

Insufficient load on the powerful dental-jaw apparatus.

  • Hip dysplasia – 23% of raccoon cats are affected. In severe cases, the pet cannot move independently.

  • Purulent inflammation of the joints, arthrosis in adulthood.

  • Delayed change of milk teeth, malocclusion. In adults – tartar, loss of molars.

  • Feed with chondroitin, glucosamine, polyunsaturated fatty acids. Substances strengthen bone and cartilage tissue, contribute to the harmonious development of the skeleton, slow down age-related destruction of joints.

  • Foods with a high protein content.

  • We need calcium from dairy products, bones. The jaws should be moderately loaded, therefore dry food with large croquettes cubes is recommended so that the animal gnaws and does not swallow them.

Increased stress on the cardiovascular system.

  • Cardiomyopathy – thickening / thinning of the walls of the heart. Often leads to sudden death.
  • Make sure you have enough taurine. The body of cats cannot synthesize this sulfonic acid, the substance comes from food. It is found in the required quantities only in meat.

  • Also needed are EPA and DHA (Omega-3 components), arginine.There is a lot of the latter in buckwheat and oats.

Sensitive gastrointestinal tract and urinary system.

  • Volvulus.

Maine Coons, unfortunately, are susceptible to this ailment on a par with dogs. Long hair that forms clumps in the stomach only increases the risks.

  • Urolithiasis, polycystic kidney disease.
  • Regular intake of fiber. It stimulates the intestinal walls, facilitates the elimination of hair and digested food.

  • We need diets where the main source of protein is from poultry and mammals, and not fish, since it is high in phosphorus.

Sensitive skin, dense coat.

  • Abscesses, boils, eczema. Formed mainly due to wounds.
  • To strengthen the skin and hair, biotin, zinc, vitamins A, E, B are needed. Proteins that are easily absorbed are preferred.

What to look for in the composition of feed

It is difficult to remember the huge list of nutrients and their properties right off the bat.Here is a simple chart to help you analyze manufactured Maine Coon cat food.


Optimal source

Source for limited consumption (these ingredients are needed, cannot be completely ruled out)

Worst source.Not recommended on an ongoing basis.


Up to 60% of the diet

  • Lean, easily digestible meat: turkey, quail, chicken, rabbit, beef, horse meat.

  • By-products – beef, poultry heart, lungs, stomachs.

  • Kidneys, pork / lamb heart.

  • Squids (Maine Coons love him very much), trout, salmon, herring, sardines.

  • Eggs.

  • Fatty meat: pork, lamb, goose.

  • The liver is an allergen, it disrupts the functions of the gastrointestinal tract, you can take food with it occasionally as a source of iron, if the animal is well tolerated.

  • River fish, shrimps.

  • Milk whey.

Carbohydrates, including fiber


  • Vegetables and fruits: carrots, pumpkin, zucchini, cucumbers, Chinese cabbage, celery, asparagus, green beans.

  • Greens, herbs: parsley, chamomile, primrose, carrot tops, barley sprouts, oats.

  • Cereals, cereals: buckwheat, pearl barley.

  • Apple, pear, melon, strawberry, cabbage, broccoli, seaweed, beetroot.

  • Oats, rice

  • Potatoes (a lot of starch, not digestible). Tomatoes, eggplants and other nightshades.

  • Soybeans, peas, white beans – cause bloating.

  • Bananas, avocados and other exotics are banned.

  • Cereals and cereals with a lot of gluten: wheat and its varieties, millet, corn.



  • Marine fish or fish oil, krill, mammalian brains.
  • In general, vegetable oils are not very beneficial, as the digestive tract of cats lacks the necessary enzymes for processing.The same omega-3,6,9 Maine Coons are obtained exclusively from animal lipids.

Grain Free, or GF, means this is a grain-free food for cats prone to food allergies, skin rashes, and stool problems. However, in such formulas, the carbohydrate portion is traditionally taken from peas and potatoes. To avoid a possible upset of the gastrointestinal tract from them, the recipe must necessarily contain additives that improve digestion – prebiotics, polysaccharides, fiber.

The closer an ingredient is to the top of the list, the more of it is in the product. Accordingly, look for protein components in the first place, preferably from fresh meat, and not in the form of flour, powders, isolates.

Find a label on the package with a guaranteed analysis, where the ratio of BZHU is indicated. The minimum allowable percentage of crude protein according to GOST and FEDIAF (European association, which includes feed manufacturers from different countries) is 26%. This is enough to support the body of an adult animal.The upper limit is not standardized, so feel free to try high-protein diets.

But in general, the advice is banal: do not worry about guesswork, but trust the experience of zoologists. Cats are well studied, and experts have already balanced feeds based on breed, age, health status.

Additional vitamin and mineral supplements in the diet are not needed if there are no obvious problems and recommendations from a veterinarian. The necessary substances are already included in the formulation in their natural form (with products) or in the form of premixes.

Of course, we are only talking about premium, holistic rations. You probably know about the dangers of low-grade feed from the mass market. They are cheap, because the correct components have been replaced by analogs with a low nutritional value, there is an obvious bias in the BZHU. We also hope that you are from the category of conscious owners and will not save on the health of your loved one.

Rating of super premium food for Maine Coons

Bozita Large Wheat Free Salmon

The food of the Swedish manufacturer contains different types of meat – poultry, fish and mammals, due to which the optimal amino acid profile of the product is achieved.Created to improve the condition of the coat and skin, to protect cartilage from early destruction.

  • Sources of protein – chicken, salmon, beef. Bioactive peptides from fatty fish reduce the level of “bad” cholesterol, have an anti-inflammatory effect, in combination with biotin and zinc make the coat shiny, smooth, and increase skin elasticity.

  • There is glucosamine and chondroitin – natural constituents of cartilage tissue.

  • Added prebiotics. Polysaccharides are food for the beneficial bacteria that colonize the Maine Coon’s digestive tract.

  • No wheat. Instead, the food is enriched with lignocellulose – fiber from wood, which does not accumulate substances toxic to cats like wheat fibers.

  • Suitable for sterilized animals. The percentage of minerals that can cause urolithiasis is reduced.

Among the shortcomings, we note the presence of corn. Gluten and plant proteins in general are difficult for felines to digest. However, there is less than 5% of this ingredient.

Wellness Core Grain Free Ocean Salmon

French grain-free fish diet. Here the protein content is increased – as much as 44%, few brands in which it is possible to find similar indicators. It is aimed at Maine Coons with a sensitive gastrointestinal tract, reduces unpleasant feces odor.

  • In the first place of the composition – fresh salmon and only 10% of the flour from it.

  • Added salmon fat, tuna flour.

  • The correct fiber of natural origin is used – kelp, yucca Shidigera. Seaweed reduces the acidity of gastric juice with a tendency to gastritis, and yucca (a plant of the agave family) fights against pathogenic microflora in the intestine.

  • Cranberry maintains normal urine pH and prevents the formation of stones.

  • Flax seed fats coat and soften mucous membranes.

There are small amounts of peas and potatoes, but their undesirable effect is leveled by useful components.

Of the relative disadvantages, we note small oval granules.

Since the main source of protein is fish, feed this food no more than 2 times a week. This Maine Coon cat food can be mixed with poultry rations.

Brit Care Cat Tobby

Presented as a super premium food for allergy-prone Maine Coons. The Czech product contains a rare source of protein – duck, and the chicken content does not exceed 6%. Recall that of all types of meat, it is chicken that most often develops an allergy.The ingredient is inexpensive and is found in large quantities in many feeds, so a small proportion of chicken is a clear advantage here.

  • 35% crude protein.

  • Decent fatty components are isolated chicken and salmon fat.

  • Grain-free – no corn, soy, rice and even their derivatives.

  • The right fiber is apple and brewer’s yeast.

  • Interesting supplements. Sodium mineral hexametaphosphate (Graham’s salt) protects tooth enamel from acids, prevents plaque hardening. Introduced and complex for the joints – chondroitin, glucosamine.

Croquettes are round, moderately large, 1 cm in diameter is also a plus. As the owners note, the pets like the food very much.

Leonardo Adult Maxi GF

German grain-free holistic food for nourishing cats.Helps remove hairballs from the digestive tract, maintains healthy gums and teeth. The main carbohydrate is the herb amaranth (15%), which does not contain gluten. Potatoes and peas, unlike many other diets, are very small in the recipe.

  • 80% animal protein, fresh and dried poultry.

  • Quality sources of animal fat.

  • Extra-large extended croquettes 11-15 mm – do not fall out of the mouth, they are easy to chew.Gums are massaged, salivation is stimulated, appetite is increased.

  • Fortified with krill – small crustaceans, a valuable source of animal protein, Omega-3, DHA and EPA. Acids here are associated with phospholipids, which means that they are absorbed much better than analogues.

  • A natural preservative is used – tocopherol (vitamin E).

This food for Maine Coon cats normalizes urine PH and can be fed to spayed cats.

Maine Coon kitten feeding

Raccoon kittens feed on breast milk longer than others – up to 4 months. But already from the 25th day, you can offer babies soft meat pates, jelly.

Granulated food is introduced no earlier than 3 months, when the teeth are ready for solid food.

In the digestive tract of a small Maine Coon, a stable microflora has not yet been formed; the pancreas produces little amylase, which is the main enzyme needed to break down carbohydrates.Everything is designed to digest milk. So look for a hypoallergenic food for Maine Coon kittens, in the formula of which:

  • easily digestible animal protein – turkey, rabbit, duck;

  • light fats (preferably from fish) and in greater quantities than in diets for adults (up to 30%). This is important, because it is from lipids that cell walls are formed in a growing body, and the brain consists of almost half of fats;

  • minimum of grain, starch-containing components.

Two-month-old kittens are fed 6-7 times a day, half-year-olds – 3-4 times. The new product is introduced in small portions, it is imperative to monitor the reaction – whether the animal retains mobility, whether there are constipation, urge to vomit.

Super premium class food for Maine Coon kittens – rating from Mir Korma

Sanabelle Kitten

Diet of a German manufacturer with an immune complex for kittens, pregnant and lactating cats.Yeast Saccharomyces cervisiae is introduced into the formula, it has a mild immunostimulating effect. Raw materials undergo short-term heat treatment at low temperatures, which allows them to preserve vitamins.

  • 88% of proteins are of animal origin, based on fresh poultry and liver.

  • Sources of Omega-3,6 are salmon oil, fish meal.

  • Cereals that do not cause gluten enteropathy are used – rice, sorghum, millet.

Chicory powder, yeast and beet pulp normalize the balance of intestinal microflora, stimulate food digestion. The risk of loose stools is reduced, which is especially important with the first feeding.

Now Fresh Grain Free Kitten Recipe

The Canadian manufacturer has taken a serious approach to the recipe for food for young Maine Coons. This is a holistic diet without meat substitutes, with natural sources of vitamins and carbohydrates.

  • Only fresh muscle meat – no meat and bone meal, offal.

  • Proteins that rarely cause allergies – turkey fillets, salmon, duck, eggs.

  • Fiber, vitamins are served in “natural” form – rosemary, marigolds, apples, pumpkin, cranberries, blueberries, broccoli, spinach and a dozen other natural ingredients.

  • Fortified with calcium carbonate – better absorbed than gluconate.

  • Not only prebiotics have been introduced, but also the lactobacilli themselves.

A natural preservation system is used – vitamin E from vegetable oils.

Royal Canin Maine Coon Kitten

A rich high-calorie diet (427 kcal / 100 g) of Russian production, even with a small portion, the pet will be full and satisfied for a long time.

  • The increased fat content is 23%.

  • Proteins of the L.I.P. – a high degree of digestibility. More than 90% of the proteins are guaranteed to be digested in the kitten’s stomach.

  • Chondroitin and glucosamine in natural form – cartilage and crustacean shells. Promotes proper joint development.

  • Polysaccharides MOS, FOS from plantain seeds and yeast – nourish the intestinal microflora, form normal stools.

  • Large cubic granules – for oral hygiene, stimulation of blood circulation and tooth growth.

The formula contains wheat, soybean oil, a little starch, for which the product occupies the bottom line in our rating.

The body of each cat is individual, and choosing the ideal diet can only be done by trial and error. It is better to buy food from the same manufacturer, but from different lines – this way you will maintain a balanced food and a variety of tastes.In our store there is a large assortment of factory food for small, adult, pregnant cats, animals with chronic diseases – a list of premium food for Maine Coon and prices for ready-made rations can be found in the World of Korma catalog. Choose the best for your pet!

Intestinal obstruction in cats: symptoms, causes, diagnosis, treatment, complications

Contents of article

In veterinary medicine, intestinal obstruction in cats is referred to as ileus. Unlike constipation (coprostasis), in which fecal masses, although in small quantities, come out, intestinal obstruction is characterized by the absence of defecation and gas, since the intestinal lumen is tightly blocked.

Causes of the disease

Intestinal obstruction can be provoked by numerous factors. The reasons for stagnant processes include the following:

  1. Ingestion of foreign objects and fur into the intestines, which the cat may accidentally swallow. This reason is the most common – up to 80% of all cases.
  2. Infection with helminths. Living and dead worms in excessive quantities knock into lumps that completely block the intestinal lumen.
  3. Coprostasis observed for a long time. Dry stool forms a tight plug that closes the intestines. Constipation is most often the result of poor nutrition. Undigested food and decay products, among other things, also poison the animal’s body.
  4. Volvulus. The constriction that occurs in a certain area of ​​the intestine disrupts blood circulation, as a result of which the organ dies and decomposes.
  5. Intussusception. It is a consequence of volvulus and is characterized by the introduction of one intestine into another.
  6. Malignant and benign neoplasms in the intestine. First, tumors provoke a partial blockage, then, expanding, complete.
  7. Intestinal paralysis. The cause of organ paralysis can be trauma to the spine, intestines, diseases of the nervous system, etc.

Regardless of the factor causing the ileus, measures to eliminate intestinal obstruction should be taken immediately.

Which breeds are more susceptible to

Ileus can occur in any cat, regardless of age or gender.Representatives of long-haired breeds are most susceptible to this phenomenon, for example, Persians, Siberians, Maine Coons. Numerous wool that gets into the stomach during licking forms trichobezoars – dense clumps of hair. It is they who are most often the cause of intestinal obstruction.

Main symptoms

At the initial stage, obstruction (ileus) practically does not appear. The owner should be alerted by signs such as nausea, constipation, and bloating.

As the disease progresses, the cat ceases to show interest in food, does not drink.This is due to the fact that the stomach does not empty and becomes more and more due to undigested food. Nausea turns into vomiting, attacks of which are observed every 15-20 minutes. Vomit sometimes contains stool particles.

The chair is missing. At the onset of the disease or in the case of partial obstruction, small discharge of fecal masses formed before intestinal blockage is possible.

Due to the fact that the gases do not go out, the cat’s belly swells up. The pet constantly licks it, while feeling severe pain.The fluffy does not allow to touch the belly.

On palpation, you can feel the tension and hardness of the abdominal cavity, sometimes a foreign body is palpated, which the cat has swallowed.

Diagnostics in the veterinary clinic

To make a diagnosis, the veterinarian examines the animal, examines the medical history, and also prescribes the necessary diagnostic measures. To establish the severity of intoxication, the urine and blood of the cat are examined.

Conducting radiography with a contrast agent and ultrasound is impractical, since the studies do not give an accurate result.

The only complete and informative diagnostic method for blockage of the intestinal lumen is laparotomy.

Treatment method and prognosis

There is no single treatment regimen for ileus. In addition, it is necessary to determine in which part of the intestine stagnation has formed. Only laparotomy can show this.

Important: the most dangerous is stagnation in the small intestine. Under the pressure of the contents, the intestinal wall can rupture, which will lead to instant death.

Treatment for intestinal obstruction includes two stages:

  • laparotomy, which is regarded as a full-fledged operation;
  • rehabilitation period.

The postoperative period is of great importance. To make the recovery process as easy and quick as possible, the cat should not be fed for 48 hours, water can only be given every other day.

To stabilize the condition, it is shown that the water-salt balance is restored and the intoxication is removed by intravenous infusion of saline solutions.A course of antibiotic therapy is required.

It is necessary to adjust nutrition and use medicated feed.

Medicinal and cleansing enemas using medicinal plants will help to remove the irritating effect from the intestinal walls. It is permissible to use linseed and petroleum jelly. With the help of painkillers and anti-inflammatory medications, pain syndrome is eliminated, the inflammatory process is relieved.

To strengthen the immune system, restore microflora and support the general condition, it is advisable to use probiotics and immunostimulants.

What to do at home

The owner is required to follow the instructions of a specialist. It is strictly forbidden to independently prescribe medications to the cat, reduce or increase the dosage. Self-medication is dangerous and can cause irreparable harm to your pet! Traditional methods (herbs, massages, etc.) can help with bloating, constipation, but not ileus. It is impossible to get rid of this phenomenon at home.

If you suspect intestinal obstruction, you should immediately take your pet to a hospital or call a veterinarian at home.You cannot feed the pet, give it water before a specialist examination! Food and water will only aggravate the situation, causing profuse vomiting, which is fraught with dehydration.

Do not give laxatives, and even more so try to relieve the cat’s bowels with an enema. Cleansing procedures are prescribed by a veterinarian, taking into account the condition of the animal and confirming that the enema will not rupture the intestines.

Possible complications

You need to understand that ileus is a very dangerous condition.If untreated, intestinal obstruction leads to disastrous consequences, up to and including death. Feces, gases, gastric juices accumulate in the intestines, as a result, the blood supply process is disrupted, necrosis develops (death of the intestinal walls).

In addition, the body gets severe poisoning with decay products. This leads to the death of the intestinal microflora and the development of putrefactive processes in the intestine.

The situation with partial ileus is somewhat simpler, when the intestinal lumen does not close completely, allowing gases and a small amount of feces to escape.However, this does not mean that treatment is not required.

Preventive measures

Ileus in a cat can be prevented, it is enough to follow the simplest preventive measures.

First of all, your pet should always have access to fresh drinking water, especially if it only receives dry food. The immunity of the animal must be maintained with the help of vitamin and mineral complexes.

In order to avoid the appearance of trichobezoars, it is necessary to comb and bathe the pet; during the molting period, this should be done more often.To remove hair from the body, you can give the cat preventive food, malt paste, special treats and tablets that are sold in veterinary pharmacies.

Small objects that the pet can swallow during the game must be removed out of its reach.

Interesting topics

Oven-Baked Adult Cat Fish Food for adult cats with fresh fish 2,27kg

• Prepared using a special technology: slow roasting in the oven.

• The feed is prepared in small batches to ensure freshness and quality.

• Home-milled whole grain added.

• No artificial preservatives or flavors.

• The basis of the recipe is fresh fish, which contains all the essential amino acids for the cat’s health.

• More dense pellets, practically free of air, in contrast to extruded feed. This guarantees more energetic pellets.In order for the animal to eat, less food is needed.

• Green tea extract – prevents the formation of plaque, freshens breath

• Pineapple – promotes hair removal, improves digestion

• Pumpkin – a source of antioxidants. Rich in beta-carotene and important vitamins (A, C and E)

• Glucosamine and chondroitin help hydrate cartilage and protect joints.

• Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids support the beauty of the coat and the health of the skin.

• Cranberries are a source of antioxidants. Helps prevent kidney stones


Fresh fish, oatmeal, dehydrated fish, brown rice, ground barley, ground whole flaxseed, natural flavor, pumpkin, rapeseed oil (canned with mixed tocopherols), beetroot and citric acid pulp, brewer’s yeast, dicalcium phosphate, salmon oil, carrot, sweet potato, apple, blueberry, spinach, potassium chloride, calcium sulfate, inulin (prebiotic), DL-methionine, cranberry, choline chloride, pineapple, taurine, green tea extract, dried algae, ferrous sulfate, zinc sulfate, vitamin E, chondroitin sulfate, glucosamine hydrochloride, parsley, yucca Shidiger extract, niacin, copper sulfate, vitamin A acetate, manganese sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, calcium D-pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavotin vitamin B12, vitamin D3, sodium selenite, calcium iodate, folic acid, rosemary extract.May contain traces of peanuts.

Food additives / kg: Vitamins: Vitamin A (retinol acetate) 10,000 IU, vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) 750 IU, vitamin E 64 mg. Trace elements: ferrous sulfate 240 mg, zinc sulfate 190 mg, manganese sulfate 21.4 mg, copper sulfate 53.6 mg, sodium selenite 0.27 mg, calcium iodate 2.60 mg. Amino Acids: Taurine 1000 mg. Technological additive: Antioxidants, citric acid.

90,000 species description, lifestyle, habitat – WWF

Saiga antelope or saiga is a steppe antelope with an unusual proboscis.The beast can be considered unique: it appeared 50-70 thousand years ago, found the era of mammoths and has survived to this day. But such a long history does not help him survive in the modern world – the species is considered endangered.


Saiga species (Saiga tatarica) belongs to the bovid family, the antelope subfamily and the Saiga genus.The type of animal is chordate, the class is mammal, the detachment is artiodactyl.

In appearance, it is a small goat-sized antelope, with slender legs and a dense build. The height is 60-79 cm, the length is 110-140 cm, and the tail is also 8-12 cm. The weight of the saiga is 23-55 kg. Females are slightly smaller than males.

Body length, m Height at the withers, cm Weight, kg Horn length, cm
100 – 140 60 – 79 23 – 55 30

Saigas look funny because of their movable proboscis nose.It ends with two large heart-shaped nostrils. Such a nose helps the saiga to survive at different times of the year: in winter it heats up the air before letting it into the lungs, and in summer it filters the steppe dust. Males have a larger nose.

The nose is soft and swollen – like a proboscis © Rostislav Mashin / WWF-Russia

Males have bigger noses © Alexey Shkolny / WWF-Russia

Seasonal color of animals – good camouflage.In summer, the herd merges with the sandy tones of the steppe, and in winter with snow.

In spring and summer, a rare sandy-red animal with white chest and abdomen. In the fall he puts on a whitish coat to match the color of the snow. Summer fur is short – 2 cm, and winter – dense and long up to 7 cm: such wool protects from the wind.
The horns of the saiga are smoothly curved and translucent with a dark tip, the size of the head – 30 cm.Females have no horns. In color, they almost do not differ from wool.

Summer image of saigas © Aleksey Shkolny

Saiga in a winter coat © Evgeny Polonsky

Normal proportion of males in the population.
In 2019, it was 11%.

In the wild, males live for 7 years, females for 9-10 years. In zoos and nurseries – up to 12 years.Life expectancy depends on conditions: it is more difficult to survive in the wild than in a safe zoo.


14-20 thousand years ago, this antelope lived in the vast expanses of the steppes of Eurasia and North America. In the historical period, the once single area split into three parts: European (Eastern Europe), Central Asian (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan) and Central Asian (Mongolia and China).

V 18 c. met in Moldova, in the vicinity of Kiev, Ufa, Tambov, Orsk, on the shores of the Black Sea. Over time, habitats were reduced due to the development of territories by humans.

The saiga lives in steppe and semi-desert natural zones. The area covers several countries: Kazakhstan, Russia, Kyrgyzstan, Mongolia, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. In the Russian Federation, saigas live in the North-Western Caspian region: the Astrakhan region and the Republic of Kalmykia. Also, the areas bordering the Republic of Kazakhstan partially include the area of ​​the Volga-Ural
population.For 2018, there are about 120,000 individuals left in the world.

Saigas in Russia can be found in the reserve “Chernye Zemli”, reserves “Mekletinsky” and “Stepnoy”. The territories are protected from poachers, but this does not limit the freedom of animals – they freely live in the wild steppes.


Saigas are herbivorous animals. They feed on steppe grasses, saltwort, wormwood, sometimes flowers and lichens. In total, there are about 80 species of plants in the diet, among them: twig, black and white wormwood, ephedra, quinoa, bird knotweed, licorice, monastic pepper, kermeka, cereal fescue and wheatgrass, steppe lichen. They do not eat at the root: they bite off the most juicy parts at the top and move to another place.

3 – 6 kg

plant food per day should be eaten by the steppe antelope

They come to watering places during the dry season.In winter, they do not need water due to precipitation, and in spring they eat irises and tulips – they already have so much moisture. During periods of severe drought, when food is difficult to find, they come to agricultural land and feed on local crops such as rye or corn.


Saigas live in a single herd of 40 to 1000 heads, without leaders.Together they graze, go to the watering hole and move around the steppe. Sometimes they are divided into harems, groups of males and young animals, but they cannot live without a herd for a long time, so they reunite. They communicate with each other with rumbling and lowing sounds, similar to throat singing.

Wander and graze in herds © Rostislav Mashin / WWF-Russia

Going to a watering hole together © Aleksey Shkolny / WWF-Russia

Steppe antelopes are wild.Their home is the steppes. Choose places with solid rock or clay so that it is comfortable to run. They do not stay on one pasture for a long time and migrate around the area in search of better food.

People are exploring the steppe spaces, so saigas are losing most of their habitats. Basically, they roam within the protected areas.

The rutting period for saigas is from November to December. Males fight to mate with females. First, they make low sounds – gurgling: they bend the trunk in the shape of the letter S, strain it. If the other males do not retreat, they fight on the horns. The winner of the bout gets the opportunity to mate with several females. During the rut, males have no time to eat – some individuals weaken and become easy prey for wolves.

15-30 females
should be in the male’s harem. But due to hunting, their number has decreased, now there are up to 50 females per male.

Pregnancy lasts five months.Before giving birth, females choose an area away from watering holes. They occupy space without vegetation or in sparse thickets. In this case, the place should warm up, otherwise the baby will freeze in bad weather. Females give birth to one or two saiga calves in late spring and early summer.

Saiga Baby © Rostislav Mashin / WWF-Russia

The newborn weighs 3.5 kg.Within a few hours he is ready to run. A two-week-old toddler runs with the herd. Saiga feeds a baby with milk for up to three months; by about the end of summer, the young saiga begins to eat plants. The horns of small saigas grow from birth to a year and a half.

Saigat cubs with their mother © Igor Shpilenok

Saiga and man

The Kalmyks have a belief about the White Elder – the patron saint of fertility and animals, especially saigas.Hunters do not shoot animals when they are huddled together. According to legend, at this time the White Elder milks them, and if you harm the beast, you will attract the Elder’s wrath.

White Elder with a saiga in Elista © Mikhail Klimenko / WWF-Russia

Saiga near the White Elder © Mikhail Klimenko / WWF-Russia

Saigas do not let people close to them: they feel a threat coming from them.But fortunately, they are not only surrounded by poachers – there are many people who help protect and restore the population.

In the Center for Wild Animals of the Republic of Kalmykia, saigas were bred, and then the young were released into the wild. Organizations also help, for example, the brands of natural cosmetics Greencosmetics and Davines donated part of the money to WWF Russia from each sale. To attract people to protect the endangered species, Saiga Day is celebrated in April.

5150 saigas
were recorded by drones in the North-Western Caspian region
in the summer of 2019.

Filming from drones helps to count animals without disturbing them Evgeny Polonsky ©

interesting facts
  • Maximum speed saiga – 80 km / h: this is how the animal would outstrip the car in the city and off-road.This is the fastest antelope in Europe.
  • The relic antelope survived the Ice Age and is now experiencing global warming.
  • The hind leg in motion is similar to a pendulum: the hip joint moves the leg back and forth without tensing the muscles. Therefore, the saiga runs long distances at the same pace and does not get tired.
  • A saiga jumping with a candle is a jump upward forward, with bent forepaws, while keeping the body almost vertical. It is also called signal or observation.
  • For long distances, they amble: they are repelled alternately with both left and right feet.
  • Heal the steppe: they break the floor of dry grasses with their hooves. In these places, new grasses grow, which steppe animals feed on.
  • Weight of a pair of horns – 300 grams. They are as light as a mug.
  • A graphic story has been published about the story of the baby saiga.
  • The trunk is covered with wool inside – it filters the air.
  • Attempts to domesticate saigas were unsuccessful: the animal’s life is in constant motion.
  • Thanks to good eyesight, he sees objects several kilometers away, and a developed sense of smell helps the mother find the baby.

How animals are taken care of in Germany and Russia – Rossiyskaya Gazeta

A nursing home, unique in Germany, operates in a Lower Saxon village on the shores of the North Sea.Its guests are cows rescued from slaughter, Deutsche Welle reports. Recently the owners of the “Butenland” shelter adopted one more animal – the one and a half year old bull Ole. Now 38 artiodactyls are grazing peacefully on an area of ​​20 hectares.

Jan Gerdes and his girlfriend Karin, who run the shelter, are not classic farmers, because they are not engaged in agriculture. All the animals that took refuge in “Butenland” were prepared one way – to the slaughterhouse. But they “got the chance to face old age with dignity,” the couple says.Jan and Karin refuse to consider their charges as soulless animals, insisting that each cow is an individual with a bright character and deep feelings.

The oldest of them is already 19 years old. Each has its own story behind it, which can be found in the file cabinet. For example, the beauty Lily gave birth to six calves, after which her milk yield plummeted. The previous owners were sorry to give her up for meat, and they put Lily in a cow nursing home. In the first weeks, the cow “was shocked by the freedom that fell on her and hesitantly wandered between the pasture and the stable, not believing her happiness.”And the red-haired Meentie immediately joined the team and became one of the leaders of the herd. Newbie Ole has a special destiny. Since childhood, he was sent to a traveling circus, and after several months of touring he was rejected for health reasons. Now he doesn’t have to do tricks to get his portion of the stew. Some of them themselves accidentally wander into a farm, where an iron right of refuge is in effect: any animal that has nailed to the herd receives the status of a “boutleander” or “butenland”. True, for this it is necessary to settle property disputes.Sometimes it comes to courts.

Not everyone in the district approves of the weirdos Jan and Karin. Real peasants have to work hard to maintain their farms, and Butenland lives mainly on donations from donations, as well as a grant from the EU. Only for hay and water for one animal costs 150 euros per month.

However, the rescuer of cows Jan is not a visiting outsider at all: he himself grew up on the most ordinary farm, which passed to him from his father back in the 1980s. The man tried to introduce humane standards of management in himself – for example, not to take calves from cows longer, but it was even harder.In the end, he sold his herd, but left ten weak and sick animals to live on in the pasture.

How do you like that?

Vladimir Marin , director of the video studio of the Institute of Oceanology of the Russian Academy of Sciences

A young walrus has come to the village of Cape Kamenny on the Yamal Peninsula. He came out to people skinny and unwillingly: dense ice blocked his way to water, and he could not return to his brothers. The inhabitants of Cape Kamenny are used to such guests. Hungry, they go out to the people to feed themselves, then they swim away, and here it is … And the locals compassionately marked the walrus in one of the garages, where he managed to get seriously injured – he was breaking through to freedom.And then … I got used to it. He climbed onto the trestle bed and slept curled up in a ball. “The child is,” the locals decided. And for the sake of saving the walrus, they found the Udmurtia Zoo. Its director Svetlana Malysheva took the “baby”. The child turned out to be a walrus, which for Svetlana Malysheva became like the second daughter – the youngest, they had to endure so many trials. Hence the name of the walrus – Neseika, translated from Udmurt as “youngest”.

First, Svetlana Malysheva cured a cold walrus, then she underwent an operation to remove her inflamed canines.Difficult. By the way, one of the operations was done in Hamburg, Germany. Now the walrus has returned to her second homeland in Izhevsk, in the Udmurtia Zoo. In Cape the Stone people, from this story, they drew their conclusion: nevertheless, walruses must live in the wild. Their favorite rookery is Vaigach Island in the Barents Sea, where the animals have enough food. They follow her to the people. And so that they do not have stories similar to Neseika, because there is not enough space in the zoos for everyone, the locals, together with environmentalists, came up with the “Walrus Patrol”: when another group of walruses reaches the Cape, volunteer environmentalists go hunting.They immobilize pinnipeds from a rifle with medicine and set a mark on their fangs. Then, with its help, they track their movement for years and put food in places of rookeries.