Use Crayon Shavings To Identify Each Pet’s Stool

Crayons manufactured by reputable companies are made safe to ingest (at least in small quantities) because those companies’ owners know that somechildren will be chewing on them.  Crayola brand crayons even say “non-toxic” right on the box.

Use crayon shavings in a small pet meal to identify various pets’ stool samples.

As a result, we know this tip is safe.

We like for our clients to participate in our SBI program, described here, in which a tablespoon of their pet’s stool is presented at the time of the appointment, avoiding the need for the colon to be probed to obtain the stool. It makes a huge difference in the pet’s comfort level for the visit.

Suppose, though, that you have two cats, and they share a litterbox?

You could sit around and watch the box until one of them climbs in and donates.

Then you could sit around some more until the other one donates.

Who has that kind of time? Or patience?

You could separate the two cats each into a room with a clean litterbox. However, many cats will object to their routine being disturbed.

Or, you could make each cat a treat of a small bowl of canned food.  Mix one half teaspoon of red crayon shavings in one bowl of cat food, and green crayon shavings in the other.

Write down which cat got which color of crayon shavings.

Now, when you collect the stool from the litterbox, each cat’s stool can be identified by the crayon color showing on the outside.

You can do the same with dogs, which is especially handy if you have two or more dogs about the same body weight, making it difficult to tell “whose is whose.”

Your pet will thank you and your pet’s doctor will thank you. In fact, we reward our clients with a special, lowered fee for SBIs.

See you tomorrow, Dr. Randolph.



  1. I have a cat with moderate to severe constipation. He’s been to the vet and she suggested the crayon shavings trick, as I have several other cats. My husband and I have yet to see any sign of crayon shavings or even colour! My husband can’t stand to, but I dissect each piece of fecal matter that looks like it could belong to Fitz. And I’m quite sure I’ve been putting more than 1/2 a tsp. in! He’s has been getting crayon treated high fibre tinned food for two weeks now. Has anyone ever actually seen these shavings or the colour from them in cat feces?? Wondering if I’m eventually going to have a multi-hued cat!

    • This is a new one on me! Usually the crayon color is visible on the outside of the feces. Perhaps try another color? Read our article on obstipation, and ask your veterinarian whether using Polyethylene glycol 3350 (PEG3350) might help with the problem. I have also used lactullose, but be sure to ask your veterinarian before changing any of his treatment. Thanks for reading

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