9 Ways to Help Your Constipated Cat
Dr. Aja Senestraro, DVMJump to a Section: This section has been reviewed and updated for correctness on March 10, 2020.
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There are nine tips and home remedies to help you deal with the symptoms and causes of your dog’s illness.
Symptoms of Constipation in Cats
When you have constipation, you have infrequent stools or stools that are difficult to move through the toilet. The majority of cats will poop around every 24-36 hours. Having constipation might cause your cat to defecate less regularly and have difficulties going through the motions. While there is some typical variance, if it has been more than 48-72 hours since your pet last had a bowel movement, you should call your veterinarian. Constipation in cats manifests itself in the following ways:
- Feces that are dry and hard (either within or outside the litter box)
It is normal for the excrement to be a deep brown hue and to be well-formed when you eat it. Veterinary medicine specialist Dr. Liz Bales explains that “a good stool has enough moisture so litter will attach to it.” Constipation in cats can result in feces that are extremely dry and stiff. Due to the unpleasantness of passing feces, it is possible that cats will leave the litter box before they have completed their business in it.
- The use of crying or straining in the litter box, or the avoidance of the litter box entirely
The use of crying or straining in the litter box, or the avoidance of the litter box completely;
- Symptoms include: nausea, decreased appetite, vomiting, increased or decreased water consumption, increased peeing frequency, weight loss, muscle loss, difficulty springing up, and fatigue. Walking with a stiff gait
If you see any of these symptoms in your cat, whether or not they are accompanied by constipation, you should consult your cat’s veterinarian.
Causes of Cat Constipation
“Anything that causes dehydration in a cat may result in constipation,” explains Dr. Bales. “Constipation can be caused by a variety of factors.” Some conditions are minor and may be treated at home with dietary and lifestyle adjustments, while others are more serious and require medical attention. Constipation can occur if the intestines aren’t moving things along as they should be, resulting in the stool being hard and dry. These symptoms can be brought on by several underlying conditions such as stress and anxiety, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), allergies, neurological disorders, and even some types of cancer.
Anal sacs that have ruptured or become impacted may potentially cause your cat discomfort while defecating, as well as constipation.
Constipation can develop if a cat holds her feces for a longer period of time than is typical.
Obesity, stress, and worry, joint discomfort from arthritis or anal gland disorders, a blockage, and even some types of cancer can all contribute to this condition.
Vet Treatment for Constipation in Cats
As Dr. Bales explains, constipation in cats can be caused by anything that promotes dehydration in the animal. Some problems are minor and may be resolved at home by making dietary and lifestyle changes, while others are more serious and require medical attention or hospitalization. Having constipation means that your digestive system isn’t working properly, and your stool isn’t soft and moist as it should be. The underlying cause of this condition might include stress and worry, inflammatory bowel disease, allergies, nerve disorders, and in some cases, malignancy.
Pain during feces may also be caused by ruptured or impacted anal sacs in your cat.
The dehydration and constipation that can occur in cats on dry food diets are also a concern.
Obesity, stress, and worry, joint discomfort from arthritis or anal gland disorders, a blockage, and even some types of cancer are all factors that can contribute to this.
Tips and Home Remedies for Constipation in Cats
You may treat your cat’s constipation by doing a variety of activities at home, as detailed in the following list.
Increase Water Consumption
Because dehydration is a contributing factor to constipation, increasing water consumption and maintaining proper hydration can help avoid constipation. Due to the fact that cats are not very adept at consuming standing water, the most effective method of increasing their water consumption and keeping them well-hydrated is to serve them wet food. This has a major impact on their water consumption, which in turn has a substantial impact on their constipation risk. By providing your cat with multiple water dishes in different places of your home, experimenting with pet water fountains, allowing a faucet to drip, and flavoring the water with items cats enjoy, such as clam juice, tuna juice, or beef broth, you may encourage your cat to drink more water.
Try a New Diet
Cats suffering from food allergies may have intestinal irritation and constipation. It is possible to minimize inflammation and enable the intestines to flow more properly by switching the protein source in your cat’s diet (chicken, lamb, etc.). This will alleviate constipation. Cats that are allergic to a variety of different items might benefit from special limited ingredient diets and hypoallergenic diets, which are both available. It does, however, take around 8-12 weeks for a diet modification to be effective, thus this is considered part of long-term treatment.
Help Your Cat Maintain a Healthy Weight
In cats, intestinal inflammation and constipation can be caused by food intolerances and allergies. It is possible to minimize inflammation and allow the intestines to flow more properly by switching the protein source in your cat’s diet (chicken, lamb, etc.). This helps to alleviate constipation in many cases. There are also specific restricted ingredient diets and hypoallergenic diets available for cats who may be sensitive to a variety of different items. While a diet adjustment can be effective after around 8-12 weeks, this is only a portion of long-term treatment.
Increase Exercise and Enrichment
Exercise can aid in the promotion of regular bowel movement, which can aid in the treatment and prevention of constipation. Using items such as cat toys, cat trees, window perches, and additional playing with you, you may encourage your cat to be more active. Exercise will also assist in providing enrichment and reducing your cat’s anxiety, as well as aiding in weight loss for your cat.
Minimize Stress and Anxiety
Congestion may be treated and prevented with exercise since it helps to encourage regular flow of the intestines.
Using items such as cat toys, cat trees, window seats, and more playing with you, you may encourage your cat to become more active. Along with providing enrichment and reducing your cat’s anxiety, exercise will aid in weight reduction and will assist in providing enrichment.
Add More Litter Boxes
Exercise can aid in the promotion of regular intestinal movement, which can aid in the treatment and prevention of constipation. Use items such as cat toys, cat trees, window perches, and more playing with you to encourage your cat to be more active. Exercise will also assist in providing enrichment and reducing your cat’s anxiety, as well as aiding in weight loss in your cat.
Try Fiber or Probiotics
Exercise can assist to encourage proper movement of the intestines, which can aid in the treatment and prevention of constipation. Encourage your cat to be more active by providing him with items such as cat toys, cat trees, window perches, and more playing with you. Exercise will also assist to give enrichment and alleviate your cat’s anxiety, as well as aid in weight loss.
Ask Your Vet About Over-the-Counter Laxatives
The over-the-counter drugs and supplements listed below may help your cat’s constipation symptoms, but always check your veterinarian before administering any new vitamins or medications to your cat. There are various distinct forms of laxatives, each of which works in a different way. The majority of over-the-counter remedies operate by forcing the body to pull more water into the intestines, which helps soften the stool and make it easier to transit through the body. Because they produce dehydration in cats with underlying chronic conditions, laxatives can exacerbate the symptoms of those diseases in addition to causing dehydration in those cats.
Miralax (PEG 3350) is a medication that is widely prescribed for cats suffering from constipation.
Other laxatives, such as those intended for human use, can be problematic for cats.
Monitor Your Cat for Constipation
Check on your cat’s defecation and stool consistency at least twice a week at first, and then once or twice a week after that until the problem is resolved. If you detect your cat defecating particularly hard, dry feces or if you notice that your cat is straining while defecating, call your veterinarian right once. Keep an eye out for any of the other indicators of constipation, and call your veterinarian if you observe any of the other signs of constipation, especially diarrhea, which may quickly lead to dehydration.
Image used in the header: iStock.com/disqis
Cat Can’t Poo? Here’s What to Do
Check on your cat’s defecation and stool consistency at least twice a week at first, and then once or twice a week after that, until the problem is resolved. If you detect unusually hard, dry feces or if your cat appears to be straining while defecating, you should consult your veterinarian. You should also be on the lookout for any other indicators of constipation, and you should call your veterinarian if you see diarrhea, which should be reported immediately since it can quickly result in dehydration.
Stacia Friedman contributed to this report. Photo credit: iStock/disqis for the featured image
What Causes Constipation in Cats?
Although veterinarians aren’t always sure what causes constipation in cats, Anthony says the condition is more common in cats with certain conditions, such as kidney disease. “Kidney disease frequently results in body water loss and overall dehydration, which can manifest as constipation,” Anthony says. “Intestinal illness can affect motility, decreasing the transit of digested contents and resulting in a drier stool,” according to the National Institutes of Health. Your kitten may also be experiencing physical discomfort that prevents him from placing himself properly in the litter box, causing him to avoid using the box completely.
Cats may also have impacted anal glands, which can be painful.
Signs Your Cat Is Constipated
Cats are notoriously secretive when it comes to taking care of their business (and we take the same ‘out of sight, out of mind’ attitude to the entire thing ourselves!) However, in order to recognize the indications of cat constipation, you must first become familiar with his feces. “An incorrect belief exists that, in constipated cats, the stool within is greater in diameter than regular stool. This is not the case. While this is occasionally the case, sometimes the feces produced by constipated cats is extremely tiny “”It’s Anthony,” he adds.
The longer the feces remains in the colon, the more water is drawn out of the body.” This produces a painful cycle: the colon drains water (which is its duty), the poo becomes harder and drier, and cat is unable to transfer it through the system.
Another characteristic is that it is frequently quite dark brown, however nutrition may affect the color.
In the event that your cat appears sluggish or meows in discomfort when you pick him up or try to touch him, it’s important to investigate his potty habits (his pride will soon recover!).
- While he is using the litter box, put him under pressure. In addition, he is not passing a substantial volume of feces (which is generally at least a couple inches in length)
- Defecation in places other than the bathroom
- He vomits after attempting to pass gas
Any of these signs and symptoms should prompt you to schedule an appointment with your veterinarian immediately soon. In addition, some pet parents bring in their cats who are truly constipated because they are stopping themselves from urinating, according to Anthony.
If you assume constipation based on your poo examination but only notice a few drops of urine, Anthony says this is typically a secondary outcome of the cat exerting all of his abdominal muscles to push and the bladder being relatively empty, but a vet will be able to confirm this.
Best Way to Help a Constipated Cat Poop Again
Take him to the veterinarian. That’s it! It’s simple! According to the Cornell Feline Health Center, a veterinarian will examine your cat’s hydration levels, check his overall health, and rule out any other probable clinical causes of his dehydration. In addition to this, if the problem is more serious, the vet team will take quick action to alleviate the discomfort of your cat’s constipation. “Constipated cats may require an enema at the veterinarian’s office in order to defecate. This is a liquid that softens and lubricates the passage of excrement, and it is used in the toilet “”It’s Anthony,” he adds.
- Obstipation is a medical condition that necessitates fecal extraction by a clinician while under sedation or anesthesia.” You shouldn’t have to palpate a cat in order to get constipation relief, either.
- (Whew!) There are several home cures for cat constipation that you may research on the internet, and your veterinarian will likely prescribe the safest and most effective solutions for you.
- “No nutritional adjustments should be undertaken prior to consulting with a veterinarian, however, because dietary suggestions should be made with the cat’s overall health in mind,” says the veterinarian.
- Consult your veterinarian for assistance in developing a more balanced and um, digestible cuisine.
The Scoop on Cat Poop
You may learn a great deal about your cat’s health by looking at their feces. You should look for a few crucial signals while scooping out the litter box, whether you’ve just acquired your first kitten or you’ve been sharing your house with cats for a number of years.
Cat Poop: What’s Normal?
Pooping is something that most cats do at least once a day. If they’re in good health, their feces should look like this:
- Be a rich, dark brown in hue
- Do not feel too firm, too soft, or too mushy
- Although some odor is natural, it should not be offensive
Diarrhea in cats is not uncommon, and there are a variety of reasons why your cat could be experiencing it. At times, it comes and passes in a matter of seconds. Other times, it might linger for a few days, a few weeks, or even a few months, or it can return on a regular basis. You should not be concerned about diarrhea that lasts for 24 to 48 hours unless you have an elderly cat or a kitten in your household. However, if it continues for an extended period of time, your cat may get dehydrated, which can be harmful.
- Changes in their eating habits, as well as food allergies or intolerances Inflammatory bowel illness, colitis, worms (intestinal parasites), pancreatic disease, cancer, and hyperthyroidism are among conditions that can affect the digestive tract.
If your cat gets diarrhea that lasts longer than a day or two, take him or her to the veterinarian so that he or she can determine the cause. If your pet’s diarrhea is black or bloody, or if it occurs in conjunction with other symptoms such as fever, vomiting, sluggishness, or a loss of appetite, contact your veterinarian immediately. The type of therapy your cat will get will be determined by what is causing their diarrhea. Medications such as metronidazole or prednisolone, which are used to manage inflammation, will be required for some.
Some cats may additionally require deworming medicine or probiotics in addition to their regular treatment.
Also, if you change the brand or kind of food you feed them, be sure to gradually introduce it over a period of several days by combining it with less and smaller amounts of the old food until they are just eating the new food.
It is common for cats to become constipated, and when they do, they will strain excessively when they defecate or will be unable to produce anything for the litter box. It is not necessary to be concerned if this occurs just sometimes. However, if this is a more typical occurrence for your pet, you should consult with your veterinarian. Cats can get constipated for a variety of causes, including the following:
- Over-grooming, which results in an accumulation of hair in the digestive tract
- Problems with the kidneys
- Feline megacolon is a condition in which the colon becomes extremely big and its muscles become unable to squeeze, resulting in the accumulation of hard, dry feces inside the colon. A foreign object, such as a rope or bones, that is obstructing their colon
- Nutritional deficiencies due to a lack of fiber
- Problems occurring inside the colon, such as tumors or constrictions
- Back discomfort or difficulties with the spine
For constipation relief, your veterinarian may recommend that you provide your cat with additional fiber, such as by mixing canned pumpkin into their usual meal. Alternatively, they may advise you to switch to a meal that is simpler for your pet to digest. HAirball medicines may also be beneficial. It also helps to ensure that they receive more activity and drink more water, which allows waste to pass through their system more quickly. If your cat is having excrement issues, you should consult your veterinarian, however the following chart may be useful in determining the source of the problem:
|Constipation||Small, hard, dry poop||Less than once a day||Dehydration, megacolon, dietary issues|
|Constipation||Small, hard, dry poop that has a lot of hair||Less than once a day||Hairballs, over-grooming|
|Constipation||Thin, ribbon-like poop||Less than once a day||Colon problems, like a tumor|
|Diarrhea||Black, tarry, runny poop||It varies||Stomach or intestinal bleeding. Call the vet right away|
|Diarrhea||Smelly, pudding-like poop||2-3 times daily||Food intolerances, inflammatory bowel disease|
|Diarrhea||Gooey poop filled with mucus||It varies||Too little fiber; colitis|
|Diarrhea||Can vary, sometimes soft, frothy, greasy poop with mucus and/or blood||It varies||Parasites|
Cat Constipation: Signs, Causes & Treatment
It is possible that your veterinarian will advise you to provide your cat with additional fiber, such as by mixing canned pumpkin into their usual meal. Additionally, they may advise you to switch to a meal that is simpler to digest for your dog. HAirball medicines may potentially be of use in this situation. Ensure that they receive enough activity and drink enough water to ensure that waste moves through their system as quickly as possible. If your cat is having feces issues, you should consult with your veterinarian, however the following chart may be useful in determining the source of the problem.
So, what are clinical signs that my cat is constipated?
- Having to struggle to urinate or defecate in the litter box
- Having bowl movement accidents outside of the litter box
- Having solid, dry, tiny fecal balls in or near the litter box When defecating in the litter box, it takes longer, and it requires many trips to the litter box
- A decrease in the volume of feces in the litter box or a complete absence of excrement in the litter box for many days
- While defecating, you may find yourself crying out in anguish. Having fecal matter adhered to the fur on the rear end of the animal
- More meowing in the vicinity of the litter box
- A reduction in appetite Weight loss
- And nausea and vomiting
Now, keep in mind that normally healthy cats do not become constipated on a regular basis. As a veterinarian, I find feline constipation in the following situations more frequently:
- Older cats (because they are more prone to have underlying health issues)
- Cats in their mid-to-late twenties. obese cats (who are unable to brush their back end or perineal area)
- Cats who are overweight Cats with osteoarthritis who may experience discomfort while jumping into the litter box (which may necessitate the use of pain medication, a ramp, and lower-walled litter boxes)
- Cats who have underlying medical conditions
- Cats that are overweight.
What are the common causes of constipation in cats?
- If your cat has a metabolic disorder that causes him or her to lose too much water (e.g., chronic renal disease, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, etc.), he or she will get dehydrated, which is why water consumption becomes increasingly crucial as your cat gets older. Feline idiopathic megacolon (in which the smooth muscle of the colon is not functioning properly)
- Pelvis/bone or nerve issues (for example, if your cat was injured as a result of a trauma such as a pelvic fracture when he was younger) or strictures in the region
- Cancer, Dietary Issues, and Other Concerns Arthritis-related discomfort
- Causes that are inherited (which are more prevalent in the Manx cat)
- The presence of foreign bodies (for example, anything lodged in the intestines, ranging from huge hairballs to misplaced toys)
How does my cat get diagnosed?
Constipation is diagnosed by your veterinarian based on a variety of factors, including a thorough history (such as what type of food you are feeding your cat, where the cat’s water comes from, and so on), physical examination findings (such as palpating a large amount of feces in the colon, feeling the size of the kidneys, and so on), and a medical work up. To determine the potential reason of constipation in your cat, a medical work-up will be performed, which will include the following procedures:
- Minimum blood tests to examine kidney and liver function, salt balance, protein level, and blood sugar levels
- A complete blood count is performed to determine the number of white and red blood cells in the body. A thyroid function test (if your cat is over the age of 8-9 years)
- A urine test is necessary to determine how effectively the kidneys are functioning (the more concentrated and yellow the urine, the better the kidneys are operating). In order to determine the size of the pelvic hole and whether there is any evident malignancy or physical explanation for the inability to defecate, X-rays will be taken
- An abdominal ultrasound is performed in situations of recurrent constipation to aid in the diagnosis of malignancy.
Getting that stopped up excrement out of your cat’s system is the most critical component of keeping your cat comfortable and treating their constipation once this veterinarian diagnostic workup is completed. Please keep in mind that some cats may require long-term medication or food adjustments in order to avoid chronic constipation from occurring again. Because we want to avoid megacolon, which occurs when the colon gets persistently dilated and is difficult to cure on a long-term basis, it is critical to do this.
How do you treat my cat’s constipation?
In order to effectively treat constipation in cats over the long term, it is necessary to switch to a high fiber diet in the form of canned food (which contains more water). The ideal new diet would have a significant amount of soluble fiber, which is vital for increasing the amount of water in the stool, as well as be highly digestible and fermentable. When it comes to cat constipation, canned food is my preferred option; unfortunately, not all cats will consume canned food! If your cat primarily consumes dry food, you should be aware that there are prescription dry cat meals that are high in fiber.
It’s important to remember that when it comes to cats, food modifications should be implemented gradually to give them plenty time to adjust. Some cats will not consume food that contains psyllium products (e.g., MetamucilTM), thus it is best to sprinkle psyllium products on top of their diet.
2. Fluid therapy
This is a vital method of helping to hydrate your cat and return some moisture to the feces, whether it is administered directly into the vein (intravenous or “IV”) or administered under the skin (subcutaneous or “SQ”). The same reason it is so crucial for your cat’s water intake to be increased – by giving clean, fresh water at all times!
3. Stool softeners
Subcutaneous (SQ) or intravenous (IV) fluid administration is a vital method of hydrating your cat and re-hydrating the feces, regardless of whether it is administered under the skin or straight into a vein. The same reason it is so crucial that your cat’s water intake be increased – by offering clean, fresh water at all times!
- MiralaxTM (polyethylene glycol 3350): This product can be purchased over-the-counter and combined with a tiny amount of canned cat food to give to your cat. Before beginning, consult with your veterinarian, but I often administer 1/8 to 1/2 teaspoon every 12-24 hours orally as needed to cure feline constipation. This medication aids in the removal of excess water from the colon, but it might induce alterations in the body’s sodium balance, so it must be used with caution. Lactulose (a sticky, sweet veterinary prescription liquid drug used to loosen the stool) is a diuretic used to loosen the stool. This is a drug that you must obtain from your veterinarian, and it is a stool softener/laxative combination treatment. When I first start using it, I take it at 1/2 – 3/4 of a teaspoon (2.5 – 3.75 mL) orally every 6-8-12 hours until the stool becomes looser. Use on a constant basis for the following 3-5 days, and then only when necessary to soften the stool. Basically, it’s a device that draws water into the gastrointestinal tract. Unfortunately, it’s really sticky and difficult to persuade cats to eat it without causing them discomfort.
Warm water enemas administered by your veterinarian will aid in the loosening of bowel motions in constipated cats, allowing your cat to excrete more easily. A temporary feeding tube (e.g., nasogastric tube) is sometimes placed into the stomach to allow polyethylene glycol 3350 to be passed in over an 8-12-hour period, which aids with defecation and helps the patient. Please be aware that you should never administer enemas at home without first consulting your veterinarian or the American Society of Animal Poison Control.
These are medications that aid in the contraction of the gastrointestinal system. These are prescription drugs from your veterinarian, such as cisapride (which is normally only accessible to veterinary professionals or compounding pharmacies), metoclopramide, and ranitidine (which is only available to veterinarians or compounding pharmacies). Cisapride is considered to be the most effective medication.
Occasionally, in extreme situations that do not respond to medication, your cat may need to be sedated in order to physically remove the feces from the colon. This is the one that no one likes.
When medicinal treatment for a megacolon fails, surgery for a colectomy may be considered, although it is typically not suggested unless it is a “last resort” technique in the most severe instances.
8. Lastly, euthanasia
It goes without saying that we don’t want to take this unless the constipation is very bad. However, some cases can be so severe and difficult to treat that they become a constant source of frustration. Another reason I’m a strong supporter of Pumpkin Pet Care is to ensure that expenses do not play a part in the care of our furry family members.
Make sure that the litter boxes in your cat’s litter box are kept clean. “n+1” is the usual guideline to follow. If you have one cat, you will require two litter boxes. If you have three cats, you will require four boxes. And, certainly, just because you have more boxes does not imply that you can clean them any less thoroughly. Keep them clean on a daily basis to ensure that your cat is urinating and defecating in the proper manner. Again, litter boxes are a nasty business, but it is critical to keep your cat’s litter box clean in order to detect medical concerns such as constipation as soon as possible!
Monitoring your cat’s bowel movements and digestive tract is extremely essential when it comes to their litter box and general health. This will assist to keep your cat healthy.
My Cat Is Constipated – What do I do?
Constipation is one of the most prevalent difficulties that cats experience with their digestive tract. It is normal for most cats to have bowel movements at least once every 1-2 days; however, this may vary from cat to cat depending on how much and what type of food they consume. Here’s an overview of the most likely reasons of feline constipation, as well as what preventative steps you may take and when you should take your cat to the veterinarian.
Causes Of Cat Constipation
If your cat is exhibiting indications of constipation, there might be a variety of contributing factors. They might range from a simple lack of water to a major underlying medical issue that requires treatment. The following are the most prevalent causes of feline constipation:
- Hairballs, excessive grooming, a low-fiber diet, dehydration, obesity, intestinal blockage, an abnormal colon shape, or inflammation of the colon are all symptoms of colonic dysmotility. Disorders of the nervous system
- The avoidance of the litterbox (the cat does not want to use the litterbox, thus he does not use it)
In most cases, cat constipation is accompanied by one or more of the following signs and symptoms:
- Dry, hard stools
- Bloody stools
- And a general lack of appetite The litter box is filled with crying or straining
- The absence of grooming
- Loss of weight
- Excursions to the litter box on a regular basis without defecating Lethargy, not replying to you as frequently as you would want
Inquire with Fuzzy about Cat Constipation.
What Can You Do In Home To Help With My Cat’s Constipation?
If you find that your cat is still generating some feces on a regular basis, there may be some preventative actions you can take to keep him from being constipated to the point of dehydration. Here are a few ideas to get you started:
- If you find that your cat is still making some feces on a regular basis, you may be able to take some preventative measures to keep him from being constipated and dehydrated. A few items to consider are as follows:
When Should I See A Full Service Veterinarian?
Any of the following symptoms indicate that you should take your cat to a full-service veterinarian or an urgent care facility immediately:
- This is the second time in less than 48 hours that your cat has defecated. You haven’t given your cat anything to eat or drink in more than 48 hours. Your cat’s excrement contains blood, which you discover. vomiting that continues over a long period of time Fatigue has increased. Your cat has stopped grooming itself
- Any indications or symptoms of abdominal pain
This is the first time your cat has gone more than 48 hours without defecating. You haven’t given your cat anything to eat or drink in more than 48 hours; Your cat’s feces contains blood, which you notice. vomiting that continues over an extended period of time Fatigue has increased; The grooming behavior of your cat has ceased. abdominal ache if there are any indicators;
Constipation in Cats: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
Constipation in cats may cause discomfort and restlessness, and it can even become a health risk if not treated immediately. Our Somerset County emergency veterinarian discusses the signs and symptoms of constipation in cats, as well as the reasons and treatment options for the illness.
What is constipation in cats?
The presence of constipation in cats can cause discomfort and restlessness, as well as pose a health risk. Our emergency veterinarian in Somerset County discusses the signs and symptoms of constipation in cats, as well as the reasons and treatment options available for the disorder.
What causes constipation in cats?
Constipation can develop if things aren’t passing through the intestines in the regular manner. Constipation in your cat can be caused by a variety of factors, including:
- The condition of constipation can arise when items aren’t passing through the intestines in a typical fashion. Constipation in your cat can be caused by a variety of factors, some of which are listed below.
- IBD (inflammatory bowel illness)
- Nerve difficulties
- Narrow spots, tumors, or other abnormalities inside the colon
- Chronic conditions such as hyperthyroidism, diabetes, or renal disease
- Gastrointestinal parasites
- Anal sacs that have ruptured or been impacted (which might cause pain while defecating)
- Disease of the perianal region
However, even though constipation affects older cats more frequently than kittens, it can affect cats of any breed or age that are fed a low-fiber diet or who don’t drink enough water in their daily lives.
What are symptoms of constipation?
Cat excrement is often well-formed, a deep brown color, and wet enough that litter will adhere to it in the normal course of events. Constipation in cats manifests as in the form of firm, dry stools that end up either within or outside of their litter box (discomfort of trying to pass these stools may have your cat leaving the litter box before actually being finished).
Constipation can manifest itself in a variety of ways, including:
- When you need to go, you should enter and exit the litter box many times. Using excessive force or weeping in the litter box
- Avoiding the litter box. Not being able to defecate at all is a frustrating experience.
If your cat exhibits indications of pain when using the litter box, consult your veterinarian immediately as this might suggest significant urinary tract difficulties. Given that constipation is often associated with other health problems, you may also have symptoms of the underlying problem, which may include:
- Reduced hunger
- Increased or decreased water consumption
- Difficulty leaping up
- Muscle loss
- Weight loss
- Increased peeing
- Walking with a stiff gait
If your cat is exhibiting any of these signs, whether or not it is experiencing constipation, you should visit a veterinarian.
How is constipation in cats treated?
Please seek the advice of a veterinarian if your cat exhibits any of these signs, whether or not it is constipated.
How to treat constipation in cats: At-Home Remedies
These at-home cures for constipation in cats may be effective in relieving the condition:
- Reduce stress and worry to the bare minimum
- Increase physical activity to aid in weight loss, anxiety reduction, and the promotion of regular bowel movement
- Try a different diet (lamb, chicken, special limited-ingredient diets, or hypoallergenic diets) to decrease inflammation and enable the intestines to function normally. As natural therapies, consume high-fiber foods, such as a spoonful of canned, pureed pumpkin once or twice a day, or ginger tea. Probiotics should be provided. Help your cat maintain a healthy weight by providing nutritious food. Over-the-counter laxatives (see your veterinarian before using them, since they may exacerbate symptoms in cats suffering from underlying or chronic disorders)
Should I watch my cat for constipation?
Initial observations should be made at least twice a week, then weekly or biweekly, to determine the frequency and consistency of your cat’s litter box deposits and stool consistency. It is important to call your veterinarian if you observe your cat straining when defecating or showing other signs of constipation. This is especially important if your cat is also suffering from diarrhea, as dehydration may rapidly become a problem.
How to Make a Cat Poop When Constipated
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When your cat’s all bunged up, what do you do to unplug the blockage? Here’s how to make a cat poop when constipated.
Sometimes cats become constipated, much like humans do on a regular basis. And we all know how unpleasant it can be to be in such situation! Fortunately, there are a number of things you can do to assist your cat in going to the litter box when she is clogged up. Keep in mind that if your cat is having a lot of difficulty passing feces, a visit to the veterinarian is essential for your pet’s health. What Causes Diarrhea in Cats is a related question.
Diet and Hydration
When your cat is constipated, one of the first things you should do is increase the amount of water she consumes. This is one of the most important actions you can do. You might, for example, add some water to the food that you’re currently giving your pet, or you may switch to canned food entirely. If your cat suffers from constipation on a regular basis and is currently on a dry food diet, switching her to a moisturizing canned food diet may be precisely what she needs. If your pet isn’t enthusiastic about eating wet food at first, introduce it gradually—perhaps over the course of several months—to get her used to the change.
For added convenience, you can consider placing additional water bowls around your home, particularly in locations where your pet spends a lot of time, to assist ensure that she remains well hydrated.
It’s possible that doing so will encourage your cat to drink more water.
Movement Through Play
Another technique to encourage your cat to produce a bowel movement is to provide her with new toys that she may engage in playtime with. Increasing the amount of time you spend playing with your cat is good to both of you. It is entertaining to see your cat’s antics, and it also helps to guarantee that your cat is receiving some much-needed exercise. Additionally, assisting your cat in maintaining a healthy weight may help to decrease or prevent constipation.
In addition to providing your feline companion with a range of toys that stimulate stalking, leaping, and running, you may want to consider adding a cat tree or two to your house, as this will allow her to get some exercise while also getting some exercise.
Supplements to Consider
When your cat is constipated, there are certain supplements that you may add to her food, but it’s always better to contact with your veterinarian before making any dietary changes. To be completely certain that a supplement is safe and that you are administering the proper amount for safety and efficacy, you should consult with a medical professional. It is also strongly advised that you choose the highest-quality supplements, and it is prudent to determine whether a new supplement may combine with any other supplements or drugs that your pet is presently receiving before administering it.
Another option to consider is coconut oil, which is particularly useful if hairballs are causing the constipation.
Some veterinarians may even suggest wheat bran or canned pumpkin as a healthy alternative.
Miralax and Metamucil are two examples of over-the-counter medications.
Professional Treatments from a Vet
Your veterinarian may recommend professional therapies to get things going, such as intravenous fluids or enemas, to start things moving. (Please keep in mind that you should never conduct an enema yourself.) Beyond that, your veterinarian may recommend a substance such as lactulose to assist soften your pet’s stool, or you may need to change your pet’s diet to one that contains the appropriate amount of fiber to support your cat’s digestive tract. To reiterate, it is better to treat your kitten for constipation at home under the supervision of your veterinarian.
If there are any underlying medical issues that are contributing to the constipation, the therapy will be determined by the diagnosis.
In her spare time, Lisa Selvaggio works as a writer and animal rescue volunteer, caring for cats of all ages and learning about their numerous eccentricities. She holds a certificate in clinical pet nutrition and likes assisting pet parents in providing the best care possible for their fur pets. More of her work may be seen at LSA Writing Services, where you can also read more about her. Lisa Selvaggio has contributed to this article.
Inside Scoop on Cat Poop
Everyone, including cats, has to go to the bathroom. Is your cat, on the other hand, pooping enough?
What does a healthy cat’s feces seem like? And what if the feces ends up somewhere else than the toilet? Please continue reading to find out everything you’ve ever wanted to know about cat feces but were too hesitant (or perhaps just too grossed out!) to ask!
How often should a cat poop?
Cats do not defecate at a certain frequency or on a set schedule as humans do. It is undeniably different from one cat to the next. Individual cats’ digestion can also vary if they are suffering from an illness, are agitated, or have had a change in nutrition that has an adverse effect on their digestive system. Cats will defecate once or twice a day, on average, according to a conventional guideline. Seeing a veterinarian is a good idea if your cat is pooping a lot more than that, or if it has been absent for a number of days in a row, for example.
What should healthy cat poop look like?
Cats do not defecate on a schedule or at a set time of the day. The behavior of one cat may be quite different from another. In addition, individual cats’ digestion can vary if they are suffering from an illness, are agitated, or have had a change in food that has an adverse effect on their digestion. Cats will defecate once or twice a day on average, according to experts. Seeing a veterinarian is a good idea if your cat is pooping a lot more than that, or if it has been absent for a number of days in a row.
- Eating poisonous substances, such as dangerous foods or plants (see a list of problematic plants)
- Ingesting toxins via the skin
- The development of food allergies or intolerance in a cat might occur at any point in his or her lifetime. Hyperthyroidism, colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, and cancer are among the disorders that cats can get
- Parasites such as roundworms, which are a common problem for cats, are discussed more below.
Dairy products can also be detrimental to a cat’s digestive system, so no milk saucers for your feline companion.
Should cat poop be stinky?
Cat excrement won’t smell like flowers (although some odor is typical), but it shouldn’t make you want to flee screaming from the room while clutching your nose at the same time either. If your cat’s litter box is causing an odor in the house, you should consult your veterinarian immediately.
What are common causes of cat poop problems?
Issues with cat feces or changes in toilet habits can be caused by a variety of factors, ranging from diseases to emotional stress. Your veterinarian can assist you in determining the source of the problem, however the following are some typical reasons why your cat’s excrement may not be firm.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease
An inflammation of the gastrointestinal system results in the development of Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD), which is a chronic condition caused by irritation of the gastrointestinal tract. Over time, chronic inflammation can transform normal tissue into a fibrous scar-like tissue that is difficult to remove. Diarrhea, blood in the stool, and needing to go to the toilet more frequently than normal are all possible symptoms of IBD. Although the underlying cause of IBD cannot always be identified or cured, there are ways to assist a cat suffering from the condition.
Prescription drugs can also be beneficial, particularly if nutrition treatment is unsuccessful in alleviating the condition.
Depression or Anxiety
A cat’s stomach and bowel problems can occur if it is sad or worried, which can happen to any cat for a variety of causes, including stress and anxiety. For example, separation anxiety, changes in habit, the addition of a new baby or pet to the household, or a lack of interaction can all result in a cat that is genuinely depressed or stressed out. In some circumstances, cats just require time to become used to their new surroundings. It’s also possible to take care of the problem on your own by paying more attention to your cat if you suspect that loneliness or boredom are the root causes of his or her behavior changes.
But if you are unable to get your cat out of his or her melancholy, you should seek assistance from your veterinarian or an animal behavior specialist. Prescription drugs can occasionally be effective in reducing anxiety or alleviating depressive symptoms.
My cat is constipated—what should I do?
Depressed or worried cats can develop gastrointestinal difficulties and excrement problems, which can occur for a variety of causes and affect any cat. Among the many possible causes of a severely upset or stressed-out cat are separation anxiety, changes in habit, a new baby or pet introduced into the family, and a lack of interaction. A cat’s adjustment to a new environment might take some time in some situations. If you believe your cat’s behavior changes are being caused by loneliness or boredom, you may address the problem on your own by providing him or her extra attention.
When it comes to anxiety and depression, prescription drugs can occasionally be of assistance.
- There is insufficient fiber in the diet. Drinking insufficient amounts of water Over-grooming, which can result in hair being entangled in the digestive tract. An blockage induced by an item that has been swallowed
- The presence of a tumor or other obstruction in the intestines
- Diabetes is an example of a disease.
Consult your veterinarian if your cat is constipated, especially if you feel a blockage or disease is the cause of the condition. It is possible that your cat will require surgery to remove the blockage or therapy for the specific affliction. Your veterinarian may recommend a stool softener, laxative, or other medicine to assist ease constipation in your pet. Constipation can also be alleviated by the following:
- Consult your veterinarian if your cat is constipated, especially if you feel a blockage or disease is the cause of the problem. The clog in your cat’s path may necessitate surgery, or the specific illness may require therapy. A stool softener, laxative, or other medicine may be prescribed by your veterinarian to assist treat constipation in your pet. It is also possible to get rid of constipation by using the following methods:
Including fiber-dense fruits and vegetables in your cat’s diet can also be beneficial for him. For inspiration, have a look at our Infographic of pet-safe fruits and vegetables.
What if there is blood in cat poop?
It is not necessary to be alarmed if you find blood in your cat’s feces. It’s possible that your cat was suffering from a mild case of constipation and strained too much while attempting to relieve himself. If the condition persists and there is a lot of blood, the blood is bright red, or if any other troubling signs appear, take your cat to the veterinarian immediately once for evaluation. There are a variety of issues that your cat may be suffering from that necessitate medical attention. These include infections and parasites, food allergies and polyps, cancer and intestine blockage.
Can cat poop be dangerous?
Despite the “eww” element associated with handling cat feces, it is not often hazardous. Having said that, there is some fear that cat feces may carry a parasite known as Toxoplasma gondii, which may cause Toxoplasmosis in humans. Toxoplasmosis can also be contracted by the consumption of raw or undercooked meat. Toxoplasmosis isn’t a huge concern for most individuals, who will either not become sick or will just display mild flu-like symptoms if they are exposed to it. Pregnant women, in particular, should be concerned since parasites can be passed to the unborn child, causing birth abnormalities or even fetal death in certain cases.
Cats that have been infected with the parasite only excrete it for a brief period of time, and the parasites are not infectious for at least 48 hours after they have been infected.
Pregnant ladies should delegate litter box responsibilities until after the baby is delivered, just to be on the safe side.
Keeping your cat inside, as suggested by our strategic partner The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® (ASPCA®) for all cats, will also assist to prevent them from becoming infected with this parasite and developing it.
Why is my cat pooping outside of the box?
“I don’t like it when you leave me home alone all day,” or “I’m sad that there’s a new pet in the house,” are just a few examples of what your cat could be trying to communicate to you by pooping outside the box. Your cat might also be making a remark regarding the litter box itself, for example, by saying something like:
- Make sure your cat’s poops are clean before you allow it to go outside the box for the first time. Cats will frequently avoid using a litter box that is soiled. Location –Cats, like the rest of us, want to go about their business in peace and quiet (after all, don’t we all?). It may be beneficial to place the box in a quiet and out of the way location, such as the laundry room or basement area. When moving the litter box, make certain that your cat understands where it is going. The size of your cat’s litter box might cause difficulties if your cat is having difficulty fitting into the box or feels cramped once inside. When a box is far too large for your kitten or cat, the same principle applies. Style – Your cat might not be a fan of the sort of litter box you’ve chosen for him or her. A hooded top provides additional seclusion for some cats, but others like a more open feel when they walk outside
- If your cat is little or has arthritis, it may be difficult to climb over the rim of the box at times. You have the option of removing the front of the box or purchasing one with a lower front side. Cat Litter Preferences – Cats may have a preference for particular types of cat litter and may venture beyond the litter box if they are dissatisfied with a new brand of cat litter. In the event that you need to switch brands, you can do it gradually by progressively incorporating the new litter
- Number of litter boxes – Having more than one litter box is beneficial. The conventional guideline is that you should have one litter box for every two cats you have. Your cat will have more alternatives in terms of location and cleanliness as a result of this.
Extending one’s thinking beyond the box might potentially indicate a health problem, so consult with your veterinarian if the scenario persists.
What can I do if my cat is kicking litter out?
This was a huge issue in my household, to say the least! It was so nasty because my cat Zoe was kicking so much litter out of the box that the floor in the vicinity seemed like it was a sandy beach, and I had to have a broom close by just to keep up with her sloppy behavior. For a start, I tried placing a lid on the box that had a flap in the front to help with the grainy problem. Unfortunately, Zoe was not pleased with the flap and let me know as soon as she saw it by pooping right in front of the box’s entrance.
In addition, I placed a pad under the litter box, which has shown to be really beneficial.
The mat collects a lot of the litter that is kicked out, so it doesn’t end up spreading all over the floor as it would otherwise.
I hope this has solved all of your unanswered questions concerning cat feces and urine.