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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Constipation is a typical occurrence among felines. Typically, it is moderate, and you may heal your cat by using easy home remedies. Constipation in cats, on the other hand, may be a sign of more significant health problems, and it can become quite severe and painful in certain cases. So, how do you tell when you’ve got a significant condition that requires veterinary intervention? The following information will teach you all you need to know about cat constipation symptoms and causes, as well as what you can do to treat your cat and when you should be worried.
Symptoms of Constipation in Cats
It’s usual for cats to get constipation. The condition is usually minor, and you may aid your cat by using easy home remedies. Constipation in cats, on the other hand, can be a sign of more significant health problems, and it can become quite painful and debilitating. In order to determine whether or not an issue is severe enough to require veterinarian intervention, consider the following: The following information will teach you all you need to know about cat constipation symptoms and causes, as well as what you can do to assist your cat and when you should be worried.
- 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
In addition to vocalizing or straining while using the litter box, moving in and out of the litter box numerous times before using it might indicate discomfort. Your cat may try to poop, but he or she will be unable to do so. If your cat is displaying indications of pain in the litter box, this might be a sign of significant urinary system difficulties, and you should consult a veterinarian as soon as possible. Due to the fact that constipation is truly only a symptom of a larger problem, you may also see indicators of the underlying problem.
- 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.
This is because the intestines reabsorb an excessive amount of water when the stool remains in them for an extended period of time. 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
Constipation in cats is normal, but it can be a sign of a serious illness, therefore it should be explored with your veterinarian. Chronic constipation must be addressed as soon as possible in order to avoid the danger of lasting damage caused by prolonged distension of the intestines. In order to provide effective therapy, it is necessary to first diagnose and then repair the underlying problem (if feasible), remove the affected feces, and then avoid recurrences. Your veterinarian can administer fluids and/or anenema to your cat if it is experiencing constipation right away.
The symptoms of your cat’s constipation can be managed with drugs prescribed by your veterinarian or with over-the-counter remedies recommended by your veterinarian.
Cats suffering from chronic constipation or obstruction may develop a megacolon, which is an enlarged intestine caused by a weakness in the colon’s muscular strength, in some cases.
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
You may treat your cat’s constipation by doing a variety of activities at home, as detailed in the next section.
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
As a result of obesity-induced intestinal inflammation, digestion in the intestines becomes more labored. Constipation occurs as a result of an excessive amount of water being absorbed from the stool.
There can be so much fat in the stomach that it physically prevents feces from moving. In severe situations, this can be life-threatening. Your veterinarian can assist you in determining whether or not your cat needs to reduce weight and can collaborate with you to develop a diet plan.
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
When their daily habits are interrupted, cats are prone to becoming anxious. Having a new pet in the house or relocating are two obvious reasons for this, but there might be other factors at play as well, such as a shift in your schedule, construction noise in the area, or a new dog barking in the neighborhood. Sometimes it just takes time for a cat to become used to a new environment. However, you may aid in the reduction of tension and anxiety by utilizing soothing pheromones (such as Feliway), supplements (such as Zylkene and Solliquin, which are often used), herbs, and/or pharmaceuticals.
Add More Litter Boxes
Cats may be very fussy about the litter box in which they sleep. Constipation can occur if a cat does not use a litter box because it is in an inconvenient position or because the cat does not like the type of litter box or litter used. You should have at least one litter box more than the number of cats in your household, and there should be at least one litter box on each floor of your residence. It is possible that you may need to experiment with several types of boxes and litter before you find what your cat like.
Try Fiber or Probiotics
When it comes to their litter boxes, cats may be rather fussy. Constipation can occur if a cat does not use a litter box because it is in an inconvenient position or because the litter box or litter is not appealing to him. You should have at least one litter box more than the number of cats in your household, and there should be at least one litter box on each floor. Depending on your cat’s preferences, you may need to experiment with various types of boxes and litter.
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.
Pet owners should use oil- or grease-based laxatives such as Laxatone only when their veterinarian advises it and should avoid using them for an extended period of time since they can impair a cat’s capacity to absorb nutrients from their diet.
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
Constipation in Cats: Causes, Symptoms & Treatment
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.
Photo credit: iStock/disqis for the featured image
What is constipation in cats?
Pooping is done by the majority of cats every 24 to 36 hours on average. Constipation is most likely the cause of your cat’s decreased pooping frequency, straining when she attempts to defecate, and failure to drop any waste in the litter box. In cats, it’s a frequent condition that’s typically mild enough to be treated at home with over-the-counter medications. If it occurs only seldom, there is no reason to be concerned; however, if it becomes a regular problem or if it has been more than 48 to 72 hours since she last had a bowel movement, you should consult your veterinarian.
What causes constipation in cats?
The majority of cats defecate every 24 to 36 hours on average. Constipation is likely the cause of your cat’s decreased pooping frequency, straining when she attempts to defecate, and failure to drop any waste in the litter box. When it comes to felines, it’s a frequent condition that’s typically mild enough to be treated at home. No need to be concerned if it happens only once in a while, but you should consult your veterinarian as soon as the problem becomes a regular occurrence or as soon as it has been more than 48 to 72 hours since her last bowel movement.
- Having back pain or other concerns with your spine
- Being anxious or stressed Pain associated with arthritis
- Diets high in dry food (which can lead to constipation and dehydration in cats)
- She is not getting enough fiber in her diet. An obstacle, such as bones or thread, that prevents the colon from functioning properly. Having problems with your kidneys
- Excessive grooming (which results in an accumulation of hair in the digestive system)
- A cat’s megacolon (a colon that becomes so enormous the muscles no longer have enough room to compress it and hard, dry feces begins to accumulate inside)
- 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?
Despite the fact that some constipation disorders are moderate and may be addressed with dietary and lifestyle modifications, as well as at-home therapies, others may be serious and need the attention of a veterinarian. Serious situations may escalate to the point of becoming crises. When constipation occurs, it should be addressed as quickly as possible to reduce the risk of long-term damage to the colon caused by persistent distension of the colon. To effectively treat constipation in cats, it is necessary to first identify and, if feasible, rectify the underlying condition.
A veterinary emergency is defined as the inability to pass urine or feces, as well as the presence of pain when passing urine or feces.
It is important to emphasize that veterinarian knowledge is required in order to properly and successfully administer the enema – these should not be performed at home since several types of enemas developed for people are hazardous to cats (see below).
Cats suffering from chronic constipation or megacolon that do not respond to medication therapy may require surgical removal of the part of the large intestine that is causing the problem.
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.
Cat Can’t Poo? Here’s What to Do
For constipated cats, there are a handful of safe home treatments you may try. However, before doing any of them, speak with your veterinarian first. As humans, we can all relate to how painful constipation can be, so it’s not difficult to picture how your cat may be feeling if he’s experiencing the same problem. Cat constipation, like human constipation, may be an occasional irritation for your feline companion, but it may also be a symptom of a more serious health concern. For the time being, don’t start whipping out the butter, olive oil, or any other crowdsourcing cat constipation cures.
Anthony, DVM, has been practicing feline-exclusive care for more than 20 years. She explains why your poor kitty could be experiencing a problem, what to look for, and how to administer the most effective remedy.
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
Although vets aren’t always sure what causes constipation in cats, Anthony says the issue is more common in cats with certain diseases, such as kidney disease. “Kidney disease commonly results in body water loss and overall dehydration, which can show as constipation,” Anthony adds. According to the American College of Gastroenterology, “intestinal illness can change motility, delaying the transit of digested material and causing a drier stool.” If your kitten is experiencing physical discomfort that prevents him from situating himself correctly in the litter box, he may choose not to go at all.
Cats may also have impacted anal glands, which can be problematic.
- 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.
If you follow a high-fiber diet, you may frequently avoid constipation in the long run. Consult your veterinarian for assistance in developing a more balanced and um, digestible cuisine.
Cat Constipation: Signs, Causes & Treatment
Visit your veterinarian. Easy as pie, right? According to the Cornell Feline Health Center, a veterinarian will examine your cat’s hydration levels, analyze his overall health, and rule out any other probable clinical causes of his illness. Another reason why a professional exam is the best treatment for feline constipation is that if the situation is more serious, the vet team will take quick action. “In order to assist them defecate, constipated cats may require an enema at the veterinarian’s office.
Leave the treatment of the anal glands to the experts.
“Adding fiber, such as pumpkin or psyllium, and/or stool softeners (polyethylene glycol 3350) may frequently be beneficial, as can boosting dietary moisture through canned foods or low-sodium broths,” Anthony explains.
Consult your veterinarian for assistance in creating a more balanced and um, tolerable meal for yourself.
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
Stool softeners for cats are available in a variety of formulations. These medications can be obtained over-the-counter (MiralaxTM) or by prescription (e.g., lactulose). In the event of a question, please consult with a veterinarian before taking these products since they may induce additional negative effects (like increased potassium levels or diarrhea).
- 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.
This may be purchased over-the-counter and combined with a tiny amount of canned cat food to create MiralaxTM (polyethylene glycol 3350). Consult with your veterinarian first, but I often use 1/8 to 1/2 teaspoon every 12-24 hours orally as needed to cure feline constipation, depending on the situation. When taken properly, this medication can assist in drawing more water into the colon, but it can also affect salt balance, thus caution should be exercised when using this medication. In addition to lactulose (a sticky, sweet veterinary prescription liquid drug used to loosen the feces), the following other medications are also available: You will need to obtain this medicine from your veterinarian, which is a stool softener and laxative.
Make use of it consistently for the following 3-5 days, after which you can use it only when you need to soften your stool.
The downside is that it’s really sticky, making it difficult to persuade cats to consume it quickly.
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.
The gastrointestinal tract is made to contract more effectively with the aid of these medications. Some examples are cisapride (which is normally only available to veterinary specialists or compounding pharmacies), metoclopramide, and ranitidine, all of which are prescription drugs from your veterinarian. One of the most successful medications is believed to be cisapride.
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
Although surgery for a colectomy may be explored in some rare cases of megacolon that have failed medicinal care, it is typically not suggested unless the situation is a “last resort.”
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!
This will assist to keep your cat healthy.
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:
- Pooping occurs at least once a day in the majority of cats. It is expected that their feces would look like this:
The majority of cats will defecate at least once every day. If they are in good health, their feces should look like this:
- 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|
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)
Abnormal colon shape or inflammation of the colon are symptoms of hairballs, excessive grooming, a low-fiber diet, dehydration, obesity, and intestinal blockage. Difficulties with the nervous system The avoidance of the litterbox (the cat does not want to use the litterbox and hence does not use it);
- 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:
- Maintain a constant supply of clean and fresh water outside to ensure that your cat has plenty to drink. Brush your teeth on a regular basis. Regular brushing of long-haired breeds or cats that are prone to hair balls can help keep extra hair out of the digestive track. Change the food that your cat eats. Feeding a canned diet and/or including more fiber in the food may be beneficial. Fiber can aid in the movement of waste through the digestive system more rapidly and readily
- Try putting pumpkin or natural bran cereal in our cats’ diet to see if it helps. Fiber supplements also help to enhance the amount of fiber in the diet. Some cats will require the use of a laxative, such as Miralax or Lactulose, in order to maintain their regularity. It is possible that you may need to contact with your veterinarian before beginning a laxative regimen. Use a cat probiotic that has been suggested by a veterinarian for digestive health.
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
Cat constipation can also be a sign of a separate, and potentially more dangerous, underlying condition in the animal. Having your cat inspected by a veterinarian may be necessary in the event that your feline companion requires more intense treatment such as enemas, surgery, or fluid administration. Your veterinarian will be able to determine whether or not more tests are necessary after completing a complete physical examination and discussing your cat’s symptoms with you.
Cat Constipation: Signs Your Cat Is Constipated & How To Help
Wellness If you’ve been going to the litter box for a few days in a row and haven’t found anything to scoop, your cat may be suffering from constipation, which may be quite uncomfortable. Unlike some cats, who are more evident when they are constipated (think: loud meowing from their litterbox as a consequence of discomfort), others are more discrete when they are constipated. As a result, it is your obligation as a responsible pet owner to determine whether or not your cat is suffering from constipation and to take the appropriate actions to alleviate their discomfort.
If your cat has gone several days without pooping, it is possible that you may need to take action to assist your pet.
There are various frequent reasons of feline constipation, and determining which of these factors contributed to its occurrence will help you prevent it from occurring again.
These additional recommendations from Dr. Nicholas Garside VetMed MRCVS, veterinary adviser atVioVet, might assist you in identifying any potential digestive difficulties that your cat may be experiencing.
What is constipation in cats?
Despite the fact that constipation is a phrase that is commonly heard, you may not be quite certain what it refers to in the context of your cat. It is understood that your cat’s colon is constipated when there is an abnormal accumulation of fecal matter in it. As a result, bowel motions become more difficult. It is possible that your cat is unable to defecate as regularly as they normally would, or that there is a complete absence of excrement on their part. The fecal waste is held in your cat’s large intestine or colon, where it will be excreted later.
- As a result, your pet will have an even more difficult time moving them through his or her body.
- This occurs while they are attempting to defecate, and it can even cause discomfort in the belly.
- This occurs as a result of the extreme strain placed on their bodies.
- This isn’t the case at all.
- When this happens, just a little amount of liquid feces is able to squeeze past the hard mass of fecal matter that has formed in the cat’s digestive tract.
Signs your cat is constipated
In spite of the fact that constipation is a phrase that is commonly used, you may not be quite certain what it refers to in the context of your cat. It is understood that your cat’s colon is constipated when there is an abnormal buildup of fecal waste. A troublesome bowel movement is the end outcome of this situation. It is possible that your cat is unable to defecate as regularly as they normally would, or that there is a complete absence of excrement on your property. It is held in your cat’s big intestine or colon, which is where the fecal waste is excreted.
- As a result, your pet will have a more difficult time moving them through his or her body.
- The problem happens when they try to defecate, and it might even cause discomfort in their belly.
- This occurs as a result of their body being overworked.
- This isn’t the case, unfortunately.
- The hard bulk of fecal matter in the cat’s body can then be squeezed out by a tiny amount of liquid excrement.
- Poop that is hard and dry
- Straining and yowling in the litter box
- Lethargy Regular litter box visits (with little to show for it)
- Increased litter box visits Appetite suppression
- Abdomen that is hard to move
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What causes constipation? Why is my cat not pooping?
It is critical to determine the cause of your cat’s constipation. This is due to the fact that you can prevent it from happening again. In the opinion of Dr. Garside, scavenging is one of the most prevalent causes of constipation in cats, as well as the difficulties in maintaining regular bowel movements in cats. Specifically, Dr. Garside notes that “Bones and hair from animals, in particular, are difficult to digest, and these clumps of hard feces accumulate in the digestive track.” It goes without saying that if you have an indoor cat, this will not be the problem.
- If you have an indoor cat, they may develop constipated as a result of consuming significant quantities of their own hair, as seen by the presence of hairballs in their stool.
- It’s possible that your cat has long, silky hair, which puts them at greater danger of suffering this than a Sphinx.
- Garside notes that long-haired cats might develop constipated as a result of routine grooming because they eat their own hairs.
- It is preferable to get a veterinarian’s assessment on what is going on as soon as possible so that they can act if necessary.
- These can include the following:
- A lack of fiber (or too much fiber), an abnormal colon shape, obesity or diabetes, and obstruction are all factors that might contribute to constipation. Hyperthyroidism
Please consult with your veterinarian to rule out any possibly more serious problems, as well as any other potential culprits that may be present. This is especially beneficial if your cat is exhibiting other symptoms at the time.
Talk to a vet for free now
Put an end to your Googling. Consult with a veterinarian about it. While there are some methods for treating your cat’s constipation at home, the fact is that you should take your cat to the veterinarian for a thorough examination first. This will assure that there is nothing more serious going on, and your cat’s constipation will be resolved with the help of your homemade cures. While Dr. Garside believes that constipation may be properly handled at home, he believes that the first diagnosis should be performed by a skilled practitioner.
Always ask for help
Don’t waste any more time Googling something. Take it to your doctor for evaluation. There are some things you can do at home to help your cat with constipation, but the fact is that you should take your cat to the vet to have them look at him/her. That way, you may be confident that there is nothing more serious going on and that your cat’s constipation can be treated at home. The initial diagnosis, according to Dr.
Garside, should be carried out by a skilled practitioner. “Constipation may be properly controlled at home,” he says. Because just because you don’t see your cat defecating doesn’t mean it isn’t happening — especially in the case of outdoor cats — is a key factor to consider.
It is possible to aid your cat in a variety of various ways by taking additional preventative steps. In order to avoid the problem from happening, make sure there are fresh bowls of water available at all times, or even invest in a cat water fountain for picky cats, to encourage them to drink more water. It’s possible that a changeover towet food may be required in addition. In addition to the methods listed above for treating constipation in cats, you may also try the following:
- Introduce laxatives or stool softeners to your regimen. Include fiber supplements and probiotics in your diet (a teaspoon of pumpkin, wheat bran, and psyllium husks are all recommended as part of a high-fiber diet), and Change the cat food you’re feeding him. Increase the amount of water your cat consumes. Exert greater influence over your cat’s behavior. Organize your litter box or get a second litter box
Don’t use any of these constipation remedies before consulting with a veterinarian, who can ensure that you are pursuing the most suitable course of action to cure your cat’s constipation problem.
Pawp vets can advise you on your cat’s constipation anytime
If your cat is constipated, the best thing you can do for them is to take them to the veterinarian for treatment. Of course, there are occasions when it is not feasible to take your pet to the veterinarian, which is why Pawp is here to assist you. Pawp’s highly qualified and experienced veterinarians are ready to visit your cat at any time, with no need to schedule an appointment or wait in line. Sign up for Pawpto ensure that no matter when your cat need veterinary care, there is a veterinarian accessible to treat your pet – without having to pay outrageous fees or endure long wait periods.
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Cornell University 9 Tips for Dealing with a Constipated Cat – PetMD.
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