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?
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?
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:
- 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:
- Cat excrement is typically well-formed, a deep brown color, and wet enough to allow litter to adhere to it in most cases. Constipation in cats manifests itself in the form of firm, dry stools that end up either within or outside of the litter box, respectively (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.
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.
Constipation in Cats
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 feces. It is important to call your veterinarian if you observe your cat straining when defecating or displaying other signs of constipation. This is especially important if your cat is also suffering from diarrhea, as dehydration can quickly develop.
What causes constipation?
But it may occur at any age in cats, constipation is most prevalent in mature and middle-aged cats, although it may occur at any age in cats. Constipation is caused by a number of factors, the most significant of which are as follows:
- Hairballs, particularly in longhaired cats
- Ingestion of foreign things such as bones
- Pelvic injuries resulting in a restricted pelvic canal
- Obesity and/or a lack of activity
- And urinary tract infections
A clear reason cannot always be determined in all situations. A frequent symptom linked with idiopathic (unknown cause)megacolon is constipation, which occurs in around half of all cases.
What is megacolon?
When it comes to constipation in cats, the most prevalent reason is megacolon, which is defined as an enlarged and weak colon that results in severe constipation. Colon muscles that have been weakened are unable to effectively push fecal materials out of the colon in this state. It is possible that this is related to neurological dysfunction, issues with the muscles lining the colon, or a combination of the two. Megacolon can occur as a primary condition or as a secondary condition following long-term constipation, depending on the circumstances.
Feces then build up in this unusually distended and enlarged colon, causing it to rupture.
How are constipation and megacolon diagnosed?
The clinical indicators and medical history of the cat can be used to make a diagnosis of constipation in the vast majority of instances, however. Cats that are affected by this condition frequently struggle in vain to defecate and may scream out in agony. Any feces that have been passed are firm and dry. In addition, the cat may display indications of lethargy, a reluctance to feed, stomach discomfort and distension, and even vomiting. As long as your cat is neither fat or tight, your veterinarian will most likely be able to palpate or feel the accumulation of fecal material in his or her colon.
A variety of diagnostic tests may be performed, including abdominal and pelvic radiographs (X-rays) to look for pelvic injuries, colonic strictures (a narrowing of the exit passage caused by a previous problem), and tumors, as well as bloodwork and urine testing to look for underlying disease conditions that can contribute to constipation and diarrhea.
For the diagnosis of this illness, radiographs are also the most commonly used test.
How can constipation and megacolon be treated?
The treatment for constipation differs based on the underlying reason. An blockage such as a colonic tumor may necessitate the need for surgical intervention. Veterinary enemas and hand extraction of feces may be administered to a cat suffering from constipation in the first stages of the condition. The removal of feces from the colon is frequently accompanied by the administration of an anesthetic or sedative. Usually, intravenous fluid treatment is necessary to rectify fluid imbalances and dehydration that are contributing to the constipation’s progression.
- There are a variety of medications available to soften feces and encourage regular bowel motions in people with IBS.
- The more severely afflicted individuals may require medications that encourage the contraction of the colon to relieve their symptoms.
- Cats should defecate at least once every other day, if not more frequently.
- Make no modifications to your cat’s treatment routine without first discussing with your veterinarian beforehand.
- Regular grooming of longhaired cats may help to prevent hair ingestion, and “hairball treatments” or “hairball diets” may help to reduce the chance of hairballs causing constipation in cats with long hair.
When might surgery be necessary?
Surgical intervention may be advised in the event of the development of megacolon or if the constipation is severe and medication therapy has proven fruitless. Surgery is used to treat colon cancer. A partial or subtotal colectomy is a technique that removes a piece of the colon that has been damaged by the cancer. Following this procedure, the majority of cats perform exceptionally well with minor adverse effects.
What is the long-term outlook for a cat with this problem?
According to the origin of the constipation, the long-term outlook varies; nevertheless, most cats may be effectively controlled without surgery and return to their usual, healthy lifestyles. Fortunately, the prognosis for cats that require surgery to treat megacolon is favorable.
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
People sometimes expect that the indicators of constipation in their cat would be visible, but this isn’t always the case, especially in older cats. In and of itself, your cat not having anything to scoop is a telling indicator that something is wrong, but according to Dr. Garside, there are several other signs of feline constipation that should be taken into consideration as well. Keep in mind that if your cat does not meow while in pain, these are very important considerations. As a result, you may need to conduct more research to determine whether or not your pet is suffering from constipation.
- Garside explains.
- If you find this, it is probable that your cat is suffering from constipation.
- Garside explains, “Some cats are quite discrete when they potty, doing so away from their owners, so the only symptoms an owner notices is lethargy as a result of the pain.” The fact that your cat is acting particularly sluggish might be an indication that something is wrong with him.
- A veterinarian will be able to determine whether or not your cat is constipated and whether or not something more severe is occurring.
Additionally, they will be aware of the correct procedures to follow in order to aid your cat. The following are examples of indicators that your cat may be constipated:
- 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
Are you worried about your cat?
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 sluggishness Abdomen that is hard; Puking; concealing one’s self;
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
This is just one of the many reasons why you should take your cat to the veterinarian before attempting to tackle the problem on your own in the first place. A veterinarian would be able to determine whether or not your concern about your cat not defecating is justified. “I’ve seen situations where people started providing laxatives to cats they thought were constipated when the animal actually had diarrhea and was defecating outside,” says the veterinarian (not seen by the owner). As a result of just noticing symptoms of straining, the owner concluded the problem was constipation,” he explains.
Your veterinarian will be able to easily feel your cat’s tummy and determine if the discomfort is caused by constipation, bladder problems, or something else.
If you are certain that your cat is constipated and you have gotten specific authorization from a reputable veterinarian to begin treating their illness, you can begin administering laxative supplement therapies to your cat at home.
Garside explains, “Laxatives are often used for the treatment of mild to moderate constipation.” “If the condition is severe, an enema performed under anaesthesia may be necessary.” Seeing a doctor for constipation on a regular basis in a reasonably short amount of time indicates that your cat is more prone to constipation in the future.
In this scenario, preventative actions may be implemented to guarantee that your cat does not suffer from constipation on a consistent basis. For cats that are prone to constipation, Dr. Garside recommends using laxatives at a low dose over the long term to keep the problem at bay.
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:
- 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 ensure they get the water they need. A shift towet food may also be necessary in some cases. As an alternative or in addition to the methods listed above, you can also attempt the following:
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.
- VCA Animal Hospital |
- Cornell University 9 Tips for Dealing with a Constipated Cat – PetMD.
- Find Out How to Deal With It |
Having your cat examined by a veterinarian is the greatest thing you can do if they are experiencing constipation. It is understandable that it is not always feasible to take your pet to the veterinarian—which is why Pawp is here to assist you! There is no need to schedule an appointment, and there is no waiting time for Pawp’s skilled and experienced veterinarians. If you sign up forPawp, you can rest certain that no matter when your cat need medical attention, a veterinarian will be ready to treat it – without having to pay expensive fees or endure long wait periods.
- VCA Animal Hospital Constipation |
- PetMD |
- – Animal Planet In Cats, Constipation Can Be a Serious 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.
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
When it comes to feline digestive issues, constipation is one of the most prevalent issues to face. A bowel movement is required by most cats at least once every 1-2 days, however this might 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 cat constipation, as well as what you can do to avoid it and when you should take your cat to the veterinarian.
- 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
Vomiting; dry, firm stools; bloody stools; and a loss of appetite In the litter box, crying or straining; inability to maintain proper grooming Loss of weight. Constantly going to the litter box without defecating Inactivity, not responding to you in the manner that you would expect.
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, Causes & Treatment
Veterinary Emergency and Critical Care Specialist Toxicology, Writer|+ articles Dr. Lee, DACVECC, DABT is a board-certified veterinary expert in emergency care (DACVECC) and toxicology (DABT) who practices in the United States (DABT). Help! My cat is suffering from constipation… My cat hasn’t defecated in three days! Understanding your cat’s litter box habits may not be at the top of your “to do” list right now. However, it is something that you should do. Believe it or not, you’ll want to be “up to speed” on your cat’s bowel motions and digestive tract in order to provide the best care possible.
It is customary for normally healthy cats to use the litter box 2-4 times each day, consisting of one poop and 2-3 normal-sized urinations (which are generally the size of a woman’s clenched fist).
In the event that your cat feces every other day, I’m concerned about obstipation (which is defined as severe or full constipation, when no poop comes out at all!).
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:
- Remember that normally healthy cats do not become constipated on a regular basis. Feline constipation manifests itself in the following ways, according to my experience as a veterinarian:
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.
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. Basically, it’s a device that draws water into the digestive system. 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.
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!
This will assist to keep your cat healthy.
What To Do if Your Cat is Constipated
Inspect your cat’s litter boxes to ensure that they are free of debris. As a general rule, “n+1” should be followed. There are two boxes required for a single cat. There are four boxes required for every three cats in the household. It’s also important to note that just because you have more boxes does not imply you can clean them any less thoroughly. Ensure that they are clean on a daily basis to ensure that your cat is urinating and defecating as expected. 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 maintain your cat in good condition.
What is Cat Constipation?
It is a medical ailment in which a cat is unable to effectively expel faeces from the intestinal tract. It can result in a buildup of feces in the colon, which can cause the gastrointestinal tract to slow down and become uncomfortable.
Constipation in cats can be either acute (occurring all at once) or chronic (recurring over time) (ongoing). Constipation that is chronic may come and go over time. If you suspect that your cat is constipated, it is critical that you get veterinarian assistance.
Signs of Constipation in Cats
- Frequent visits to the litter box without any stool output
- Straining to defecate
- Small, hard, dry feces (which may contain some blood streaks)
- External defects (stools are often still hard and dry when they leave the litter box). Diarrhea (as a result of liquid stool flowing around hard stool that has been lodged in the colon)
- Excessive salivation (which is usually caused by nausea)
- Appetite suppression
- Abdomen that has become distended Discomfort in the abdomen
- Voice, especially when attempting to defecate
- Vocalization Weight loss (which is more common with chronic or long-term constipation)
- Lethargy or sadness
- And other symptoms.
No stool output despite frequent trips to the litter box. Small, firm, dry feces (which may contain some traces of blood); stumbling when trying to defecate; External defects (stools are often hard and dry when they leave the litter box). Constipation (due to liquid stool passing around hard stool that has been lodged in the colon); Diarrhea (due to liquid stool passing around hard stool that has become lodged in the colon). Vomiting; Nasal hypersalivation (usually caused by nausea). Appetite sluggishness Abdomen that is distended.
Vocalization, particularly when attempting to urinate; Obesity or depression (which is more common in patients with chronic or long-term constipation); Lethargy or depression
Causes of Cat Constipation
Constipation in cats can be caused by a number of different factors. Cat constipation may be caused or exacerbated by one or more of the factors listed below.
- Constipation can be caused by a buildup of hair around the anus, which prevents the stool from exiting. If you find that your cat is constipated, here is the first place you should seek for a solution. It’s possible that you’ll be able to remove the mat yourself. If everything else fails, a veterinary specialist or a cat groomer can assist you. Cats’ feces are affected by their nutrition, therefore a poor diet may result in constipation. Constipation can occur as a result of dehydration, which impairs the capacity of the intestines and colon to transfer waste through the gastrointestinal system. Obesity is a well-documented risk factor for constipation in cats, particularly in those that live a sedentary lifestyle. Due to the fact that physical activity encourages bowel motility, and many overweight cats do not receive enough exercise, this is the case. Constipation in cats with chronic renal disease may occur as a result of the dehydration that is typical in cats suffering from this illness. Obstructions in the gastrointestinal tract might prevent a cat from passing feces appropriately. For example, swallowing an object that is not intended for consumption, or even excessive hair when grooming, might result in vomiting. Megacolon is a condition in which the colon is unable to move feces in the same manner as it does in a healthy cat. It is believed that this ailment has an effect on the muscles of the cat’s digestive tract. The actual etiology of megacolon in cats is still unknown
- However, it is believed to be related to stress. Neurological diseases or trauma may cause nerves and/or muscles that control bowel movements to be damaged. Cats may have temporary constipation as a result of some medications. A cat’s refusal to use the litter box may cause him to keep feces until it gets too impacted to pass. This might be connected to behavioral concerns (fear, anxiety), or it could be caused by a painful disease such as arthritis, which makes it difficult to get into a comfortable posture to defecate.
Treatment of Cat Constipation
However, regardless of the underlying reason, the ultimate objective is to remove the backed-up feces, provide comfort to the cat, and avoid recurrence of the problem. When you take your cat to the veterinarian for suspected constipation, the veterinarian will ask you questions about your cat’s medical history and do a physical examination on your cat. Even though they may be able to feel the feces through their abdomens when they are palpated, obese cats may have a more difficult time doing this task.
- In certain cases, radiographs might identify underlying reasons of constipation, such as a megacolon or blockage in the colon.
- Fluids can be injected beneath the skin and slowly absorbed into the body, ensuring that your cat is completely hydrated.
- The use of a laxative or a stool softener to aid your cat’s defecation may be recommended by your veterinarian in mild to moderate cases of cat constipation.
- If radiographs reveal a substantial volume of feces in the colon, your veterinarian may suggest an enema to relieve the obstruction.
- The solution loosens the blocked feces and lubricates the colon, allowing the stool to pass more readily through the system and out the other end.
- Obstipation, a severe form of constipation, may be identified in your cat if he or she has a lot of feces in their system.
Most of the time, this is only essential in the most severe of circumstances. Your veterinarian may advise you to make dietary changes or use supplements to avoid recurrence of constipation. This is particularly important if your cat has been suffering from persistent constipation.
How to Prevent Constipation in Cats
There are a few things you can do to assist your cat avoid constipation. Take, for example, the fundamentals of cat care. Consume a diet that is comprehensive and well-balanced for your cat. Make sure your cat has access to fresh water at all times to keep him healthy. Feeding wet food may absolutely aid in the maintenance of hydration, and it is typically advised over dry food as the better option for all cats, regardless of age. In addition, keep your cat’s weight under control and ensure that they receive enough of activity every day.
If your cat is vomiting or appears to be in great discomfort or sluggish, you should take him to the vet as soon as possible.
Whether your cat suffers from chronic renal illness or another ailment that may cause constipation, it’s critical to ensure that the issue is properly treated and controlled.
Follow your veterinarian’s treatment recommendations and contact your veterinarian at the first indication of difficulty.
Always consult your veterinarian for health-related inquiries, since they have evaluated your pet and are familiar with the pet’s medical history, and they can provide the most appropriate suggestions for your pet.
Cat Constipation: Signs, Causes & Treatment
As a cat owner, you’re no doubt eager to discover out what’s causing your cat’s constipation and how you may alleviate the situation for your cherished feline companion. Throughout this article, we’ll cover all you need to know about cat constipation, from the early signs to veterinary cat constipation therapy and strategies to prevent the discomfort so that your cat may go back to being their regular joyful selves.
What is constipation in cats?
Cat constipation occurs when there is an abnormal buildup of feces in the colon, resulting in difficult bowel motions for the animal. A typical symptom is either a decreased capacity to pass feces or the complete lack of them altogether, depending on how severe it is. Feces linger in the colon, and because the colon’s primary function is to absorb water, the stools that remain in this area become extremely hard and dry, making it even more difficult for your cat to pass them.
Cat constipation symptoms
Cat constipation is a condition in which a cat does not generate faeces for longer than 24 hours and is thus considered to be present. Owners, on the other hand, may not always be aware of their cat’s bathroom habits, as some felines are known to prefer to go to the bathroom outside as well. As a result, you may not notice the irregularity of their bathroom habits at first glance. These are some of the additional signs and symptoms of cat constipation that you should be aware of:
- Tense abdominal muscles
- Hard, dry, and tiny stools Some owners mistakenly believe they are having difficulties peeing because of the straining. Occasionally experiencing a lack of appetite. a hunched-over position