Constipation is a common problem in cats, though its symptoms, causes, and issues vary from one cat to another. Whenever a cat owner noticed that its pet is suffering from constipation, the first curiosity is finding out what caused constipation and how to treat it.
As one of the most common health problems associated with pets’ digestive systems, constipation has causes, symptoms, and ways of treatment. Once you notice that your cat is having difficulties passing out or excreting a dry hard stool, then the cat is probably suffering from constipation, as a healthy cat will excrete at least once a day. If you notice your cat is frequently visiting its litter box, or it’s not going there at all, hurriedly check as it might be constipation. Though it usually doesn’t mean much, constipation might indicate an underlying health problem which is why it’s good to act fast.
This article shall discuss the causes of constipation in cats, its symptoms, and treatments. We will also look at the best food to feed your cat with when it’s suffering from constipation, we will conclude with a frequently asked question about construction in cats. Grab a cup of tea as you go through the guide.
Causes of Constipation in Cats
The causes of constipation vary from one cat to another. While for some, it’s just normal constipation, it is caused by underlying health conditions for some cats. Let’s look at some of the common causes of constipation in cats.
Lifestyle or behavior
Some cats can be reluctant to empty their bowels if a change occurs in their life. These changes are many; some include a dirty litter box; if your cat is used to excreting on a clean litter box, then it suddenly notices you aren’t taking care of the litter box again, it might be reluctant to use the dirty box. Another thing might be, if you bring in a new cat, your old cat might not like sharing a litter box with the new cat, so it will be holding itself from bowel movements. Other causes of constipation related to lifestyle and behavior include; if a cat dislikes the type of litter box, maybe it has a bad experience with it before. Also, a cat might constipate if its litter box is placed in a noisy and rowdy place.
Not Drinking Enough Water
If your cat is not taking enough water, it will be dehydrated as water is absorbed from faces in the large intestine. So if the body doesn’t have enough water, it will try to reabsorb more water leading to a dry hard stool that will be hard to come out. Older cats sometimes suffer from kidney diseases which caused frequent urination and dehydration, which can lead to constipation.
Obstruction of the Colon
Another reason why your pet might be constipating is because of an obstructed colon. This usually happens after the cat has gotten a fracture in the pelvis or the development of a tumor. As it is healing, the pelvic canal will narrow and compressed with the colon leading to feces being accumulated behind the constriction. This can cause severe constipation in cats.
Pain associated with other diseases
This is mostly experienced by older cats. These cats might suffer from pain and discomforts associated with diseases like arthritis. In situations like this, the cat may find it hard to go to the litter tray or keep a good position to defecate. As such, it will be reluctant to empty its bowels.
At times, the pain may be from the colon or rectum of the cat due to some health abnormalities or because of the food the cat ate. Other pains that cause reluctance to defecate in cats include; Pain on the skin, pain around the anus area or tail. When you notice that your cat is constipating because of pain, quickly take it to a veterinarian for a checkup as it might be caused by an underlying health condition.
This is one of the most common causes of constipation in cats. A low level of calcium or potassium in the blood can reduce the ability of the colon to carry out its activities; this, in turn, will lead to constipation. Another rare metabolic disorder in cats that causes constipation is Hypothyroidism, which is caused by a lack of thyroid hormones.
Neurological problems are sometimes the cause of constipation in cats. For example, if the nerve controlling the construction of the rectum got damage due to trauma, this might lead to constipation. In order cases, these neurological traumas lead to uncontrolled defecation and urination.
The above mentioned are some of the common causes of constipation in cats; other causes of constipation in cats include idiopathic megacolon, change of environment, hair injection, hernia, and side effects of medications. Next, let’s look at the symptoms of constipation
Symptoms of Constipation in Cats
The most common symptom of constipation is infrequent defecation; a healthy cat is expected to empty its bowels at least once in 24 hours. As some cats have the habit of defecating outdoors, a cat owner might not be able to notice the infrequency of its bowel movement. But there are other symptoms shown by cats suffering from constipation. They include:
- Passing out of dry hard small stools: This is usually the first symptom of constipation in cats. The cat will be finding it hard to defecate, to push out the feces, these hard, dry small stools will end up coming out.
- Lack of appetite: Most cats usually suffer from a lack of appetite when they are constipating. Though lack of appetite can be a symptom of other conditions, constipation generally caused it.
- A Hunched and uncomfortable posture: If you notice your cat is lying down in a hunched and uncomfortable posture, it is probably suffering from constipation.
- Constant Straining; If you notice your pet is constantly straining, quickly check as it might be constipating. Though urination can also cause staining.
- Frequent visits to the litter box; If the little creature keeps making trips to its litter box, then it’s probably having constipation. It will feel like defecating and when it reaches the litter box, it won’t be able to do.
- Fecal fluids that look like diarrhea; Sometimes, hard stools don’t come out during constipation, rather some faecal fluids resembling diarrhoea will be ejected when your pet tries to excrete
- Vomiting: In some cases, cats end up vomiting if they are constipating. However, it’s not all vomiting in cats that’s caused by constipation, other medical conditions may be the cause Of vomiting in pets.
- Crying out in pain when trying to empty its bowels; When you notice that the little created keeps letting out small cries whenever it visits its litter box, quickly check as it might be having difficulties emptying its bowels
- Abdominal discomforts; Cats usually suffer from abdominal discomfort during constipation. If you notice such discomfort in your cat, check it’s there are hard stools, then it’s probably suffering from constipation.
- Loss of weight; When constipation lasts for a long time, it usually causes drastic loss of weight in cats.)
- Lack of Grooming: Some cats don’t feel comfortable enough to groom when they are constipating. If you notice your cat isn’t grooming anymore, take it to the veterinarian, it might be suffering from constipation.
These are the most common symptoms of constipation in cats. In some cases, the cat might be passing out the hard, dry stool with mucous or blood, usually, cats squeak when passing out this kind of stool as it is very painful. Once you notice any of these symptoms, quickly contact your veterinarian for a proper checkup.
How to treat Cats constipation
Treatment of constipation in cats depends on the cause, severity, and longevity of the condition. Though a cat’s constipation can be treated simply at home, it’s, however, advisable to take the pet to a veterinarian if the condition persists, as it might be a symptom of an underlying medical condition. Below are some general ways used in testing constipation in cats:
Keeping its litter box clean:
Make sure the litter box of your kitten is kept clean and tidy every time. Constantly review the place it is kept, how comfortable your kitten feels defecating there and if the size is okay.
Make sure your cat is well hydrated
A regular and healthy fluid intake will keep the little pet hydrated thereby reducing the severity of constipation. When your cat is suffering from constipation, encourage it to drink as much water as it can. Also, switch to feeding it with wet foods rather than dry ones.
This is a good way of treating constipation, however, most costs don’t like this procedure. And some enemas contain substances that are poisonous to cats. If you feel like going for an enema, please seek the aid of a veterinarian, don’t do it at home.
Checking into the diet of your kitten and making some little amendments can save it from constipation. A high moisture diet with a high amount of fibre will help in making the feces softer and easier to pass in cases of mild constipation. When the cat is undergoing severe constipation, you can try a residue diet alongside laxatives. See your veterinarian for the best diet that suits your kitten.
Use of Laxatives
There are many kinds of laxatives available. Though they might not be licensed for use on cats, most of these laxatives have proved to be effective with few side effects. Types of laxatives include the lubricant laxatives that lubricate the colon and the rectum, making passage of phases easier. We also have laxatives that promote the resilience of water in faces which we call Emollient laxatives. Other types of laxatives include; stimulant laxatives and osmotic laxatives.
Use of Prokinetic Drugs
These are drugs that treat constipation by aiding the neuromuscular contraction of the colon, a good example of a prokinetic drug is cisapride. A combination of prokinetic drugs with a low residue diet is a good way of treating constipation in cats.
Subtotal colectomy Surgery
If the change of diet, use of laxatives, and regular exercises doesn’t help in treating constipation. The last option is to go for surgery to remove most of the colon which is known as Subtotal Colectomy surgery. Usually, cats will experience frequent diarrhea after this surgery, but after then the chances of your cat suffering from constipation again are very rare.
The above discussed are some of the common ways of treating constipation. It is advisable to quickly take your cat to a professional when you notice the symptoms of constipation persist. It is also not encouraging the be administering drugs to the kitten, take it to a veterinarian for a proper checkup and diagnosis.
The 5 Best Cat Foods For Obstipation Are Reviewed Below
You might be worried about what to feed your cat with when it’s having a hard time passing stool. Yeah, you have to be extra careful of what you feed your cat with during that time, as you don’t know what has caused the pain. In general, it’s quite good to avoid dry hard foods and go for wet soft foods during that time. There are many cat foods available in the markets, choosing the right one for your little friend might be overwhelming. To save you from stress and to keep you on the safer side, we have decided to review some of the best cat foods for better bowel movement. These foods were made by experts who have good knowledge of how to approach a cat’s difficulty in passing stool. They are easily digestible and highly nutritious to your kitten.
Note that these foods are reviewed in no order.
Purina Fancy Feast Grilled Feast in Gravy Canned Wet Cat Food
The Purina Fancy Feast cat food is a protein-rich and tender slow cut of meat, poultry and seafood. Each serve of the Purina fold delivers a 100% balanced and nutritious diet for adult cats. The food is also delectable, crafted with care with a meaty flavour that will arouse the appetite of cats. It also has light gravy that enhances the overall meal experience. The Purina fancy feast food delivers the sea flavours your kitten has been craving. The presence of essential vitamins and minerals in the food makes it a good food for cats that are suffering. It offers up different recipes to keep your pet interested and looking forward to the next meal. The Purina feast gravy is a wet none dry cat meal that easily digested and excreted.
- 100% complete nutritious and balanced food for adult cats
- Contains delicate gravies for added flavour
- Highly rich in protein
- Contain minerals and vitamins to improve the overall health of cats
- Has a moisture content of about 80 per cent
- Good for cats suffering from this condition
- Brand: Purina Fancy Feast
- Department: Food
- Model Name: FANCY FEAST GRILLED and CP
- Colour: Sea Food Variety
- Target audience: All kinds of cats
- The age range of audience: Adults
- Each package includes Twenty-Four (24) 3 oz. Pull-Top Cans – Purina Pro Plan Pate Wet Cat Food, Turkey & Giblets Entree
- Weight of item: 4.5 pounds
- Dimension of item: 7.87 x 5.24 x 6.18 inches [ L x W x H respectively]
- Dimension of package: 8.07 x 5.91 x 5 inches [ L x W x H respectively]
- Warranty Description: Within 60 days of usage
- Ingredients: Grilled Seafood Feast in Gravy: Fish Broth, Ocean Fish, Wheat Gluten, Liver, By-products of meat, starch modified corn, Chicken, Natural Flavors, Corn Oil, Shrimp, Salt, Soy Protein, artificial Colouring, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Magnesium Sulfate, Mono and Dicalcium Phosphate, Red 3, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin E Supplement, Zinc and Ferrous Sulfate, Niacin, Artificial flavours, e.t.c
- It has sea, meat and poultry cuts giving your cat a mixture of different flavours
- It is 80%, moisture making it good for cats in pain
- It contains gravies for added flavours
- It is highly rich in protein, vitamins and minerals that help in enhancing the overall health of your cat
- It can be given to adult cats only
Tiki Cat Aloha Friends Grain Free Cat Food For all life stages
Coming in 5 different varieties, the Tiki Aloha friends is a highly nutritious diet that saves your kitten from tummy troubles. It contains flaked tuna, highly shredded chicken, fish, meat and a savoury broth all combine to give a peculiar taste and aroma. This easily digestible food contains all the nutrients that your feline friend needs, it is also devoid of grains and artificial flavours that cats don’t fancy. The presence of pumpkin makes it more nutritious, making your cat feel full and supplying it with the needed fibre.
Containing highly moisture broth makes it a perfect food for dehydrated cats that lacks water, as the broth will give them extra hydration.
- Each package contains 12 pouches and 5 flavours. This help excite your cat towards meal every day
- It is 100% grain-free and highly nutritious making it ideal for cats of all ages
- It contains a high amount of moisture which helps in keeping your cat hydrated
- 100% natural no artificial flavours and additives
- Contains a high amount of protein and a low amount of Carbs
- 100% GMO ingredients free
- Brand: Tiki Pets
- Model name: Tiki Pets Aloha Friends Grain Free Wet Food Shredded Chicken for Cat and Kittens Variety Pack, 12 Pouches 2.5oz
- Target audience: Cats
- The age range of audience: All ages
- Breed recommendation: All breeds
- Colour: Variety package
- Included components: Tiki Pets Aloha Friends Grain Free Wet Food Shredded Chicken for Cat and Kittens Variety Pack.
- Dimension of item package: 6.85 x 5.67 x 3.86 inches [ L x W x H respectively]
- Weight of item: 2.17 pounds
- It is 100% GMO-free
- It has a low amount of carbs
- It contains highly nutritious proteins and minerals
- Cats of all ages can have it
- Its high moisture content help keep your feline friend hydrated
- It doesn’t come with a warranty
Purina Pro plan indoor care Adult cat food
If your indoor cat is suffering and you are looking for the perfect food to make it thrive, choose the Purina Pro plan indoor adult cat food. This rice and salmon formula has a medium amount of carb and a high amount of protein. With Salmon as the chief ingredient, you’re pretty sure that your cat is kept on the nutritious side. It also contains Omega 6 fatty acids that help promotes the health and wellness of your cat’s skin. The recipe also contains natural prebiotic fibre that helps promote the felines digestive health and reduces pain. The natural fibres present also help in preventing hairballs.
- 3.5lb bag of Purina Pro plan hairball, bowel movement, and weight control dry cat food
- Real Salmon is the number one ingredients
- Contains a high amount of protein that helps the cat to keep a normal weight
- Contains Omega 6 fatty acids that promote healthy skin and coat
- Contains natural prebiotic fibre that helps accelerates digestion
- Brand: Purina Pro plan
- Manufacturer: Purina Pro plan
- Department: Food
- Model name: PRO PLAN Indoor Cat Smn Ri
- Nature: Dry Food
- Recommended breed: All kinds of breed
- Size: 3.5 lb
- Weight of item: 3.5 pounds
- Dimension of item: 3.5 x 7.75 x 13 inches [ L x W x H respectively]
- Dimension of package: 12.87 x 8.19 x 3.78 inches [ L x W x H respectively]
- Warranty: Not specified
- It has salmon as the number one ingredient
- It contains a high amount of protein and a low amount of carb
- It is good for the skin and hairballs
- It helps alleviate pain
- It can be eaten by all breeds of all ages
- It doesn’t have a warranty
Purina Fancy Feast Flaked Shrimp feast wet cat food
This gourmet cat food is made from high-quality original seafood with a tender well-flaked texture. The Purina Fancy feast food gives your cat a 100% complete and well balanced nutritious diet that helps increase its overall health and wellbeing. The food also contains a high amount of essential minerals, proteins, and vitamins that keep your kitten healthy. With a low percentage of Calorie, the Purina fancy wet cat food contains a wide variety of flavours to entice your feline friend till it finishes its meal.
- 24 oz. Purina Fancy Feast Flaked Gourmet cat wet food
- 100% balanced and nutritious
- Tenderly textured with delicate flavours that cats love
- Contains high-quality seafood flavours
- Contains minerals and vitamins that support cat’s overall health
- Brand: Purina Fancy Feast
- Manufacturer: Purina Fancy Feast
- Department: Food
- Model Name: FANCY FEAST FLK Fsh Smp CndC
- Colour: Shrimp and Fish
- Target audience: All cats
- Age of target audience: All ages
- Recommended breed: All breeds
- Nature: Flaked
- Weight of item: 3 pounds
- Dimensions of item package: 10.75 x 7.9 x 3 inches [ L x W x H respectively]
- It is 100% balanced and highly nutritious
- It contains a high seafood flavour
- It can be eaten by cats of all breeds and ages
- It doesn’t come with a warranty
Muse Natural Grain-Free Adult Dry Cat Food
The Muse Purina Natural Grain-free adult cat food contains chicken, egg, and pumpkin recipes that give your feline friend an amazing taste and flavour. Chicken being the number one natural ingredient make the food highly nutritious. The food contains all the essential nutrients your cat needs to live a healthy life. It contains Omega 6 fatty acids that help in the development of healthy skin and fine fur. Its highly nutritious contents help your kitten to quickly overcome it.
- A 9-pound bag of Muse by Purina charmed with Egg, Chicken and Pumpkin recipe.
- Chicken is the chief ingredient
- 100% Gluten and grain-free
- 100% devoid of artificial flavours and preservatives
- Brand: Muse by Purina
- Manufacturer: Nestlé Purina PetCare Company
- Department: Food
- Model Name: MUSE GRNFRE Chkn Egg Pumpkin
- Target audience: House cats
- The age range of audience: Adult cats
- Recommended breed: All kinds of breeds
- Nature: Dry Food
- Size: 9 lb
- Weight of item: 8.9 pounds
- Dimension of item: 5.25 x 9.15 x 13.25 inches [ L x W x H respectively]
- Dimension of package: 16 x 9.9 x 4.8 inches [ L x W x H respectively]
- It is 100% natural; no artificial flavours
- It has chicken as the number one ingredient
- It contains omega 6 fatty acids that are good for the skin
- It doesn’t come with a warranty
Buying Guide Questions
Below we’re going to look at some frequently asked questions by cat owners whose cats are suffering from constipation.
Can I give my cat olive oil for constipation?
Yes. For years, olive oil has served as a natural laxative used in relieving constipation in cats. It doesn’t only have laxative effects; it also helps in alleviating hairballs and other minor health conditions. To cure constipation, pour one teaspoon of pure olive oil into your cat’s food for one week.
What is a natural laxative for cats?
There are many natural remedies used to relieve constipation in cats. Pure Olive oil has been known to have laxative effects. So also, Pureed pumpkin is a natural laxative, the fibre present in the pumpkin will relieve constipation.
What home remedy can I give my cat for constipation?
There are many home remedies you can use in relieving constipation in cats. These include; increase water consumption to make sure the cat is dehydrated. Try changing your cat’s diet and increase its exercises. You can also try mixing its food with olive oil.
Does Wet Food Help Cats Poop?
Yes, wet foods help increase the water content in the body of cats. An increase in hydration will, in turn, soften the faeces making it easier for the cat to poop
Can massaging help a constipated cat?
No, massaging isn’t good for conspiring cats, according to experts. So it’s advisable to stay away from conspiring massage.
How do I know if my cat has a blockage?
You can easily know if your cat has blockage by noticing its bowel movements, if it’s visiting its litter box frequently, lying down in a hunched posture, exceeding dry hard stools, lack of appetite, constant straining and vomiting are all symptoms of blockage in cats.
What Can I give to my cat to relieve constipation?
Normal laxatives can be used to relieve mild constipation. In case of chronic constipation, hurriedly take your little friend to a veterinarian.
How long can a cat go safely without Pooping?
The maximum number of hours a cat can go long without pooping is 24 hours. Anything longer than, should be checked as it might be caused by constipation.
Why does my cat keep constipating?
Your cat might be constipating frequently because of improper diet, obstruction of the colon, neurological problems or metabolic disorder.
Despite constipation being a common problem in cats, it shouldn’t be ignored as it might be a symptom of underlying medical conditions. You should check your cat’s litter box to make sure it’s having normal bowel habits.
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