Constipation is a common issue that can affect cats of all ages. It can be a symptom of an underlying health condition, or it may be caused by diet, lifestyle, or a variety of other factors.
Understanding the causes and possible treatments of feline constipation can help keep your pet healthy and comfortable.
This article provides an overview of the causes and treatments of constipation in cats.
What are the Signs of Constipation in Cats
If your cat is constipated, you may notice that they are having difficulty passing stool. They may also pass small amounts of stool or no stool at all. Other signs include straining to defecate, crying out in pain while attempting to defecate, and licking their anus.
If your cat is constipated, it is important to take them to the vet so that they can rule out any potential underlying health problems.
Why Do Cats Become Constipated
There are many reasons why cats may become constipated, including lack of water or fiber in their diet, dehydration, blockages from fur or other objects, intestinal disorders, and certain medications.
Often, constipation can be resolved by simply increasing the amount of water and fiber in your cat’s diet. If your cat is dehydrated, offer small amounts of water or low-sodium chicken broth frequently throughout the day.
You can also try giving your cat a small amount of clear mineral oil (such as petroleum jelly) to help lubricate its intestines.
How to Help a Constipated Cat Naturally
If your cat is having trouble going to the bathroom, there are a few things you can do at home to help them out.
First, make sure they have plenty of water to drink. You can also give them wet food instead of dry food, which will help add moisture to their system.
Finally, you can try giving them a small amount of canned pumpkin. This is a natural laxative for cats and should help get things moving again.
What is the Best Way to Prevent Constipation in Cats
There are a few things you can do to help prevent constipation in your cat:
- Feed them a high-fiber diet. This means giving them plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as whole grains.
- Make sure they’re drinking enough water. Dehydration can lead to constipation, so make sure your cat has access to fresh, clean water at all times.
- Encourage them to exercise. A sedentary lifestyle can contribute to constipation, so encourage your cat to run, jump, and play as often as possible. If your cat is already constipated, there are a few things you can do to help ease their discomfort:
- Give them a warm bath. The heat will help relax their muscles and make it easier for them to go to the bathroom.
- Massage their belly. Gently rubbing their tummy in a clockwise direction can help stimulate their digestive system and get things moving again.
- Give them a laxative approved by your veterinarian.
Dr. John Morris, DVM is a Doctor of Veterinary Medicine who has seven years of experience in feline medicine, dermatology, and behavior. He also enjoys volunteering at a local NGO that supports literacy programs for children and adults. In his free time, he enjoys fostering kittens, traveling, vegan cooking, hiking, and biking. Learn more about Justin here.