Hydration Treatment for Feline Constipation

There are three kinds of feline constipation and treatment will vary depending on what type that cat has. The causes for this condition rise from a variety of reasons and there are steps that can be taken to prevent this happening to a cat.

Causes of Feline Constipation

Feline constipation is a general condition which occurs more commonly in older or obese cats. The usual cause is dehydration from lack of water in the cat’s diet. Blockages may also cause constipation from such things as bones, fatty foods or hairballs. Also refusal to use the litterbox will cause constipation, so it is always important to keep litter changed and observe the cat if there is a change in the type or brand used.

Types of Feline Constipation

There are three types or levels of constipation, the first being referred to as just that, constipation. This means the cat is having problems passing a full or partial bowel movement.

The next level is called obstipation which means the constipation has advanced to a point where the cat is not able to have a bowel movement at all.

The third type is megacolon which is the most severe constipation. The muscle walls of the colon become weak and loose movement making fecal matter build up and forming a blockage in the colon which will not allow anything to move through.

Symptoms of Feline Constipation

As a result of a partial or full blockage, the cat will lose its appetite and may have an upset stomach. This symptom will be accompanied with frequent trips to the litterbox. Even though the cat will not be able to have a bowel movement the sensation and pressure will still be there to try.

If the cat manages to have a small bowel movement, there may be small traces of blood. As the cat goes longer without having a bowel movement it will become lethargic and less social, eventually seeking out quiet sleeping spots.

Treatments for Feline Constipation

Before a treatment is decided on, the veterinarian will perform blood and urine testing plus possibly take an x-ray. The x-ray will tell if it is a blockage and the blood and urine tests will rule out any other health issues that could be the cause or present complications.

Depending on what level of constipation the cat has reached will determine the treatment that will be given. In general the cat will be hydrated by intravenous hydration and possibly a laxative prescribed or an enema performed. If the cat is in distress it may need to be anesthetised and the stool physically removed. In severe cases damage may occur to the colon and the vet will need to remove a piece of the bowel surgically.

Prevention of Constipation

Once the cat is home be sure to give it plenty of water and a fresh litterbox. To help prevent this from happening again it is suggested to feed the cat canned food and gradually feed him a side dish of dry along with the wet food each day. Also by grooming the cat daily it will help eliminate a blockage from hairballs.