Understanding Cat Constipation

Cat constipation is a condition that can occur in felines of any age, sex or health condition. The condition is easily treatable; however, older cats are more prone to complications and health risks.

The cat is constipated when he has difficulty of passing feces or doesn't defecate at all for more than 24 hours. Constipation occurs when the feces have been residing in the bowels for too long. The bowels extract the moisture from the feces, and if the feces stay long enough in this area, they will be more difficult to pass due to their solidity.

Causes of Feline Constipation

A diet that is deficient in fibers and nutrients may cause constipation. Other causes include fur balls, dehydration, a sedentary lifestyle, anxiety and stress, diseases, tumors, intestinal pain or a possible pelvic injury. Even if the litter box is not tidy, your cat will avoid it and this may often result in constipation.

Symptoms of Constipation in Cats

You can easily notice if your cat is constipated. If you can't find feces in the litter box, that's a clear sign. However, if your cat defecates outside, the constipation can be more difficult to spot.

Even if you notice smaller amounts of feces than usual, it can mean that the cat is constipated. The feces are hard and the cat's abdomen looks bloated. The cat will also be in pain when defecating and usually avoids the litter box.

Liquid feces may also be present, but this does not mean that the cat has diarrhea. It's just another symptom of constipation, and the liquid is mostly mucus.

A constipated cat may lose weight due to a lack of appetite. When constipated, cats lose interest in games and look weak. In case the cat starts vomiting, this is an alarming sign meaning that the constipation is severe and you need medical attention.

Feline Constipation Treatment

After establishing the diagnosis and ruling out any other medical issues, your vet will be able to prescribe a cat laxative. Canned pumpkin is a natural laxative that may be used if the constipation is not severe.

An alternative treatment option is the injection of enema which will stimulate the bowel movement.

Intravenous fluids will be administrated in severe cases of constipation, when the cat refuses to eat and the condition persists.

The cat should be placed under a strict diet after having constipation to prevent the re-occurrence of the condition. Wet food and vegetable meals are recommended together with a lot of fresh water. The diet should be kept for 1 week, after which you can gradually introduce dry food.

Chronic Constipation

If your cat has chronic constipation, further tests will be needed to determine the cause for this condition. A biopsy or colonoscopy will be needed along with blood tests and x-rays.

Preventing Cat Constipation

Constipation may be prevented by offering a balanced diet and plenty of exercise to your cat. Make sure there is always fresh water in his bowl and you may also add some fiber supplements to ensure proper bowel movement.