How to Manage Cat Constipation

by catfood

Both humans and other animals, including cats, can suffer from the excruciating condition of constipation. Cat owners might not notice anything is wrong until their pets exhibit telltale signs of discomfort or disease. Knowing how to recognize and manage constipation can enable you to either help your cat feel better fast or avoid it completely.


What is feline constipation?

The bowels are unable to appropriately release excrement when a cat is constipated. Stool may accumulate in the colon as a result, which would hinder digestion and be painful. Cats may develop either chronic constipation or acute (sudden) constipation (ongoing). Chronic constipation may recur from time to time. In the event that you suspect constipation in your cat, seek quick veterinary advice.

Symptoms of Cat Constipation

  • Numerous trips to the bathroom but difficulty urinating without any feces coming out
  • Small, firm, and dry stools (may have some streaks of blood)
  • Flaws outside of the litter box (stools are typically still hard and dry)
  • Diarrhea (caused by liquid feces around solid feces ingested) (due to liquid stool passing around hard stool stuck in the colon)
  • Excessive slobbering and vomiting (typically due to nausea)
  • Diminished appetite
  • Expanded stomach
  • Discomfort in the stomach
  • Especially when trying to urinate, vocalization
  • Gain less weight (more often seen with chronic or long-term constipation)
  • Inertia or depression

If your cat displays any of these or other illness-related signs, be careful to get advice from your veterinarian.


Causes of Cat Constipation

Cats’ constipation can be caused by a number of things. You could possibly remove the mat by yourself.

  • Matted hair around the anus might cause constipation because it obstructs the stoma’s outflow. You should start here if your cat exhibits constipation. The following factors may contribute to or induce constipation in cats. If not, a cat groomer or a veterinarian can help.
  • A poor diet may cause constipation in cats because it affects how they poop.
  • Dehydration can affect the GI tract’s capacity to move waste through the intestines and colon, which can lead to constipation.
  • Obese cats are more prone to constipation, particularly if they lead sedentary lifestyles. This is done so that intestinal motility, which many overweight cats lack, can be enhanced by exercise.
  • Cats with chronic renal disease frequently become dehydrated, which can result in constipation.
  • GI blockages may hinder a patient from properly passing their feces. This could result from ingesting anything foreign or from shaving too much hair.
  • Megacolon is a condition where the colon is unable to pass waste as normally as the colon of a healthy cat. This situation is thought to affect the cat’s intestinal muscles. The cause of megacolon in cats is unknown. The fluid both releases the trapped feces and lubricates the colon to facilitate stool expulsion.
  • Certain drugs may cause temporary constipation in cats.
  • A cat that refuses to use the litter box may hold onto poop until it becomes too uncomfortable to pass it. This could be the result of emotional issues (fear, worry), behavioral issues, or even a severe condition like arthritis that makes it difficult to position oneself comfortably to urinate.

Treatment for Cat Constipation

Regardless of the underlying cause, the main goals of treatment are to relieve the cat’s discomfort, eliminate backed-up stools, and prevent recurrence.

The vet will ask about your cat’s medical history and perform a physical examination if you bring your cat in with potential constipation. Even though it is more challenging to do so with overweight cats, they might be able to feel the stool when the abdomen is palpated.

Your veterinarian may suggest abdominal radiography to get a glimpse of the colon and intestines, as well as to determine how much feces is blocked up (X-rays). Radiographs may reveal a megaintestinal tract or a blockage as the primary reasons of constipation.

Constipation in cats must be treated with the use of extra fluids. Fluids may be injected under the skin to be slowly absorbed in order to guarantee that your cat is well hydrated. Fluids alone can sometimes be used to cure constipation.

Your veterinarian may advise a laxative or stool softener to help your cat defecate when they experience mild to moderate constipation. Your cat might be able to pass stool again a day or two after taking the medication.

In the event that radiographs of the colon show a substantial amount of stool, your veterinarian may recommend an enema. A hot fluid is injected into the colon through the anus to achieve this.

It is possible for neurological conditions or trauma to affect the nerves and/or muscles that regulate bowel motions. Most cats have a significant bowel movement following an enema, and they may be allowed to return home the same day (often on medications).

Obstipation, a severe form of constipation, may be the root of your cat’s significant stool blockage. A sedation-induced procedure called deobstipation necessitates the manual evacuation of stool with gloved hands. Normally, only the most dire circumstances necessitate doing this.

Your veterinarian could suggest altering your diet or taking supplements to prevent constipation from reoccurring. This is essential, especially if your cat has experienced chronic constipation.

How to Prevent Constipation in Cats

You can help your cat avoid constipation in a number of ways. First, think about the essentials of cat care. Give your cat a balanced, all-encompassing diet. Make sure your cat has access to fresh water at all times. Because it can help maintain hydration, wet food is generally suggested as the superior choice for all cats. Make sure your cat gets enough activity and maintains a healthy weight.

Take your cat to the vet if you suspect constipation for more than 24 hours. Call your veterinarian as soon as your cat throws up, acts incredibly uneasy, or is acting lethargic. With the help of the veterinarian, you might be able to cure mild constipation before it gets worse.

If your cat has chronic kidney disease or any other ailment that could result in constipation, make sure the problem is properly addressed. Bring your cat to all scheduled vet follow-up appointments, as directed. Follow your veterinarian’s advice regarding treatment, and contact them immediately if something goes wrong.



If you suspect your pet is sick, call your vet immediately. For health-related questions, always consult your veterinarian, as they have examined your family pet, know the pet’s health history, and may make the best recommendations for your pet.

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