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Why Do Cats Get Constipated? Signs, Symptoms & Remedies

2021-11-25  PetsCareTip

What Causes Cat Constipation?

If you know your cat’s habits, it’s easy to see the changes in his bathroom routine by inspecting the spot where he relieves himself. If you observe fewer stools than normal or hard, dry stools in the litter box, something may not be right with your cat’s digestion.

What causes feline constipation?


A cat may be unable to or reluctant to defecate due to illness, injury, a change in food, stress and even age.

Mahaney also cites other causes of cat constipation, including:

  • Arthritic pain in the lower back, pelvis or knees (which can cause discomfort while a cat is defecating and reduce her desire to pass stool)
  • Electrolyte imbalance (often associated with dehydration)
  • Inadequate fluid intake (dehydration can slow down blood flow, reducing intestinal peristalsis - contraction - causing the colon to be unable to move feces from the body properly)
  • Nervous-system abnormalities
  • Muscle weakness
  • A low-fiber diet
  • Intestinal obstruction
  • Anal sac inflammation (which can lead to discomfort when feces moves through the rectum)
  • Hairballs or foreign objects that have been ingested

Cat Constipation Symptoms

Healthy cats should defecate at least once a day, and the stool should be deep brown in color and well-formed. ill from underlying diseases such as kidney disease, liver disease, or cancer; obese or those who have incurred trauma, making feces challenging to pass,” says Dr. Patrick Mahaney, a Los Angeles-based veterinarian with California Pet Acupuncture and Wellness, Inc.

“Constipation is typically associated with, but is not limited to, cats who are geriatric;

Signs of constipation in your cat may withinclude a reduction in the number of and frequency of stools or hard, small stools inside or outside of the kitty litter box. You may also notice that your cat is straining to defecate, possibly crying in pain, and has a decreased appetite.

Call your veterinarian if you suspect that your cat is constipated. This condition can be caused by an underlying illness.

Constipation can also lead to feces building up in the colon and becoming impacted, a situation that requires veterinary involvement.

Preventing Cat Constipation

Keeping your cat well-hydrated goes a long way toward preventing constipation. Circulating water fountains are a good way to get a reluctant cat to drink more water, and wet food can add more moisture to the bowels.

Regular veterinary exams - at least every six months for an elderly cat - can catch health problems before they become severe. Cats should receive a rectal and anal sac inspection at each physical exam.

Cat Constipation Remedies

Your veterinarian may prescribe medication such as a laxative or stool softener, or may intervene with an enema, which may be done under anesthesia.

You may try offering your cat the following to relieve his constipation - but only after you’ve gotten the okay from your vet:

  • A hairball remedy (available at most pet stores)
  • Canned cat food, low-sodium tuna or low-sodium chicken or beef stock to add moisture to your cat’s diet and create softer stools
  • An omega-3 fatty acid supplement (fish oil) to include lubrication to his feces
  • Pumpkin, squash, psyllium husk or ground flax meal to provide more fiber
  • A higher-fiber diet, to create more stool. Do not try this with a cat who has a muscular inability to void feces, or one who is weak or dehydrated.

By PetsCareTip.Com

2021-11-25  PetsCareTip