Cat Constipation or constipation in cats : When a cat is constipated her stool is hard and dry and retained in the colon, making it hard to pass. Most cats have at least one bowel movement a day—those who normally have one only every couple of days are the ones who are most likely to suffer from constipation.
The typical profile of a constipated cat is a middle-aged (6-year-old) male cat, with short-haired cats being more likely to become constipated than long-haired ones.
Cats can develop an unusual form of constipation or obstipation (severe constipation in cats) called megacolon. In this disorder of unknown cause, the colon loses its ability to effectively contract and cause voiding of feces.
When observe my constipated cat
Cats normally have one bowel movement a day. When stools become less frequent or straining is observed, it is important to determine:
- Is the cat able to pass stool?
- Is the cat eating?
- Is the cat dehydrated?
- Could the cat be straining to urinate instead?
- Is the cat defecating somewhere else in the house?
Causes of Constipation in cats
Most cats don’t take in enough fluids because they are on dry food. This can lead to cat constipation, especially if combined with any of the other contributing factors, such as hairballs, reaction to medication or trauma to the pelvis.
Other Causes of cat constipation include:
- metabolic diseases
- anatomical deformities
- megacolon and diet.
Megacolon is a chronic condition that causes constipation in cats. The colon becomes dilated and stops having normal muscle contractions. Feces pack up and are not pushed through.
Megacolon can be a progressive condition that needs long-term medical and dietary management. Cats who do not respond to treatment need a surgery, called a subtotal colectomy, to remove the inactive colon and restore the ability to defecate.
Diagnosis for constipated cat
- The absence of stool in the litter box is not something everyone notices, but it’s actually really important to keep an eye out for changes in litter box habits because they can indicate problems with your cat’s health.
- If the cat is not producing feces or the stool is in rock-hard little balls, your cat is constipated cat and you should do something about it before it creates a serious health problem.
- Besides noticing how much stool is in the litter box, there are other ways to detect cat constipation by the signs.
Signs of cat constipation
- Lack of daily bowel movement
- Stool is black and/or bloody
- Straining to defecate
- Crying out while passing stool (it hurts when it’s hard and dry)
- Squatting in litter box for extended time before or after passing stool
- Feces are hard little pieces
Stages of constipation in cats
1.Occasional Cat Constipation Becomes Chronic Constipation In Cats
1- the first stage is occasional cat constipation. If you don’t alleviate a cat constipation, her bowel movements can become even more infrequent and difficult.
2- Hairballs are often the culprit; long-haired cats are especially prone to them, as are short-haired cats who live with them, since they may groom each other. If your cat is having serious hairball problems, she will be vomiting hairballs and you’ll also see hair in her stool.
3- In cases like this, the solution is frequent use of a hairball prevention product (like Petromalt) that you smear on a cat’s foot so she will lick it off. You can also put a dab of butter in her food.
4- If your cat does not pass stool for one day and she has no other underlying health problems, you can try any of the cat constipation remedies from the below section in this article.
5- If they do not relieve the cat so that she can have a bowel movement, then you will need to see your vet, who may administer:
- An enema and/or an IV of saline solution to rehydrate her. The doctor will also check for hairballs or other illnesses.
- Giving her a cat laxative gel, which you should use only on your vet’s advice. One thing people often don’t know is that cat laxative s should be given at least 2 hours before or after meals, never mixed with food; a brand without sodium benzoate (or benzoate of soda) is preferable.
2. Obstipation: The Cat Is Having No Bowel Movements
The 2nd stage is obstipation in the cat constipation. With obstipation, or fecal impaction, stool is stuck in the colon. Do not try any remedies yourself at home. Get your cat to the vet, who will give an enema or an oral cat laxative; he may even have to do a procedure to remove the stool manually.
3. Megacolon: The End Stage of Cat Constipation
The 3rd stage is megacolon in the cat constipation. This is a condition where the colon becomes so enlarged that it cannot expel the stool, which becomes trapped there.
It can happen to cats in middle age (around 5 or 6 years old) and may require surgery to remove that part of the dysfunctional colon.
Treatment for constipation in cats
(A) Make a homemade cat constipation remedies
First check with your vet before offering the following concoction to your cat, but it’s unlikely that the doctor would be opposed to it. You’ll be mixing together some high-fiber ingredients, which your cat will eat as a treat.
- Mix 1 tablespoon of any vegetable/meat baby food
- ½ teaspoon of melted butter
- 1⁄4 teaspoon of fine or powdered bran
- and about 1 teaspoon of a product such as Metamucil that contains ground psyllium husks
- Add at least 2 tablespoons of water to this mixture and offer it to your cat. If she isn’t interested, sprinkle some brewer’s yeast (or nutritional or flaked yeast—all available at health food stores) on it to enhance the flavor.
(B) More Diet For Cat Constipation
It is strongly recommended that you discuss your decision about cat constipation diets with your veterinarian or a holistic veterinarian in your area.
It is essential that you follow any diet’s recommendations closely, including all ingredients and supplements. Failure to do so may result in serious health consequences for your pet.
- 5 ounces salmon
- canned with bone (low-salt) ¾ cup long grain
- cooked rice ¼ teaspoon salt or salt substitute 100 mg taurine.
- This diet provides 284 kcal, 30.2 gm of protein, and 10.4 gm of fat. Feed this recipe to a cat who weighs 11 pounds.
1.Another Cat Constipation Remedies
- Add fiber to the food: 1 teaspoon canned pumpkin or 1⁄4 teaspoon finely ground psyllium husks.
- Add 1 teaspoon finely ground raw carrot to the food 3 times weekly.
- Mix 1⁄2 teaspoon powdered or fine bran with 1⁄2 teaspoon butter and give as a treat.
- Avoid dry food entirely.
- Have ample fresh water in a couple of locations to encourage drinking.
- Feed canned food or freshly prepared high-moisture-content food.
2.Variations for cat constipation remedies
1. Substitute 4 to 8 ounces of tuna or ½ pound of chicken, beef, or lamb for the salmon.
2. Rice is optional, as cats do not have a strict dietary carbohydrate requirement.
3. For extra nutrition and fiber and variety, add fresh, raw or slightly steamed vegetables, such as carrots or broccoli (approximately ½ to 1 cup per recipe, ½ cup of vegetables add about 30 kilocalories to the diet) as a top dressing for the diet. Pumpkin or squash can be fed to add extra fiber as well. Most cats will not eat vegetables, however.
4. Feed this diet in divided amounts at least twice daily and preferably 4 to 6 times daily. Frequent small meals will allow more frequent movements of the digestive tract and can encourage frequent eliminations.
(C) Other Natural Treatments For Cat Constipation
Other therapies that may be helpful include herbs such as chickweed, dandelion root, Oregon grape, slippery elm, and yellow dock.
These therapies can be used in conjunction with conventional therapies, as they are unlikely to be effective by themselves in most patients with severe disease.
The natural treatments are widely used with variable success but have not all been thoroughly investigated and proven at this time.
Principal Natural Treatments For Constipated Cat
- The main natural treatments are designed to induce normal bowel movements.
- These can be used in conjunction with conventional therapies when they are not effective by themselves in most patients.
- The natural treatments are widely used with variable success but have not been thoroughly investigated and proven at this time.
- Natural diets recommended for pets with obesity, especially those with natural cat laxative effect such as fibrous vegetables like pumpkin and squashes, are recommended for constipated cat.
Tips for treatment cat constipation
1-If your cat has more than one episode of constipation, work with your veterinarian to determine a diagnostic and treatment plan. Treatment can involve fluids, stool softeners, motility-enhancing drugs that promote intestinal contractions and even shaving a cat to reduce hair in the stool.
2-If you have any type of lubricant hairball remedy, these products also work as cat laxative drug.
3-Adding one teaspoon a day of psyllium, which is the ingredient in Metamucil and other fiber remedies, to cat food can also help the irregular cat. (Make sure the fiber remedy you choose contains only psyllium.)
4-You may try feeding canned cat food and encouraging water consumption.
5-Feeding canned pumpkin (pumpkin pie filling or plain cooked pumpkin) is another home remedy that can resolve constipation in cats.Try one tablespoon, once or twice a day.
6-Don’t let your kitty go more than two days without passing a stool.
7-If you think an enema is needed, let your veterinarian administer it and then deal with cleaning up any mess.
Cat Laxative Drugs Should Be Used With Constipated Cat
1- Mineral oil (1 teaspoonful per 10 pounds [1 ml/kg] body weight), white petrolatum (1 teaspoonful, [5 ml]) given orally, or docusate sodium or calcium capsules (DSS, dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate, 50 to 100 mg orally) are all cat laxative(s) sold over the counter in drugstores that may be used to relieve more severe constipation in cats.
2- Infant glycerine or DSS suppositories for insertion into the rectum are also sold without prescription. These products work by softening and lubricating the stool. Like all cat laxative drugs they should not be used on a continuous or frequently repeated basis without professional advice. Once or twice a day for two days should be sufficient to relieve simple constipation in cats.
3- Stimulant cat laxative such as those containing castor oil or bisacodyl are not recommended for home use without specific instructions from your veterinarian. Chronic use of such drugs can damage the bowel and actually aggravate the problem of constipation in cats.
Enemas Are Best Given By A Veterinarian
- An enema may be necessary to relieve impaction of the colon (hardened stool lodged in the lower bowel). This is best performed by a veterinarian who should give your cat a thorough physical examination before treatment.
- DSS-containing pediatric enemas can be purchased in drugstores if the services of a veterinarian are unavailable.
- To administer an enema, insert the lubricated nozzle into the rectum and administer the liquid slowly at a rate of 1 ounce per 10 pounds (about 1.5 ml/kg) body weight.
- Avoid enemas containing sodium phosphate. They are dangerous for cats and their use can cause death.
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