Constipation in cats is usually mild, and owners can follow tips on how to make a cat poop when constipated at home to relieve their pet’s suffering.
However, digestive issues may also indicate severe health conditions that require a vet’s attention.
Feline owners should observe other changes in their furry friend’s physical and mental well-being to avoid missing signs of chronic or lethal diseases.
Seeing your little friend cry and strain in the litterbox and refuse to eat is heartbreaking, but don’t panic until you try out home remedies for cats with constipation.
Remember that constipation is usually a systemic issue rather than an occasional problem, so evaluate your cat’s diet, activity level, and overall health state to prevent it in the future.
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Define The Constipation Cause
Constipation is a symptom inherent to numerous medical conditions, so identifying the cause of the issue is essential for choosing the correct treatment.
Sometimes, constipation in cats is caused by poor mental well-being and emotional distress.
Cats feeling anxious and scared often have trouble clearing their digestive tract. A diet containing solely dry food can also lead to dehydration and, consequently, constipation.
Another common yet relatively harmful cause of constipation in cats is excessive grooming, leading to hairball formation in the digestive tract.
Typically, cats gag hairballs without issue, but too much hair in the stomach may not go out as intended.
Food poisoning and allergies can also cause constipation. Other symptoms of food allergy in cats include skin inflammation, coughing, sneezing, vomiting, flatulence, and overall weakness.
However, if the symptoms of food positioning or allergy are persistent, your kitty may suffer from an inflammatory bowel disease (IBD).
IBD in cats is a chronic irritation of the digestive tract typically caused by Salmonella or E. Coli bacteria or parasites.
Other potential causes of constipation in cats include arthritis pain, kidney issues, obesity, ingestion of foreign objects, feline megacolon, tumors in the digestive tract, cancer, and perianal disease.
Megacolon is a condition caused by a dilated or weak colon that fails to proper fecal matter out of the digestive tract. The disease is chronic and can occur due to neurological impairment or muscular problems.
Increase Water Consumption
Feline owners wondering how to make a constipated cat poop should first increase their pet’s water consumption. Dehydration is the most probable cause of the problem in cats only eating dry food.
Ensure that your kitty always has access to fresh water and change it frequently to encourage the cat to drink. The bowl should be wide enough not to touch the cat’s whiskers and be made from glass, ceramic, or metal.
Place the water bowl away from the food bowl. Cats often drink right after eating, and food chunks may get into the water bowl, making the water dirty and unappealing to the cat.
Another way to increase your cat’s water consumption is switching to wet food, either partially or fully.
Furthermore, wet food has a stronger odor, boosting the cat’s appetite. Choose wet food of the same brand as dry food to avoid allergies.
If your cat already eats wet food, but you suspect it isn’t consuming enough water, add some water into the food bowl.
In severe cases, when a cat refuses to drink due to distress, the owner may have to administer it through a syringe.
Cats often struggle with constipation due to emotional distress. If you’ve recently moved to a new home, brought in a new animal, or your cat got lost and found, that’s the most likely reason.
The first step in dealing with constipation is creating a safe and calm environment for your pet. Keep it away from other animals, small children who can handle it roughly, and unfamiliar people.
Ensure that your cat has a cozy, warm place to rest, away from crowded house areas and other distractions. If your female feline is in heat and struggles to poop, ensure she can’t sense male cat odors.
If you’ve recently bought a cat and it isn’t yet used to you, don’t rush things. Let the cat get used to you and approach you first.
Often, eliminating triggers is all it takes to reduce stress, but you can additionally use soothing synthetic pheromones and natural remedies like catnip.
Change The Diet
Obesity in cats often leads to intestinal inflammation, slowing down digestion processes and resulting in constipation. Furthermore, excessive fat absorbs too much water from food, leading to dehydration.
Neutered, spayed, and old cats are at a higher risk of obesity. Help your kitty ease its digestion issues by changing its diet and incorporating more activity into its day.
Feed your cat in smaller servings several times a day, according to the food pack label. You may consult with your vet regarding switching to a food with lower fat content. Dedicate at least 15 minutes daily to playing with your four-legged friend.
Constipation is also prevalent in cats eating human food, even if they don’t have weight issues. Never give your cat peanut butter, chocolate, yogurt, cheese, and other foods not intended for felines.
Lastly, your cat may not be getting enough fiber. According to veterinarians, a cat’s diet should contain two to eight percent of fiber.
Check how much fiber your cat’s food contains, and add spinach, broccoli, green beans, or boiled carrots to its diet if necessary.
Change The Litter
Have you recently changed the litter? The chances are that your kitty refuses to poop because it doesn’t like the new litter type.
Suppose you’ve switched from clay litter to silica gel or pine litter – your cat may be confused by the difference in odor and look. Perhaps, it doesn’t even understand its new litterbox contents are intended for pooping on.
Try to switch to the previous litter type and see whether the issue persists. If you’ve just bought a kitten and haven’t yet figured out which litter it prefers, ask the breeder or shelter which litter they used before.
The constipation problem may also occur after changing the litterbox’s location. Some cats refuse to poop in a dirty litter, so you may have to clean it more frequently.
If you have multiple cats, consider getting more litterboxes. Some cats don’t like sharing their toilet with others.
Cat probiotics are good bacteria that help to regulate digestion and maintain a cat’s overall health. Such supplements come in the form of pills, powder, drops, and even infused treats.
Most cat probiotics contain Bifidobacterium or Enterococcus family bacteria – the former resides in the small intestine and the latter in the colon, so each group targets a specific problem. Constipation typically calls for Enterococcus group probiotics.
Consult with your veterinarian before administering any probiotics to your cat. Although adverse effects are rare, there’s a chance of vomiting, diarrhea, and allergies in cats with a sensitive digestion tract.
Veterinarians advise owners to continue giving their pet probiotics even after the constipation issue resolves.
A cat’s immune system is mainly dependent on the digestive tract’s health, so probiotic supplements can significantly improve a cat’s well-being and prevent medical conditions.
Help The Cat in Grooming
Excessive grooming is one of the most common causes of constipation in long-haired cats, but the issue may sometimes occur also with short-haired breeds.
You can spot an excessive hairball issue in your pet by constant gagging, lack of appetite, constipation, and lethargy.
The good news is that the owner can typically help their pet at home without a vet’s involvement. Firstly, help your cat in grooming by brushing its fur regularly.
The more fur you remove, the less of it will end up in the digestive tract.
Experts recommend using grooming combs for thick-haired cats, pin brushes for curly or woolly coats, molting combs for fine fur, and slicker brushes for cats that shed a lot.
Discourage excessive grooming. Cats suffering from feline obsessive-compulsive disorder or anxiety tend to constantly groom themselves.
Try to teach your cat to engage in a different enjoyable activity to reduce the stress and keep its grooming obsession at bay.
Additionally, you can give your cat a hairball formula designed to reduce shedding, improve the coat’s health, and simulate hairballs passing through the digestive tract.
Use Over-the-Counter Laxatives
If none of the above-mentioned cat constipation treatments help, but you don’t notice any other worrying signs in your cat’s behavior, you may give your pet over-the-counter cat laxatives.
However, you should be aware of the risks before administering any medication. Always read about adverse symptoms and contraindications of a specific medication and never exceed the dosage recommended in the instruction.
When To See a Vet
Sometimes, constipation in cats is a symptom of severe medical conditions that require urgent veterinary treatment. Therefore, every owner must know when to see a vet for cat constipation.
Pay attention to your pet’s overall health state and behavioral changes. If your get is lethargic, has pale gums or ulcers in the mouth, refuses to drink, bleeds from the colon, or has a fever, don’t postpone a visit to a vet.
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