How to Help Your Cat Go (aka Feline Constipation)
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How to Help Your Cat Go (aka Feline Constipation)

Est. read time: 3 min.

If you suspect that your kitty is suffering from constipation, there are a few things that you should take into consideration. We checked in with Web MD for some useful information to help you monitor your kitty’s bowel health.

Know the Signs of Feline Constipation

Any of the following symptoms might indicate constipation or a urinary issue. This is why it is important to visit your veterinarian at the first sign of any of these symptoms so he/she can accurately diagnose and subsequently treat the underlying causes. Feline constipation may show itself in any or all of the following ways:

  • Straining or crying out in pain when trying to urinate or defecate
  • Small, dry, hard stools, possibly covered in mucous or blood
  • Frequent, unproductive trips to the litter box
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Lethargy
  • Vomiting
  • Displays of abdominal discomfort
  • Lack of self-grooming

Causes of Feline Constipation

Your cat may be struggling to pass healthy bowel movements for any number of possible reasons. If you notice any of the above symptoms, then the related cause may be any of the following:

  • Low-fiber diet
  • Dehydration
  • Hairballs/excessive self-grooming
  • Blocked or abscessed anal sacs
  • Enlarged prostate gland
  • Tangled hair on the buttocks
  • Ingestion of foreign objects such as string, cloth, bones, etc.
  • Side effect of medication
  • Tumor or other intestinal obstruction
  • Neurological disorder
  • Obesity
  • Abnormal colon shape or motility

Treatment of Feline Constipation

As with any serious health concern that may arise with your cat, we suggest that you consult your veterinarian before attempting to remediate any medical issue on your own. Your veterinarian may recommend any one or more of the following treatments:

  • Stool softener
  • Laxative
  • Enema (administered ONLY by a professional)
  • Medication to increase the contractile strength of the large intestine
  • Manual evacuation of the bowels
  • Surgery to remove obstruction in the bowels
  • Veterinarian-prescribed, high-fiber diet
  • Adding fiber to your cat’s diet with canned pumpkin, bran cereal or a product such as Metamucil
  • Increase in water consumption
  • Increase in exercise

Your cat may be at a higher risk of constipated bowels if it is an older cat, or if it receives insufficient fiber, exercise, or water. Constipation itself may also only be a symptom of a graver medical condition, such as hernia, diabetes or rectal obstruction.

You can help your cat avoid the unpleasantness of constipation by ensuring that it gets a high-fiber diet (consisting of minimal treats), plenty of clean water, regular exercise, and routine grooming. So, keep an eye on your cat’s overall health as well as your cat’s bowel health, and you will both be happier for it.