Constipation In Cats: Facts You Need To Know About It


Occasional, mild constipation in cats is quite common in cats and is commonly nothing to worry about. However, how will you know when it is already a serious matter, needing some serious attention of you and a vet? Get to learn the causes, symptoms, treatments, as well as the medical issues that are in relation to the constipation of cats.

What is cat constipation?

The constipation in cats is a condition characterized by the inability and easily evacuation of the bowels. This is actually a common condition for felines. The possible causes or contributing factors of it may include the adverse reaction to various medications, traumatic injury, inappropriate diet, lack of access to drinking water, underlying metabolic abnormality, neurologic disease, intestinal tumors, and many more.

Moreover, constipating in cats isn’t a pleasant experience for any cats. This condition causes repeated episodes of constipation, which may cause irreparable enlargement of the colon. Furthermore, serious constipation may also lead to a condition wherein the cat can’t expel the stools at all. In this condition the cat needs an enema. The worst case, a cat may be very impacted or blocked up, and the colon gets enlarged. Surgery is the only option that they can opt to.

In a cat with constipation, the colon becomes impacted with the feces, which will not dislodge. Furthermore, the colonic obstruction may have fluctuating degrees of austerity. The most common and least austere happenstance is the occasional constipation that is usually treatable with medications, dietary changes, and enemas. When left with no treatment, the condition may however proceed to obstipation. This is a more severe and persistent fecal impaction, which may necessitate elaborate therapy and hospitalization, this includes the manual removal of the hardened decal matter from a cat’s colon that’s anesthetized. Further, some cats might also suffer from megacolon. This is a condition where the colon suddenly becomes dilated grossly and not able to function properly. This issue may lead to austere condition and might, in due course, prove incurable with no treatment. This may usually involve surgical removal of the part of the colon.

Causes of Constipation in Cats                         

Our cats get constipated for some reasons, including:

  • Swallowing of too much hair when grooming
  • Too little water
  • Lack of exercise
  • Get a disease
  • A dirty litter box
  • Stress at home
  • Painful in defecating
  • Dehydration

Furthermore, the ingested strings, bones, and some other foreign objects may cause a blockage on the colon. This is what prevents the elimination of the cat. Too little fiber may also cause constipation, yet too much of it may also cause the condition. This is mainly because the fiber is capable of absorbing the water and might cause stool retention. Moreover, there are cats, which may get constipated from a particular change in the environment. Furtherore, this changes include visiting unfamiliar places like a vacation house, being hospitalized, and moving into a new home.

Getting to know the cause of the condition is not that easy. However, it is important for the management of the constipation, as well as the reduction of the chances of it in becoming worse. Additionally, a full discussion with the family veterinarian may help in determining the cause of the condition.

Symptoms of Cat Constipation

The most noticeable symptom of constipation in cats is the straining while defecating. A cat that is mildly constipated might cry as it attempts to defecate, then pass just small amounts of watery feces. In more austere circumstances, the cat might squat in its litter box for an unusually long period, thus passing either hard feces, no feces at all, or small stools.

Furthermore, it may also pass a bit of bloody diarrhea. Cats that are constipated might also try defecting outside its litter box, or recurrently go back at it with just a short span of time in between the visits. Moreover, they may also strain and crouch, yet not able to produce anything. It may also seem so lethargic, having a poor appetite, and may lose weight as well. You might also notice a hunched, vomiting, abnormal posture, while it is walking or sitting, because of discomfort.

Treatments for Cat Constipation

When the cat is somewhat constipated, the vet may suggest a laxative or stool softener, in order to get things moving. Adding fiber to the food, just like pumpkin or natural bran cereal, or some fiber granules may also be beneficial. The fiber-rich foods for cats are also available with recurrent constipation issues.

When the cat is austerely constipated, the veterinarian may administer an enema, or abandon the compressed feces, which comes from the colon of the cat manually. Furthermore, the cats, which have bowel conditions, need surgical removal of the blockage.

Moreover, vets may also administer fluids intravenously.  Administering them to a cat is a vet job and must not be attempted at home. There are some types of the enema that are, in fact, so toxic to cats. The vet might prescribe lactulose –this is a synthetic sugar essential in treating constipation. It’s broken down into the colon in products, which pull water out of the body and in the colon. This helps in softening the stools.


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