Cat constipation occurs when the feline has difficulty in defaecating and at times not defaecating at all. When this happens, the wastes continuously build up within the bowel and colon. As a result, the faeces will become compacted and hardened, making it difficult to defaecate. This stage is now called as ‘obstipation.’
Which breeds are prone to cat constipation? Constipation affects any cat breeds regardless of gender. However, it occurs more frequently in older cats. According to Dr Scott Gellman from Chestnut Hill Cat Clinic in Philadelphia, ‘Older cats are frequently arthritic and it can be painful to defaecate in the litter tray regularly, thus they will hold their stool longer, drying it out, and causing constipation.’
In other cases, constipation can be an indication of a more serious medical condition, including:
- Kidney complications
- Anal sacs complications
Unfortunately, it is apparent that constipation in cats can be very uncomfortable, unpleasant, and painful. That being said, it is important to understand this condition and learn some home remedies that will ease the pain and discomfort.
What are the symptoms of a constipated cat?
Your cat is constipated when she starts having the following signs:
- Defaecating anywhere outside the litter tray
- Going in and about to the litter tray without success
- Less or no defaecation
- Loss of appetite
- Hard and dry faeces
- Small quantities of stool
- Small amounts of liquid stool
- Stool with mucus or blood
- Cat constipation and vomiting
How can I help my cat with constipation? Here are some remedies to treat cat constipation.
1. Canned pumpkin
Luckily, most cats came to like the taste of pumpkin. Pumpkin contains a natural laxative for cat constipation. You may provide her with canned pumpkin. It is easy to prepare as it is already mashed. Examine the content of the canned pumpkin and ensure that it does not contain sugar or spices.
Prepare one or two tablespoons of canned pumpkin in a day. Introduce it gradually to your feline through mixing it with some canned cat food.
2. Olive oil
Providing olive oil to your cat is one of the natural cures for constipation. It functions as a lubricant and helps soften the faeces, and provides relief to your cat in pain. Moreover, it is important to be firm in giving measured dosage as this can cause diarrhoea when fed in excessive amounts. The ideal dosage should not be more than half a tablespoon of olive oil. It can be mixed along with your feline’s food or can be given with the use of a syringe.
3. Coconut oil
The use of coconut oil is not only for humans. It is just as beneficial to cats as it is to humans. It eases constipation by aiding the flow of the stool smoothly and softening the stool itself. The ideal dosage should only be half a teaspoon, which can be given along with her kibbles or wet food.
Ginger can be an effective herbal remedy. It helps her digestive tract to function well. Consult your vet about its specific dosage. It is usually given in small amounts, about a quarter of a teaspoon. Gradually introduce it by mixing it with her pet food.
Dehydration can lead to cat constipation. As such, ensure that your healthy feline is getting enough water. Ensure that fresh water is readily available at all times. You may put a little water to dry cat food.
An affected cat should be given a diet rich in fibre. There are several commercial products that are high in fibre such as bran cereal and Metamucil. You may add about half to one teaspoon to her food bowl in a day. This helps regulate her bowel movement.
7. Regular brushing
Cats are relatively prone to overgrooming. Click here to know how to deal with an overgrooming cat. That being said, they are more likely to ingest hairballs. Follow a schedule of brushing to minimise overgrooming.
Sedentary, less-active, older cats are at risk of constipation. The lack of exercise results in weak muscles that might affect the function of your cat’s colon. Prevent constipation by allowing her to move or play around the area. Provide toys and encourage her to play, jump, and chase things either indoors or outdoors.
Do you know other tips that are effective aside from the list? Tell us in the comments below! Read more tips on our pet health blog posts.