Can Cats Get Constipated?
Can cats get constipated? We have all suffered from constipation at one time or another and know how unpleasant it is, the same goes for our cats – they too can experience difficult or infrequent bowel movements.
In fact, constipation is the most common health problem connected to your cat’s digestive system. However, if your cat likes to poop outside, it can be very difficult to track just how often they are going.
Cats should ideally have one bowel movement per day. If you are able to inspect the litter tray, your cat should be passing hard and dry stools. If several days pass without any sign of poop, or if you actually witness your cat straining unsuccessfully at the litter tray, you should take a visit to the vet. Your poor little cat is very likely constipated. More troubling is that the symptoms of constipation, could hint at other health issues.
There are a number of signs to look out for when ascertaining if your cat is constipated or not. Beyond the absence of cat poop, you should also watch out for:
• Small, hard stools with traces of mucus or blood
• Your cat straining or crying out when trying to poo
• Loss of appetite
• Weight loss
• Unsuccessful trips to the litter tray
• Your cat displaying signs of abdominal pain
• Your cat isn’t grooming
If your cat exhibits any of the above for prolonged periods, you should certainly take a visit to the vet.
What is the Cause of Constipation in Cats?
Unfortunately there are many reasons why your cat might be suffering from constipated. As we have already touched upon, the presence of constipation can signify deeper, more serious health issues. The following is a list of potential reasons your cat is having problems passing stool.
• The prostate gland has become enlarged
• Your cat may have a tumor or other intestinal obstruction
• General obesity
• Sometimes tangled hair on the buttocks can cause issues
• Ingested hairballs from excessive grooming
• Their anal sacs could be blocked or abscessed
• A dysfunction in the shape of the colon
• They have a low-fiber diet
• They are suffering from dehydration
• Your cat may have ingested foreign bodies such as cloth or bones, etc
• Have they taken medication recently, constipation can be a side effect
As you can see, with the myriad of potential causes behind constipation, if you spot the signs you are definitely best placed to seek guidance from your vet.
Treatment for a Cat with Constipation?
Your vet may recommend one of several forms of treatment to overcome your cat’s constipation. It very much depends on their prognosis on what exactly is causing the issue.
Here are some examples on what course of action may be taken:
• Your cat may have to take medication that will aid the contractile strength of the large intestine
• Your vet may manually evacuate the bowels
• A simple pet laxative may be prescribed
• A simple increase in water consumption
• Increased exercise
• An enema carried out by your vet
• If an obstruction is found in the bowels, surgery may be required
• Your vet might suggest high-fiber dietary foods
As you can see, some of these are simple others require professional assistance. However, each should not be carried out without consultation with your vet.
Are Some Cats More Likely to Suffer From constipation?
Unfortunately older cats will suffer from constipation more often than healthy younger adult cats. All the same, as we have uncovered, a cat that does not have a sufficient fiber in their diet, or lacks water and exercise, will be more susceptible to constipation overall.
Preventing Constipation in Your Cat?
In direct parallel to the above, a few of the things an owner can do to help prevent constipation in their cats is to watch their dietary intake and ensure enough fiber is involved. Make sure that their water bowl is refilled with fresh water every day.
While it can be difficult to encourage a cat to take more exercise, you can purchase cat toys and play with them. Just getting them up off their feet with games leads to better health if your cat is overly sedentary.
And finally, simply brushing your cat regularly so that no over sized hairballs are swallowed will help. One less potential issue that could lead to constipation.