Normally, a cat should produce a stool about once a day. However, if she doesn’t do so for more than 48 to 72 hours, then she may get constipated. Constipation in cats is common if it is still mild.
It can be treated with simple home treatment too. However, sometimes, constipation in cats can also indicate more serious health issues. As a result, this condition can become very severe and painful.
There are several causes of constipation in cats. The most common one is dehydration; however, it can also be a sign of a more serious health condition. Some other factors, such as dietary and lifestyle may also trigger this condition.
Symptoms of Constipation in Cats
Constipation is commonly characterized by infrequent stools or hard stools. Normal cats mostly poop about every 24 to 36 hours, however, if your cat poops less frequently or even have some difficulty in passing the stool, then she might get constipation. Here are the main signs of constipation in cats:
1. Dry and Hard Stools
The stools may be found inside or outside the litter box. A normal stool of a cat is rich brown color and well-formed. According to Dr. Liz Bales, VMD, a healthy stool has enough moisture that litter will stick to it.
However, cats with constipation may have very hard and dry stools. Some stools may also be found outside the litter box due to the discomfort of passing it. The cat may leave the litter box before they finish passing the stool.
2. Crying or Straining Inside the Litter Box or Avoid it
The other signs of discomfort can be crying or straining while using the litter box. Your cat may also go in and out multiple times before using the litter box.
Be aware that displaying discomfort while using the litter box may also indicate a sign of urinary tract infection. See the vet once you notice this symptom. Make sure you avoid putting the litter box in these 4 worst spots for your cats litter boxes.
Those two are the most common symptoms of constipation in cats. However, there are some other signs of the underlying cause, such as:
- Decreased appetite
- Vomiting – also read the reasons your cat is vomiting blood
- Drinking more or less water
- Weight loss – also read reasons of your cats sudden weight loss
- Muscle loss
- Difficulty in jumping up
- Urinating more
If you see any of the symptoms above, contact your vet immediately.
Treatment of Constipation in Cats
Constipation in cats should be treated immediately so that the risk of permanent damage could be reduced. The treatment is including the process of identifying and correcting the underlying disorder, the removal of the impacted feces and preventions.
However, there are some home remedies or treatment you can do at home for your constipated cats:
- Change the Diet
One of the causes of constipation in cats is dietary. Food allergies may cause intestinal inflammation and constipation as well. You can start by changing the source of protein of your cat’s food, such as chicken, lamb, etc. By changing the protein, the intestines will be able to move more normally and as a result, it reduces constipation.
Make sure the food you feed your cat has these best nutrition facts that should be contained in cat food.
- Increase the Water Consumption
As told before that one of the causes of constipation in cats is dehydration. So, make sure your cat drinks more water and staying well-hydrated. It will help preventing constipation.
Cats are not good at drinking, so you can provide more wet food for them to eat. It will increase their water intake and significantly reduce the risk of getting constipation.
- Maintain Your Cat’s Healthy Weight
Obesity is also another cause of constipation in cats. Obesity slows down things in the intestines. Too much water then is absorbed from the stool and as a result it leads to constipation.
Too much in the belly will also affect the movement of stools. Consult with your vet if your cat needs to lose weight or some certain diet plans.
- Fibre or Probiotics
Probiotics are good bacteria supporting healthy intestines. By having healthy intestines, your cat will enable the stool to move along normally and be soft, preventing her from getting constipation.
Another way to treat constipation is by giving your cat fibre. Fibre will feed the good bacteria and also stimulate normal movement inside the intestines.
There are some types of fibre, so you have to choose which works best for your cat. Some common sources are Psyllium husks and wheat bran. Healthy cats mean happy owners and make sure your cat has these 5 signs that you have a happy and healthy cat.