Taking Care of a Constipated Cat
When you adopt a cat, you add another member to your family and when someone you love is in pain or uncomfortable, you do everything in your power to help them feel better. At BluePearl Veterinary Partners we know that your pet’s health is important to you, which is why our goal is to provide the most complete care possible. We want our pet owners to feel comfortable visiting us for any concern, including cat constipation.
Constipation is a digestive health issue that is common in many pets, including cats. The condition is characterized by infrequent or difficult bowel movements and can be a sign of another underlying problem. When you notice your cat straining to pass stool or missing his or her daily trips to the litter box, it may be time to schedule an appointment with your family veterinarian.
Signs of Constipation in Cats
Because your cat cannot tell you what is wrong, it is important to be aware of the signs and symptoms that go along with constipation. Take note of any of the following signs so that you can you’re your veterinarian a helpful history:
- Loss of appetite
- Dry, hard stools
- Bloody stools
- Crying or straining
- Lack of grooming
- Weight loss
- Frequent trips to the litter box without success
Some of these signs can also be symptoms of a urinary condition, so it is important to let your veterinarian know how your cat acts when trying to defecate in order to help etermine the cause of problem.
Causes of Cat Constipation
There are many different reasons your cat can become constipated. Your veterinarian will work with you and your cat to pinpoint the cause of the problem in order to provide the most effective treatment. Some of the causes of constipation in cats include:
- Neurologic disorder
- Enlarged prostate
- Abnormal colon shape
By conducting a thorough examination on your cat, your veterinarian is better able to figure out the underlying issue so that your cat can feel better and return to life as usual.
Once the problem causing your cat’s constipation is diagnosed, your veterinarian may consider one or more of the following treatment options:
- Stool softeners
- High-fiber diet
- Increase in water intake
Some of these treatments must be performed by a licensed veterinarian, while others can be done at home by the pet parent.
We recommend the prevention of constipation in cats if at all possible so that it does not become a problem that has to be treated medically. The best ways to ensure that your cat’s digestive system works properly include
- Providing a high-fiber diet
- Limiting treats
- Providing access to clean water
- Encouraging exercise
- Grooming regularly to reduce hairballs.
Treating your cat’s constipation is essential for his or her overall health. If you are concerned with your cat’s bowel movements, contact your family veterinarian to schedule an appointment so that your pet can be treated and on the way to feeling comfortable once again.