All You Need To Know About Constipation In Cats

Constipation in felines is a very prevalent condition, but the sources and signs vary greatly from one feline to the next. Learn everything you have to understand about this problem in order to cure it speedily and keep it from reemerging unexpectedly in your feline’s life.

If you feel your feline is constipated, you’re probably keen to learn out what’s causing the problem and how you may help your adorable feline. In this post, we’ll go over everything you know about constipation in cats, from initial indications to expert feline constipation therapy and strategies to minimize the suffering so your feline may return to its regular joyful personality.

constipation in cats
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What is constipation?

Constipation is described as an unusual buildup of wastes in the intestine that causes stool motions to be uncomfortable. Excrement may be less frequent or absent as an outcome of this. The excrement is kept in the gut (large intestine). Because one of the gut’s main tasks is to absorb water, the held wastes grow thick and dark, making releasing them much more challenging.

In an effort to excrete, constipated felines may struggle, leading to stomach pain. Due to severe pushing, many constipated felines may release tiny volumes of fluid stools or blood. Whenever the feline strains, a small quantity of fluid fecal matter is able to slip around the solid fecal bulk, which is often misinterpreted as diarrhea.

The average feline will excrete within 24 to 36 hours. Constipation in cats is likely responsible if your feline poos less regularly, struggles when she tries to defecate, or doesn’t produce any residues in the waste bin. It’s a frequent condition in felines that may typically be treated at the house with simple remedies.

There’s no reason to be concerned if it just occurs once in a while; however, you must call your veterinarian if it gets a regular occurrence or whether it’s gone over 48 to 72 hours, seeing as she’s had digestion. Constipation could indicate major health problems, not to add inconvenience (and deadly in certain cases).

Causes of constipation in cats

Constipation in cats could be caused by or contributed to by a variety of factors. The following are among the essential factors and aspects:

Behavior and lifestyle

Felines may be hesitant to excrete if their litter box is unclean, for instance:

  • There is rivalry for a litter box (with several other felines).
  • The cat isn’t fond of the litter box that’s been utilized.
  • The litter box is in an uncomfortable or loud location.
  • When utilizing a litter box, the feline has had an upsetting event.
constipation in cats
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Elderly felines, for instance, might feel stiffness and suffering due to osteoarthritis. This might make going into and off of the litter box and maintaining a defecation posture uncomfortable.

In certain situations, there could be discomfort in the intestines or urethra when there are irregularities inside or if the feline has ingested anything, which leads to stress on the wall of the intestine as it travels past. Hesitation to excrete can also be caused by cysts or other uncomfortable skin disorders surrounding the urethra.


Water is removed from stools in the intestine, and if felines are thirsty (or don’t sip sufficient water), they may attempt to soak up more fluids from the large intestine, leading to dry and solid stools. Chronic renal illness is frequent in senior felines, and it causes them to produce more urine. As a result, felines get somewhat dehydrated, which can contribute to diarrhea.

Metabolic disorders

Specific metabolism problems, like low thyroid gland levels (hypothyroidism, an uncommon ailment in felines) and lower serum sodium or magnesium, might impair the gut’s capacity to stretch, predisposing to constipation.

Neurological problems

The neurons that regulate intestinal movement could be injured as a consequence of trauma (for example, car crashes and ‘tail-pull’ wounds to the spinal column). Fecal leakage (unregulated feces) might occur in rare situations, although fecal storage and constipation (together with bladder holding difficulty in releasing pee) are more common.

Obstruction of the gut

The femoral tract could shrink due to hip abnormalities (for instance, a repaired hip breakage following trauma). This could result in intestinal pressure in the hip and excrement build-up below the restriction. Secondary fecal impaction could occur if the condition worsens and results in chronic constipation. Constraints, tumors, external substances, and other factors could cause colon shrinkage.

Idiopathic megacolon

Megacolon could develop after weeks of bowel problems and obstipation, resulting in a slow and irreversible loss of the gut’s capacity to shrink owing to prolonged excessive dilatation. Megacolon could also occur in felines as the major illness with no apparent root issue, a condition known as sporadic megacolon. An issue with the tissues of the gut’s wall emerges with this condition, resulting in a growing failure to squeeze.

Symptoms of Constipation in Cats

Inconsistent feces or bowels that are challenging to release are signs of constipation. The average feline would defecate every 24-36 hours. Your feline might be congested if she defecates less regularly and with discomfort.

Although some fluctuation is to be expected, parents should call the veterinarian if their cat hasn’t had a bowel activity in longer than 48-72 hours.

Constipation in cats manifests itself in the following ways:

Stools that are dry and stiff (both in and out of their litter tray)

The excrement should be a deep brown hue and well-formed in most cases. According to the experts, “good feces has sufficient wetness that waste would attach to it.” Constipated felines seem to have very dried, solid feces. Since the difficulty of attempting to pass feces might force felines to depart the litter container way before they’re done, you might discover these excrements around the litter container.

Screaming or struggling in the litter container, or simply ignoring it

Other indicators of pain include communicating or struggling when entering the litter container and coming in and out several instances before doing so. Even if your feline tries, he or she will not be ready to defecate. If your cat is displaying pain in the litter container, it might be an indication of significant urinary canal disorders, therefore, you should consult a veterinarian.

Because constipation is an indication of various problems, you may indeed notice symptoms of the actual reason. These might involve the following:

You should consult your feline’s veterinarian if you notice any one of these signs, whether or not your feline is constipated.

constipation in cats
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Diagnosis and examination

Since so many factors can trigger or lead to constipation, your veterinarian might need to conduct various tests, evaluate your feline, and speak with you about your feline’s current health condition. It is vital if your feline has constipation that is recurring or chronic. The examination might involve:

  • Blood and urine sample.
  • Ultrasonography or X-rays.
  • Endoscopy is a technique that involves looking within the gut with a surgical ‘camera’ and maybe extracting samples (a method known as a colonoscopy.)
  • The examination is carefully conducted when sedated or anesthetized.

Treatment and Remedy

The cure for constipation in a specific feline would be determined by the root issue, intensity, and frequency of the condition. Felines with chronic constipation or obstipation might need to be quarantined and given fluid resuscitation before having excrement extracted from the intestines under sedation. This could be a lengthy procedure in highly constipated felines, and far more than one anesthesia could be necessary to eliminate all affected stools.

For the long-term care of felines experiencing constipation, there are many solutions:

  • Maintaining adequate water intake – Having a consistent water intake would aid in the management of constipated felines; thus, offering moist (canned products, packets) instead of dry kibble and urging the feline to drink as often as feasible could be beneficial.
  • Increase Exercise and mental stimulation – Exercise might aid in treating and preventing constipation by promoting regular bowel movements. Motivate your feline to become more energetic by providing feline toys, feline towers, window perches, and also more interaction with you. Exercise would also give entertainment, relieve stress in your feline, and aid with fat loss.
  • Litter box management – Checking the location, shape, quantity, and kind of litter pans to persuade your feline to utilize them as often as practicable is also vital.
  • Dietary changes – When it comes to constipation, it might be beneficial. A high-moisture meal can assist; however, high-fiber food (or increasing fiber in their diet) can also aid with the periodic movement of firmer stools in moderate symptoms of constipation. Your veterinarian can recommend nutritious food or food supplements for you. In felines suffering from severe constipation (such as megacolon), a lower carbohydrate food (combined with laxative medicines) might be more effective than a dietary fiber meal. Your veterinarian might advise you to consider it.
  • Enemas – Enemas might effectively cure moderate constipation in certain cases.
  • Laxative drugs – There are several other laxative medications on the market; however, most of them are not expressly approved to be used for felines. Most of them could be quite beneficial in the treatment of felines that have recurring constipation. Laxatives are classified into several categories:
  • Lubricant laxatives – These are intended to soften the gut and facilitate excrement transit. Liquid beeswax is one case. These are usually not suggested for felines since they are not appropriate for long-term usage and, therefore could create serious difficulties if the feline inhales the liquid beeswax instead of swallowing it.
  • Emollient laxatives – are medications that encourage the reabsorption of water in the stools, making them softer. They have minor effects, although they could be effective on their own or in conjunction with other medications.
  • Osmotic laxatives – These work by absorbing moisture into the excrement to soften it, and they may be quite effective. Lactulose is such non-absorbed glucose, that is among the most regularly administered osmotic pills. This may be given to felines as a solution (or combined with kibble), and the dosage could be modified to get the desired result. The substance does not drain moisture from the colon, but its retention in the excrement does. This could be used on its own or in conjunction with other pills.
  • Stimulant laxatives – To assist in forcing excrement down the urethra, certain medications enhance the rigidity of the tendon in the epithelial lining. These medications have various effects, while most are only suitable for short-term usage.
  • Prokinetic drugs – are identical to hyperactive pills, including that they help with the neurological regulation of bowel movements. Cisapride is a good illustration of a medicine that has already been frequently utilized in felines (this medicine is not widely available these days). This is really a long-term solution that works well when paired with other regulatory strategies (e.g., glucose and a low-carbohydrate meal)
  • Surgery – If medicinal treatment fails to relieve constipation, resection (to eliminate the majority of the gut – referred to as a partial colectomy) could be required. Despite the fact that this is a big procedure and felines would undoubtedly experience diarrhea for a long time thereafter, the long-term outcomes of this treatment are frequently excellent. In fact, felines adjust fast, and diarrhea usually disappears within a few days.


Constipation is a common condition in felines, particularly those that are senior. While lesser instances could usually be treated with medicinal and nutritional therapy, some felines, especially those that are more seriously afflicted, could require surgery.

Final Thought

Check your feline’s feces’ regularity and excrement texture at least two times per week at first, then quarterly or monthly after that. If you detect unusually solid, dry stools or if your feline is struggling while pooping, consult your doctor. Keep an eye out for any additional indications of constipation, and consult your doctor right away if you detect diarrhea, which could also potentially cause dehydration.

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