Why is my cat constipated and what can I do?
If you’re a cat owner, you know the importance of keeping your cat happy and healthy. Or rather, you understand the importance of making sure that you understand the rules and regulations that your cat has put in place! A healthy cat is a happy cat, and that means that you must monitor his health and activity at all times in order to make sure your feline is in good physical condition.
Constipation is a common ailment that many kittens and adult cats suffer from; the good news is that this is an easy condition to fix with home remedies.
Causes of Constipation
There are several reasons why your cat may be suffering from constipation. These include:
- Obstruction of the colon (either by a foreign object, hernia or tumor)
- Lack of exercise
- Nervousness or stress (being in a new environment, for instance)
Signs and symptoms of constipation
If you clean the litter daily, then you’ll be able to tell whether or not your cat is constipated. Ideally, your cat should be making daily deposits into the litter box. These should be solid deposits that stick to the litter. If the deposits are tiny, or very runny, this could be a sign of constipation. Of course, if there are no deposits at all, then your cat is definitely constipated and should be treated accordingly.
Your cat may also show some signs of distress; excessive meowing, swollen tummy and general unrest can all be signs that your cat is experiencing constipation.
4 Home remedies for cat constipation
The most common cause of constipation in cats and kittens is inadequate hydration. Cats are natural predators, and their daily food intake of meat should provide them with about 75% of their hydration needs. Most of their water will come from their food source, unless you’re feeding them dry food exclusively; in this case, they will only be getting 10 – 12% of their hydration from food, and won’t be able to make up the difference in their water bowl so make use of an automatic cat feeder to help them out.
In any case, here are some home remedies for cats with constipation.
There are many different sources of pureed pumpkin. You can get packages from your local pet store, or you can buy the canned versions from your local grocery store. If in season, your local grocery store or farm may have small pumpkins for sale, that you can bake and puree. This may seem like a lot of work, but natural is always best!
Don’t give kitty straight pumpkin puree, although they may like it on its own. It’s best to mix it in with a bit of dry food, or canned food. One teaspoon with some kibble should be plenty.
Water is always the best and most natural treatment for constipation in cats. Have a ready supply of water beside your cat’s food dish, and add wet food to his diet for added hydration.
Wet food can be a good source of hydration for your cat. Some people believe that giving your cat wet food will ‘spoil’ them and turn them off of kibble; but, if you give your cat a mix of kibble and wet food they will eat both. While cats are notorious for being picky eaters, they will eat a variety of foods that you introduce. Once you find their favorites, you can feed them a steady diet of both wet and dry foods.
Olive oil can also help ‘get the juices flowing’. For best results, drizzle a bit on some dry kibble, or mix it in with canned food. Extra virgin olive oil is best, but is not absolutely necessary. If you find olive oil on sale in your local grocery store, then save your pennies and buy what’s on sale.
Duration of treatment
In most cases, a few days of home remedy methods is all it takes to get your cat’s plumbing working well again! Change the litter box each day and monitor your cat’s deposits to monitor their output.
If there is still no improvement after 3 -4 days, or your cat seems to be in distress, it may be time to take him to the vet. Your vet may give your cat a prescription or have other advice on how to treat the constipation.
Maintaining their regularity
It’s important to make sure that your cat has 24/7 access to food and water. An automatic cat feeder and water fountain are ideal solutions, especially if you’re away all day. Many feeders can accommodate both wet and dry food.
Make sure your cats have access to plenty of water. An automatic water fountain may be ideal if the cat is alone during the day.
Make sure your cat gets regular checkups and watch for signs of distress. Symptoms could include loss of appetite and irritability.