Constipation

Cats, like people, can get constipated from time to time. Constipation can be a symptom of a more serious problem including intestinal cancer, colon cancer, reduced liver function, hypothyroidism and more. Of course your cat could have old fashioned constipation due to simple lack of fiber in the diet, furballs or dehydration.

As a general rule cats normally defecate only once a day. Each cat will have his/her own definition of what ‘regular’ is. If you notice your cat’s litterbox habits differing from the norm take him/her to a vet to rule out anything more serious than simple constipation.

Symptoms to look for:

  • Restlessness
  • Bloating
  • Irritability
  • Loss of appetite
  • Vomiting
  • Obvious lack of defecation

Treatment:

You vet will examine your cat to rule out any more serious problems which could be causing the constipation. If your cat does have an old fashioned case of constipation your vet may prescribe some sort of fiber supplement or may go through the cat’s diet to look for ways to increase water and fiber in the diet naturally. There are commercially available fiber supplements for cats and giving your cat a teaspoon of olive oil a day may help, however consult your veterinarian before giving your cat any home-based or over-the-counter medications.

Precautionary measures:

Make sure your cat drinks plenty of water. Cats, as we all know, can be quite finicky so keep the water bowl clean and full at all times. Many cats dislike the taste of plastic so try to keep food and water in porcelain or glass bowls. Also make sure your cat eats a good, healthy diet. Canned foods and treats tend to not have as much fiber as dry foods so try to make sure your pet gets a nice balance of healthy meals that contain the necessary vitamins, minerals, and fiber.

Cats can also become constipated due to hairballs so keep your cat well groomed and clean. Exercise will also help keep your cats bowels healthy so try to give your cat some sort of exercise each day.