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What do I do if my cat has poop that won’t come out?

As a cat owner, you know that having them around can be a source of joy and comfort. They lounge around, purr when petted, and snuggle up to their humans when they need some extra love. However, not all situations involving cats are pleasant. If you’ve ever had the misfortune of dealing with a constipated cat, then you know how concerning it can be.

Constipation is no laughing matter – it affects both humans and our feline friends. If your cat hasn’t pooped in a while, you’ll notice them becoming restless and anxious. This could be due to various reasons such as low water intake, lack of fiber in their diet or even underlying medical conditions. Whatever the cause may be, it’s crucial to act quickly before things get worse.

A constipated cat can suffer from severe health problems like dehydration, vomiting, and excruciating pain. As a responsible pet parent, it’s your duty to ensure that your furry friend is able to pass stool effectively. But what do you do if your cat can’t seem to poop?

In this article, we’ll explore various remedies that can help your beloved pet relieve themselves with ease. From increasing their water intake to administering laxatives – we’ll discuss all the ways you can assist your furry friend in this uncomfortable situation. So sit tight and let’s dive into the world of constipated cats.

Signs of Discomfort or Pain in Cats

It’s crucial to be vigilant for any signs that your cat may be experiencing distress. Here are some of the most common signs of discomfort or pain in cats:


  • Behavioral Changes: Cats are creatures of habit, so any sudden change in their behavior can be a red flag. If your usually friendly cat now avoids contact or seems irritable, it could be a sign that they’re in pain. Similarly, if your usually active feline now spends most of their time lying down, it’s worth investigating further.
  • Appetite Changes: Cats are notorious for their love of food, so any sudden changes in appetite could be cause for concern. If your cat suddenly stops eating or drinking, it could indicate that they’re experiencing some discomfort. Conversely, if your cat starts eating more than usual, it could also be a sign that something is wrong.
  • Physical Symptoms: Cats may exhibit physical signs of discomfort or pain as well. If your cat is limping or favoring one leg over the other, this could indicate that they’re experiencing some discomfort. Similarly, if your cat is constantly licking or biting at one particular area of their body, it could also be a sign that they’re in pain.

It’s important to remember that not all cats will exhibit these signs of discomfort or pain. Some cats may continue to act normally despite experiencing some discomfort. Therefore, it’s important to keep a close eye on your feline companion and take note of any changes in behavior or physical symptoms.

If you suspect that your cat may be experiencing discomfort or pain, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment. Your vet will be able to determine the root cause of your cat’s discomfort and recommend the appropriate course of action.

Causes of Constipation in Cats

One way to keep them healthy is to be aware of the common causes of constipation in cats. Early identification of the issue can help prevent it from worsening into a more serious condition.

Dehydration is one of the most common causes of constipation in cats. If your cat does not drink enough water, the feces become dry and hard, making it difficult for them to pass through the digestive tract. Encourage your cat to drink more water by adding chicken broth or tuna juice to their water bowl and always ensure they have access to clean water.

Lack of exercise is another factor that can lead to constipation in cats. Sedentary or confined cats may struggle with moving their bowels regularly, leading to a build-up of fecal matter in the colon. To prevent this, provide enough space for your cat to play and move around, and encourage regular exercise.

Dietary factors can also contribute to constipation in cats. A diet that is high in fat and low in fiber can slow down the digestive process, making it harder for fecal matter to pass through the colon. Consider feeding your cat a balanced diet that includes enough fiber and moisture, and include wet food as a great source of hydration.

Certain medical conditions can also cause constipation in cats. Cats with spinal cord injuries or nerve damage may have difficulty controlling their bowel movements, leading to constipation. Additionally, tumors or obstructions in the digestive tract and megacolon (an enlarged colon) can also cause constipation.

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Treatment for Constipation in Cats

When it comes to constipation in cats, it can be challenging to know where to start. Luckily, there are various approaches you can take to help your furry friend get back to their regular routine.

The first and most crucial step in treating constipation in cats is to increase their water intake. Dehydration exacerbates constipation, so make sure your cat always has access to fresh water. You may also want to switch to a wet food diet or wet down their food to increase moisture intake.

If increasing water intake doesn’t help, your vet may prescribe laxatives or stool softeners like lactulose or Miralax. It’s essential to follow your vet’s instructions when administering these medications since too much can lead to diarrhea or other complications.

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In some cases, your veterinarian may recommend an enema to help your cat pass stool. However, this should only be done under their supervision, as improper administration can cause injury or discomfort.

It’s also crucial to address any underlying health issues that may be contributing to your cat’s constipation. Conditions like obesity, kidney disease, and thyroid problems are just a few examples of what could be causing the problem. Your vet will diagnose and treat any underlying issues that may be making things difficult for your cat.

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To summarize, here are some different treatment options for constipation in cats:

  • Increasing water intake
  • Switching to a wet food diet
  • Wetting down their food
  • Laxatives or stool softeners
  • Enema (under vet supervision)
  • Addressing any underlying health issues

Signs of an Obstruction in the Colon

This condition can be caused by hairballs, foreign objects, or constipation.

One of the most common indicators of an obstruction in the colon is excessive straining during bowel movements. If your cat is struggling to pass stool and seems to be straining excessively, there may be an obstruction present. Additionally, your furry companion may appear uncomfortable or in pain and may vocalize their discomfort by meowing or crying.

Another sign to watch out for is a lack of appetite. Cats with a blocked colon may not feel like eating and might seem lethargic or weak. Furthermore, vomiting or diarrhea can also suggest that something is wrong with your cat’s digestive system.

If you notice any of these symptoms in your cat, do not hesitate to seek veterinary care right away. Your veterinarian will examine your cat and determine if there is an obstruction present and what steps need to be taken to treat it. Treatment options may include surgery to remove the blockage, medication, or dietary changes.

Medical Interventions for an Obstruction

An obstruction in their colon or rectum could be the culprit. But fret not, there are medical interventions that can help your furry friend get back to their healthy self.

The first line of treatment for an obstruction is usually an enema. A veterinarian will insert a liquid solution into the cat’s rectum that softens and lubricates the stool, making it easier to pass. It is crucial to seek professional help as enemas can be harmful if not administered correctly.

If an enema proves ineffective, the next step is manual removal of the fecal matter. This procedure is done under anesthesia by a veterinary professional, who will gently break up and remove the blockage using a gloved finger inserted into the cat’s rectum.

In severe cases, surgery may be required to eliminate the obstruction. Surgical intervention is typically reserved for situations where other treatments have failed or when significant damage has occurred to the colon or rectum. The procedure entails making an incision in the cat’s abdomen to access and remove the fecal matter.

It is paramount to remember that medical interventions for an obstruction should only be performed by a qualified veterinarian. Trying to remove the obstruction at home can cause further harm and lead to serious health complications. Prevention is crucial, so make sure to pay attention to your cat’s bowel movements and seek veterinary care if you notice any changes or abnormalities.

Monitoring Your Cat’s Bathroom Habits

By monitoring your cat’s litter box usage, you can detect any potential issues with their digestive system in a timely manner. But what exactly should you be looking out for?

First and foremost, take note of how often your cat uses the litter box and whether they’re producing normal amounts of urine and feces. Any changes in frequency or amount could signify an underlying medical condition that requires attention.

Additionally, the consistency of your cat’s feces is a crucial indicator of their overall digestive health. Normal cat poop should be firm but not too hard or too soft. If you notice anything out of the ordinary, such as diarrhea or constipation, it’s best to consult a veterinarian.

It’s also important to observe your cat’s behavior while using the litter box. If your furry friend spends an unusually long time in the litter box or cries out in pain while trying to defecate, it could indicate constipation or other medical conditions.

Dehydration can lead to constipation in cats, so make sure your cat has access to clean water at all times. Adding wet food to their diet is also a great way to prevent any complications with bowel movements.

Increasing Water Intake and Fiber-Rich Foods for Your Cat

Constipation is a common problem that can cause discomfort and pain for your cat. Fortunately, there are effective ways to prevent constipation in cats, and two of the most vital methods are increasing water intake and incorporating fiber-rich foods into their diet.

Dehydration is one of the leading causes of constipation in cats, so it’s essential to encourage your cat to drink more water. Providing fresh, clean water in multiple locations throughout your home can stimulate your cat’s thirst. Swapping dry kibble for wet food can also increase your cat’s moisture intake. Wet food typically contains more water than dry food, making it an excellent option to prevent constipation.

Fiber is another key element in promoting healthy digestion and bowel movements. Fiber helps add bulk to stool, enabling waste to move through the digestive tract efficiently. Some excellent sources of fiber for cats include pumpkin, sweet potato, green beans, and psyllium husk.

It’s worth noting that increasing fiber intake alone may not be enough to relieve constipation if it has already set in. In severe cases, veterinarians may recommend administering laxatives or performing enemas to help your cat pass their stool.

Prevention of Constipation and Obstructions in Your Cat

One of the most common issues that cats face is constipation and obstructions in their digestive system. But don’t worry, there are effective steps you can take to prevent these problems from occurring.

First and foremost, it is essential to ensure that your cat’s diet is healthy and balanced. By feeding them fiber-rich foods like pumpkin or sweet potato, you can help keep their digestion on track. A diet high in fiber prevents the buildup of fecal matter in the colon, making it easier for your cat to pass stools. Additionally, providing plenty of fresh water ensures that your cat stays hydrated. Dehydration can lead to hard and dry stools, making it difficult for your cat to pass them.

Regular exercise is another crucial component of maintaining your cat’s digestive health. Exercise helps keep the muscles in the digestive tract strong and healthy, preventing constipation. Encourage your cat to stay active by providing them with toys to play with or a scratching post to climb.

Grooming is another key factor in preventing constipation and obstructions. Regular brushing can help prevent hairballs from forming in your cat’s stomach, which can cause blockages in their digestive tract. Hairballs are a common cause of constipation in cats, so keeping them at bay is vital for preventing digestive issues.

Monitoring your cat’s litter box habits is also essential. Pay attention to any changes in their bowel movements or if they are struggling to pass stools. Any signs of constipation or obstruction should be brought to the attention of a veterinarian immediately. Early detection and treatment can prevent the issue from worsening and causing further complications.


As a responsible cat owner, it’s crucial to keep an eye on your feline friend’s bathroom habits. If you notice that your cat is struggling to poop or hasn’t gone in a few days, it’s time to take action. Constipation can lead to serious health issues like dehydration, vomiting, and even blockages in the digestive tract.

In this article, we’ve explored the common causes of constipation in cats, such as dehydration and lack of exercise. We also discussed how certain medical conditions can contribute to constipation, making it difficult for your cat to control their bowel movements.

Luckily, there are several remedies you can try at home to help your cat relieve themselves with ease. These include increasing water intake, switching to wet food, administering laxatives or stool softeners (under vet supervision), or using an enema (also under vet supervision). Additionally, feeding your cat fiber-rich foods like pumpkin or sweet potato can help prevent constipation from occurring in the first place.

By keeping a close eye on your cat’s litter box usage and following these tips above, you’ll be able to detect any potential issues with their digestive system early on. This will help prevent them from experiencing discomfort or pain due to constipation or obstructions.

Remember that if you notice any signs of discomfort or pain in your furry friend, it’s always best to consult with a veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.