What Kind Of Laxative Is Good For Cats?

As cat owners, it’s tough to see our furry friends struggle with digestive issues that can lead to constipation. It can leave them lethargic, irritable, and downright uncomfortable. In some severe cases, it can even put them at risk of developing a life-threatening obstruction. But don’t worry, administering a laxative could be the solution.

With so many different types of laxatives on the market, it’s essential to know which one is best and safest for our feline companions. That’s why we’ve put together this blog post to explore what kind of laxative is good for cats.

We’ll take a deep dive into different types of laxatives and talk about their effectiveness and safety when it comes to your cat’s health. We’ll also discuss how to administer them correctly and provide some natural remedies and preventative measures you can take to keep your cat’s digestive system in tip-top shape.

So whether you’re wondering about the best kind of laxative for your feline friend or just want to learn more about keeping them regular, stay tuned.

Types of Laxatives Used for Cats

Luckily, several types of laxatives could help alleviate this issue. However, before giving any laxative to your cat, it is essential to consult a veterinarian since not all laxatives are suitable for cats, and some may even be harmful.

One type of laxative is the stool softener. This type of laxative helps make the stool softer and easier to pass through the intestines. Stool softeners are especially useful for cats who have constipation due to dehydration or lack of fiber in their diets. Docusate sodium and lactulose are examples of stool softeners that can be given to your cat, but only under the guidance of a veterinarian.

Another type of laxative that may be recommended for cats is lubricant laxatives. These substances work by coating the intestinal walls with a slippery film, allowing stool to pass more easily. Examples of lubricant laxatives include petroleum jelly and mineral oil, which can also be given only under the guidance of a veterinarian.

Bulk-forming laxatives are another option for cats with constipation. These types of laxatives work by absorbing water in the intestines, which helps bulk up the stool and promote bowel movements. Psyllium husk and methylcellulose are examples of bulk-forming laxatives that can be given to your cat only under the guidance of a veterinarian.

Osmotic laxatives are another type of laxative that works by drawing water into the intestines, which helps soften the stool and make it easier to pass. These types of laxatives may be helpful for cats who have constipation due to dehydration or lack of fiber in their diets. Magnesium citrate and polyethylene glycol are examples of osmotic laxatives that can be given to your cat only under the guidance of a veterinarian.

What Kind Of Laxative Is Good For Cats-2

Lastly, stimulant laxatives can be recommended for cats with severe constipation. These types of laxatives work by stimulating the muscles in the intestines, which can help promote bowel movements. However, it’s important to note that stimulant laxatives should only be used under the guidance of a veterinarian since they can have strong effects on the digestive system.

In conclusion, there are several types of laxatives available for cats with constipation. However, it’s crucial to consult with a veterinarian before giving any medication to your cat. With their guidance and the proper use of laxatives, you can help your feline friend find relief from constipation and improve their overall health and wellbeing.

Lubricant laxatives

Luckily, there are a variety of laxatives available to help alleviate their discomfort and promote bowel movement. One type of laxative that can be particularly useful is lubricant laxatives.

Lubricant laxatives work by coating the intestinal walls with a slick substance, making it simpler for feces to pass through. This can be especially beneficial for cats who suffer from constipation due to hairballs. Hairballs can get stuck in the cat’s stomach or intestines, causing them discomfort and difficulty in passing stools. However, lubricant laxatives can help ease the passage of hairballs and promote bowel movement.

One commonly used lubricant laxative for cats is petroleum jelly. This can be administered orally or applied topically to the cat’s paw, which they will then lick off. However, it is important to note that petroleum jelly should only be given to cats under veterinary supervision as it can cause adverse effects if not used appropriately.

Another type of lubricant laxative that can be used for cats is mineral oil. Mineral oil works similarly to petroleum jelly but can be added to the cat’s food or given orally. It is crucial to ensure that your cat drinks enough water while taking this laxative as it can cause dehydration if not used correctly.

Notably, there are other types of lubricant laxatives available for cats, including castor oil and vegetable oil. These are less commonly used and should only be given under the guidance of a veterinarian.

While lubricant laxatives can be an effective tool in treating constipation in cats, it is vital to consult with a veterinarian before administering any laxative to your furry friend. They can provide guidance on the appropriate dosage and frequency of use and ensure that your cat’s overall health and safety are taken into consideration.

Stool softeners

Constipation is an uncomfortable and stressful issue that many cats experience. Luckily, stool softeners can help ease their discomfort. Stool softeners work by drawing water into the colon, making the stool softer and easier to pass. Docusate sodium, lactulose, and mineral oil are commonly used stool softeners for cats.

Docusate sodium is a gentle stool softener that is often used for cats with mild constipation. It increases the amount of water in the stool, making it easier to pass. Lactulose also draws water into the colon, promoting bowel movements. Mineral oil effectively lubricates the intestines and helps to soften stool.

However, be aware that stool softeners should only be used under the guidance of a veterinarian. Overusing these medications can lead to dehydration or other health complications. Additionally, it’s crucial to monitor your cat’s response to treatment closely. If your cat’s constipation persists or worsens, seek veterinary guidance immediately.

Furthermore, avoid using stool softeners in cats with an intestinal blockage or other underlying medical conditions without consulting a veterinarian first. These conditions could worsen if left untreated.

Bulk-forming laxatives

Cats are prone to constipation and hairballs, but there’s no need for your furry friend to suffer in silence. One solution to these problems is the use of bulk-forming laxatives – but what are they and how do they work? Let’s delve deeper into this topic.

Bulk-forming laxatives contain natural fibers that absorb water and swell up in the intestine, resulting in larger and softer stools. This increased bulk stimulates bowel movement, which helps to relieve constipation. Essentially, these laxatives make it easier for your cat to pass their stools, providing much-needed relief from discomfort.

There are two commonly used types of bulk-forming laxatives for cats: psyllium and methylcellulose. Psyllium is a natural plant-based fiber that can be found in many commercial cat foods or purchased as a supplement or mixed with wet food. Methylcellulose is also plant-based and works similarly to psyllium.

While these laxatives are generally safe for cats, it’s essential to ensure that your cat has access to plenty of water when using them. As the fibers absorb water, they can cause dehydration if your cat doesn’t drink enough water. It’s also crucial to start with a small dose and gradually increase it until you see the desired effect. Overuse or misuse of these laxatives can result in diarrhea or other digestive problems.

Furthermore, it’s worth noting that any medication or treatment should only be used under the guidance of a veterinarian. Your vet will be able to recommend the right type and dosage of bulk-forming laxatives specific to your cat’s needs.

Stimulant laxatives

Let’s talk about stimulant laxatives. These powerful medications help move stool through the intestinal tract by stimulating the muscles in the area. They are typically used as a last resort for cats who have severe constipation or an obstipation. However, before considering stimulant laxatives for your furry friend, it’s important to know that they should only be used under the guidance of a veterinarian.

What Kind Of Laxative Is Good For Cats-3

Overuse of stimulant laxatives can result in serious side effects such as electrolyte imbalances, dehydration, and damage to the intestinal lining. Your cat’s health should always be a top priority, so consulting with your veterinarian is crucial before administering any medication to your beloved pet.

If your cat has mild constipation, other types of laxatives such as stool softeners or lubricants may be more suitable and safer options. However, if your cat’s constipation is severe and other options have failed, your veterinarian may suggest using a stimulant laxative such as bisacodyl.

Bisacodyl is available in both oral and suppository form, but it’s important to follow dosage instructions carefully and monitor your cat closely for any signs of discomfort or adverse reactions. Oral bisacodyl usually takes 6-12 hours to take effect, while suppositories act more quickly within 30-60 minutes.

Benefits of Using Laxatives for Cats

These issues can cause discomfort and even lead to more serious health problems if left untreated. However, there is a solution at hand – the use of laxatives for cats.

Laxatives work wonders by increasing the water content in the stool, making it easier for cats to pass feces. Here are some key benefits of using laxatives for cats:

  • Relieves Constipation: Constipation can be a common and painful problem for cats. Laxatives can help alleviate constipation by softening the stool and making it easier to pass. This can provide quick relief and prevent more serious health problems down the line.
  • Prevents Hairballs: Hairballs are another common issue for many cats. Laxatives can prevent hairballs by lubricating the digestive tract and aiding in the passage of hair through the intestines, reducing the risk of blockages.
  • Improves Digestive Health: Laxatives can improve overall digestive health in cats by promoting regular bowel movements and preventing the buildup of harmful bacteria in the gut.
  • Reduces Discomfort: Cats with constipation or other gastrointestinal issues may experience discomfort and pain. Laxatives can ease this discomfort by allowing for easier passage of stool.
  • Easy to Administer: There are many different types of laxatives available for cats, including pills, powders, and gels. They are easy to administer and can be mixed with food or given directly to your cat.

It is important to consult with a veterinarian before giving any laxatives to your cat, as some types may not be suitable for all cats or may interact with other medications your cat is taking. With guidance from a vet, however, laxatives can be an effective and safe way to treat constipation and other gastrointestinal issues in cats.

Risks Associated with Giving Cats Laxatives

While laxatives can help ease constipation and hairballs, they can also cause adverse reactions that could lead to serious health problems.

Dehydration is one of the most significant risks of giving cats laxatives. Laxatives work by drawing water into the intestines to soften stool, but too much water can lead to dehydration, which can be particularly dangerous for cats. It’s crucial to ensure your cat has access to plenty of fresh water when giving them laxatives.

Another risk associated with giving cats laxatives is the potential for intestinal blockages. If your cat’s constipation is severe, a laxative may not be enough to pass the stool, leading to an intestinal blockage. This is a life-threatening situation that requires immediate veterinary attention.

Furthermore, some types of laxatives containing lactulose or other sugar-based ingredients can cause allergic reactions in cats. Suppose your cat has shown signs of an allergic reaction in the past or has a known allergy to certain substances. In that case, you must consult with your veterinarian before administering any type of laxative.

How to Choose the Right Laxative for Your Cat

When your cat experiences constipation or other gastrointestinal issues, it may be necessary to give them a laxative. However, with so many options available, choosing the right one can be challenging. Here are five important factors to consider when selecting a laxative for your cat.

Consult with your veterinarian

The first step in choosing the right laxative for your cat is to consult with your veterinarian. They will be able to recommend a specific type of laxative based on your cat’s needs and overall health. Not all laxatives are safe for cats, and some may even cause harm, so it is crucial to seek veterinary guidance before administering any medication.

Consider the type of laxative

There are several types of laxatives available for cats, including lubricant, osmotic, and stimulant laxatives. Lubricant laxatives coat the stool with an oily substance, making it easier to pass. Osmotic laxatives draw water into the colon to soften the stool and promote bowel movements. Stimulant laxatives increase intestinal muscle contractions to move stool through the digestive tract more quickly. Your veterinarian can recommend the most appropriate type of laxative for your cat’s specific condition.

Identify the cause of constipation

Before choosing a laxative for your cat, it is important to identify the underlying cause of their constipation. If your cat has mild constipation or hairballs, a lubricant laxative may be sufficient. However, if your cat has chronic constipation or megacolon, an osmotic or prescription laxative may be necessary.

Be aware of potential side effects

All medications have potential side effects, and laxatives are no exception. Lubricant laxatives can cause vomiting and diarrhea, while osmotic laxatives can lead to dehydration and electrolyte imbalances. Prescription laxatives may have more severe side effects, so it is essential to closely monitor your cat’s condition and contact your veterinarian if you notice any changes.

Explore natural remedies

In addition to medication, some natural remedies may help alleviate constipation in cats. Pumpkin puree is high in fiber and can aid in digestion, while probiotics can help regulate bowel movements. However, it is still important to consult with your veterinarian before trying any natural remedies.

Dosage and Administration Guidelines for Cat Laxatives

Administering laxatives to your beloved feline companion can be a daunting task. However, it is crucial to follow the dosage and administration guidelines carefully to avoid any potential health risks. Overdosing your cat with laxatives can lead to serious health problems, while underdosing may not provide the desired results.


The first and foremost rule of administering cat laxatives is to consult with a veterinarian before giving any medication. The dosage of cat laxatives is usually based on the weight of the cat. The most common type of laxative for cats is petroleum-based, which comes in the form of a gel or paste and is given orally. The recommended dosage for petroleum-based laxatives usually ranges from half an inch to an inch of product per cat per day. Your vet can guide you through the process of measuring the right amount.

Fiber supplements are another type of cat laxative that can be added to your kitty’s food. These supplements work by adding bulk to their stool and promoting regular bowel movements. The dosage for fiber supplements may vary depending on the product, so make sure to follow the instructions on the packaging or ask your vet.


Ensuring that your cat swallows the medication is crucial. Administering the medication on the roof of their mouth using a syringe or dropper is a great way to encourage them to swallow it and prevent them from spitting it out. You must make sure that they swallow it properly by gently massaging their throat.

It’s important to remember that laxatives should not be used as a long-term solution for constipation in cats. If your cat experiences chronic constipation, it may be a sign of an underlying medical condition that requires veterinary attention. Therefore, seeking medical assistance is always advisable.

When to See a Veterinarian Regarding Cat Constipation?

It’s crucial to know when to seek veterinary help regarding your cat’s constipation, as it can lead to serious health problems if left untreated.

So, when should you be concerned? Firstly, if your cat has not had a bowel movement for two or more days, it’s time to take action. While cats have varying bowel movement patterns, any significant changes should be noted and addressed promptly. If you notice your cat is straining to defecate without results, it could be a sign of constipation. This can cause discomfort and pain for your feline friend.

Another sign to watch out for is a loss of appetite. Constipation can cause a decrease in appetite, which can lead to other health issues if not addressed. Additionally, in severe cases of constipation, cats may vomit due to the buildup of toxins in their system.

If you notice any of these signs, it’s crucial to seek veterinary help as soon as possible. Your veterinarian will be able to determine the underlying cause of your cat’s constipation and provide appropriate treatment. While some cases of constipation can be resolved with home remedies or laxatives, others may require medical attention.

Tips for Preventing Cat Constipation in the Future

One way to achieve this is by preventing constipation. Here are five tips for preventing cat constipation in the future.

Firstly, make sure your cat gets enough water. Dehydration can lead to hard, dry stools that are difficult to pass. Ensure your cat has access to clean, fresh water at all times. You can also add wet food to their diet to increase their moisture intake.

Secondly, incorporate more fiber into your cat’s diet. High-fiber foods like canned pumpkin or green beans can help keep their stool soft and promote regular bowel movements. You can also switch to a high-fiber cat food or add a fiber supplement to their diet.

Thirdly, encourage regular exercise for your cat. Physical activity helps stimulate their digestive system and keeps things moving smoothly. Play with them or provide toys and scratching posts to keep them active.

Fourthly, maintain proper litter box hygiene. A dirty litter box can discourage your cat from using it, leading to constipation. Ensure the litter box is cleaned regularly and offers enough space for your cat to move comfortably.

Lastly, schedule regular vet check-ups for your cat. These visits can help identify any underlying health problems that may lead to constipation. Your vet can recommend appropriate treatment options and advise you on how to keep your cat healthy.


In conclusion, when it comes to choosing a laxative for your feline friend, it’s important to consult with your veterinarian.

They can recommend the best option based on your cat’s individual needs and health history. While there are various types of laxatives available, such as lubricants, stool softeners, and bulk-forming agents, not all of them may be suitable for cats.

Additionally, it’s crucial to follow the dosage instructions carefully and monitor your cat’s response to the medication.