what to give a cat for constipation 1

What To Give A Cat For Constipation

By Stacia Friedman Mild, occasional constipation is common in cats and is usually nothing to worry about. But how do you know when it becomes a serious problem, requiring the attention of a veterinarian? Learn the causes, remedies and medical issues related to your cat’s constipation. Symptoms of Constipation in Cats “Your cat should be producing stool about once a day,” says Liz Bales, VMD. “A healthy stool has enough moisture that litter will stick to it. If your cat has not produced stool for 48 – 72 hours, may be constipated. You may notice dry, hard feces inside or outside the litter box. Some other signs to look for might be decreased appetite and water intake, vomiting, hiding, and crying or straining while trying to defecate.” Causes of Cat Constipation “Anything that causes dehydration in a cat may result in constipation,” says Bales. Chronic diseases that result in constipation in cats include kidney disease, diabetes, and hyperthyroidism. Ruptured or impacted anal sacs may also cause your cat pain with defecation and may result in constipation. Obese cats are at a greater risk for developing constipation, says Bales. “Older cats are frequently arthritic and it can be painful to defecate in the box regularly, thus they will hold their stool longer, drying it out, and causing constipation,” says Dr. Scott Gellman of Chestnut Hill Cat Clinic in Philadelphia. Cats are also at risk for a disease called megacolon in which the large intestine stops functioning normally. The result is constipation or even worse, obstipation – a complete blockage of the large intestine with feces. Home Remedies for Constipation in Cats Increasing water consumption is key to help constipation in cats. “ Some cats prefer to have their water source in a different location than their food,” says Bales. “Have multiple fresh water sources available. You can try a dripping faucet, a continuous flow water fountain, and ice cubes. In addition, you can flavor water with tuna juice or clam juice.” If your cat eats dry food, switching to canned is an easy way to dramatically increase their water intake. The following over-the-counter products may relieve your cat’s constipation, but make sure to consult your veterinarian before giving any medications to your cat. Laxatone is an edible petroleum gel that helps lubricate your cat’s digestive tract. It comes in different flavors and your cat may lick it off your fingers. – Metamucil is a source of fiber. Mix one to four teaspoons with your cat’s food every 12 to 24 hours. – Miralax is another laxative and stool softener. Mix 1/4 tsp once a day with wet food. – Wheat bran is another natural source of fiber. Mix one to two tablespoons with your cat’s food every 12 to 24 hours. – Canned pumpkin is a source of fiber but it does not actually provide as much fiber content as Metamucil or Miralax. You can add 1-2 tablespoons to each meal. – Increase water consumption by making additional water sources available away from your cat’s food, switching to a canned diet, or even mixing a little extra water in with the food. – Maintain healthy weight by changing your cat’s diet in consultation with a vet. – Increase exercise with cat toys and more play time. “The gastrointestinal tract of cats is a little different from people, so high fiber diets do not always help constipation,” explains Gellman. In fact, sometimes a low fiber diet works better. “A lot of it depends on the cause of the problem. The important thing to understand is there is usually an underlying cause of constipation and the cat should be brought to a veterinarian to help figure it out.” Medical Treatments for Constipation in Cats Your veterinarian may elect to administer fluids intravenously and/or an enema. “Administering an enema to a cat is a veterinary job and should not be attempted at home,” says Bales. Some types of enemas are actually very toxic to cats. “Your veterinarian may prescribe lactulose, a synthetic sugar used to treat constipation. It is broken down in the colon into products that pull water out from the body and into the colon. This water softens stools.” Lifestyle Changes to Aid Constipation in Cats Dr. Bales suggests “enriching your cat’s environment” with cat trees and toys to give your pet plenty of exercise running, jumping, and climbing. These activities, when combined with maintaining a healthy weight and sufficient hydration, will often help prevent constipation. If your cat goes more than 48 hours without a bowel movement, always consult your veterinarian. See Also Image: ARZTSAMUI via Shutterstock
what to give a cat for constipation 1

Learn More Sign Up Login Trusted by families. Loved by caregivers. Find Care Apply to Jobs 6 Remedies for Cat Constipation Posted by Jennifer Kelly Geddes to Featured Articles Is your cat, um, backed up? Help clear the way with these natural remedies. Sometimes, no matter how much straining and pushing there is, the necessary result isn’t happening! Just as with the condition in humans, cat constipation is rather common and diet plays an important role. “The root cause of cat constipation is often improper nutrition,” points out Dr. Kim Bloomer, an animal naturopath and author of the site Aspenbloom Pet Care.The term “constipated” means that the cat has infrequent bowel movements or ones that are difficult to pass. It may be caused by a diet too low in fiber, a lack of clean, fresh water, or hairballs or other small items in your cat’s digestive tract. “The cat could also be suffering from a blockage present from birth or that developed due to injury or illness or a myriad of internal imbalances,” notes veterinarian Dr. Jane Brunt, executive director of the CATalyst Council and past president of the American Association of Feline Practitioners.Other reasons that prevent a cat from pooping might be “painful lesions, such as strictures, masses or perianal disease,” says Anthea Appel, a New York City-based naturopathic/homeopathic animal consultant.In general, elderly cats suffer this ailment more often than kittens, but a cat of any age or breed that eats a low-fiber diet or doesn’t drink enough water can develop it. For prevention, pet owners should be in close contact with their vets about the best diet for their cats. Some Strategies to Try Increase Water IntakeEnsure that your cat always has access to fresh water, as dehydration is big cause of constipation. Regularly Brush Your CatMost cats groom themselves rather well, but lending a helping hand can curb hairballs and lessen the chance of constipation. Excess fur in your cat’s GI tract can cause this ailment, so try brushing your pet a few minutes a day. Encourage ExerciseA lack of movement means the muscles aren’t working in your cat’s colon and this can worsen constipation. To fix it, get your cat moving by offering toys and encouraging her to jump, roll and chase things around the house. Natural RemediesHelp your feline ease elimination woes with these six natural remedies, but make sure to talk with your vet before introducing any new foods into his diet. Try these if you notice your cat is having difficulties, after you talk to your vet about appropriate additions and amounts. Fiber-Rich FoodsFor you cat, fiber is very important and this substance is often lacking in domestic cat diets. Some to try are bran cereal or an over-the-counter product like psyllium (in stores, this is marketed as Metamucil). Adding a bit to your pet’s food each day can help regulate her bowel movements. Try this after talking to your vet about your pet’s constipation. PumpkinA teaspoon of canned, pureed pumpkin once or twice a day may also help add the fiber your pet needs to go again. You can add this to your pet’s diet any time, but especially if you notice that your cat is having difficulty with elimination. GingerConsider ginger as an herbal remedy, says Appel. Check with your doctor about giving it in small amounts (about 1/4 teaspoon) for a short duration. Ginger can be mixed into your pet’s food once a day to help set her digestive tract back in motion if you notice she seems stopped up. LicoriceLike ginger, this aromatic root has natural laxative properties. One dose (usually 2 ml, depending on the preparation and your cat’s weight) can be given in the evening for overnight relief. Aloe Vera JuiceIn small doses (about 1/2 teaspoon), aloe juice can help uncomplicated constipation, says Appel. But be careful, as giving too much may cause diarrhea in some animals. Talk to your vet about this before you try it. Canned FoodNix the dry food. Hard kibble is moisture-free, which can be a problem for your feline friend. (Too little water can cause constipation). To remedy this situation, try to wean your pet from dry food and feed him only the canned variety. Be patient, as the transition to a new kind of food can take a few weeks. Peek in on your cat using the litter box and make a note of which of these remedies seems to help.Want more cat health tips? Check out The Scoop on Blood in Cat Urine. Jennifer Kelly Geddes is a New York-based writer and editor who specializes in parenting, health and child development. She’s a frequent contributor to Care.com and the mom of two teen girls. Like Comment Share Topics: Pet Care 1 comment Oldest comments are listed first I have, not eating, drinking since last 4 days and came to know it is due to constipation. I try to force liquid, food via syringe but she don’t allow me. She only had little water and small spoon wet food. What I should do to fix this if not eating and drinking? Thanks! Sheba

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