Try Probiotics And Fiber Supplements
Probiotics are healthy bacteria that help support healthy intestines by dealing with a microflora imbalance that might be causing problems with stool consistency. Fiber supplements such as Psyllium can help increase the bulk of your pets stool, stimulating movement in the intestines to get the stool out. It can also help increase the water content in the stool, making it easier to pass.
However, if youre thinking about giving your cat supplements, be sure to consult with your vet first. Your vet can help you choose the appropriate remedy and administer the correct dose. This is especially important if your pet is already taking other supplements, on medication, or they have been diagnosed with a health condition.
What To Do If The Constipation Of A Week
In general, all the recommendations listed above are relevant. Of course, by this time the kittens should already be able to relieve themselves, but still they will not be hindered by additional stimulation.
In addition, it is necessary at least twice a day to do a tummy massage for them:
- To do this, use the same cotton pad moistened with saline.
- Lay the kitten on its side for the procedure. In order to be more convenient, it is advisable to perform the procedure together: the baby is unlikely to lie quietly, and his extra activity is of no use.
- Massage should be done by circling the belly. Circles should, gradually tapering, close closer to the groin area.
Such a simple procedure, if performed regularly enough, stimulates intestinal peristalsis and completely prevents new relapses of constipation in a week-old kitten.
Read On To Learn More About Causes For Feline Constipation And Proven Home Remedies You Can Incorporate At Home To Keep Your Cat Regular
An over the counter laxative that I recommend most often for my feline patients is called Miralax. This comes as a powder that you can mix with the liquid from saucy canned food. It is tasteless and well accepted by cats. A typical dose is 1/8th to 1/4th of a teaspoon 1-2 times per day. The amount should be titrated to effect based on the quality of the stool in the litterbox.
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How To Manually Extract Feces From A Cat
Manual extraction of stools and feces from your pet cat is called enemas. Cats usually are constipated most of their life, but as much as constipation is normal in cats so is diarrhea. Megacolon is a condition where the colon is extremely dilated and has poor motility, usually combined with accumulation of fecal material and the inability to defecate. Cats with megacolon require frequent monitoring and therapy. You have to carefully monitor your pet cat at home for painful defecation, straining, or blood in the stool and further it with on-time treatment and consulting with a veterinarian to better the quality of your pet life.
Ways To Help Your Constipated Cat
Reviewed and updated for accuracy on March 10, 2020, by Dr. Aja Senestraro, DVM
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Constipation is common in cats. Usually, its mild, and you can help your cat with simple home treatments.
But sometimes, constipation in cats can indicate more serious health issues, and it can become very severe and uncomfortable. So how do you know when its a serious problem that needs vet attention?
Heres what you need to know about cat constipation symptoms and causes, what you can do to help your cat, and when to be concerned.
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How To Give A Cat Constipation Massage
Massaging cats to relieve them of constipation is a debatable topic.
Some owners swear by giving their constipated cats a massage or acupuncture to help, while others believe there are better ways to deal with constipation.
What both sides agree on is that constipation can be stressful for these cats.
In worst-case scenarios, feline constipation may be a symptom of a more serious medical condition.
Learning what to do when your feline is constipated may mean the difference between life and death, so this condition is something pet owners shouldnt ignore.
Before we tackle the usefulness of massages in constipated cats, we should first understand the symptoms and causes of constipation.
Monitor Your Cat For Constipation
Monitor the frequency of your cats defecation and stool consistency at least twice a week initially, and then weekly or biweekly.
Contact your veterinarian if you notice very hard, dry feces, or if you notice that your cat is straining while defecating. Watch for any of the other signs of constipation, and contact your veterinarian if you notice diarrhea, especially, since this can quickly lead to dehydration.
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How To Remedy The Situation
The treatment for your kitty will depend on the severity and the cause of the constipation. Obviously, if theres an underlying health condition, such a gastrointestinal obstruction or fractures, those need to be addressed.
With mild cases of constipation, your veterinarian may recommend adding a small amount of plain canned pumpkin to your kittys food every day for additional fiber and moisture. He or she may also recommend switching to a diet with more fiber.
Despite what you might hear online, do not give your cat mineral oil because it can cause vomiting and your cat may subsequently aspirate the oil.
For cats that are dehydrated, providing subcutaneous fluids, encouraging drinking and/or switching to a canned diet that contains more water can help reduce the occurrence of hard, dry stools. Still other kitties may need laxatives, stool softeners or medications to improve intestinal motility. In severe cases, your veterinarian may recommend an enema to loosen up and remove the logjam.
What Can The Vet Do For Cat Constipation
If home remedies arent quite cutting it, a visit to your veterinarian may be in order. In addition to providing an actual diagnosis, vets have additional methods for relieving cat constipation within the clinical setting.
One thing the vet is likely to do is to make sure that the diagnosis is correct.
Other underlying health concerns, like a urinary tract infection, may present with similar symptoms. Its important that the vet confirms that constipation is, in fact, the problem being faced.
There are a number of blood tests that the vet can perform to rule out other medical diseases.
Abdominal palpation exams can also help determine the extent of constipation. In addition, radiography and ultrasound exams may be performed to further assess the extent of the blockage in the colon.
Once constipation has been clearly identified as the problem, there are multiple options available to veterinarians. First, a vet is likely to introduce intravenous fluid therapy, which essentially provides additional hydration for the feline.
The vet may also recommend a dietary change for the cat. Depending on the cats medical history and other health risks, there may be a special formula of cat food that can help balance out specific digestion problems.
Another option that veterinarians have available to them is to perform a warm-water enema. The basic premise of this approach is to flush the colon manually, releasing stuck feces or any other items causing a blockage in the colon.
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The Truth About Fiber For Constipation In Cats
Fiber is a supplement that has many benefits for the colon. It feeds the good colonic bacteria which in turn helps keep the colonic cells healthy and supports the neuronal function that stimulates the movement of the colon. Increasing fecal volume with fiber can stimulate the bowels and promote pooping. However, for many cats, a high fiber diet may end up being too bulky and lead to constipation.
Cats that have mild constipation problems can benefit from fiber supplementation. But, in my experience, cats with more long standing constipation or an underlying condition like megacolon will not benefit from excess fiber.
What Can Not Be Done
It is very undesirable to cope with constipation in kittens using the following techniques:
- Do not give the baby diluted cows milk. Yes, constipation such a remedy really punches, but only stasis of feces in such cases often gives way to a violent and prolonged diarrhea. For kittens, it is deadly, as it leads to a quick death from dehydration. In addition, this approach threatens with severe consequences for the liver of the animal.
- Do not give vegetable oil to the kitten. This is a hard blow to the liver, and from constipation this remedy does not help very well.
- Never and in no case should you give kittens castor oil. Perhaps, the problem with constipation and will be solved, thats only at the cost of kitten death.
- It is strongly advised not to use porridge for controlling constipation in kittens!
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What Causes Feline Constipation
There are many factors that contribute to constipation in cats. It could be as innocent as an abrupt change in diet, or as worrisome as intestinal tumors. Visiting your vet is your best bet at finding out exactly what it is.
As an owner, your job is to assess whether your cat requires immediate medical attention or not. Generally, if constipation occurs with multiple behavioral changes or if it has been going on for more than two days, go to the vet as soon as you can.
Diagnosis Of Constipation In Cats
The first step is to bring your pet to the vet if you notice any signs of constipation.
Sometimes problems with defecating can be confused with issues in the urinary tract. Remember to answer accurately to every question that your veterinarian may have and check the litter box before going to the vet. The medical history is crucial to diagnose constipation and the underlying cause.
Your vet will perform a medical examination. Your veterinarian may also conduct:
- Pelvic and abdominal X-rays: to diagnose Megacolon and look for traumas caused by injuries.
- Further tests: urine and blood analysis to rule out underlying conditions like renal failure.
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Symptoms Of Kitten Constipation
If youre not sure whether your kitten is constipated or not, you should look for the following symptoms:
- Not producing feces for a day or two
- Abdominal distension
- Poor appetite
If you observe these in your kitten and its not pooping no matter what you do, bring it to the vet for proper treatment. The tricky part about these symptoms is it can also point to other conditions. To be safe, avoid self-medicating your kitten, and dont hesitate to call the vet if you have doubts.
What Is Cat Constipation
If your cat is constipated, it means he isnt pooping regularly or hes having difficulty emptying his bowels. Cats typically defecate one to three times per day, so if you notice that its been more than a day or two since new poop has appeared in the litter box, its time to start really watching your cats bathroom habits for further symptoms.
A cat who occasionally goes a day or two without defecating shouldnt cause much worry, but if the lack of feces is ongoing and you start noticing further symptomslike your cat straining to go without success or crying as he uses the litter boxit could indicate that a bowel obstruction has become severely impacted and that its time to visit your veterinarian . In extreme cases, untreated constipation can be fatal.
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Are You Worried About Your Cat
Don’t wonder. Get a vet’s opinion â for free.
If your cat is a bit more private about their bathroom visits, you may have to keep an eye on their mood and look out for any changes. âSome cats are very discreet when they toilet, doing this away from their owners, so the only signs an owner sees is lethargy due to the discomfort,â says Dr. Garside. If your cat is unusually lethargic, thatâs one of the first signs that somethingâs not right.
Common signs your cat may be constipated include:
Hard, dry poop
Straining/yowling in the litter box
Try Fiber Or Probiotics
Probiotics are good bacteria that help support healthy intestines. Healthy intestines will move stool along normally and keep stools soft, preventing constipation.
Fiber feeds the good bacteria and helps promote normal movement in the intestines. It can also help keep more water in the intestines, which helps treat and prevent constipation.
There are different types of fiber, so what works best will vary between cats. Some common sources are Psyllium husks , and wheat bran. Canned pumpkin is often used, but it actually contains very little fiber and lots of sugar, so it isnt the best choice for most cats.
However, the gastrointestinal tract of cats is a little different from people, so high-fiber diets do not always help constipation, explains Dr. Scott 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.
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Constipation Causes In Cats
So, what causes constipation in kittens? Here are a few of the main issues.
- Some kittens can become dehydrated as theyre weaned from their mothers milk onto cat food. If a kitten is already weaned onto and is eating dry food but doesnt drink enough water, this can lead to constipation.
- Intestinal obstruction. We all know kittens love to play. Sometimes they accidentally eat a toy or something theyve found in the house. A feather, small rubber ball, or even a hair tie can cause problems if eaten by your kitten. A foreign object like this can block your kittens intestines, leaving them unable to poop.
- If your kitten doesnt manage to cough up a furball, it can get lodged in their intestines and cause an obstruction.
- Chronic diseases. Hyperthyroidism, diabetes, and kidney disease can all result in constipation. Your veterinarian will run checks if they suspect any medical condition to be the cause of your kittens constipation.
- This is a condition where a kittens intestine is larger than normal. Its caused by defective muscle tissue within the colon. This will affect your kittens ability to poop properly.
How Do Kittens Act When Constipated
The hallmark of constipation is a failure to produce stool or the production of only a small amount of feces.
Those with more severe constipation may be seen to act very under the weather. You might find they hide away and go off their food. While some will try to pass feces and strain in their tray, not all will do this.
In extreme cases, your kitten may begin to vomit and could even go into shock. As soon as your kitten starts to show signs of being unwell, they should be seen by a vet.
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When To Bring Your Constipated Cat To The Vet
Cats that remain constipated for longer than 3-4 days should be seen by your veterinarian. These cats may require enemas to evacuate their bowels. Labwork and abdominal x-rays may be performed to assess your cats hydration, electrolyte balance and screen for any metabolic diseases such as chronic kidney disease. Abdominal x-rays are very useful to assess the severity of constipation, the degree of dilation of the colon, screen for any orthopedic impediments to defecation or masses within the abdomen. The x-ray below shows a very constipated cat whose entire transverse and descending colon is dilated with feces. The colon is distended about twice its normal diameter.
Constipation In A Kitten: What To Do At Home
Digestive disorders in pets a problem that has faced all, without exception, lovers of these pets. Most often, the pets body copes with it independently, no intervention is required. Its another matter when the kitten is constipated: the babys body often needs help.
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Ways To Make A Constipated Kitten Poop
If youve realized that its been a few days since you last cleaned out your kittens litter tray, they might be suffering from a touch of constipation.
As well as being uncomfortable for your kitten, constipation can cause more serious issues if you dont treat it right away.
Dont worry, though this article will help you figure out what to do!
Well look at how to tell if your kitten is constipated, as well as the main reasons that this can happen.
Luckily, theres a range of things you can do to help, both at home and at your veterinarians.
Before we get started, weve written the contents of this article to be aimed at kittens over a month of age, who can now poop on their own. Kittens younger than this will usually still be with their mama cat, and she will be helping stimulate them to poop.
How To Treat Constipation In Cats
For mild cases, your vet can provide instruction on how to relieve constipation in cats with simple changes to the pets diet and lifestyle, along with other at-home remedies. However, some cases are more severe and need the attention of a veterinarian.
Before the vet can determine how to treat constipation in cats, he or she will first need to identify the underlying cause for the condition. They will likely provide fluids or an enema for immediate relief. Then, theyll recommend over-the-counter medications or prescription drugs, such as prokinetics or laxatives, for treatment.
In very severe cases that dont respond to treatment, your cat might need to be anesthetized to manually remove the feces from the colon . Cat constipation needs to be treated as soon as possible to reduce the risk of permanent damage resulting from prolonged distension of the colon.
If your pets constipation is long-term or they suffer from obstipation , it could lead to an abnormal dilation of the colon, known as a megacolon. If medical management has failed to help with megacolon, you may consider a surgical procedure called subtotal colectomy to remove the non-functioning part of the colon.
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