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.
How Long Can A Cat Go Without Pooping
Before we get into why a cat is not pooping but acting normal, we need to establish how long a cat can go without pooping. A healthy adult cat will typically pass feces twice per day, but this will depend on the amount of food they eat. Therefore, as a general rule, if your cat hasnt pooped in 24 hours then they could be constipated.
However, this does all depend on your feline. Every cat has slightly different bowel movements so was can expect to see some variation. Some cats will only pass stools once per day, meaning when a cat hasnt pooped in 2 days this is a better indication they could be constipated. Therefore, it is always important to think about what is normal for your cat when determining if there is an issue.
If your cat hasnt pooped in 3 days or more, this is when you should contact your vet. Even cats that poop less frequently, three days without passing any stools means their constipation has become severe. You need to get your cat looked at before the issue turns into a medical emergency.
Problems With The Gi Tract
Sometimes problems with the GI tract such as inflammatory bowel disease can cause constipation in cats. If you suspect that a problem with digestion is causing your cat to be constipated, then it is recommended that you take them to the veterinarian for this issue immediately. This is because they may need things like a prescription diet for things to get back to normal.
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Cat Is Peeing Outside Of Litter Box Due To A Uti
Your cat is not able to pee in their litterbox. Cats will often urinate outside of their litterbox when they have a UTI. When the cat has pain during urination, they associate the box with the pain therefore, they go outside the box.
What is the Main Cause of Feline Urinary Tract Disease?
Cystitis is a bladder infection associated with a bacterial infection, mineral imbalance, and unusual pH levels. Cystitis is synonymous with the creation of microscopic mineral crystals in the cats pee. These crystals can form uncomfortable stones and be quite debilitating.
It can cause a severe block in the urethra, causing your cat to have difficulty urinating or not being able to pee at all.
Stay On Top Of Your Cats Colon Health
So, how long can a cat go without pooping? Now you know you arent powerless when it comes to keeping your pets bathroom habits healthy. Stay on top of your cats litter box habits with the Litter-Robot 3 Connect! Youll be able to monitor how often your cat is using the litter box right from your phone with the app, and take the hassle out of scooping the litter box daily.
Can my cat die from not pooping?
Constipation can lead to life-threatening conditions in cats. If your cat hasnt pooped in several days, seek veterinary attention.
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Try Different Types Of Litter:
Changing the condition of the litter can also influence your cats litter box behavior. It would help if you tried various litter textures such as pine, grains, and shavings.
Your cat may prefer litter with small particles. To save yourself the hustle, you should first use litter with small partials like sand.
The texture of the small particles always brings a great feeling to many cats paws. This will encourage your cat to cover the poop after eliminating it.
The level of the litter in the box should also be on point. If its too shallow or too deep, your cat may fail to cover the poop.
Constipation Treatments To Help Your Cat Pass Stool
While there are ways that you can treat your catâs constipation at home, the reality is that you should get a vet to take a look at your pet first. This will ensure that there is nothing more serious going on, and your home remedies for your catâs constipation will suffice.
âConstipation can be managed effectively at home, but the initial diagnosis should really be done by a trained professional,â says Dr. Garside. This is for a critical reason: Just because you donât see your cat defecating doesnât mean itâs not happening â especially in the case of outdoor cats.
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All About Cat Constipation
- Constipation in cats is rarely serious, but some cases require veterinary attention.
- Kidney disease, obesity, or poor nutrition could play a role in constipation.
- Most cases of cat constipation are mild and can be managed with outpatient care.
- In more severe cases, surgery or hospitalization may be required.
- Plenty of water, a healthy weight, and a high-quality diet can help prevent cat constipation.
Even the most adorable pets require some dirty work, and when it comes to cats, that dirty work includes keeping the litter box clean.
Scooping poop is by no means a pleasant task, but the state of your cats litter box can provide insight into his health. For example, you might notice that there isnt anything to scoop for several days, which could mean that your cat is constipated.
Yes, like people, cats can get constipated. While most cases of cat constipation arent particularly serious, there are times where the condition requires veterinary attention.
Heres everything you need to know at cat constipation, including causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention.
What To Do If Your Cat Is Constipated
Adrienne is a certified dog trainer and former veterinarian assistant who partners with some of the best veterinarians worldwide.
REVIEWED BYDr. Jacob Vencil, Veterinarian, Palencia Pet Clinic
Constipation in cats is a pretty common scenario, especially for obese, middle-aged, and senior cats.
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Dont Be Fooled About Cat Constipation
Once you have had the chance to isolate the cat suspected of having constipation, watch the litter box closely. Is there any urine present? Is it a small amount, or a normal looking amount? What color does it look to be? How about stool is there any at all? Does it look firm, or soft? Is there a lot of it?
If you are unsure of what you are seeing, take a photo of what is in the box and/or collect a sample to take to your veterinarian. Many owners go to the vet thinking that their cat is constipated, but it turns out that the cat has a cat urinary tract problem so keep your mind open.
So What Are Clinical Signs That My Cat Is Constipated
- Straining to urinate or defecate in the litter box
- Having bowl movement accidents outside of the litter box
- Having firm, dry, small fecal balls in or around the litter box
- Taking longer to defecate in the litter box or making multiple trips to the litter box
- Weight loss
Now, keep in mind that normal healthy cats dont typically become constipated. As a veterinarian, I see feline constipation more in the following:
- Middle-aged to older cats
- Obese cats
- Cats with osteoarthritis that may have pain jumping into the litter box
- Cats with underlying medical problems
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Best Way To Help A Constipated Cat Poop Again
Take him to your vet. There! Easy! The Cornell Feline Health Center indicates a vet will evaluate your cat’s hydration levels, assess overall health, and eliminate other possible clinical causes.
Another reason why a professional exam is the best remedy for cat constipation is if the condition is more serious, the vet team takes immediate action. “Constipated cats may need an enema at the vet clinic to help them defecate. This is a liquid that softens and lubricates the passage of feces,” Anthony says. “Some cats can get so ‘blocked up’ that they are unable to move the stool. This is called obstipation and requires fecal extraction by a doctor under sedation/anesthesia.”
There are home remedies for cat constipation that you’ll probably find online, and your vet will likely recommend the safest and most effective options. “Often, adding fiber such as pumpkin or psyllium and/or stool softeners can help, as will increasing dietary moisture with canned food or low-sodium broths,” Anthony says. “No changes should be made prior to visiting a veterinarian, however, as dietary recommendations should be made with the whole cat in mind.”
Common Medications For Cat Constipation
Medications that veterinarians rely on when treating cat constipation include lactulose, a non-digestible synthetic sugar that acts as a stool softener. Lactulose works by pulling water into the intestines, which makes it easier for things to move, Wallace explains.
Another is Miralax, an over-the-counter laxative and stool softener. Miralax is available in a powder, which Wallace says works much like lactulose. Though pet parents may be able to get Miralax over the counter, Wallace asserts that they should not administer it before consulting with a veterinarian.
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Pros Of Composting Cat Litter
One of the advantages of composting your cats fecal waste is that you are drastically reducing its carbon pawprint. This is because you are no longer using plastic bags to throw away his poo.
Second, your cats manure is rich in nutrients like nitrogen, potassium, and phosphorus that plants require to grow optimally. You can use your cats poo to fertilize your plants.
Third, you are preventing harmful contaminants in your cats poo and litter from entering bodies of water and landfills. These include nitrate, ammonia, and bacteria.
Dealing With Cat Constipation
Monte was what we call a frequent flier, and here he was again, unhappily perched on my exam room table. Mrs. Berstrande brought him in because she recognized the early warning signs that Monte was having some trouble in the cat litter box department. Mr. Monte has suffered difficulties with constipation for years, and has gotten gradually more severely affected and more sensitive about his cat food and cat medication with even a small variation triggering a bout of constipation. Fortunately, however, his family was very attentive and caught the problems quickly to have him treated. This combination meant that Monte and I knew each other quite well.
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What Can I Give My Cat If Shes Constipated
If your cat is constipated, the first thing you should do is try to make dietary changes to make sure theyre getting enough fiber. Try switching to a high-fiber food that helps produce healthy stool and making sure your cat is getting enough water. If your cat is getting too much fiber, you can switch to wet food to try to add a little more water to their diet.
While dietary changes typically resolve constipation in cats, thats not always the case. If your cat is still constipated after youve made dietary changes, you can try using a gentle laxative to relieve constipation. Keep in mind that laxatives designed for humans shouldnt be used to treat cats. You should always talk to your veterinarian before giving your cat a laxative to make sure its safe.
Canned pumpkin is a popular home remedy for cat constipation. If your cat is having trouble defecating, try feeding them some pumpkin from a can to increase fiber and add a little moisture to their diet.
Why Is My Older Cat Not Using Its Litter Box Anymore
A cat can develop a fear of its litter box that is medical or psychological in nature. The most common explanations for this include:
- It hurts to defecate
- The litter box hasnt been cleaned
- The litter within has changed scent or texture
- There is too much litter in the box
- The litter box is in a noisy area
- The litter box has been moved
- The cat has outgrown its litter box
- Another cat is using the litter box
Cats are fussy about their litter box, so it must meet these criteria:
- Cleaned no less than once a day
- Located in a quiet area, away from noise or footfall
- Unique to the cat. Multiple cats require multiple litter boxes
- No more than two inches of a familiar, unscented litter
- Large enough for the cat to fit into comfortably
If you are confident that your litter box is not the problem, the issue could be a urinary tract infection. UTIs make elimination painful. Your cat may think that its the litter tray thats hurting it and avoid it. Consequently, it will hold in its waste and become constipated.
As the Journal of Feline Medicine and Surgery explains, feline UTIs frequently reoccur. This means that antibiotics may only provide temporary relief from the problem.
A cat without a UTI may still avoid its litter box due to discomfort. Constipation is painful as the stool is so hard and difficult to pass.
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When Should I See A Full Service Veterinarian
You should definitely take your cat to a full-service veterinarian or urgent care if you notice any of the following:
It has been more than 48 hours since your cat has defecated
Your cat has not eaten or had water for more than 48 hours
You see blood in your cats stool
Your cat stops grooming
Any signs of abdominal discomfort
Cat constipation can also be an indication of a different, potentially serious, underlying problem. You may need to have your cat examined by a veterinarian in the case your kitty needs more intensive care such as enemas, surgery or receiving fluids. By conducting a thorough physical examination and discussing your cats symptoms, your veterinarian will be able to decide what additional tests may be needed.
Minimize Stress And Anxiety
Cats can easily become stressed when their routines are disrupted. There could be a more obvious cause, like having a new pet in the house or moving, or it could be less obvious, like a change in your schedule, construction noise nearby, or a new dog barking in the neighborhood.
Sometimes it just takes time for a cat to adjust to changes. But you can help reduce stress and anxiety by using things like calming pheromones , supplements , herbs, and/or medications.
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Lack Of Natural Cat Behavior:
Covering the poop is a procedure that kitten learns from their mother. Cats that didnt realize this skill will naturally fail to cover their poop.
They dont do it willingly, but its because the cat doesnt know that they are supposed to bury the feces. Its simply cat behavior that they never learn.
Even though most felines choose to cover their poop, the behavior is not instinctive for all pet cats. You can select a one-cat breed that is considered well-behaved when it comes to burying its poop, but you may be disappointed.
It Can Be A Side Effect To Certain Medications
Some medications that are given to cats for a variety of ailments can have constipation as a side effect. If this is the case for your cat, then it is recommended that you contact your veterinarian about this issue. They will be able to let you know if the side effect is severe enough to change your cats medication or not.
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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.
Increase Exercise And Enrichment
Exercise can help promote normal movement of the intestines, which helps treat and prevent constipation. Encourage your cat to be more active with things like cat toys, cat trees, window seats, and more playtime with you. Exercise will also help provide enrichment and reduce your cats anxiety, and it will help with weight loss.
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How Do You Stimulate A Cat To Poop
You may be wondering, What if my cat is constipated and dietary changes dont help? The good news is, there are several ways you can stimulate a cat to poop. The easiest way to stimulate a cat to poop is to simply use a laxative. Its important to choose a veterinarian-approved laxative thats safe for your cat.
So What Should You Do If Your Cat Is Not Pooping
If your cat is not pooping but is acting normally otherwise, you should increase their water intake. However, if they dont pass any poop within two days or seem unwell, you should see the veterinarian straight away. With the help of our veterinary team, your cat should hopefully be back to their regular self in no time.
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Causes Of Constipation In Cats
Feline constipation is usually idiopathic, meaning there is no identifiable cause, says Dr. Karlin Erk, an emergency veterinarian at The Center for Animal Referral and Emergency Services in Langhorne, Pennsylvania. However, there are certainly factors that can contribute to constipation, including disease and nutrition, he says.
For example, constipation is common in older cats with chronic kidney disease. The kidney insufficiency causes subclinical dehydration, and this draws water out of the colon just like all other tissues in the body, Erk says. The result is hard and dry fecal material that is harder to excrete.
Obesity can also play a role in constipation. A 2019 study of 189 cats admitted to veterinary emergency rooms found that older, overweight cats with chronic kidney disease or previous episodes of constipation were more likely to be constipated .
Improper nutrition, prior pelvic fractures, and megacolon can also contribute to cat constipation, Erk says.
Other possible causes of cat constipation include traumatic injury, infection, adverse reaction to medication, lack of access to drinking water, intestinal tumors, neurologic disease, and metabolic abnormalities .