Constipation is a very common ailment in pets. It can be caused by many things, including diet, age or health problem. But it’s always best to see your vet for diagnosis and treatment options that are tailored specifically to your pet’s needs.

Constipation is a common problem that many people experience. There are many ways to relieve constipation, such as drinking lots of water and using the toilet on your side rather than your back.

Infrequent or difficult defecation of hard, dry stools, with stool retention in the colon and/or rectum, is referred to as constipation. In most cats, it’s a one-time condition that’s completely harmless. Constipation on a regular basis, on the other hand, is an abnormal finding, and if left untreated, constipation may worsen, with potentially fatal implications.

What may be causing it?

Constipation in cats may be caused by a variety of factors.

Constipation may be caused by dehydration, and illnesses that predispose a cat to dehydration (diabetes, renal disease, hyperactive thyroid) can play a role.

Arthritis may induce constipation in cats because it makes it harder for them to go to their litter box, resulting in stool retention (or difficulty getting to their water bowl, leading to dehydration).

Constipation may be caused by an abrupt change in diet, such as when a cat switches from canned to dry food.

Overgrooming causes enormous volumes of hair to be ingested.

A filthy litter box may deter cats from using it, resulting in feces retention and constipation.

Anything that might produce a blockage in the flow of feces through the colon, such as a tumor, is another potential reason. However, in the vast majority of instances, an instigating reason cannot be found.

These signals should not be overlooked.

Constipation may manifest itself in a variety of ways. Some cats exhibit no symptoms at all, and the disease is only found when the owner sees a lack of feces in the litter box or notices extremely tiny, solid, dry stool in the box when caring to the litter box. (Most cat feces is wet enough for cat litter to adhere to it.) Constipation frequently causes feces to be so dry that it won’t stick to the toilet paper.)

Other cats will make a visible effort to urinate. They kneel over their litter box, gazing straight ahead, sometimes screaming out in pain as they attempt to evacuate impacted excrement with their abdomen.

The history, clinical symptoms, and physical examination of the cat are commonly used to diagnose constipation. To confirm the diagnosis and determine the severity of the constipation, an X-ray of the colon may be taken.

How can I assist?

The severity of the illness determines the course of treatment.

✤ Rehydrating and maintaining the cat’s hydration is an important part of treatment. Adding warm water (or water with extra tuna juice) to a canned meal makes a broth that cats can lap up, and it’s a good method to get additional water into their diet.

Laxatives may be necessary. They assist lubricate the feces and increase its water content, allowing it to pass more easily.

Changing one’s diet generally entails:

Changing to a canned food diet (if the cat is currently eating dry food)

Increasing the amount of fiber in your diet. This may be accomplished by including a fiber source (such as bran or psyllium) into the cat’s usual food or by giving a prescription diet that has already been prepared to include more fiber.

Although cats are real carnivores, canned pumpkin is a wonderful source of fiber, and a surprising percentage of cats don’t mind the flavor and will consume food with one or two tablespoons of pumpkin added.

Low-residue diets are prescription diets that are designed to be very easy to digest. The bulk of the food is digested and absorbed, leaving just a little amount of undigested material. Constipation-prone cats may find it simpler to evacuate smaller stools as a consequence of this.

In more severe situations, prokinetic medicines (drugs that improve colon motility) may be necessary, particularly if the veterinarian feels that a deficit in colon motility is contributing to the condition.

Constipation in cats is usually moderate and only lasts a few days. A trip to the veterinarian is recommended if you detect your cat straining to defecate, notice particularly firm, hard dry feces in the litter box, or suspect your cat hasn’t defecated in the last 48 to 72 hours.

How-to-Combat-ConstipationGetty Images/Nynke van Holten

Keep an eye out for Megacolon.

When constipation continues or does not respond to therapy, it may proceed to megacolon, a condition in which the colon gets larger and dilated, making it unable to contract and push the stool with the same force as previously.

Mild or moderate instances may respond to increased dosages of the above-mentioned therapies (laxatives/stool softeners, prokinetic medicines, dietary fiber), but an enema may be required as things proceed. This entails injecting liquid into the colon to increase the water content of the stools and encourage the colon to contract, so speeding up the elimination process.

Although owners may be taught to give their cats enemas at home, most cats are (understandably) uncooperative, thus the treatment is normally carried out by professional veterinary personnel. Unfortunately, the demand for enemas in cats with megacolon increases with time, until the cats no longer react to any medical treatment.

Surgical therapy becomes the only choice at this stage. A subtotal colectomy is a procedure that involves the removal of the majority of the colon. Despite the fact that this is a serious operation, the majority of cats do well with it. A considerable proportion of these cats may have diarrhea after surgery; however, within a few weeks, most cats will begin to produce stool of a manageable consistency, and life will return to normal.

I’ve probably recommended approximately 10 cats to a referral clinic for this procedure in my tenure, and the great majority of them have done well.

Constipation is a common problem for many people, especially seniors. There are several symptoms of constipation that can help you determine whether or not you have the condition.

Frequently Asked Questions

What helps against constipation fast?

A: We recommend using a laxative.

What can I drink to poop instantly?

A: Coffee, tea or water.

How can I stimulate a bowel movement?

A: Thats not a question.

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