The Cat Health Problem of Constipation
Cats usually go to the bathroom like clockwork, so if your cat isn’t it could be a sign that you need to make a visit to the vet as it can be a sign of something more serious.Usually, you’ll notice that your cat isn’t using the litter box as often as he normally does. If he is able to go, he may be passing stools that are hard and dry, though in some cases, small quantities of liquid may be passed instead.While cat constipation isn’t a life threatening issue, it can be painful and very unpleasant for your cat and it is one of those cat health problems which could escalate or be a sign of something more sinister.Constipation can be caused by many things. Your cat may not be getting enough to drink or his diet is low in fiber. Some drugs, such as antihistamines and antibiotics, can cause constipation as well. Other possible causes include:· Obstructions. An obstruction in the colon due to a hairball, tumor or birth defect can cause constipation.· Hyperthyroidism.· Metabolic issues, including low potassium and kidney failure.There are other situations where the cause of cat constipation is unknown. Something as simple as a dirty litter box can clog up your cat, because it is causing him stress.Obviously, the fact that your cat is having problems passing excrement is a strong sign of constipation. Your cat may also vomit, lose weight or even try to use a spot other than the litter box to relieve himself.An occasional bout of constipation isn’t unusual. But if it continues, you’ll need to see a veterinarian. There could be a more serious cat health problem at risk for example your cat may have been injured or had an accident you’re not aware of.In many cases, you can try to use an over-the-counter remedy, such as PetAlive’s Natural Moves, which is a herbal and cell salt remedy, Pet Essences’ Digestion/Assimilation Flower Essences, which is a homeopathic cure, and Natural Pet’s Laxa-Herb, another natural cure that uses herbs and a glycerin base to help move things along.One of the best ways to treat cat constipation is to keep it from occurring in the first place. Brushing your cat regularly can decrease the frequency of hairballs as well as the size. If your cat is on a diet of dry food, you’ll want to add a teaspoon of olive oil a couple times a week. Increased water intake along with a high fiber diet can also do the trick. To ensure that your cat is drinking enough, be sure you keep your cat’s water bowl filled with clean water.It may seem odd but a dirty litter tray can make your cat constipated. Cats like to relieve themselves in a clean place and a messy litter box can really gum the works up, especially if your cat is on the finicky side.If you take your cat to the vet for chronic constipation, he may order a serious of tests, including taking X-rays to see if there is an obstruction in the intestine, colon or bowel. If treatment is required, the first order of business is to rehydrate, often using an intravenous drip. If an obstruction is present, surgery may be required. If the feces is compacted, your veterinarian may perform an enema and do some massage to break it apart so that it can vacate naturally.If you have already experienced cat health problems with constipation, know that it can recur. So you will need to watch your cat more carefully after an initial incidence of constipation, especially if it required a visit to the vet and medical intervention beyond home remedies.