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Cat Food for Constipation

"Cat food for constipation is necessary at times for most cats. Like humans, change to the diet to consist of foods or supplements high in fiber or moisture. You can add fiber to your cat's existing diet or switch to a high fiber choice or high moisture choice such as canned food."

If your cat is currently constipated, or if your cat frequently becomes constipated, dietary changes may help to solve the problem. Here are some things to consider about cat food for constipation.

Water

Many cats with constipation are dehydrated. To help prevent dehydration, make sure your cat has access to fresh water at all times. Without sufficient water in the system, stools may become hard and difficult to pass. Initially your cat may need subcutaneous or IV fluids in order to get re hydrated, but after that you can increase the water in your cat’s diet to prevent this problem from occurring again.

Another source of moisture is milk. While you ordinarily shouldn't give your cat milk, when she has constipation give her 1/4 per day. When your cat is better slowly reduce the amount over a 3 to 4 day period.

Wet Cat Food For Constipation

Cats that eat wet food are less likely to become constipated than those that eat dry food. The moisture in the food helps keep stools soft and easier to pass. Cats need a certain amount of water in order to be healthy and avoid dehydration. However, cats have a low thirst drive, so they drink limited amounts of water. If they are fed wet food, they can get extra water from their food. This is not the case if they are fed only dry food. Feeding your cat wet food can help treat and prevent constipation.

Cat Food For Constipation

Most veterinarians recommend a high fiber food for cats that become constipated. Fiber absorbs water, causing stools to become looser and more bulky. That way they move through the intestines more quickly.

There are a number of diets that contain a high fiber content, including light food, food designed for senior cats, and food designed to prevent hair balls. There are also medical diets that are high in fiber such as Hill's Prescription Diet w/d. Other brands that may help include Royal Canin High Fiber Veterinary Diet and Purina OM Feline Formula. Look for a food where the fiber percentage is 7 to 13 percent.

Note that canned cat foods are actually low in fiber, but high in water. Some veterinarian's prefer this approach since they believe water is key to helping. You can get the best of both worlds by mixing a canned cat food with one of the fiber supplements listed below.

Cat Fiber Supplements

Fiber Source

Directions

Wheat Bran

1 tablespoon per day mixed into food

Psyllium(Metamucil)

1 teaspoon per day mixed into food

Rice Bran 1 teaspoon per day mixed into food

Canned Pumpkin

1 teaspoon, 2x per day

You shouldn't switch your cat to a very high fiber diet all at once, though. Start by adding a little fiber and gradually increase the amount over a five to seven day period. Otherwise your cat is likely to suffer gas pains.

There is also a fiber rich supplement made specifically for cats called PetAlive Natural Moves contains Psyllium (high fiber) and other helpful ingredients such as Avena sativa (Oats).

Homemade Cat Food for Constipation

It is difficult to replicate the nutrients of a commercial diet with a homemade diet, but it is possible. A typical diet would consist of 2/3 meat, and one-third grains and vegetables or fruit. Be careful feeding too much fish (tuna, salmon) as they do not have enough vitamin e that your cat needs. You can increase the fiber in your cat’s diet by including one of the supplements mentioned above. You can even add a teaspoon of vegetable oil. Some cats enjoy these foods, but many do not. If your cat won’t eat them, you can try mixing a little in the regular diet.

You can also add water or broth to your cat’s food so that your cat gets more water. Cats usually readily accept foods with added broth such as chicken broth. You can also do this with a commercial wet food diet.

When To See The Vet

Your cat should pass two stools per day, although it is still normal if your cat goes every 3 days. Cats that take more than 1 day are likely to be constipated. You should see your veterinarian to make sure that the constipation is not a side effect of some other more serious problem. If it isn't, then you can discuss the options described above.

References:

Maristavet

 

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