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Treatment of Cat Constipation

"Treatment of cat constipation is important, particularly if your cat hasn't had a bowel movement in over 3 days. There are several treatment options listed below starting with those things you can do in the home and then those which require some type of special food or laxatives. ."  

Constipation is a problem with your cat's large bowel. If your cat frequently suffers from constipation it could lead to bigger problems such as a condition called megacolon, where the feces starts to stretch the wall of the colon and intenstines making it impossible to naturally defecate.

Your veterinariain will look at several possible causes before deciding on an approach for treatment of cat constipation. These include:

  • Structural problem (uncommon cause)
  • Presence of disease
  • Injury
  • Somthing blocking the bowel system (bone fracture)
  • Unknown cause (idiopathic)
  • Change in your cat's environment (new cat in home)

Treatment for Cat Constipation

Depending on the cause, here are some things you can do to help your cat:

Treatment Approach
Constipation Treatment Options
Environmental Change

- Provide more litter trays in a multi-cat household.
- Keep your cat away from other animals (cats are very particular about how and when they go to the bathroom).

Soften Stools with change in Diet

Add fiber to the diet with natural products. Cats are picky so you might need to try different approaches until you find one that works:

1. Supplement made for cats such as PetAlive Natural Moves which contains psyllium fiber and oats.
2. Rice bran mixed into food (1 teaspoon per day) with a swtich to canned food for added moisture.
3. Wheat bran mixed into food (1 tablespoon per day).

Longer term you can consider changing to canned food for the higher moisture content plus a fiber supplement or a switch to a high fiber comemrcial cat food.

Soften stools with Laxatives

Use a laxative that you can buy without a prescription.

- Paraffin
- Lactulose

Most veterinarians will use an enema to help loosen the stool. Your veterinarian will use a "soap" type solution to get the bowels moving.
Surgery If the colon is an issue your surgeon will "cut out" the problem area (called a resection). Your cat may have a temporary bout of constipation after surgery.

References for Treatment of Cat Constipation:

North American Veterinary Conference
Managing the Constipated Cat
Richard A. S. White, BVetMed, PhD, DSAS, DVR, FRCVS,
Dipl. ACVS, Dipl. ECVS
The Six Mile Bottom Veterinary Specialist Center
Cambridge, England

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