Keeping your cat healthy is of prime importance for any cat owner. Understandably, if you love and care for your feline, you would worry when you see your cat in pain. Cat constipation is one of the mild health issues that could lead to something more severe. How to relieve constipation in cats? How to prevent it? And does grain-free cat food cause constipation? These are some of the many questions every cat owner has, so we have decided to give you a helping hand. Therefore, read about symptoms, causes, treatment, and some tips and remedies for cat constipation.
Identify the Symptoms of Constipation in Cats
Rare or infrequent stools characterize the first sign that your cat suffers from constipation. Healthy cat poops every 24-36 hours. Hence, if you notice it’s been longer than that and she hasn’t relieved herself, it can be a clear sign of constipation. On the other hand, she might have dry and hard stools, another sign of constipation. Sometimes you can even see poops outside their litter box, and this means that the cat has discomfort, which causes her to leave the box before she’s finished. Another symptom of constipation can be crying or straining while using the litter box. This can be alarming and might mean the cat suffers from urinary tract issues. If this happens, you’d better visit the vet to check this. Constipation can be related to other health conditions, and other symptoms might appear. Pay attention if you notice a loss of appetite, weight loss, nausea, vomiting, peeing more, drinking more or less water, and even hiding. These symptoms all mean that you should definitely call the vet.
Does Grain-Free Cat Food Cause Constipation?
Constipation in cats, the same as it is in humans, is closely related to food and diet. Very often, dehydration can cause this condition, and some mild diet changes can help. You probably wonder if grain-free cat food causes constipation, but the answer is no. Conversely, grain-free cat food rich in protein and easily digestible ingredients is good for your cat. Normally, if the stool is not soft or moist, it can’t move properly in the intestines. However, this can happen due to many issues, such as allergies, stress and anxiety, inflammatory bowel disease, or even cancer. Other reasons for constipation can be obesity, anal gland issues, or some chronic diseases. Here, we count kidney disease, diabetes, or hyperthyroidism.
If your vet rules out any of these chronic diseases or other conditions, your cat should get some treatment for instant relief, usually including cat fluids or an enema. However, if your cat is suffering from long-term constipation or obstipation, this can mean that they have a megacolon. Megacolon is an abnormally enlarged intestine caused by a defect in muscle strength.
How to Treat Constipation in Cats? Tips and Home Remedies
Once you are sure that your cat doesn’t suffer from any of the chronic diseases we mentioned, here are some tips on giving your cat instant relief. The first thing to do is to get the cat to drink more water. Some cats enjoy having water and do this often. However, some do not have this habit. For the latter, hydrate them by giving them wet food. This usually does the trick. Speaking of your cat’s diet, you should change the protein source because this will reduce inflammation and cause the intestines to function properly. This is important, as well as to avoid cat allergies. And most importantly, control your cat’s weight. Obesity is one of the causes of constipation in cats, so make sure your cat doesn’t eat too much. Encourage her to be more active, get cat trees some toys, and avoid any unnecessary stressful situations.
Another thing to consider is getting some products and medications for constipation. Consult with the vet before giving your cat anything, but some of the most commonly used laxatives are Miralax (PEG 3350) or Colace. Whatever you do, you should always monitor your cat’s behavior and determine what would work best for her.