Do you have a cat? If you do, it is vital that you know about the common complications that cats develop. Read on to know about causes & symptoms of cat constipation.

Cat Constipation

You are sitting in your living room, about to switch on your favorite show on TV, when you hear your cat yowling as if it is in intense pain. You go over to see what is wrong, and you find her by her litter box, hunched over and trying to defecate. The more she tries the more she suffers, but there is nothing passed. She continues to try for a while and then slouches away and curls up. Following this episode, she refuses to eat and just blinks at you with her great eyes each time you try to coax her into eating some of her favorite cat food. This is a clear sign that your cat is constipated. There are three stages of constipation in cats – constipation, obstipation and megacolon. Constipation is usually a sporadic or one time occurrence of being unable to defecate. Obstipation is when the intestines are partially blocked and therefore the cat is unable to pass feces. Megacolon is when there is complete blockage, and is a very serious stage of constipation. While only a veterinarian can determine how constipated your cat is, you will need to keep on the watch for any persisting signs that indicate that immediate medical attention is required. Read on to find out more about constipation in cats.
Cats are very energetic and playful animals. Therefore, they are at risk of complications. The following are some of the most common causes of constipation in cats: 
  • Obesity and lack of exercise
  • High stress levels
  • A dirty litter tray, causing the cat to refuse to use the litter tray
  • Dehydration
  • Obstruction to the colon due to ingestion of a foreign, indigestible object that might have got stuck in the intestines
  • Foods low in fiber can be a cause of cat constipation
  • Certain medication that the cat is on can cause constipation. These include antibiotics, diuretics and antihistamines
  • Hypothyroidism
  • Neurological problems that might have caused damage to the colon, anus and the spinal cord
  • Metabolic issues or hormonal problems
  • Injuries to the pelvic region 
  • Passing of hard, dry feces in very small amounts if at all it is passed
  • The cat keeps straining a lot to defecate and is in pain as it strains
  • Distention of the abdomen
  • Lethargy
  • Depression
  • Loss of appetite
  • Weight loss
  • Vomiting
  • Bloody feces 
A change in diet is the best long term treatment for cat constipation. Increase the cat’s daily fiber intake and add a bit of milk, pumpkin puree or canned food in its food. For immediate relief, medical treatment is needed. Usually, an enema is administered in order to induce bowel movement. In other cases, if there is any obstruction that needs to be removed manually, this is done under anesthesia. Constipated cats are treated for dehydration and medication to soften stools is prescribed for a while.

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