Relieving Cat Constipation

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Cat bliss (Photo credit: @Doug88888)

Cats, like all animals, can occasionally become constipated when they eat to much of the same thing or ingest something they shouldn’t, like string they find on the floor or human food that is dropped in the kitchen or fished from the garbage. Hairballs are also another common cause of constipation from their constant grooming, as hair is swallowed and collects in the digestive tract, blocking everything else from going through. Beyond being incredibly uncomfortable for your cat, it can also be dangerous for them to be constipated for an extended period of time, putting strain on their digestive system and keeping them from eating their food. So when this occurs, it is important that you have a way to take care of it as quickly and efficiently as possible. 


The main sign that your cat may be constipated is when you see them straining to defecate and not being able to force anything out. However, since most cats go in a cat box and seem to like a little bit of privacy when they are going to the bathroom if they go outside, it may not be possible to watch them defecate. Nor do you probably have the time to sneak up on them, waiting and watching. You may want to check the cat box for liquid stools or bloody stools, as this is a sign of constipation as well. Other signs of a cat being constipated is when they aren’t eating regularly, as lethargic or are walking in a hunched, uncomfortable way. When all of these are happening, you should probably try to relieve the cat’s constipation before moving on to other, bigger health problems. 


While you can always take the cat to the vet to have their constipation relieved, this has a number of different problems. For one, it is expensive. Vets charge a premium, just like doctors, for their services and care. This will take a decent amount of time and require them to give your cat laxatives, which sometimes causes cats to get sick and have accidents everywhere. 

Rather, try natural treatments that work just as well as a vet-prescribed laxative, if not better. These are also cheaper to purchase and take a lot less time out of your day. Add some fiber to your cat’s meal, like bran cereal or canned pumpkin, both of which you can buy at your local grocery store for a couple of bucks. Even consider Metamucil mixed into some delicious wet food, as this will quickly relieve constipation and get everything moving again. 

If these cat constipation remedies do not fix the problem then taking the car to the vet may be the only option. But be sure to tell your vet you have already tried these things, so that they can move onto the next steps. This would usually be giving the cat an enema or checking for a more serious blockage, like a bone or foreign object they never should have eaten, which might ultimately require surgery. 

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