When To Worry About Constipation
Its important to know that kittens vary greatly in how often they go to the bathroom. While a kitten should pee every few hours, they may pass stool anywhere from 1 to 6 times a day, depending on the kittens age, care, and GI health.
Sometimes, a kitten may even go 24 hours without pooping. If this happens, dont panicbut do keep an eye on them and focus on trying to help them go potty. If they havent pooped in more than 48 hours, thats when youll definitely want to head to a veterinarian for further assistance. If the kitten has any signs of discomfort such as straining, bloating, crying in the litter box, lethargy, or distension, veterinary care should be sought.
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The Scoop On Your Pets Poop
A couple of years ago, I was watching the Oprah Winfrey Show and I saw an episode where the health expert, Dr. Mehmet Oz, was talking about poop. I noticed when the cameras panned the audience that they appeared rather excited and at the same time bashful to listen to this discussion. I, on the other hand, thought it was a great topic. Especially since our pets cannot talk, I believe that the appearance of your pets stool provides a dramatic amount of information about its overall health.
During every office visit, I ask each client Does your pet have a normal stool? Or, Does your pet have soft or hard stools? Unless the client is bringing their pet in for explosive diarrhea, most clients think this is an odd question and most honestly dont really know what their pets stool really looks like. Surprisingly, this is especially true of my cat clients. I would have thought they would be the most observant pet owners, but they are not. I think most of my cat clients are just happy that its in the litter box and assume its normal. This, however, is not always true.
Just like diamonds that are evaluated by the four Cs color, clarity, carat weight and cut grade stool samples are evaluated by the following color, shape, consistency, size, and content. My goal today is to teach you to be a more critical evaluator of your pets stool to help you better care for your pet. It is amazing what your pets stool sample can tell you about its health.
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When To Worry About A Kittens Bowel Movements
Cat Poop in Kittens. Because of their small size, changes in bowel movements should be monitored. Dont worry: If your kitten misses a day in the litter box meaning, she doesnt poop for one day just keep an eye on her. Constipation that lasts longer than a day or so, however, may be a cause for concern.
Reasons Why Kitten Is Not Pooping At All
Kittens should poop at least once a day regardless of her age and the poop should be a dark brown color, of medium consistency, and smells like any typical cat poop should smell. But, what if your kittens dont poop regularly or not pooping at all?
Here are the common reasons why your kitten is not pooping at all:
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How To Make A Kitten Poop In The Litter Box
At about 3 weeks old, kittens will no longer need to be manually stimulated to eliminate and transition to using a litter box. This requires the right supplies and a watchful eye! Heres how to make a kitten poop in the litter box:
What Causes Constipation In Elderly Cats
Constipation has several causes that vary in severity. The most common explanations include:
If your cat is dehydrated, it may have kidney disease. One in three geriatric cats experience some degree of renal failure.
According to the Journal of Small Animal Practice, kidney problems are also often linked to hyperthyroidism. This is another medical problem that can lead to feline constipation.
Older cats have more brittle bones, and a fractured pelvis is a common injury. As Vet Compendium explains, a fractured pelvis leads to a narrowed colon. This makes defecation difficult, or even impossible, in some cases.
As per the BMJ, your cat may have megacolon. Megacolon is the dilation or restricted movement of the digestive tract.
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Ways To Make A Constipated Kitten Poop
If youve realized that its been a few days since you last cleaned out your kittens litter tray, they might be suffering from a touch of constipation.
As well as being uncomfortable for your kitten, constipation can cause more serious issues if you dont treat it right away.
Dont worry, though this article will help you figure out what to do!
Well look at how to tell if your kitten is constipated, as well as the main reasons that this can happen.
Luckily, theres a range of things you can do to help, both at home and at your veterinarians.
Before we get started, weve written the contents of this article to be aimed at kittens over a month of age, who can now poop on their own. Kittens younger than this will usually still be with their mama cat, and she will be helping stimulate them to poop.
How Does My Cat Get Diagnosed
Your veterinarian will diagnose your cat with constipation based on several things, including a thorough history , physical examination findings , and a medical work up. A medical work up is important to find the possible cause of constipation in your cat and will consist of the following:
- A minimum of blood work to check the kidney and liver function, salt balance, protein level, and blood sugar
- A complete blood count to look at the white and red blood cell count
- A thyroid value
- A urine test is important to look at how well the kidneys are working
- X-rays will help look at the size of the pelvis opening, and look for any obvious cancer or physical causes for not being able to defecate
- An abdominal ultrasound in reoccurring cases of constipation to help rule out cancer.
Once this veterinary diagnostic work up is done, the most important part of making your cat comfortable and treating their constipation is getting that backed up feces out of there! Please know that some cats may need long-term medication or dietary changes to prevent chronic constipation from happening again. This is important because we want to prevent megacolon, which is when the colon becomes chronically dilated and is difficult to treat long-term.
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Theres Not Enough Soluble Fiber In The Kittens Diet
Kittens need food that is high in soluble fiber and sources may include oat bran and barley. Soluble fiber is easily digestible and fermented and waste easily passes through the gastrointestinal tract. If kittens lack soluble fiber in their daily diet theyre more likely to become constipated. It could also be that your kitten is eating mostly food high in insoluble fiber like wheat or brown rice.
My Cat Is Constipatedwhat Should I Do
Cats who are straining to go to the bathroom or arent going at all are likely constipated. This can be caused by lots of factors, such as:
- Too little fiber in the diet
- Not drinking enough water
- Over-grooming, which can lead to hair blocking the digestive tract
- An obstruction caused by a swallowed object
- A tumor or other blockage in the intestines
- An illness, such as diabetes
If your cat is constipated, give your vet a call for advice, especially if you suspect some sort of blockage or illness. Your cat may need surgery to remove the obstruction or treatment for the specific ailment. To help alleviate constipation, your vet may prescribe a stool softener, laxative, or other medication. Constipation can also be helped by:
- Feeding your cat a high fiber diet
- Trying to coax more water intake
- Encouraging more exercise
Adding fiber-rich fruits and veggies to your cats diet can be useful as well. Check out our Infographic of pet-safe fruits and veggies for ideas.
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Problems That Your Kitten Can Have If He/she Doesnt Poop Regularly
Poop is unpleasant, but it is important to poop regularly to keep our bodies healthy. The same can be said for your kitten.
Pooping is a natural process that our bodies go through to flush toxins away.
If waste gets backed up, it can cause problems like lethargy, pain, and even death. If your kitten isnt pooping, you have to get to the root cause fast.
In many cases, your kitten will just need stimulation. If the stimulation doesnt work, then its a medical condition that needs attention.
Changes In Routine Can Cause Elimination Problems
Cats are smart creatures and your kitten will easily pick up on your daily habits and household routines.
When these routines are suddenly changed or disturbed, it can make your kitten behave in mysterious ways.
One of those ways could be that they wont poop. If your kitten isnt using their litter box and youve had major changes in your household routine, help your kitten adapt to the changes to see if this is the reason they arent pooping.
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Get Some Clean Cloths
To help your fluffy friend excrete, it’s of utmost importance that you prepare a few pieces of clean cloths. Because kittens tend to have sensitive skin, refrain from using heavy paper towels here so you don’t cause irritation. In addition to that, you need to prioritize light-colored cloths to facilitate the detection of pees as well as poops. Lots of pet owners suggest soaking the cloths in warm water but that is unnecessary if you use soft cloths.
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Recognize The Signs And Symptoms Of Diarrhea In Kittens
You should know that it’s normal for kittens to have softer poop, Demos says. A kitten’s stools are not quite as dry and hard as an adult cat’s. But if your kitten’s poop is consistently shapeless and mushy or is liquidy, then it’s diarrhea.
Kittens with diarrhea may have accidents outside the litterbox. You may also notice diarrhea on their paws or around their tail .
Here Are Eight Causes Of Constipation In A Kitten
1- The wrong kind of cat food can cause constipation. After weaning from milk, kittens should eat moist cat food and be slowly transitioned to dry food. Even as an adult, your cat should eat moist cat food sometimes to prevent diarrhea.
2- Veterinarian Elisa Katz says that your kitten can develop constipation from not having enough soluble fiber in his/her diet.
Soluble fiber is easily digestible. It can be easily fermented and turned into a gel that attracts water to the colon. Doing this adds moisture to the stool so it wont be so hard to pass.
Soluble fiber also decreases the amount of time that waste is in the gastrointestinal tract. This will allow your kitten to poop on a regular and consistent basis.
Another fiber-related reason for constipation could be that your kitten is ingesting too much insoluble fiber. Insoluble fiber has the opposite effect of soluble fiber.
It increases the time that waste stays in the gastrointestinal tract and causes the waste to thicken up. This is helpful if your cat has diarrhea, but too much of it can cause constipation.
3- Kittens get hairballs from constantly grooming themselves. Although grooming is a natural habit for cats, the hairs that they swallow can end up getting lodged in their colon and cause a blockage.
This is especially true for kittens because their systems tend to be small and sensitive.
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It May Be Due To Hairballs
Kittens tend to swallow hairballs because theyre constantly grooming themselves. The problem is that their system is still small and sensitive thats why it results in blockage. To prevent it from happening, always brush the kittens fur to remove stray hairs and trim the fur regularly if its a long-haired breed.
What Can I Do To Prevent My Cat From Becoming Constipated
- Add moisture to the diet in the form of cat fountains, canned food or water added to food
- Add fibre to the diet
- Add exercise this encourages the smooth muscle to push stool towards the rectum
- Add pain management for arthritis
- Add a mild laxative for hairball control
- Any medications should only be given under the guidance of a veterinarian.
In addition to keeping litter box odour away, daily litter box cleaning is a good way of keeping tabs on your cats urinating and defecating habits, so that you can quickly recognize changes.
If you have any questions or concerns about your cats bowel movements talk to one of our team members at Mitchell Veterinary Services.
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How To Make An Elderly Cat Poop When Constipated
A senior cat should empty its bowels no less than once a day. Any less than that regularity suggests that your elderly cat is constipated.
Keep your cat regular with an age-specific diet and exercise. Provide stool softeners or mild laxatives to relieve constipation. You can also encourage cats to eliminate manually. Rubbing a damp washcloth on a cats anus mimics the sensation of a mother cat licking a kitten.
You can usually treat feline constipation at home, but dont allow the problem to go unresolved for longer than 24 hours. With dietary and lifestyle changes, your older cat should start to go to the toilet regularly.
Why Do Cats Poop In The Wrong Place
Something as simple as constipation may cause a cat to defecate on a rug or in another inappropriate spot. For example, your backed-up cat suddenly has the urge to relieve himself, but he might not be able to get to the litter box in time. Pain or discomfort may also account for inappropriate pooping.
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Why Do Cats Poop On Rugs
Out of all the places in a home, it seems that rugs are popular targets for inappropriate elimination. There’s something about the fabric that attracts cats. Perhaps it’s the fact that rugs are easy to knead and paw at like litter, or maybe it’s the scent. The absorbancy is likely a factor as well. You may never know for sure why your cat seems to prefer the rug, but many cat owners report this same issue.
Cats are often mysterious, so getting to the bottom of the problem will take careful observation. You’ll need to eliminate the potential causes one at a time.
No matter where your cat is pooping, if it’s outside the litter box, there are a few possible explanations for it.