All About Cat Constipation
- Constipation in cats is rarely serious, but some cases require veterinary attention.
- Kidney disease, obesity, or poor nutrition could play a role in constipation.
- Most cases of cat constipation are mild and can be managed with outpatient care.
- In more severe cases, surgery or hospitalization may be required.
- Plenty of water, a healthy weight, and a high-quality diet can help prevent cat constipation.
Even the most adorable pets require some dirty work, and when it comes to cats, that dirty work includes keeping the litter box clean.
Scooping poop is by no means a pleasant task, but the state of your cats litter box can provide insight into his health. For example, you might notice that there isnt anything to scoop for several days, which could mean that your cat is constipated.
Yes, like people, cats can get constipated. While most cases of cat constipation arent particularly serious, there are times where the condition requires veterinary attention.
Heres everything you need to know at cat constipation, including causes, symptoms, treatment, and prevention.
Home Remedies For Cats Pooping On The Carpet
Every cat owners nightmare is finding your kittys poop on the carpet.
If your cat poops on the carpet on the same spot, heres what to do:
- Place their food bowls in the previously soiled areas of the carpet
- Introduce a sheet of electronic mat that will inflict her with harmless shock
- Try and catch her in the act and startle her. Shell never repeat it again
- Ease kittys frustrations through the gradual introduction of any new diets and increased playtime.
- Apply an odor neutralizer on the soiled areas of the carpet to kill any urine scent.
- Wash the carpet zone using an enzymatic cleaner.
If your cat is urine spraying, we have a detailed post on how to tackle this and eliminate the spraying.
Causes Of Cat Constipation
Anything that causes dehydration in a cat may result in constipation, says Dr. Bales. Some issues are mild and treatable at home with dietary and lifestyle modifications, and some can be serious.
Constipation can happen if the intestines arent moving things along normally, keeping the stool soft and moist. This can be caused by underlying issues like stress and anxiety, inflammatory bowel disease, allergies, nerve problems, and even some kinds of cancer.
Chronic diseases that can result in constipation in cats include kidney disease, diabetes, and hyperthyroidism. Ruptured or impacted anal sacs may also cause your cat pain with defecation and may result in constipation. Cats eating dry food diets are predisposed to dehydration and constipation as well.
If a cat is holding her stool longer than normal, constipation can occur as the intestines reabsorb too much water when the stool sits in them for too long. Reasons for this include obesity, stress and anxiety, pain from arthritis or anal gland issues, a blockage, or even some kinds of cancer.
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Preventing Constipation Is Key
Once the constipation episode resolves, it is important to prevent future episodes from happening. Over time, the colon may lose muscular motility and cause a condition called megacolon . In such a case where medications are tried with no results, the cat may need external help to evacuate the bowels. Techniques may include enemas and the manual extraction of impacted feces this is a permanent condition requiring repeated medications, trips to the veterinarian’s office, or surgery.
Do not use human enemas on cats! Fleet enemas and those containing phosphate, sodium phosphate, or saline, can be fatal.
Does Massaging A Cats Stomach Help Constipation
The effects of massage on the enteric and central nervous systems are similar to those of acupuncture. In addition to promoting peristalsis, reducing colonic transit time, increasing bowel movements in constipated patients, and reducing chronic constipation discomfort and pain, abdominal massage also promotes peristalsis.
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Read On To Learn More About Causes For Feline Constipation And Proven Home Remedies You Can Incorporate At Home To Keep Your Cat Regular
An over the counter laxative that I recommend most often for my feline patients is called Miralax. This comes as a powder that you can mix with the liquid from saucy canned food. It is tasteless and well accepted by cats. A typical dose is 1/8th to 1/4th of a teaspoon 1-2 times per day. The amount should be titrated to effect based on the quality of the stool in the litterbox.
How Long Can A Cat Go Without Pooping
When determining how long your cat can go without pooping, its important to consider their normal litter box routine.
There is no concrete rule of how often a cat should poop, as every cats litter box habits will vary.
This is why it is so important to determine your cats standard poop schedule, as this can alert you to any sign of developing constipation.
Though there is no set rule of how many bowel movements your cat should have a day, we typically expect a healthy cat to pass stool at least once every 24-36 hours.
If your cat goes 2 days or more without pooping, they could be experiencing some level of constipation.
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Should I Watch My Cat For Constipation
Track the frequency of your cats litter box deposits and stool consistency initially for at least twice a week, then weekly or biweekly.
If you see hard, dry feces, or if you notice that your cat is straining while defecating or exhibiting other symptoms of constipation, contact your veterinarian – especially if diarrhea is a factor as dehydration may quickly become a problem.
Is your cat showing symptoms of constipation? Visit our Somerset County veterinary emergency hospital to receive urgent care for your cat. Any time of the day or night, our emergency vets are here whenever your pet needs us.
Consider A Jumbo Litter Box
There are a lot of larger litter tray designs on the market. These jumbo litter boxes are big enough for two cats to share comfortably. But make sure you keep on top of the cleaning.
Also keep in mind that cats will probably not use the litter box at the same time. So, even if you get a jumbo litter box, you should still have multiple options for a multi-cat household.
This will help them feel more comfortable and less stressed.
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Constipation Signs: How To Tell If Your Cat Is Constipated
Of course, not finding anything to scoop is a telltale sign something could be off with your cat, but according to Dr. Garside, there are even more clues to feline constipation to be aware of. âDifficulty defecating and hard stools in the litter tray are the most common signs,â Dr. Garside says. âCats may even yowl in discomfort as they try to defecate the hard stools.â
Best Way To Help A Constipated Cat Poop Again
Take him to your vet. There! Easy! The Cornell Feline Health Center indicates a vet will evaluate your cat’s hydration levels, assess overall health, and eliminate other possible clinical causes.
Another reason why a professional exam is the best remedy for cat constipation is if the condition is more serious, the vet team takes immediate action. “Constipated cats may need an enema at the vet clinic to help them defecate. This is a liquid that softens and lubricates the passage of feces,” Anthony says. “Some cats can get so ‘blocked up’ that they are unable to move the stool. This is called obstipation and requires fecal extraction by a doctor under sedation/anesthesia.”
And no, you shouldn’t have to palpate a cat for constipation relief. Leave anal gland care to the professionals.
There are home remedies for cat constipation that you’ll probably find online, and your vet will likely recommend the safest and most effective options. “Often, adding fiber such as pumpkin or psyllium and/or stool softeners can help, as will increasing dietary moisture with canned food or low-sodium broths,” Anthony says. “No changes should be made prior to visiting a veterinarian, however, as dietary recommendations should be made with the whole cat in mind.”
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The Truth About Fiber For Constipation In Cats
Fiber is a supplement that has many benefits for the colon. It feeds the good colonic bacteria which in turn helps keep the colonic cells healthy and supports the neuronal function that stimulates the movement of the colon. Increasing fecal volume with fiber can stimulate the bowels and promote pooping. However, for many cats, a high fiber diet may end up being too bulky and lead to constipation.
Cats that have mild constipation problems can benefit from fiber supplementation. But, in my experience, cats with more long standing constipation or an underlying condition like megacolon will not benefit from excess fiber.
Improve Your Cat’s Environment And Play With Your Cat Daily
Learn about feline enrichment to make your cat’s world more fulfilling. Consider adding vertical space, like a cat tree or wall shelves to give your cat more places to go. Try leaving interactive toys around when you are out. Play with your cat as often as possible. A frustrated, bored cat is much more likely to act out.
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Can Cat Poop Be Dangerous
Handling cat poop may have an eww factor, but it isnt typically dangerous. That said, there is a concern that cat poop can contain a parasite called Toxoplasma gondii, which causes Toxoplasmosis. You can also get Toxoplasmosis from eating raw or undercooked meat. Toxoplasmosis isnt a big deal for most people who either wont get sick or show only mild flu-like symptoms. However, it is of particular concern to pregnant women who can pass the parasites along to the unborn child and cause birth defects or even fetal death.
While this sounds scary, its good to know that contracting these parasites from the litter box is not a common occurrence. Cats infected with the parasite only excrete it for a short amount of time, and the parasites arent infective for at least 48 hours. That means if youre scooping out the litter box daily, you greatly reduce the risk of infection.
Just to be safe, pregnant women should hand over litter box duties until the baby is born. If thats not possible, scoop and clean the box wearing rubber gloves and thoroughly wash your hands after youre done. Keeping your cat insidewhich is recommended by our strategic partner The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals® for all catscan also help prevent them from contracting this parasite.
Did You Adopt A New Cat
Why does my cat poop on the floor all of a sudden?
A new kitty could take weeks or even months before adapting to the routine in your home. Cats dont just reveal their full personalities to anyone.
The new cat may take time to feel comfortable and adjust to the new conditions. Theres a tendency that the new cat is a bit uncertain in sharing the litter box with the conventional boss.
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Applying Eye Drops To Cats
The proper administration of eye medication is critical in helping your cat quickly recover from an eye injury or infection. Gently clean away any debris around your cat’s eyes with warm water and a washcloth. Hold the bottle using the thumb and index finger of your dominant hand with the tip pointed downwards. Use the last two fingers of the same hand to pull back the upper eyelid. Place your remaining fingers under the cat’s jaw to support the head. The lower eyelid will act as a pouch to receive the drops. DO NOT touch the eye’s surface with the applicator. Aiming for the center of the eye, squeeze the desired number of drops onto the eyeball.
Best Cat Food For Smelly Poop Choices
Do you have a smelly poop problem with your cat?
Giving your cat an easy-to-digest low carbohydrate wet canned cat food may solve the problem.
A low carbohydrate food is easier for a cat to digest.
Check out our top picks for help with choices for smelly poop.
In this article, Ill discuss what is the best cat food for smelly poop for a variety of situations.
Ill also give you a buying guide to help you find what you want to look for and answer some frequently asked questions about this problem.
My name is Derrick, and I write for Simply Cat Care. Our goal with this website is to help cat owners find the best products for their cats health.
I am not a veterinarian and I recommend seeking the advice of a vet before continuing.
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How Often Should A Cat Poop
There is no specific frequency or timetable for cats to poop. It definitely varies from cat to cat. It can also change for individual cats if theyre suffering from an illness, feeling stressed out, or had a change in diet thats affecting their digestive system.
As a general rule of thumb, cats will poop once, maybe twice a day. If your cat is pooping a lot more than that or missing a couple of days in a row, its not a bad idea to talk to your veterinarian. This may be your cats normal routine, but then again, it could indicate somethings up with your cat.
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.
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Clean Up The Evidence
Start by making sure to thoroughly clean the areas where your cat has pooped. If you’re unable to get the area clean enough, your cat will continue to be attracted to the spot. Launder any items that can go in the washing machine. If your cat has pooped on a bathmat or inexpensive rug, you might just need to get rid of the item. For best results, use a high-quality enzymatic cleaner for pet messes.
What To Do If Your Cat Eliminates Outside The Litter Box
Basic Tips for Making Cats Feel Better About Using Their Litter Boxes
- Virtually all cats like clean litter boxes, so scoop and change your cats litter at least once a day. Rinse the litter box out completely with baking soda or unscented soap once a week.
- The majority of cats prefer large boxes that they can enter easily. Plastic sweater storage containers make excellent litter boxes.
- Most cats like a shallow bed of litter. Provide one to two inches of litter rather than three to four inches.
- Most cats prefer clumping, unscented litter.
- Your cat may prefer the type of litter she used as a kitten.
- Most cats dont like box liners or lids on their boxes.
- Cats like their litter boxes located in a quiet but not cornered location. They like to be able to see people or other animals approaching, and they like to have multiple escape routes in case they want to leave their boxes quickly.
- Because self-cleaning boxes are generally cleaner than traditional types of litter boxes, many cats accept them readily. However, if youre using a self-cleaning litter box and your cat starts eliminating outside the box, try switching to a traditional type of litter box.
Resolving a Litter-Box Problem
The first step in resolving elimination outside the litter box is to rule out urine marking and medical problems. Have your cat checked thoroughly by a veterinarian. Once your veterinarian determines that your cat doesnt have a medical condition or issue, try following these guidelines:
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Be Patient And Consistent
Toilet habit change won’t happen immediately, so don’t be disappointed if there are further mishaps. Just keep cleaning the soiled areas, keep the litter box clean, and maintain a stress free and fun environment for your furry pal.
Also note, you should never punish your cat. Cats see all attention as positive attention, and you don’t want your cat to think eliminating outside the box is a good thing. This negative punishment will only teach your cat to fear you and avoid you.
A negative experience will also stress out your cat more and possibly further this undesired behavior or make it worse.
Cat Not Using Litter Box
Just like us, they want privacy too. Make the box easily accessible and ensure that the entrances are not blocked. If your cat has dementia, position the box in a very quiet area so they do not get confused by any external traffic and noise.
You should keep the litter box in the same location because, again, cats like routine. Moving your cat’s stuff around will stress him out and potentially further these behavioral issues.
Never put your cat’s food and water dishes near the litter box. Dirty litter can get into the cat’s bowls and then travel to your sink. This is unsanitary for you and your cat.
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Next Look For Signs Of Constipation
Now that you’ve ruled out a UTI, let’s address constipation. Be aware that some cats may be found straining in locations other than the litter box. The reason? Cat psychology. The cat goes to the litter box and strains to have a bowel movement. The straining causes pain and the pain is then associated with the litter box. Your poor cat may attempt to go to the bathroom in places such as the bathtub or on your favorite rug. Do not scold your cat for this as scolding will feed the negative association.