Just as with Humans, cats can be susceptible to constipation. It’s actually quite common in cats, and can become a problem as they reach older years (after around 8 years). If you have a constipated cat, it probably has symptoms such as: infrequent or no bowel movements, a significantly smaller amount of stool, or increased strains as it is trying to defecate. Your cat has healthy bowel movements if it can go at least once or twice a day. There is however, no exact rule on how much your cat should be going a day.
Some warning signs that your cat may be dealing with constipation is as follows: Repetitive trips to their litter box, painful poops, hard times defecating, Crying and licking of anal area. In some cases, these can be misleading, as your cat may have a urinary obstruction instead. Always consult your cat’s veterinarian, as a urinary obstruction is an emergency, especially in a male cat.
Constipation affects the gastrointestinal tract in both humans and cats. It is not a disease, but it left unattended, your Constipated cat could develop a serious life-threatening condition. If you feel that your cats bowel movements are irregular or you haven’t noticed any bowel movements in a couple of days, you should probably talk to your cat’s veterinarian.
The symptoms your constipated cat may face worsen as time progresses. The cat may become lethargic, lose its appetite, hunch and crouch because of discomfort in the abdominal area, and even vomit. In some cases, your Constipated cat could even pass a tiny amount of bloody diarrhea.
In most cases, treatment for this symptom involves either managing a dose of medication for your cat, or removing the cause of the constipation. Relieving your constipated cat can involve the use of glycern and enemas, to produce induced defecations. In some cases though, your cat may need manual removal of the feces.Some people choose to use supplementary fiber for their constipated cat (psyllium, bran). Some cats may eat this, while others won’t. Another approach is the use of prescription medications propulcid and lactulose, these medications both soften the stool, and helps the defecation process.
In some cases, medical management could have no effect on your Constipated Cat. The next approach would then be surgery. Surgery is highly successful, and most cats have a very normal life afterwards. The major surgery involves the removal of a lot, if not most of the colon, with the remaining ends being reconnected. This will then allow your cat to defecate properly. The only downfall to this procedure is the risk that leakage could occur were the ends of the colon were rejoined. This is life-threatening, as it causes an infection within the abdominal cavity. Small complications just like in human surgery, can occur after surgery is done on your cat, but usually there is only a small risk of this. For most cats the surgery is completely successful.
If you are concerned that you may have a constipated cat, you should first consult your cats veterinarian. A couple of things you can do while waiting for the symptoms to clear up is making sure that your cats hydrated, and feeding it high fiber meals, just like you would if you had a constipation problem.