Treating cat constipation can be easy to do if not caused by a more serious condition. If you notice that your cat has a lack of bowel movements, is lethargic, or has a decreased appetite, cat constipation is the likely cause. Symptoms include infrequent bowel movements, straining while defecating, pain during defecation, and decreased amounts of stool. While cat constipation is more likely in older or overweight cats, it can strike at any age. Most healthy cats have one or two bowel movements a day. A few simple changes to your cat's diet will treat cat constipation as well as prevent it in the future.
Treating Cat Constipation
Make sure your cat stays hydrated. Dehydration is one of the leading causes of cat constipation. Switch to wet cat food; it contains water to help keep your cat hydrated. You should also provide your cat with fresh water at all times. As a rule of thumb, your animal should consume 2.5 times the water as its daily food intake. Some of this will be obtained from the wet food.
Increase fiber to treat cat constipation. Add bran or another fiber supplement (like Metamucil) to its food. Ask your vet to help you determine the correct amount for your cat. Alternately, you can mix canned pumpkin with your cat's regular food or give your cat a teaspoon of pumpkin a couple times a day. This can help relieve cat constipation within 24 hours. Another alternative is switching your cat to a food that is higher in fiber. If you choose this option, introduce the food gradually over five to seven days by mixing a little of the high fiber food in with its regular food, increasing the higher fiber food each time.
Provide your cat with plenty of activity to treat cat constipation. Constipation is much more likely in cats that are sedentary or obese. Exercise will help your cat maintain a healthy weight which will lessen the likelihood of him becoming constipated.
Warnings about Recurring or Chronic Cat Constipation
Only try to treat cat constipation yourself if it has been less than three days. If your cat has been constipated for more than a couple of days or if constipation is recurring, contact your veterinarian. It could be possible that the constipation is a symptom of a more serious condition, such as impaction, and may require surgery.