Some pet situations are more disheartening than others and a constipated cat surely comes in the top 5 such problems.
However, at the same time, you should also know that mild constipation is pretty regular with cats and it’s nothing to worry about.
It’s the prolonged condition that you should worry about.
How to help your constipated cat
With that being said, let’s see 5 ways in which you can help your constipated cat.
1. More fiber helps in constipation
Fiber intake almost always helps a cat experiencing constipation of any level.
First of all, you should be trying various time-tested, vet-approved, and home-based ways of introducing higher fiber content in your cat’s food.
A few items that will help increase the fiber content in your cat’s regular food are canned pumpkin, wheat bran, beet pulp, oat fiber, mixed pea fibers, and so on.
Remember, fibers are of different kinds: insoluble, soluble, and mixed. Which sort your cat needs might depend on the nature of constipation and the cause. Also, the amount and duration of mixing these sources with food also vary.
It’s always a good idea to start with a lower fiber diet and then moving on to higher.
2. Fiber products if home remedies don’t work might be a good option
There are plenty of high fiber products for your cat that will be really good to fill its daily requirement.
However, there’s catch with these products. Your cat’s medical record, daily routine, current health, and even the breed will be important in determining which products will be good if you need a healthy dose of fiber through external products, if you need them at all or if they will be beneficial in the first place or not.
And for this, I always recommend going to your vet. A vet will be able to rightly determine which product to use for your cat’s fiber needs if home remedies aren’t able to or too slow in relieving symptoms of constipation.
Here are a few products that are usually recommended for external fiber intake in cats:
- Metamucil: It helps cats experiencing constipation (and other varieties of digestion-related problems like diarrhea). Metamucil is a bulk-forming laxative and the general recommendation is mixing anywhere from one to four teaspoons of Metamucil with your cat’s regular food every day. Again, always consult your vet, sometimes they need a higher dose of four teaspoons while at others, a much milder one. Some cats might also need a dose every 12 hours.
- Laxatone: Laxatone isn’t a product that will specifically target constipation but the entire digestive tract itself. It’s a great product and chances are that you’ve already heard of it. Commonly used for clearing hairballs, it’s a highly edible and gentle lubricant that will take care of a large variety of problems that cause constipation-related problems in cats.
- Miralax: Essentially known as a stool softener, Miralax is another popular product with vets recommended for constipation and other digestion-related problems in cats. Every 12 to 24 hours, mix a couple of teaspoons of Miralax with your cat’s food and you’ll be good to go.
3. Water is critical to getting rid of your cat’s constipation
Without proper water intake, all other remedies won’t work effectively and swiftly.
Now, clearly, not all cats find water very interesting (with the glaring exception of Turkish vans – those guys simply love water and we love them for it!) and it might be a problem increasing their water intake. Here are a few techniques you might try:
- Place more than one water bowl near the food and at different places so that they run into the water more often.
- Canned diet provides a higher amount of content than regular cat food.
- Dripping faucets, ice cubes, cat water fountains, etc. are some creative ways for more curious cat breeds (we’re looking at you – Munchkins!). In either case, running water has a greater success rate with cats than water in bowls.
- Juices like tuna, chicken, clam, etc. mixed with water work really well with cats that don’t drink enough water during constipation.
- You can also try making smoothies for your cat, but avoid fruits and vegetables that they cannot eat. Check this list for more smoothie details.
4. Diet consultation might be in order
You should consult your vet if a diet change is in order.
Diet changes improve constipation symptoms in multiple ways. For example, obesity increases the risk of constipation and so reducing weight is a good bet with many cats to improve its health.
High fiber diets, high protein-low carbs, or exercising – mixed with an improved diet might be all your cat needs to get healthy once more.
5. Try to remove stress in simple ways
Your cat’s overall health also depends largely on its stress. Constipated cats might need additional exercise, more playtime, or simply more comfort during a situation like this. Needless to mention, you can’t really expect your cat to play more or indulge in more exercising if he or she is constipated, so this tip is more applicable once your cat is recovering.
For example, Abyssinians love heights a lot more than most other breeds and that’s something that you can utilize in your cat’s recovering phase. Whatever your cat loves the most – make sure there’s plenty of it.
It’ll ease the recovery process by a great deal.
Before we end
Always remember that quite similar to humans, simple diet changes like inclusion of more fiber and drinking more water can help considerably with constipation in cats too.
However, there are certain gastro tract qualities that are different in cats and so it’s always a good idea to consult a vet before you go for over-the-counter pills or home remedies off the internet.
With that in mind, you can easily take care of your constipated cat and it will get well in no time.