Why My Cat Constipated? 7 Reasons Why Your Cat Constipated

Why may cat constipated

In this article I will answer the questions:

Why My Cat Constipated?

What is constipation?

What can cause constipation?

Why does a cat get constipated?

How can we help the cat to release him/her from pain?


Imagine! You are sitting on your toilet seat and trying to relieve yourself from the last couple of dishes you had. You start sweating and the pain level is increasing. The door to release whatever wants and needs to come out is blocked, and the pain is excruciating.

Some food you have had was already bad, maybe you are allergic to some food you have had without knowing it. Whatever, right now all your thoughts and wishes are to relief yourself, not only from the pain, as far more of the, let us name it what it is… the poop!

I think you can relate to the situation described, right?

What about the cat? Does a cat go through the same process?

Well, let’s look into it more in depth!

Over 42 million Americans suffer of constipation according to the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Disease.

1. What is constipation?

Constipation is when the bowel movement has a real hard time to pass the door of your body. One of the most common cause is the slow movement of stool in the colon, also irritable bowel movement of the pelvic disorder.

Causes for constipation problems or complications can include:


Hemorrhoids (picture) - cushions that help with stool control, become a disease when swollen or inflamed. You also name them piles.

Anal or rectal fissure -is a break or tear in the skin of the anal canal. You can notice it when you have blood on toilet paper. It may cause pain.

A cat goes through the same process! Frequent trips to the litterbox but the final freedom given success of losing what needs to be wasted has no or not the hoped success. The stool is too hard and dry. What is a possible outcome?

- Vomiting

- Loss of appetite

- Lethargy

- Weight loss

What should you do as an owner of the cat do in this situation? How does it show in a cat's bowl movement?

Make sure that the cat has their everyday stool movement. The problem sometimes is that not every cat is crying or whining when he/she cannot constipate as supposed to. Symptoms of constipation are viewable in form of litter box sand does not glue on the stool as they should.

- The poop has to be moistures and sticky.

Why does my cat get constipated?

Different causes might be the problem why a cat is constipated. These are the most common reasons:

  • Dehydration
  • Not enough fiber in their diet
  • Low-fiber diet
  • Hairballs/excessive grooming
  • Blocked or abscessed anal sacs
  • Enlarged prostate gland
  • Tangled hair on the buttocks
  • Swallowed bones
  • Swallowed hairball

Ingestion of foreign objects such as string, cloth, bones, etc.

Side Effects of Medication

  • Tumor or other intestinal obstruction
  • Neurologic disorder
  • Obesity
  • Abnormal colon shape or motility

Which cats are most likely to get constipated?

Usually older cats but not only. Kitten also can suffer of constipation. The reason being is dehydration. Why?

They usually eat dry kibble food instead of moister food. The recommended 70 -75 % water ratio of water intake is probably not hit by solemnly feed a little kitty only kibble food. Therefore, dehydration is pretty much guaranteed because only feeding her kibble food they are ending up with a water intake of roughly 10-12% which is far of the targeted 70-75%.

 Unlike other animals as dogs for instance, they do not make up the difference at the water bowl. So, with deprivation of water, chronically dehydration and in the end constipation is almost inevitable. Without necessary water intake the kidneys starts mal- function and stools turn dry, hard and painful to pass at the end.

Another aspect is a cat that is turning to live a kind of ‘Garfield‘ lifestyle; meaning: eating a lot but not doing any kind of exercise resembles the same result at the end. Physical exercise is a must in a daily cat’s life. It stimulates the rhythmic muscle contractions in the colon. As I mentioned already, many domestic cats do not go outside, instead eating a lot without the exercise necessary to make up for the gained calories eating the wrong food and too little exercise.

Grooming a cat and leaving fur hairball can cause constipation as well. Cats tend to swallow fur hair after groomed by cleansing themselves with their tongue. Especially cats already deprived of sufficient water solemnly fed kibble food and insufficient exercise are prolonged to get constipated.

How to Help or Treat a Constipated Cat?

My first recommendation is the visit at a local veterinarian. He probably recommends a for a more moisture diet (if you fed your kitty or cat solemnly kibble food). Further down the line a physical examination, like blood test and urinalysis will show if an inadequate non diet caused constipation. In some cases an x-ray of the spine, color and hind limbs helping evaluating what further steps to take to pinpoint the exact cause.

In the cause explained above, however, treatment of chronic constipation needs a transition from kibble food to moisture (canned) food and more exercise.

Keep in mind that this process takes weeks in some cases even months to show their fruits. Not only does it resolve the constipation issue as much more the overall health. Once your cat starts consuming canned food, you can even go a step further and start feeding an unprocessed fresh food diet.

Additional Things that Help the Process

Start adding water to your cat’s food to lubricate the colon. Even better. Why not flavoring the water!

Cola, chocolate, vanilla flavor… just kidding!

No, seriously, tuna water is a great way to entice cat’s food since he/she is a carnivore.

Make sure your cat starts with some exercise even he/she does not like the idea at all (watch the ‘Garfield exercise video’).

Start adding little chunks of pumpkin or coconut fiber in each meal.

If you know that your cat has some residues of hairball start a non-petroleum hairball remedy to each meal or coconut oil as an alternative. This helps to accelerate the hairball movement through the gastrinal index tract. (pic of GI tract) and link to wikipedia.

gi trac of a cat

If you happen to like the idea of natural therapy, why not go the acupuncture or chiropractic way. Many cats owner did and swear on its success!

As more the intake of aloe vera juice with their daily food diet.

For specific suggestions on what types of natural laxatives are helpful down the line, please ask a holistic veterinarian for their opinion and recommendations.

By WikipedianProlific and Mikael Häggström - File:Hemorrhoid.png by WikipedianProlific, CC BY-SA 3.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=21410543

Why my cat constipated?

Constipation remedies


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