How to Relieve Feline Constipation

Cats of all ages can suffer from constipation.
Cats of all ages can suffer from constipation. (Image: cat image by John Hofboer from

Constipation in cats is not something most owners think about, although it affects a surprising number of cats. Constipation is an abnormally large accumulation of feces in the intestine and the subsequent inability to pass the fecal matter. Cats become constipated for a variety of reasons, including hairball obstructions, changes in food and inadequate water consumption. Relieving feline constipation is necessary for the health and well-being of your cat.

Things You'll Need

  • Water bowl
  • Cat laxative
  • Canned pumpkin
  • Canned cat food
  • Measuring spoons

Schedule an appointment with your veterinarian to have your cat examined. Constipation can be treated at home, but it is important to make sure there are no underlying physical reasons for the blockage.

Leave fresh water out for your cat at all times. Constipation often occurs when your cat is not taking in enough water and dried fecal matter becomes stuck in the intestines. Refill his water bowl often to encourage him to drink.

Give your cat a dose of cat laxative. Open your cat’s mouth and squeeze the prescribed dose onto the back of your cat’s tongue and gently hold his mouth closed until he swallows the medication. You can purchase cat laxative at most pet supply stores and proper dosing instructions will be listed on the packaging.

Switch half of your cat’s normal dry food ration to canned food to add extra moisture to his diet. Canned food has high water content and will not only help infuse more water into his digestive system, the strong odor will entice him to eat it.

Feed your cat two tablespoons of canned pumpkin to help loosen up his digestive system. Pumpkin is full of digestible fiber and will help lubricate and free up any impacted feces in the intestines. If your cat does not want to eat the pumpkin alone, mix it in with two tablespoons of canned cat food.

Tips & Warnings

  • Make sure to groom your cat frequently to remove excess hair that can lead to hairballs and blockages. Daily brushing and a weekly bath will help reduce hairball issues in your cat.
  • Don't allow your cat to remain constipated for too long. If he does not pass feces within two or three days, return him to your vet to avoid any further health problems.

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