What Causes Constipation in Cats?

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Constipation is a buildup of stool in the colon, and cats that are constipated are usually dehydrated or obese. Learn about the problems that can be caused by extensive constipation in cats with help from a veterinarian in this free video on cat health.

Part of the Video Series: Dog & Cat Tips
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Video Transcript

Let's talk about constipation in cats and some of the causes. Constipation essentially is building up of stool in the colon. This is a radio graph of a cat laying on it's side, it's chest is here and what we're looking at here is the abdomen. And so this tube is the colonand it has inside some air but lots of large amount of fecal balls in there. And so when that happens in cats very commonly, they become constipated and have a very difficult time going. That can be a very critical situation for a lot of cats. They can become very very sick if they become constipated. So check with your veterinary clinic and have them checked out if you think that's what's going on. Now some of the cause are varying quite a bit actually. Part of the primary reason we see a lot of constipation is dehydration. Now dehydration can be for a lots of different things. Infections and fever, not drinking enough obviously, diabetes, you can see kidney disease and things like that cause dehydration. Therefore, what happens is the body starts pulling water out of the stool in the colon to gain as much water as they can. And therefore they get this nice big fecal ball in there that they can't pass. Other cause very commonly associated with this is obesity and large cats very commonly will have larger stool production and have a difficult time passing that. And sometimes if constipation goes on and on, the colon itself can expand, called mega colon. And when that happens it loses some of it's strength and it's ability to actually move and get rid of stool from the colon and therefore they can have even more constipation build up. So if you think there's any constipation, have your cat veterinary check first. There are a lot of causes. Another one could be lack of fiber in the diet or too much fiber in the diet. But again, all this can be diagnosed by your veterinary clinic and they can help you figure out if that's what's going on and how to treat it.

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