How to Relieve Cat Constipation

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Constipation is an uncommon problem in cats, but it is typically treated with an increase of fiber in the cat's diet. Find out how kidney disease can cause a recurrence of constipation in cats with help from a veterinarian in this free video on cat constipation.

Part of the Video Series: Cat Health
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Video Transcript

Hi, I'm Dr. Carrie Burhenn, and I'm a veterinarian at the Feline Medical Clinic in Vancouver, Washington, and I'm here today to give you a little information on constipation in cats. Constipation is not that common a problem in cats, but it does occur. Unfortunately it's often confused with cats who are having urinary problems because the cat adopts relatively the same posture to crouch to either pass urine or to pass stool. So, you should have your cat checked if you're seeing that he's in the litter-box in and out and may be straining because it could be one or either of the causes. If your cat is actually constipated, your veterinarian may talk to you about providing a diet that is a little higher in fiber that may help with regularity so stool is passed more regularly. Sometimes, some cats actually need to have an enema given to free up stool that has become too dry or too large to pass comfortably for the cat, but once this is relieved then your veterinarian will talk to you about measures that can be done to help prevent the constipation from recurring in the first place. This may involve actually checking for underlying illnesses that may cause constipation in cats, such as kidney disease that causes them to lose excessive amounts of water through their urine so that they have very little moisture left to keep their stool nice and moist and pass regularly, but it can also be due to other medical conditions. And there are some laxatives that can be safely used in cats, but these again are judged very carefully on an individual case. Sometimes things as simple as hairball remedy can be given on a regular basis, which again the frequency can be judged by your veterinarian to actually help with stool passage on a regular daily, or every-other-day basis. There are also some medical prescription laxatives that can be used. In no case should an over-the-counter human laxative be used on a cat because they actually can cause very severe side effects and may make your cat even sicker by causing it to start to vomit and dehydrate and that will compound the problem. If you're concerned that your cat has a constipation problem, again, should be checked by a veterinarian to rule out other medical problems or a urinary problem first. And then a preventative care treatment can be set up that usually is not progr--, or, not invasive, and doesn't cause a lifelong detriment to the cat and that can be done on a regular schedule so everyone is happy.


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