Is your cat clogged up? A cat who can’t deliver its regular supply of cat poo is a troubled cat indeed. You’ll be thinking about cat laxative as a way to get things moving again. But first, there are a few things you should know.
Cat constipation is painful for moggy, and what’s painful for moggy is painful for you. Constipation can stop the cat from eating and cause vomiting or internal damage from the strain. And there is no sound on Earth quite like a cat crying as it strains to pass a solid.
Why might you need cat laxative?
Cat laxatives soften your cat’s poo to make it easier to pass if the creature is constipated. Many different things can cause cat constipation, but the most common is dehydration. When a cat is dehydrated, the body begins to find water where it can – including the colon (the main part of the intestine where the final ‘work’ is done before the poop comes out). This results in drier poo which, frankly, is not best suited to sliding smoothly from your cat’s bum.
Other dietary causes of constipation include lack of fibre or eating too many hairballs.
Constipation can also be caused by an obstruction. Or the creature may be stressed out or unhappy with its toilet arrangement. A cat needs a good size litter tray that is cleaned regularly.
Finally, your cat might suffer constipation as a result of obesity or a metabolic disease such as hypothyroidism. Medication can also cause constipation as a side-effect.
Symptoms of cat constipation include straining on the loo or passing small, hard poops. A cat normally has one (in)decent bowel movement a day, so if your pet is struggling to reach this target then you know he is constipated. Look out, too, for loss of appetite or weight, vomiting, or diarrhoea.
Is cat constipation dangerous?
Most cats will suffer from mild constipation from time to time. You could even say that constipation is within a cat’s nature. So it needn’t be a reason to worry. But it does need to be dealt with. And if the normal ways of unblocking that cat don’t work, that’s when you might need to worry.
That’s because a cat who stays constipated for a long time is likely to develop ‘chronic constipation.’ This is when the colon becomes over-enlarged and cannot contract any more, making it impossible for kitty to do a poo.
Should you use laxative for a cat’s constipation?
If your cat is constipated, the first step should be to make sure it has enough water to drink. If you address the dehydration issue, hopefully it should just take a day or so to get things up and running again. You can also try adding water to your cat’s food (if it has an appetite) to up its fluid intake. And switch that food up for something with more fibre in it.
If this doesn’t get the magic happening, you should probably contact the cat’s vet before going any further. The vet can make sure there’s nothing serious the matter, and may use an IV to rehydrate a dried-out moggy. If your cat has developed chronic constipation, the vet may use an enema, manual extraction, or suppositories to remove that backed-up poop.
If rehydration and diet changes haven’t helped, it is best to ask your vet at this stage whether to use laxatives. Different laxatives work in different ways. Some lubricate your cat’s gut; others help your cat to form friendlier poop. Some are to be taken while a cat is constipated, while others may be provided as an ongoing treatment to prevent the jam-up from happening again.
This is why it is best to consult with a vet before prescribing laxatives to a cat.
Preventing the need for cat laxative
Of course, your pet’s diet should be an area of close attention to begin with. A good, hearty poo is one of the few pleasures in a cat’s life, so taking care of its digestive system should be an ongoing concern.
Ensure your cat has a healthy, fibrous diet and good supply of clean, fresh water. Keep your cat’s eating place and its toilet place far apart, and keep the litter tray clean and easily accessible.
What goes in must come out. But it’s how you get it out that is the real art.