Cats can get constipated just like people do, but it’s not always obvious because cats are very good at hiding health problems and not showing pain. However, constipation can lead to bigger health problems like Megacolon if left untreated.
We’ve searched the internet and asked everyone we know to find as many natural home remedies as we could find to help you get started dealing with this problem so you can enjoy a better quality of life before it causes any permanent damage. Continue reading while we take a look at each remedy and explain how it works, how to find it, or how to make it to help you get your cat back to normal as quickly as possible.
How Do I Know if My Cat Is Constipated?
Cats are notorious for hiding pain and other medical conditions. However, an attentive owner can usually pick up on small changes in the cat’s behavior that gives it away. If you notice your cat has a tense abdomen, small hard stools, and a hunched posture, it may be experiencing a bout of constipation. Your cat is also likely to spend a lot of time in the litter box without results. They may even cry in the litter box. Some cats will avoid the litter box altogether and have a lack of appetite.
Untreated constipation can lead to megacolon, which is a condition where the colon dilates, and the muscles are too weak to push waste from the system.
Natural Home Remedies
Here is the list of natural home remedies that we have been able to locate for you.
1. Increase Fluids
Increasing your cat’s water consumption is the best first step you can take, and it can be quite effective at relieving constipation. Dehydration is a leading cause of constipation, and if your cat is normally healthy, there’s a good chance that water will be the cure.
If you find it hard to convince your cat to drink more water, you can try purchasing a fountain. Electric fountains help keep the water tasting fresh by adding oxygen, and it also helps to lure the cat by sound and by sight.
2. Canned Wet Food
Canned wet cat food can be a great way to add water to your cat’s diet if they don’t drink enough. It’s also usually higher in fat. Dry food is the preferred food because it helps clean your cat’s teeth, but if your cat is experiencing chronic constipation, wet cat food can make a difference.
3. Change Foods
If you have recently switched to a new brand of food, there is a good chance that the food is behind constipation. Cats can also have a hard time dealing with certain foods as they age, which can lead to constipation. Switching back to their regular food could help if you recently switched, but you’ll need to try a different brand if your cat has been eating the same food for a while.
4. Probiotic Supplements
If the brand you have chosen to feed your cat doesn’t contain probiotics, you can still add them as a supplement. Probiotics are a great help with constipation, and they also help you can maintain a healthy digestive system with fewer occurrences of constipation.
- Related Read: How to Make a Constipated Kitten Poop
5. Fiber-Rich Foods
One more thing you should consider when choosing a brand of cat food is its fiber content. A food higher in fiber can help regulate your cat’s digestive system in much the same way it does for humans. In many cases, a trip to the vet concerning constipation will have you increasing fluid consumption and switching to a brand of cat food with high fiber content. You may need to reduce the fiber content again once the cat is regulated to avoid runny stools.
6. Maintain a Healthy Weight
Overweight cats tend to get constipated more than underweight cats. The best way to make sure your pet stays at the right weight is to make sure they get plenty of exercises and at a high-quality diet. Anyone who owns a cat knows how much they like their treats, and it’s easy to give them too many, which can lead to obesity and regular occurrences of constipation.
We recommend cutting back on treats as much as possible, especially if you notice your cat getting overweight. You can also try to purchase healthier treats that supply more nutrition and not as many calories.
7. Increase Exercise
Increasing exercise is another great way to manage your cat’s weight and reduce the occurrences of constipation. Cats are very lazy, especially overweight cats. Cats can easily sleep up to 15 hours a day and still take short naps, so it can be quite challenging to help them get enough exercise.
Allowing your cat a few minutes outside can be helpful. If you keep your cat indoors, you can try enclosing a porch with netting or screen to give them time outside without risking them escaping. You can also play with them to help them burn more calories. A laser penlight works amazingly well to get your cat motivated to run, and they will often chase with vigor until they get tired.
- We reviewed the best laser pens of 2020 – Check out our top picks here!
8. Reduce Anxiety
Anxiety can cause constipation, and it can also cause weight gain, which leads to constipation. There are quite a few things that can cause a lot of anxiety in a cat, including fighting family members and other cats living in the household. If you feel like another cat in the household is stressing out your pet, you can try pheromone treatment. Pheromones are a product that you can purchase to spray or plug in to send calming pheromones into the air.
You cannot smell the pheromones, but cats can, and there’s plenty of evidence that they relax cats and reduce anxiety. Pheromones can also help curb scratching and clawing behavior and can help multiple cats get along. The downside to pheromones is that they don’t work on every cat, and there’s no way to tell beforehand how your cat will react.
9. Add More Litter Boxes
Adding more litter boxes can help, especially if the reason for the constipation is a refusal to use a box another cat is using. Cats are finicky and often won’t budge over territorial disputes, so if your cat doesn’t use the one you have provided, you will need to provide another. You should always have one litter box per cat plus one.
10. Food Laxatives
The previous remedies are largely for preventative care and work best to keep your pet from becoming constipated or having chronic constipation. However, if your cat is already constipated, you are going to need something to act as a mild laxative to help get things moving again. There are a few foods you can give to your cat in small amounts that can help, including pumpkin, ginger, licorice, and aloe vera juice.
You need to administer these foods carefully because a little can go a long way, especially if you have not tried these foods before to see how sensitive your cat is to them.
11. Over the Counter Laxatives
We highly recommend talking with your veterinarian before you give your cat any over the counter laxatives. However, sometimes these laxatives are the only way to avoid further complications, like Megacolon. Once the vet gives the go-ahead, there are several brands of over the counter laxatives that work very well at relieving your pet of constipation.
Be aware that a laxative can cause your cat to lose control of itself temporarily, and it may not be able to make it to the litter box when the medicine takes effect. Therefore, we recommend isolating the cat in an area that’s easy to clean until the procedure is complete.
It’s easy to think of constipation as no big deal, but for cats, it can cause serious health problems in the future if it occurs too often. A diet that contains a lot of water is critical. Fountains can help get your cat’s attention and convince them to drink. A small amount of wet cat food each day can also help them ingest more moisture and a food high in fiber will help keep them regulated. If they do become constipated and you notice it quickly, the food laxatives should be all you need to get your cat regular again, but if your cat seems unusually distressed, it’s time for the vet and commercial laxatives.
We hope you have enjoyed reading and found a few ways you hadn’t considered to ease your cat’s constipation or prevent it altogether. If we have helped you, please share these natural home remedies for cat constipation on Facebook and Twitter.
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