How should I deal with cat constipation?

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Cat constipation can be tricky to handle, since your cat can’t tell you how it’s feeling!

If you’re looking for advice regarding cat constipation, your highest priority is undoubtedly your pet’s well-being. You just want your furry friend to feel better, and as such, it can be frustrating when you find yourself unsure of what to do. Make no mistake – if you believe your animal’s health is at serious risk, get it to a veterinarian immediately!  

If this isn’t the case, however, and you’re hoping to uncover solutions that might save you a trip to the vet, in addition to saving your cat a great deal of discomfort, the following tips might be exactly what you’re looking for.   

Identifying other issues beyond feline constipation

Constipation alone can be a big issue, as well as a painful experience – just ask your cat! Although he or she might not be able to speak English, the signs of distress will likely be easy enough for you to spot. However, there’s always going to be a chance that there are other issues present, some of which could actually be much more serious than cat constipation. For this reason, it’s crucial to be able to tell the difference.  

Dr. Scott Nimmo, a Cat Veterinary Expert on JustAnswer, stresses the importance of distinguishing between the two variations of feline constipation: “…there would be two kinds of constipation in the cat, the first would be a simple or primary constipation which happens now and again and is not related to any disease process and may be related to feeding,” Dr. Nimmo says, before leading into the other, more serious, possibility.  

“But cats can appear to be constipated on a secondary basis for other reasons such as bowel obstruction or cancers of the bowel or diseases involving stasis of the bowel. This of course this is rare and you would usually see other signs related to this situation,” he explains.  

These other signs would warrant a trip to the vet, as you’d be unlikely to provide a suitable treatment for more serious medical issues on your own. Further testing, like an X-ray scan, could uncover the real issues at hand. But what if you’re not sure about what this kind of warning sign could look like?   

Dr. Peter, a Veterinary Expert on JustAnswer, is here to shed some light on what could indicate problems beyond cat constipation: “It is important to make sure he is urinating. Often cats are blocked (unable to urinate) and owners believe it is constipation. Being blocked is an emergency, for this reason it is important to make certain he is urinating.”  

Identifying the cat constipation remedy that can help your pet 

Research on the subject will reveal a number of different options for improving a constipated cat’s condition, but figuring out which ones are plausible isn’t always a simple matter. Luckily, there are some trustworthy resources out there – including the Experts on Justanswer!  

Christine, a Certified Veterinary Technician on Justanswer, recommends adding vegetable or mineral oil to your cat’s feedings as a cat constipation remedy. “Just a few drops extra at first if she’s still eating, as you don’t want to overdo it and cause diarrhea,” she warns, emphasizing the value of careful moderation. “You can always increase the amount once again. The oil will lubricate the intestinal lining and push the contents along the tract more quickly than normal.”

She goes on to recommend a preventative measure that could help keep your pet clear of constipation in the future. “Once regulated, stop the oil, but you may want to add a higher fiber to the diet,” she advises. Christine also stresses the importance of not giving your pet anything that could cause more harm than good. “You don’t want to give your cat Motrin, Tylenol, Excedrin, nor any aspirin type of medications — they are all toxic to cats as they do not have the liver function to properly metabolize these drugs”.  

What’s a good natural laxative for cats?

Given the choice, a lot of people would prefer to give their cats a natural alternative to medication. If you fall into this category and your pet has been suffering from constipation, there could be a remedy that suits what you’re looking for! When asked for assistance by a customer who has tried to treat her cat’s constipation with Benefiber to no effect, Dr. Scott Nimmo offered advice that included a natural laxative for cats that some of us might have sitting in our pantries at this very moment. 

“On a home remedy basis one of the things that might help is canned pumpkin, not pumpkin pie filling,” Dr. Nimmo reveals. “This is a gentle stool softener for cats which makes it a good natural remedy for constipation.” Scott goes on to stress the importance of using plain canned pumpkin instead of artificial or sweetened pie filling, as the latter can actually make your cat sick.  

If you’re trying to find a cat constipation solution, and you aren’t sure if you’ll need to get your pet to the vet’s office, finding out is easy! Turn to the Experts at JustAnswer, and you’ll receive guidance that can grant you peace of mind.  


Do you have experience with cat constipation? It might not be the best conversation for parties, but you can share it in the comments below! 


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