Assist! My cat is constipated…
My cat hasn’t pooped in Three days!
Whereas finding out your cat’s litter field habits might not be on the highest of your “to do” record, it ought to be. Consider it or not, you’ll need to be “all up within the know” about your cat’s bowel actions and digestive tract. That’s as a result of it’s necessary to observe how typically your cat urinates or has bowel actions. In regular wholesome cats, they need to use the litter field sometimes 2-Four instances per day, making up one poop and 2-Three normal-sized urinations (that are sometimes the dimensions of a girl’s clenched fist). In full disclosure, I exploit an automated kitty litter field and might monitor what number of visits my cat makes to the litter field on an app.
In case your cat’s defecation is each different day, then I’m nervous about obstipation (which implies extreme or full constipation, when no poop is popping out in any respect!)
So, what are medical indicators that my cat is constipated?
- Straining to urinate or defecate within the litter field
- Having bowl motion accidents outdoors of the litter field
- Having agency, dry, small fecal balls in or across the litter field
- Taking longer to defecate within the litter field or making a number of journeys to the litter field
- Lowered quantity or lack of feces within the litter field for a number of days
- Crying out in ache whereas defecating
- Having fecal matter caught to the fur on the rear finish
- Meowing extra close to the litter field
- Decreased urge for food
- Weight reduction
Now, remember that regular wholesome cats don’t sometimes develop into constipated. As a veterinarian, I see feline constipation extra within the following:
- Center-aged to older cats (as they're extra prone to have underlying well being issues)
- Overweight cats (who can’t groom their hind finish or perineal area)
- Cats with osteoarthritis that will have ache leaping into the litter field (which then requires ache medicine, a ramp and lower-walled litter packing containers)
- Cats with underlying medical issues
What are the frequent causes of constipation in cats?
- Metabolic illness that causes your cat to lose an excessive amount of water (e.g., power kidney illness, hyperthyroidism, diabetes, and so on.) and develop into dehydrated – which is why water consumption is so necessary as your cat ages!
- Feline idiopathic megacolon (the place the colon clean muscle isn’t working effectively)
- Pelvis/bone or nerve issues (like having had some sort of trauma like a pelvic fracture when your cat was youthful) or strictures within the area
- Most cancers
- Dietary Points
- Ache from arthritis
- Inherited causes (extra generally seen within the Manx cat)
- Overseas our bodies (e.g., one thing caught within the intestines from large hairballs to lacking toys)
Read more Ways to Help Your Constipated Cat
How does my cat get identified?
Your veterinarian will diagnose your cat with constipation primarily based on a number of issues, together with an intensive historical past (like what sort of meals you might be feeding, what the water sources are, and so on.), bodily examination findings (like palpating a considerable amount of feces within the colon, feeling the kidney dimension, and so on.), and a medical work up. A medical work up is necessary to search out the attainable trigger of constipation in your cat and can include the next:
- A minimal of blood work to test the kidney and liver perform, salt steadiness, protein degree, and blood sugar
- An entire blood depend to have a look at the white and purple blood cell depend
- A thyroid worth (in case your cat is over 8-9 years of age)
- A urine take a look at is necessary to have a look at how effectively the kidneys are working (the extra concentrated and yellow the urine being higher)
- X-rays will assist have a look at the dimensions of the pelvis opening, and search for any apparent most cancers or bodily causes for not having the ability to defecate
- An belly ultrasound in reoccurring instances of constipation to assist rule out most cancers.
As soon as this veterinary diagnostic work up is finished, crucial a part of making your cat snug and treating their constipation is getting that backed up feces out of there! Please know that some cats might have long-term medicine or dietary modifications to stop power constipation from taking place once more. That is necessary as a result of we need to stop megacolon, which is when the colon turns into chronically dilated and is troublesome to deal with long-term.
How do you deal with my cat’s constipation?
1. Altering your cat’s meals
Altering to a excessive fiber weight-reduction plan within the type of canned meals (which supplies extra water) is necessary for the long-term administration of constipation in cats. Ideally, this new meals ought to be excessive in soluble fiber, which is necessary for growing water into the stool, and is extremely digestible/fermentable. With cat constipation, I choose canned meals; nonetheless, not all cats will eat that! In case your cat solely eats dry meals, please know that there are excessive fiber, prescription dry cat meals too. Keep in mind, on the subject of cats, weight-reduction plan modifications ought to happen very slowly to permit them loads of time to acclimate. Psyllium merchandise (e.g., Metamucil™) may also be sprinkled onto meals, however remember that some cats received’t eat readily.
2. Fluid remedy
Whether or not given below the pores and skin (subcutaneous or “SQ”) or within the vein immediately (intravenous or “IV”), this is a crucial manner of serving to hydrate your cat and restore some moisture into the feces. That is additionally why it’s so necessary that your cat’s water consumption is enhanced – by offering clear, recent water always!
3. Stool softeners
There are a number of varieties of stool softeners utilized in cats. These could be over-the-counter (Miralax™) or prescription (e.g., lactulose). When doubtful, all the time test with a veterinarian first previous to utilizing these as they'll trigger secondary negative effects (like elevated potassium ranges or diarrhea).
- Miralax™ (polyethylene glycol 3350): This may be picked up over-the-counter and blended with a small quantity of canned cat meals. Examine together with your veterinarian first, however I typically use 1/Eight to 1/2 a teaspoon each 12-24 hours orally as wanted to deal with cat constipation. This drug helps pull extra water into the colon, however could cause modifications in salt steadiness so have to be used rigorously.
- Lactulose (A sticky, candy veterinary prescription liquid medicine to loosen the stool): It is a medicine that you need to get out of your veterinarian, and is a stool softener/laxative. I normally dose it at 1/2 – 3/Four of a tsp (2.5 – 3.75 mls) orally each 6-8-12 hours till the stool is looser. Use persistently for the subsequent 3-5 days, then solely as wanted to make the stool comfortable. That is designed to drag water into the gastrointestinal tract. Sadly, it’s tremendous sticky and onerous to get cats to take it readily!
In constipated cats, the usage of heat water enemas by your veterinarian will assist loosen the bowel actions so your cat can defecate. Generally we’ll even put in a short lived feeding tube (e.g., nasogastric tube) into the abdomen to move polyethylene glycol 3350 in over 8-12 hours to assist with defecation. Please know that you need to by no means give enemas at residence with out consulting your veterinarian or the ASPCA Animal Poison Management Middle. That’s as a result of I’ve seen cats develop life-threatening indicators from well-intentioned pet dad and mom utilizing sure varieties of Fleet enemas of their cat (Please go away enemas to your veterinarian and by no means administer these at residence!).
These are medication that assist the gastrointestinal tract contract extra. These are prescription drugs out of your veterinarian similar to cisapride (which is often solely out there for veterinary professionals or compounding pharmacies), metoclopramide, and ranitidine. Cisapride is regarded as the best.
In extreme instances that aren’t responding to remedy, your cat could should be anesthetized to manually take away the feces from the colon. No person likes this one.
7. Surgical procedure
In uncommon instances of megacolon which have failed medical administration, surgical procedure for a colectomy could be thought-about however is usually not advisable besides as a “final hope” sort of process.
8. Lastly, euthanasia
Clearly, that is one which we don’t need except the constipation is unmanageable. However some instances could be so extreme and troublesome to handle, that it turns into a power battle. That’s one of many the reason why I’m additionally such an advocate for Pumpkin Pet Care, so prices don’t should play a task in care.
Just remember to’re preserving your cat’s litter packing containers clear. The overall rule is “n+1.” In case you have 1 cat, you want two packing containers. In case you have Three cats, you want Four packing containers. And sure, simply because you've gotten extra packing containers doesn’t imply you'll be able to clear much less. Maintain them clear each single day to ensure your cat is urinating and defecating usually. Once more, litter packing containers are a unclean enterprise, nevertheless it’s so necessary to maintain your cat’s field clear so you'll be able to catch these medical issues like constipation ahead of later!
In terms of your cat’s litter field and general well being, it’s so necessary that you just monitor their bowel actions and digestive tract to assist maintain your cat wholesome.