Signs of constipation:
Elderly cats are most at risk of problems with their bowel movements but an inadequate amount of fibre in the diet is a top reason why younger cats suffer from the condition.
If the cat is showing any of the signs of constipation, it is worth contacting your vet. In many cases, a little treatment at home or a change of diet may be the key to solving to problem. But if these problems are combined with other issues, something more serious may be to blame. Seek out your vet immediately if you notice any of the following problems:
· Crying out or straining when trying to pass a stool
· Small, dry or hard stools that are covered with blood or mucus
· Going to the litter tray frequently without anything happening
· Loss of appetite
· Loss of weight
· Signs of pain in the abdomen
· Failure to groom themselves
Causes and treatments:
There are a number of reasons why cats can become constipated. These range from problems with their diet such as not enough water intake or a low fibre diet as well as problems with excessive grooming or hairballs. They can also get the condition through a blockage in their system from hair or other causes as well as eating things they shouldn't. It can be a side effect of some medications, though this would be listed on the packaging. In more serious cases, constipation can be a sign of a tumour or intestinal obstruction, a neurological disorder or a problem with their colon. It can occasionally be as a result of the cat being obese. It can also occur in cats suffering from diabetes as well as if the cat has a hernia of some kind.
The treatments recommended by your vet depend largely on the cause of the problem. A stool softener or laxative may be administered at home if the vet recommend it and sometimes a vet will use an enema. Never use an over-the-counter human product for this as it will likely to toxic to cats. Medication may be needed to strengthen the large intestine and even a manual evacuation of the bowels may be performed. At the worst case, surgery may be needed to remove an obstruction or a tumour.
The vet may also recommend a special diet with a high-fibre content as well as adding fibre to their diet through foods such as canned pumpkin, bran cereal or a medication such as Metamucil. Increasing their water consumption and their exercise levels may also be a part of curing the problem. If they suffer with hairballs or excessive grooming problems, then frequent brushing may help alleviate the problem.