Severe constipation in cats: causes and how to treat it

Severe constipation in cats: causes and how to treat it

Severe constipation in cats

Severe constipation in cats, or difficult or infrequent bowel movement, is a very common affliction. It is actually the most common digestive system issue in cats. This usually happens when the cat does not have the habit of drinking too much water, which then causes them to become constipated.

If you realize that your cat is constipated, you should act quickly. This is never a normal condition and it should be treated by a veterinarian.

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Causes of severe constipation in cats

The lack of elimination in your cat may be due to several reasons.

  • Dehydration in cats
  • Low-fiber diet
  • Tangled hair on the buttocks
  • Ingestion of foreign objects
  • Hairballs from excessive grooming
  • Blocked anal sacs
  • Obesity
  • Neurological disorder
  • Abnormal colon shape or motility
  • Stress
  • A dirty litter box

What are the signs of severe constipation in cats

It is not really too difficult to identify the signs of severe constipation in cats. Essentially, cats will be very vocal if they have difficulty defecating. If you see any of the following symptoms in your cat, you should call your veterinarian right away.

Remember that severe constipation is a big deal. First, it causes a lot of discomfort in your cat and second, recurring events of these may cause irreversible enlargement of the colon. Sometimes, your cat will need to undergo surgery if you let thing escalate any more.

These are the signs you should check for:

  • Straining or painfully crying while defecating.
  • Loss of appetite
  • Dry, small, and hard stools, usually covered in blood or mucous.
  • Weight loss in cats
  • Lethargy in cats
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Decreased grooming


The type of medication your veterinarian will prescribe will depend on how severe the condition is. Do not ever attempt to prescribe a cat without consulting with a professional. The vet will prescribe the following:

  • Stool softener
  • Laxative
  • Enema, administered by a professional
  • High-fiber diet
  • Water consumption increase
  • Increase in exercise

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