Here’s How You Can Help If Your Cat Is Constipated

How dangerous is it when your cat is constipated – and what can you do about it? If you notice it in time, you can help your cat with home remedies. If there is no simple reason for the constipation, you should change the diet of your cat, so that the problem is not repeated.

Recognizing Constipation In Cats – The Typical Signs

How can you tell that your cat is constipated? It’s easy to see with indoor cats and those that are kept mostly indoors and use the litter box there: They visit the litter box frequently, but produce only small hard pellets or nothing at all. You know yourself how often your cat normally defecates and when it was the last time. If she skips a day, it doesn’t have to mean anything bad, but it shouldn’t last longer!
It is more difficult to judge the situation with an outdoor cat
, which normally does its business somewhere outside. Then you can’t know what her bowel movements looked like the last time and when that was. If she has no appetite, seems listless, has a bloated belly and may even vomit, these are signs that indicate severe constipation. If the cat can no longer be touched on the stomach, this is also a sign of constipation.

Possible Causes Of Constipation

It is sometimes not easy to see why a cat is constipated. The cause may be unfavorable circumstances, parasite infestation, but also diet. Ask yourself: Did something happen in the past few days that disturbed your cat’s rhythm? Or is it a gradual development that is getting worse and worse?
Typical causes of constipation are:

  • Lack of water
  • Hairballs
  • sticky fur at the anus
  • Side effect of medication
  • Parasite infestation
  • Inflammation of the intestine or anus
  • Foreign body swallowed
  • Posture problems (skeleton and joints)
  • too little exercise
  • Psychological problems

How Bad Is The Constipation?

Veterinarians divide the degree of constipation (constipation) in the cat into three levels:

  1. The cat rarely defecates. Here you can first try to improve the situation with home remedies.
  2. Chronic constipation – the cat has not defecated for a long time.
  3. The stool is not transported at all (coprostasis), and the cat is visibly unwell. This is a life-threatening emergency for your cat, and you should see the vet as soon as possible.

Home Remedies For The Cat Against Constipation

Change of food

One reason for constipation may be that your cat simply hasn’t been drinking enough. Therefore, change from dry to wet food. This way your cat will automatically drink more fluids.

More fiber

The natural food for a cat is mice. Normally it eats everything, the fur as well as the bones. For a cat’s stomach, a certain amount of fiber is normal and even a prerequisite for the intestines to function well. You can add fiber to your cat’s wet food, for example pumpkin vegetables, flaxseed or psyllium husks. However, you should not do this if your cat can no longer defecate.


Cow’s milk is not really part of the cat’s diet. Cats cannot process the milk sugar (lactose) it contains. Milk therefore has a laxative effect on most cats – and this effect can be used for constipation. The same effect is achieved with lactulose from the pharmacy, a substance derived from milk sugar. It is easy to dose and mix into the feed.
Edible oils are also mild laxatives and soften feces. However, many cats do not like the taste of olive or canola oil. Kerosene oil is a neutral-tasting alternative.

Laxatives will not help if the feces are too solid (stone feces) or if the intestines are blocked due to disease. If your cat has not been able to defecate for several days and is visibly struggling, you should see the vet as soon as possible.

Never Again Constipation Of The Cat: How You Can Prevent It

Constipation is unpleasant for the cat and additional stress for you. How can you save yourself and your cat from this? With regular deworming you can exclude parasite infestation. But it is also important to check again and again whether the diet is still suitable for the age and the habits of the cat. An older cat has different needs than a young one. Exercise is also an important factor. If your cat does not go outside regularly, you should have a scratching post in the apartment and play with it from time to time. Cat toys are also fun for humans!

That the litter box is in a quiet place and cleaned regularly, so that your cat likes to use it, is actually a matter of course, but should be mentioned here for the sake of completeness.

Diet that suits your cat!

If your cat is constipated again and again, you can’t avoid changing the cat food . Your cat needs more liquid and more fiber, so that it does not have to torture itself again and again. You have the following possibilities to prevent your cat from constipation:

  • Switch to more or only wet food
  • Mixing fiber into the wet food
  • Special food rich in dietary fiber

Give your cat time to get used to a new food. If she likes it and the digestion works, stick with it for at least a few weeks before trying another food.
If even high-fiber wet food alone is not enough for your cat to have long-term trouble digesting, you can add lactulose to the food.

FAQ – Frequently Asked Questions About Constipation In Cats

If your cat keeps going to the litter box, but has not defecated normally for two days, you must assume that he is constipated. Small, round, hard balls of feces are not normal. It is even worse if she cannot defecate at all. She may also have a distended abdomen, not look fit and be vomiting. Then you should see the vet.

What Home Remedies Help When The Cat Is Constipated?

Switch to wet food and mix in fiber. Milk, cooking oil mixed into the food or lactulose have a laxative effect. However, in severe cases or mechanical intestinal obstruction, laxatives will no longer help.

What Does The Vet Do When A Cat Is Constipated?

The veterinarian can tell if the constipation may have a cause other than “just” hard feces. He can clean out the intestines by giving an enema.

How Can I Prevent Cat Constipation?

Make sure your cat gets exercise and always has at least one clean litter box available in a quiet place. Give your cat a regular worming treatment. Feed more or only wet food, so that she takes up enough liquid. With this you create good conditions for your cat to have a problem-free digestion.

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