Constipation in cats is often avoidable with the right diet. You can tell a lot about your cat’s health by looking at what is in the box, litter box that is. Just like with us, your cat’s bowel movements can be a predictor of what is going on in your cat’s body. For example a constipated cat with dry crumbly poop can be a sign of kidney issues whereas loose poops can mean intestinal inflammation and stomach upset.
Our cats should be having a bowel movement at least once a day. The stool should be dark brown in color and be firm but not rock hard and shaped like a log. It’s a good idea when scooping your cat’s box to monitor your cat’s output.
Sadly, constipation in cats can go unnoticed. Our cats are great at hiding things when something is not right, so it’s up to us to know the signs. A constipated cat might go a few days without pooping and when he or she goes they tend to have a hard time passing the stool. If left untreated, constipation can cause lack of appetite, weight loss and vomiting.
Constipation and Diet
The most common reason for constipation in cats is directly related to diet. The lack of moisture and/or dietary fiber. Cats fed a dry food diet are getting virtually no moisture at all from their food. Kibble can cause hard stools which are hard to pass aka constipation. Along with diet, not getting enough exercise can also add to the issue and the constipation can get worse.
We can help our cats avoid as well as help resolve constipation by simply switching them to a moisture rich diet. We suggest not feeding dry food but if you do feed kibble make sure you are adding some canned food or fresh food to their diet as well.
Also, let’s get our kitties moving. Shoot for playing with them for at least 20 minutes a day and if you can do that twice even better!
Though the most common cause of constipation in our cats is diet related, other issues can contribute to this too. If your cat is getting plenty of moisture in his or her diet and is still struggling be sure to get your kitty to the vet for a complete check up.