What to Give a Constipated Cat

In this article, we will explore various methods to alleviate constipation in cats, including dietary changes, home remedies, and when to seek veterinary.

What to Give a Constipated Cat

Having a constipated cat can be a worrisome and uncomfortable experience for both you and your feline companion. If you notice your cat having difficulty passing stools or exhibiting signs of discomfort, it's essential to take action

Understanding Constipation in Cats

Constipation occurs when a cat has difficulty passing stools regularly. It can be caused by various factors, such as inadequate water intake, a lack of fiber in the diet, underlying health conditions, or certain medications. Recognizing the symptoms of constipation is crucial to ensure prompt treatment and prevent further complications.

Symptoms of Constipation in Cats

Infrequent or no bowel movements for more than two days

Straining or vocalizing while attempting to defecate

Dry and hard stools

Loss of appetite

Lethargy and decreased activity levels

Abdominal discomfort or bloating

If your cat exhibits any of these symptoms, it's time to take action and help alleviate their discomfort.

Dietary Changes to Relieve Constipation

A cat's diet plays a vital role in their digestive health, including preventing or alleviating constipation. Here are some dietary changes you can make to assist your constipated cat:

1. Increase Water Intake

Proper hydration is essential for maintaining healthy bowel movements. Ensure your cat has access to fresh water at all times. Some cats prefer running water, so using a pet water fountain can encourage them to drink more.

2. Add Fiber to the Diet

Including fiber-rich foods in your cat's diet can help promote regular bowel movements. You can achieve this by:

Incorporating canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) into their meals.

Introducing small amounts of psyllium husk powder to their food.

Offering specialized high-fiber cat food recommended by your veterinarian.

3. Consider Moist Food

Moist food can be easier for cats to digest compared to dry kibble. Talk to your veterinarian about incorporating wet food into your cat's diet to help prevent constipation.

Home Remedies for Constipated Cats

In addition to dietary changes, there are several home remedies you can try to relieve constipation in your cat. However, it's important to consult with your veterinarian before attempting any of these remedies, as they may not be suitable for every cat or could interfere with any underlying health conditions.

1. Hairball Remedies

Hairballs can contribute to constipation in cats, especially in long-haired breeds. Using hairball remedies, such as specialized diets or lubricant gels, can help prevent hairballs and ease the passage of stools.

2. Gentle Abdominal Massage

Gently massaging your cat's abdomen in a circular motion can stimulate the digestive tract and promote bowel movements. Be sure to use gentle pressure and consult with your veterinarian for proper technique.

3. Laxatives and Stool Softeners

In some cases, your veterinarian may recommend laxatives or stool softeners to alleviate constipation. These medications help soften the stools, making them easier for your cat to pass. However, always follow your veterinarian's instructions and never administer any medications without their guidance.

When to Seek Veterinary Assistance

While home remedies can be effective in mild cases of constipation, it's important to recognize when veterinary intervention is necessary. If your cat's constipation persists for more than two days, or if they display severe symptoms such as vomiting, dehydration, or extreme lethargy, it's crucial to seek professional help.

FAQs About Constipated Cats

1. Can a change in diet cause constipation in cats?

Yes, sudden changes in diet can disrupt a cat's digestive system and lead to constipation. It's important to introduce new foods gradually and monitor your cat's response.

2. Is there a connection between dehydration and constipation in cats?

Yes, inadequate water intake can contribute to constipation in cats. Ensuring your cat drinks enough water is essential for maintaining proper hydration and regular bowel movements.

3. Are there any over-the-counter remedies for cat constipation?

While some over-the-counter remedies may be available, it's crucial to consult with your veterinarian before administering any medications to your cat. They can recommend appropriate treatments based on your cat's specific condition.

4. Can stress cause constipation in cats?

Yes, stress can disrupt a cat's digestive system and contribute to constipation. It's important to provide a calm and stress-free environment for your cat to support their overall well-being.

5. How often should a cat have a bowel movement?

The frequency of a cat's bowel movements can vary depending on their age, diet, and overall health. However, most cats have bowel movements once or twice a day.


Constipation can be uncomfortable for cats, but with proper care and attention, you can help alleviate their discomfort and promote healthy bowel movements. Remember to make dietary changes, try home remedies cautiously, and consult with your veterinarian when necessary. By taking proactive measures, you can ensure your constipated cat finds relief and regains their normal digestive function.

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Wanda Rater
Wanda Rater

Avid tv junkie. Freelance bacon aficionado. Certified beer lover. Typical food specialist. Infuriatingly humble bacon expert. Hipster-friendly travel lover.

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