Constipation is a term used to describe the inability to routinely and easily evacuate the bowels.
Most cats use the litter box at least once a day, although it depends on how much your cats eat, and the kind of food - canned or dry.
In general, elderly cats suffer from infrequent or difficult bowel movements, but a cat of any age that doesn't eat adequate fiber, get enough water or exercise can develop constipation.
Signs of constipation in cats include:
- Multiple trips to the litter box
- Hard, dry stools
- Straining in the litter box
- Poor appetite
Prevention is the best method, and here are some helpful, ongoing approaches for managing feline constipation:
Increase water consumption
Dehydration is a big cause of constipation. Cat constipation symptoms can be alleviated if you make sure your cats are keeping hydrated throughout the day.
Place water bowls within reach in different places in the house to remind your cats to drink more, and choose wide, shallow bowls to prevent whisker fatigue.
Also, be sure that your cats always have access to fresh water and the water bowls are separate from any food or litter boxes.
Regularly brush your cats
Excess fur in your cats' intestinal tract can cause this ailment. Frequent brushing can curb hairballs and lessen the chance of constipation, so comb or brush your cats on a daily basis.
A lack of exercise leads to the slow movement of stool through the large intestine, and which can worsen constipation.
Introduce more activity to your cats' daily routine by looking for interactive toys you can play together or finding toys to keep them on their toes.
Improve fiber intake
Diet change can be very helpful and cat constipation can be managed by paying attention to the level of fiber in their food. Provide a high fiber diet or incorporate fiber to your cats' diet to restore normal bowel habits and ensure passage of soft, formed stools.
If you're not sure about the appropriate amount of fiber your cats need in their diet, check with your vet.