What Can I Give My Cat for Constipation?

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Constipated Cat Symptoms

Constipation in cats is characterized by infrequent defecation and straining, often dilating the anus (openning) during or after attempts at defecating. The cause of constipation in cats is many times not known, but in many cases the cause is a diet low in fiber, dehydration, and lack of exercise.

Other causes of constipation in cats may be:

  • blockage (intestinal obstruction)
  • low fluid intake,
  • obesity,
  • parasites,
  • diet or activity changes,
  • worms or foreign objects in the colon,


Sometimes cats with constipation will lick or bite at their rear areas, this is due to the pain associated with the constipation.

No Poop in the Litter Box

And No Matter What I Do, I Can't Get Them To Poop!

And No Matter What I Do, I Can't Get Them To Poop!

Abnormal Behavior in Litter Box

If your cat has been exhibiting strange behavior in their litter box, like avoiding it all together or just not using it, this could be a serious issue. You need to have it checked out right away. Otherwise, your cat may have a blockage that could cause an infection or worse. Don't wait long. Take care of it right way.

When your cat does their business, they are depositing a fresh layer of a special kind of litter that does a spectacular job at absorbing urine. After time, this litter gets packed down and your cat may experience constipation.

This is why you may want to sprinkle a bit of litter in the box to help your cat relieve themselves easier. Just don't use a ton. A sprinkle is enough. The litter is there to help them get the job done and is not intended to be their food. You don't want them eating it.

Ultimately, your litter box should contain a litter that is specifically designed to help cut down on this problem. Many cats have problems with digestive issues. To help keep this from affecting their litter box use, you should look for litter that helps to prevent this problem. A good litter should be made of natural, reclaimed materials.

Causes of Constipation in Cats

The most common cause of constipation in cats is dietary sensitivity to certain foods and a lack of water intake. A cat that’s suffering from constipation may experience painful straining to release a stool and may not be able to pass stool at all.

A cat with constipation may have a bloated abdomen and pass small amounts of stool that are hard and dry. Over several days, the stool accumulates in the intestines and causes a blockage, which is obviously painful. After a while, even the small amounts of stool that are passed become increasingly hard and dry.

A cat suffering from constipation should be placed on a diet immediately. Since diet is one of the most common triggers for constipation in cats, it’s important to eliminate the problem directly by making your cat’s nutrition 100% on target. Constipation can be caused by anything; missing out on the milk in your cat’s diet, feeding too much dry food, low-quality food, or eating the wrong food items altogether. Whatever the reason for the constipation, you need to eliminate the cause first by preventing your cat from eating the underlying food sensitivities and by providing them with an adequate supply of water to prevent future stagnation.

Home Remedies for Constipated Cats

Just as with other animals, if you have a constipated cat, it’s important that it normalizes its bowel movements as soon as possible. The question is how to go about doing this effectively.

If you’ve tried litter box additives and canned chicken or tuna water, and your kitty still remains constipated, then it’s time to bring out the big guns. In this post, I’ll go over a few home remedies for cats and kittens with constipation. But before we get to that, I’ll first review the causes for cat constipation.

The first thing you’ll want to consider is your kitty’s diet. It’s important to review your cat’s diet and make sure it’s the right one. The following are just a few examples of what your cat should and should not eat.

Cats generally have a tendency to eat too much protein. Some cat foods that have been known to cause constipation include:

Cat food with a high protein meat-based meal

Diet Changes

Constipation is one of the most common and uncomfortable illnesses in cats. It is usually caused by kitty eating something or not drinking enough water. Unfortunately, this problem is very common. It can affect both young and old cats alike. If your kitty is staying at home while you’re at work or school, it’s especially important for you to give them enough water to drink, along with their food.

If you know that your cat is prone to constipation, you’ll want to monitor their food consumption and make an effort to increase their water intake. Surprisingly enough, many owners overlook this. Not only is your kitty not getting the water they need, but they’re also eating dry kibble which is dehydrating, not to mention lacking certain nutrients.

A big part of the problem is that owners don’t realize their kitties aren’t drinking enough water. Dry kibble contains a lot of water – around seventy-two percent. However, the water is bound to the kibble, so your kitty can’t absorb it. They have to drink plain water each day for the water to be absorbed.


Cats are very private about their bowel movements. If your cat is going regularly without a problem, you will likely not even know when one has occurred.

Cats can become constipated, however, and if you recognize the symptoms, you can take preventative measures to keep it from happening again.

As with any laxative, consult your veterinarian before administering to your cat.

Constipation in cats can be attributed to anything from diet to an underlying medical problem. Common causes of constipation include:

  • Lack of exercise, including lack of access to an outdoor yard
  • Dehydration
  • Anal gland inflammation or blockage
  • Diet
  • Inactivity
  • Pain
  • Bladder stones
  • Inflammatory bowel disease
  • Uterine problems
  • Obesity

Any of these reasons may lead to changes in bowel movements and cause constipation. As with all symptoms of illness, your cat should be examined by a veterinarian. The only way to determine the underlying cause of the problem is to perform a physical examination, in addition to a complete blood count and a urinalysis.


Cats are known to be clean and groom their fur, especially when they are in season. Cats groom for a number of reasons, one of which is to shed out all of those unwanted hair.

However, since they are grooming themselves constantly, there are some possible bad effects that may happen to your cat.

Dry skin is one thing that can happen to your cat when they are grooming and scratching themselves too much. When this happens, they are producing less oil naturally so that their skin would not get dry.

Another possible problem to occur from a cat’s grooming is hairballs. When your cat is eating and swallowing, a lot of hair from grooming is left on the hairball.

The hairballs can become really big if it wasn’t removed it would get worse.

When this happens, you should take your cat to the vet to see how they can help your cat. Also, when you cat is not frequenting the litter box, you should take action and help your cat, read this article about constipation in cats to find out how you can stop this from happening..


If your cat is constipated, it may take a little while for him to unload the blockage. Before that happens, your cat will likely start to quiver, strain, produce hard, painful stools, and may even vomit. It is important to keep in mind that cats normally defecate once a day, and if you notice your cat straining or generally behaving abnormally, take him or her to the vet right away. Constipation can be caused by anything from hairballs to stress to lesser-known health problems and can probably be treated by a visit to your family veterinarian.

If your cat is having issues with constipation and you aren’t able to get to the vet, there are several things you can do to make his trip to the litter box safer and slightly more comfortable. One of the most effective ways is to give him a probiotic supplement that contains lactobacillus. This will help to restore good bacteria to his stools and get things moving again. You’ll want to read the package directions closely, as they vary by product, and if your cat can’t keep the pill down, it won’t be worth it. You can also give your cat the probiotic in the form of yogurt or other soft, healthy foods that will help ease the constipation naturally.

Weight Management

While…a constipated cat is not necessarily a healthy cat, it’s not…always a sign of an underlying health issue either.

It is possible for seniors to develop chronic constipation problems, but it’s more likely that constipation in senior cats is caused by other factors…such as changes in diet or increased sedentary behavior.

Our senior cat has been constipated for almost two weeks now. We've tried the pet store brands. Now that he's back on Hill's Select canned, he's moving a little more than before. We got him to poop this morning. Is there a supplement we can buy at an individual pet and feed him??

We have tried giving our cat (a Ragdoll) a cup of canned pumpkin, fed him the liquid baby food prunes, and added a generous spoon full of bran to his wet food. We have tried canned pumpkin, bought in small containers/found in the baby food section. Cat seems to like it, but has had no results. He is still having a lot of gas and our house smells like a litter box!! We have been giving him 1/4 tsp of Benefiber to see if it will help, but it has not worked. He is in the early stages of renal failure and has been on Amoxi for 2+ years.

Exercise and Environmental Enrichment

Cats are not known for getting constipated, but when they do, it’s usually due to a dietary change or stress-related reasons. One of the greatest causes is the change in diet. Some cats may eat too much dry food or they may not eat enough water-rich products such as tuna and wet cat food.

Some other reasons why cats get constipated are the stress of change in home environment, separation anxiety, change in activities, change in the bathroom, or even physical injury. If your cat is constipated, try some of the following:

Ensure your cat is eating a balanced diet. A high fiber diet can sometimes cause constipation. Cats need fiber but it should be in small doses. The best way to avoid constipation is to feed a wide variety of small meals and litter a high fiber diet with a high moisture diet.

Ensure water intake is adequate. Cats need to drink a lot of water to help with digestion. If you notice your cat is having a hard time passing stool, make sure you are providing adequate water. Sometimes the dehydration is the cause, and you may need to go to the vet to get some laxatives.

Ensure your cat is getting enough activity. You can purchase a variety of cat toys for your kitty to play with to ensure she is active. It will help ensure a healthier digestive system.

When to Seek Professional Help

Constipation is an extremely common ailment for cats and humans alike! Often, constipation is difficult to treat, but it’s a very manageable problem.

Thankfully, there are many simple solutions that can cure constipation in cats quickly. And if you find your kitty is constipated for more than a couple of days, it’s time to contact your veterinarian.