Constipation In Cats

Constipation occurs when the body is unable to empty out the bowels. This results in accumulation of feces in the colon. The colon is part of the large intestine, it's function is to excrete waste matter from the body.
Constipation is more frequently seen in cats than dogs.

(Stools in the large intestine of a constipated cat.)

(Large fecolith noted in the large intestine of a constipated cat.)

  • Lethargy 
  • Depression
  • Vomiting
  • Abdominal discomfort
  • Dehydration 
  • Discomfort when toileting such as crying in pain or whining
  • Frequenting the litter box trying to defecate (Cats)
  • Posturing to defecate repeatedly and straining (Cats and dogs)
  • Some cases present with paradoxical diarrhea instead
  • Decreased frequency of defecation or decreased amount of stools passed
  • Inappropriate diet
  • Traumatic injury such as previous hip fractures or spinal injuries
  • Dehydration from other causes
  • Inherited conditions
Diagnosis of constipation may require a combination of physical examination and abdominal radiographs.

Treatment Plan:
Conservative management of less severe cases may include enemas and laxatives. Your Veterinarian may recommend a diet change as well. Severe cases often require hospitalization for fluids. Manual removal of harden stools may be required under general anesthesia. Surgery may be recommended for recurring cases that fails to respond to medical therapy alone.
Done by: Nurse TK