Causes of Constipation

Is your cat constipated? One of these causes may be to blame.

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Constipation is defined as infrequent or absent defecation associated with retention of feces or stool within the colon and rectum. The following circumstances lead to constipation:

1. Ingestion of indigestible material: hair, bones, wool, cloth.

2. Lack of exercise: illness or debility, obesity.

3. Painful defecation: abscessed anal sacs, tumors, draining tracts around anus.

4. Obstruction: pelvic fractures causing narrowing of the pelvis, masses obstructing colon or rectum, congenital lesions such as imperfect opening at anus.

5. Neurological disease: megacolon, paraplegia, spinal cord deformity, dysautonomia (autonomic nervous system disorder seen primarily in English cats), inflammation of spinal cord/brain.

6. Other: potassium deficiency, dehydration, certain drugs, soiled litterbox.

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Causes of Constipation

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Reader Comments

Jacque    Peoria, AZ

6/16/2013 5:43:57 PM

Valuable information about the conditions that could cause constipation. Luckily all of my cats have not had that problem. We have found a newborn kitten who died from an abnormal anus.

Gale    Wheaton, IL

5/4/2013 6:43:56 PM

Feline constipation is a serious condition! If you are experiencing litter box problems, the first suspect is constipation or other bowel problems. Take your cat to the vet immediately! Cats are clean animals and lick their paws after going into the litter box. If you use clumping clay litter with bentonite (in the cheaper brands) this can bind to the walls of the gastrointestinal tract (as it absorbs water) and may cause hard, clumping feces as well as other problems such as megacolon.
So, #1 under causes of constipation should include ingestion of ... litter after elimination.
Switch to a clumping litter WITHOUT BENTONITE. Check labels on litter packages.

Paul    Las Vegas, NV

8/29/2012 2:07:58 PM

I have two 6 months old kittens and need to get more fiber in there diet try adding a 1/4 teaspoon Metamucil the clear and natural Flavor free Taste free and grit free mix in in there wet food which mixes easy and fast. But just to be safe check with your Vet. It's a long story but my babies had a parasite (a very bad one) and it was recommended a high fiber diet but they're are to young. The Metamucil worked great along with the Meds and my babies and Healthy and Happy. I still continue with the Metamucil.

janet    bethlehem, PA

1/31/2012 4:32:50 AM

good article, thanks

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