Kitten constipation is a relatively common ailment in young cats, and it can be a serious problem if not treated. In this article, we will discuss the causes of kitten constipation and how to treat it.
Kitten Constipation Symptoms
Kittens may become constipated if their feces become too dry or hard. Constipation can be caused by a lack of fluids, parasites, stress, and certain diseases. Your kitten’s stools should be firm but moist. If the stool sticks to his behind when he passes it, he may have constipation.
Hard or dry poop isn’t the only symptom of constipation. Other signs include straining to defecate, crying out in pain during elimination (this may be accompanied by bloody diarrhea), and an enlarged abdomen.
If you notice any of these symptoms in your kitten, take him to the veterinarian immediately.
Causes of Constipation in Kittens
There are many possible causes of constipation in kittens. Some of the most common causes include:
Dehydration: If your kitten isn’t drinking enough water, he may become constipated.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD): IBD can cause kittens to have difficulty passing stool.
Coccidiosis: Parasitic infections can cause constipation.
Diet: Some kittens may develop a problem with constipation if they eat food that is too high in magnesium content or if their diet lacks fiber.
Other Diseases: Metabolic diseases, tumors, and kidney disease can all cause constipation.
How to Treat Kitten Constipation
The treatment for kitten constipation will depend on the underlying cause.
If dehydration is the cause, your kitten will need to drink fluids and may be given an electrolyte solution. This may be caused by diseases such as feline infectious peritonitis, which causes vomiting and diarrhea, or other causes of nausea that may result in reduced food intake.
Parasites can also affect the digestive system, causing diarrhea or other problems that may lead to constipation. If a parasite is a cause, he will be treated with anti-parasitic medication.
If the problem is dietary, your kitten may be prescribed a high-fiber diet.
If the problem is caused by a disease, you will need to work with your veterinarian to treat that disease.
In some cases, kittens may need to be given an enema to help them pass stool. If this is necessary, your veterinarian will show you how to do it.
Kitten constipation can be a serious problem, but it can usually be treated successfully if caught early. By following the tips in this article, you can help your kitten stay healthy and avoid this common ailment.
Home Remedies For Kitten Constipation
To keep your kitten from getting constipated in the first place, make sure he is drinking enough water and eating a high-fiber diet. In addition, try these home remedies:
Olive oil – If your kitten is having trouble passing stool, put a few drops of olive oil on his anus to help him lubricate the stool.
Warm bath – A warm bath may help your kitten relax and pass stool more easily.
Massage – Gently massaging your kitten’s abdomen may help stimulate bowel movements.
Fiber – Some kittens may benefit from commercial hairball remedies that contain fiber, which helps them pass stool more easily.
Laxatives – Commercial products are available to help your kitten eliminate waste more easily. However, if you use a product to treat constipation, talk with your veterinarian about what is best for your kitten.
Enema – If your kitten is having a very difficult time passing stool, your veterinarian may suggest giving him an enema. This involves inserting a small tube into the kitten’s rectum and flushing out the stool with water.
If your kitten is constipated, try one or more of these tips to help him get relief. And if the problem persists, be sure to take him to the veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment.
Tips for Preventing Kitten Constipation
There are several things you can do to prevent and treat kitten constipation:
- Increase water intake: If your kitten isn’t getting enough water in his diet, he is more likely to become constipated. Make sure he always has access to freshwater.
- Feed a high-fiber diet: This is important for kittens who eat only dry food; canned foods contain the necessary fiber to keep your kitten regular.
- Increase exercise: Increasing your kitten’s activity level will allow him to naturally move his bowels more often. A regimen of playtime throughout the day is recommended for kittens who are confined indoors most of the time.
- Monitor food intake: Some cats – especially overweight ones – don’t get enough exercise, which can result in constipation. If your kitten looks pudgy or bloated, cut back on his food intake and monitor him for changes in bowel movements.
- Monitor litter box use: Kittens who fail to use their litter boxes may be suffering from constipation or – if they are straining to pass stool – painful defecation. Try adding more litter boxes around your home and changing the type you use
If your kitten is stressed due to changes in his environment, he may become constipated. In these cases, it’s best to give him some time to relax and get back on track.
If your kitten is not producing any feces after 24 hours of straining to produce stool, it’s time to be concerned about constipation. Other symptoms include loss of appetite, lethargy, vomiting, and extreme thirst. Call your veterinarian immediately if you suspect your kitten is having problems with his bowels.