Constipation is not uncommon in cats, particularly in kittens and older cats. According to VetInfo4Cats.com, your cat should produce one or two bowel movements daily; failure to do so should be an indication that there is a problem. Don't let this problem go unattended, because it can pose a serious threat to your pet's health. There are several home remedies that are effective as a laxative for your cat.
Causes of Constipation
The fastidious nature of cats contributes to a large percentage of their constipation problems. During the grooming process, cats take in a large amount of hair, which can result in the development of hairballs. If the cat doesn't cough up the hairball, this accumulation of hair can develop into an obstruction in the cat's digestive tract. This cause of constipation is most common in longhair and older cats. In an article on the Little Big Cat website, Jean Hofve, DVM, says that diet can be a major factor in feline constipation, which is seen predominantly in cats that are fed dry-food diets exclusively.
Other causes, according to Dr. Hofve, include neurologic problems, pelvic injury, dehydration and inflammatory bowel disease, which can afflict cats in much the same way it does humans. Feline fastidiousness again can play a role in causing constipation that occurs when a cat intentionally holds stool too long because its litter box is not being cleaned in a timely fashion. So be sure to clean the box regularly and thoroughly.
What You Can Do
It's best to act quickly if your cat shows signs of irregularity, because it could develop into a major health problem. There are a number of tried and true home remedies that should get your cat going again, but if they don't, consult a vet immediately.
Readily available feline laxatives, according to Grandma's Home Remedies website, include canned pumpkin and water. Add a tablespoon or two of pumpkin to your cat's diet to return your pet to regularity. Have plenty of clean drinking water available for your cat, although it's difficult sometimes to coax the cat to increase its fluid intake.
Other home remedies for a constipated cat, according to Grandma's Home Remedies, include oat bran and petroleum jelly. Add a half-teaspoonful of either to your cat's food until the cat is regular again. Although milk sometimes will cause diarrhoea in cats, it also can help to get a constipated cat going again. Try giving your pet one-eighth of a cup both in the morning and again at night. The Cat Health Guide website suggests adding a half-teaspoonful of Metamucil to your cat's regular food at both morning and evening feedings.