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Feline Constipation -- Issues and Warnings

Jul 19, 2008
Feline constipation is rather common among house cats. Too much fur in the gut, commonly referred to as hairballs, is the number one cause of this condition. Litter box aversion, kidney disease, and other physical and psychological causes may be a factor.

Constipation is experienced by just about every cat at some point in their life. Perhaps it's from too much fur in the gut, or a recent change in diet. These bouts of constipation are normal.

At higher risk are elderly cats, and those with other health problems, including pre-existing bowel or kidney problems. In any case, you'll want to be alert to a few warnings and issues concerning this condition.

Warnings and issues surrounding feline constipation problems:

1. Never give human preparations to your cat -- Preparations made for people may be harmful or fatal when given to cats. You should never give a remedy designed for humans to your cat unless recommended by a cat health professional. Talk to your veterinarian first to make sure it's cat safe.

2. Home preparations -- Check with your veterinarian before attempting a home remedy. I've seen some people recommending mineral oil as a home remedy, but this is not advisable. Mineral oil is easily inhaled into the respiratory tract, and never breaks down in body. This may cause long term problems for your cat.

3. Administering enemas -- Enemas can be administered, but you should probably not attempt this yourself. The experience probably will not be very pleasant for either you or your cat, and you could end up being scratched or bitten. If you attempt this yourself, get advice and instruction from your veterinarian first.

4. Long term effects of chronic feline constipation -- If your cat suffers from frequently recurring or long term chronic constipation, she may be on her way to developing megacolon. In a cat with megacolon, the colon swells and the stool builds up to the point that it can't pass. Also, there may be some other more serious underlying medical issue that needs to be addressed. You should have a conversation with your veterinarian about these underlying causes.

Whatever the cause, if your cat suffers from feline constipation and the condition persists, you'll want to have a talk with your veterinarian about a solution.
About the Author
Author Kurt Schmitt has created an online cat care resource and writes about litter box problems, feline constipation and other cat illness problems
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