Constipation means the cat has difficulty passing a stool. Constipation can take several forms and often have confusing symptoms:
- Your cat is not pooping as frequently as they did before
- Your cat strains to poop in the litter box
- Your cat may also vomit just before pooping, just after pooping, or while pooping
- When your cat does poop the stools are hard and dry, and may be much smaller than normal
- Your cat has diarrhea
- As confusing as it sounds, sometimes diarrhea is the only poop that can squeeze past a solid, constipated section in the bowels
- Your cat is refusing to eat, or is eating substantially less than normal, and does not show interest in food when presented
WARNING: Straining to urinate could be confused with straining to poop.
A cat who is unable to urinate is experiencing a medical emergency and must be seen by a vet immediately. If the regular vet is not open, if it is a weekend or holiday, find the nearest veterinary emergency clinic.
In severe cases of constipation a cat may not pass any stool at all. If this happens the stool can become impacted, leading to a condition called obstipation.
Cats who suffer from repeated constipation or obstipation may also develop a condition called megacolon.
Disease Information Sites
Feline Constipation Is a site fully devoted to constipation in cats and has a lot of good information.
Another great resource is Tanya’s Comprehensive Guide to Feline Chronic Kidney Disease which has a lot of additional information about signs, symptoms, and treatments.
The Tips for Constipation page has a summary of the sites above and gives some quick ideas for fixing constipation in your cat.
If your cat does not have kidney disease there is also a Cat’s Health and Behavior group you can join. This is a sister group to Tanya’s Support Group.