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 has kidney disease you can join Tanya’s Support Group to get assistance with constipation as well as with CKD generally.
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.