Feline Constipation & Mayonnaise

By Louise Lawson

Statistics from the Humane Society of the United States estimate more than 38 million homes in the United States own at least one cat. Cats care for themselves fairly well, although common health problems such as constipation are still a concern. You can alleviate feline constipation with the aid of a number of common household items, including mayonnaise.

Function

Mayonnaise contains probiotic cultures, which help to stabilize the digestive tract and aid in passing stool. Probiotic cultures work with other bacteria in the stomach and intestines to stimulate peristaltic contractions that force digested food from the cat's body. Probiotics occur naturally in the feline body, although a number of things can disrupt the delicate balance of the digestive tract, including illnesses and change in diet.

Causes

Feline constipation occurs for a variety of reasons. A sick cat will often suffer from bouts of constipation if he stops eating and drinking. Water softens stool and eating encourages the body to push out hardened feces. A change to a new cat food can also disrupt bacteria and cause constipation. Some cat foods have higher moisture content than other foods, and the new food can suck water from the stomach and intestines, resulting in a constipated cat.

Treatment

Feed mayonnaise to the cat once per day at the rate of ½ tsp. for every 5 lbs. of body weight. Mix the mayonnaise in with his normal cat food and allow him to ingest it with his daily feedings. Mayonnaise has a potent odor and a taste that cats enjoy and will gladly eat it. If he is reluctant to eat it with his food, draw the mayonnaise into a clean syringe and force-feed it to him, slowly depressing the mayonnaise onto his tongue.

Considerations

Most types of mayonnaise are high in fat and you should only feed it to the cat on rare occasions. Too much mayonnaise can coat the lining of the intestines with fat, resulting in diarrhea. Cats are also lactose-intolerant, so avoid any mayonnaise products that contain large amounts of dairy. Constipation can cause serious internal injuries, so take the cat to the veterinarian if she is unable to use the litter box for three consecutive days.

Prevention/Solution

It is much simpler to prevent constipation then it is to treat it. Add a half dose of mayonnaise to the cat's food if you will be moving the caat or traveling with him to prevent stress-related constipation. If you have to change his food, do it over a period of four or days rather than all at once. Mixing the new food in with the old food and ¼ tsp. of mayonnaise will slowly acclimate his body to the new food and keep him from becoming constipated.