Cats are rarely constipated but when the condition strikes, you may notice your cat straining to empty its bowels with no success. If the litter box remains empty for more than two days, it's time to see your veterinarian to rule out a blockage or an underlying disorder. However, if your cat is suffering from occasional diet-related constipation, try a home remedy to put your feline back on a healthy elimination schedule.
Diet Home Remedies
Adding non-digestible fiber to your cat's diet may offer relief. Sprinkle psyllium, the active ingredient in Metamucil, on cat food to soften your cat's stools. Use only non-flavored and non-sweetened psyllium products that contain no additives. Mix a little plain pumpkin puree into your cat's food. Most cats enjoy the taste and the pumpkin will encourage moisture retention in the stool, making it easier to pass. Some commercial cat foods are higher in fiber content than others. Look for a high fiber percentage on the nutritional label of both canned and dry cat foods. Your cat's stools may become hard, compact and difficult to pass if the cat isn't getting enough water. Provide a constant source of fresh water or try mixing a little water into your cat's canned or dry cat food to provide additional hydration. Some cats are not big on drinking plain water, but adding a little broth may convince them to drink more.
Additional Home Remedies
In the case of mechanical constipation, a condition seen occasionally in long-haired cats when the fur surrounding their anus tangles tightly preventing a bowel movement, you may carefully cut away the offending matted hair. If you cat has been unable to have a bowel movement for a few hours, however, the stools may now be dry and compact and the cat may need additional dietary remedies. Treat constipation as you would a hairball. Veterinarian, Elaine Wexler-Mitchell, author of "Guide to a Healthy Cat," reports that hairball remedies will also provide intestinal lubrication and may help the cat move its bowels. Store-bought formulations provide a laxative effect as will a tiny dab of pure petroleum jelly rubbed on the roof of the cat's mouth that she will lick and swallow.