Constipation is a disturbance in the intestines that alters the flow of waste elimination in cats and other animals. It can usually be treated with an increase of fiber to their diets. Pumpkin is one of a few natural remedies that can help relieve your cat's constipation. It is high in fiber, inexpensive and appealing to cats, but sometimes you need stronger measures.
Causes and Symptoms
One of the first symptoms a constipated cat may have is having less frequent and strained bowel movements. Often the cause is simply a lack of fiber, dehydration or inactivity. Sometimes stress, medication, parasites, intestinal blockages, neurological problems or pelvic injury can cause constipation. Older cats are most susceptible. It is always prudent to call a veterinarian if more serious symptoms like abdominal pain, nausea and loss of appetite are evident.
The fiber and water content in pumpkin makes it a good remedy to eliminate occasional constipation. Pumpkin can also benefit your cat because it aids in digestion and contains many of the vitamins and minerals a cat needs to stay healthy. A small amount of pumpkin can relieve a mild case of feline constipation in 48 hours. Just a tablespoon of pure canned pumpkin should do it.
Mixing pumpkin with other natural and wholesome foods may help relieve constipation. If your cat won't eat plain canned pumpkin, mixing it with canned cat food or with a small amount of milk may be appealing. Another option is fresh, steamed pumpkin, cooled and cut into small pieces to mix with dry food. You can also try mixing a small amount of olive oil in with the canned pumpkin for a completely different taste.
Grape Nuts cereal may do the trick if pumpkin is not the answer. Mixing 1 to 3 tsp. per day with dry or wet food may help. A bit of milk added can add extra flavor and aid in the loosening of your pet's stool. In more stubborn cases of constipation, your cat may need an over-the-counter laxative. Check with your veterinarian for the type and dosage your cat will require.
The best way to keep your cat from becoming constipated is to make sure that its water intake is sufficient. One way to accomplish this is to feed your pet canned food instead of dry food, because canned food has moisture. You can also set small water bowls in areas around the home, where your cat likes to sleep, play and groom. This will increase the potential for additional water consumption.