Just like people, our pets can develop gastrointestinal ailments, including both diarrhea and constipation. In cats, constipation is most common in middle-aged and older male cats.
One main cause is that their anal muscles become weak over time and it’s difficult for them to “go.” If you notice your cat is using his litter box less than usual and there are no other physical signs of illness, you can try a few home remedies before having to see a vet.
First, make sure your cat has plenty of water available and that he’s drinking regularly. Offering wet food, if your cat is normally on a dry-food diet, can also help relieve any dehydration and get things moving along again. You can also try feeding Kitty canned pumpkin or wheat bran. A mild laxative, with your veterinarian’s guidance and approval, can also be helpful. You want to limit use of laxatives, however, as they can cause damage if overused.
Another cause is hairballs, which can dry out stools. More concerning causes of chronic constipation are a lazy colon, spinal deformities (common in tailless cats like the manx) and nerve damage.If your cat has chronic constipation or your home remedies are ineffective, take your cat to the vet. Inability to expel stools can lead to toxicity and even death and it’s important to treat quickly and correctly.