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Constipation in cats

A cat normally defecates at least once a day. If you notice that it hasn't pooped for over a day, you may therefore begin to suspect that your cat may be suffering from constipation, or have a hard stomach. Of course, this is easier to spot for you with an indoor cat that only performs its needs on the box indoors!

Stomach hardness vs. constipation

First of all, we need to clarify the concepts of a hard stomach and constipation. These are not the same thing. A cat that has a stool that is dry and hard but still manages to poop is not constipated but this cat is hard in the stomach. A cat with constipation cannot defecate at all but stools collect in the intestine and cannot pass out. A cat that is constipated will need help from a vet while a cat that is hard in the stomach you can often help yourself at home. If a cat has a hard stomach and struggles more than usual when it tries to poop, you can try giving it food that is kind to its stomach and sometimes a fibre supplement. If your cat continues to have problems with bowel movements, see a vet.

Distinguishing constipation from urinary retention

Constipation and urinary retention have symptoms that are similar. It is important to distinguish constipation from urinary retention, as urinary retention is an acute condition that can be life-threatening. If you are unsure or suspect that your cat has suffered from urinary retention, you need to contact a vet urgently!

Why do cats suffer from constipation and a hard stomach?

There are many reasons why cats become constipated or have a hard stomach. On the one hand, there may be underlying factors in the form of illness and pain, but there are also some things that you can influence, provided that illness and pain-related problems have been ruled out by the vet.

  1. If the litter tray is dirty, the cat can avoid pooping in the tray

  2. The cat is not getting enough exercise, exercise stimulates movement in the intestines

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