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Feline constipation -- 4 important issues

Feline constipation is rather common among house cats. Too much fur in the gut, commonly referred to as hairballs, is the number one cause of this condition. Litter box aversion, kidney disease, and other physical and psychological causes may be a factor. Constipation is experienced by just about every cat at some point in their life. Perhaps it's from too much fur in the gut, or a recent change in diet. These bouts of constipation are normal.

As cats age, the chances of developing constipation increase. Also at higher risk are those cats with other health problems, including kidney problems or pre-existing bowel conditions. In any case, you'll want to be aware of a few issues and warnings on this condition.

Issues and warnings surrounding feline constipation problems:

1. Never give human remedies to your cat -- Products for humans may be harmful or fatal to cats. You should never give a remedy designed for people to your cat unless it's recommended by a trained cat health professional. Tylenol, for example, is toxic to cats and should never be administered. If you're considering using a preparation made for people for constipation, talk to your veterinarian first.

2. Home made solutions -- Do not use home remedies without the advice of a veterinarian. For example, mineral oil is an old suggestion for constipation in cats. Mineral oil is easily inhaled into the lungs, however, and your cat's body won't break it down.

3. Administering enemas -- Enemas can be administered, but you should probably not attempt this yourself. The experience probably will not be very pleasant for either you or your cat, and you could end up being scratched or bitten. If you attempt this yourself, get advice and instruction from your veterinarian first.

4. Chronic feline constipation -- With long term constipation, it's possible that other more serious underlying medical issues exist. Some cats may develop a condition known as megacolon where the colon swells with stool that size of the stool in the large intestine grows too large for it to leave the body. Sometimes pelvic injury can be a contributing factor in these situations. You should have a conversation with your veterinarian about the potential risks and issues.

If your cat is constipated for an extended period, you'll want to work with your veterinarian to resolve the problem.

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Thursday, 21 November 2019

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