- Do Kittens Constipate?
- Causes of Constipation In Cats
- Can Massage cure Constipation In Cats?
- Cat Constipation: How to Help Your Cat Poop With Massage
- How to Prevent Constipation In Cats: 5 Easy Strategies
Massaging cats to relieve them of constipation is a debatable topic.
Some owners believe that giving their constipated cats a massage or acupuncture helps, while others think there are better ways to deal with constipation.
Both sides agree that constipation can be stressful for these cats.
In worst-case scenarios, feline constipation may be a symptom of a severe underlying medical condition.
Learning what to do when your cat is constipated may mean the difference between life and death. So this condition is something pet owners shouldn’t ignore.
Read more to find out different massage techniques for constipating cats.
Do Kittens Constipate?
Yes! Unlike adult cats, cases of constipation in kittens do not occur often.
The most common reason for constipation in kittens is dehydration.
The lack of water and other fluids in a kitten’s body could lead to severe constipation.
Unfortunately, due to the tiny kittens’ bodies, a constipation massage cannot work unless done by a professional vet.
Causes of Constipation In Cats
According to Great Pet Care, cats have no known cause of constipation.
Despite this, several factors are the significant causes of constipation in cats.
Older cats are more prone to constipation because, as they age, they become more susceptible to chronic diseases like kidney disorders.
Kidney diseases are the primary cause of constipation in cats.
Therefore if your cat is old, consider adding more laxatives to the diet to prevent the chances of constipation as well as kidney failure.
Obesity in cats is very harmful.
Apart from causing constipation, obesity can cause heart diseases and organ failures in cats leading to death.
Even though, as a cat owner, you are compelled to treat your adorable kitty with different snacks and goodies, it is vital to consider the well-being of that cat.
For obese cats with constipation, try adding more water for dehydration and fiber foods to the cat’s diet.
Just like human beings, cats need a balanced diet.
Digestion of food in cats can be difficult if a cat’s diet is not balanced, leading to constipation.
A cat’s balanced diet consists of:
- Lots of proteins
- Moderate fats
- Little portions of carbohydrates
Can Massage cure Constipation In Cats?
Massage and acupuncture are ancient Asian healing practices used for humans and pets in Asia.
Some owners give their cats acupuncture or massages to manage chronic constipation.
According to the Veterinary Practice News, Swedish Massage has been in the U.S. and Europe since the 19th century.
The report states that if you perform this Massage to your cat’s belly:
- It reduces the pain or discomforts your pet is feeling due to constipation.
- It decreases the time food substances take to move through the cat’s intestines.
- It encourages peristalsis, the involuntary relaxation/constriction of intestinal muscles.
- It increases the frequency of bowel movements.
However, massaging cats to ease their constipation can be tricky – or even dangerous – if done wrong.
If you’re planning to go this route, I’d recommend you successfully learn how to perform a cat massage from a professional vet.
Cats have unique and flexible bodies. Their intestines and colon may feel like the kidneys to the untrained.
Learning the cat anatomy (hopefully from a vet) removes the possibility of damaging organs with high-pressure massages.
Massaging your cat’s lower belly also helps them relax.
You can combine this healing technique if you’re trying to give her meds or distract her while the vet checks her up.
Cat Constipation: How to Help Your Cat Poop With Massage
For younger, smaller, and more sensitive cats, the triangle massage method is the best to stimulate normal intestinal peristalsis and cure constipation.
The following instructions are for kittens and smaller cats:
Prepare a white or light-colored washcloth
Preferably get a piece of cloth that you won’t use anywhere else since the kitten will pee or poop if your Massage is successful.
It would help if you made the washcloth of your choice damp with warm water.
Mom cats usually give their babies a tongue bath with their warm tongues. Precisely, the washcloth will try to replicate the mama kitty’s warm tongue.
* If you don’t have a cloth, use gauze or cotton balls moistened with warm water instead.
Go to a warm area (not hot!)
Before starting the cat massaging process, find a warm area, especially if you’re handling days-old kittens who might get severely sick or die from the intense cold.
The warm area also helps the cat to relax and loosen the belly muscles making it easy to massage them successfully.
Hold your kitten belly-down
Prepare your kitten by making it lay down on its belly.
When massaging, grip gently but firmly to prevent your cat from escaping.
Massage your kitten
With kittens, hold them with one hand, and use your other hand to move the washcloth up and down the cat’s anal region.
Your thumb should carry most of the pressure when doing so.
Now and then, check the washcloth to see if the cat has already peed or pooped.
In most cases, the stimulation successfully makes kittens poop within 60 seconds.
Clean your kitten
To prevent infection or skin problems, clean your cat’s bottom with water.
Dry it off with a clean, used cloth. If you see blood, or pain in your cat’s eyes and body language, go straight to the vet.
Constipation time isn’t the best time to try massaging a cat with constipation or see how feeding her fatty tuna would help.
Your cat might be suffering from a more serious medical condition beyond your control.
Such as a prostate abscess or foreign objects inside your cat’s body. So a veterinarian would be of great help.
How to Prevent Constipation In Cats: 5 Easy Strategies
Although constipation isn’t a common condition in cats, it does happen once in a while.
Older cats with changing diets and activities are more prone to constipation than younger kittens.
Here are five strategies to prevent constipation in cats;
Provide drinking water at all times to avoid dehydration
Try to change the cat’s diet with more fiber and nutrient-rich foods known to keep the gut healthy.
If your cat eats dry cat food, try switching to canned cat food containing 80% more water than pellets.
We have a short buying guide to help you find the best cat food for constipation.
Give your cat some pumpkin. Pumpkin is one of the most effective natural laxatives ideals for cats.
As a cat owner, add cereal, oatmeal, and other fiber-rich food to your cat’s meals to improve gut health. Fiber supplements are another option you can take.
Don’t forget to play with them, even if they’re senior cats. Physical activity is essential, no matter what age your cat is.
Hairballs may cause constipation, so prevent hairballs from developing by brushing your cat regularly.
If your constipated cat is new to your household, consider that it may not use in another cat’s litter box. Try to give the new cat an original litter box.
If none of these works, a veterinarian could help diagnose your cat’s constipation.
The vet can also try other treatment options, such as supplementation, medication, a change in diet, manual evacuation of bowels, enema, or surgery.
While you’re at the veterinarian, discuss if your cat needs daily laxatives to prevent constipation from reoccurring.
Purrfect n’ Pawesome is the brainchild of Amanda, who has been into researching and writing about pets to help other pet parents in nurturing their adorable pets. Currently, she runs Purrfect n’ Pawesome along with her team of experienced and dedicated pet experts. Along with being an awesome writer and entrepreneur, Amanda is a cat mom to two innocently spoiled cats, Balanca and Scruffy.
She has been writing about pet care and nurturing and wants to share her readers’ experiences, learnings, and knowledge.
Over the years, she had the opportunity to work with various pet owners having multiple breeds, and that exposure gave her experience and the lessons of a lifetime.
Her family, her entire universe revolves around her two cats, who give her endless support and inspiration to move ahead with her objectives in life. Amanda is a live example of a balanced approach to all parenthood questions we all face in life.