Constipation in the cat

Feline constipation

source: Feline Advisory Bureau Volume 39 (2) 2001, p45

Cats with constipation will have difficulty passing faeces and severe chronic constipation can lead to paralysis of the colon (megacolon). Dehydration is a common cause although other causes include obstructions due to strictures, tumours and foreign bodies. Diagnosis is based on physical examination and blood/urine tests can determine any underlying metabolic reason. X-rays may be taken to determine if a foreign body is causing an obstruction. Treatment includes giving fluids and an enema if the constipation is severe. Most cases can be managed by changing the diet to tinned rather than dry and the addition of fibre, although any underlying cause may require surgical correction.