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Holistic Help For Constipation In Cats

Constipation in cats

Lili

Potty problems

Constipation in cats is no laughing matter.  In fact, they can be signs of a greater issue.  Recently we noticed Lili struggling more when trying to poop.  She was clearly uncomfortable, making little whining sounds while in the litter box.  There were several instances where she would try to poop and nothing would come out at all, despite several trips to the litter box.  Other times the evidence she was leaving behind amounted to small, dry pieces of poop. a cat who eats at least three times a day, she should have been pooping a lot more than that! 

If you’ve ever noticed this in your cat it’s time to pay attention.  Constipation in cats can be painful and lead to other more serious health issues.  Regular bowel movements are one of the ways the body detoxifies itself.  When fecal matter remains in the GI tract too long toxins and moisture gets reabsorbed back into the body.  As a result this creates a very toxic environment that can affect your cat’s body down to the cellular level.  Thankfully, in most cases constipation in cats can be easily remedied once you determine the cause and make necessary changes.

Why do cats get constipated?

Without a doubt the most common reason cats get constipated is lack of hydration.  Cats don’t naturally tend to hang out by the water bowl and drink all day, unless they are in late stages of kidney failure or have diabetes.  In a recent survey I read it showed that 88% of cat owners still feed their cats dry food.  If a cat only eats dry food I’d say it’s highly likely he is in a constant state of constipation.  And sadly, most cat owners aren’t even aware of it.  Because cats’ bodies are around 60% water it’s vital that they consume a good amount of it every day.  

In an article by Dr. Karen Becker, DVM, she states that “kitties fed exclusively dry food are getting only 10 to 12 percent of the moisture their bodies need…The lack of moisture causes the kidneys to become stressed, and stools turn dry, hard and painful to pass.”  She adds that other reasons cats get constipated can include:

  • GI motility problems
  • Painful defecation due to fracture of the pelvis or hind limb, arthritis, or impacted anal glands
  • Orthopedic or neurologic problems
  • Obstruction of the colon caused by a foreign object, tumor, or hernia
  • Megacolon–a condition where the colon loses its ability to push waste through the colon allowing the fecal material to accumulate

Other reasons cats develop pooping issues can include stress, dirty litter box, undesirable location of the litter box, inadequate fiber in the diet, ingesting too much fur, and even certain medications.

Common ways to alleviate constipation in cats

The first thing to address is the diet.  Transition your kitty off dry food on to a wet diet of raw, homemade, rehydrated freeze-dried food, or even high quality canned food.  Adding in a little extra water to the food won’t hurt either.  Some cats actually prefer water to be moving or running instead of stagnant.  Therefore, consider adding a pet fountain rather than keeping water in a bowl.  

In order to improve GI tract motility (the ability to move fecal material through the GI tract), get your kitty moving.  Regular exercise and playtime helps the digestive system and reduce stagnation.  Some cats enjoy following their owners around the house and are more active.  Others need enticed–or bribed–with treats, toys to bat around, strings to chase, etc.  

Thirdly, you may need to add some fiber to the diet.  Simply adding 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of natural psyllium husk to your cat’s food, along with a little extra water, can be just what the body needs to push material through the bowel.  I don’t recommend using a flavored fiber product because many cats are picky when it comes to flavors and scents.  Alternatively, adding 1/4 teaspoon of cooked pumpkin to your cat’s food is another great way to get a little natural fiber into the GI tract.  

Other products like coconut oil, a petroleum-free hairball remedy, and even aloe vera juice can act as natural laxatives.  Try mixing in 1/4-1/2 teaspoon of coconut oil or aloe vera juice into your cat’s food.  Or you can try mixing these with baby food and offering as a treat.  

Finally, making sure your kitty has stress-free access to a clean litter box can prevent her “holding it” for too long.  

Energy medicine can alleviate constipation in cats

Did you know that homeopathy and simple energy work can also help alleviate feline constipation?  Perhaps less widely known, there are several homeopathic remedies that are very effective in relieving constipation.  These remedies work for both people and pets, but the manner of dosing is different.  Start by matching the symptoms your cat is having with the remedy.  Next, take 3 pellets and dissolve them in 1/2 cup of purified water.  Using a syringe withdraw 1/2 ml, strike it strongly against your hand about eight times (this is called succussion), and give it orally or mixed in food.  If your cat hasn’t pooped normally within 12 hours try another dose.  

Here are some of the most common homeopathic remedies used for constipation according to Dr. Vikas Sharma, MD:

  • Nux Vomica:  for frequent passing of small stools, sedentary lifestyle
  • Bryonia Alba:  for dry, hard stools in lump form; one of the best medicines for constipation
  • Alumina:  used in cases where there is no urge to pass stools for days at a time
  • Lycopodium Clavatum:  known best for constipation accompanied with gas and bloating, cases of irritable bowel syndrome
  • Nat Mur:  for constipation where stools are passed every other day
  • Silicea:  works best in cases where the stool recedes after partially coming out (like peek-a-boo)

Offering simple energy work with your hands can also work wonders.  Start with setting your intention; then, with your hands facing or above the kitty, send healing energy  Similar to Reiki, this energy work helps open blockages and restores flowing energy through the chakras (energy centers in the body).  When there is a blockage, whether emotional or physical, in the 6th chakra, which correlates to the bowels, things get “stuck.” Once the energy is released and flowing again it can help restore GI motility and alleviate constipation.

Holistic help for Lili

In order to help Lili we needed a holistic approach that addressed her condition on emotional, spiritual and physical levels.  Even though she was eating a high quality wet diet three times a day, we began by adding extra water to her food.  She also gets several daily escorts to the litter box with the bathroom door closed so that she is not stressed out by our other cats hovering nearby while she does her business.  Instead of “holding it” all day, she is now starting to feel more confident and goes by herself!  

Lili tends to sleep most of the day away on her favorite chair under a blanket.  Knowing that regular exercise helps the Gi tract move material along, my husband started waking her up and taking her upstairs to play away from the other cats.  She loves to play with her favorite balls, batting them around and chasing them around the house.  In fact, she does this for over an hour, entertaining herself!  

She needed some fiber added to her diet, so I added 1/4 teaspoon of pumpkin to her food.  She was not a fan and began to turn up her nose to it.   I discovered through muscle testing that she developed a sensitivity to it, so I switched her to psyllium husk.  After the first day with the psyllium in her food she was still straining a bit in the litter box.  Then I had an epiphany:  homeopathy!  After comparing symptoms and muscle testing for confirmation I used Bryonia 30C.  Within 6 hours of dosing my husband reported that she finally passed a normal, large amount of poop!  That evening she pooped again, the same amount, and has done so every day since.  I only had to give her one dose to help get her body on tract.  

Address the cause, effect a cure

Many vets may recommend medications or Miralax for cats with constipation issues, and there may be instances when doing so is needed.  However, when you take a holistic approach in addressing it chances are good that pharmaceutical drugs and medications won’t even be necessary. With simple steps like ensuring safe privacy in the litter box, getting more exercise, adding fiber and extra water to her diet, and using homeopathy Lili’s constipation is gone!  I’m sure she feels so much better, too.  

If you have experienced constipation issues with your cat what did you do?  Share in the comments below!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 



5 responses to “Holistic Help For Constipation In Cats”

  1. karmala yasa says:

    Thank you for this post. My cat gets heavily constipated from time to time. Ive only had him for almost one year and during that year I had to take him to the vets for an enema 4 times already. They ended up recommending me to see a specialist that would actually cost thousands of dollars which unfortunately i can not afford at this time. They also suggested to terminate him which broke me into pieces just hearing that.
    I have religiously been giving him lactulose twice a day and a high fibre diet. But it doesn’t seem to be enough. He will get clogged up after 3 – 4 months after an enema. Mind you he is a long haired cat. I have tried doing reiki on him every night and EFT but it did not work much in the long run.
    I would really like to try homeopathy. Would you be able to please tell me what dosage I should give my cat if I gave him Bryonia Alba?

    • Pam Roussell says:

      Prepare a wet dose by dissolving 3 pellets in 1/2 cup of purified or spring water. Using a syringe withdraw 1/2 ml, cover the tip with your finger and strike it hard against your palm 10-12 times to energize it. 1/2 ml = 1 dose. Try a dose 2xday for a couple days. If you don’t notice an improvement stop the remedy. Another suggestion would be to try Smooth BM by Pet Wellbeing. I would also be curious to know what she’s eating. Is it dry food? If so, replace it with wet only with 1/2 tsp of psyllium or canned pumpkin and extra water.

    • Mar Villalba Anula says:

      Hello! I don’t know if you have already tried it but I have to say that have 2 cats that had a strong constipation last week due to me adding digestive enzymes to their diet that doesn’t seem to suit them (I had to take both to the vet and needed a rx, enemas, oral parafin, etc..). The constipation lasted for almost 1 week. Yesterday I bought organic psyllium husk and gave them 1/2 gram per day/per cat mixed with 10 times water than psyllium husk and let them free access to water.
      It has been a miracle, both of them have left a big poo in their litter box (and not that stiff neither dry). It really works!
      Apart from that, as Pam Roussell says, you should give him just wet food which helps in avoid constipation.

      • Hello, I have recently transitioned our older cat (not sure how old she is, as she was a rescue) to raw food. I’m buying whole ground chicken from a place called Raw Paws. She loves this and seemed much healthier, but recently she has been quite demanding and I suddenly noticed that she’s not been pooping for the last 2 days. I think she may be constipated, and wonder if it’s the supplement powder which I add to the raw diet as per a site called Feline Nutrition.org…I wonder if the supplements, which are in the form of a powder and about as natural as I can find, are too much for her system. I also use homeopathy for our cat and for my whole family and when we get it right it’s magical. I think I’ll try the remedy you used and see how she goes. One remedy which often works is “Lac Felinum”, or cats milk…she was prescribed this by a homeopath when she first came to us as she was quite traumatized after being abandoned…it was incredible…she slept for about 36 hours and then was very relaxed and dreamy. Thank you for this post, it’s very interesting…

  2. Shilpi says:

    Hi,
    Please try ayurvedic medicines. Ayurveda works best for ano rectal problems. You will get result soon. Homeopathy is good but it takes bit time to work. Give ayurvedic tablets with treat. Consult an ayurvedic doctor and give her the medicine. It will work 100%. But start with little dose and check whether your pet is able to tolerate it or not.

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