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What Should I Do If My Cat is Constipated and Not Eating or Drinking?


Dear VetBabble, What Can I Do If My Cat is Constipated and Refusing to Eat or Drink?

One of our readers expressed concern about their cat, Toby, who hasn’t pooped since July 12 and has been refusing to eat dry and wet food on his own. Toby has also been drinking less water than usual, and his owner has had to resort to force-feeding with a syringe. Unfortunately, he’s been vomiting liquid about two times a day since then. The reader has made an appointment with their vet, but they’re seeking advice on helping Toby in the meantime if he’s constipated and how to address this issue for other pet owners who might experience similar situations.

Understanding and Addressing Constipation in Cats

Firstly, it’s important to recognize the signs and symptoms of cat constipation, which can include straining to defecate, producing hard, dry feces, or not defecating at all. Cats generally don’t have a daily bowel movement, so constipation can be difficult to notice at first. However, constipation can become a serious issue if left untreated. The number one cause of constipation in cats is dehydration, which seems to be a concern for Toby since he’s been refusing to drink water.

To help a constipated cat, it’s crucial to address the underlying issue of dehydration. A helpful article on VetBabble offers some practical advice on what to do if your cat is constipated. In Toby’s case, and for other cats experiencing similar symptoms, it’s essential to introduce more moisture into their diet by feeding them wet food and adding water to it. You can also try to encourage your cat to drink more water by providing fresh water frequently throughout the day.

Another useful VetBabble article, Why Does My Cat Drink More Water?, covers the importance of water in a cat’s diet, how to determine if your cat is dehydrated, and tips on how to encourage them to drink more water.

Identifying and Managing Litter Box Issues

Another concern that pet owners might face is when their cat refuses to use the litter box. This can be both a frustrating and worrying experience. It’s vital to determine the cause of this behavior and find effective ways to help your cat regain confidence and comfort in using the litter box. A helpful VetBabble article titled Why Won’t My Cat Use the Litter Tray? discusses various reasons behind this issue, such as medical problems, litter type, or location, and offers solutions to each potential problem.

Importance of Veterinary Care

Lastly, while these tips can help pet owners address their cats’ issues in the short term, it’s essential not to ignore potential underlying medical concerns. In Toby’s case, although we can offer suggestions to help him feel better, it’s crucial for the owner to follow through with their appointment to see the veterinarian.

In cases where a cat’s eating and drinking habits change suddenly, it could be a sign of a more serious concern requiring prompt medical attention. Veterinary care is crucial for determining the cause of your cat’s symptoms and developing a comprehensive treatment plan.

For more information on hydration and nutrition for your cat, VetBabble also has a great article titled Does Your Cat Need to Drink More Water?, which provides insight into how much water your cat should be drinking daily and signs of dehydration to look out for.

In conclusion, by understanding the symptoms of constipation and dehydration, providing wet food and fresh water, addressing potential litter box issues, and seeking veterinary care, pet owners can help their cats feel better and maintain a healthy lifestyle.

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