Most of us understand the benefits of having a good cleansing and detoxifying routine, but we don’t always think about a constipation-based therapy being beneficial to our feline friends. If your cat is suffering from constipation, he is in pain and it’s causing him problems. When he has a bad infestation of parasites or bacteria in his feces, the only solution is to have his colon cleaned out. If you don’t give your pet a thorough cleanse each time, he can become anemic or have hemorrhoids, which are painful stones formed on the rectum or anus. A daily dose of fiber is essential to keeping his bowels moving timely and efficiently.
There are many ways to help your cat with his constipation, and a good technique for treatment is called the “constipation massage.” This includes massaging the abdomen, perineal area, base of tail and groin with a towel soaked in warm water. There should be no pain, and mild discomfort if handled carefully. Begin at the tail and work up to the main body.
A common recommendation for a constipation massage is a product called Enema. Enema is the application of a small amount of warm, sterile liquid directly into the anus via the rectum. It cleans the bowel by introducing moisture, oxygen and toxins-eliminating the dry and hard stools. This is a fairly simple procedure, but must be done carefully and properly by someone who is trained in constipation massage.
In some cases, especially with older cats, a veterinarian may recommend a specialized type of cat stool softener, known as a megacolon. The veterinarian may choose to mix a specially formulated cat laxative to assist with a constipation problem. The megacolon will soften the stool and prevent straining while offering improved bowel control. Although these products are not always necessary, they can provide relief and are quite helpful in relieving cat constipation.
There are other ways to treat cat constipation besides introducing megacolon or a cat stool softener. If your cat has excessive gas or excess mucous production, there are medications available that can help. Your veterinarian can recommend the most appropriate medication for your particular case. Cats with intestinal obstruction or chronic diarrhea may require surgery to insert a laparoscope, a tube with a camera, or other means to access the lower intestines.
Many cat owners give their pets herbal laxatives to help them maintain regularity and regulate bowels. However, it should be noted that many cats are sensitive to manufactured laxatives and may develop an adverse reaction. There are also home remedies that claim to help control constipation in cats. Some home remedies involve mixing up a spoon of baking soda with some wet food and giving your cat a few swallows.
If you decide to try an abdominal massage as a method to cure your cat’s constipation, select one that is not contraindicated to your pet. You should find a professional massage therapist who has experience in treating constipation. The abdominal massage should only take up to fifteen minutes. During this time, the massage therapist will use their hands to massage the abdomen gently starting at the bottom and working upwards. They should also work in a downward motion by applying pressure to the external anal sphincter. You may hear some squeals as the muscles in the rectal area contract during the massage.
Although straining to pass stool can cause your cat to become constipated, it can help to keep its stools soft. Regular intake of a fiber supplement can help as well. This is especially important since insufficient fiber intake can lead to constipation. It can also help to keep your cat’s digestive system on track by preventing constipation and its associated symptoms. It may take up to a month of daily practice for a physical therapist to determine whether or not straining while toileting is a cause of your pet’s constipation, so you may want to wait until the problem has been resolved to try this treatment.