Constipation: Don’t Just Assume It Will Correct Itself


Most cats defecate once a day; some cats, twice daily. It wouldn’t be unusual to skip a day, but you should be concerned if there has been no stool production after two days, says Tufts veterinary internist Michael Stone, DVM. Infrequent or difficult evacuation of dry, hard feces are “red flags to which owners must pay attention,” he says.

Chronic constipation can lead to a condition called obstipation, which means the cat is no longer able to defecate at all. And that, in turn, can cause megacolon — severe dilation of the colon. In some cases, surgery is then required to remove the colon altogether.

Don’t let it get to that point. Caught early on, feline constipation can often be corrected with a change in diet recommended by a veterinarian, oral medications, and, if necessary, removing a colonic obstruction.



  1. My 12 year old Black Male cat has just been to the doctor and required an enema to relieve is bowels. This was caused by hairballs…these hairballs were spit up on occasion and feeding the hairball dry or wet food did my relieve the situation at the time.

    I have had cats all my life, but I now have two that are kept in the house all the time. I had never experienced the “hairballs” in my outdoor/indoor cats. I reply here only to make cat lovers of this condition and if my cat had not been seen by a physician in time, I’m afraid what the verdict would have been.


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