Topics


Introduction

The First Lesson

Gut 101 – Full Version

   • Overview

   • Food

   • Mouth

   • Esophagus

   • Stomach

   Gut 101 - Condensed

Gut 102 – Full Version

   • Small Intestine

   • Large Intestine

   Gut 102 – Condensed

Water

Gut Bacteria and Fiber

Poop

What Goes Wrong?

Acute Treatment

   • Saline Laxatives

   • Stimulant Laxatives

   • Enemas

   • Suppositories

   • Lubricant Laxatives

   • Stool Softeners

   • Osmotic Laxatives

Prevention

   • Diet

   • Fiber or Prebiotics

   • Probiotics

   • Vitamins and Minerals

   • Osmotic Laxatives

Glossary

Review


Contact and More


First, to ensure we are on the same page, here are several definitions and/or possible symptoms of constipation:


• infrequent (and frequently incomplete) bowel movements

• hard dry stools

• straining at stool*

• vomiting during or after pooping

• a change in frequency of bowel movements

• liquid stool from above leaking past impacted stool below, giving an

   appearance or impression of diarrhea

• with cats, out-of-box pooping may point to constipation

• visible blood on the stool

• any significant change in color or appearance


*Note that straining to urinate could be confused with straining at stool. A cat who is unable to urinate is experiencing a medical emergency and must be seen by a vet immediately. If the regular vet is not open, if it is a weekend or holiday, find the nearest veterinary emergency clinic.


Constipation is not only miserable for cats, it is unhealthful. Constipation can be the result of illness or disease and/or it can contribute to illness or disease. Constipation can be acute (temporary) or chronic (ongoing). A constipated cat can be helped.


The best treatment for a constipated cat is a human who understands how things work – how the digestive tract works, what poop is and is not, which remedies can help and which can harm or be ineffective. We need a foundation upon which to pin various facts and details, like that familiar childhood game of Pin The Tail On The Donkey. I hope to provide a serviceable donkey as well as some tails and that the tails hit the mark.


While I have tried to keep the writing as straightforward as possible without oversimplification, gut health and constipation can be a complex subject. The Glossary is included to help with unfamiliar terms. Illustrations enhance the text. Each topic offers a Quick Review of highlighted points which are all gathered together in the Review section.


The general topic is divided into several subheadings intended to help you to better understand gut health and constipation. We usually focus on results or lack of results in the litter box; we put our focus on the end product. Since that is not where trouble starts, I encourage you to read the topics in order. The two longest chapters, Gut 101 and Gut 102, offer both full and condensed versions for those who want more or less detail.


The kitten with the scroll at the top left corner of the main pages links to a search window at page bottom which searches the website. Enter your search term in the window and click Search.  Results will present in a pop-up window. Select the resultant hit you want to follow up and click to reach a relevant page. Use your brower's search function (Control + F or Command + F) to narrow the search on the webpage.


No one needs to pass a written test. Take your time, give yourself credit for any gain in understanding how things work. Confusion precedes learning so initial confusion is a good thing!















Most of what I have learned, I learned after our cat SEM died of Chronic Renal Failure in 2001. I surely wish I had known and understood more when SEM was alive and hope this information will help you to help your own cat.


This information is not a substitute for proper veterinary diagnosis and treatment. My intent is to inform. It is your responsibility to seek an accurate diagnosis and proper treatment for your cat from a trained professional.


Errors of omission or commission remain my own.


To appreciate the graphics of this site, let your mouse pointer hover over the graphic at the top of every new page in your browser.


Pat Erickson




The First Lesson starts us off . . . . . .


Introduction to Constipation in Cats


Quick Review


Note that straining to urinate could be confused with straining at stool. A cat who is unable to urinate is experiencing a medical emergency and must be seen by a vet immediately.



The best treatment for a constipated cat is a human who understands how things work.



This information is not a substitute for proper veterinary diagnosis and treatment.


How constipation

can affect cats and how this website addresses the subject.