Any cat owner knows that constipation is an extremely common feline problem. Now, your cat might be going through this for the first time, or it might already be suffering from chronic constipation. If you’ve never experienced your cat going through constipation, then it might be difficult to identify the signs. For multi-cat households, it can get even more difficult to identify whether your cat is constipated or not. Since in households with multiple cats, the litter boxes are usually on a sharing basis, it might be difficult to decide whether your cat is passing stools or not.
A great way to check if one of your cats is suffering from constipation is to feed all your cats baby beets, one by one. After feeding it to one cat, check the litter box for a few days to see if some of the stool is colored. This means that the cat has a healthy bowel movement and doesn’t have constipation. Do this to all your cats systematically to find out which one is constipated. Some other signature identifiers of constipation among cats are vomiting, lack of appetite, being fidgety, flinching when touched on the belly, etc.
Why It Happens?
The reasons for the occurrence of acute constipation in felines are due to either pelvic trauma, or underlying soft tissue pain, and it can be easily rectified. One of the leading reasons for chronic constipation is dehydration, which can be either due to increased loss of water due to diarrhea or vomiting or due to decreased intake of water.
Constipation in cats can also be caused by orthopedic issues such as arthritis, or neurological issues. These parameters are also affected by genetics or due to other physical and environmental reasons. For example, there could be litter box issues such as its positioning and location and the cat’s interaction with it. Another environmental factor is your household dynamics.
Veterinary Enema Procedure – What You Should Know?
As soon as you realize that your cat is constipated, you should contact your vet and start asking questions about the possible methods of treatment. If your vet gives a go-ahead for the enema administration, then you have to decide whether to administer the enema in the vet clinic or at your home. Your cat’s comfort is the most important factor here. If your cat is comfortable going through such a procedure in foreign surroundings and does not struggle much, then a veterinary enema procedure by the doctor would be a good choice. For home administration of enema, you might use available products such as Feline Pet-Ema. But professionals also make their own concoctions from warm water, water-based laxatives, etc. for administration into the rectum, instead of pre-made solutions. All you need to know is that the earlier you identify constipation and get it treated, the lesser the discomfort for your cat.
Administration of Cat Enema
Now, your cat might be struggling with constipation, and it might be frustrating for you to see her in this condition. The first step to do in such a situation is to immediately contact your vet. If you get the approval from your vet, and your feline is co-operative, then you can administer an enema to her at home. The best solution for an enema is specifically made for cats and contains dioctyl sodium sulfosuccinate and glycerin. The sulfosuccinate draws water into the feces, and the glycerin lubricates the rectum. There are also several products available on the market for enemas, such as Feline Pet-Ema, which are disposable and effectively treat cat enemas with the help of a single-use syringe.
You should only administer an enema manually at home when the case of constipation is very recent (less than 2-3 days). If it is older than that, then you might have to seek professional veterinary help. Checking your cat’s emotional status can be a helpful barometer of its current state. If the cat is docile, then it rules out the presence of painful and discomforting issues such as kidney problems, arthritis etc.
Step by Step Guide
Now, you have to procure an appropriate enema for your cat. Feline Pet-Ema is a great product that is also easily available online. The Pet-Ema kit contains a syringe so you don’t need to worry about having to buy one separately. You’ll have to lubricate one end of the syringe or the feeder tube with a lubricant like Vaseline.
Since the enema procedure can be messy, you should wear some protective gloves, lay down some towels and absorbent pads. Here the steps to effectively administer an enema,
- Place your cat on the towel and wrap her up like a burrito in the towel.
- Now, slowly insert the syringe into the rectum of your cat, and inject it. If you’re using Feline Pet-Ema, then first administer 6ml at the rate of 1ml every three seconds.
- One hour later, give another 6ml dosage in a similar fashion.
- While waiting for the dosage to have its effect, you can massage the area near your cat’s belly gently.
What To Expect After Cat Enema?
While some cats pass stools in 10-15 minutes of the administration, some might take up to an hour or two. It is completely dependent on the history of the constipation case.
After the administration of the enema, you will have to keep your cat under observation for a few hours. It would be a good measure to keep massaging its underbelly with firm fingers, which will help the cat pass stool. You should expect a few drops of blood with the stool. But if the bleeding does not stop in a few minutes, then you must take immediate veterinary help. After the initial observation, you might have to pay a little attention to your cat’s litter box for a few more days, to monitor whether the excreta of your cat becomes natural and healthy.
Cat Enema Not Working? Here’s What To Do
If the cat enema does not seem to be working, then you can flush the rectum with flushes of mineral water, to externally hydrate the rectum.
If it has been more than a couple of hours, and your cat has still not responded to the administered enema, then you might have to administer another dosage. However, overdosage of enema might be harmful to your cat. If there is no relief even after two rounds of administration, then it might be signaling that your cat has too much leftover poop for the enema to work. Remember that the enema is only helpful when the constipation is not very serious. In the case that it is serious, you might have to seek veterinary help at the earliest, as surgery might be the only option.
To avoid the procedure of enema, people tend to rely on non-invasive procedures such as taking oral laxatives. But in the long run, taking such laxatives causes stomachache and irritated bowel, and other such long-term problems. Even a vet will advise you to administer an enema, instead of going for oral laxatives.