Kitten Constipation

By Dr. Ritu Krishnatreye, BHMS

Kitten constipation

Constipation is a condition that involves infrequent passage of dry and hard stools.

Most kittens poop an average of a couple of times a day. When defecation becomes infrequent with dry and hard stools, kitten is probably constipated.

Though it is seen more often in cats, kittens may also develop constipation. Kitten constipation is usually not that hard to handle. In most cases it can be remedied without a visit to the vet.

7 Reasons for Constipation in Kittens

1. A lack of fiber

Not getting enough fiber in kitten’s diet is a major contributor to kitten constipation. When shopping for kitten food at the store, compare the ingredient panels to see which food has a better source of fiber.

2. Dehydration

If kitty isn’t drinking enough it can lead to dehydration. This is especially true of kittens that have been placed on dry food.

When a kitten becomes dehydrated, the water in fecal matter is absorbed by the colon for more urgent needs elsewhere in the body. This results in stools that are hard and dry.

3. An obstruction in the intestines

In some cases, severe constipation or blockage may occur if kitten eats food containing hair or bones. Sometimes a toy or other object is swallowed, which may also cause a blockage.

Obstructions may also be due to a birth defect or an injury. 

4. Behavioral issues

Constipation may also be result of a number of behavioral issues, which can cause kitty to be reluctant to defecate.

  • Dirty litter box

  • Not wanting to share a litter box

  • Reluctance to go outside, perhaps due to rain or cold

  • A change in the kitten’s environment 

5. Inactivity

Just as in humans, a lack of physical activity could also be a cause of constipation in kittens.

A lack of exercise or activity could slow down the speed at which stool moves through the colon, leading to constipation.

6. Other types of milk

When a kitten is taken off of its mother’s milk and put on a bottle fed milk formula, it may result in constipation.

This is normally just a temporary problem, lasting only a number of days, until kitten’s body makes the adjustment.

7. A medical condition may result in constipation

  • Damage to certain nerves in colon, anus or spinal cord

  • Hormonal conditions such as hypothyroid

  • The presence of polyps or cancer

7 Symptoms of Constipation in Kittens

  1. As one would imagine, the most obvious symptom of constipation is straining during defecation.

  2. The kitten with difficulty may pass a small amount of dry and hard stool.

  3. Crying in pain while straining would symbolize extreme constipation or even blockage.

  4. In cases of extreme constipation, the kitten may be straining and crouching for prolonged period in the litter tray and yet little or no stool is passed.

  5. Defecating outside of the litter box.

  6. A loss of appetite.

  7. Lethargy in day to day activity could be a symptoms of more advanced constipation.

Ways to Deal Kitten Constipation

For most kittens, constipation can be dealt with fairly easily.

Dry cat foods

Most dry cat foods contain a lot of filler and not a lot of fiber or nutritional value.

Furthermore, they don’t contain any moisture, so feeding this food to a kitten can lead to chronic dehydration and other health problems.

It is important to look at the ingredients on the label before buying cat food.

  • Instead of dry foods, give your pet moist canned foods.

  • Raw or home cooked meat has a high moisture content, which helps to keep kitty hydrated.

Additional sources of fiber

  • Pumpkin acts as a stool softener and helps clear the system, usually in less than 24 hours.

  • Flaxseed works as bulking agent to help normalize stools. For occasional constipation, just add a pinch of milled seeds. A coffee grinder can turn flax seed to a powder in 10 to 15 seconds.

Ionic Sea Minerals

This is an all natural supplement prepared from sea water. It contains 76 minerals and trace minerals, including a good amount of constipation busting magnesium

Magnesium pulls extra water into the colon, which helps to moisten stool, making it softer and easier to eliminate.

Each day, just add one drop for every two pounds of body weight to milk or cream. Make sure to taste the mixture to make sure it has been diluted enough not to be bitter.


Make sure your kitten is drinking water throughout the day. Keep a bowl of fresh clean water available throughout the day and night.

Physical activity

If your kitten doesn’t get much exercise, it is important to encourage play times.

This will promote healthy digestion and help the intestinal tract in moving waste matter through and out of the body. 

Address suspected medical conditions

If you suspect a medical problem with your kitten, please let your vet examine her.

Constipation can be associated with neurological and endocrine disorders which require prompt medical attention. 

Conclusion, kitten constipation

If you notice a significant decline of stool in kitty’s liter box, it may indicate that she is constipated.

Instead of treating ongoing episodes of acute constipation, try to identify the core cause of the problem and treat that cause, using natural and safe methods to deal with kitten constipation. 

(Return from Kitten Constipation to Constipation in Cats)

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