If a cat doesn’t drink enough water throughout the day, he or she can suffer bouts of constipation, which can lead to a whole other slew of health issues. The best cat foods for constipation are designed to encourage bowel health and regularity. As a cat owner, it’s important that you learn about your pet’s nutrition and hydration needs, including how to maintain regular, healthy digestion. If your pet has already started to struggle with frequent constipation several times a week, then switching cat food brands can help, especially if you make the switch to wet. In this buyer’s guide, I’ll go over the dangers of constipation in felines, what to look for in a new food for your pet, and which brands of cat food can help prevent constipation and promote bowel health.
Below, you’ll find a comparison chart of the five top pet foods for cats that can help combat constipation. The chart also contains information regarding the ingredients and shows how each product is rated.
Cat Foods for Constipation Comparison Chart
Rachael Ray Nutrish Purrfect Broths Wet Cat Food
This popular wet cat food by Rachael Ray includes twenty-four 1.4-ounce pouches of wet cat food in a variety of flavors including salmon, seafood bisque, and savory seafood. The all-natural ingredients and high moisture content make this pet food perfect for cats who are prone to constipation. This formula is grain-free and does not contain soy, wheat, or corn. The high protein content makes this food suitable for adults but may make it a poor choice for older cats who have trouble digesting higher levels of protein.
- Three flavors
- Twenty-four pack
- Perfect for cats prone to constipation
- High protein content makes this food unsuitable for seniors
This delectable wet cat food is perfect for stubborn cats. It offers three flavor options, all-natural ingredients, and is free from many common allergens. The high moisture content will ensure your cat remains well-hydrated, even if they don’t consume much water. The food contains the important ingredients, vitamins and nutrients all adult cats need to thrive in flavors they’re sure to love.
Hill’s Science Diet Wet Cat Food
This wet cat food by Hill’s Science Diet is designed for both juveniles and adult cats ages one to six. This variety pack includes several flavors, such as turkey and liver, savory turkey, and savory chicken. The food contains all-natural ingredients, in addition to amino acids, minerals, and vitamins, all of which aid in digestion and help promote bowel regularity. The food’s high moisture content makes it suitable for cats who don’t drink enough water and those who are prone to constipation.
- Three flavor options
- Includes amino acids
- All-natural ingredients
- High moisture content
This pet food may be a little pricey, considering it only includes a total of four servings, but if your cat is struggling with chronic constipation, this pet food can help solve the problem, while also promoting digestive health and bowel health. Additionally, the variety of flavors and all-natural ingredients make this food suitable for picky cats.
Royal Canin Feline Care Nutrition
This wet pet food by Royal Canin is perfect for both seniors and adults. The food is designed for cats with sensitive stomachs and consists of highly digestible proteins that are designed to help the body absorb nutrients better, while decreasing odor from stool. The food can also help cats maintain the ideal weight thanks to the precisely balanced blend of essential vitamins and minerals.
- Twenty-four pack
- Designed for cats with sensitive stomachs
- Perfect blend of vitamins and minerals
- Promotes bowel health and regularity
- May cause diarrhea
If your cat is having trouble defecating or is experiencing stinky stools, then your cat may be suffering from chronic constipation and digestive upset. This nutrient packed cat food will help your cat maintain the ideal weight, promotes bowel health, and is a great choice for adults and seniors who experience digestive upset often.
Weruva Cats in The Kitchen Grain-Free Wet Cat Food
This grain-free cat food contains pumpkin and boneless chicken with fish oil, which promotes skin and coat health. This pet food is designed for adult cats and includes a complete and balanced diet with added vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants designed to support bowel health, while promoting hydration. The food is free of preservatives, artificial colors, wheat, soy, and corn.
- Includes essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
- Fish oil for skin and coat health
- Contains pumpkin for bowel regularity
- Can cause loose stool
This pet food is designed for adult cats who are struggling with chronic episodes of constipation. The pet food contains many important vitamins and minerals that your cat needs in order to thrive, including fish oil which contains healthy fats that promote skin and coat health. The added pumpkin ensures bowel regularity, with a mild flavor that even the pickiest feline won’t notice. This all-natural pet food is perfect for cats who are picky eaters, cats with allergies, and cats who are prone to dehydration and constipation.
Natural Balance Delectable Delights Wet Cat Food
This pet food contains whitefish, sardines, and kale, bathed in a rich gravy. This wet cat food is perfect for adults and features a grain-free formula that provides balanced and complete nutrition. The food is wheat, soy, and corn-free. This food is high in both moisture and healthy fats, both of which will promote hydration, coat health, skin health, and bowel health. The all-natural ingredients ensure your pet gets the vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants they need to thrive.
- Includes healthy fats
- Promotes skin and coat health
- All-natural ingredients
- Strong odor
This grain-free formula contains all-natural ingredients that your cat is sure to love. The food offers complete and balanced nutrition and contains all the important vitamins and nutrients that adults need to support a healthy immune system, aid in digestion, and promote skin and coat health.
Cat Foods for Constipation Buyer’s Guide
Occasional constipation can affect animals as well as humans. While constipation may not seem like a big deal, chronic constipation in cats can lead to health issues such as impaction and enlargement of the colon. The consequences of these health problems can be painful, uncomfortable, and can require surgery, in severe cases.
So, how can you prevent chronic constipation in felines? The first thing a cat owner must do is identify the signs of constipation.
Signs of Cat Constipation
Some of the most common signs of feline constipation include:
- Signs of abdominal pain
- Straining with no defecation
- Using the litter box frequently
- Stool that’s covered in mucus or blood
- Dry, hard, and small stool
- Defecating less than usual
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Sounds of pain during defecation
- Lack of grooming
Now that you know more about the signs of constipation in cats, you may wonder what’s causing this issue in your pet. Everything from the ingestion of foreign objects to dehydration can be responsible for your cat’s health issues.
Dehydration is the most common cause of constipation in felines and it’s also the easiest to treat and prevent.
Lack of Fiber
While cats have a limited ability to digest fiber, it’s essential for helping their food properly move through the digestive tract.
If an obstruction isn’t due to ingesting a foreign object, it can be a result of an obstruction in the colon that’s caused by a tumor or hernia.
Most cats spend a significant amount of time grooming. When doing so, they tend to ingest a large amount of hair. Brushing your cat more often, in addition to increasing their fiber content can help prevent hairballs in the future.
Some types of medications can cause constipation. Switching medications and adding a fiber supplement can help remedy this issue.
Neurological diseases can result in problems with the digestive tract, which can lead to constipation.
Being obese or overweight can have an impact on your feline’s body in several ways, including gastrointestinal upset and constipation.
Should you notice that your pet hasn’t defecated in a couple of days, it should be a cause for concern. To get a better idea of what’s going on with your pet, take a closer look at their symptoms and speak with your vet.
If your cat is suffering from chronic constipation, speak with your vet about proper intervention. A vet will be able to assess your pet’s current condition and make recommendations in terms of treatment and diet.
If your pet is prone to constipation, it’s time to take a closer look at her diet. Increasing the moisture and fiber content in your pet’s food can help aid in digestion and prevent episodes of constipation in the future.
Typically, dry cat food has a moisture content of around ten percent, while canned cat food is around eighty percent. You can still feed your pet dry cat food; however, you should consider moistening it with chicken broth or add water to increase the moisture content. You can also mix in a spoon or two of wet cat food to boost your cat’s moisture intake.
Increasing a cat’s fiber content is also very important. However, make sure you avoid diets that are made with too many carbs. Great sources of fiber can include powdered cellulose, ground flaxseeds, and psyllium powder.
When it comes to cat food, digestibility is important and whole food ingredients are way easier to digest than food that contains a lot of additives and fillers. Your pet’s food should be processed as little as possible to ensure that their body is able to easily break it down.
Probiotics and Prebiotics
Prebiotic fibers provide pet food with beneficial bacteria that will aid in digestion by promoting a healthy environment in the gut. A healthy gut is able to break down food easily. Additionally, keep in mind that cats are obligate carnivores, which means meat should be the foundation of their diet. Animal proteins such as fish, meat, and poultry are more biologically valuable for a pet than plant proteins. However, you may find that many types of pet foods contain plant proteins such as potato or pea proteins. This isn’t usually a problem, just as long as the plant protein is not the primary ingredient and is only used as supplemental protein.
The quality of the ingredients in cat food also matters. When you have a cat that’s prone to constipation, their digestive system is pretty sensitive, so you’ll want to consider foods that contain limited ingredients which can help to further minimize the risk of allergies and sensitivities.
Common Treatments for Constipation in Cats
In most cases, treating cat constipation is fairly easy and can be as simple as switching cat foods. In other cases, a vet will recommend switching cat foods in addition to other types of home treatments. Depending on the cause of your feline’s constipation, a vet may recommend the following treatments:
- Stool softeners
- Medication to boost the contractile strength of the large intestine
- Surgery to treat bowel obstruction
- Diet change
For some felines, a diet that’s low in fiber will be beneficial, but for others a diet that’s higher in fiber will work better, based on the cause of the constipation.
Increasing water consumption is also usually recommended. This can be done by providing access to a clean fresh water source or switching from dry cat food to wet.
Increasing exercise can also be beneficial for cats who suffer from chronic constipation.
Regular brushing and combing can help to minimize the formation of hairballs.
Alleviating constipation as soon as possible is very important, since the longer the feces remains in the colon, the harder and drier it will become, making it difficult for cats to eliminate. As an example, obstipation, which is constipation that resists treatment, can occur. With this condition, the colon becomes so packed with feces that it leads to unproductive straining, vomiting, loss of appetite, and lack of energy. This can result in the colon swelling and can cause permanent loss of colon motility.
Cats with chronic constipation can be difficult to treat, in which case an underlying health condition may be to blame. Senior cats often suffer from difficult or infrequent bowel movements. However, this condition can occur in any pet that doesn’t consume an adequate amount of fiber, or those who have a low water intake.
Early management and medication can help to prevent irreversible and chronic problems from developing. Adequate hydration will be crucial. Additionally, certain environmental aspects can also play a role. Make sure that your cat’s litter box is safe, clean and easily accessible. This will help to prevent inappropriate elimination and fecal retention. Speak with your vet if you notice dry hard feces or if your cat appears to have trouble defecating on a regular basis.
Frequently Asked Questions
What Food Helps a Constipated Cat?
If your cat is constipated, try adding fiber to their diet and adding canned cat food. Fiber is a great choice since it can help waste to move easily through the digestive tract, quickly. You can try adding a spoonful of natural bran or pumpkin to your pet’s food. Fiber supplements can increase the fiber content in their diet as well.
What is a Natural Laxative for Cats?
Just a spoonful of pureed canned pumpkin two times a day can help provide your pet with the fiber they need to defecate. This can be added to a pet’s food at any time, but it should definitely be added if you notice that your cat is having trouble defecating. You can also try using ginger.
Can Wet Food Make Cats Constipated?
If your pet is constipated frequently, then you may want to transition from dry cat food to wet. This should be a gradual transition that takes several weeks. If your pet eats wet cat food already and is still experiencing constipation, then they should be seen by their vet.
How do I Know if My Cat has a Blockage?
Some of the most common symptoms of an intestinal blockage include crying, cold body temperature, abdominal swelling and pain, lethargy, weakness, refusal to eat, vomiting, and diarrhea.
How Long is too Long for a Cat Not to Poop?
A healthy cat should defecate once daily. A cat that stops eating for any reason will have less in their digestive tract, so they may defecate less often. However, if four to five days go by without defecation, it’s time to speak with your vet.
What Should I do if My Cat Hasn’t Pooped?
For mild cases of constipation, a cat may need a dietary adjustment. In more serious cases, a cat may need an enema or medication such as probiotics, stool softeners, or laxatives.
Can I Give My Cat Milk for Constipation?
No. Cats are naturally lactose intolerant. If a cat is given cow’s milk this will lead to stomach upset and diarrhea, which can further worsen dehydration, the most common culprit of constipation in cats.
The key to relieving constipation and preventing future episodes is switching to the best cat foods for constipation. As you know by now, a cat food should have a high moisture and fiber content, and should include wholesome, healthy ingredients to ensure balanced and complete nutrition. A cat’s nutrition should always be your top priority. This guide and the products I’ve included here can help eliminate constipation problems and can promote bowel health and weight loss, can prevent digestive tract issues, and can also increase energy levels, and improve coat and skin health.