Feline constipation is a common ailment that affects our feline friends.
Happily, there are plenty of things you can to do alleviate and prevent this uncomfortable condition.
The most obvious solution is to feed your cat food that contains ingredients known to prevent constipation.
But how do you choose the best cat food for constipation?
To help you, we’ve put together this guide which explains some of the most important ingredients to look out for.
We’ll also examine some of the leading brands and provide tips on ensuring your cat’s digestive health.
But we start by highlighting the most common causes and symptoms of feline constipation.
In a Hurry? Here’s Five Highly-Rated Cat Foods for Feline Constipation
Symptoms of Constipation
Constipation is a condition in which the cat finds it difficult to pass stools. Common symptoms of feline constipation include:
Straining during defecation – Cats may spend an unusually long time in the litter box, visibly straining to pass stools without success or producing very little feces.
Hard or dry feces – When your cat manages to pass stools, they may be small, hard and dry, indicating that they have been in the colon for an extended period.
Decreased frequency of bowel movements – A constipated cat may have fewer bowel movements than usual, often passing stools less than once every day or two.
Vocalizations – Your cat may call out during his attempts at defecating.
Signs of Discomfort – restlessness and a reluctant to sit may indicate discomfort arising from constipation.
Loss of appetite – A loss of appetite is often symptomatic of constipation.
Lethargy/Lack of Energy – Constipated cats may become less active and show reduced energy levels due to discomfort and because their stomachs are struggling to process backed up food.
Vomiting – In some cases, constipation can cause a cat to vomit. This sometimes happens because the strain of defecation stretches the colon.
If your cat displays ongoing constipation symptoms such as those mentioned above, you should consult your veterinarian for a proper diagnosis and treatment plan.
Causes of Constipation in Cats
Here’s a run-down of the most common causes. of constipation in cats.
Dehydration – A lack of water results in dehydration which in turn often leads to hard, dry stools that are difficult to pass.
You can help to prevent this by providing east access to clean water throughout the day. However, take care to place the water bowl away from the litter box!
Low fiber intake – A lack of fiber in our cat’s diet may also cause constipation.
Fiber aids in promoting regular bowel movements and softening the stool. So it follows that providing a high-fiber diet will sometimes be all that’s required.
Sedentary lifestyle – Cats with low activity levels are more prone to constipation. Exercise stimulates bowel movements and supports overall digestive health.
Encouraging your cat to engage in play and physical activity regular may also be of benefit.
Hairballs – Hairballs sometimes obstruct the digestive tract, leading to constipation.
Regular grooming is therefore pretty important especially if you own a medium to long-haired breed.
Medication – Constipation is sometimes the result of medications such as antihistamines, diuretics or painkillers.
Talk to your vet if you think this might be the cause of your cat’s digestive problems.
Medical conditions – Obesity, kidney disease, arthritis and neurological or colon disorders are often behind constipation.
Regular veterinary check-ups can help detect and manage these conditions early on.
Obstructions – Foreign objects, tumours or strictures in the digestive tract can impede the passage of feces, leading to constipation.
If you suspect an obstruction, consult your veterinarian immediately.
Stress and behavioral factors – You cats may experience constipation due to stress.
This might be brought about by the introduction of new environment, a family member, a litter box aversion or changes in daily routine.
Choosing the Best Cat Food for Constipation – Things to Consider
In selecting the best cat food for constipation, you’ll want to a brand that promotes healthy digestion and regular bowel movements.
These are some of the most important things to look out for.
High Fiber Content
Cat food with a high fiber content helps to prevent and manage constipation by promoting regular bowel movements and softening the stool.
Focus on brands containing both soluble and insoluble fiber sources, such as psyllium husk, beet pulp and pumpkin.
Higher Moisture Content
Cats often have a low thirst drive, making it crucial to choose foods with higher moisture content in order to aid in hydration.
Wet or canned cat foods are generally more hydrating than dry options, supporting healthy bowel movements and thus reducing the risk of constipation.
Quality Ingredients and Protein Sources
Opt for cat foods made with high-quality, easily digestible proteins and ingredients.
This will minimize digestive stress and promote optimal nutrient absorption.
High-quality protein sources like chicken, turkey and fish can be really helpful for cats struggling with constipation.
Be sure to avoid foods with excessive fillers or artificial additives – these sometimes exacerbate digestive issues.
Grain-Free and Limited-Ingredient Options
Sensitivities and allergies to specific ingredients may contribute to constipation as well as other digestive problems.
One solution is to provide your cat with grain-free or limited-ingredient foods as a means of eliminating potential irritants or allergens.
Simple, wholesome ingredients are often the best way to go here.
Life Stage and Activity Level
You should also consider your cat’s age, activity level and overall health when selecting the best wet cat food for constipation relief.
Kittens, senior felines and those with specific health conditions may require specialized diets to meet their unique nutritional needs.
If your cat is already on a specially-formulated diet, be sure to speak with your vet before making any changes.
Popular Cat Foods for Constipation in Cats
With the above factors in mind, we’ve carefully curated a list of what we think to be the best cat foods for constipation relief.
All have received excellent user reviews and therefore come highly recommended.
Blue Buffalo Wilderness High Fiber Grain-Free Indoor Cat Food
Blue Buffalo is made from a high-fiber formula designed to support healthy digestion and bowel movements.
It contains a blend of natural fibers, such as psyllium seed husk and pea fiber, alongside high-quality protein sources like deboned chicken and turkey meal.
The grain-free recipe is also fortified with essential vitamins, mineral, and antioxidants to promote overall health.
- Addresses constipation with high fiber content
- Grain-free formula, suitable for cats with sensitive stomachs
- Made with high-quality protein sources
- Contains essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants
- Quite expensive compared to other brands
Suitable for: Adult indoor cats with constipation issues or those requiring a high-fiber, grain-free diet.
Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Fiber Response Dry Cat Food
This specifically formulated cat food can address gastrointestinal issues, including constipation.
This particular brand is considered by many to be the best dry cat food for a constipated cat.
It has a high level of both soluble and insoluble fibers to promote healthy digestion and bowel movements.
The recipe features easily digestible proteins and prebiotics to support gut health. It’s also enriched with essential nutrients to maintain overall well-being.
- Recommended by vets for cats with gastrointestinal issues
- High in fiber to support healthy bowel movements
- Contains easily digestible proteins and prebiotics
- Enriched with essential nutrients for overall health
- Requires a prescription from a veterinarian
- May be more expensive than other options
Suitable for: Cats with gastrointestinal issues, including constipation, as recommended by a veterinarian.
Hill’s Science Diet Adult Sensitive Stomach & Skin Dry Cat Food
Hill’s is formulated for cats with sensitive stomachs and contains prebiotic fiber to support gut health and improve stool quality.
It features easily digestible proteins like chicken meal and rice to minimize digestive stress as well as essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
- Formulated for cats with sensitive stomachs
- Contains prebiotic fiber for gut health and stool quality
- Features easily digestible proteins to minimize digestive stress
- Fortified with essential vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants
- Some cats may not like the taste or texture
Suitable for: Adult cats with sensitive stomachs or mild gastrointestinal issues
Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Green Pea & Duck Formula Dry Cat Food
Natural Balance L.I.D. cat food is designed to minimize ingredient sensitivities, which can contribute to constipation.
Featuring a rather long name, this highly-rated brand features a simple recipe that includes green pea fiber to support healthy digestion and a duck protein source to provide essential nutrients.
The grain-free, limited-ingredient formula helps reduce the risk of adverse reactions in sensitive cats as well.
- Limited-ingredient, grain-free formula for cats with sensitive guts
- Contains green pea fiber for healthy digestion
- Features a single, high-quality protein source (duck)
- Minimizes the risk of allergic reactions
- May be more expensive than some other options
- Really long name
Suitable for: Cats with ingredient sensitivities or allergies
Weruva Cats in the Kitchen Grain-Free Wet Cat Food
This is a high-moisture canned option that’s made with high-quality protein sources, such as chicken, tuna, or mackerel to support optimal nutrition.
The grain-free recipes are free of artificial additives, ensuring a wholesome meal for your cat.
The high moisture content also promotes proper hydration, supporting healthy bowel movements.
- High moisture content to support hydration and bowel movements
- Grain-free formula, suitable for cats with sensitivities
- Made with high-quality protein sources for optimal nutrition
- Free of artificial additives
- May be more expensive than some other options
Suitable for: Cats with constipation issues who require a high-moisture, grain-free diet, or those who need an alternative to dry food for proper hydration.
Tips for Preventing and Managing Cat Constipation
While the above cat foods can be really helpful in addressing feline constipation, the following tips will help to prevent and manage the issue.
Importance of Water Intake
Ensure your cat has access to fresh water at all times to support hydration and digestive health.
Regular exercise and playtime can help stimulate bowel movements and maintain overall health.
Regularly Groom Your Cat
Regular grooming can reduce hairball formation, a common cause of constipation in cats.
Monitor Your Cat’s Litter Box Habits
Keep an eye on your cat’s litter box habits to detect any changes that may indicate constipation or other health issues.
Consult Your Vet
Always consult your veterinarian for personalized advice on your cat’s constipation. Either speak to your usual practitioner or arrange an online veterinary consultation.