An enema might seem like an unpleasant experience to most, but the procedure itself dates back to before ancient Egypt. It consists of forcing liquid into the rectum through the anus.
Although the liquid is forced into the anus with a low pressure, it can still create some discomfort. It has been shown to be particularly effective in treating problems such as constipation.
When your cat is hovering over their litter box and straining without any results you may be tempted to draw upon the ancient art of the enema.
Can I Give My Cat an Enema? Answer: If Specially Designed for Cats.
Veterinarians often recommend enemas for cats that suffer from severe constipation. When other solutions are not working to get the bowels moving an enema may be the only option. They are not easy to administer, unless you have an extremely docile cat. After all, you will be inserting something into their anus and then flushing their rectum with liquid. Giving a cat an enema does require a specific tool set, and a little bit of courage.
There are commercially available enema sets available on the Internet and in pet stores. Considering the degree of difficulty in giving your cat an enema it might be better to visit the veterinarian first to receive instructions on best practices.
What is a Cat Enema?
Human enemas cannot be given to cats. The enema for cats follows the same principle as that for people, but there is an animal-safe solution that must be used. A veterinarian can prescribe a solution and then administer the enema or you can do it at home. The solution is put into the cat’s rectum with a catheter tube and it rinses out any impacted stool. An enema clears the bowels and should allow the cat to defecate without difficulty.
By removing obstructions in the bowels it can prevent worse conditions and relieve constipation. As cats age they have more problems with constipation and bowel blockage, so the older cats are those that will need enemas more frequently.
Enemas at Home
Once you have received the necessary supplies and instruction from the veterinarian. It is possible to give your cat enemas at home. As mentioned before it is crucial to receive the right tools and solution from the vet, but the enema itself can be done at home. This can save us a trip to the vet and some expenses for his or her services, but can turn out to be a whole lot of messy hassle.
Another bonus of doing it at home is that it is generally less stressful for your feline friend. Not necessarily for you though. Follow the veterinarians instructions, if you push the enema solution in too fast you may also cause your cat to vomit.
Increase the Fiber First
Before resorting to giving your cat an enema try other means to relieve their constipation. Increasing the fiber intake of a cat is always beneficial to their bowel movements. Since old cats have a tendency to get constipated commercially available cat food cater to their need by supplying food for seniors. This version of the cat food contains additional fibers. Canned pumpkin is also rich in fibers and seems to be a snack appreciated by most cats, who are not usually fond of vegetables.
Dehydration can also lead to constipation in many cases so switching to wet food may solve the problem as it greatly increases their fluid intake. A pet fountain may also encourage your cat to drink more, because they love to lap the running water.
Additional Health Considerations
Constipation can be a symptom of a serious medical condition, so you should always contact your veterinarian to ask for advice and to have your pet examined to exclude life-threatening diseases.
Follow the Instructions
As long as the enema is prescribed by a veterinarian and you have received proper instructions on how to administer it, then it can be a big relief to your cat. Do not attempt an enema on your cat with enemas intended for humans or without previous training. Since it is a fairly unpleasant experience for you and your cat try other methods to get the bowels moving before giving your pet an enema.