Laxatives are used to relieve constipation within a few hours to a few days depending on the type of laxative you choose to use. Sometimes they are used to help with weight loss as it is believed that the laxative helps pass calories through the system without being absorbed.
What people do not know is abusing a laxative can cause damage to the colon making the colon to become lazy, the weight loss induced from the laxatives is temporary and can cause you to lose to much water and can cause dehydrated.
The abuse of laxatives can also be bad for the heart and other muscle functions since the electrolytes become unbalanced.
There are also foods that can act like a laxative like fruits such as apricots, coconut, dates, grapes, and kiwi. Because laxative use can become an issue it is recommended that you stick to the everyday recommended dose of fruits and vegetables and only use laxatives when it is absolutely needed.
Can I Give My Cat Laxatives? Answer: By Prescription Only
If your cat is middle aged or is getting old you may notice they are not passing bowels as regular as they used to. Before jumping to any conclusions you should be sure the litter box is clean, or if they have to compete with other cats to use the litter box. Another thing you can try is getting a cat food that can help digest hair balls since a hair ball can be causing a blockage.
There are laxatives you can give your cat to help pass a bowel movement, but the only laxative that should be given to a cat is one that a veterinarian prescribes. Giving a laxative to a cat can be dangerous to your cat. So be sure to follow your veterinarian’s directions carefully.
What To Watch For
If your cat is constipated he will make frequent trips to his litter box and attempt to pass a bowel movement, you may also notice your cats anal area is red and swollen. When a cat is severely constipated he may refuse to eat, and may vomit more than usual, and may show signs of depression. Just like when a person is constipated you will notice your cat become more bloated and uncomfortable, and may even refuse to play.
Constipation can be uncomfortable, and for a cat it can be dangerous if you goes on for to long, and he should be treated as soon as possible.
How To Avoid Cat Constipation
Since cats ingest hair it gets into the digestive system and can cause a hairball to get stuck causing your cat to be constipated so it is important to keep your cat groomed, the litter box should also be kept clean, cats will not use it if it is dirty holding in a bowel movement can also cause your cat to have constipation, give your cat a herbal remedy that will help him stay regular, and be sure your cat is staying hydrated.
As a pet owner it is your responsibility to care for your cat and keep them happy and healthy. It is also important to watch for any signs that your cat is unhappy or sick.
What A Veterinarian Can Do For Your Cat
When you take your cat to the veterinarian you should bring up all of your cats symptoms. The veterinarian may want to take x-rays to make sure nothing other than food was eaten, and if everything looks good he or she will prescribe a laxative that may or may not help your cat. The vet should tell you how long it should take to work, if it does not work in that time frame you will need to go back and the vet will most likely perform an enema.
Severe constipation is dangerous so do not wait to visit a vet. The longer you wait he harder the treatment.
What To Do If You Cannot Get To A Veterinarian
Cats should only be given laxatives under the supervision of a veterinarian. If for any reason you cannot get to the veterinarian right away, you should make a fast phone call and see what they tell you to do. However, there are times when we cannot get to a veterinarian and may not be able to make a quick call.
In a desperate situation you can give your cat wet food in order to increase the water intake, or unsweetened canned pumpkin can be used to increase fiber and soften the stools. Do not use laxatives since there could be something wrong other than constipation.