When your cat is straining in the litter box you might be tempted to add prunes to their food dish on occasion. Prunes help us humans keep things regular, so it only makes sense that it would do the same for our feline friends. We may both be mammals, but we don’t share the same food requirements, or the same fixes when it comes to constipation.
As long as you are feeding your cat a high quality cat food at the same time every day, and keeping their water dish full, especially during the summer months, your cat should stay pretty regular. If they’re an indoor/outdoor cat they may have more digestive trouble than an indoor-only cat because they’ll end up catching and eating things they find outdoors.
Keeping a close eye on your cat’s behavior is a good thing for you to do, because it will let you notice things like constipation, stomachaches, and other problems like joint pain or a problem with one of their paws. In most cases constipation is a one-time occurrence for cats, and nothing to be greatly concerned about. What you want to look out for is a combination of symptoms, or a chronic case of constipation.
Can I Give My Cat Prunes? Answer: Not Recommended
Cats are naturally carnivores, and wouldn’t be messing with fruits if left to their own devices in the wild. They definitely wouldn’t go near a plum that had dried out and became a prune, so it’s not something that they’re going to crave, or that’s going to help their digestion the way it does ours. Your best course of action is to let nature do its thing, and use keen observation to see if there are any other symptoms, as this may be a sign of a more serious problem that you should call the vet for.
How About Prune Juice?
So if they’re not really suited to digest prunes, is prune juice OK, since they don’t have to eat it? The same rule applies here. Cats wouldn’t even have the opportunity to drink prune juice in the wild, and the only thing they would drink is water. As the owner, the best liquid you can give your cat is fresh, cool water in a clean water dish. If they stay properly hydrated, they should have regular bowel movements without straining, as water helps keep foods soft and organs well lubricated so food can pass more easily through their system. You may think you’re helping them, but prune juice will only dehydrate them.
If your cat is constipated, you might feel obligated as the owner to do something to help them through it. Even though the best course of action is to let them handle it on their own, some owners just can’t sit idly by. If this describes you, you can take a more natural approach to helping them with this bout of tummy trouble. If they’re allowed to go outside, let them out and see if they naturally start nibbling on some grass. If they are an indoor only cat, bring in some grass for them and see if they go for it. This is what they naturally do in the wild, as it contains fiber and helps with digestion and elimination.
Cats and Constipation
Cats can get constipated for a myriad of reasons, so it can be hard to determine how this happened. If you’ve been giving them the same cat food this whole time, and everything else has remained the same, they could have managed to eat something they shouldn’t, or it could just be an accumulation of cat hair that they didn’t cough up. Either way, they should be fine if it’s a one-time occurrence. If you notice that they are having repeated trouble going, you should consider taking them in to the vet, or at least calling and asking for advice on what to do.
When to Involve Your Vet
Calling your vet each time your cat is constipated is probably not a good thing to do. Keep a journal of anything out of the ordinary about your cat, and if you see the symptoms start piling up, then give your vet a ring and talk things over with them. This way you’ll have it all in writing and won’t be making vague guesses about their symptoms.