How to Tell if Your Cat is Constipated?

how to tell if your cat is constipated

Constipation is a problem that even the best of us suffer from at some point in time. However, we are humans and we can solve the problem all on our own.

For cats on the other hand, if they are constipated or feeling unwell in any way, it’s up to you, the owner, to recognize the signs, to figure out the cause, and to take care of it.

Constipation is not always a sign of a much worse underlying condition, but it can be. How to tell if your cat is constipated is what we will be discussing in this article.

Signs of a Constipated Cat

There are a variety of signs or symptoms that you need to look out for, all clear indications that the cat is constipated and suffering from digestion-related issues. The following are all telltale signs of constipation in your cat.

Infrequent Defecation

One of the most obvious signs that your cat is constipated is if does not go do its business. On average, a normal house cat will defecate every 18 to 36 hours.

Of course, this does depend on the size and type of cat, as well as how much and what kind of food you feed it.

However, a cat should not be going longer than 36 hours without doing a No. 2. This is a sign that your cat is constipated, or it may also be an indication that your cat is not eating.

What you need to pay attention to is how much your cat is defecating compared to before you noticed or suspected an issue.

Dry and Hard Stool

Another indication that your cat is constipated is if the stool is very dry and hard. Dry and hard stool, for one, is hard to pass. Second, the stool will be so hard and dry because it has remained in your cat for far too long.

It has remained in the intestine to long and has dried out and hardened, which is a sign that the cat is not defecating frequently enough, and therefore a sign of constipation.

Dry and hard cat poop may also be an indication that your feline friend is severely dehydrated, although dehydration and constipation do sometimes go hand in hand.

Finding Poop Outside the Litterbox

If your cat frequently decides to defecate outside of the litterbox, you can disregard this section and move onto the next.

However, if your cat is usually really good about using its litterbox, but now you are finding feces around the house, particularly dry and hard feces, this may also be an indication that your cat is constipated.

A constipated cat may not stay in the litterbox long enough to finish, because it’s taking so long to finish, or they may avoid the litterbox altogether.

Straining and Crying

The other clear indication that your cat is constipated is if it spends much longer than usual in the litterbox. Just like a human, a constipated cat is going to take much longer to do its business.

Moreover, you may also notice excessive straining, crying, meowing, or any other such noises or indications that your cat is having a difficult go at it. Taking longer than usual, accompanied by obvious discomfort is a sign that there are digestion issues.


If your cat appears to be constipated, you will also want to keep an eye out for other symptoms. Constipation is usually not a solo act, or in other words, it’s usually accompanied by other symptoms and may very well be caused by a more serious underlying condition.

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