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When The Going Gets Tough, Constipation Can Lead To Megacolon

Inspiring Pet Tails 3 min read
Bosun the cat with megacolon

Cats who are chronically constipated may develop megacolon, a serious condition in which the colon (large intestine) becomes so distended/bloated that the tissue loses its ability to move contents along. The fecal matter in the colon becomes hard and makes it difficult for the kitty to have a bowel movement.  It is an uncomfortable condition which often will need intervention to clean out the hardened stool.

How will you know if your cat is constipated?

In many cases, these kitties will act normal until they reach a tipping point, after which they will strain and make frequent trips to the litter box to “try again”.  This may even be accompanied by vocalizing/yowling while trying to push.  If the situation is not corrected, the discomfort and distress will increase, appetite will decline and vomiting will typically follow.

Some cats produce small amounts of liquid feces after straining, which can lead owners to think that they are suffering from diarrhea rather than constipation. The treatment most vets will typically start with are enemas, along with antibiotics, anti-nausea and pain medications. In a severe case, if enemas are not sufficient enough to remove the impacted feces, manual extraction can be attempted.

Here is a story of a NHV family member, Bosun, who has been suffering from chronic constipation which lead to megacolon. When this beautiful Maine Coon was diagnosed with megacolon, his mama Maree wanted to start him on natural supplements after enduring several enemas and being on (pharmaceutical name removed} medications. Maree reached out to the NHV Pet Expert team for some holistic advice for her Bosun.

Bosun the cat sitting by the iwndowBosun the cat with megacolon playing with a stuffy fish

Straight away the NHV team suggested NHV Maris – this supplement is beneficial for cats and dogs with chronic constipation or megacolon as it helps soften the stools and improve bowel movements. It contains herbs that helps improve peristalsis, aids with gas, relieves stomach cramps, and is a natural aid to help enhance the contractile strength of the large intestine.

Bosun lives across the pond and would have to wait a bit longer for NHV Maris to arrive, so we suggested Maree add pumpkin and Omega-3 oils to Bosun’s diet to help get things ‘moving’. Since Bosun had already been diagnosed with megacolon he still had to undergo the procedure to remove his stool. He’s now doing better and just celebrated his 7th birthday! Happy birthday Bosun!!

bosun the cat's birthday cakebosun the cat celebrates 7th birthday

bosun the cat happy birthday card

bosun the cat with megacolon celebrates 7th birthday

Cats like Bosun who have a long coat and can develop hair balls which can also lead to constipation. Our NHV Hairb-Ez supplement helps unblock loose hair and keep it from forming into balls that become lodged in the cat’s stomach. NHV PetOmega3 is also great for keeping things lubricated and the colon healthy.

Some other ways to help your cat with constipation are:

1. Change your cat’s diet. Be sure your cat is eating a high fiber, high moisture diet. Avoid potential allergens such as grains and poultry.

2. Soak any kibble in bone broth to soften and moisten the dry food.

3. Plain yogurt is natural source of digestive enzymes and probiotics to help build healthy gut flora.

4. Keeping the litter box clean

If your cat has chronic constipation, don’t panic. Take them to your vet and follow the above advice. With some guidance, good nutrition, and good veterinary care, any of these cats can go on to lead a fairly normal life. Please contact the NHV Pet Experts for any advice!


Published: March 28, 2018

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