If your kitty seems to be having problems with regularity, you can use olive oil as a natural remedy for feline constipation. Learn how to tell if your cat is constipated and how to use this method to help.
Symptoms of Constipation in Cats
There are many factors that contribute to constipation in cats, including diet, dehydration, tumors or a dirty litter box. Cats are easily stressed, and any kind of stress they experience may also contribute to constipation. The easiest way to tell if your cat is suffering from constipation is by checking the litter box. Most cats defecate at least once per day. If your cat has gone two days without pooping or has dry, hard, thin or small stool, he may be constipated.
If you have multiple cats, PetMD notes it is easiest to tell if one of them is constipated if you see one of your cats:
- Straining or yowling while attempting to use the litter box
- Not eating
- Occasionally vomiting
- Has a swollen anus
Treating Cat Constipation With Olive Oil
Olive oil is a safe and effective method for treating felines experiencing constipation. Olive oil works as a lubricant and softens the feces in a cat's body, allowing it to pass more easily. Your cat should experience relief within a few hours of consuming olive oil.
Extra-virgin olive oil is the purest form of olive oil available, so using this kind of oil is the best option for your cat.
Treating cats with olive oil is a much simpler and less stressful alternative to your veterinarian administering an enema.
Olive Oil Dosage
For a mild bout of constipation, VetInfo advises one-half to one tablespoon of olive oil, or five to ten drops if you use a dropper. Add the oil to your cat's food. Do not force oil into your cat's mouth.
Olive oil is not a suitable treatment for felines with recurring constipation issues. It contains terpenic acids and phenolic compounds, which a cat's liver is not able to process properly. Only use it in small doses, and bring your cat to the veterinarian immediately if any side effects occur or your cat's constipation persists.
Olive oil should not have any side effects for your cat when administered in small doses. Excessive amounts may cause diarrhea. Cats in poor health may have trouble digesting oils, so speak with your veterinarian before administering olive oil to a cat in ailing health.
When to See a Veterinarian
If your cat does not have a bowel movement within a few hours of consuming olive oil, it is best to contact your veterinarian to see if they can recommend another treatment.
If your cat begins vomiting, loses its appetite or appears lethargic after consuming olive oil, contact your veterinarian immediately.
Symptoms of a urinary blockage or bowel obstruction in cats are similar to cat constipation, however these blockages can be fatal. If you see your cat straining, or he has blood in his urine or feces, take your cat to the veterinarian right away.
If your cat experiences frequent constipation, there may be a problem with his diet. Olive oil is a temporary solution, so examining the cause of your cat's constipation and speaking to your veterinarian about a more permanent solution is advised.
Relieving Your Cat's Constipation
Constipation is an uncomfortable ailment for cats to experience, so the quicker you can address the issue, the better. Olive oil is a safe and non-invasive method of encouraging your cat's bowel movements quickly and easily.