Our feline friends can sometimes be extremely sensitive, especially if we don’t pay enough attention to the quality of their lives. Both minor and severe issues may cause different problems in cats, and one of the most common issues is constipation.
If you notice your cat not pooping but acting normal, you should know that it’s a sign of a certain issue that needs to be detected and treated properly.
So, check out this article if you’re dealing with a similar situation or if you want to be prepared just in case, and learn more about cat constipation, the causes, treatments, and things you can do to improve your cat’s digestion.
Common Reasons For Your Cat Not Pooping But Acting Normal
There are many different reasons for cat constipation and they need to be treated properly whether they’re minor or severe conditions.
Constipation in cats may happen when cats cannot digest the food, which then passes to the large intestine.
In the large intestine, water used for forming the stool is also absorbed. Normally, this dried waste moves to the rectum, and your kitty poops it out.
However, if your cat didn’t poop for more than a day or two, it’s possible that too much water was removed, which leads to hard and dry feces. Therefore, a cat won’t poop because it’ll be too hard and painful for them to pass the feces.
In any case, constipation may be caused by minor conditions such as hairballs issue, low water intake, litter box issues, low-fiber diet, and similar.
If one of these issues is the main cause of constipation, the vet may prescribe you probiotics, stool softener, or laxatives, such as Miralax, or they may perform a procedure called an enema that will help the cat to poop normally.
Furthermore, they may recommend you to feed the cat a high-fiber diet, especially those that contain psyllium, as it’s the best, which is usually formulated for cats with digestive issues.
Symptoms Of Constipation
If your cat is not pooping but acting normal, it’s most likely that your feline friend is suffering from constipation. This may happen due to certain changes in the cat’s routine, such as diet, environment, and similar.
If the reason for the cat’s constipation is less serious, such as issues with the litter box and similar, the cat will probably act normally and will get better sooner than you think.
However, if the reason for the cat’s constipation is a more severe health issue, they may start showing other symptoms as well, including loss of appetite, weight loss, vomiting, weakness and lethargy, and similar.
Here are the most common signs of constipation that you should be able to recognize:
• A cat is meowing excessively
• A cat is meowing loudly
• A cat is pooping on the floor randomly
• A cat’s stool is dark and hard
• Blood in the cat’s stool
• A cat is licking its genitals excessively
Health Issues That May Result In Constipation
Many medical conditions may affect the cat’s system. Just like that, most of them may also cause constipation issues in cats.
Because of that, it’s crucial to monitor your cat’s behavior and take it to the vet for an examination if it hasn’t pooped for more than 24 hours.
The vet will examine the cat properly, and only when they determine the exact underlying cause will they be able to treat the cat properly, which is very important.
In severe cases, the treatment of constipation may include the removal of the large intestine. That usually happens when a cat has megacolon due to long-term constipation and obstipation.
So, here are some health issues that may be the reason for your cat not pooping but acting normal.
Anal Sac Issues
One of the reasons why our cats may suffer from constipation is anal sac issues. Each cat has two anal sacs on each side of its anus.
The main problem with these anal sacs is that they can get infected or ruptured, which may be extremely painful for cats. If such a thing happens, that area will become inflamed, which will cause the cat to lick its genital area excessively.
Because of that, the cat may also start showing other symptoms such as chasing its tail, scooting on the floor, and similar.
So, you might wonder how an anal sac causes constipation? Well, as already mentioned, anal sacs are located on the cat’s anus, and if a cat has anal sac issues, it will be very painful for your cat to poop.
To avoid unnecessary pain, cats in such situations often avoid pooping which is why their stool becomes harder. This problem leads to painful issues and severe constipation in most cases.
So, if you notice symptoms such as a cat avoiding the litter box and avoiding pooping, a cat excessively licking the genital area, chasing its tail and similar things, make sure you take your cat to the vet for professional help.
If the vet determines that the main issue causing constipation is connected to anal sac issues, the solution is to remove the anal sacs or that the vet empties them.
Furthermore, after the proper treatment, your vet will give you instructions on how to take care of your cat during the recovery period.
Diabetes may be a common health issue in felines. This condition refers to an increase in blood glucose levels. The hormone insulin actually controls blood sugar levels.
So, cats that suffer from diabetes may lack that hormone insulin due to low production, or it may be the case that their system doesn’t respond to insulin anymore.
But how can diabetes lead to constipation? Well, it’s quite simple. There’s a process called osmosis that happens due to high glucose levels in the blood.
This process refers to the movement of water between cells. In cats with diabetes, the kidneys cannot absorb a lot of water, so they reduce that water through urination.
Due to the inefficient kidney function, this process may lead to dehydration, and dehydration may lead to constipation.
So, if you notice your cat drinking a lot of water, and urinating frequently, it would be best to take it to the vet for an examination. If the vet determines that the cat is suffering from diabetes, they will be able to react on time and start treating it properly.
As previously mentioned, we can say that kidney disease is somehow connected to diabetes. The main role of the kidneys in the cat’s organism is to filter the blood and drain the waste from the cat’s body.
So, if your cat has kidney issues, the cat’s kidney won’t be able to absorb water. Because of that, the cat will often be dehydrated, which usually leads to constipation.
So, if you notice that your kitty is urinating excessively, or more than usual, that it’s drinking a lot of water, especially if it’s accompanied by symptoms such as vomiting, weight loss, loss of appetite, and similar, I advise you to take the cat to the vet for an examination.
Hypothyroidism is a common issue for cats, and it refers to low production of the thyroid hormone. This is a hormonal issue that depends on the production of the thyroid hormone from the thyroid gland found in the cat’s neck.
This hormone is vital for cats because it regulates their bodily functions and metabolism, therefore, low production of this hormone may slow body functions and processes.
As this issue can slow down the body processes, it may also cause different bowel issues, meaning that the time of forming the cat’s feces is slowed and that the water from the stool is also removed, which leads to constipation.
Besides constipation, hypothyroidism may also lead to:
• Low body temperature
• Intolerance to extreme colds
Believe it or not, cats can also be allergic to certain things, and different allergies may be the cause of constipation.
Most cats are usually allergic to beef, chicken, and fish when talking specifically about cat food. Usually, these three types of meat are the main ingredients of cat food.
However, if you have been feeding your cat, for example, chicken cat food, for a long period of time, and all of a sudden, it starts showing signs of allergy, don’t be surprised, as cats can develop different allergies during their lifetime.
So, for example, if you determine that your kitty is allergic to chicken meat, then you should change the cat food and provide it with some other food that doesn’t contain chicken meat and other chicken products.
Besides that, you can also look for alternative cat food recipes that will be equally nutritive for your feline, and that will provide it with enough protein sources.
Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)
Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is a condition that causes inflammation of the cat’s intestines. The underlying cause of this condition may vary.
Inflammation of the intestines may happen due to ingesting a certain substance or a common allergen, injury of the particular body area, etc.
The IBD condition may also appear as a symptom of some other, more severe health conditions. When a cat suffers from IBD, its gastrointestinal tract cannot work properly due to the inflammation issue and because its lining starts to thicken.
That prolongs the period of forming fecal matter. For that reason, cats may have difficulties absorbing the specific nutrients important for the cat’s health, and that leads to different bowel issues.
Whenever a cat has bowel issues, it will always result in constipation or even severe diarrhea. Therefore, if you notice that your kitty hasn’t pooped for more than a day or two or that it suffers from constant diarrhea, it’s crucial to inform your vet about it.
The vet will need to examine the cat in order to determine the exact underlying cause and treat it properly.
If you notice your cat not pooping along with other symptoms such as vomiting, loss of appetite, loss of weight, stress, lethargy, and similar, then the main reason for this issue may be due to intestinal blockages.
This issue refers to the more severe conditions where the intestines are obstructed by something, usually due to the cat ingesting a foreign object.
If you’re a cat parent, then you have to be extremely careful where you put small things and objects that can easily harm your feline friend. Such things include rubber bands, hair bands, strings, a variety of decorations, especially Christmas decorations, and similar.
Cats are very curious, so if they come across a foreign object, they’ll start with an examination and play and may end up ingesting the object accidentally.
Such a thing leads to a variety of issues and causes intestinal blockages, which are extremely painful for cats. It causes them discomfort and may also result in frequent behavior changes.
Another thing you need to pay attention to is hiding behavior. Cats hide when they’re in pain in order to protect themselves by not showing how vulnerable they are.
So, if such a thing happens to your kitty, it may start avoiding you by hiding, or it may come to you for help.
If you notice some of these signs, you should contact your vet right away. The vet will immediately start examining the cat. They’ll need to run an x-ray test to locate the foreign object and to be able to remove it.
Professional help is crucial because if you don’t take your cat to the vet or if you don’t react on time, unfortunately, the issue may result in death in severe cases.
Nowadays, more and more cats, especially indoor cats, are dealing with obesity. The main reason for this issue may be unhealthy cat food that is rich in carbohydrates and calories and low in protein and other quality ingredients.
Another reason may be overfeeding and the low activity level of the cat. All these unhealthy things may lead to obesity, which may also lead to constipation.
The explanation is simple. Obese cats usually have inflamed intestines, which means that bowel movements are slowed down, which results in hard stool and dry feces.
This condition may result in painful defecation or your cat not pooping normally as it should. If you want to avoid this or similar issues, then you should understand how important it is to provide your kitty with regular and healthy meals, including exercise.
Not only may obesity affect the cat’s digestion, but it may also lead to other issues, such as physical ones.
Obese cats may have trouble getting in and out of the litter box. They may also develop other health conditions, for example, joint problems or arthritis, as a result of carrying all that unnecessary weight.
If your kitty is suffering from obesity, it’s time for changes, and paying more attention to the quality of your cat’s life. It would be best to consult with your vet and start helping your cat to lose weight.
As mentioned previously, obesity may lead to many other issues, and one of them is also arthritis. Arthritis is also a common issue in older cats who aren’t flexible as before, which is why they require your help in many different situations, such as using the litter box, grooming, and similar.
Arthritis is a joint disease where a cat has trouble moving. Arthritic cats usually don’t move a lot and may appear to be weak and lethargic.
Believe it or not, this issue may result in your cat not pooping normally. The main reason for that is arthritic cats will try to hold their poop in order to avoid using the litter box.
The longer the poop sits in the intestine, the more dry and hard it will become, which later results in constipation.
Cats with arthritis may have difficulties getting in and out of the litter box. Because of that, they may avoid using it, but that can also result in inappropriate pooping issues, such as pooping randomly on the floor or anywhere outside the litter box.
The main solution for this problem is to provide them with the right type of litter box that will be easy to use for arthritic cats, as then they’ll use it more. It would also be good to consult with your vet, as it can be helpful while dealing with such an issue.
Stress & Anxiety
In case you didn’t know, cats can be stressed or anxious, just like humans. Many cat parents deal with such problems.
But what stresses our feline friends, why is this issue so common for cats, and how is it related to constipation issues? Here, you’ll find out the answers.
It’s important to mention that cats are creatures of routine, and that means that they like being used to one schedule. That includes regular meal times, a familiar environment, familiar people, and similar things.
If anything changes in the cat’s routine or if they get scared by something, that can lead to stress and anxiety issues. Some of the most common causes of stress in cats are:
• Loud and unfamiliar sounds and noises – cats can become stressed due to being afraid of unnatural and loud noises. For example, they may get stressed and anxious due to car noises if they experienced a traumatic past event, such as a car accident.
• Change of meal time – if you feed your kitty every day at, for example, 7 am, the cat may get stressed and irritated if you skip one day or feed them at 9 instead of 7 am.
• Change of the type of food – cats react differently when it comes to changes in the food, but eventually they’re all stressed. My cat refuses to eat the food that I give her as a sign of protest for not receiving the standard food she adores.
• Unknown people – most cats are very shy, which means that they don’t feel comfortable around strangers in their environment, which may cause them stress and anxiety.
• New environment – a cat may be stressed or feel anxious due to the change in the environment. They usually have a hard time adapting to new things, and it may take a long period of time for your cat to adjust to a new home.
• Changes with the litter box – if the cat doesn’t like the new type of litter box and litter, it may become stressed, and it may refuse to use it. However, that issue may result in even worse problems, such as inappropriate defecation and urination.
• Catfights – cats may also be stressed and anxious due to fighting with other cats in your home if you have a multi-cat household, or neighborhood or stray cats if you have an outdoor cat.
Now, let’s see how this can lead to constipation issues. When under stress, the body shifts blood flow away from the intestines and digestive tract and toward vital organs.
As a result, there is less movement in the intestines, which results in more dehydration of the feces. This could indicate that although otherwise acting normally, your cat is pooping less.
Tumors & Cancers
We’ve come to the worst cause of a cat not pooping but acting normal – tumors and cancers. For this reason, it’s crucial to take every cat issue seriously because you can never know what other issues may develop from it or what the exact underlying cause is.
Cats may not poop normally due to intestinal and spinal cancers because cancers affect the nerves that are connected to the colon.
These nerves, when healthy, provide electrical impulses that allow the cat to push the stool through the large intestine to the rectum normally and easily.
However, if there are nerve problems that affect them, such as cancer, the kitty will have trouble with defecation due to inappropriate bowel movement and due to hard and dry stool.
Now you see that the cause may also be extremely severe, which is why it’s important to take the cat to the vet if it hasn’t pooped for more than a day or two.
If the vet discovers a spinal or intestinal cancer on time, there’s a higher chance that the problem will be solved more easily and that your kitty will recover quickly.
Things You Can Do To Help Your Cat
If your kitty hasn’t pooped for a day or two and is showing symptoms that point to severe health conditions, then I suggest you take your cat to the vet immediately.
But, if your cat’s not pooping but acting normal, then it’s probably nothing too serious, and there are some things that you can do by yourself.
This part of the article provides you with home remedies you can use to help your constipated cat and encourage a healthy and regular bowel movement. Still, if these tips of advice don’t work and you don’t notice any changes, then a vet visit is inevitable.
1. Encourage The Cat To Drink More Water
One of the common causes of constipation is dehydration. Therefore, if you suspect that your kitty doesn’t drink enough water or that it is dehydrated, you need to encourage it to drink more water.
If you wonder how you can increase the cat’s water intake, trust me, it’s easy, just follow these steps:
• Provide your cat with more wet food as it’s high in moisture and will keep your cat hydrated.
• Provide your cat with a water fountain. That way, it will always have a fresh water source available, and it may encourage the cat to drink more water as it’s an interesting and attractive tool.
• Provide the cat with a bigger water bowl to avoid whisker fatigue while it’s drinking water.
• You can try adding a bit of chicken broth or even tuna juice to make the water more delicious.
• If you use a water bowl, ensure you change the water often.
2. Eliminate The Stressors Around The Cat
Cats may avoid drinking water or even eating if they sense certain stressors in the background.
For that reason, it would be best to provide your kitty with a small room or area that is extremely calm and quiet, far away from unusual and loud sounds.
In that room, you should place your cat’s water and food bowl so that it can eat and drink in peace as much as it wants.
It’s also important to put the litter box in a calm place, however, be careful not to put the litter box next to the food and water bowl, as that will lead to less drinking and less eating again.
Other good things that can help you in relaxing your feline friend are buying a feline pheromone diffuser, a lot of exercise and playtime, and providing your cat with interesting toys that will keep them active, such as running wheels, scratching posts, cat trees, and similar.
3. Feed The Cat Top-quality Food
Cat’s diet impacts their digestion. So, the reason why I always look for top-quality cat food with the best ingredients is to provide my cats with a good diet that will improve their overall health and help them maintain a healthy weight.
You can consult with your vet on which cat food brands you should choose, that is, which one is the best to provide your cat with many benefits.
Just make sure that the food is based on real meat and animal protein and that it has a lower amount of carbohydrates and calories. Also, make sure that it doesn’t contain ingredients that can be bad for our furry friends.
Moreover, I recommend you avoid feeding your cat only dry food as it’s not high in moisture. Both kibbles and wet food have certain benefits, so it would be best to include both types of food in your cat’s diet.
If you notice your cat not pooping but acting normal, I would suggest you increase the amount of wet food to provide the cat with more moisture that can help them with its digestion.
Another thing you need to pay attention to is food allergies. So, sometimes a cat cannot benefit from a certain food due to allergies.
If you notice allergy symptoms such as coughing, sneezing, constipation, vomiting, and similar, you should take the cat to the vet. The vet will determine what causes the allergies to your cat so that you can avoid that ingredient when it comes to the special diet.
Finally, the most important thing when changing the cat’s diet is to do it gradually. So, if you replace the food suddenly, it may shock the cat’s system and lead to more digestive problems.
Therefore, it’s important to do it carefully and gradually so that the cat’s system can get used to the new type of cat food.
4. Pay Attention To The Litter Box & The Type Of Litter
Most cats may avoid pooping if their litter box isn’t clean or if the type of litter box and litter doesn’t suit their needs in some way.
Litter box issues are the main reason for inappropriate urination and defecation. So, if you want your cat to have normal digestion, then you should clean the cat’s litter box regularly and change the litter.
If you’re not consistent with that, it may result in cat constipation due to avoiding the litter box, or it may lead to your cat pooping and peeing outside the litter box.
Moreover, if you have a bigger cat breed, such as a Maine Coon, or a Siberian cat, then, of course, you need to provide them with a larger litter box, and the contrary, if you have a smaller cat breed or a young kitten, you need to provide them with smaller litter tray.
You should also pay attention to the entry points of the litter box. So, if you have an older cat or an arthritic cat, as mentioned previously, then you should provide them with lower entry points to the litter box so that they won’t have trouble getting in and out of the box.
Furthermore, if you have a multi-cat household, then you should place several litter boxes around your home. It would be best that each cat has its own litter box, that way, you’ll reduce issues between cats as well as pooping and peeing problems.
So, if your cat isn’t satisfied with the litter box and litter, it may result in constipation and other behavior problems, including inappropriate peeing and pooping.
5. Activate Your Kitty
If your kitty is eating a lot of food, especially caloric and unhealthy food, with a minimal amount of exercise, that may lead to obesity and other issues that are connected to it as well.
Obese cats often have inflamed intestines, which leads to irregular bowel movement, where stool becomes harder and drier, leading to constipation issues.
In order to prevent obesity issues or to help your kitty lose some weight, then you should energize your cat and encourage it to exercise.
Regular exercise will help your kitty lose weight, along with top-quality cat food, especially the wet one as it’s higher in moisture, and it will result in normal movement of the intestines.
Different types of exercise will keep our cats mentally and physically active, which means that it can help them to reduce boredom or to deal with stress easier.
Nowadays, there are also many different cat toys that can help encourage cats to exercise more. One of my favorites is the cat running wheel. I bought this toy for my cats, and it seems that they just can’t get enough of it.
They’re constantly using it, luckily, the one that I bought is ultra-quiet, so they can use it whenever they want without disturbing me. Since I bought this, I have noticed how different my cats are, positively.
Exercise is the key to a happy and healthy life, so why don’t you provide your kitty with one too?
6. Monitor Your Cat’s Behavior
As many cat parents know, cats show us their feelings through their behavior, which is why it’s important to always monitor your cat’s behavior and read its body language in order to understand what it is trying to tell you.
Each cat is different, so some cats who are in pain or stressed will hide and keep it to themselves so that no one notices their vulnerability. On the other hand, there are cats who will come crying for help if they need something or if they don’t feel good.
If your kitty isn’t pooping normally, you should start monitoring its behavior more carefully. For example, if it avoids using the litter box, then try solving the litter box problem and see if the cat will start using it again.
If not, then you should keep going. If you notice frequent behavior changes or unusual behaviors, I suggest you take the cat to the vet for an examination. This is the easiest way because the vet will be able to detect the underlying cause and treat it properly if needed.
Now that you have read this article, you already know possible reasons for cat not pooping but acting normal.
Also, if the cat’s not pooping but is showing certain symptoms, that usually means the cause of constipation is more severe and it requires professional vet attention.
It’s very important that the vet determines the exact underlying cause of the issue so that the cat can be treated properly.
If you want to avoid issues or help the cat with its digestive issues, this article also provides you with home remedies, that is, things you can do to help them.
You can help them by increasing their water intake, paying attention to the litter box, increasing the cat’s activity level, keeping them calm and relaxed, and providing them with the best diet ever.
By following these tips, your kitty will be happy and healthy, and you won’t have to worry about health issues and vet visits any more.