It is very important that you newborn kitten starts to poop within normal time frame and lack of eliminations is a cause for concern as it may be a symptom of even serious health issues. Read on to find why this may happen and tips on how to help your kitten.
Reasons why kitten is not pooping at all
Kittens should poop at least once a day regardless of her age and the poop should be a dark brown color, of medium consistency, and smells like any typical cat poop should smell. But, what if your kittens don’t poop regularly or not pooping at all?
Here are the common reasons why your kitten is not pooping at all:
Your kitten’s age
Kittens that are just a few weeks old don’t have the ability yet to poop and their motor skills aren’t very developed yet. Unlike other animals that have a natural instinct when to relieve themselves, very young kittens are clueless about this. Mama cats help their young kittens to poop by stimulating and licking them but if you’re a pet parent to orphan kittens then you should mimic this behavior using a soft and absorbent tissue or cloth until kittens are about three weeks old.
Due to medical treatments.
Kittens may not poop regularly after they’ve been spayed or neutered. Also, deworming sessions may have a similar effect and your kitten may not be able to poop right away but this is mostly temporary and your kitten should be able to resume a normal pooping schedule in a matter of days.
It could be due to changes in routine
Kittens are very sensitive by nature and should there be sudden changes or disturbances in their routine then it may lead to disruptions in their regular pooping schedule.
Reasons why a kitten is not pooping when stimulated
If your kitten won’t poop when stimulated there may be something wrong inside her tummy. If you’ve observed that the kitten isn’t pooping for about 24 hours already you should closely monitor her but if it’s been more or less 48 hours you should seek the help of your vet at once.
Here are the common causes of why a kitten is not pooping:
1. It may be due to intestinal obstructions
One probable cause of constipation among kittens are intestinal obstructions. She may have ingested a certain object aside from hair such as pieces of plastic or strings. Check out for symptoms like vomiting, weight loss, sluggishness, and dehydration.
2. It may be due to hairballs
Kittens tend to swallow hairballs because they’re constantly grooming themselves. The problem is that their system is still small and sensitive that’s why it results in blockage. To prevent it from happening, always brush the kitten’s fur to remove stray hairs and trim the fur regularly if it’s a long-haired breed.
3. It could be due to the wrong kind of cat food
Kittens should still be eating wet or moist canned food after they’ve been weaned from their mama’s milk. However, some pet parents may have given their pet kittens dry food or kibbles too soon and this could result in constipation. To prevent it from happening, gradually transition your kitten to dry food for her system to eventually adjust to the diet.
4. There’s not enough soluble fiber in the kitten’s diet
Kittens need food that is high in soluble fiber and sources may include oat bran and barley. Soluble fiber is easily digestible and fermented and waste easily passes through the gastrointestinal tract. If kittens lack soluble fiber in their daily diet they’re more likely to become constipated. It could also be that your kitten is eating mostly food high in insoluble fiber like wheat or brown rice.
5. The kitten may be suffering from feline megacolon
Feline megacolon is a condition wherein hard and small pellets of feces are trapped in the colon allowing it to enlarge. As a result, your kitten will be constipated and eventually won’t be able to poop at all. A surgical procedure should be done to remove the mass and may also include the removal of a part of your kitten’s colon.
6. It could be due to parasitic infection
Your kitten may have a bad case of worm infestation causing her to be constipated. Roundworms and tapeworms multiply rapidly and could block the intestines and colon. Prompt attention should be given by bringing your kitten to the vet at once.
7. Due to an imbalance in vitamins and minerals
Proper monitoring of our kitten’s diet is important because imbalances could result in constipation. Low potassium levels, as well as high calcium levels, could cause an imbalance and may result in kitten not pooping at all.
8. It could be due to a spinal condition called the Manx syndrome
Kittens born with Manx syndrome have shortened or have no tails at all. This spinal condition causes incontinence and also constipation due to a loss of sensation around the perineum or the skin around the anus and genitals.
Steps on how to make a young kitten poop
- Position the kitten for stimulation by holding the kitten in your non-dominant hand under the belly with its rear or butt facing you.
- Place a warm and wet washcloth or tissue on your dominant hand and stimulate the kitten’s abdomen and anal region. You may also use moistened cotton balls or gauze.
- With your hand and fingers, gently massage the kitten’s anal region through the cloth or tissue.
- Check if the kitten has pooped and if not, keep massaging the anal area until the kitten eventually poops.
- Adjust the warm cloth or tissue so the poop doesn’t get the kitten dirty and if you’re using tissue, cotton, or gauze be sure to dispose of them properly.
- Make sure to clean and dry off the kitten once you see that it has already stopped pooping.
- Return the kitten to its cage or box and make sure to wash your hands thoroughly.
Also, make sure that the litter box is regularly cleaned and disinfected because kittens can be very particular with scents and odors. Also, see to it that your kitten’s litter box is in a quiet area of your home and away from too much noise and activity.
Symptoms of constipation among kittens
If you observed that the kittens are having difficulty in passing stool especially if it’s been around 48 to 72 hours already then you should contact your vet immediately.
Here are the common symptoms of constipation among kittens:
- kitten has dry, hard stool
- kitten is crying or straining in the litter box or avoiding it
- decreased appetite
- weight and muscle loss
- peeing more but drinking less water
- walks stiffly
- has difficulty in jumping up
- kitten is hiding
How to treat constipation among kittens
Here are some ways on how to combat constipation among kittens and to make sure that they adhere to at least a once-a-day pooping schedule for overall wellness:
- make sure that your kitten maintains a healthy weight
- see to it that your kitten’s water consumption is increased
- be sure to increase your kitten’s exercise
- be sure to add more litter boxes
- consult your vet on the right laxative to give to your kitten
- make sure that your kitten is not stressed or anxious
- try out new cat diets for your kitten
- try to give your kitten more fiber or probiotics
If you’ve observed that your pet kitten is not pooping for more than a day or so then try to increase her water intake, increase her exercise, and try laxatives that’s appropriate for her age and weight. Proper stimulation technique is also key to help your kitten to eliminate poop regularly. However, prompt consultation with your vet should also be made to help address the situation at once.