With constipation, a cat can develop a number of complications, leading to serious health problems up to the death of the animal. With irregular stool in a cat, food breakdown products accumulate in the intestines, which provokes intoxication of the body, impaired liver and kidney function, and an increase in the load on the circulatory system and heart. You can solve the problem with medications, an enema, or a special message. Read the full article to learn How to do a cat constipation massage.
Constipation is a pathology in which there is difficulty in the release of faeces outside or their complete absence. Causes that can cause constipation in cats include:
- errors in nutrition (unbalanced diet, nutrition “natural”, a large number of fatty foods on the menu, etc.);
- inflammatory, infectious and tumour processes in the intestine;
- neurological disorders;
- lack of motor activity;
- disorders of the kidneys and liver;
- prostatitis in males;
- narrowing of the anus;
- hit of a foreign body or a ball of wool;
- diseases of the musculoskeletal system ;
- perineal hernia;
- surgical interventions – for example, castration or sterilization;
- bowel obstruction;
- age-related changes in the body, accompanied by a decrease in intestinal motility;
- worm infections ;
- abdominal injuries;
- taking medications.
The main symptom of constipation is the absence of bowel movements or rare (once every 3-4 days) going to the toilet. Cats suffering from constipation become lethargic and do not want to eat and play; they may experience nausea, vomiting, and bloating. The pet may make attempts to alleviate, but they are painful and, as a rule, end in failure – faeces come out in small quantities, look dry and hard, or do not go out at all.
Massage helps with mild constipation, which is caused by a bowel movement disorder due to nutritional errors. A tendency to flatulence and other digestive tract disorders associated with impaired intestinal motility. (especially if the animal constantly has to take laxatives). There are a few more situations when cat constipation massage is contraindicated – these include diseases and pathological conditions that require medical intervention and sometimes surgical treatment.
- Constipation is accompanied by alarming symptoms. Symptoms to watch out for include fever or hypothermia, vomiting, dehydration, intense abdominal pain (if the cat screams or shakes the floor all the time), and severe bloating.
- Suspicion of neoplasm. Any mechanical effect in tumour diseases is strictly prohibited, even if the neoplasm is benign – the tumour can begin to bleed, increase in size, and transform into cancer.
- Inflammatory bowel disease. With colitis, gastritis, and other diseases of an inflammatory nature, the animal requires comprehensive diagnosis and treatment, and home treatment methods can provoke serious complications.
- Foreign bowel obstruction. Fragments of bones are especially dangerous for the cat’s health and life – they can pierce the intestinal wall, as a result of which the animal will die from pain shock or internal bleeding.
- Large bowel spasms. Spastic contractions of the large intestine, in combination with Massage, threaten the pet with a bowel rupture with all the ensuing consequences.
- Pelvic fractures. If a cat has had pelvic fractures at least once in his life, an X-ray must be taken before the Massage is performed. Constipation is possibly caused by adhesive disease or improper bone fusion.
Massage with such diseases will not bring the desired effect and deliver the animal pain. It can significantly worsen the condition and cause death.
How to massage a cat
Veterinarians often recommend Massage to both healthy and sick cats as a relaxing and therapeutic procedure for various diseases, including gastrointestinal tract dysfunctions. It improves the general condition of the animal, relieves muscle tension, increases immunity, activates the digestive tract, and establishes a closer and more subtle connection between the pet and the owner. The main thing is to conduct the procedure correctly, taking into account all the features and contraindications of the procedure.
Massage can be done only in cases where the general condition of the animal does not cause concern, and also take into account absolute contraindications to the procedure, which include:
- dermatological diseases, skin lesions (injuries, burns, etc.);
- acute conditions, including fever, dehydration, poisoning, and exhaustion;
- inflammatory diseases of internal organs, bone pathology, and musculoskeletal system;
- exhaustion of the body;
Kittens and older animals can be given a light massage, but it is better to consult a veterinarian first. You can start massaging babies just a few weeks after birth. They will be quite ready for this procedure since, in the first days of life, it is performed by the cat herself with the help of her tongue. Licking offspring, a cat not only performs hygienic procedures but also activates metabolic processes and intestinal function. When performing manipulations, you should take special care not to injure the pet with awkward or too intense movements.
A universal massage technique does not exist. During the procedure, you need to monitor the reaction of the cat and adjust its actions depending on its behaviour.
- Perform All movements by the palm of one or both hands. The Massage that is done with your fingertips will be too weak and may cause discomfort.
- Also, You should perform the Massage in the direction from the middle of the body to the limbs.
- It is best to start with the neck, easily fingering it with your fingers and without exerting too much effort.
- Next, go to the upper part of the bodywork, out the shoulders and front legs in a circular motion. Then, massage your back to the hips in a similar way.
- Massage the hips should be very careful, using stroking movements, as they are one of the most sensitive places in cats.
- The tail is massaged only if the cat does not pull them, moving from the tip to the hips.
- Lastly, they study the head – first the crown, then the areas around the ears and whiskey.
- At the end of the procedure, you should be confident. But without strong pressure, hold your palm across the body of the pet several times.
Dr. Jenifer Miona is a highly skilled and compassionate veterinarian based in Ireland. With a passion for animal health and wellbeing, she has dedicated her career to providing the highest standard of veterinary care to pets and their families.
After completing her veterinary degree at the University of Dublin, Dr. Miona went on to specialize in small animal medicine. She has since gained extensive experience in all areas of veterinary care, including routine check-ups, surgical procedures, and emergency treatments.
In her clinic, Dr. Miona is known for her gentle and compassionate approach to patient care. She takes the time to listen to the concerns of pet owners and develops personalized treatment plans to meet the unique needs of each animal.
Beyond her clinical work, Dr. Miona is active in the veterinary community and stays up-to-date with the latest advances in veterinary medicine through ongoing education and professional development. She is a member of several professional organizations, including the Irish Veterinary Association and the European College of Small Animal Medicine.
Outside of her work as a veterinarian, Dr. Miona is an avid animal lover and enjoys spending time with her own pets. She also volunteers at local animal shelters and is committed to promoting animal welfare through community outreach and education.