When kittens are newborn, you won’t notice their toileting habits too much because their mother constantly cleans up after them. Once one starts to go to the toilet independently, how often should a kitten poop?
From the age of 4 weeks, kittens should have between one and six bowel movements per day. Urination occurs more frequently, with Kittens generally peeing after each feed. This is the ideal age to teach them to poop and pee in a litter box.
It’s important to keep an eye on a kitten as it poops to ensure there is no constipation or diarrhea.
Kittens Can Become Constipated
Kittens can develop constipation for several reasons. If you notice a kitten not pooping or attempting to go but producing no feces, you’ll have to determine why this might be.
Other signs of kitten constipation apart from the lack of stool production are:
- straining in the litter box
- crying as trying to poop
- tiny, hard stools produced
- decreased appetite
- refusal to eat
- bloated stomach
- general restlessness
- apparent discomfort in the stomach region
It may become necessary to take steps to ease any discomfort and help a constipated kitten to poop.
Reasons For Kitten Constipation
Kittens are curious little souls and may eat inedible objects occasionally. Toys that have feathers are often very tempting to chew on leading to swallowed feathers.
Kittens have been known to consume hair bands, ribbons, pieces of string, elastic bands, and many other small objects capable of fitting in their mouths.
Any indigestible object can cause a blockage in a kitten’s intestines, preventing the normal contraction and relaxation of muscles that push contents through the intestines (known as peristalsis), which leads to constipation.
These are the most common causes of kitten constipation:
- Poor diet
- Dry food diet
- Change of diet
- Worms or other parasites
- A blockage caused by a foreign object such as an ingested toy
- Megacolon, a condition causing a dilated colon with poor motility, and the inability to properly pass stool
- Congenital defect
Untreated constipation can lead to colon damage caused by straining so it’s important for your kitten’s health that you resolve it quickly.
Treating Kitten Constipation
If a kitten is constipated for longer than a day, it is important to take it to a vet for an examination.
A vet may feel a scan or x-ray is necessary to check for any defect or ingested items that may be causing a blockage.
Hopefully, there will be no serious cause and you can start a program of care at home to cure your kittens constipation.
Kitten constipation relief may involve:
- Keep your kitten hydrated – Adding a little water to each meal helps, putting plenty of water bowls down, and using a pet drinking fountain encourages kittens to drink.
- Avoid dry food – or add water to it
- Regular grooming – the more loose hair you brush out, the less a kitten can swallow to develop hairballs
- Keep small objects out of reach – check all toys and move items your kitten might swallow to prevent any potential intestinal blockages
- Deworm – Make sure kittens are regularly wormed with a vet prescribed worming tablet suitable for their weight.
- Massage – rub your kitten’s tummy gently to stimulate bowel movement, and keep it active through play
- Medication – give any prescription medicine your vet may have provided. Avoid buying anything such as laxative powder from the internet which may not be safe.
When to Worry About Constipation in Kittens
If your kitten hasn’t pooped for 48 hours this should worry you enough to take it to a vet. If it has been in 24 hours, keep a close eye on its behavior and comfort.
If your kitten is in obvious pain, there is no harm in paying your vet a visit.
However, you shouldn’t worry or automatically assume your kitten is constipated if it defecates fewer times one day than it did the day before.
The number of times a kitten poops can vary from one to six times a day and this can vary from kitten to kitten. Age is a relevant factor.
Very Young Kittens and Pooping
When kittens are younger than 4 months, their mother stimulates them to poop by licking them.
Kittens who for whatever reason are not raised by their mother may need to be stimulated by their carer. After they have eaten, they need their bottoms gently massaged with a wet wipe or tissue.
Continue to massage as they defecate to ensure their bowels continue to contract and complete their movement.