Constipation is the difficult or infrequent passage of feces. Constipation does not occur often in healthy young cats, but is relatively frequent in sick and/or old ones. Most normal cats have one to two bowel movements a day, but each cat is an individual so this may vary. If a cat has had diarrhea it is not uncommon for them to not have a bowel movement for a couple of days when the cause of the diarrhea is determined and corrected.
Signs of constipation are straining and verbally expressing pain to pass a stool, dehydration, sitting in a crouched or hunched-up position, loss of appetite and/or vomiting.
The first thing to check is whether the anus covering has become obstructed by hair mats, especially in cats with long hair. Remove the mat by clipping the hair and using a mild shampoo to soften any debris.
For mild constipation canned food with a high amount of ground bone should be avoided. Dry cat food will help some cats/kittens because dry products contain more bulk-forming fiber than canned foods. A meal of fresh liver is very laxative and a little water added to their food can help prevent dehydration. Bran can also be used in a cats canned food. You can use up to a tablespoon a day. Canned pumpkin or squash baby food can also be used.