Psyllium Fiber for Cats: A Natural Remedy for Constipation
Did you know that you can add fiber to your kitty’s diet? Let’s talk about psyllium fiber for cats and how it can help.
Taking a holistic or natural approach to your cat’s care is certainly possible. If your pet is dealing with constipation, for example, you might consider psyllium fiber as a potential remedy. But what is psyllium fiber, and how does it work? How should you use it in your cat’s diet, and are there any precautions that you need to take?
We’ve compiled some helpful information on psyllium fiber below to give you greater insight into what it’s used for and how it might be able to help kitties that have certain digestive issues. But, if you’re thinking about trying psyllium fiber, such as to help your pet have a bowel movement when constipated, we recommend consulting with your veterinarian first. Professional veterinary guidance can help ensure that you’ll choose the appropriate remedy at the right dose for your pet, especially if your feline friend is taking other supplements or medications or has been diagnosed with a medical condition.
What Is Psyllium Fiber?
Psyllium fiber is a natural fiber from the plantago ovata plant, and it is a source of insoluble and soluble fiber. It is also the main ingredient that is used in the popular over-the-counter fiber supplement, Metamucil.
Insoluble fiber won’t dissolve in water, and it can help add some bulk to your cat’s stool to help increase the speed at which it will move through your cat’s digestive system. Soluble fiber, on the other hand, will dissolve in water, so it will form a gel within the animal’s digestive tract, and it can help encourage smoother movement. So, in other words, both of these types of fiber can help when it comes to maintaining healthy digestion and avoiding constipation.
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Your vet might recommend psyllium fiber if your kitty has been diagnosed with constipation. The supplement may help increase the bulk of your cat’s stool, thereby stimulating movement in the intestines to get the stool out, and it can also help boost the water in your cat’s stool to make it easier to pass.
How Do You Give a Cat Psyllium Fiber?
To help your kitty get more fiber to relieve her constipation, you can try adding psyllium fiber to her food. Contact your veterinarian to figure out how much you should be adding to her food, and how often you should give her the psyllium fiber. The dose may depend upon your cat’s condition and weight, and your veterinarian may tweak his or her recommendations based on how your kitty responds to this treatment.
Experts note that psyllium fiber is often best used on a short-term basis. Including it in your pet’s diet long-term might cause it to lose its effectiveness. Your vet will be able to guide you when it comes to how and when to use psyllium fiber. And if your kitty is dealing with chronic constipation, know that there are also other strategies that you could implement to restore digestive health.
Are There Any Precautions to Take?
Provide psyllium fiber with your pet’s wet food, and ensure your cat is getting enough moisture from food and available water sources. Maintaining proper hydration is another way to help your kitty remain constipation-free, and you also want to avoid obstructions that may occur if the animal isn’t getting enough water.
Also, keep an eye out for side effects, such as gas, stomach discomfort, or loose stools. And contact your vet if vomiting occurs.
Psyllium fiber isn’t always safe for a cat to take. For example, it shouldn’t be given if the cat is suffering from fecal impaction. It might also interact with certain medications. Therefore, it is important to ask your vet before giving your cat any psyllium fiber. You might need to have your kitty examined to determine the cause of the constipation before psyllium fiber is prescribed.
Bottom line: it’s better to be safe by working under the guidance of your vet, even when using a natural product like psyllium fiber. But, if it’s appropriate for your kitty, it might be the remedy that your pet needs in order to get things moving again.