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straining while "going"

post #1 of 22
Thread Starter 
Hi everybody! I have a question about my cat - maybe folks can chime-in with their experience or tips.

When my cat (Meow) goes to the litterbox to deficate (I don't know if slang is cool here yet ) he seems to strain. It seems to take a lot of work for him to get it out.

He's always able to go, and so I don't think he's constipated, but it sure doesn't look or sound like its comfortable.

I know cats don't drink too much, and maybe that's part of the problem (can't force that), but I was wondering a couple of things...

A. Is this normal? Do they just have hard poops?
B. What have you done to alleviate it?


Thanks!!!
post #2 of 22
first of all, are you sure he's urinating normally? if he's straining while urinating, that could be a serious problem that requires a vet visit. but if you're sure it's constipation, you can try giving him petromalt (sold in pet stores, it worked for my kitty), or a spoonful of canned pumpkin. if he only eats dry food, try feeding some wet food. also, i agree that you can't "force" the cat to drink more water, but you can encourage it by putting out more water bowls or getting a cat fountain (more bowls worked for my kitty).
post #3 of 22
First a vet visit should be made so the "big stuff" can be ruled out....

if it is just constipation pumpkin , extra oil and sweet potato work for different cats ...
post #4 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the tips! Yes, he urinates every day about the same amount, and he has he is always "regular" as far as doing #2 at least once a day. I just think its a little on the "firm" side.

He was never a fan of wet food, but I have been trying out a few varieties and he seems to like the science-diet beef, and the Maxcat (maxpro?) beef+egg. (Sounds delicious) This is our first week, so we'll see if it helps.

He has the petromalt and no hairball problems thankfully, but I think I will offer him some pumpkin and/or sweet potato to see how he likes that.

Thanks!
post #5 of 22
If he's straining to poop I'd say adding wet food to his diet would help a lot, as well as a bit of canned pumpkin.
post #6 of 22
Does the poo come out in tiny lil rather hard chunks? My vet gave my cat something called Enlose (sp?) it's a sticky liquid medicine that is given by mouth and it seems to make his poo softer and longer and he doesn't struggle with that anymore.
post #7 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by gracy50 View Post
When my cat (Meow) goes to the litterbox to deficate (I don't know if slang is cool here yet ) he seems to strain...

Of course slang is cool here! You're perfectly welcome to use the word "poop!"
post #8 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks - I'll use "poop" from now on. Maybe poo too so it doesn't get boring! j/k!

Sometimes, he goes ant they are nugget-like, but other times he lets go with a "classic" pile of poo. (I can't believe I just wrote that) Whatever style he happens to be into, they're usually kinda hard, and his straining makes me feel terrible.

He's not a big fan of the wet food, and at most he will eat 1/4 of a can, or 1/2 of those little cans, and then he's not interested. I'm hoping to see a difference soon, otherwise I will check out that medication that was mentioned. We're going to also try the pumpkin & sweet potato to see if he likes either.

Thanks!
post #9 of 22
Hi - Definitely try the tip from the other poster about putting down additional water bowls to get him to drink more. I picked this tip up on the board last week and put an additional water bowl down in another room. It worked like a charm! My cat is drinking more water then he ever drank!
post #10 of 22
From what I was told by my vet (My KD cat was in there for a urinary tract blockage so poo ended up becoming part of the discussion.) The Enlose is rather potent stuff for bigger problems, but there is another medicine which isn't as strong. I'll have to check and see if I have the name written down on the receipt (it was remove from the bill since we already had the stronger Enlose) and post back later if I find it...

My KD cat wasn't drinking much from the bowl and was getting rather dehydrated, so I started giving him water by mouth with a little plastic syringe (no needle tip) and a small cup of water (the cup is filled with water, load the syringe, slowly drip the water at the cat's mouth and let him drink with the cup underneith to catch most of the water that dribbles out, and repeat until he's had enough. If he happens to start hiccuping, which is rather uncommon, just give him another syringeful at a faster pace, and it should stop it.)
post #11 of 22
Ahhh...Poor little Meow. I have nothing to add to the advice previously given. I hope things clear up for him.
post #12 of 22
Thread Starter 
Thanks guys. I'll try the water-bowl trick too. I would have never thought of that!

I'll post back with the results when I see them (or unfortunately smell them)

Great forum!
post #13 of 22
yeh def try to get some fiber or something, my little girl has a prolapsed anus and everytime she poops it sticks out. well maybe every other now that she has wet food in her diet
post #14 of 22
All I can say is try the extra bowls of water. Without getting into a long winded anatomy lesson (which is more based on humans than cats, but should be fairly close anyways) the extra water should help to soften the stools up and allow them to pass easier. I personally have 3 bowls of water out at all times, and they are freshened up twice daily. My 2 little ones drink about 2-3 bowls of water a day between them (that is about 1.3 cups - 2.0 cups of water, measured it out using a measuring cup). Just my 2 cents worth. Hope it helps.
post #15 of 22
Thread Starter 
My wife and I were discussing the pumpkin theory, and she had a good idea...

I'm guessing it is the fiber in those foods that help, so do you think adding a tasteless, non-thickening fiber additive like Benefiber to the wet-food would work too?

Maybe just a sprinkle on top of the food and mix it in a bit. The additive has much more fiber than either the pumpkin or sweet-potato. Any thoughts???
post #16 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by gracy50 View Post
My wife and I were discussing the pumpkin theory, and she had a good idea...

I'm guessing it is the fiber in those foods that help, so do you think adding a tasteless, non-thickening fiber additive like Benefiber to the wet-food would work too?

Maybe just a sprinkle on top of the food and mix it in a bit. The additive has much more fiber than either the pumpkin or sweet-potato. Any thoughts???
I have used Metamucil in the past, not much...about 1/4 tsp on a canned meal. There are reasons that some don't like to do this, I can't remember what those reasons are right now.

Maybe just ask the vet.
post #17 of 22
Thread Starter 
Well, its been awhile so I thought I'd post an update about Meow's "situation" with the poop hardness and whatnot.

As previously posted, we added a little fiber to the wet food and I got him one of those Petmate Pet Fountains in addition to his regular water bowl so now there are two water sources, although I can't tell if he is actually drinking more or not.

Beside the fact that half of the wet food seems to be poisonous now, he didn't really care for it anyway, and nothing we did seemed to help. So, we took him to the Vet for a look-see and a professional evalluation.

The Vet (we love her, Meow, not so much) literally "probed" him and announced his stool was "very firm" (Meow the cat was like ) and prescribed Lactulose to soften it up a bit.

We're supposed to give him 2 doses per day, but I don't think I can wrestle this guy twice a day! We've been doing it at least once per day for a week (twice when possible) and I must sat that he still strains, but it is definitely less traumatic to him. I think getting the medicine in his mouth causes more trauma than the constipation did! Poor Meow.
post #18 of 22
To avoid hard stools and constipation, I give my cat precisely 3 Temptations Hairball Control treats (along with 4 ordinary Temptations treats) at bedtime every night. Works great! Every now and then I cut back to just 2.
post #19 of 22
What form is the lactulose in? If it's like a paste or gel, smear it on his paw - his natural instinct to clean the gunk off his fur should mean that he will lick it all off At least that's the theory!
post #20 of 22
I'm glad he's doing a bit better. Epona's suggestion is good, and I'll add this...if the pills are small, then I would suggest trying "pill pockets". They're a squishy treat that is designed for hiding pills inside. All of my cats fall for this...some people haven't had such good luck but it works on mine. There is nothing more satisfying than standing back watching these furry beasts willingly EAT their pills. LOL It's great. If the pills are big, I break them up and give multiple "treats".
post #21 of 22
Quote:
Originally Posted by beandip View Post
I'm glad he's doing a bit better. Epona's suggestion is good, and I'll add this...if the pills are small, then I would suggest trying "pill pockets". They're a squishy treat that is designed for hiding pills inside. All of my cats fall for this...some people haven't had such good luck but it works on mine. There is nothing more satisfying than standing back watching these furry beasts willingly EAT their pills. LOL It's great. If the pills are big, I break them up and give multiple "treats".
That's how we got Drontil into ours. We broke the pills into quarters so they had quite a few treats!
post #22 of 22
Thread Starter 
Actually, the medicine is in liquid form so I have to use a syringe type thing to give it to him. Let's just say I am lucky he doesn't know how to use his claws, because if he wanted to, I could be in BAD shape from wrestling with him!

Anyway, I never thought to ask if it came in a pill form. I could definitely trick him into eating it with some of the suggestions you folks provided. I'll have to ask the vet about that. My life would be SO much easier!

Thanks!
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