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is a cat being overweight asspc w/constipation?

post #1 of 4
Thread Starter 
my 2 yr old siamese-mix male, leo, seems to be having some issues of late. one, he is overweight. i have tried changing food and giving less, but it does not affect him. plus, i have a perfectly normal sized female calico who i do not want to underfeed. yet in the last day he does not seem to be eating. second, i beleve he is having digestive issues, i just noticed his anus is very dirty, (i thought it was blood @ first and had a slight freakout moment) but he is straining w/nothing coming out. third, he was a shelter cat, and we litter trained him, but he refuses to use the litterbox to defecate. he will urinate but not defecate. i dont think it has anything to w/my other cat, because they get along very well. both my cats are fixed and get regular visits to the vet (i am thinking of taking leo to the vet on friday if he does not get better). leo is acting slightly strange (a bit more whiny than usual) but otherwise is acting pretty normal. any help w/my baby boy would br appreciated. thanks!
post #2 of 4
Hello and welcome.

I'm sorry to hear that Leo is having some trouble. From what I've read, being overweight can contribute to constipation. I wouldn't say it's the *cause* of it, but it does contribute. Some cats are more prone to those issues than others. Diet plays a big part.

His lack of appetite is likely due to the constipation. An overweight cat who has lost his/her appetite should go to the vet ASAP. The excess weight, combined with the fasting puts their liver at risk (fatty liver disease).

With that in mind, I would call the vet. Sometimes, a dose of hairball medicine will help get things moving (it's part laxative)...but once they've lost their appetite I would say it's time to call the vet.

His refusal to use the box to defecate is likely connected to the constipation. He probably feels some discomfort associated with pooping a lot of the time, even when he seems OK. Cats associate the pain with the litterbox and look for other places to relieve themselves. Since it doesn't hurt to pee, he still uses the box for that. I hope that makes sense.

One of my cats (Paisley) has had some past issues with constipation. We've been able to manage it with a different diet (all wet food, no dry). She does real well with that.

Here's a good article about constipated cats


I hope Leo will be feeling better soon.
post #3 of 4
Bailey went through a bout of terrible constipation earlier this year. He's a huge cat, tall and long, but his weight in February had gotten up to nearly 31pounds. I kept 2 litter boxes in the basement and he'd been defecating outside the box periodically for a few months, but I couldn't figure out why. Now, I realize it was probably because he'd been constipated for awhile, but I just hadn't realized it. What finally opened my eyes was that one morning he went to the basement before I got into the shower and was still down there when I got out so I went down to check on him. He strained and strained in the box, then came upstairs and started pooping just little bits in sevearl places throughout the house. He looked utterly miserable though he did continue to eat. I took him to the vet and they took x-rays but didn't really see that much feces in his colon, probably because he'd gotten pretty much cleaned out. By the end of that week, he was backed up again so I took him back to the vet and they gave him an enema which helped him tremendously.

The vet was really worried about him though and thought he might have either IBD (inflammatory bowel disease) or lymphoma so he sent him to Iowa State. To make a long story short, he ended up having surgery and was diagnosed with IBD.

On my own, I've taken him off all dry food and feed him only canned. He's supposed to be on a novelty protein diet (food that cats aren't normally exposed to such as duck, rabbit or venison). The vet that saw him at ISU said that many overweight cats are prone to constipation and they also sometimes see constipation in cats with IBD.

As of today, Bailey's weight is 25 pounds and he's still on his way down. He rarely has problems with constipation any more though he will get into the box and strain once in awhile, but it's nowhere near as bad as it was. I still don't intentionally give him dry food though every once in awhile he'll sneak a few pieces and feed him a good quality novelty protein canned food.

Katy is overweight too though not nearly as bad as Bailey, and over the last few months I've managed to get her weight down from 14 pounds to just under 13 and then there's Chloe who struggles to keep her weight over 7 pounds. They all 3 have IBD and all 3 eat different foods, so it can be really frustrating trying to feed them and guard Katy's and Chloe's plates so Bailey doesn't eat their food, but for the most part it can be done.

I hope you can get Leo straightened out. There are several things that could be causing his constipation . . . hopefully you'll find the cause.
post #4 of 4
When you notice a cat straining in the litterbox and also notice a decrease in their appetite, it usually means something is very wrong.

My Mitties was doing the exact same thing. She would strain and strain, and I would keep an eye on it but try to let it pass on it's own. Usually it would, but a couple weeks ago I noticed her straining for a couple days with very little to no results. Then I noticed her not eating as much, which is not right since she's such a glutton.

I took her to the vet and they gave her 2 enemas, which flushed her right out. She was able to poop out about 4 days worth of waste in about 24 hours. WOW! Immediate difference. I have ordered some enemas to keep on hand and had to use two of them already, but they are good to keep around and will save you a trip to the vets and a lot of money. They are not easy to administer and you'll definitely need two people and some towels (and a lot of patience), but it will help.

Of course, you'll need to find the root of the problem and not rely on the enemas except in extreme situations. I switched her to Wellness (dry in the morning, wet at night) with a shot of mineral oil down her throat once a week to keep things lubricated, and so far so good.

Good luck, as I know exactly what you're going through. I've tried everything -from stool softeners to lubricant laxatives to prescription food - and I think this is finally working for us.
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