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Constipation in a cat

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 

Hello - I am a new member to this forum. I just decided to join because I need to vent about my cat's constipation issues. My kitty has struggled with chronic constipation since March. The vets diagnosed him with megacolon. First, the vet recommended high fiber options such as pumpkin, bran, etc. Natually, that didn't work. The second vet recommended Dulcolax every other day. That worked but it freaked me out because I felt uncomfortable about that medication. We then switched over to Kristalose, which worked amazingly well for about a month. Now we are back to square one. He has received numerous enemas, which cost over $100.00 each visit and I'm going broke. Kristalose works well for about a week after the enema and then he starts straining again. My vet suggested Dulcolax as a last resort but even that's not working too well anymore.

Now the vet wants to try Cisapride. Anybody use that? Is it effective? I hear it is very expensive since it must be compounded. Has anyone tried accupuncture? I'm so tempted to try an alternative treatment but I don't have $250.00 to spend on a treatment that seems experimental.

Help!

post #2 of 25
My kitty struggled with constipation and what we used until we found a solution was Laxatone (which my vet says won't hurt the cat and can be used indefinitely)... it's about $8 a tube, you put it on the paw twice daily, and they lick it off..

What finally solved my problem, though, was getting her kitty grass. As long as she has kitty grass, she doesn't get constipated. I don't know why.. I tried all the other stuff.. but.. yep, that's what worked for us. It took about a week (maybe a few days less) to see a difference in her but.. it's been working ever since.
post #3 of 25
Thread Starter 
Thanks for your help, Heather. I also used Laxatone back in March but it also stopped working after several weeks. Plus, Buster hated the taste and it would get all over the place. We also tried the grass but it just made him throw up. I think we're doomed
post #4 of 25
Hmm, yeah, you have to mush it into their fur so they can't shake it off...Joyeux tossed it all over the place till I started rubbing it in. In any case, the kitty grass from the PetSmart (or any pet store, I'm sure) doesn't make mine throw up but grass from the outside sometimes does. Which kind of grass were you giving her?
post #5 of 25
I just saw your post. First, I'm not a "medical" person, but just want to let you know that I'm so very sorry for your furbaby's problems.

Some Questions to Ask ....

How old is your kitty?

Male or Female?

What is his/her diet? Canned, Dry, Raw?

How often does he eat?

How is his appetite?

Water - are you giving him tap water - that might not taste good - have you tried "Spring Water" ... putting an ice cube in the water encourages play in the water, and might get him to drink more water. If you're feeding only dry food, he's probably not getting enough water for his bowel to move freely?

Anyone suggested extra virgin olive oil? Please confirm safety of this suggestion - I believe it's OK for cats, but as I'm scribbling this post, I haven't been able to check. IF it's OK to use, put some on his little paws, and he'd just lick it off?

DISCLAIMER: I HAVE NO MEDICAL TRAINING, THIS POST IS JUST MY OPINION AND NONE OF MY SUGGESTIONS SHOULD BE A ATTEMPTED WITHOUT YOU CHECKING WITH SOMEONE THAT IS A PROFESSIONAL IN THESE MATTERS - PLEASE HEAR ME ... OKAY?

Inside or Outside kitty, or both?

My first thought is that somehow his system became unbalanced - what were the circumstances with the first time you became aware that he/she wasn't having a BM?

All these other "drugs" IMO are contributing to his bowel imbalance.

Does he have access to grass?

Have you been able to massage his little belly?

Maybe I've asked enough questions that others, more in the "know", could offer suggestions.

I'm sure your kitty has been tested for worms, what other attempts have you done to "balance" his digestive system?

Meanwhile, there are some good internet sites that might offer help, have you check this website - the link "Cat Health" might offer some information and resources.

Please remember my disclaimer.

gloria
post #6 of 25
oh, you know, on the water intake question and how to get the darling to drink more water... you might try a kitty water fountain. Mine love it and drink tons, which I'm sure helps them. Diet may also change the constipation.
post #7 of 25
http://www.petshealth.com/dr_library/felconstip.html
Constipation is relatively common in cats ....

I don't remember the "rules" of providing a link, but if I'm in the "wrong", the moderator will help me not "disobey"
post #8 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hi Gloria - here are the answers to your questions:

Quote:
Originally Posted by GloriaJH View Post
I just saw your post. First, I'm not a "medical" person, but just want to let you know that I'm so very sorry for your furbaby's problems.

Some Questions to Ask ....

How old is your kitty? About 8-9 years old

Male or Female? Male

What is his/her diet? Canned, Dry, Raw? Dry and canned food. My vet recommnded Hills I/D but he refuses to eat it and steals food from my other cat.

How often does he eat? He grazes dry food all day and eats canned food twice each day. He needs to eat two servings of wet food daily because the Kristalose must be mixed inside.

How is his appetite? Very good

Water - are you giving him tap water - that might not taste good - have you tried "Spring Water" ... putting an ice cube in the water encourages play in the water, and might get him to drink more water. If you're feeding only dry food, he's probably not getting enough water for his bowel to move freely? He has a water feeder and drinks sufficiently.

Anyone suggested extra virgin olive oil? Please confirm safety of this suggestion - I believe it's OK for cats, but as I'm scribbling this post, I haven't been able to check. IF it's OK to use, put some on his little paws, and he'd just lick it off? I never tried olive oil but I have tried butter but to no avail.

DISCLAIMER: I HAVE NO MEDICAL TRAINING, THIS POST IS JUST MY OPINION AND NONE OF MY SUGGESTIONS SHOULD BE A ATTEMPTED WITHOUT YOU CHECKING WITH SOMEONE THAT IS A PROFESSIONAL IN THESE MATTERS - PLEASE HEAR ME ... OKAY?

Inside or Outside kitty, or both? 100% indoor cat

My first thought is that somehow his system became unbalanced - what were the circumstances with the first time you became aware that he/she wasn't having a BM? I have absolutely no idea. He had one bout of constipation and enema over one year ago. However, he was fine after that enema. Then all of a sudden, it showed up out of the blue in March 2007.

All these other "drugs" IMO are contributing to his bowel imbalance. He's not on other medications.

Does he have access to grass? No...he tried eating grass from the pet store but that made him vomit.

Have you been able to massage his little belly? yes

Maybe I've asked enough questions that others, more in the "know", could offer suggestions.

I'm sure your kitty has been tested for worms, what other attempts have you done to "balance" his digestive system? I've tried raw foods but to no avail.

Meanwhile, there are some good internet sites that might offer help, have you check this website - the link "Cat Health" might offer some information and resources.

Please remember my disclaimer.

gloria
post #9 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsAreBetter View Post
Hmm, yeah, you have to mush it into their fur so they can't shake it off...Joyeux tossed it all over the place till I started rubbing it in. In any case, the kitty grass from the PetSmart (or any pet store, I'm sure) doesn't make mine throw up but grass from the outside sometimes does. Which kind of grass were you giving her?
Yeah, I bought the kitty grass from the local pet store. He loved the taste but couldn't keep it down. Other people have told me good things about it but it didn't work for Bus.
post #10 of 25
Since you aren't adverse to trying a raw diet, let me ask you this... when you tried the raw diet, did you get the premade kind or did you make it yourself?
post #11 of 25
As a mommy of a constipated cat for over a year and a half, I feel your pain and I know what he's going through. We tried everything: Laxatone, hi-fiber, water fountains, Lactulose stool softener, grass, you name it.... we tried it. Enemas at the vet were adding up, so I bought and administered my own (they're called Pet-Ema I think, and I got them on Amazon). I don't recommend it unless your vet shows you how and recommends it. It's not pretty and it gets very messy, as you may know.

But guess what? My cat is no longer constipated. Why? Because after following the advice on this forum, I switched her to a high-quality, canned cat food diet only. Quality foods don't have corn or by-products in them, and are preferably grain-free. I currently feed canned Wellness, 1/2 can in morning and 1/2 can at night, and she has not had a problem with constipation since. I don't even have to give her fiber or stool softener anymore! It's such a relief for both of us. Plus, wet cat food means more water intake, which means softer stools NATURALLY. No drugs!

Science Diet is a terrible food IMO. Check the label, it's full of corn and by-products!

After feeding wet only for over a month with absolutely no problems, I am a believer!

(But steer clear of "fishy" flavors... I learned the hard way they can lead to UTI's).

Good luck! I know how you feel!
post #12 of 25
A little petroleum jelly on Popsie's paws once and awhile seems to help his constipation. Plus it help control those nasty hairballs.
post #13 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CatsAreBetter View Post
Since you aren't adverse to trying a raw diet, let me ask you this... when you tried the raw diet, did you get the premade kind or did you make it yourself?
I bought a premade brand of raw food called Nature's Valley (or something like that). He enjoyed it but it was very costly and I got freaked out about the possibility of bacteria, etc.
post #14 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TickyTat View Post
As a mommy of a constipated cat for over a year and a half, I feel your pain and I know what he's going through. We tried everything: Laxatone, hi-fiber, water fountains, Lactulose stool softener, grass, you name it.... we tried it. Enemas at the vet were adding up, so I bought and administered my own (they're called Pet-Ema I think, and I got them on Amazon). I don't recommend it unless your vet shows you how and recommends it. It's not pretty and it gets very messy, as you may know.

But guess what? My cat is no longer constipated. Why? Because after following the advice on this forum, I switched her to a high-quality, canned cat food diet only. Quality foods don't have corn or by-products in them, and are preferably grain-free. I currently feed canned Wellness, 1/2 can in morning and 1/2 can at night, and she has not had a problem with constipation since. I don't even have to give her fiber or stool softener anymore! It's such a relief for both of us. Plus, wet cat food means more water intake, which means softer stools NATURALLY. No drugs!

Science Diet is a terrible food IMO. Check the label, it's full of corn and by-products!

After feeding wet only for over a month with absolutely no problems, I am a believer!

(But steer clear of "fishy" flavors... I learned the hard way they can lead to UTI's).

Good luck! I know how you feel!
Thank you for the advice. I have heard of Wellness products and heard good reviews about this food. I guess it won't hurt to try at this point. I know they sell it at my local pet store and I'll most definitely check it out. I am so desperate at this point. I'll try anything!
post #15 of 25
Well, I can sure see some reason for frustration ... I have three, and the idea of identifying a problem, finding the solution, and then, trying to perform that solution - for one cat - is almost impossible when you have more than one cat. ugh!

So, he's stealing the others' dry, eh? tsk, tsk!

My 2 cents = get them all off the dry - get them on PREMIUM canned (or raw if you have the ambition )

Not the canned with all the "bad stuff", a quality canned. I don't know how long you can "hold out" not feeding the dry, but - I think, IMO that is, this effort would have a big payoff - for all your Furbabies.
I absolutely know, first hand, getting them on canned is a battle.

Some links about food: http://www.catinfo.org/, there are some other "holistic" cat care websites like this "page" http://www.holisticat.com/drjfood.html
that have helpful information.

Grass: mine don't like the store grass, either - I go outside, and find grass, like crabgrass, and ?another kind I don't know the name of. I make sure it hasn't been sprayed with any poison, first, rinse it off before I "serve". I hold the grass so they can "chew" if off the stem, not "choke" down the whole stalk , I also put it into my homemade "grass server" that contains an anchor, and water. There's no spitting up - and I do see it "come out the other end" - so I know it's helping.

Olive Oil: butter has milk, right? and milk is a problem for most cats - or so I've been told ... the extra virgin olive oil, too my understanding, is a better choice.

g
post #16 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by Blast-Off-Girl View Post
I bought a premade brand of raw food called Nature's Valley (or something like that). He enjoyed it but it was very costly and I got freaked out about the possibility of bacteria, etc.

yep, me too! My vet said that she sees more problems with bacterial issues when the cat is on raw - it's pretty tricky feeding raw for the "novice" - there's so much to "learn" ... and, it is pretty costly when you buy it pre-made ...

I really admire the people here that have been successful at feeding "raw", I'm just too scared that I will do something wrong, and my babies will get sick.

oh, the olive oil - put it on the paw, like I mentioned in one of my earlier posts

I feed mine three brands of canned: Wellness, Natural Balance, and Trader Joes (it's quality food that costs less) - they love Trader Joes the most. Sometimes I sprinkle Trader Joes' cat Tuna on the other food to get them to eat it. Also, sprinkling some of the dry (at first) on the canned will encourage them to eat the canned.

I feed different foods because they have different "tastes", and they are "fickle", one day one cat may like a food, the next he doesn't. Go figure!

Cats, they just keep me guessing all the time! I love 'em, though!, and what's a mommy to do?
g
post #17 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by GloriaJH View Post

I really admire the people here that have been successful at feeding "raw", I'm just too scared that I will do something wrong, and my babies will get sick.
g
I don't really have a choice in the matter. Joyeux came on raw, and even though she'll eat dry, as will the others, Khan will not eat anything but raw, and only homemade raw, not prebought. We went through two years of him basically starving himself while we tried to find something he'd eat.. and then raw was it. It's a bit tricky to learn, but overall cheaper than a lot of good foods on the market.. figure about $3 a pound for raw (Evo costs me $40 for 15.5 pounds..) when I can't find it on sale. I couldn't afford to feed my crew on premade raw (*if* they'd eat it.. but they all turn their noses up at premade.)


Oh, and we haven't had any problems with bacteria infections or anything else, however, we're really careful about how we prepare their foods.
post #18 of 25
Hi,

Considering the expense of all the enemas and allopathic vet. visits + meds. - you might want to look at consulting a homeopathic vet. - especially w/ a chronic condition such as megacolon.
The initial consultations are expensive but in the long tun you spend less money because you are treating the whole kitty rather than each particular issue that pops up! There is a site called the AHVS which can help you find a vet!
Regarding constipation: you might try adding extra liquid to kitties food using H20 if you feed canned or homemade or low sodium chicken broth if you do dry. If your kitty is NOT lactose intolerant organic yogurt or milk will also help keep kitty regular (start slow, though).
If you are familar w/ probiotics (they can be purchased at health food store and some drug stores) you can add 1/16 of a teaspoons to their meal 1x's a day (one brand I use is called Primal Defense - it's pricey but has both prebiotics and probiotics.
And now for the biggie... cats are carnivores so by getting your kitty on a high quality canned food (NO GRAINS at all) you kitty will have a much better chance!

Good, good luck to you!!!
post #19 of 25
I'm a firm believer that a quality canned-only diet will solve most constipation problems...or at least lessen them significantly. I think most will find that the need for meds, extra fiber and vet visits is a lot less when dry food is eliminated.

In general, I'm a believer in raw diets...ALTHOUGH....I have just one cat who's ever been constipated enough for an enema and she's the one who tends to get a little fussy and slightly plugged up if she eats only raw - whether it be pre-made or home made. Alternating a canned meal with a raw meal seems to work fine for her, though. Of course she does just fine on canned only, which has been her mainstay for the most part.

There's a good article here

http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.ph...onstipatedcats
post #20 of 25
Because the cat's system is able to utilize the raw meat, or Premium canned meat a lot better than other cat foods, most likely it won't be producing as much "waste" - and the BM's may not be as frequent, or as much. This is NOT constipation.

Changing from a food product that has a lot of things the cat's system won't use (and gets rid of) can be a little disconcerting when you're expecting more BM's. That's not the case when you provide the food that is more valuable to the cat.

Maybe someone here can contribute more on this subject ... it's just that while changing my cats over I became concerned, and wanted to share the possibility of this happening.

g
post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 
[quote=Ann Mock;1918017]Hi,

Considering the expense of all the enemas and allopathic vet. visits + meds. - you might want to look at consulting a homeopathic vet. - especially w/ a chronic condition such as megacolon.
The initial consultations are expensive but in the long tun you spend less money because you are treating the whole kitty rather than each particular issue that pops up! There is a site called the AHVS which can help you find a vet!

Hi Ann - I actually did consider meeting with a homeopathic vet but I simply cannot afford the $250.00 consultation fee. I heard that some vets are using accupuncture to treat megacolon but I would like to see solid empirical evidence proving the efficacy of such treatments.

If anyone had experience with accupuncture, please chime in!!
post #22 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by GloriaJH View Post
Because the cat's system is able to utilize the raw meat, or Premium canned meat a lot better than other cat foods, most likely it won't be producing as much "waste" - and the BM's may not be as frequent, or as much. This is NOT constipation.
Agreed. 7 of mine are on raw to some degree, so I've experienced what you are describing. It's just in Paisley's case, after about 4 straight days of raw (and no pooping), she runs around whimpering and whining looking for a weird (inappropriate) place to poop - because she's uncomfortable. Something is not quite right in her system, but we've learned how to get around it.
post #23 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by beandip View Post
Agreed. 7 of mine are on raw to some degree, so I've experienced what you are describing. It's just in Paisley's case, after about 4 straight days of raw (and no pooping), she runs around whimpering and whining looking for a weird (inappropriate) place to poop - because she's uncomfortable. Something is not quite right in her system, but we've learned how to get around it.
Yikes! Four Days!!!, I panicked only after two! Well, I confess, I know that Wellness (dry) and Natural Balance (dry) will help loosen things up a bit - so, Wellness and Natural Balance have become a "treat" food - along with the yard grass.

Hmmm, wonder what others have experienced - glad to hear about yours - helps me not to "worry" so much!
post #24 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by TickyTat View Post
But guess what? My cat is no longer constipated. Why? Because after following the advice on this forum, I switched her to a high-quality, canned cat food diet only. Quality foods don't have corn or by-products in them, and are preferably grain-free. I currently feed canned Wellness, 1/2 can in morning and 1/2 can at night, and she has not had a problem with constipation since. I don't even have to give her fiber or stool softener anymore! It's such a relief for both of us. Plus, wet cat food means more water intake, which means softer stools NATURALLY. No drugs!

Science Diet is a terrible food IMO. Check the label, it's full of corn and by-products!

After feeding wet only for over a month with absolutely no problems, I am a believer!

(But steer clear of "fishy" flavors... I learned the hard way they can lead to UTI's).

Good luck! I know how you feel!
First, I want to thank everyone for all their helpful advice regarding Buster's constipation. I have good news to report! After reading TickyTat's recommendation, I ran over to the nearest pet store and skeptically picked up four cans of Wellness cat food. I didn't think it would work because I have tried EVERYTHING to no avail. So far, I've fed him two cans and he pooped normally this morning Naturally, I still use Kristalose, which is a stool softener. However, last week the Kristalose wasn't working. Now it's working the way it should. I never believed that a food product would work but it has. It's very low residue (low in fiber), which is important. Prescription Diet I/D is also low in fiber but Bussy hated the taste.

Hopefully, I can avoid the pricey Cisapride for now. The compund pharmacist called me this morning because he received the prescription and quoted me $65.00 for a month's suppy, which must be administered three times per day. I told him to put a hold on the medication. He said the prescription is good for one year. I'll keep on using the Wellness for now and see what happens. Fortunately, the pet store said I could exchange the cans of Friskies and Fancy Feast for Wellness.

post #25 of 25
You might try weaning him from the meds after he's been on the wellness for awhile. It might be that the diet fixed the problem and you don't need them anymore, but I'd definitely give his little tummy time to adjust to the new food first. I'm not sure if that's something you want to try or not, but it's definitely something I'd try if the diet seems to be doing the trick.

Good luck and keep us updated!
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