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Does canned food ease constipation?

post #1 of 21
Thread Starter 
I have a longhair with constipation...and problems missing the litterbox on occasion. I'm presently trying Cat Attract litter to get her to use the box again. And giving her small daily doses of Petromalt. And fish oil in her food.

The vet doesn't think there's anything seriously wrong. But the problem persists.

Should I try switching her to canned food? I've heard that canned diets rarely cause constipation the way dry diets do.
post #2 of 21
Yes, wet should help a bit, but switch the diet over slowly, as doing if too fast will cause upset stomach.
post #3 of 21
what food is she eating??

wet food does help as it adds moisture
post #4 of 21
Whoops, sorry for any confusion, I had to edit my post as I said DRY instead of WET, LOL!
post #5 of 21
Alan71 wrote:

Quote:
I have a longhair with constipation...and problems missing the litterbox on occasion. I'm presently trying Cat Attract litter to get her to use the box again. And giving her small daily doses of Petromalt. And fish oil in her food.

The vet doesn't think there's anything seriously wrong. But the problem persists.

Should I try switching her to canned food? I've heard that canned diets rarely cause constipation the way dry diets do.

Hi Alan71!

You’ll find great information in this article, so please be sure to save it for future reference.

http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.ph...onstipatedcats

Hopefully a canned diet, Petromalt, and fish oil will help your kitty. If, however, in spite of doing all this, her problems with constipation continue (or start up again later after everything has been all right for a while), please remember this paragraph from the article:

Quote:
In my 10+ years of experience as a feline veterinarian, I have not seen constipation problems in cats who do not eat dry food. It's logical, therefore, to think that diet plays a significant role in development of the problem. (Since writing this article, I have heard from 2 readers whose cats developed constipation problems even on all-wet-food diets; so, it's not impossible, but happily it is fairly rare. Some cats may need more fiber than is present in those typically very low fiber diets).
One of my cats could be added to this list, so it’s definitely not impossible.

All the advice you’ll find in the article is invaluable. The last paragraph is especially important, so please, always keep it mind in order to try to prevent colon damage:

Quote:
If your cat is chronically constipated, the most important thing for you to do is be observant. Look for early signs of constipation; straining, abdominal discomfort, decreasing appetite, etc. Be aware of how often the cat is defecating. If he does not produce adequate stool for more than 2-3 days, call your vet, or begin home treatments if you have established this routine. Kitty constipation is far easier to treat when it's caught early. If you wait, treatment will be far more expensive, and there is a greater chance of irreversible colon damage.

Good luck, I hope your efforts to deal with this issue will be hundred percent successful.

Violet
post #6 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks!

She's presently on dry Science Hill Prescription diet due to possible colitis; she used to have occasional diarrhea. I wonder if this diet has extra fiber, which is causing the problem, as the vet said her stools seemed larger than normal.

I'll try slowly switching over to canned, I already use a little of that to give her the Petromalt.
post #7 of 21
You can also ask your vet about lactulose or enulose...it helps soften the stool, it works very well, and I was giving it regularly to one my cats (now in cat heaven) That being sad, I notice that when I consistently feed two of my cats a moist canned food diet, they start producing regular size stool without constipation. Unfortunately they are both very finicky eaters and sometimes I have to give them dry food because that's all they will eat!! Crazy kitties!
post #8 of 21
Alan71 wrote:

Quote:
I'll try slowly switching over to canned, I already use a little of that to give her the Petromalt.
Oh, a quick word of caution about this. Please, when you use Petromalt, always follow this advice:

Quote:
Feed directly to your cat. Do not mix with cat's food. Withhold food two hours before and after Petromalt is given to your cat. Offer it either from your finger or by placing on cat's front paw, where it can be licked off
You can find it here: http://www.petsmart.com/product/inde...utm_source=cse


The reason for doing it this way: long-term use of lubricant laxatives may interfere with absorption of fat-soluble vitamins and drugs. Administering the laxative between meals minimizes this problem.
post #9 of 21
I will just echo what others have said. My Jordan has problems with constipation (I believe he does have a diagnosis of mega colon). Lately I have definatly noticed a difference between all wet food and even a little dry food. When he eats dry food, I have to give him his lactulose. When all he eats is wet food, he goes just fine on his own. I think it would be helpful to at least get some wet food in your cats diet.
post #10 of 21
Thread Starter 
Thanks all!

I'm curious...how much canned food does the average cat require? I've only given my cats dry food, 1/3 to 1/2 cup per cat Hill's Prescription Diet.

I'm hoping not to spend any more on cat food than I already am, getting prescription food through the vet...
post #11 of 21
Well it depends on the size of your cat. Jordans around 12.25 lb & he gets 3 oz in the morning & 3 oz at night.
post #12 of 21
Hi Alan,

I also have a longhair with constipation issues (technically he's my Mom's cat). Jesse actually has a more severe condition called megacolon.

About the Science Diet rx foods, both the wet and the dry versions contain quite a bit of grain. The vast majority of cats do just fine on these foods, but some get constipated from grain products, especially corn.

Petromalt doesn't soften the stool, it acts as a lubricant. If it works -- great, but if the stool itself is very hard, and switching to canned isn't enough on its own, you may want to ask your vet about using a small amount of Lactulose or Miralax. They both work the same way -- by drawing water into the colon to make the stool softer. Lactulose is a sticky sweet syrup and you will probably have to give it to her by syringe, since most cats don't like the taste. Miralax is available over the counter, is tasteless, and can be given by sprinking it on a small bit of food.

Amounts to feed depends of course on the size of the cat, and her activity level. Ignore the amounts on the can -- they greatly overestimate for most cats. Jesse is an indoor cat, now a trim 11 pounds. He eats 6 ounces a day, split into two meals.

As far as keeping costs down, when you find a food that works for your cat, see if it comes in a larger (10-13 oz) can. We feed Jesse grain-free flavors of Wellness and have our pet supply store order it for us by the case in 12 oz. cans. This works out cheaper than buying the smaller cans individually.
post #13 of 21
It may help a little simply because canned food has a higher water content.
post #14 of 21
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sablemerle View Post
They both work the same way -- by drawing water into the colon to make the stool softer. Lactulose is a sticky sweet syrup and you will probably have to give it to her by syringe, since most cats don't like the taste. Miralax is available over the counter, is tasteless, and can be given by sprinking it on a small bit of food.
.
Is Miralax available in pet stores? I've checked PetSmart and Drs. Foster & Smith and neither one of them carry it. Or do you get it from a regular pharmacy?
post #15 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Alan71 View Post
Is Miralax available in pet stores? I've checked PetSmart and Drs. Foster & Smith and neither one of them carry it. Or do you get it from a regular pharmacy?
regular pharmacy but I encourage you to look at its active ingredient
post #16 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
regular pharmacy but I encourage you to look at its active ingredient
i did some research on Miralax, & found this on a CRF site...
Miralax is now OTC, you do not need a prescription for it, though please do not use it without your vet's knowledge and approval.
A common starting dose is 1/8 of a teaspoon, though you can increase to 1/4 of a teaspoon if necessary. You can divide this between your cat's meals, there is no need to give it all in one go.
post #17 of 21
before using any kind of laxative. Miralax is a human osmotic laxative, but vets have been using it to treat chronic constipation/megacolon in cats for a number of years, now.

I know what you're saying sharky, when I saw the active ingredient, I thought it was antifreeze!!! The chemical names sound similar, but not related.

I actually found out about Miralax from a megacolon list-serve I'm on. It was really stressing Jesse out to have to syringe lactulose into him three times a day, he hated the taste so much. Our vet hadn't heard of Miralax being used for cats, but after checking the veterinary literature, she Ok'd it instead of lactulose.

Lactulose is the old stand-by, but it can be difficult to administer to some cats. There is also a flavorless form of Lactulose (also rx) called Kristolose, but it's fairly pricy.
post #18 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sablemerle View Post
before using any kind of laxative. Miralax is a human osmotic laxative, but vets have been using it to treat chronic constipation/megacolon in cats for a number of years, now.

I know what you're saying sharky, when I saw the active ingredient, I thought it was antifreeze!!! The chemical names sound similar, but not related.

I actually found out about Miralax from a megacolon list-serve I'm on. It was really stressing Jesse out to have to syringe lactulose into him three times a day, he hated the taste so much. Our vet hadn't heard of Miralax being used for cats, but after checking the veterinary literature, she Ok'd it instead of lactulose.

Lactulose is the old stand-by, but it can be difficult to administer to some cats. There is also a flavorless form of Lactulose (also rx) called Kristolose, but it's fairly pricy.
I fully know what it is ... as I did a bit of REAL research on it ...

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Polyethylene_glycol

http://www.scorecard.org/chemical-pr...2-68-3#hazards

http://sci-toys.com/ingredients/poly...ne_glycol.html
post #19 of 21
i am lucky that Molly accepts Lactulose wiht no issues, which is impressive as she normally hates anything being put in her food, and she wont accept Katalax.
post #20 of 21
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
We used it for a short time, for Raven, before we knew it was tumors causing him to feel constipated. I wouldn't recommend the stuff unless it's the absolute last thing you try. If you overdose accidentally, they get very messy slimy poop.

I've had better luck with transitioning to a majority of canned food. Adding a cat fountain. And using Dr Jean's tips from Little Big Cat. My big guy, Stimpy, had some on and off constipation issues until we did these things.
http://www.littlebigcat.com/index.ph...onstipatedcats
post #21 of 21
I just had to come back to this thread because I just had a discussion with a friend of mine about this. She stated that her vet had told her that an all wet food diet made constipation worse because it was too low in fiber. She said that her vet told her to feed strictly dry food. I just said oh that's intresting, and thought well I know for Jordan feeding dry food makes his constipation worse. I've actually started feeding him his wet food at the same time I feed the others dry because then he isn't tempted to eat any dry. I was amazed that they left his food alone, but I think it just goes to show how strong of an alpha cat he is.
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