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Fat constipated cat - any advice?

post #1 of 11
Thread Starter 
I have a recently adopted fat cat, his previous owner said he is prone to constipation and to feed him hartz hairball remedy if he doesn't have a bowel movement in 24 hours and that usually makes him go. She said that once he needed an enima. The last week I noticed his poops were looking really small and hard, then he just stopped pooping all together. I quit feeding him dry grain and started strictly feeding him canned wet food. It has been 3 days and no bowel movement. Once I tried mixing pure plain canned pumpkin into his wet food (to help him poop) but it made him throw up, so I don't want to try that again. I try feed him the hartz hairball remedy but he hates it SO MUCH and I have to force feed it to him then he scratches and bites and hates me, and usually manages to just spit it all out. I am planning on taking him to the vet tomorrow but......... I don't know why he is so constipated? has anyone else had this problem?
post #2 of 11
You might want to consider hiving him a higher fiber content food - hairball preventing food has a higher fiber content, and might help on the day to day basis.
Do you have Karo syrup at home? you can try to give him a bit of it - it help softening the stools...

Also try massaging his belly (not petting/rubbing, but actually massaging it)... I know moms do this with their kids, and it's pretty helpful...

Good luck!
post #3 of 11
The longer it stays, the more moisture may be absorbed.

I had a cat who had Megacolon and we went through constant challenges in dealing with it. High fiber, good quality food and a prescription of propulsid to keep him going for 12 years...

I was always frightened when he would stop going for a few days because he would backup and everything would harden on him. Because the opening in his pelvis isn't really all that big, the hard stools would be too large to fit and it was a $300 vet bill to have him put out, mineral oiled up and stools removed by forceps.
post #4 of 11
Have you discussed this with your vet? Also, try adding a bit of plain canned pumpkin (NOT pumpkin pie filling) to his canned food. I also add about a teaspoon of water and some raw chicken to my girl's food and this all helps. Exercise helps keep things moving as well, which it sounds like your new guy needs, too. I know some people also suggest psyllium, but I've not used that personally, so I have no idea how much to give.

I have an older cat who's always had pooping/constipation problems and she only poops about every other day (never longer than that) and it's also small. I've talked with my vet about it and he's not too concerned about it because he says that when you feed a higher quality food, the body uses more of it and there's less waste.
post #5 of 11
Originally Posted by cbabbman View Post
..I had a cat who had Megacolon and we went through constant challenges in dealing with it. High fiber, good quality food and a prescription of propulsid to keep him going for 12 years...
My cat Dave has had chronic constipation/megacolon for a few years now. What FINALLY helped us was NOT a high fiber diet (I tried this, and the vet said on one of his 6 visits to the emergency clinic to evacuate his bowls, that his poop was like "hay"), but switching him COMPLETELY over to an all wet/canned food diet, along with 2 doses daily of Lactulose. I swear, the Lactulose and all wet diet has made all the difference in this poor animal's poop habits. What has worked for Dave is this "low-residue" (I believe that's what it is called?) diet, not the high fiber. According to what the vet said, and from what I've researched, high-fiber diets only work when there is alot of water being ingested along with the high fiber. And as cats are notorious for not drinking alot of water (they are desert creatures afterall), the fiber just bunches together/blocks them up without the good intake of water to "puff" it up and move it through the colon...

Also, my old vet DID prescribe propulsid (I believe also called "Cisapride" ), but I chose not to go that route, as it was taken off the market (for humans) because it caused heart damage/failure in humans, and I did not want to take that chance with my Dave..Lactulose for him works just fine (for now), and is so much safer, I think it is a milk derivative, so it's much more gentle on his system. What Lactulose does, is "draws" water into the colon, and softens the stool, so it's easier for him to poop out, rather than the synthetic propulsid/cisipride, which causes the colon and muscles surrounding to be in a constant state of contractions I believe..

Good luck with your fat boy , and research what you can, and talk to your vet about your findings, I know how terrible it is for both cat and cat-caregiver with constipation issues!
post #6 of 11
i have a fat cat who has/had this issue, you are going to have to get him to a vet if he doesnt go, the 1st time i took sabastian it was 300 dollars for them to dig stuff out, enima, put him out...and some other things. they sent me home with fiber caplets to put in his food. well the fiber caplets didnt work to well and the one night he looked really in pain and didnt look like he could wait the next morning for the vet, so we took him to the emergency animal clinic, they had to do alot of the same procedures...it came to 600...then they sent me home with the lactulose, so i called my regular vet and asked for a script of the lactulose, i have to give it to him 2x a day, but i havent had any problems since, oh and before the whole constipation issue he was on dry food, now he only has wet.
post #7 of 11
Thread Starter 
Thanks so much for the responses. I called the vet and he told me to try the canned pumpkin - it has not really been working, as he only has a BM every 2-3 days and it is small and dry and hard. I also bought some omega 3 fish oil and have been force feeding him that (he will NOT eat it himself) and that has not been working either. He eats a diet of strictly wet food only, though we started this diet AFTER he was constipated, so he was already blocked up when we started the wet food. I'm going to have to take him to the vet but the sad part is I CANNOT afford a $300 vet bill.. we took in this kitty out of the goodness of our hearts because his owner was going to have him put down because she could not find him a home, now we have him and he is our responsibility, yet there is noway I can afford hundreds od dollars, we are a single income family with 2 small children and are already barely scraping by financially
post #8 of 11
What worked for me was putting unflavored Metamucil in a salt shaker and sprinkling a little on the wet food. Just like if you were putting salt on your food.
post #9 of 11
Remember, that dry food absorbs moisture from the cat's body, which if your cat has issues with constipation, will just complicate matters and make your cat's stool more dry and more difficult to pass. This is why I've upped Callie's food intake to include more wet. I feed her about a teaspoon of pumpkin, a tablespoon of raw chicken, and a little bit of canned Wellness (grain-free) twice a day and this has helped tremendously. I was told by my vet in passing once that she has an inactive colon (whatever that means).

Have you considered switching to an all-wet or mostly all-wet diet or even going with a raw diet?
post #10 of 11
if you cant afford the vet bill but your cat is still making small movements you really have to do something before he stops going all together and it will be extremely painful for your cat. i tried all those over the counter remedies you mentioned and still ended up at the vet.

please call your vet and ask if he will prescribe some of it for you. it costs me 26 dollars for a month supply, maybe he will be nice enough to actually prescribe it to you without a visit. Another option is see if they will sell you a pet enema, i know...yuk! or even see if pet stores sell them. but you really are going to have to do something and the longer you wait the more expensive the vet bill will be.
post #11 of 11
I had an old sick cat in the past...and he would always get constipated...and to be honest I can't recall if a vet told me or I found out on a cat forum..but was told to add mineral oil or vegetable oil to wet food ...and it totally worked for my cat...BUT I had to do it daily if I forgot even one time he would start to block up again....I hope something works soon and he feels better....
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