Dear Most Esteemed and Knowledgeable Kitties:
My long-haired cat has been constipated since I got her. I brush her daily and give her tonic lax a couple of times a week, but she rarely goes. When she does, she goes outside of the litter box. Sometimes she cries and drags her bottom. If she does poop in the litter box, she won’t urinate in there, so now she is also urinating outside of the box. I’ve taken her to the vet twice with no answers. I’m wondering what to do.
Siouxsie: Well, Carmen, the first thing we recommend is that you get a second opinion about your cat’s constipation.
Thomas: Cats normally pass one to three bowel movements a day, and if she’s not doing that, something is definitely out of whack, and obviously the tonic lax isn’t doing anything to change that.
Bella: Another reason why you should seek another opinion is that your cat may be suffering from a urinary tract issue. The reason we say this is because now she’s stated peeing outside the box — a common symptom of urinary tract troubles.
Siouxsie: So, what causes constipation in cats? The most common causes are dehydration and impaction by fur or hairballs.
Thomas: You’re brushing your cat every day, so you’re certainly doing your part to prevent her from filling her stomach and digestive tract with fur.
Bella: Dehydration is pretty common in cats. You see, we cats are evolved from desert creatures and so we have a very low thirst drive. We’re designed to get all the moisture we need in our food, and when we eat only dry food, we’ll almost certainly get dehydrated!
Siouxsie: So, we recommend feeding canned food, and maybe even adding more liquid to the canned ration by putting a teaspoon or two of warm (not hot!) water in it.
Thomas: Also, make sure to keep your cat’s water supply fresh. Wash and refill her water dish every day, and consider investing in a cat fountain because some cats prefer to drink from running water.
Bella: Other potential causes for constipation are blocked or abscessed anal glands, tumors, a foreign body she ate that’s blocking her digestive tract, and metabolic conditions like diabetes or kidney disease that cause excessive urination.
Siouxsie: I know that sometimes I get a little bound up because when my hips get sore it hurts to assume the poop squat. Hey, I’m an old kitty — my aches and pains are legitimately earned! Fortunately, Mama makes sure I get plenty of liquids in my diet to keep my constipation to a minimum.
Thomas: Whatever the cause is, Carmen, you need to talk to a vet — either your current vet or another one — to find out what’s really going on. It may require diagnostic tests like X-rays and blood work to figure out the underlying cause of your kitty’s chronic constipation.
Bella: But if you don’t get your cat’s issue correctly diagnosed and treated, her chronic constipation could result in megacolon — when the colon gets so full of feces that it stretches out and loses its ability to move stools.
Siouxsie: So, Carmen — up her liquid intake by feeding her canned food with a little extra water in it; make sure she always has fresh, clean water to drink; and get her to a vet who will help you figure out what’s going on with her.
Thomas: How about you other readers? Have you had a constipated cat, and what did you do to relieve the problem? Please share your tips, too.
Bella: In the meantime, Carmen, we hope everything comes out okay. Tee hee hee!
Siouxsie: Oh, honestly, Bella…
Thomas: Please let us know what’s going on with your cat and if you were able to get he regular again. Purrs to you!
I haven’t actually had constipated cats to the extreme yours is but I can highly recommend putting Vaseline on her paws. She will lick it n it will help pass fur balls n also a sugar or syrup added to her water couldn’t hurt or maybe add a bit to some warm milk I usually try home remedies first but. If the problems persists I would sure get a second vets opionion or you can go to car nd . Com. Might find help there. Wishing u the best from one cat lover to another
First of all, Vaseline is made from products that can be harmful to cats, so I’d recommend anyone STOP using it…even though many veterinarians still suggest it!
My boy has been battling constipation for years, and just when we think we’ve got it under control, he has another accident. We put a spoonful of canned pumpkin and a teaspoon of Miralax-stype stuff in every meal, plus a bit of added water and oil. Just took him to the vet again last week, and she gave me anti-anxiety meds for him, but they don’t appear to be helping. I think it’s time to get him to a new vet, and one who has an excellent reputation for knowing ALL about cats! But, for Carmen’s poor kitty, I’d say switch to wet food immediately. I think that if the colon is full, then it presses on the bladder and that’s why they don’t use the box for peeing or pooping. It hurts, or is uncomfortable.
I had a cat that had mega colon. We would give him miralax every day.
I agree with the lovely and talended Souxie’s opinion. If your vet didn’t take a urine sample and test it, get yourself a second opinion… stat. Here’s how I know. My Andy was in serious pain as, I thought, he tried to poop. I thought it was constipation. LI took him to the vet the first time and he was, in fact, constipated, but not enough for the discomfort he was clearly in. The vet WANTED to get a urine sample but couldn’t at the time. So he told me to bring him back if he had the same problem again (screaming to high heaven). Not only that, but like you’re kitty he started pee’ing all over the place. So, I did run him back to his vet. The doctor got the urine sample. Turns out he had crystals in his urine. (Bella was right to) He’s been eating a catfood called c/d and has been fine since.
My late Violet had severe constipation problems through out her 19 years. After many trips to the vet to get her unplugged, we came up with Vetasyl twice a day along with Lactulose Solution once a day. That combo kept her regular and actually pooping in the box. Right now my cat Puffers needs a little help,so she gets one Vetasly capsule in her evening meal. You can also use Acacia fiber.
I’m a pet sitter & care for a kitty that is chronically constipated. She had a broken pelvis prior to being adopted. Her feces needs to be soft to pass through the smaller area because of the prior break. She has to have Miralax all the time. Also I know pumpkin will help if your pet will eat it.
there is also a new cat food that you can get from the vet. It’s by royal canon I think and is called Fiber Response. It’s a high fiber cat food and has worked great for my kitty. She has crystals torso I feed her a 50/50 mix of the two prescription diets.
RC High Fiber Response only works for a short time! Been there done that.
Good advice. Our Zoey suffers from constipation. She goes on average about once a week. Can you imagine that? She’s been to the vet a number of times and is on medication, takes miralax and eats only canned foods.
E GET. YOUR. POOR SUFFERING CAT TO A VET AT ONCE!! A CHAT BOARD IS NO PLACE TO DIAGNOSE A SERIOUS CONDITION!
a) PLEASE get your cat to vet who advises wet food ONLY. Meanwhile, give 1/2 teaspoon of canned pumpkin w/each meal, mixing it in if cat won’t eat it separately.
b) cow’s milk is bad for cats because it’s too acid-forming; mama-cats milk is naturally easily to digest.
c) Dry food causes kidney stones because it takes water from the cat’s body to digest food,
d) cats evolved in desert climates, and got necessary water in meat & organs of their prey, also providing natural forms of calcium & other nutrients.