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Ask Dr. Michael Salkin Your Own Question
Dr. Michael Salkin
Dr. Michael Salkin, Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 24412
Experience:  University of California at Davis graduate veterinarian with 44 years of experience.
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My cat is strictly indoors. She is very playful. About 6

Customer Question

My cat is strictly indoors. She is very playful. About 6 years old. I have recently noticed that she is very still and sleeps a lot. Will not get up and mover around.
I have noticed that she is constipated at times and does not go in her litter box, but on my rug in kitchen. It is very hard stools but no blood or discharge at all. Normal but hard stools. Last several days, she has become lethargic and quiet. Please advise
Never has been sick.
Submitted: 7 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 months ago.
Marley's change in behavior is worrisome but isn't pathognomonic (specifically indicative) of any one particular disorder. If she's having difficulty defecating, constipation would be considered but the finding of hard stools doesn't necessarily identify constipation. She may be dehydrated, instead, for instance. Her inappropriate defecation on your kitchen rug may be related to her having trouble defecating. It's not unusual for a cat to eschew her box if she associates it with discomfort. Before entertaining behavioral retraining/reconditioning for inappropriate defecation, however, it would be prudent to have her vet perform a thorough physical exam including careful palpation (feeling) of Marley's colon to see if Marley truly is constipated and, if so, to what extent. Obstipation (severe constipation) isn't unusual in our cats and would require prompt attention. X-rays of Marley's abdomen might be suggested as well. Please respond with further questions or concerns if you wish.
Customer: replied 7 months ago.
These stool occurrences have been going on for about 3 months. After relief a very happy cat. Just the past few days the cat has become very lethargic and still not near as active as has been in the past Could this mean other problems or just a phase
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 months ago.
It could mean that Marley is now truly obstipated. Of course, I can't rule out another disorder from here. I would need to perform a thorough physical exam as well. Please check his vital signs for me...1) Check his gum and tongue color. They should be nicely pink - not whitish (anemia) or bluish/greyish (cyanosis/hypoxia/lack of oxygen to his tissues).2) Check his respiratory rate at rest. He should be taking less than 30 breaths/minute while asleep or at rest.3) Take his rectal temperature. Any body thermometer will do when placed 1.5" into his rectum for 1 minute. Normal is 100.5-102.5F. This is a two person job!Please let me know what you find.
Expert:  Dr. Michael Salkin replied 7 months ago.
Hi Bruce Wilson,

I'm just following up on our conversation about your pet. How is everything going?

Dr. Michael Salkin

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