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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 17683
Experience:  Small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats, happy to discuss any questions you have.
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My 3 year old & spayed female cat is constipated. There is

Customer Question

My 3 year old & spayed female cat is constipated. There is plenty of water and I have not changed her food from the usual 1/4 can Fussie Cat chicken and tuna with salmon & chicken dry food. What can I do?
Submitted: 8 months ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 months ago.

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

Now we do need to tread with care if your lass isn’t passing stool. Typically, cats will pass feces every 24-48hrs (it takes 24 hours for food to pass from the mouth, all the way through the gut and out the otherside). So, if we aren't seeing feces at this stage, then I would advise considering some steps to get things moving as they should. Of course, if you suspect she could have eaten something that could be causing a blockage, we’d want her seen urgently.

Otherwise, you can help relieve mild constipation at home with a number of wee tricks. First, you can offer some cow milk. Kitties are like little lactose intolerant people, and while the love milk it can move things down the gut a bit quicker (ie. Cause mild diarrhea in an unconstipated cat). If she is mildly constipated, this might just get things moving in the right direction.

As well, you can also treat them with hairball medication (ie. Catalax). This is available from the vet or the pet shop. It works to lubricate the gut and can facilitate the movement of hard feces out of the rectum. Alternatively, you can administer a small volume of Miralax (1 tsp per 24 hours), lactulose or mineral oil orally (ideally offer in food or if given via oral syringe then take care to avoid aspiration, since that would cause problems we'd best avoid) as a GI lubricant.

Furthermore, if she is eating you can mix in some canned pumpkin or a 1/4 teaspoon of unflavored Metamucil. Just like people, these can restore fecal output regularity. I would offer these with wet food to ease her eating of it, while making sure we are getting water into her (as canned food is 35% water). You also want to encourage your cat to drink as constipation can be complicated by dehydration. Make sure he have fresh water and you can even offer low sodium chicken broth if he won’t drink.

Overall, we need to tread with care when a cat isn’t passing stool as she should. So, as long as you are sure she hasn’t eaten anything non-edible and hasn’t any red flag signs (ie belly pain, vomiting, or paling gums), then you can try the above. Though while you are doing this, I would advise that you continue to monitor fecal output. I would advise trying the above measures, but if you aren't seeing feces in the next 12-24 hours, or she begins to vomit or worsens, then she needs to be evaluated by a vet. Severe impactions of feces are usually secondary to more serious diseases, so if she doesn't respond to our gentle colon cleaning treatments, then she may require more aggressive treatment (ie enemas under sedation).

Please take care,

Dr. B.


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Expert:  Dr. B. replied 8 months ago.

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

Dr. B.