How JustAnswer Works:
  • Ask an Expert
    Experts are full of valuable knowledge and are ready to help with any question. Credentials confirmed by a Fortune 500 verification firm.
  • Get a Professional Answer
    Via email, text message, or notification as you wait on our site.
    Ask follow up questions if you need to.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee
    Rate the answer you receive.
Ask Terri Your Own Question
Terri, Feline Healthcare Expert
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 31923
Experience:  Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
Type Your Cat Question Here...
Terri is online now
A new question is answered every 9 seconds

What would cause a cats stool to be very hard and dry My

Resolved Question:

What would cause a cat's stool to be very hard and dry? My cat is pooping very little but what there is is hard and dry AND placed outside the box so I can see it! the vet thinks he needs antidepressants because he is stressed. I don't agree but neither do I know the answer. this has been going on for 3 weeks. Ideas?
Submitted: 8 years ago.
Category: Cat
Expert:  Terri replied 8 years ago.

Dear Gail,


The most common cause of this is constipation caused by dehydration.


He is soiling out of box to communcate to you that he needs help.


The best natural laxative is milk. It should bring on a BM in two hours or less. Older cats are often calcium deficient leading to hard dry stools.

Give him one to three ounces right away.

Most constipation is due to inadequate fluid in the bowel so your baby should eat food with a bit of water added to prevent this in the future.

If he is not diabetic, he can have droppers of unflavored pediayte to hydrate him and balance his electrolytes.

Yes, you can also put vaseline on his paws for him to lick off

The average is one to two bowel movements a day. However, a cat can manage as long as they have a good defecation every other day. Any longer than that and the stool can become toxic in his system.

Most constipation is caused by inadequate fluid and fiber in the colon. A high fiber diet should help as long as she eats it.Never feed Science diet as it not a great food - vets push it because they sell it but there are much better ones.

A natural remedy is canned pumpkin (not pie filling) a teaspoon a day added to her food. Some people also give an ounce of milk daily as most older cats are calcium deficient.There are also several vet scipted drugs like lactulose and cipracide. The problem with laxatives and enemas are the same with humans. These artificial stimulants interfere with the normal peristaltic waves of the intestine and repeated use can cause further constipation, obstipation and even megacolon.

Please refer to the following links and info:

"The causes of constipation and obstipation are many, including diet (ingested hair, foreign bodies, bones); environment (a dirty litter box, lack of exercise, hospitalization); painful defecation (anal abscesses from cat-fight bites or feces- matted hair [long-haired cats are particularly susceptible]); obstructions (tumors and improperly healed pelvic fractures that restrict movement through the intestines); and medications (for other conditions). And watch your cat's weight. Obese cats can become constipated.

Chronic constipation and obstipation from specific causes can result in a distended colon that has poor movement (megacolon). Sometimes, though, megacolon occurs when the muscular movement of the colon wall, which propels fecal material through the colon, diminishes for some unknown reason. As a result, fecal matter comes remains in the colon where it becomes drier and harder. Over time, the enlarged, impacted colon loses most of its muscular ability (motility) and becomes a loose pouch filled with dry, concrete like material. Unfortunately, veterinary science has yet to discover the causes of this condition known as idiopathic megacolon."

Here is the rest of the article:SOURCE:

Here are others I think will be helpful:

He should see a different vet if he does not go two hours after the milk or continues to be in pain

Please let me know how he is doing. I will always be here for both of you.

I hope he feels better very soon.

Sincerest best wishes,


Terri and 4 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you

Related Cat Questions