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Ask Dr Scott Nimmo Your Own Question
Dr Scott Nimmo
Dr Scott Nimmo, Small Animal Veterinarian.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 20565
Experience:  BVMS, MRCVS. { Glasgow UK }
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can i give my cat olive oil for constipation

Customer Question

can i give my cat olive oil for constipation? He has been howling and hunched walking and is discharging a brown odorless liquid. We are planning on taking him to the vet first thing in the AM, but in the meantime, can we give him olive oil? I've seen some say yes and some say no. If yes, how much can I give him? He is 8 years old
Submitted: 7 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 7 years ago.
Thanks for the question.

I will be very pleased to try and answer your question but to enable me to do so with accuracy I need to know a little bit more information, so first can you tell me :

1. Are you sure he is able to pass urine, I ask this as the inability to pass urine is a very serious situation in a male cat and it is often mistaken for constipation.

This is just a information request for which you have not been charged, I am online at present. I will answer your question shortly after receiving your reply.

Scott Nimmo BVMS MRCVS
Customer: replied 7 years ago.
Hi Scott, Thanks for your help. We thought it might be urinary, but when he was rolled over on his back, we could see he was actually licking at his rectum and it was sort of...well...pulsating a little...and then tonight he was all hunched over and everywhere he did that he would produce a little brown odorless discharge. So we're not 100% sure it's constipation, but everything I have read points to it. So far we've given him some milk and some canned salmon with 1/4 tsp olive oil and water and now he is there anything else we can do for him?
Expert:  Dr Scott Nimmo replied 7 years ago.
Hello again,

In answer to your question : Olive oil could be given to a cat which is constipated as a temporary measure before you see your vet. Oils like mineral oil are used by vets in this situation and as olive oil is not toxic to cats then this should be fine, you would give around 2 ml orally every six hours or so.

But and it is a very big but urinary tract blockages in the cat are often mistaken by owners for constipation. You see male cats suffer from a syndrome called FUS { Feline Urological Syndrome } at its less severe this can present as a cystitis and will respond to antibiotics but often the urethra which is the narrow tube from the bladder to the outside will become blocked. The bladder then expands and a back pressure may occur to the kidneys resulting in kidney failure as well as bladder damage, deaths are possible if there are delays.

Such cats are uncomfortable, can only pass small amounts of urine with perhaps blood in it, will spend a lot of time in the litter tray straining and will be constantly licking. If the bladder is blocked your vet will be able to pass a catheter and resolve the situation as well as perhaps offer drug treatments and advice on how to prevent this distressing disease in the future.

If there is the slightest chance he has a blocked bladder you should take your cat to a vet as soon as possible { now! } even if this means using an emergency vet as this is potentially a very serious situation ...

If I have not covered your question fully enough or you would like to ask more I will be online for the next hour or so and I will be at your disposal

Scott Nimmo BVMS MRCVS