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Dr. Gary
Dr. Gary, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 3924
Experience:  DVM, Emergency Veterinarian, BS (Physiology)
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My 17 year old cat bowels have not moved in 4 days. she also

Customer Question

my 17 year old cat bowels have not moved in 4 days. she also pees in her sleep. what should i do?
Submitted: 2 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  petdrz replied 2 years ago.
Hello and thanks for trusting me to help you and Missy today. I am a licensed veterinarian with over 25 years experience and would be happy work with you.
Expert:  petdrz replied 2 years ago.
Is she still eating and drinking normally?
Expert:  petdrz replied 2 years ago.
Is the urinary incontinence a new problem or has it been occurring for awhile?
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
she is still eating soft food and drinking water. her peeing started about 5 days ago
Customer: replied 2 years ago.
she does'nt like using her litter box like she used to.she gets confused easily.
Expert:  petdrz replied 2 years ago.
It is not uncommon for an older cat to develop some degree of incontinence, but that fact that it coincidentally started around the time the constipation strated makes me suspicious they are related. There are a couple of possible explanations for this.The more common scenario would be that there is a large piece of rock hard stool blocking the passage of anything behind it. Sometimes a little liquid will make it's way around it, but until that obstruction can be manually broken down and removed, most drugs will not be too effective. Most cats I have worked with, even the most docile, will not allow their owner to attempt any stool removal at home, and even at the clinic we usually need sedation or at least a few people for restraint. I have seen some cats where the piece of stool is so large that it is obstructing even the urethra from emptying.
Expert:  petdrz replied 2 years ago.
Yes that is also a problem in some cases. Confusion that goes with aging or having problems getting in and out of the litter box can lead to litter box aversion which can lead to constipation or an overflow bladder that empties on it's own when she is relaxed.
Expert:  petdrz replied 2 years ago.
The very first thing that needs to be done is to have her examined to determine if she is obstructed with stool or not. This can usually be determined with an exam, but in some cases, an xray is needed.
Expert:  petdrz replied 2 years ago.
If she seems comfortable for today and you want to try something on your own before you take her to your vet, you could safely give her two things that may help. The first is the laxative called Dulcolax® The generic name is Bisacodyl. It is available over the counter here and comes as a 5 mg tab. Give one tab twice a day. The other thing that helps to soften the stool is a product for humans called Miralax (or polyetheylene glycol) It is a powder that you can sprinkle on food and it works by drawing water into the stool to keep it soft. Start with 1/4 teaspoon twice a day. Try to increase her fluid intake as much as you can by offering water or tuna juice to encourage drinking or add to her food to make it as soupy as she will allow. Canned pumpkin, Bran, or Psyllium (Metamucil) are good sources of fiber and help with constipation as well. About 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon per meal is what I would use. The hairball gels that are mineral/oil-petroleum mixtures are also good helpful. Mineral can be used rectally, (which I am sure you don't want to do), but should not be forced orally as there is a risk of it getting in their lungs which is dangerous.
Expert:  petdrz replied 2 years ago.
DOes that make sense? Is there anything else I can answer for you today?