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Terri, Feline Healthcare Expert
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 32666
Experience:  Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
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Fecal impaction in 3 month old kitten, bowel obstruction ---

Customer Question

fecal impaction in 3 month old kitten
JA: I'll do all I can to help. What is wrong with the kitten?
Customer: bowel obstruction --- has been at vet and has received 5 DSS enemas without any result -- they've been hydrating him, so he is making urine and even though he hasn't had a bowel movement in at least 3 days and his colon is distended on XRAY, he does not seem uncomfortable. I'm just looking to see if there are any manuevers or other things we can try to break up the impaction
JA: Strange behavior is often perplexing. I'm sure the Veterinarian can help you. What is the kitten's name?
Customer: Forrest Gump
JA: Is there anything else the Veterinarian should be aware of about Forrest Gump?
Customer: part of a feral litter, 2 rounds of deworming medication given 6 and 2 weeks ago
JA: OK. Got it. I'm sending you to a secure page on JustAnswer so you can place the $5 fully-refundable deposit now. While you're filling out that form, I'll tell the Veterinarian about your situation and then connect you two.
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Cher replied 1 year ago.

Hello, and welcome.

I'm so sorry Forrest Gump is experiencing this problem. Try offering him some plain cow's milk (1 oz.). This is a natural laxative for most cats, as they are lactose intolerant. You can offer him some hairball remedy like Petromalt or Laxatone to lick from your finger. If he won't do that, put a ribbon of it down on his forepaw, near his paw, and he will lick it off as cats hate 'sticky' on their fur.

You can also mix 1 tsp. of plain, canned pure pumpkin (not pie filling) into a small amount of his wet food, every 12 hours; this contains natural fiber. You can add, instead of the canned pumpkin, baby food stage 1 pumpkin or sweet potato containing no other ingredients. Give 1 TBS. once a day.

You can sprinkle 1/8th of a tsp. of Metamucil into a small amount of his wet food.

Choose only one of these to do, but, you can use the hairball remedy with any of them, just not simultaneously.

You can take a lubricated rectal thermometer (with plain Vaseline or KY Jelly) and put it in his anus about 1/2 and inch and rotate it, then remove. This may stimulate a bowel movement, but be very careful.

Continue to keep him well hydrated--you can add some water to his wet food and in addition to water, you can add tuna water from a can of tuna.

Do not feed any dry food.

If there's still no movement, keep in touch with your vet and ask if the feces may need to be removed surgically, if nothing else is working.

I hope Forrest Gump is feeling much better very soon.

Please be so kind as to rate my answer with positive feedback, as that is the only way I receive recognition for my assistance. Thank you very much!

Providing a positive rating will not end our conversation, should you need me for any follow-up. Simply click 'Reply' for clarification or additional information, if needed.

Warmest regards,


Customer: replied 1 year ago.
I do not think a laxative is a good idea in an animal with complete bowel obstruction -- that can cause severe problems beyond what we already have. Cows milk in particular is likely to cause him gastric distress. He is too young and too small for surgery and if 5 enemas with DSS did not break up the impaction, I highly doubt a thermometer inserted a safe distance is going to do anything. The only answer that would be helpful in this case is one to directly address the impaction. Are glycerin suppositories safe? What about a mineral oil or coconut oil enema? Ultrasound or electrical stimulation? Warm soaks?
However since none or your answers addressed the problem correctly or actually even safely, I would rather ask someone else as I would not trust your answer
Expert:  Terri replied 1 year ago.


I am so sorry about the situation with Forest Gump.Yes, Glycerine suppositories and enemas are safe. Warm soaks may help.

However, can you please answer a few questions:

Was an ultrasound done to see what is blocking his GI tract?

You say he is 3 months old, was he defecating normally up to the development of his impaction?

Did he swallow anything like a piece of toy or a nipple from a bottle?

What foods was he eating?

Any vomiting?