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Terri, Feline Healthcare Expert
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 32666
Experience:  Expert in feline health and behavior. 20 years experience with cats.
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my cat is really straining to go poop. he got one small ...

Customer Reply

Customer: replied 9 years ago.
my cat is really straining to go poop. he got one small piece out and then has been straining for about 60 min. He hasn''t gone poop in a day. he is really old and has some kidney disease. He threw up his recent meal while pooping. I just gave him some of the hairball remover our vet had perscribed, but that will obviously take some time to kick in. My question, when is it time to bring him in to the vet and is there anything else I can do for him at home. I''m hesitant to bring him in, because if surgery is the only answer, I''d have to put him down as he would never survive the trama. I have read all the typical suggestions already, they are usually more long term solutions not here and now. What I am really trying to figure out, is when the point of this being more than a simple bout of constipation and need to go to the vet. It has now been an hour, he is acting very strange, keeping his hind end low. Its right at his rectum, so the problem is not the colon, but he is in pain.
Expert:  Terri replied 9 years ago.

Dear friend,

I am so sorry your baby is not feeling well.

This is a result of his kidney disease. It caused him to form very hard dry stools due to underhydration.

The best natural laxative is milk. It should bring on a BM in two hours or less. Older renal 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 vet if he does not go two hours after the milk or continues to be in pain because he will need an enema to relieve him.

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 2 other Cat Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 9 years ago.
thanks. I'm letting him calm down before I force the milk down his throat with a syringe. The trouble is he has been dropping weight, and I should have been giving him some pumpkin or hairbull stuff regularly, but he has been going fine. So now, we are probably just weeks away from needing to put him down, so this is just causing me angst as a trip to the vet likely is just his last day. He has been doing well, seeming to be hungry and eating, and drinking a lot of water as usual (due to the kidny problem), but this just might be the end, because I can't see him lose weight and in pain.
Expert:  Terri replied 9 years ago.

Please do not talk about putting your baby down.

CRF cats can live for years with subQ fluids given at home.

He is losing weight due to dehydration but he can be helped!!

Cats and people can live with only 25% of kidney function as long as they get subQ.

Right now it is imperative to get him eating so it must be something special that he will enjoy and look forward to.

Any baby food strained meat like chicken, turkey,lamb, etc as long as there is no onion or garlic will provide protein and energy. Boil checken fish or liver as even the scent of cooking food awakens the appetite sensor in the brain.

Cats can also have tuna as long as they eat other things as well because tuna does not contain taurine which is essential in a cats diet.

If he will drink tuna water that is excellent for hydration.

Most cats like fancy feast but it is thick so add water.xperimant with everything til you hit on something he likes.

Here is info on CRF and FUS

Renal cats can live happy for years via SubQ fluids

This is deja vu - .My own kitty lived to be quite elderly CRF via subQ . You can suppliment with unflavored pedialyte to balance his electrolytes. There are also oral potassium suppliments as they help to metabolize calcium.

These things can help to extend his life. Weight loss and muscle wasting is normal for a CRF kitty. If he is calcium deficient, he can have milk every day.

Please keep in touch. I will always be here for you.

sending as an info request so you are not charges again.

Warmest wishes,


Customer: replied 9 years ago.
thanks for the advice. The problem with subq is that he won't take it. He has had kidney disease ever sense we adopted him 5 yrs ago when he was 12 yrs old. We knew any problem that required prolonged pill giving or needles will just kill the cat, because he hates it, and will start to pee blood from being so upset (had this happen twice before and no more pills, no more blood). A vet said he had less than a year, 3.5 yrs ago, so I feel good that he has done so well, but the last 60 days has been a very quick negative progression. his eating has been about the same until 3 weeks ago. He drinks probably 1.5 pints of water a day. I'm just depressed.
Expert:  Terri replied 9 years ago.

Do your best with the milk and the dropper feeds.Then offer him baby food and other things he likes.

You have done a remarkable job with him and saved his life for five years.

If I can help in any way, ever, just write to me and I will be here

May God bless both of you.