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Treatments for constipated cat.

Species: Cat
Breed: Tabby
Age: 2-5 years
Good morning Dr Marie,

This is the second time I have used your service. I was pleased with the time you took and level of care you offered for such a small price. It so exceeded my expectations that I felt a little guilty that it didn't cost more. Typically I would expect a quantity over quality like approach in a response from a discounted service such as this. I was shocked when you told me that my cats issue was not common and therefore wanted to research and discuss the matter with some of your colleagues. You followed that up with timely and detailed analysis which left me feeling like I had just left my veterinarians office. In closing I am not easily pleased. I have interviewed and screened a dozen vets before I found the right one for my cat. It is comforting to know that I have affordable access to a professional such as yourself when I am in need of a second opinion. Nicely done Dr. Marie!

Ok now for my question! My cat I think is constipated. I have noticed that he is struggling at times to defecate and his poop is hard. Through the internet I learned this is a common problem and although it can be tied to a more serious condition I don't think it is serious. We just had a checkup and a full round of blood work and he came back in excellent health. With that said I was curious if you could recommend some homeopathic remedies and the appropriate dosage. I have read metamucil works however I would have no clue how much to give as a supplement or if he would even eat it. He is very finicky so multiple options time permitting would be helpful. Rest assured if the situation doesnt improve I will take him into the vet. I did notice that he had a tiny amount of fresh blood around his anus. I wiped it away with some all natural wipes which are chemical and alcohol free. Again it didn't look like it amounted to much more than he had passed a hard stool. That was two days ago and so far so good. He is pooping every day mostly but again I think he is trying to avoid it because it is difficult.

I got to thinking you probably want to know what I am feeding him. He eats a combo of first mate, Call of the Wild, and Solid gold. He will not eat wet cat food. I have tried every type. He does eat about two tablespoons of shelled crab with no additives whatsoever. I rinse the crab to remove some of the sodium before feeding it to him. I typically add a tablespoon of water so that he gets water. He does drink water regularly as I seen him at both of the fountains I have for him.


Online vet, Dr. Marie

Dr. Marie replied:

Hi Jeremiah and thanks for the kind words. :) I enjoy running the website and wish that I could answer everyone's questions for free. But, I needed to put some type of fee on the questions otherwise I'd be spending 16 hours a day just answering the free inquiries. Who knows, maybe one day I'll get tired of this and up my prices, but for now I'm happy to keep them low.

Constipation in cats can be really tricky. It's something that you definitely want to get on top of now. If a cat struggles with constipation for a long time they can get something called megacolon where the nerves to the colon stop working. Cats with megacolon have a serious life threatening injury. But, fortunately there are things that you can do now so that things don't get worse.

I used to prescribe medications for cats with constipation. One medication that is commonly prescribed is something called cisapride which helps to move the intestines. However, a few years ago a company called Medical (or VMD in the States) came out with a food called gastro diet that has a few things in it including psyllium that really help to move the bowels.

You can add psyllium in the form of metamucil to the cat's food but this is something that you would need to do on the advice of your vet. I can't legally advise treatments without having you as an actual in person client.

Some cats with constipation will do well by adding some fiber to the diet (i.e. bran or pumpkin) but then for some cats this can actually make the problem worse. So again, any additives you are doing should be run by your vet first.

I can't speak highly enough about the Gastro food. I'm not paid by the company or compensated in any way to recommend it, but I can tell you again that it has really helped many of my constipated cat patients.

The other thing that I should mention, although I don't think this is the issue, is to make sure that it is actually constipation and not that he is straining to urinate. Often they can look the same. Straining to urinate is a life threatening emergency and should be dealt with immediately. It really sounds like constipation in your case though.

I hope things work out ok!

Dr. Marie.

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Disclaimer: Although Dr. Marie is a qualified veterinarian, the information found on this site is not meant to replace the advice of your own veterinarian. and Dr. Marie do not accept any responsibility for any loss, damage, injury, death, or disease which may arise from reliance on information contained on this site. Do not use information found on this site for diagnosing or treating your pet. Anything you read here is for information only.

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Dr. MarieDr. Marie is a veterinarian who practices in a busy animal hospital in Ottawa, Ontario. She created Ask A Vet Question as a resource for good, accurate veterinary advice online. Dr. Marie treats dogs, cats, hamsters, guinea pigs, and rats. She has been a vet since 1999.

Is an online vet visit just as good as a trip to your veterinarian? No! But, many times, asking an online veterinarian a question can help save you money. While Dr. Marie can't officially diagnose your pet or prescribe medications, she can often advise you on whether a vet visit is necessary. You can also ask Dr. Marie for a second opinion on your pet's condition.