Can cats get constipated?

mommabirdFebruary 21, 2010

I am the one who cleans the litterbox, so I know my cat hasn't gone #2 in about 5 days. He is behaving fine, lots of #1 - can cats get constipated?

He is a really picky eater, will only eat Max Cat dry food - won't touch anything else unless he catches it. He's 9 years old and very healthy. He recently went to the vet for shots & checked out A-OK (right before Xmas).

Since he won't eat table food, is there anything else I can do? He's drinking fine, lots of water.

Thanks!

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laurief_gw

Yes, indeed, cats can get constipated, and it can be very painful for them when they do. Constipation can occur for a number of reasons, including but not limited to dehydration and renal insufficiency. If I had a nine year old cat with a really picky appetite, constipation, and who was drinking lots of water, I'd have a renal blood panel run to check kidney function.

Intestinal obstruction is another possibility. Any chance your cat has swallowed a toy or other undigestible object? He may even have developed a large hairball in his gut. If he's obstructed, he most likely will vomit any food he eats.

I hope your cat recovers without complications, but if he quits eating or starts displaying discomfort in any way, please get him to the vet ASAP.

Laurie

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 12:07AM
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booboo60

mommabird,

I noticed the same way about our cat too; DH does not clean the litter box but our cat is 18! I had heard they can get constipated so I read (on this forum) that you can safely give a cat 1/8 - 1/4 teaspoon of Miralax at a time and it will not harm them. I gave her about an 1/8 tsp. a couple times a day for awhile until I "saw" success! Now I give her that much about once a day. I just sprinkle it on her food; I guess it is tasteless, she doesn't seem to notice. Hope this is helpful!

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 12:08AM
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calliope

Yes, they surely can get constipated....especially if they are dry food eaters and chronic constipation can lead to them developing a megacolon. I had a wonderful Tomcat to whom this happened, and ended up with an enema routine for four years until he had to be put down for another unrelated issue.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 8:29AM
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sylviatexas1

I've had good luck with canned pumpkin;
cats often will eat it out of a spoon.

Be sure to get plain canned pumpkin, not pie filling with a lot of sugar;
the list of ingredients should read "pumpkin".

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 11:50AM
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Meghane

Cats can get constipated, but 90% of the time when an owner says their cat is constipated it is really anorexic. Not eating= not pooping. Sometimes the cat is really dehydrated too. But rarely do I see a truly constipated cat, and 90% of the time, the real problem is a lot worse. I'd strongly advise seeing a vet ASAP because the cat could be a lot sicker than you imagine. If he is truly constipated, he'll probably need an enema which you probably won't want to try at home. The remedies listed above are excellent for PREVENTION of constipation but not so great at curing it, though sometimes they work. At 5 days of not pooping already, I'd be *very* concerned something more serious is going on. Do you see him straining in the litter box? That would be the definition of constipation- straining to defecate. If he's not straining, he's empty, and if he's empty, he's not eating, and if he's not eating, he's really sick.

Good luck to you and your cat.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 9:41PM
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mommabird

Thanks everyone! Well, Taz "went" today so I guess he's doing OK. He does seem happier, too - was draped over DS's lap when I got home from work. He's not normally a lap cat so he has to be feeling GREAT to want to lay on someone's lap.

    Bookmark   February 22, 2010 at 11:22PM
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pekemom

When poor Reece was getting old he had that mega bowel problem. We took him in to the vet several times just to get cleaned out. Finally we gave him pumpkin every day along with some tuna with oil in the evening.

    Bookmark   February 23, 2010 at 12:47AM
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amyta

Megacolon can be a bad problem in cats. Keep a check to see if this continues and consult with your vet.

    Bookmark   March 13, 2010 at 11:18PM
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