At what point should I get worried about my cat not pooping?

moa

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Hello everyone!
Sorry for my english in advance, it's not my native language.
So 5 weeks ago I got a cat from a shelter. She is 5 years old and her name is Jojoba. Volonteers at the shelter told me that she had some problems with food. She would eat very little or sometimes would refuse to eat at all.
Once I took her home, I was very relieved that she started eating very well right away. She now eats dry food, although I try to also give her some wet food (she's not fully sure about it yet).
However, since day one we had some problems with her poop. She would only go every 35-37 hours. She also clearly had some trouble as she would meow when she had to go and had to strain herself. I took her to the vet 3 weeks ago (nothing to do with this issue, just regular check up after the shelter). Her blood work and ultrasound looked great. The vet said that she is probably still adjusting and recommended giving her food with more fiber in it, so I started mixing dry food with fiber into her regular food (she would not eat it by itself). That made her stop meowing and straining, but now she only goes once every 48-50 hours, so even rarer.
When she does go, her poop looks great - it's soft and long. She also behaves normally, she is very playful, eats normally and has multiple water bowls, from which she drinks.
But now it once again has been around 46 hours since she last pooped and I get super anxious every time she doesn't go for so long. I heard cats should go every day. Am I being too anxious? It's my first time having a cat by myself, so I always feel like I'm doing something wrong.
If she doesn't go, at what point should I take her to the vet? Last time Jojoba was so stressed that the vet told me I should give the cat a sedative next time, so she doesn't stress everyone and herself out. Three people had to hold her down to take her blood and she is tiny, only 3 kg :( So I don't want to stress her out with an unnecessary trip.
Also, does anyone have any advice on what food could maybe make situation a bit better? She is very picky. Out of everything I tried, she only consistently eats Pro Plan dry food and some brands of wet food (Royal Caning, Brit Care). She absolutely refused Farmina wet food, that had pumpkin in it. If you have had a similar problem, what do you feed to your kitty? She also has semi-long fur, so could that be the culprit?
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IndyJones

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Some cats just go less frequently than others Indy goes poop about every other day. Kabuto went every other day or even 3 days. Ist like people, whats normal for one person might be unusual for another.

The consistancy is more important than the frequency imo. If they are nice cigar shaped poops than thats just her normal. If they are rabbit turds then she is constipated. Liquidy is the runs.
 

FeebysOwner

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Hi and welcome to TCS. I agree with the above - consistency is more important than frequency. Firm, but not hard nor too soft is the key. Every other day is not abnormal for some cats. Just monitor Jojoba's stools and as long as they are of good consistency, I wouldn't worry about it so much. I love Jojoba's markings and coloring!
 

lisahe

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I agree with everyone's advice and the fact that Jojoba is a very beautiful cat!

We have a cat who's a lot like Jojoba: Ireland also has a tendency to get constipated and be picky about her food. She has occasionally gone three days without pooping. She's also a small cat who hates going to the vet and needs three people to hold her down for a blood draw. 🙀

Ireland has been doing much better since we started giving her some supplements. Vet's Best hairball relief tablets were the first we started. They help a lot and they're easy to give. They contain fiber plus slippery elm bark and marshmallow root, among other ingredients. I should mention that Ireland has never had hairballs! (I bought those tablets for her sister.) We've added another supplement (plus a little slippery elm bark syrup) to Ireland's diet but I'd suggest trying the Vet's Best tablets (or something similar) first since they're easy to give and I first learned about them from an online group where other people said they helped their cats' constipation. Sometimes it doesn't take much to make a big improvement!

Good luck!
 
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moa

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Thank you everyone for your replies!
It made me feel a bit better about the situation. I want her to be happy and comfortable in her new home, so I'm probably overthinking a lot of things. I'll continue to monitor her behaviour and stools for now, and if I see anything out of ordinary, then take her to the vet.
Also thank you for Vet's Best recommendation. I'll look into it or something similar
 

lisahe

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Thank you everyone for your replies!
It made me feel a bit better about the situation. I want her to be happy and comfortable in her new home, so I'm probably overthinking a lot of things. I'll continue to monitor her behaviour and stools for now, and if I see anything out of ordinary, then take her to the vet.
Also thank you for Vet's Best recommendation. I'll look into it or something similar
One thing I should have mentioned about Vet's Best is that the tablets have psyllium (fiber) in them. So if you do want to try Vet's Best or something similar, it would be good to check with your vet first to be sure you wouldn't be giving Jojoba too much fiber. That wasn't an issue for us since we never used plain fiber!
 

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You've gotten a lot of good advice so far! I also just wanted to add, since she looks floofy, that brushing might help with the constipation as well as she won't be ingesting so much hair. Ghost ingests so much hair, that sometimes he misses a day of pooing. We give him a bit of coconut oil, since he already has enough fiber in his dry food and then it usually passes in about 12 hours.
 
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moa

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You've gotten a lot of good advice so far! I also just wanted to add, since she looks floofy, that brushing might help with the constipation as well as she won't be ingesting so much hair. Ghost ingests so much hair, that sometimes he misses a day of pooing. We give him a bit of coconut oil, since he already has enough fiber in his dry food and then it usually passes in about 12 hours.
Yeah, I'm trying to get her used to brushing, but she absolutely hates it :confused: From what shelter told me, her previous owners probably didn't take much care of her, so now at the age of 5 she is still not used to any grooming procedures. For example, the vet told me that her ears look very dirty and it clearly makes Jojoba uncomfortable, so I should clean it at least once a week. Well, it's a whole ordeal every time. My hands are covered in scratches at this point :) Same with brushing or giving her medicine (thankfully had to do it only once).
Thank you for coconut oil suggestion! I'll read more on that, since she also gets fiber in her dry food :)
 

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Water is needed too, set several bowls of water around the house, often it encourages them them to drink more. I have a cat right now that sometimes goes only every three days, he is on Lasix so it is drying him out. What helps with my cats is giving them about a teaspoon of butter every third day or so. Butter has VERY little lactose so is usually OK to give. That seems to help. you would have to call yoru vet and ask, but try to find some human laxative called Miralax, or polyethylene glycol 3350. (it may be called something else in different countries) Or ask your vet what would be equivalent. That is the ONLY thing taht ahs worked for my cat, 1/4 tsp. mixed in a small amount of egg yolk or liquid treat.
 

lisahe

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di and bob di and bob 's mention of egg yolk is a very good one! We used to use egg yolk but then switched things up a little. It doesn't take much.
 
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Alldara

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Yeah, I'm trying to get her used to brushing, but she absolutely hates it :confused: From what shelter told me, her previous owners probably didn't take much care of her, so now at the age of 5 she is still not used to any grooming procedures. For example, the vet told me that her ears look very dirty and it clearly makes Jojoba uncomfortable, so I should clean it at least once a week. Well, it's a whole ordeal every time. My hands are covered in scratches at this point :) Same with brushing or giving her medicine (thankfully had to do it only once).
Thank you for coconut oil suggestion! I'll read more on that, since she also gets fiber in her dry food :)
Oh dear. How do you clean her ears currently? That's a tricky one because it can make them a little comfortable after the cleaning drops get put in

For brushing, I'd recommend just taking it slow and doing a couple strokes at a time. Just slowly get her used to it. Maybe give some treats during it. Give lots of praise as well of course. Some cats never like it, but just build as many positive associations with it as you can and try a few different brushes. Calcifer likes the furminator but not the other brush we have that his brothers prefer
 
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moa

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Oh dear. How do you clean her ears currently? That's a tricky one because it can make them a little comfortable after the cleaning drops get put in

For brushing, I'd recommend just taking it slow and doing a couple strokes at a time. Just slowly get her used to it. Maybe give some treats during it. Give lots of praise as well of course. Some cats never like it, but just build as many positive associations with it as you can and try a few different brushes. Calcifer likes the furminator but not the other brush we have that his brothers prefer
I'm basically following her vet's advice: wrap her with a towel, put the drops in, whipe the excess with a cotton pad and give her treats. She still manages to get her paws out of the towel most of the times. I am usually able to only give her treats afterwards, because she will swat them away during the cleaning - her only goal in the moment is to run away.

Thanks for the recommendations! I'll keep trying to get her used to it. We did make some progress yesterday: she allowed me 2-3 strokes before running away. She looked very annoyed at the whole proccess, but I'll take everything I can get :) In just three past months she first had to adjust to life at shelter, and now here. It's probably stressful and confusing for her, and she already made so much progress in other ways, so I'll just have to be patient and go at her pace.
 

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Definitely!

I know for Lily I would put it on the cotton ball and then just wipe her ears and that would be suitable, but I wouldn't be able to say that's suitable for your cat.

Did the vet take a swab to see if it was yeast or something?
 
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moa

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Definitely!

I know for Lily I would put it on the cotton ball and then just wipe her ears and that would be suitable, but I wouldn't be able to say that's suitable for your cat.

Did the vet take a swab to see if it was yeast or something?
I'm actually not sure if she checked for yeast specifically. At least I can't remember her mentioning it. She was mostly worried about ear mites, so she checked her earwax under the microscope and told me it's all good - just a lot of wax buildup.
It does seem to have become a little better by now because of the cleaning. I don't see her scratching her ears as often as before.
 

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Jojoba is beautiful!! 💕
I agree, I have had two cats in my life (one currently) that go every other day, just about. But his poos are nice shaped not too soft or hard. We did have a scare a month back where he didn't go for 5 days 😬 and miralax just made him super gassy. He did eventually go, but lesson learned his tummy couldn't handle the laxative. I also found all of this was due to a hairball stuck in his GI tract! Sigh...
So on the more natural side of things, I agree egg yolk does help to keep things moving. And if you need a more gentler push so to speak, slippery elm bark does the trick. I find when Julian gets hairballs like this, two or three doses (which is usually one days worth) will help move it along. It's a great natural remedy that creates more mucus in the lining of ther GI tract, and also coats the fur around the hairball to help it slide through. I know, gross, but I've tried this three times since then and success each time. Just make sure if you buy a liquid version that there is no alcohol in it. 😉
 
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