Cat Constipation Question

louisianaphil

TCS Member
Thread starter
Kitten
Joined
Sep 17, 2020
Messages
1
Reaction score
0
Hi. I am having trouble finding much information regarding this issue on the internet, so I'm hoping someone here will be able to help.

My 2 year old, domestic medium hair, male cat recently had a pretty significant bout of constipation. It started in early July after I noticed him make several unsuccessful trips to the litter box. Remembering what was missing when I cleaned the box the night before, I knew he was constipated. I took him to the vet and they weren't too alarmed. I'm not sure what all they did in the exam because I was not allowed to go back with him due to Covid. The vet gave me some high fiber prescription food and a steroid and told me to call back if things didn't clear up. It was hard to tell if that helped. Once I finished the prescription food I switched back to his normal Iam's dry food diet. Things were moving, but stools were small. As long as he was still pooping every day though, I decided to just keep an eye on him. He maintained his happy, playful demeanor this whole time. Two or three weeks later, he had a pretty bad day. In an out of the litterbox all day, straining, not making any deposits. By the end of the day, all the straining was making him throw up. He threw up four times total. SO, I took him back to the vet. After an exam confirmed that he was pretty backed up, the vet ordered blood work, an X-ray, and, tests permitting, an enema. Blood work and X-ray both came back fine. Nothing weird in the blood work, no blockages, so they did the enema. I asked the vet what he thought could've caused this, but he didn't know. I asked about megacolon and the vet said he didn't think it was megacolon. The next day, I was able to take my cat home and was instructed to only feed him wet food from now on and to get some pumpkin or some Metamucil to add to his food as well as given a prescription for lactulose with instructions to give my cat 2.5 mL twice daily (10-12 pound cat). So, I did those things. Things were (still are) moving fine, albeit somewhat larger and slightly more frequent than might be considered normal, but definitely preferable to constipation. At one point I did think my cat's stools had gotten too loose, and (after multiple requests) received my vet's blessing to decrease the quantity of lactulose/fiber. Now we are down to 1/2 tsp of Metamucil and 1.5 mL of lactulose with breakfast and dinner.

My question is regarding the long term. The enema was about two months ago. When I asked my vet what the long term plan was, he said it was to get the cat down to as little dosage of Metamucil and lactulose as possible, but he gave me no plan or schedule for gradually reducing the quantity. I'm also wondering if this was the normal course of action at all. If I truly do need to give my cat Metamucil and lactulose morning and night for the rest of his life, I certainly will. It does seem odd to me though, that after just one severe bout of constipation, with no physical abnormalities detected, we were resigned to longterm (lifetime?) medication. Why not just switch to wet food and see if that keeps him regular and then if not add in Metamucil, and then if still no, add lactulose, etc.? I'm considering getting a second opinion but am of course hesitant. After all, the tests and everything already cost me around 500, and if this is the best course of action, I feel like it would be better to stick with the vet that already knows my cat. But at the same time, if there's something else that we can do that's easier on us both and keeps my cat happy and healthy, I definitely would want to find out.

Has anyone here experienced a similar issue with their cat? Did the cat need medicine for the rest of its life?
 

mrsgreenjeens

Every Life Should Have Nine Cats
Staff Member
Advisor
Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
13,736
Reaction score
3,676
Location
Arizona
I have had three cats with chronic constipation, and now have two more who are starting to have issues with it, but they are older. My vet suggested adding Miralax and Laxatone, which is possibly similar to Lactulose but isn't prescription. I am to only give the lactolose twice a week, and am to adjust the miralax as I see fit depending on what their output is.

I think you could probably see what happens with the all wet diet, and possibly add in some extra water to his food, but keep a very watchful eye on him. If you see a single day go by without a bowel movement, then immediately add in some Metamucil and either lactulose or laxatone for a few straight days. This is my opinion only. I am not a Vet.
 

Mamanyt1953

Rules my home with an iron paw
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Oct 16, 2015
Messages
24,061
Reaction score
38,669
Location
Havelock, North Carolina
I am in total agreement (as usual) with mrsgreenjeens mrsgreenjeens . And you want to try to encourage him to drink plenty of water. One thing you can do to help with that is to move his water dish several feet away from his food dish. Cats' instincts tell them that when food is to close to water, water becomes contaminated. They have no idea that bowls prevent that.
 

FeebysOwner

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jun 13, 2018
Messages
11,186
Reaction score
14,567
Location
Central FL (Born in OH)
Cats' instincts tell them that when food is to close to water, water becomes contaminated. They have no idea that bowls prevent that.
L louisianaphil - I would add a second bowl elsewhere and leave his current water dish where ever he is used to it being, even if that is next to his food bowl. It's always better to have more than one water dish anyway, and this way you can see if he manages to drink from one or the either, or both. I have 3 water dishes for Feeby, two are set up right next to some dry food I leave out for her (in addition to her canned food) and she drinks from those just as readily as the third one which is no where near food.

I had never heard about the water dish issue when close to food, so I guess maybe I have been lucky as all my cats have always had water dishes sitting next to their food bowls, and each have had no problem using them - thankfully!!
 

klunick

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Jul 22, 2020
Messages
2,074
Reaction score
5,216
Location
Solomons Island, MD
L louisianaphil - I would add a second bowl elsewhere and leave his current water dish where ever he is used to it being, even if that is next to his food bowl. It's always better to have more than one water dish anyway, and this way you can see if he manages to drink from one or the either, or both. I have 3 water dishes for Feeby, two are set up right next to some dry food I leave out for her (in addition to her canned food) and she drinks from those just as readily as the third one which is no where near food.

I had never heard about the water dish issue when close to food, so I guess maybe I have been lucky as all my cats have always had water dishes sitting next to their food bowls, and each have had no problem using them - thankfully!!
:yeah: I never heard about that either. Mine have always had their water dishes by their food bowls.
 

mrsgreenjeens

Every Life Should Have Nine Cats
Staff Member
Advisor
Joined
Aug 13, 2009
Messages
13,736
Reaction score
3,676
Location
Arizona
I keep a large water dish in the area where the cats hang out most, which is in the "great room". I feed one cat in the kitchen, and the other in a different section of the "great room", but feed them scheduled meals and pick up and wash their food dishes afterwards, so I follow the rule of no water near food, although I had also not heard that water shouldn't be near food :wink:
 

Mamanyt1953

Rules my home with an iron paw
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Oct 16, 2015
Messages
24,061
Reaction score
38,669
Location
Havelock, North Carolina
Well, moving the water dish did keep Hekitty out of the toilet bowl! So that was a good thing! But, I would have to think that, like humans, each cat has their own way of doing things. A second water bowl, away from the food, certainly won't hurt a thing!
 
Top