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Constipation Treats that help?

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by Michael Cox, Jul 27, 2019.


  1. Michael Cox

    Michael Cox PetForums Junior

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    For years I've fed my cats with dry food and they have thrived. They are active, engaged and have glossy coats. I make a point of keeping freshwater nearby, in a filtered bubbler.

    But I've noticed their stools seem very dry, plus I found a hard one outside the box today, so I know I need to intervene before it's too late!

    I know I could switch them to canned foods, which I am willing to do, but I'd prefer not to get into the expensive, routine of selecting dozens of cans of off every week from the plethora of varieties and serving it up every afternoon on demand.

    I've never fed my cats "treats" because I don't want them to get fat, or start begging. But I wondered if there is a treat that they would go for that would provide additional lubrication and soften there stools at the same time.

    This kind of treat I'd be happy for them to beg for (-:

    Would appreciate any suggestions.
     
  2. pipski

    pipski PetForums Newbie

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    This isn’t the ‘cat treat’ you’re after but liquid paraffin will help relieve constipation.

    When I figured that one of my cats was constipated I gave her liquid paraffin. I think the usual dose for cats is 2ml – 5ml twice a day. I gave mine about a ¼ teaspoon twice a day, morning and evening, as 5 ml (1 teaspoon) seemed a lot. It worked a treat about 2 days later.
    You can mix it in with their food, though I use a kitchen measuring spoon and she licks it straight from that. Cats seem to like the taste of it.
    I got my liquid paraffin from a local chemist, costs about £2.50. I had to try a few chemists till I found one that had it.
    ---
    It’s not really the solution to give them liquid paraffin or other laxative if it’s the dry food that’s going to give them constipation – so you might consider changing their dry to wet.
    I think you might get a few other people recommending you start feeding them wet as well. As you describe, the real selling point of dry is really that it’s a convenience for the owner.
    Good Luck.
     
  3. Michael Cox

    Michael Cox PetForums Junior

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    Thanks for your response.

    I caved and started feeding them canned food the day I posted this and they so far they seem to be happy with it. I also purchased "grass". Our local supermarket keeps it in stock in the pet food isle.

    I'm not sure where I'd find paraffin on this side of the pond but I'll ask my pharmacist if he has heard for the product.

    I'm checking stools every day and I'm hoping that after a few days on canned food their stools will soften up. I'm worried because I've seen the classic symptoms, dry stools outside the litterbox! I hope it's not too late!

    But they are eating well, drinking plenty of water and chasing each other around the house to I may not be!
     
  4. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    Keep your cats on the wet diet. A dry fed cat is a dehydrated cat. If additional help is needed add some egg yolk to the diet. Raw, boiled or dried powder. If you changed their diet suddenly you may see some diarrhea. Add a probiotic to help with this.
     
  5. Michael Cox

    Michael Cox PetForums Junior

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    Thanks for that advice. I am now feeding them a 3 oz can of food every morning. I still leave the dry out, in case something happens to me and I don't get home. The older one vomited her morning feeding this morning but I guess that should be expected, it's pretty rich compared to what she's been eating all these years.

    My last cat, who lived 16 years and the ones I have now, who are 7 and 4 have been on dry food all their life and they've they've always been healthy. I tend to agree with you however, though, in my experience, dry food diet seemed to work very well.
     
  6. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    Not really. They lived their whole lives with chronic dehydration. Cats cannot drink enough on a dry diet to make up the deficit. Since cats don't show discomfort or even severe pain, you'd have no way of knowing, unless you changed/improved their diet. Once you make that change to all wet, and in a few months, start to see the difference in a well hydrated cat, that's when you realize.

    It is better for cats to eat scheduled meals with a number of hours in between meals. Digestion takes a lot of energy. The body needs a rest form it, so it can use the energy for other processes as well. And finally, cats need to feel hunger to move the fur through. Nibbling al day is very bad for motility (as is a dry diet, in general)

    If you want to learn more, visit www.catinfo.org. This is a website written by a vet who specializes in feline nutrition. She's a bit wordy, but taken in small doses, you will learn a lot.

    Once you change them all over to a good quality wet diet, you will be amazed at the difference.

    If mid day feedings are needed, timed feeders, including microchip feeders, can be used.
     
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  7. Michael Cox

    Michael Cox PetForums Junior

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    OMG I feel awful!

    My lovely, apparently healthy, active, engaged, cats, with nice shiny coats, and good routine checkups from the vet, were actually suffering their entire life? That theory may be a bit on the radical side but I take your point. Whatever the case I am feeding this pair wet food from now on.

    Thanks for the link, I will definitely check it!
     
  8. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    Suffering may be a bit strong.... :) Not feeling their best certainly. I think you will notice a difference in a few months, if you transition them all to wet diets.
     
    Michael Cox likes this.
  9. pipski

    pipski PetForums Newbie

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    Hi Michael, I’d like to expand a bit further in case this helps or for anyone else. Late reply as I’ve had to think how to nicely phrase all this constipation / poop business!
    -------------
    At this stage, just changing to wet might not help relieve the constipation. But it depends on how constipated she is. If she’s been constipated for a few days or more, then I would have tried the liquid paraffin.
    You say she is constipated and only able to poop out a few small, hard, dry stools every few days / infrequently. Even so, she might not be evacuating her bowel completely even when she does manage to go as there may be more hard stool still sitting in her rectum that she can’t pass. Behind this, more stool is accumulating and backing up into the colon, the longer it sits there the more water is removed and the drier it will become.
    What the liquid paraffin will do is sit on top, then gradually seep through the harden stool to completely soften it and lubricate its passage so she can completely and comfortably evacuate ‘the blockage’.
    ---------------------
    I gave mine ¼ to ½ a teaspoon twice a day* until she had a good bowel movement, which was a couple of days later. *I thought a teaspoon would be too much, too efficient!
    I then made some changes to her wet food diet – I slake down her denser cat food with a bit of wetter cat food. As well as usual drinking water of course. She used to hare around but now she snoozes a bit more so that might also have contributed to her bout of constipation – being more sedentary.
    If I notice any changes in her poop I’ll give her a bit of goose fat or butter, or a teaspoon of raw liver. Or even just a ¼ teaspoon of liquid paraffin.
    This is just my experience with my cat.
    ---------------------
    I think it is available over there, liquid paraffin “for the occasional relief of constipation” from a chemist i.e. medical grade…so not the type you buy from the hardware store. It’s handy to have anyway and keep in their first aid box. Though it isn’t suitable for long term every day use.
    If she keeps getting constipated even when you’ve changed her diet etc then best to see the vet in case there’s some more serious underlying problem.
    -------------------
    Anyway, I hope she’s ok and there are signs of improvement by now. All the best.
     
    Michael Cox likes this.
  10. Michael Cox

    Michael Cox PetForums Junior

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    I agree ;) Just to be on the safe side I'm taking them into the vet for a checkup tomorrow. It's been a while so they are due.
     
  11. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    If you choose to discuss diet with the vet be prepared, because most vets don't know much about feline nutrition, and will tell you that "any kibble is fine" because that's what the pet food reps tell them. They are so used to seeing kibble fed cats that that's their measure when judging a cat's general health and appearance.
     
  12. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hi @Michael Cox -

    Icat Care does not recommend use of liquid paraffin for constipation in cats:

    "Lubricant laxatives – are designed to lubricate the colon and make passage of faeces easier. Examples include liquid paraffin. Generally these are not recommended in cats, they are not safe for long-term use, and can cause severe problems should the cat inhale the liquid paraffin rather than swallowing it."

    Here is the article, which you may find useful:

    https://icatcare.org/advice/cat-health/constipation-cat
     
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  13. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

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    Could you soak the dry food?
     
  14. OrientalSlave

    OrientalSlave Shunra Oriental Cats

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    Not advised, if it's down for any length of time it tends to grow bacteria etc.
     
  15. Michael Cox

    Michael Cox PetForums Junior

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    I would not be surprised, any more than you I'm surprised that most physicians don't know much about human nutrition! That's why we have dietitians.
     
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  16. kimthecat

    kimthecat PetForums VIP

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    Oh Thanks . I didnt know that.
     
  17. Michael Cox

    Michael Cox PetForums Junior

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    When I tried to respond to you post it got blocked. I thought it was something I said, which was not at all suspect but no matter how I changed my response it got blocked. So I removed my response and left your quoted message and that bot blocked. So I removed everything except you first line. Let's see if that gets blocked.

    Ok, didn't get blocked! My response was:

    I imagine it would be ok for just a couple of days. The produce in inert to no dander of absorbing something harmful. As for aspiration, I think that's a bit of a stretch. Animals, or humans, don't simply asperate unless they are otherwise compromised.
     
  18. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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    Can't agree with you there. Aspiration is actually a very real danger for cats, especially when forcing something in their mouths/throats, be it food, medicine or other product. I have a cat who cannot drink liquid without aspirating. Fortunately she is on a raw diet so never drinks anyway.

    Paraffin is made form petroleum which is something that no living thing was ever meant to ingest. Very toxic.
     
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  19. Michael Cox

    Michael Cox PetForums Junior

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    Thanks for your response.

    I don't believe there's cause for alarm at this point, I doubt they are impacted, but I have decided to have them both seen; just in case, since I don't know which one is leaving hard stools outside the box. Besides, it's been a while since they had a checkup so a visit to the vet will kill two birds with one stone.

    As for Paraffin, I believe it is similar to "colace" which is inert and simply lubricates the colon, so I believe it is safe. But I'll wait and see what the vet suggests. But I expect shifting them to a wet diet will solve the problem.

    At this point, they are both very active, very social, and not sitting quietly in isolated locations. There was also a stool. albeit hard, in the litter box this morning and one last night.
     
  20. Michael Cox

    Michael Cox PetForums Junior

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    There are of course exceptions to every rule. I've had cats most of my adult life, they have all lived past 15 years and I've never seen on aspirate. Of course, if your forcing something into their mouth and they are struggling aspiration is a possibility, but putting a couple of ml of viscose liquid in a cats mouth with an insulin syringe they are not likely to cause them to aspirate. As for Paraffin. I doubt that medical quality paraffin is toxic, especially in the quantities suggested. That said, it is not likely that I will go there. I would prefer to address the issue conservatively, with diet.
     
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