Cat Constipation (not really TMI)

My friend’s cat (and my long-distance proxy cat) had been somewhat constipated for two weeks.

Finn is about a seven years old, male, 15 lbs. tuxedo cat of high intelligene & fine character. L My friend has had to mix over 3 tubes of hairball stuff into his food in a week. She’s mixing pumpkin & water into his food, massaging his belly, and actively playing with him on a daily basis but he’s not pooping well. The vet says not to worry about pooping. He’s only going about once a day with all that she’s giving him, but he is eating quite a bit. What do you all think?
Pics forthcoming after I get some responses. L

IANAV, but…

Has the vet actually examined the cat, or has this been an over-the-phone thing? Many years ago, I had a cat that had a thick coat and was prone to hairball-related constipation. One day we realized she hadn’t had a bm for a couple of days, so we gave her hairball medicine, with no results. We called the vet and he suggested a higher dosage. Still nothing, and she was starting to vomit, which we assumed to an attempt to clear out a hairball. Another call and he suggested a baby suppository or enema. We weren’t brave enough for an enema attempt, but we did do the suppository. The (hardwon) results were not impressive and about that time the cat decided to stop eating. It’s been a long time, and some of the details are hazy, but I know we did take her in to the vet at some point during the week or so that this was going on. He said he was able to feel an obstruction which he believed was a lodged hairball. (This was a rural office, and I don’t think they had an x-ray machine.) He gave her a laxative injection and had us take her home where we were to wait and see if it had an effect. Nope. We took her back to the vet, and he gave her an enema. While watching her, he kept exclaiming that she wasn’t straining, as would be expected if she was attempting to pass something. The following day he did surgery on her, and discovered, instead of a hairball, a tumor, noncancerous, fortunately. The tumor was either in or on her spleen, so that had to go as well. He told us he had never seen that condition in a cat. Later when we told another vet about it, he just looked at us like he didn’t think we really knew what we were talking about, but when we brought it up to our current vet some years after, his response was to the effect that it wasn’t common, but it did happen. (I’m guessing that in the past many cats would not have survived long enough to have the surgery done and the tumor discovered.) And yes, she did live, and spent several more years terrorizing us all and throwing up the occasional hairball.

Anyway, of course it isn’t always that complicated. More recently, we had a cat that had long hair and was prone to, well, see the above. When she did the no bowel movement or eating thing, we took her to the vet, she was given an x-ray, an enema, and a laxative shot, everything came out all right, no tumors or anything, end of story.

So these are my constipated cat stories. I guess the moral is that there needs to be an actual exam done so that a determination can be made as to whether this is simple constipation or some exotic condition that amazes the vet.

Thanks, SP- I think I’ll just summarize that to my friend as “Have a Vet see him. It could be nothing or it could be something.” The whole story would freak her out.

And here are Finn pics!


Come on, cat lovers! I linked to cute pics!

Yes, yes you did! He has a fantastically expressive face.

That cat is willing to put up with clothes?!

The cat is not pooping on purpose. He is saving it all up for a massive BM in a shoe to get revenge for dressing him up like a hot dog. :stuck_out_tongue:

Wow, a subject I can speak on with some authority. Back when I moved in with my GF this year (About March), we noticed that our one cat was acting lethargic…he’s a bit of a worryer and we thought it was just all the noise of my moving in. Fast forward 3 days, when he’s not eating, not playing, and throwing up everywhere, we had to take him in.

It took 3!!! enemas to clear him out completly. It turns out his type of cat (Maine coon, or a mix with some coon in there) can have bowel issues; he has to struggle to even go. So from then on, we’ve been giving him a 2x a day oral laxative to make sure things keep going (he won’t eat the hairball stuff, or the W/D wet food…lovely).

They’ve said there’s surgery to correct the issue, but he seems fine now (and actually, more hugely active after we’ve been clearing him out). And sorry for no pics, at work right now.

There are better meds than hairball remedy for cat constipation, and I know this from personal experience with one of my cats.

There is Lactulose, a major stool softener, and there are enemas. Your friend can get those from the vet or, in the case of enemas, have it administered at the vets. I wouldn’t try any meds geared at humans.

Cute cat, in spite of all the clothes. :slight_smile: I love those Felix-the-Cat looks.

He actually likes clothes. Not so much the HotDog & Ladybug costumes, but he actually seemed to understand the King costume! And on cold days, he will happily wear shirts and sweaters.

And yeah, he has a greatly expressive face- from goofy little clown (I have to put up the pic of him IN a clown costume, which he enjoyed as much as the HD & LB ones) to wise old man.

He does poop once a day & eat & play. His tummy feels somewhat too firm.

I need to clarify. He generally poops once a day, occasionally skips a day, but he had been pooping 2-3 times a day.

My friend informed me that Finn made “a worthy poop” during the night. He’s active, seems to be feeling well, and she thinks he might be past it all since he is pooping once daily. It was those days he didn’t poop that really got her upset.

I’m glad she’s relieved as well as the cat. :wink:

Just an update that Finn’s doing good. He may skip a day occasionally but he’s pretty regular now & my friend is maintaining him on a diet to keep him that way.