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Author Topic: elderly constipated kitty  (Read 3547 times)


  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Fife
    • North Fife Blog
elderly constipated kitty
« on: November 20, 2014, 10:43:13 am »
Another geriatric issue, lol.
What do you do if your cat is constipated? Good old Angel always had that problem but it seems to be getting worse. Should I add bran to her wet food? Unless it's milk or cream she doesn't drink much but apparently lactose isn't recommended so it's watered down a lot.


  • Joined Oct 2012
  • Fettercairn, Aberdeenshire
Re: elderly constipated kitty
« Reply #1 on: November 20, 2014, 10:57:47 am »
A teaspoon of liquid paraffin from the chemist is what we prescribe at the vets (enemas if bad, or a more tailored molasses based alternative to liquid paraffin if they wont eat it).
Not uncommon in the older cat, but do watch out for things like weight loss or vomiting as something more sinister could also be going on inside.


  • Joined Mar 2009
  • Stirlingshire, Central Scotland
Re: elderly constipated kitty
« Reply #2 on: November 20, 2014, 11:28:46 am »
We have a geriatric cat who's prone to regular bouts of it. She has a condition called 'megacolon', where basically the colon muscles have become stretched and knackered. Despite her having lactulose in her food, the vets have had to un-bung her a few times (at 100+ a time  :o ). This did her no favours at all really, since it included a general anasthetic and generally being beaten up whilst having a hot water hose stuck up her... anyway.
In the end, I've learned how to break up the lumps myself with some careful massage, after training by the vet. This is far kinder to her, since it doesn't involve the anasthetic, not to mention cheaper! Basically she gets an enema of warm veg oil and lactulose, then a massage, and then stand well back!  ;D
Of course none of this may be applicable to Angel. However, one thing that might help - if the vet prescribes lactulose, you can buy exactly the same thing from online pharmacies and ebay (technically for humans) without a prescription, which saves a whole lot of cash.
Good luck - you may need it!
"All fungi are edible. Some fungi are only edible once." -Terry Pratchett


  • Joined May 2013
Re: elderly constipated kitty
« Reply #3 on: November 20, 2014, 11:59:29 am »
have you tried feeding oily fish?


  • Joined Dec 2012
  • Conwy Valley
Re: elderly constipated kitty
« Reply #4 on: November 20, 2014, 12:00:57 pm »
Slippery elm bark is wonderful for constipation (as well as the opposite condition, in fact).
You can get it online as a loose powder (also available in capsule form, but much more expensive) and mix it with hot water to make a viscous 'syrup' (use 1/4 tsp of SEB powder, and mix it with 2 tbsp boiled water in a small glass jar - pour the water over the SEB powder and let it sit for a while til jelly-like and cooled)
It's more effective when fed separate from food, so you probably have to syringe it into her mouth, start with 3x daily and see if it has an effect - it usually helps quite promptly.
"If one way is better than another, it is the way of nature." (Aristotle)


  • Joined Jan 2009
  • Fife
    • North Fife Blog
Re: elderly constipated kitty
« Reply #5 on: November 20, 2014, 12:30:59 pm »
Thanks for all your suggestions, folks. I think we still have some lactulose from our own surgery aftercare  ;D , what would be the dosage for a small cat? I'll try to add oil to her feed first, I suppose that any oil would do (as in oily fish :thumbsup: ) or even unsalted butter?


  • Joined May 2012
Re: elderly constipated kitty
« Reply #6 on: November 20, 2014, 04:51:52 pm »
Our geriatric cat gets an inflamed bowel, liver and pancreas and her kidneys aren't brilliant. She also blocks up from time to time and has needed unblocking by the vet a few times. Watch out for dehydration. If bad she will need a trip to the vets and a drip. We can't feed high protein food like fresh chicken as it can be too much for the kidneys. We use a squirt of liquid parafin in her food and use a sensitivity control diet plus some anti hairball biscuits. If she looks to be struggling I have learned to give her a warm water enema, massage, and get her to drink water with a little oil from a syringe. This can avoid a vet visit and be far less stressful. A towel is essential for wrapping in case an enema is needed. She has had this condition for years but is still enjoying life.

Good luck!


lord flynn

  • Joined Mar 2012
Re: elderly constipated kitty
« Reply #7 on: November 20, 2014, 07:18:45 pm »
pumpkin can help apparently-some wet cat foods have this in, helps against hairballs as well but you can give small amounts of tinned pumpkin.


  • Joined Aug 2012
  • Clackmannanshire
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Re: elderly constipated kitty
« Reply #8 on: November 20, 2014, 09:29:22 pm »
Cats aren't supposed to have milk or cream?  I'd better tell Rio  :innocent:

However, there is cat milk readily available in the supermarkets - that might get more fluids into her on a regular basis.
Always have been, always will be, a WYSIWYG - black is black, white is white - no grey in my life! But I'm mellowing in my old age


  • Joined Nov 2011
  • Devon
Re: elderly constipated kitty
« Reply #9 on: November 21, 2014, 01:03:29 pm »
You need a trip to the vets as there will be a reason. Arthritic hips is usually what we see. sometimes bad kidneys will make them chronically dehydrated or they can have megacolon or an obstruction.

lactulose cannot be given to dehydrated animlas
Old and rare breed Ducks, chickens, geese, sheep, guinea pigs, 3 dogs, 3 cats, husband and chicks brooding in the tv cabinate!


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