Last Modified on Jul 04, 2014
While perhaps not the most desirable of all subject matter, constipation can at times be a fact of life for our pets. Constipation can occur in pets for any number of various reasons and might result from pets that have ingested clumps of grass, as a result of swallowing bones, or could be due to a hairball blockage.
Constipation can be a very serious issue regardless of whether it occurs on just an occasional basis, or perhaps on a more regular one for those pets who may be more prone to the problem. Did you know that certain breeds of dogs could experience more difficulty when defecating than others will? It may sound strange but it's true. Dogs that have corkscrew like tails often have anatomical characteristics that interfere with the normal defecation process, which can mean chronic constipation problems. Remember that the longer the waste sits in the body without being passed, the more water that will be pulled out of it by the colon. This means that the stool will become more and more dry, making it yet even more difficult to pass.
One of the best ways to deal with constipation is to prevent it. A very healthy and easy way to do that is to incorporate pumpkin into your pet's food. Yes, that's right - I said PUMPKIN. The simple fact is that pumpkin is a great source of fiber and has a high water content. Both of which contribute to keeping your pet's bowl movements regular. You'll want to make sure that you use the pureed canned pumpkin, or you can puree your own using a fresh pumpkin. Either way however don't buy pumpkin pie filling by mistake; it's definitely not the same thing. The following scale will help you determine how much you should mix into every meal.
Pets who weigh less than 15 pounds = 1 - 2 teaspoons
Pets who weigh 15 - 35 pounds = 1 - 2 tablespoons
Pets who weigh 35 pounds and up = 2 - 5 tablespoons depending on size
(Monitor your pet's stool, if the consistency of the feces is pudding- like, then just cut back on the amount of pumpkin a bit.)
Here's a great trick so that none of that canned or fresh pumpkin goes to waste before you use it all. Use ice-cube trays to freeze individual portions of pumpkin. Once each portion is set, dump them out into a freezer bag so that each day you can remove and thaw out the amount that you require.
[YEA] 03/19/2012: Dorrie from Austin, Texas: "My very old cat started getting constipated about three years ago. Firstly, you do have to switch to all wet food. Then I added canned pumpkin which worked until she started rejecting the food because she didn't like the taste. Then I switched to psyllium based human laxative which worked very well- but beware- this is not recommended for long term usage. It draws too much water away from the rest of their system. Then I read about aloe vera juice. Big bottle is around $8 at a health food store- buy the one that starts with G. Not too much- a teaspoon in the morning and one at night is plenty. Too much and they will throw up. But it really works and they have no idea it's there. Also love ACV- after two days they really poo but you have to give it orally and my cat hates it. Aloe has proven to be the best solution by far, and I also add a little bit to the water bowl."Replies
07/08/2012: Cat Lady from Charlottesville, Va replies: "I thought aloe vera was toxic to cats."
[YEA] 07/11/2012: Debi from Pace, Florida replies: "I have tried the pumpkin for my older cat for constipation... It worked but only the first couple of times. My girl had no bm for 2 days, purchased some George's 100% aloe vera, no preservatives, no additives! On the first day after using the aloe... Results... Small but results! Second day of using the aloe, small amount. Third day, good bm this morning after her breakfast. There is no taste, so I added to her wet food.... Perfect! Be careful to not use too much as it could cause them to throw up. Read link below for dosage.
[WARNING!] 10/08/2012: Mvk from New York, Ny replies: "I had to leave a feedback on the Aloe Vera Treatment. I went to see what it also says on the web in regards to using Aloe Vera on a cat. Please see attached link. It says it's poisonous for cats. So anyone who is thinking of trying it do some research before you give that to a cat. http://www.felineconstipation.org/acutetreatment.html"
01/14/2013: Katylucyb from Wichita, Kansas, Usa replies: "To Debi from Pace, Florida: In response to the link you posted http://www.wellvet.com/aloe.html", the top of the page says this remedy is for DOGS! NOT cats! Cats should not be given Aloe vera in any form! It is lethal for cats. Please do NOT give your cat Aloe vera. Go back to that link and you will see that the article is for DOGS! The reason cats will throw up if you give them too much is because it is poisonous to cats, in any dosage."
01/22/2013: Bw from Bellevue, Wa replies: "I have given my cats aloe juice daily for weeks without any problems. It is the outer leaf of the plant which apparently is toxic, not the inner "fillet" (as they call it). My vet prescribed a product, which is distilled from the plant, to give to one of my cats (for a skin allergy problem). Very expensive, though, so I bought the juice which does not have any of the outer leaf."
[YEA] 09/10/2013: Patricia from Miami, Florida replies: "I once saved a cat's life by giving it aloe vera (the inside of the leaf). The cat was refusing to eat or drink so a friend told me to try aloe vera. I blended it with a little water and forced it with the help of my friend down the sick cat's throat. Miraculously, the cat recovered after 2 days of treatment 2X a day. I have also tried using it to treat other ill cats and it was unsuccessful. Do not continue treatment if you do not see improvement within 2 days."
04/17/2014: Stopit from Florida replies: "Please for the love of God, don't play Doctor on these helpless animals and FORCE things down their throats without the PROFESSIONAL ADVICE OF A LICENSED VETERINARIAN! What is wrong with people!! Would you eat something that could potentially hurt you on the 'advice of a friend" without speaking to a DOCTOR??!!"
04/17/2014: Theresa from Mpls., Mn replies: "Hey Stopit!
Do you see the YEAS next to posts where the remedies have proven helpful and successful?
In an ideal world, we all would be able to use a veterinarian for diagnosis and treatment, but the real world is not so ideal. In those cases where folks cannot afford a vet, or are unable to travel to a vet, Earth Clinic does a good job of offering first hand accounts of proven remedies."
[YEA] 06/03/2009: Paulette from Sydney, Australia: "One cap full to four caps water of apple cider vinegar. When blocked do every 30 mins Put in wet foood-catfood tinned NO flour cereal in it.Human Tuna O.K. too if stuck. Our cat was blocked and it unblocked him 2 and a 1/2 hours later enough to sleep, I can lose sleep but not the cat as I dont have another $1200 straight away Two days out of the vet."Replies
06/22/2009: lynn from los angeles, california replies: "how much water and vinegar do i use for a 4 lb dog (yorkie)?"
11/24/2011: Marilyn B from Vancouver, Bc replies: "Hello to ALL: Regarding the apple cider vinegar..... Am a skeptic to start with... Nothing ventured/nothing gained.... My wee 3 lb 9 yr old chihuahua, had his first flea EVER!!! Did the dawn dish detergentX2, washed all the bedding and now the apple cider bit..... Well, after bathing him, and rinsing him with water in the kitchen sink, I finished with the appe cider... 2 tsp to 1 pint of warm water, in a spray bottle... His fir looked oh so funny, but AIR DRY ONLY, so that the apple cider seeps into the pores... No harsh chemicals used... I spray him also every time he comes in from the outside.... Also wash all his bedding, and spray 50/50 solution around the living areas..... 50 apple cider and 50 water in a spray bottle. I did this every 12 hours for 2 days!!! ... I also put apple cider in his drinking water, and guess what....... He did NOT even detect any difference!!!
For the drinking water, I used 2 tsp to a pint. Keep it in the fridge... I also find he is drinking way more!! Than without the apple cider and finally...... I find the appe cider is GREAT for his bowels... Take for instance, in the mornings at 7AM, he always did the pee pees... NOW... He does the peepees and the bowels at the same time.... Before he did the bowels at 11AM... The apple cider is definitely a natural laxative...... So bathe your pet regularly X1 weekly, use the rinse with apple cider, a everynd the drinking water also with the apple cider, and spray him 2-3 X daily... He is a happy little man, coming 10 yrs in Feb. And he thinks that I am GREAT! .....
An inexpensive way to control the fleas without a vet trip..... Ps by spraying him X2 daily, apparently, the fleas DONOT like the taste of the apple cider on the outside skin OR coming through his pours on the inside, by way of his drinking it.... Just make sure, you spray the carpets, and mop the hardwood flooring every day... When using the vacuum, try to seperately bag the used bag so that any fleas donot jump out... OR seperately bag the used bag and put it in the freezer, which will kill the fleas until you use the bag again. Donot use the vacuum bag more than twice.... Hope this info helps!"
05/03/2013: David from Milton Keynes, Bucks replies: "Garlic keeps fleas off a dog. I capsule a day. Some use garlic salt on their food."
07/24/2013: Terry from Glendale, Az replies: "I have 5 SHIH TZU"S used to have 8. Using all natural remedies and through web pages. My oldes Shih Tzu is 16 1/2 years young.
He has a wart on hisd lower fron leg. I know when I had a wart on my thumb crease I used a garlic and tee tree oil and it fell off about 5 years ago.
In reference to Garlic it can be very poision ist to dogs . I wanted to put it on his wart (older dogs get warts) and if it goes through the blood stream it break down their immune system and makes them enemic and they could die from it.
Also on www.herbdoc.com they also told me the same thing. I use eye bright for his cateracts which amanda from 5leafpharmcy told me to use 15 drops of water to 1 drop of eyebright 2weeks and continue each day with less water till you get at 15 drops.
After about 1 1/2 months from having a complete white eye cornea the black rim outer part is shwoing. I do this for 3 times a day every day. Amada said they have excellent results with it. She study under this Dr. Shultze and does heart, liver, kidney problems for dogs. Her dog greens are excellent. Just some extra natural things I do for the pups.
Be very careful with the garlic.
05/15/2014: Karina from Keyes Ca: "Hello I was wondering if it's ok to give my 3 week old kitten coconut oil and how much? He hasn't popped in 2 days but when he last pooped it was diarrhea. Thank you."Replies
05/15/2014: Theresa from Mpls., Mn replies: "Hey Karina!
My first thought at reading your post is to advise you to bring your kitten to the vet. A blast of diarrhea followed up with two days of no stool = bigger problem than not pooping - JMHO. A vet visit ASAP might be cheaper than waiting it out and then having to bring your kitten to the far more expensive emergency vet.
That said - in the post on 11/08/2011, Beth from Brighton, Mi, Usa offered this advice that may be useful to you: "Pedialyte (1/4 teaspoon in water bowl) to return electrolyte balance. Cold pressed virgin coconut oil - about 1/8 of a teaspoon, heated in microwave for 10 seconds, then add wet food on the plate you used in the microwave.""
[YEA] 07/06/2013: Dan from Seattle, Wa, USA: "After reading many of the cat constipation posts here, I tried 1/4 teaspoon of virgin coconut oil and 1/4 teaspoon apple cider vinegar mixed in her wet food. She had no trouble with it and ate it up. Within a half hour she was pooping good. This was after four days of having trouble. I have used it a few more times when she needs it but she has been pretty regular since. Next time I will try either one or the other and check the results. She is a 19 year old Main Coon."
[YEA] 11/08/2011: Beth from Brighton, Mi, Usa: "Pedialyte (1/4 teaspoon in water bowl) to return electrolyte balance. Cold pressed virgin coconut oil - about 1/8 of a teaspoon, heated in microwave for 10 seconds, then add wet food on the plate you used in the microwave. My vet put my 16 year old cat on a stool softener, but there was still blood in her stool. After putting her on the coconut oil (2 weeks now-morning and night with her wet food), she's healed internally and only a trace amount of blood in her stool.
I now give all my geriatric cats the 1/8 teaspoon of coconut oil in each (wet) meal. This has been a godsend for their health and well being."Replies
12/16/2011: Responder from Asheville, Nc replies: "Please do not ever put coconut oil, water or food in the microwave!! It distroys all of the vitamins etc and body goes into attack with all food and liguids in microwaves. It kills plants with microwaved water for instance. I quit using microwaves 3 years ago after I learned it helps to/does kill living beings. Coconut oil easily warms up at room temp and immediately melts once on hands or tongue.
Coconut oil is also outstanding in ridding and preventing fleas and ticks on cats and dogs. I've witnessed it with both my own cat and puppy. For my cat I leave out a teaspoon on a plate and she'll lick as much as she needs. If she finished that up I'll put more out. If she doesn't eat all or refuses it then I know she doesn't need anymore at this time and I toss it out so it doesn't go rancid and collect dust. Sometimes she'll eat a lot for a week or two.. To sometimes won't eat any for a week. Dogs I just give a teaspoon once or twice a day during warm/hot months and randomly in winter and fall.
If their fur has fleas I coat their fur with coconut oil, use a fleas comb to rid fleas and then shampoo. Fleas and ticks cannot tolerate the smell of coconut oil and by their eating it goes through their pores. They can't move in the oil so is easy to rid them. This method not only saves one money, but from harsh pesticides that are no longer effective as they once were, helps save your pets health.
Make certain cats are not cold for the oil will make them much cooler while oil is on. One may need to wash them twice. Coconut soap is good to wash off of cats. Must try to get all oil off cats because it will collect dust and go rancid.
I've personally heard vets tell me not to use coconut oil that it doesn't work. Yet they never tried. They insist on meds like human doctors to make them money. I've had two vets tell me that coconut oil does work and they also give me many holistic remedies. One yet I took a homeless cat in to get checked out I told him about coconut oil and he asked me not to tell anyone so he doesn't lose money. That angers me quite a bit. He'd rather posion animals and something not effective rather than something healthy and works."
12/27/2011: Khakimo from Usa replies: "Just wanted to say - I saw several people mentioning to take care to dispose of the coconut oil before it goes rancid. I was wondering if anyone saw it go rancid - because coconut oil supposedly does not go rancid."
07/10/2012: Deb from Denver, Co replies: "Our cat has been constipated for almost two years. He has had several enemas, has been on lactulose, powdered laxative, wet food, etc. The last time we brought him we thought we would have to say goodbye, it was so bad. I finally looked up constipated cat on line and headed to Vitamin Cottage and got him oat bran, organic pumpkin and organic coconut oil. I mix the coconut oil with all natural wet cat food (with flax & fiber) and organic pumpkin, he loves it! He has gained weight, his coat looks great, his eyes are brighter and he is himself again. We bought him a kitty fountain as well and put water with electrolytes & ice cubes when it's hot, anything to get him to drink and soak up the water. He was doing so well that just this week we slacked on giving him the lactulose and he is backed up again, so keep that up with the new diet. He loves coconut oil, he eats it like ice cream!"
08/17/2013: Wendy from Ridgecrest replies: "Why would you heat cold pressed coconut oil in microwave? It ruins anything by changing it at a molecular level. Throw your microwave out. They are crap!"
08/23/2013: Colleen from Denver Colorado replies: "To Wendy from Ridgecrest - I totally agree wendy - microwaves should be avoided - total crap - and they turn food into crap."
08/03/2011: Tanya from Michigantown, Indiana: "My cat has a bad pelvic fracture that I didn't know about until one day I took her in and out of surprise it was found, along with a bullet lodged a few inches from her spine. I had found her as a stray and took her in - She walked fine and acted fine. Her doctor informed me her injuries were done on purpose and we were all shocked that she recovered without any medical attention.
She has chronic constipation and the lactulose was not working, she's had several surgeries and it seemed to really effect her, she's an old lady and I seriously got tired of her going through this every month and having all these surgeries to remove it and started thinking it was finally time to let her go. Out of desperation I went to the store and tried one last thing before I took her in which, I was going to do the following day. I bought some Mineral Oil and gave her an enema - it was so huge, there was no way she'd pass it, and you could see it. I've tried to take it out myself, but it was too painful for her. It was horrible and she got to the point, where she would sleep with her rear in the air. I started the enema of mineral oil, the next day looked at her rear it it was gone. I looked in the litter box and there it was. She had passed it during the night. I was so exstatic I couldn't believe it and still to this day I still use the Mineral Oil and it does work. It lubricates them so they can go easily.
BUT, DON'T GIVE IT BY MOUTH, WHEN YOU SQUIRT IT INTO THE MOUTH, THE CAT CAN EASILY ASPIRATE IT AND IT COULD CAUSE LUNG PROBLEMS AND OTHER PROBLEMS. USING AS AN ENEMA DOES WORK."Replies
08/25/2011: July 1955 from Wildomar, California replies: "My cat suddenly became lethargic and the vet discovered he was badly constipated. Over 2 days the vet gave him 5 enemas and sent him home suggesting pumpkin or a hairball remedy. He hated the hairball stuff so we got some canned pure pumpkin and two days later the cat passed a stool with a piece of plastic wadded up inside it -- that piece that pops out to make the handle in a plastic grocery bag. Poor Boo lost a lot of weight and was very reluctant to eat. We gave him a kitty milk supplement and some canned food but for several days he would only take the milk and lick the gravy off the food. We forced him to eat the pumpkin at first but then he started to like it! It has been several weeks now and we've discovered he gets constipated again if we stop the pumpkin. I assume his intestine is irritated. He's gaining weight now so we keep giving him the pumpkin mixed in his food. One bonus -- our other cat won't eat the food that has the pumpkin mixed in!"
03/04/2012: Kerie from Garrison, Nd replies: "Like someone else has suggested, I would try cocount oil. I am an LMT and I use it home in my diet, on my hair on my skin, I give massages with it and I give it to my animals. Coconut oil is antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antiviral. It doesn't alter when you cook it at low temps, and it is not a toxic fat to your body. It will really help your poor kitty's intenstines. My family makes fun of me because I am ALWAYS preaching the health benefits of the stuff. I also use it in place of deoderant, (what a hippie huh LOL) Because I think it is unsafe. It is THE ONLY deoderant replacement that works. It does also kill fleas and ticks, and helps cats pass hairballs. They like it, too! Hope you kitty is better!"
12/16/2010: Anonymous from Usa: "Goat milk doesn't seem to cure the constipation, but it keeps her hydrated and somewhat nourished when she wouldn't otherwise eat. Goat milk is easier for people to digest than cow milk, so I tried it with her. She also eats raw chicken liver, especially the blood, when she won't otherwise eat. So if your friend is not eating, maybe try that. You might also smear a little glucosamine paste onto the front foot. Mix some CoQ10 into it maybe, I think somewhere I saw 5mg was appropriate for a small cat, but check for yourself. If she tastes the medicine in her food she won't eat, but if it's smeared onto her paw she will lick it off."
[YEA] 11/30/2012: Emma from Rockville, Maryland: "This is not a permanent remedy, but it works for a blockage or compaction. My cat is 19 years old, and has trouble with constipation. Her stools are often dry and come out in small pieces, and she strains when she needs to eliminate.
Once I had someone else look after her while I went on a trip for a month, and during that time she got compacted to the point that she lost her appetite and stopped eating. When I got back she was very weak and had lost a lot of weight, and she was no longer cleaning herself. Her caretaker thought she was failing because of her age -- in fact, he was scared that she was about to die -- and he had started to forcefeed her with a liquid diet. She wasn't pooping, but she did dribble a little liquid poop. It occurred to me that the small amount of liquidy poop might not be the result of her liquid diet, but instead be coming from a compaction in her colon.
I mixed powdered magnesium citrate in some water and force fed her that with a syringe. Lo and behold, she pooped a lot the very next day, and started to show some interest in eating again. Little by little she started to eat more and poop again, and she became stronger and stronger until she was back to her old self. Occasionally it happens now that she goes a few days without pooping. She usually loses her appetite when that happens. I immediately give her the magnesium citrate, and she is back to normal again. Sometimes I don't give her enough and I have to do it a second time. I wish I could find something to put in her food every day instead -- that would be a lot better, I'm sure, but she is so finicky. Canned pumkin won't do, but I think I will try aloe if it is tasteless. Still, magnesium citrate works when the constipation is so bad that there is a blockage."
07/15/2013: Tabatha from Oshawa, Ontario Canada: "My 11 yr old male cat has suffered the last 2 yrs with constipation and hard stool. Numerous trips to vet for enemas and disimpacting and over 3 grand in bills he still has problems :( he has been on lactulose 3 times a day and cisapride daily. Won't eat dry food anymore and just licks juice off wet food. Pls help. Will pure pumpkin help?
[YEA] 07/16/2013: Wendy from Columbus, Oh replies: "Yes, start mixing a tablespoon of pure pumpkin into his food each time you feed him. This is PURE, canned pumpkin, NOT the pumpkin-pie filling which contains sugar.
I regularly add pumpkin to my dog's food each day, and his stools are perfect."
[YEA] 10/20/2011: Lisa from Harrison, Oh: "Our Havanese 8 month old puppy was constipated and hadn't gone for 1Â½ days. He had been out walking around the yard extensively but no luck. My daughter stumbled across your website and she had told me pumpkin and I didn't believe her! I had to put my glasses on just to see it for myself!! Luckily last night I happened to make a pumpkin cake and had leftover pumpkin. Within two minutes of licking up a generous teaspoon of pumpkin, he went straight to the laundry room where he rings his bell to go to the bathroom!! It works like magic... Unbelievable!! Thanks so much!!"
[NAY] 10/15/2011: Kay from Columbia City, Indiana: "My cat seems to be okay. He is eating and drinking more. He did not like the essaic tea, so I am trying the organic cottage cheese and flax seed oil. The problem is his bowel movement, I have tried the pumpkin for three days and nothing. The vet thinks he is still to weak for a digging out. I don't know what to do, there has to be something else I can try."Replies
10/19/2011: Timh from Louisville, Usa replies: "Kay, my parents had a kitty that suffered constipation for yrs. Many trips to the vet for enema. Make sure the diet doesn't include too much msg's or nitrites. Most of the canned food labled "with gravy" have way to many additives. Add salmon oil to diet, and occasionaly feed raw, cooked, or canned liver as it contains lots of nutrients needed for health. Also, I occasionaly use only a few sprinkles of milled flaxseed to my kitty's food to clean their colon. Begin w/ only a few grains, and slowly increase until you reach desired effect. Lastly, I have become a big advocate of Magnet therapy as I have personally witnessed its healing effects, so consider a magnet pet pad for your kitty to sleep on, as it can reduce the suffering and promote health. Hope this helps."
[YEA] 08/14/2011: Blackkat from San Mateo, Ca: "Thank you for this great site! I've use ACV for my cat's UTI the past year and so far so good! But, just these past few days, I noticed my cat did not produce a BM. He had soft, watery stool 4-5 days ago and didnt have a BM for 2 days after. I am very strict in what I feed him, so I did some investigating around the house. Turns out, he was munching on the tips of the leaves of an indoor Palm Tree--6 blade tips to be exact! I believe that this was the reason why he wasn't producing a BM. I was worried that it could also be hair balls blocking him since he is a long haired cat. In any event, because of his watery stool, I decided to boil some organic chicken in filtered water to make some broth for him. I also plain/dry roasted a chicken breast for him as well, hoping that this would calm his tummy troubles. I gave this to him for 1. 5 days. Last night, I started to add his wet food in with the chicken broth and shredded chicken breast meat. BUT I started to worry because he didnt have a and no BM! He normally produces a BM every day! HUGE concern! The vet isn't open on the weekends, so I was desperate to find a holistic solution to "make" him have a BM. My cat did not show any signs of constipation, but not producing a BM for 2 days going on 3 was not a good sign to me.
I read on this site to give 1 tablespoon of pumpkin to my cat for constipation. I went to Whole Foods and bought a can of organic pumpkin and went home to make his breakfast for him. He was running to the front door to greet me and to tell me he was starving! I put 1 tablespoon of pumpkin (to help him pass his BM), 1 tablespoon of his canned cat food (High quality-grain free poultry diet), 2 tablespoons of boiled filtered water (to add more liquid in his system in case he was dehydrated), 1/4 teaspoon of ACV (to make sure he continued to produce urine and keep his UTI at bay) and 1/2 capsule of fish oil (for his skin, coat and hairballs) in his bowl. At first he backed away from his bowl, then he wanted to "bury" the bowl before walking away altogether. Finally, because he was so darn hungry (He's a 16 pound cat), he had no choice but to eat it. He got at least half of the meal down before walking away. During the day I made sure to exercise and play with him as well as rubbing his tummy in hopes of getting things moving in his intestines. For lunch, I gave him the same thing and he again only ate half of it. Dinner, I backed off the pumpkin and fed him again. I was considering the fact that I would have to take him to the emergency vet hospital the next day. Then, at the stroke of midnight, he walked into his litter box and produced a BIG, firm, perfectly formed, stinky BM! And, yes, I did see the Palm blades in his stool! 15 hours after I gave him the pumpkin did it finally work! I gave him lots of praises and loving after he left his litter box, as well as a midnight snack! Thanks again for this great site! It's helped my cat's health as well as my sanity and pocketbook!"
[YEA] 10/17/2009: Gisela from Huntsville, Alabama, Usa: "My 6 year old cat had constipation in March, after 3 days of not going to the bathroom I took her to the vet and got a $300 bill and a sick cat back in return. She came home so sick from the vet that I was up with her for 2 day straight. She had a problem with diarrhea and constipation in August but I looked online and decided to use Pumpkin, it worked great within an hour. I used 1/2 teaspoon once a day for 3 days, had to force feed it and that worked great. I also made sure to take her off of her daily 1/2 a can of a very cheap and well known wet cat food (known to cause cat tummy troubles) and switched her over to a human grade holistic brand (the same brand as her holistic dry cat food).
Here we are in October and the day after coming home from the vet (blood work to discover the cause of her anemia, vet thinking it could be a mosquito caused blood parasite) and again sick for 2 days from the sedatives at the vet and not able to use the bathroom. I also saw what looked like to be pink either urine or diarrhea in the litter box. I called the emergency vet hospital which wanted a lot of money up front, which I just don't have as I've spent $390 at the vet this past month already and I am unemployed. Unsure of what to do and really worried for her I gave her 1/2 teaspoon of 100% pure pumpkin puree thinking it might be constipation since she's only had small amounts of black stool. Within an hour she has already gone to the litter box twice and her feces looks healthy, not black and hard as it had been (from the anemia) and no signs of blood. I mentioned the pumpkin to her vet about using it earlier in the year, who then told me that the fiber in the pumpkin works great for cats with constipation and with diarrhea (he couldn't have told me that before the $300 bill and the undo procedures and stress on the cat???).
FYI: Anemia can cause hard black stools in cats and should be considered as a cause if you notice other symptoms such as pale ears, tongue and paw pads, rapid breathing and lethargy. It's a serious problem which is caused by other diseases, see a vet for a proper diagnosis.
My long term plan for constipation & preventing it long term:
At the first sign, 1/2 teaspoon of 100% Pure Pumpkin Puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling, check that the ingredients list only pumpkin), you can use up to one teaspoon a day though I've always had results with just 1/2 a teaspoon. Use for 2-3 days to make sure your cat gets everything that is backed up, out. After the initial treatment, 1/4 teaspoon daily to keep the stool soft enough to pass.
** She is also getting 1/4 teaspoon organic apple cider vinegar mixed in with her wet food daily to aid with some respiratory problems (allergies and weather changes plus running the heater have left both her and I with dry noses) and for just in case she has a urinary problem since I did see blood in the litter box. I also dip a cotton ball in a solution of 1 part organic apple cider vinegar to 1 part water and apply this to the back of her neck to help her breathe as well as saline nasal spray for babies, one drop in each nostril to induce a good sneeze to help her clear out her nostrils when she has dry breathing sounds."
[WORKED TEMPORARILY] 10/23/2009: Gisela from Huntsville, Al, Usa replies: "** Update **
The pumpkin worked twice since posting the above however it isn't working now, I'm up to giving her 1 tsp daily for the last two days and it has not worked. She is an 11 lbs cat so I will try another 1/2 teaspoon or more and go from there. She did have to have her bowels unblocked in March and I'm hoping to avoid another $300 vet visit and more stress on an already anemic cat.
The ACV has completely taken care of her urinary problem and her respiratory infection, took a 5 day treatment and loads of ACV but she's better from those problems."
12/16/2010: Anonymous from Usa replies: "My cat is a picky eater, so she tasted the pumpkin in her food and would not eat it. Psyllium fibre works, but I have to use a lot of it, maybe 2 teaspoons per serving, and a quarter cup of water stirred into some chunks of wet food. Hairball paste works too. Miralax can't be used often. The psyllium doesn't unblock her, but it keeps her from getting blocked. The hairball paste unblocks. Acai fibre might work, too. Haven't tried it."
03/04/2012: Kerie from Garrison, Nd replies: "As I told someone else, try organic coconut oil. If you buy virgin, it smells like coconut, which my cat does not like, but she loves just organic coconut oil. I give it to all my pets and gets all the bug out of their intestines, helps them pass hairballs and keeps them regular. You can read about the benefits of it online, it's AMAZING stuff. Hope this helps. I give my animals 1tsp. I have 1 maincoon, 1 long hair calico and 1 small dog about 12 lbs. (Hope this helps!!)"
[YEA] 08/05/2009: Spookie from New York, Ny: "Cat Constipation: My male cat was constipated for 4 day and after feeding him some canned pumpkin pie filling i was amazed to find within a 12 hrs he was a very happy cat. He wasnt thrilled with me mixing it with his wet food but after a little coaxing he seemed to like it. Thank you so much for this great idea and I will surely suggest it to anyone with similar problems."Replies
12/10/2009: Ashley from Bellingham, Wa replies: "Here's hoping this works! My male cat has had a hair ball but -refuses- to throw it up, so now its working it's way south. He's been backed up for a day but with this issue I do not want to wait. Well, here is hoping the pumpkin works.
As he did not take the pumpkin straight up, I went food fight style on him. Smudged it down his leg :) he seems to take it well like that."
03/13/2014: Penwright from Mn, Unite States replies: "I have a Maine Coon, who suffers from Mega Colon. I have been serving him and our other two cats a combination of 1 TBS. of pumpkin, 1/8 tsp. of olive oil, warm water, and their dry food mixed into their canned food. I also add Miralax, just for the Maine Coon 2 to 3 times a week. For all over health of all three, I add Diatomaceous Earth once a week.
Since I have been using this combination of the pumpkin, olive oil and warm water with dry food, I have noticed the Maine Coon has a healthy appetite and is not constipated like he was.
I have used Coconut Oil before, but for some odd reason, they won't eat it mixed in their food. So when the Maine Coon has protuding problems, I just slather it right on his bum. This way, I know he will eat it when grooming.
I am just starting to cook liver for them and will add ingredients as I go to see how this might help. I will let you know how this works out."
[YEA] 07/22/2009: Lauri from Surprise, AZ: "I have a pet sitting business and was looking after a Maine Coon Cat that hadn't had a bowel movement for 3 days. He wasn't eating very much and so didn't go to the bathroom. I gave him 1 teaspoon of pure pumpkin and the very next day he went to the bathroom. I have continued to give it to him and he loves it."Replies
11/13/2009: Clara from Mississauga, Ontario replies: "Laurie, how old was the Maincoon? Mine is 17.5 years old. How long before the Maincoon did #2? My cat is having big problems. I've tried pumpkin twice yesterday, once, 1 teaspoon and again .5 teaspoon. Today I gave him another 3/4 teaspoon, always mixed in with his wet food. I've also given him water to keep him hydrated, but so far nothing has happened. Today, I believe is the 4th day that he will not have done #2. Please help! Recommend something. Thanks in advance. C from Mississauga"