Posted by Gisela (Huntsville, Alabama, Usa) on 10/17/2009
[YEA] 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.