Constipation Remedies for Pets

Magnesium Citrate

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Emma (Rockville, Maryland) on 11/30/2012
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Replied by Rubi
(Los Angeles)

How much did you give your cat? I have a 15-20 lb dog that is constipated but I wanna make sure the dosage I give is correct

Replied by Natalie
(Tacoma, Wa)

I have a cat with IBD and constipation. My vet said to give him Miralax daily, but I want to try a more natural approach. Maybe you can use Miralax for your old cat? It's not natural, but I haven't found a natural daily supplement for this issue.

Replied by Cattymom

Read this online.....can't vouch for it as I'm not a vet, just a concerned pet owner like you all...I HATE taking cat to vet as it seems to usually make him 5x worse from stress (might get the initial problem resolved, but then he'll get a URI or UTI or a number of other issues.

Anyway, here's what I'd read elsewhere:

Give your dog or cat 1/4 to 1 tsp of magnesium citrate powder dissolved in some very hot water. Cats small amounts - larger pets higher dosages - Very large dogs can have 2 tsp. After it dissolves you can add a little cooler water so it is easy to drink. It dissolves beautifully and quickly. You can also syringe feed the magnesium citrate to your pet if need be. The magnesium can be given 2 or 3 times the first day.

Replied by Colleen

Hi, how do you mix it up and how can I make it liquid food from hard dog food?


Posted by Minerva (Los Angeles, CA) on 02/08/2015

My cat developed megacolon. We started giving him lacToulouse per our vet's recommendation. Months later he was having difficulty going poop again. We took him to the vet and he changed the meds. The cat has passed some stool but continues to leak some brownish fluid and on a daily basis. How can I stop this without taking him to the vet?

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Minerva!

Scroll down and read about others experience with magacolon:

Some find a tweaking of the meds works while others swear by a particular diet.

Others find canned pumpkin and nutritional supplements provides relief:

Another contributor found slippery elm to be very helpful for treating mega colon:

It may help to use the search function on your computer and to spell it both ways 'megacolon' and 'mega colon' to find all the references to it in the replies.


1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by Bonnie (Sweden) on 01/28/2015
5 out of 5 stars

The cat I recently lost after 19 years got diabetes when she was 11 or 12, but it was controlled by using a wet canned food with no sauces, high protein and under 10% carbs. But when she was 17 she got kidney failure. While there is basically no meds in Sweden for treatment for cats with kidney failure I joined an on line group and they helped a lot. These cats often have constipation. Miralax is not sold or allowed in Sweden but I got it into the country. She got about tsp 2 times a day. I began with 1/8th of a tsp and just added to it until her stool was good. It works well. The only thing they have here is a paraffin wax that is liquid and the cat gets it but it coats the stomach so NO food is digested it just passes on through with no nutrition.

Prebiotic Fiber Supplement

1 User Review
5 star (1) 

Posted by bodulica (Barrie ON) on 05/13/2019
5 out of 5 stars

I have an old cat with constipation problem. Two enemas, drugs, pumpkin... nothing worked. Then I found out about Lax-eze.{prebiotic natural fiber supplement} No problems any more. Sometimes he skips a day, but that's all. Very happy with results.


Posted by Anavic (San José, Costa Rica) on 09/11/2014

Hello earthclinic friends!

One of my cats (10 years old) had constipation some time ago. Problem was solved after I stopped feeding him commercial food (homemade now). Few days ago I fed him a new canned food (supposed high quality) and constipation came back; he is healthy again but I want to have something here for constipation, just in case.

Many recommend Psyllium (Plantago ovata); however, in my country the only good quality product with Psyllium is mixed with Hibiscus sabdariffa flowers (in some countries known as "roselle", used for teas).

I read that some Hibiscus is toxic for cats... does anyone know if Hibiscus sabdariffa is safe for them?

Many thanks, Ana.

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hey Anavic!

Hibiscus sabdariffa is considered a non-toxic plant and its parts have a very low toxicity - so low as to be considered non-toxic.

That said, it will kill a mouse if you fed it 5000mg/kg body weight. It has been used on cats for blood pressure studies with no toxic effects noted in the cats.


Apparently they can cause stomach upset in a cat:

"Hibiscus flowers are non-toxic. They can, however, cause local irritation of the GI tract and mild GI upset ( vomiting, diarrhea) is not uncommon."


You might wish to consider dosing pumpkin for you cat's constipation. Read up on EC's page to get an idea of some nutritional remedies here:

Replied by Anavic
(San JosÃo, Costa Rica)

Thank you, Theresa!

I sometimes mix carrot in his food. Pumpkin is hard to find here, but I can try with squash (same family as pumpkin).

Regards, Ana.


27 User Reviews
5 star (25) 
3 star (1) 
1 star (1) 

Posted by Susanne (Springfield, Illinois) on 11/11/2019
5 out of 5 stars

Pumpkin for constipation works wonders in my cat. I buy it by the can and freeze it in ice cube trays. Yadi begs for it every day and dances around meowing until I get it thawed out. He knows the word pumpkin. AND it works! His stools are larger and softer now yet not runny. Finally I am seeing "normal" stools.

Replied by Elaine

How do you get a fussy old cat to eat it?

Posted by Bernie (Chandler, Az) on 09/22/2016

There seems to be some confusion about the use of pumpkin with dogs. Some websites claim that Pumpkin is good for dogs with diarrhea while other websites claim that Pumpkin is good for dogs with constipation.

Pumpkin cannot control both constipation and diarrhea....they are opposites.

Also, is there a toxic amount of pumpkin for Chihuahuas?

Replied by Theresa
(Mpls., Mn)

Hello Bernie,

There is no conflict in the reports. Pumpkin has fiber which adds bulk to loose stool which firms it up; it also has antimicrobial properties which help fight certain parasites which cause loose stool. The same fiber also works to help with constipation because it retains moisture, which softens the stool and the bulk helps the stool pass quickly. As for toxicity, pumpkin is not toxic but too much will cause large and excessive stool production.

Replied by Katie
(Northport, Ny)

I can attest to the fact that pumpkin works for both constipation and diarrhea. I have used them for both conditions in my dog and it works great.

Posted by Minpig (Ontario) on 04/27/2016
5 out of 5 stars

Saw the remedy using pumpkin and I wanna tried .... look at the result! Picture says it all!!! We have our chihuahua some canned pumpkin, took him out to poop and within an hour the big lump was gone!!!

Posted by Stephanie (Oregon) on 02/28/2016
5 out of 5 stars

Our poor old, ancient cat was so constipated, he only passed concrete hard poops, a couple of times per week. He is on kidney K D special canned cat food. He ate very little.

I thought one day how unappetizing the cold food was coming out of the fridge so started adding about 50% very hot water and smashing with a fork, I also gave him about 1 level teaspoonful of plain canned pumpkin to a 1/4 can of food. This makes almost a gravy consistency. He just laps it up (has also lost some teeth). He is now eating this 4-5 times per day, and pooping normal, soft poops every day. It took several days to get the hard stuff passed so don't be surprised if you don't get instant results. I also gave only 1/2 teas. pumpkin to start as I didn't want to cause major gas, tummy ache, etc. He seems to be much more active and eating regularly, comes running when he sees his dish. Poor old guy!!!

Posted by Tabatha (Oshawa, Ontario Canada) on 07/15/2013

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?

Replied by Wendy
(Columbus, Oh)
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Replied by Judy

I don't believe there is any such thing as pure pumpkin in a can. I can't find pure pumpkin anywhere. I have tried the canned pumpkin that claims to be pure on the outside marketing but in the ingredients there is sugar in it. Could it be the sugar count is natural sugar? I tried the cat food made with pumpkin, and they hate it, won't touch it. They don't always eat the pumpkin I add to their wet food. I make little drops of it on a plate then freeze them and then put them in a baggie for quick pre measured little drops read to microwave one second to defrost then add to their dinner. But as I said they don't always eat it then. Will Baby food sweet potato help with constipation?

Posted by Lisa (Harrison, Oh) on 10/20/2011
5 out of 5 stars

Our Havanese 8 month old puppy was constipated and hadn't gone for 1 ½ 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!!

Posted by Kay (Columbia City, Indiana) on 10/15/2011
1 out of 5 stars

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.

Replied by Timh
(Louisville, Usa)
2104 posts

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.

Posted by July 1955 (Wildomar, California) on 08/25/2011
5 out of 5 stars

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!

Posted by Blackkat (San Mateo, Ca) on 08/14/2011
5 out of 5 stars

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!

Posted by Gisela (Huntsville, Alabama, Usa) on 10/17/2009
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Replied by Gisela
(Huntsville, Al, Usa)
3 out of 5 stars

Worked Temporarily

** 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.

Replied by Anonymous

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.

Replied by Kerie
(Garrison, Nd)

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!!)