Constipation Remedies for Pets

Posted by Tanya (Michigantown, Indiana) on 08/03/2011
5 out of 5 stars

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.


Apple Cider Vinegar and Coconut Oil
Posted by Dan (Seattle, Wa, USA) on 07/06/2013
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Aloe Vera
Posted by Debi (Pace, Florida) on 07/11/2012
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Aloe Vera
Posted by Stopit (Florida) on 04/17/2014

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??!!

Aloe Vera
Posted by Quantumnerd (Arizona, US) on 09/11/2014

Your pet may not have immediate symptoms from Aloe Vera, but it is poisonous to cats, and it will cause kidney failure.

Toxicity, Symptoms and Treatment

The toxic compound in aloe is saponins, which is a naturally occurring detergent found in various desert plants such as Yucca schidigera and Aloe vera. Unfortunately, saponins are toxic to cats as well as dogs, birds and lizards. Symptoms of aloe poisoning include diarrhea, vomiting, loss of appetite, depression, tremors and a change in urine color. According to the Virginia-Maryland Regional College of Veterinary Medicine, the first symptoms typically appear six to 12 hours after the cat ingested the plant. If you suspect your cat has ingested aloe, stay calm and immediately take the pet to your veterinarian along with any remaining parts of the aloe plant. Even if your cat doesn't show signs of poisoning, you should seek medical assistance since symptoms may not appear for several hours or possibly days later.

Here is the link:

Aloe Vera
Posted by Tabby (Usa) on 05/10/2016

The part of the aloe vera plant that is toxic to cats is in the fibers of the plant. If it is juice fit for human consumption it should be fiber free and ok for pets. Or so I was told. Always good to double check any information from a stranger!

Aloe Vera
Posted by Selina Bishop (Canada) on 01/04/2017

You are correct. The ASPCA lists aloe as toxic to cats.[]=02&=Apply

Aloe Vera
Posted by Cat Lady (Charlottesville, Va) on 07/08/2012

I thought aloe vera was toxic to cats.

Aloe Vera
Posted by Lorri Kindor (Az) on 06/09/2017

Agree, need to find something to feed a cat with kidney failure and my vet said to use miralax for constipation?

Aloe Vera
Posted by Pam (Fl) on 10/26/2017

Double Helix - friend said it saved her dog with kidney failure 3 1/2 yrs ago. She uses it as well - Got it from: Pure Earth Products (FL) 352-459-4178

Apple Cider Vinegar
Posted by lynn (los angeles, california) on 06/22/2009

how much water and vinegar do i use for a 4 lb dog (yorkie)?

Posted by Carol (Florida) on 12/24/2022

Sprinkle the Miralax onto the wet food 1-2 times a day every single day. No taste. Start with 1/8 of a teaspoon each time. You can work up with 1/4 teaspoon but may not have to. It's totally foolproof. It's frustrating there seems to be no longterm, foolproof, natural remedy. I have had cats on this for over 10 years with no adverse affects. Sometimes you have to do what you have to do.

Posted by Melissa (Alexandria va) on 04/16/2023

Hi Carol, I have a suggestion. Purchase some Chia seed from Aldie or wherever. Soak it in water about 1 to 4 ratio or chicken broth. It will swell up and look like cells holding all that liquid with the cat will need and its body to prevent constipation. Mix that into the wet cat food daily. I suggest just a couple of teaspoons with each meal & never feed the cat dry food. If you do have to feed the cat dry food food soak that in water or chicken broth also. As the cat ages, it gets more and more constipated. If it really is bad, you can reach a couple inches up above its tail and help to relieve the cat which I used to do with an old cat all the time. Meow mix wet food makes a pate that has extra gravy. I recommend that as well.

Posted by Elaine (Canada ) on 03/07/2020

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

Prebiotic Fiber Supplement
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.

Pumpkin, Coconut Oil
Posted by Jackie (Nm) on 06/13/2018

Thank you for your reply Wendy. I have tried the pumpkin and the coconut oil and cannot get her to eat them in her food. As I said, she is a picky eater. I have been able to get her to eat her food with olive oil in it but the olive oil is not giving her any relief. I'll go back to the coconut oil and try it again. She 'sneeks up' on her food now like she's saying "OK, what is Mom putting in my food today! " Thanks again Wendy.

Pumpkin, Coconut Oil
Posted by Bw (Bellevue, Wa) on 06/13/2018

As someone else posted, add melted coconut oil to about 2 - 3 teaspoons of pumpkin and also add some ground-up flax seeds (about 1/4 tsp). The flax seed is to add fiber, which will help to clean out the intestines.

Warm up a Tablespoon of water to the mix in as well; the pumpkin is more appealing when it has been warmed. You can also add about 1/4 teaspoon of ground Slippery Elm instead of, or along with, the flax seed. It supplies mucilage which is soothing to the intestines and will help push things along. If she still won't eat the mix, try pouring 1 tsp or so of tuna fish liquid over the top of it.

Give the oil/pumpkin/flax/Slipper Elm mix to your cat 3 - 4 times a day until she poops. If she is an indoor/outdoor cat, keep her inside so you can see when she has pooped.

My cat was having constipation and would only eat only tiny amounts for 4 days. It took that long of me giving her this same mixture to her before she finally let out a long, dry turd.

Pumpkin, Coconut Oil
Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 06/14/2018

Hey Jackie,

Re: getting your cat to take coconut oil, you might try slathering it on her front leg - she will have no choice but to lick it off and consume it while grooming.

Pumpkin, Coconut Oil
Posted by Jackie (Nm) on 06/14/2018

Great Idea... Thanks Theresa!

Posted by Mama To Many (Tn) on 01/05/2018

Dear Ron,

Constipation is a potential side effect of turmeric in people and pets. It is a remedy for diarrhea in the same. When there is constipation in someone/pet in my house, I do tend to avoid turmeric for that reason. In general though we don't find it causes constipation when taken with adequate water.

How about milk of magnesia or pumpkin? Is kitty getting enough water? Cats who eat dry cat food rarely get enough water, which can cause bladder stones and constipation.

Is it possible your cat has a hairball? My cats and pet rabbits both had trouble with this. We used an OTC hairball gel for that.

Blackstrap molasses and slippery elm are also good for constipation.

What about massaging kitty's abdomen with castor oil? It absorbs through the skin and helps the bowels to move.

I hope kitty feels better soon - please keep us posted....

~Mama to Many~

Posted by Ann (P.S. Ca) on 04/01/2018

Hi Ron, please do not use castor oil or molasses on/for your cat (or any animal). Cats are missing an important enzyme for detoxification, Glucuronosyltransferase (sp?) it is a major phenol detoxification enzyme. Most cats become lactose (dairy) intolerant when they have stopped nursing. Things given may seem fine at the time however down the road you end up with your cat in renal failure, a build up of toxins in their kidneys. Molasses has lots of sugar and that is bad for cats & dogs. Most of the OTC hairball treatments have petroleum jelly used in it, would you eat petroleum jelly? Milk of magnesia is not safe as you need be extremely careful with magnesium and cats, very low dose can be helpful but more could be toxic, how would you know how much to give.

Mama to Many, I like much of the advice you give, however I just had to step in (respectfully) this time. I do work with cats and I keep learning so much as time goes on. Please do much needed research before giving anything to your pets.

With that all said, coconut oil (1/4 - 1/2 tsp.) is safe and for most also effective, give it time, also pumpkin (for both constipation and diarrhea) work for most (1/4 -1 tsp.) and plain, no sugar added or anything else not needed in plain yogurt (organic) in small does (upto 1 tsp.) a few times a week to help gut flora. Yogurt when cultured has broken down the lactose and is fermented and full of good enzymes for the intestinal flora. Always start low dose. Hope this helps you Ron and anyone else in need. Keep up your good work Mama to Many.

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.

Magnesium Citrate
Posted by Cattymom (Usa) on 05/01/2016

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.

Aloe Vera
Posted by Pam E. (SouthWestern California) on 08/16/2023 109 posts

It is only the *latex* that is found in small amounts in between the skin of the leaf & the clear gel that is toxic ... *not* the clear gel! This latex (yellow or white) is thoroughly *removed* from the gel-only products made for consumption. The clear 100% gel with NO preservatives & NO additives is *safe* for humans & pets.

Conventional medicine at one time used straight aloe latex to treat constipation, which was far too strong & extremely painful ... thus giving Aloe a much undeserved bad reputation for using any part of the Aloe for that purpose. However, the clear gel is a far cry from the latex, and very soothing & helpful. In some cases it works like a dream, while in others it may not work, but won't cause distress, either.

I stronly urge those afraid of using Aloe gel to consider this article:

"Is Aloe Vera Toxic to Pet Cats, Dogs, Other Animals?"

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!

Special Food
Posted by Roberta (Merrimac, Ma) on 07/04/2014

We have a cat that was diagnosed with mega colon. It is a neurological disease in which the nerve endings do not come in contact with the colon and cause the cat to become constipated. We tried almost every remedy I see on this site for constipation on this site and after two years of trying were a day away from making the decision to put our buddy down. Now I know for ALL cats they should have a low residue/no residue diet.

For constipation an 1/8 teaspoon of Miralax twice a day in the no residue food. And if it is mega colon 2.5 mg Cisapride (this medicine makes the colon contract which the cat can't do due to the disease). These three things saved our buddy. No more suffering for any of us and no more expensive vet bills.

P.S. Lactolose is a common drug prescribed, but it causes diabetes in cats.

Special Food
Posted by Dano (Idaho) on 02/01/2022

Look into giving your cat Triphala. It is an Ayurvedic combination of herbs that can be used long term safely for digestive, colon, and bowel issues. Dosage is between 100-250 milligrams twice a day for cats.

Posted by Carol (Florida) on 12/24/2022
5 out of 5 stars

Hi. I had a female tabby cat who was fine until she was around 10 years old. Then she suddenly began having constipation issues and would cry and hide under the bed. Her little butt was all red and swollen and she was straining and licking at it. Long story short - after years of help from the vet, which really didn't do much for her at all (pumpkin, laculose, manual extraction - you name it) I read online at a Yahoo forum on the subject, about giving Miralax sprinkled dry on the wet food each day. She never had an issue again unless I stopped. She lived to be almost 20. Now I have a cat who used to be feral and he can go for over a week without pooping. He never drinks water! I tried all the usual remedies listed here, and the aloe juice did nothing! Anyway, I'm back on the Miralax for him which works 100% and there is no taste. I don't want him to end up with megacolon like my little tabby, so if this is what it will take, I guess that's what I will do. I feed him a raw diet which I make myself. I am told he is extremely healthy otherwise. My recommendation - use the Miralax. It seems so unnatural, but if the cat gets megacolon, it's a horrendous situation.

Posted by GertJr (Madison) on 05/04/2021
3 out of 5 stars

My cat gets constipated. She will not eat pumpkin and other suggestions for dealing with this condition, so I have had her on Royal Canin Gastrointestinal food. This works great and she is actually, finally, losing some weight. The problem? This food is now out of stock everywhere! So, does anyone have a recipe for food for a cat that includes plenty of psyllium that she'll actually eat? Or know of another brand that works well? I've got her on urinary/hairball food now that says it greases the skids, so to say. But she goes outside and I don't see her poops anymore, I just see that she's 'wider' than before, so I know she's backing up. I do feel that losing weight will help with transit issues, but we have to get there first to know.

Any suggestions? so far, she won't eat any wet/canned food, only the dry. She'll eat some yogurt, but dairy isn't good for her. I'm putting miralax in her water, but who knows how much she's actually getting. Thanks

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.

Posted by Diane (Florida) on 05/20/2023

Mixing a bit of tuna or drizzling the tuna "juice" on almost anything will make it irresistible to most cats. Canned mackerel or salmon or sardines should work just as well. Chicken and/or real chicken broth is another good option. My cat is crazy about chicken in any form!

Pumpkin, Coconut Oil
Posted by Jackie (Nm) on 06/05/2018

Feline Constipation

I just found this site today and have read, read, read the posts until I'm 'post crazy'! I have a 9 year old rescue cat who is obese and is having big problems with constipation. The vet has her on Lactulose and Cisapride but it is not working. Since I am a natural healer with my own body I decided to look into natural healing for my cats.

Has anyone had a cat who is obese (need to lose a cat still) and has had problems with the intestinal system? The meds worked for about 9 months but are no longer working. I am thinking about trying the pumpkin and the coconut oil. Whatever I do, I have to put it in her food but she is a picky eater and I don't know if she'll like the taste of pumpkin. She will not take it from a 'tube'! I tried that and it was like fighting a lion or a cougar!

Pumpkin, Coconut Oil
Posted by Wendy (Columbus, Oh) on 06/12/2018

Others may have suggestions, too, but in the meantime add a 1/4 teaspoon organic UNrefined virgin coconut oil to her food. Do not microwave coconut oil! To easily melt it, put the entire glass jar into a saucepan filled with hot tap water. In about 5-10 mins enough of the oil will melt so that you can spoon out a 1/4 teaspoon. Then, just mix it into your cat's food.

Posted by Ron (Madera, Ca) on 01/05/2018

I've read many times Tumeric is good for peristalisis, and indeed it has helped me. Hence I was stopped short when I read on your site that it causes cats to be constipated. I was going to give it to my constipated cat. Just 10 days ago, I took her to the vet for being unable to have a bowel movement, and now she's constipated and suffering again. I give her cisapride, lactulose, and miralax, right now every day, and am afraid I'm going to hurt her, especially with too much cisapride. Are you sure Turmeric causes constipation rather than relieving it? Very important, as I seem to be running out of options for her. I hate that I might have to euthanize her because of this.

Winter Squash
Posted by Maggie (Idaho) on 06/13/2017 36 posts
5 out of 5 stars

I'd read that pumpkin is good for constipation in pets but I don't usually have pumpkin on hand. I do however always have frozen winter squash. I tried the winter squash and it works. I think pumpkin, sweet potato and the winter squashes are high in fiber which is what's needed for constipation.

Pumpkin or Slippery Elm
Posted by Sandra (Seattle, Wa) on 05/22/2017
5 out of 5 stars

My elderly cat suffered from extreme constipation. She would strain and nothing would pass. I found two things that worked well. Canned pumpkin - 1/2 teaspoon each day. It takes a couple of days to work through the system, but it did the trick. Also, my holistic vet recommended slippery elm. I opened a capsule and put about 1/4 capsule in some liquid, dissolved it, then gave it in a syringe. This also worked very well.

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?

Glycerin and Water Enema
Posted by Csareb (Dixie) on 04/04/2016
5 out of 5 stars

I've done that, and it works well. This is something that should only be considered with larger breeds such as the kuvasz, maremma sheepdogs, and great pyrenees, and any similar sized or larger breeds. Home enemas should never be attempted on a dog smaller than 70 lbs, as it is easy to get the dosage wrong and overfill the colon in smaller breeds, which can cause all sorts of problems as well as perforation.

Large, XL, and giant breeds, tolerate enemas well, and provided you use common sense (never use otc phosphate enemas), it is perfectly safe on these dogs.

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?

Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 02/09/2015

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.

Posted by Peggy (California ) on 11/01/2022

Hi. I'm glad you posted. So they're telling me my 3 mo kitten might need surgery. You mentioned you did the surgery and he's still having problems? I ordered duck food in a can and I'll add peas to it once it gets here. Pretty cool website for it I found by accident. I just started trying aloe Vera till food comes. I'm getting desperate. He hasn't pooped in almost a week 😩

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