Constipation Remedies for Pets

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.

Posted by Theresa (Mpls., Mn) on 09/11/2014

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:

Posted by Anavic (San JosÃo, Costa Rica) on 09/13/2014

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.

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?

Posted by Wendy (Columbus, Oh) on 07/16/2013
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.

Posted by Judy (Usa) on 09/18/2016

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 Karla (Missouri) on 04/21/2023

Pure canned pumpkin is found in the baking aisle at Walmart.

Magnesium Citrate
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.

Magnesium Citrate
Posted by Rubi (Los Angeles) on 01/23/2015

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

Magnesium Citrate
Posted by Natalie (Tacoma, Wa) on 07/22/2015

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.

Magnesium Citrate
Posted by Colleen (Missouri) on 11/14/2018

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

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.

Posted by Timh (Louisville, Usa) on 10/19/2011 2073 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 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!

Sunflower Oil
Posted by Shirley (Scotland) on 04/16/2011
5 out of 5 stars

Hi there

I noticed my boxer was straining and even after an extended walk nothing had moved. So I got a syringe (without a needle) and filled it with sunflower oil and squirted into his rectum. I left him for 5/10 minutes and then took him for a walk... And everything he had been holding onto came away!

I am not sure it is the right thing to do, but it certainly worked and saved me another visit to the vet. I had been giving him rabbit meat for breakfast and I suspect that might have done it.

I might try using water if it happens again. But I reckoned that a glycerine supposititory is oil... So maybe oil would work for him too!

We don't get tinned pumpkin here and we tend to only get pumpkins at Halloween. But maybe I will try the sweet potatoe someone mentioned.

Goat Milk
Posted by Anonymous (Usa) on 12/16/2010
4 out of 5 stars

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.

Special Food
Posted by Purrrfection (Tampa, Fl) on 10/02/2010

Sounds like a great idea except PLEASE don't give your kitty any "people" Tuna. This even in small doses is bad for your cat. Thanks.

Special Food
Posted by Zackey (St George, Ga Usa) on 08/14/2011

why is tuna bad? I give my cat the juice a few times a month.

Special Food
Posted by Catherine (Philadelphia, Pa) on 09/28/2010

Hello Earth Clinic,
I'm not sure if this is where I post this, but after trying everything under the sun to help my cat, I know this information can help someone else. My 15-year old cat came down with mega colon about three years ago. He initially spent a week at the vet for many enemas and a big invoice. When I got him home I tried everything to keep him from getting backed up. From pumpkin to a raw chicken diet nothing was working except for the costly medication the vet game me. Even so, we still almost once a month had to go to the vet for an enema. I kept trying different cat foods hoping something or some brand would help. I know I'm not suppose to put brand names or commercial remedies on this site, but there is only one company that I have found that alleviates this problem completely! My cat no longer has to have enemas or take medication. My vet was so impressed she asked for the name of the cat food and is recommending it to all her patients even though they don't carry it in their hospital. I was lucky to find it in my health food store kind of by accident.

I do not work for this company nor do I know anyone who does. If earth clinic allows the name, it's Pet Guard and the flavor is Premium Feast Dinner. The other flavors do not work. Only this one. If you're able to find it be sure to mix it with water. My cat has lost most of his teeth, so the soupier the better. Plus the added water may help him "pass" things easier. I am happy to answer any questions by email if Earth Clinic doesn't post the food name. This is such an upsetting disease for cats and their owners. I want to help as many people as I can with this information. Be well and happy! Catherine

Special Food
Posted by Barbara (Mt. Pleasant, Sc) on 08/08/2013

Can you tell me where you get this food? I have a cat with megacolon and I am at my wits end. I just tried the pumpkin because tomorrow I am getting ready to take her to vet for another enema. Thanks

Special Food
Posted by karla (Minnesota) on 02/01/2022

I am aware this is an old post, but hoping someone see it anyway. My 10 yr old cat is suffering from Megacolon and she is in the throws of a severe constipation issue. Your Diesel sounds just like my cat's story, exactly. I just ordered Lax Eze in hopes that this may save her.

Special Food
Posted by Peggy (California ) on 10/30/2022

Hi Catherine. Are you still getting the same food? I tried to buy for my kitty but some of the reviews were saying they changed the formula. Do you know if that's true? Thank you for your time

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.

Posted by Gisela (Huntsville, Al, Usa) on 10/23/2009
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.

Posted by Anonymous (Usa) on 12/16/2010

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.

Posted by Kerie (Garrison, Nd) on 03/04/2012

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!!)

Posted by Spookie (New York, Ny) on 08/05/2009
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Posted by Ashley (Bellingham, Wa) on 12/10/2009

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.

Posted by Penwright (Mn, Unite States) on 03/13/2014

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.

Posted by Lauri (Surprise, AZ) on 07/22/2009
5 out of 5 stars

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.

Posted by Clara (Mississauga, Ontario) on 11/13/2009

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

Sweet Potato
Posted by NANLEA (SANTA CRUZ, CA) on 07/02/2009
5 out of 5 stars


Posted by Jay (Oklahoma City, OK) on 02/15/2009
5 out of 5 stars

Canned Pumpkin For Constipated a Dog: Phoebe, my 22 pound 3 year old dachshund basset mix had surgery for a herniated disc and was defecating fine until about a week after her operation. Last night I gave her a tablespoon of pumpkin and one more this morning with her food, and she took care of business about an hour after breakfast. Thanks for your website!

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