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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Board Certified Veterinarian
Category: Vet
Satisfied Customers: 21464
Experience:  General practice veterinary surgeon with extensive experience in a wide range of species.
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I think my cat is constipated. How should I wait before

Customer Question

I think my cat is constipated. How long should I wait before taking her to the vet?
Submitted: 1 year ago.
Category: Vet
Customer: replied 1 year ago.
She kept re-visiting the litter box every few minutes and only passed 3 small and very dry pieces. By the state of the kitchen this morning, she spent a great deal trying all night but didn't pass anything. She is still eating and active.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hello and welcome, I am Dr. B and would like to help you today.

As long as she doesn't appear sore, we can monitor and try some supportive care over the next 24 hours to help her go. In regards ***** ***** her pass still, do consider treating her with OTC cat hairball treatment to help the stool slide through the gut. Or since she is is eating you can alternatively add a few millilitres not drops of OTC Lactulose or liquid paraffin to her food. All of these are the GI lubricants and can get stool moving. For ease of feeding this and to increase her fluid intake, you can use canned food. As well, we'd want to keep her drinking as dehydration can increase the risk of constipation.

Overall, we would not want to leave this longer then 24 hours but at the moment you can use the above ( and start with a few millilitres of the Lactulose) to help get things moving for her. Of course, if we cannot get her passing stool over today, then we'd want her checking by her vet +/- an enema once her vetbis open.

Please take care,

Dr. B

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Thanks. This is very reassuring. Roughly how many millimetres of lactulose would you suggest? I was concerned about giving her diarrhoea, hence the few drops.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

You are very welcome,

If we have a cat actively straining, I will often give up to 5ml every 8 hours until we see stool. There is a risk of diarrhea but it is self- limiting. So once they go, we stop the treatment and it should settle. At the moment, its getting the stool passing for her that is our focus.

Please take care,

Dr. B.

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Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi, my cat eventually threw up 3 rather unusual looking 'logs'. It was quite traumatic to watch and I couldn't make out what they were (photos are available on request!!). Two of them were quite long and I could make out a blade of grass plus her dry dinner (she wouldn't eat the wet food laced with lactulose) and either a tuft of string or a chicken meal, I think the little one was a fur ball. She continues to be active and has eaten a few pieces of dry food.I'll call the vet in a few hours and get her seen to as soon as possible.I just wanted to say thank you very much for getting us through the weekend!!Nike
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Good morning Nike,

You are welcome to post the photos for me to have a look at (there is a paperclip icon on the textbox to do so or you can post them on any site & copy/paste the address here for me).

It may just be compacted hair or reflux from the GI if she was quite constipated. Otherwise, that sounds like a good plan to just make sure we get her totally cleared out and get everything moving for her.

Best wishes,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Hi Doctor,Please see attached. I'd appreciate your input.Many thanks
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Hi again,

That does look like food based stomach contents and then a plug of hair/old food/digesta. So, that last bit likely was causing an intermittent blockage in her stomach. And this last time it likely kept the food from passing into the intestines. So, much better out then in and we'd hope to see her settle.

Best wishes,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Many thanks for reviewing the photos.Lucy is now back to normal, albeit a little subdued still.She's seen her vet who gave her an anti-nausea jab and a recovery food pack. She's been passing urine, is yet to do a poop but isn't frequenting the litter box fervently.Many thanks Dr B.
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Good morning,

I am glad to hear that she is on the mend and hopefully we will we will seem some stool shortly. Though I'd note that if we wanted to, we can cheat and use a bit of cat hairball treatment to help that next stool pass a bit sooner and hopefully get her feeling 100% a bit quicker. :)

Take care,

Dr. B.

Customer: replied 1 year ago.
Lucy finally did a poo yesterday! I was so excited, her tail began to quiver!!The consistency appeared solid and not dry.Can you recommend any anti-hairball treatments? I understand that some will cause vomiting, but I don't think I can handle that again ��. Is rather she passed them out in her stool.A colleague suggested I give her pilchards in water. Is this right?
Expert:  Dr. B. replied 1 year ago.

Woo hoo. :)

I am glad to hear that she has. Now we just want to keep that up.

In regards ***** ***** flavored water, it can be used to encourage her to drink as long as they have only been in spring water (no brine or oil). As well, lactose free milk is another flavored liquid option to encourage her to drink, keep herself hydrated and avoid constipation. Finally, hairball treatments should not make them vomit at all. They are meant to lubricate the hairball or whatever is in the gut and help it slip down the intestines. So, we'd not expect vomiting with any and in regards ***** ***** I find Laxatone and Catalax to be two good options. :)

Best wishes,

Dr. B.