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Dr. B.
Dr. B., Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat
Satisfied Customers: 22584
Experience:  I am a small animal veterinarian with a special interest in cats and am happy to discuss any questions you have.
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my beloved cat is 22 yrs old-she crys when having a poo,i know

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my beloved cat is 22 yrs old-she crys when having a poo,i know i should take her to a vet but don't want to put her through that trauma.i had to have her sister put to sleep 2 yrs ago and katie (my girl) pined for her so much i got 2 kittens as a (kill or cure) after less than an hour she adored them.going back to her problem she of course sleeps a lot but has a good appetite and is very active can jump on my bed windowcills and where ever she wants to . i don't think she is drinking more,in fact she takes a long time looking at the water bowl before she drinks. does it sound terrible when i say i wish she would slip away in her sleep . can you please advise me, thank you, anne

Hello & welcome, I am Dr. B, a licensed veterinarian and I would like to help you with your wee one today.

First, it isn't terrible to wish that Katie would pass peacefully without suffering. Still, we do have to appreciate that this is quite uncommon for people or animals. And if we were just to let nature take its course with all pets, then many would suffer before they eventually became dehydrated and starved enough to die (which wouldn't be something we'd want for her).

Now in regards ***** ***** issue of crying when passing feces, there are some things you can try at home to help her. Often pain when passing stools in elderly cats is due to old age changes to the joints and arthritis. In fact, it can be an early stage sign before we even see issues with jumping or activity levels. The reason why arthritis can cause this kind of difficulty for cats is because if you imagine, squatting or bearing down does require significant forces on the body (which they do while balancing on pebble like litter and standing on two feet) which can be a challenge for an older kitty with sore hips, spines, or back legs. And often cats with back pain or arthritis, this can be a bit much. This means some cats will hold there feces longer to avoid going; which leads to harder feces to pass, more struggles to pass them, and even possible constipation. And while she isn't constipated, this is going to lead to some serious struggles to go and soreness for her when she does.

In regards ***** ***** any distress for her joints, you can consider trying her with glucosamine/chondroitin supplementation. This is a nutrient supplement that is available at your vets, pet shops, and health food stores (as capsules, liquids, and even treats). It works by aiding joint suppleness by helping cartilage replenish itself and blocking enzyme destruction of cartilage in the joint. Often we can find this helpful in cats with mild arthritis and can sometimes be just enough to keep them comfortable and avoid issues like this. Normally we give kitties 50mg glucosamine + 15mg chondroitin a day per 10 pounds of body weight. So, it'd be worth a try with her.

Further to this, another longer term support is Omega 3 & 6 fish oils (EPA/DHA). These are actually a natural anti-inflammatory agent that people use to ease discomfort in their arthritis joints. So, these could be used at this stage as well. A proper daily dose for his size would be 20mg EPA/DHA per pound of body weight. So, this too could be a consideration for Katie. As well, fish oil has the extra benefit of being an upper GI lubricant which could help moving her feces through the first part of the track.

Furthermore, if she is struggling to pass feces, then there are some steps we can take to make them easier to pass while we are trying to help her joints with the above. In regards ***** ***** options to ease fecal passage, we can actually use regular treatments with cat hairball medication (ie. Catalax). This is available from the vet or the pet shop. It works to lubricate the gut and can facilitate the movement of hard feces out of the rectum. Alternatively, you can administer a small volume of Miralax (1 tsp per 24 hours), lactulose (LINK) or mineral oil orally (ideally offer in food or if given via oral syringe then take care to avoid aspiration, since that would cause problems we'd best avoid) as a GI lubricant. And this can be used when needed.

Furthermore, as long as she is eating you can mix in some canned pumpkin or a 1/4 teaspoon of unflavored Metamucil into her food. Just like people, these can restore fecal output regularity. I would offer these with wet food to ease her eating of it, while making sure we are getting water into her (as canned food is 35% water).

Finally, just to make life easier for her, you can also consider making sure her litter box easily accessible for her. To do so, we'd want to use low lipped litter boxes and little that is fine and not pebbly (ie paper based or sand based).

Overall, Katie's signs are not unexpected at her advanced age but there are steps we can take to try and ease her fecal passage while giving her aged limbs support. So, do consider the above for her and hopefully we will see her signs settle and her litter box visits less of a painful experience for her

I hope this information is helpful.

If you need any additional information, do not hesitate to ask!

All the best,

Dr. B.

If you have any other questions, please ask me – I’ll be happy to respond. Please remember to rate my service once you have all the information you need. Thank you and hope to see you again soon! : )

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