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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
My 12-year-old kitty is having trouble getting things out of her system, so to speak. Took her to the vet, who prescribed lactulose. This seemed to do the trick, tho she hates it. When I stopped, the symptoms came back.

It looks like she may have to be on this indefinitely. I guess I can live with that (I hope she can too). I'm just wondering if there are alternatives.

I read a suggestion to try giving her pumpkin (canned), and she ate some a couple times, but then turned up her nose so I don't know if it helped or not. It is winter and she has a thicker coat, grooming more, so hair may be an issue. I'm going to grow some cat grass for her too.

Any other ideas? I personally don't like to use doctors and medications unless there isn't another way.
 

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I don't have much experience with constipated kitties but have you tried the hairball lube? Maybe that might help. Hope kitty feels better soon.
 

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If you can feed canned food it is much easier to help kitty. They are more willing to eat new things if they are mixed with wet cat food. Canned pumpkin can be effective, but if your cat is anything like mine, it won't be enough. I had to experiment for several weeks, but I finally found that finely chopped oatmeal (uncooked) and a little extra water mixed with canned food once a day helps him out a lot.

(Sorry, new here, just had to throw that in. Hope it helps.)
 

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Here's some random stuff:

Maybe most importantly, she needs a lot of water. Dry various different containers. Plates are good because they remind cats of their water sources outside. You might also try a motorized cat fountain, I'm not sure of the prices. You can also grind dry cat food and add water (but then you have to serve it immediately or it gets soggy like cereals).

I don't know what lactulose it is, but some lactuloses (sp?) tend to need a lot of water because they absorb it. So if you just give plain lactulose, it may absorb all the water from her system and might not help a lot* -- but that probably depends on what kind of lactulose it is. If that is the case, you should mix the lactulose in a lot of water (this will also make it easier for her to eat, as it doesn't taste as strongly) and mix that with various foods. You can try mixing that with canned wet food or maybe the dry food mentioned above.

*but this is assuming that she generally doesn't drink a lot of water.

Cat grass is a good idea. Is she an indoor cat? In that case you might increase her grass intake by trying to take her out on a leash or something (although I guess that's pretty difficult if the cat hasn't been on a leash before).

Constipation may be a sign of various things. If it's a sign of a motility problem (I guess X-rays may show this), you might want to consider medication. There's one that's supposed to be effective, although it was drawn from a human market and is dangerous if combined with cardiovascular medications. Well, AFAIK lactulose isn't a medication so you can use it with good conscience even if you want to avoid medication (although I'm not sure why you would want to do that).

Although old cats generally tend to get things like constipation, so I wouldn't stress over the motility problem, it was just a suggestion I personally know something about.

Of course, exercise also helps, so play with your cat (or again, maybe take her out if she's indoors).

Then there are dry cat foods that help for constipation. I know one anti-hairball dry food that's quite effective in this regard.

And yeah, hair can be an issue, in which case you should comb her.

Also if she hasn't defecated for some time, mineral oil is effective but it cannot be used regularly and it's dangerous if you try to put it directly into her mouth (if she resists, she can inhale it which may be terminal) so it's preferable if mixed in her favourite food (although she'll probably refuse to eat it).
 

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This reminds me of my lovely elderly Siamese Merlin, who died last year. When very old, he became anorexic- yes, the vet said cats can be anorexic too!- and got a lazy colon, which made him constipated.

We got given some stuff in a tube to give him but he was not keen on even that (the vet said it was 'irresistable to cats', but little Merl was not interested).

What did help him eventually was getting as much water into him as possible and stopped giving him dry food, giving him wet food instead and I also braved cooking him some white fish and mashing it up with brown rice, vegetables and added water. I really had to sit with him and feed him or he wouldn't have it unless comforted, and the same with drinking- I think he was depressed and needed tempting.

That did work though, in his case he wasn't hydrated enough and the dry food uses a lot of water up in their tummies.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
Really appreciate all the good advice and helpful ideas.

SevenSeas, actually I think the medication she is on IS the one you would feel concerned about. It is used for humans too, and it is only by prescription.

If I knew she would get into a water fountain I would get her one, she tends to be such a "scaredy" about everything at first, but she might get used to it and like it. I have seen cats that love flowing water, as long as it's not flowing on their body. In general I think she drinks a normal amount, she has 3 bowls to choose from, but more water would defintaely be better. Unfortunately hard to tell a cat what to do.

I should get that cat grass going. She gets a fair amount of exercise for a cat her age. She loves get on the bed and pounce on toys and chase them around.

I got a special food from her from the vet, Hills w/d, it's a high-fiber diet often used for weight loss. I do not think it's making much difference. I would give her more wet food, but before I got her she had lost many teeth, and wet food can be a tooth decay hazard. On the other hand, it would be easier for her do digest, she wouldn't have to chew it as much. I'm so hesitant to try brushing her teeth, she hates hates hates having people mess with her, clipping nails or opening her mouth or putting things in her ears.

I have heard about mineral oil as well but am hesitant to use it especially as it is petroleum-based.

Littlelove, I will try comforting while feeding and using some rice and veggies. Tho I don't think she's depessed, and she is stubborn so maybe she'd just eat less. Of course she meows before I give her food, and doesn't seem to mind if I'm standing right there while she chows.

I'd much rather do this naturally. Already I'm fighting with the vet just to get this prescription I'm not sure if I want for a decent price online, which requires getting more of it than she wants to give out at once. Another story.

I'm getting concerned about having an older cat in general. She is the best, and I don't want to see her decline, it would be very hard. I want to take the best care of her, but this is the first major problem I've seen in her, and I'm freaking out a bit.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissGarbo View Post

SevenSeas, actually I think the medication she is on IS the one you would feel concerned about. It is used for humans too, and it is only by prescription.
So it's Propulsid (the chemical stuff being called 'cisapride')? It's great that she's on it.

Quote:
I got a special food from her from the vet, Hills w/d, it's a high-fiber diet often used for weight loss. I do not think it's making much difference.
If you use Hill's, I would recommend trying Hill's Hairball Control (whether she has hairballs or not).

The good thing about mineral oil is that I think it kind of "clears the system" for a while so everything (including the lactulose) is more effective for some time, after which the system sort of slows down again. I'm not personally so worried about the petroleum thing, as mineral oil is quite regularly "prescribed" by vets (at least where I come from) for constipation and hairballs. (But like I said, it's always a risk if you put it directly into the mouth with a syringe.)
 

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A good quality wet food won't contribute to tooth decay. Dry food has lots of carbs, etc. in it that can feed bacteria in the mouth so its actually worse for tooth decay unless it's special dental food.

drfostersmith.com sells stuff you can add to their water to help their teeth but i've never used it so I don't know how well it works. You could ask their vet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
thebelovedtree: would you think that the wet variety of Hills would be a "good quality"? How can you tell about others?

SevenSeas: It is not the one you were thinking then. It is called Lactulose (at least that's the name I got, maybe there are more names). But it is used on humans too and prescription. I could check if there are dangers involved. Maybe I should get X-rays done on her, I was given the option before but thought it was so obvious they weren't needed. I am worried by the idea that using a syringe to administer the oral medication is dangerous because that is how we do it.
 

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I'm not a big fan of hills. To me a good quality wet food would have a very small amount of carbs, and those carbs would be from vegetables rather than grains.

I feed wellness,it contains around 5% carbs, which is only slightly less than the hill's wet foods I looked at, however the wellness carbs come from fruits

(cranberries for urinary tract health) and vegetables, while all the hill's foods I checked contained wheat flour, rice flour, corn flour, corn starch, etc.

The idea is that in the wild the cat would eat the stomach contents of prey animals, which would be filled with small amounts of plant material. Natural prey animals don't eat a lot of corn starch, refined flours, etc. and they aren't very good for the cat over all and are harder on the teeth.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
that is some good information TBT. I haven't heard of wellness, but I know the natural foods store has some pet foods, maybe I should check them out. That makes a lot of sense about the grains.

I'm learning a lot
 

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Have you tried some digestive enzymes? Enzymes are supposed to help with constipation. For kitties who normally eat a raw meat diet in the wild, we feed them cooked kitty foods which lack the bacteria and enzymes.

I just got some Dr.GoodPets Feline Formula Digestive Enzymes from Vegan Essentials. My kitties don't have any digestive problems but my one kitty has eye problems and a nasal problem. (One of my kitties used to have some digestive problems such as blood in her stool and she has long hair but it seems to have gone away since I switched foods a while back - she throws up her hair balls now).

It is easy to use as it comes in a powder form and it is vegan too.

Two of my kitties are 12 and one is 9. They all have lots of energy.

http://www.goodpet.com/library/pharmacy.html

What are the ingredients in Hills Science Diet? I couldn't find it on line.

The cat grass may help her (you can buy some you know!) but know that she will throw it up (that is supposed to happen).

My cats eat Wysong foods. Hills and Iams are the food most given by vets. I know that Iams tests on animals but dont know about Hills.
 

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Ooo. it has Chicken By-Products in it. It is up to you really but I wouldn't feed it to my cats. I used to fed them Iams and now that I switched to a more natural food they do so much better. Also, the Corn Gluten Meal? I know they use that to fertilize lawns (it is supposed to be a natural lawn fertizlier). I don't think that Gluten-anything is good for your digestive tract.

Hills W/D dry:

Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Gluten Meal, Brewers Rice, Rice Flour, Powdered Cellulose, Chicken Liver Flavor, Soybean Oil, Calcium Sulfate, Potassium Sulfate, Choline Chloride, Iodized Salt, Potassium Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, vitamins (L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Taurine, preserved with BHT, BHA and Ethoxyquin, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), L-Carnitine, Dicalcium Phosphate, Beta-Carotene.

The other two W/d products have Pork By Products.

In case you decide to switch to a different food (unless the w/d is helping your kitty). Just remember to switch gradually - otherwise, kitty might get diaherra.

This is PETA list of better pet foods.

http://www.iamscruelty.com/notTested.asp

Also, I found this information on pet food written by a person who lost their doggie this year. There is a lot of info on what goes into those 'by-products' in pet foods and the other ingredients too. Hills Science Diet is owned by Cologate Palomolive (didn't know that before). Very interesting read!

http://www.hugsandstitches.com/petfood.htm
 

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Discussion Starter · #16 ·
queenfluff: thanks bunches and bunches. I LOVE THAT YOUTUBE VIDEO!! (from your signature). I found it here.

TBT thanks for your help too. Really appreciate it, all the advice.

here is a video of my kitty:

 

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MissGarbo, I feel for you! Last year, over the course of 7 or 8 months, my 7 yr. old male cat, had impacted bowels CONSTANTLY, I had to take him in to the vet/animal hospital 5 TIMES for enemas, "manual removal", etc. I tried EVERTHING, canned pumpkin, hairball remedies, olive oil, "high fiber" commercial cat food, etc. I felt so bad for him, he was in such pain all the time, the vets kept telling me I should consider surgery for "mega colon" (removal of lots of his colon!!)

I was at a loss, I did some research online, and came accross an article by a vet, who wrote something to the effect of, in all of the years he'd been practicing, he had never treated a cat for constipation who was on a wet food only diet. And my boy was eating dry kibble since day one. So I switched him in July over to a purely canned food diet and this helped 100%. No more constipation and pain for him, he goes regularly now, no straining and howling, and eliminating outside of his litterbox!! (That alone was so horrible for the both of us!). Occasionally when I do give him a low-fiber "treats" and I see he hasn't gone for a couple of days, I pull out my lactulose, and give him a dose or 2, but that is so few and far between nowadays.

Please try a wet food diet for him, this has made all the difference for my cat, and as others have said, choose ones where "by-products" are not the main ingredient, there is a ton of stuff on Google when you search on "cats wet food vs. dry food diet"..

Good luck to your kitty!!
 

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Discussion Starter · #18 ·
Thank you very much Lilith, and others, for the stories and diet advice. I will find her a good quality wet food asap.

Feeling hopeful that we will all be happier soon.
 

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Quote:
Originally Posted by MissGarbo View Post

queenfluff: thanks bunches and bunches. I LOVE THAT YOUTUBE VIDEO!! (from your signature). I found it here.

TBT thanks for your help too. Really appreciate it, all the advice.

here is a video of my kitty:

Your kitty is so cute!

I am glad I am not the only one who likes the Kitty Dance video!
 
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