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Q: Constipated Cat ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   3 Comments )
Subject: Constipated Cat
Category: Family and Home > Pets
Asked by: pjc_au-ga
List Price: $5.00
Posted: 28 Oct 2003 21:49 PST
Expires: 27 Nov 2003 21:49 PST
Question ID: 270667
Hi, recently my 4 month old kitten, Bob, was unable to go to the
toilet although clearly he was trying. We took him to the vet who gave
him an enema which cleared him out.

The Vet explained that it was constipation and that it was his diet.
We feed him high quality kitten dry food (Whiskas) and Whiskas wet
kitten food as well. We have also been feeding every third night,
instead of the wet food, a raw chicken thigh with the skin off which
he loves. The vet said the cause may be the raw meat.

My questions are:

1. Are there any other remedies for Bob if he becomes constipated
again that I can administer. Expensive vet enemas and overnight stays
can hopefully be avoided

2. How safe and appropriate are the raw chicken bones. I had heard
that thighs were safe and a good food as the gristle cleans the teeth.
Am I wrong?

Many thanks
Subject: Re: Constipated Cat
Answered By: missy-ga on 28 Oct 2003 22:41 PST
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
Hi there!

Poor Bob-kitty!  I hope he's feeling better now.

My eldest cat, Schiller, is 16 years old, and occasionally suffers
from constipation.  I learned a neat trick when Schiller was still a
kitten - half a teaspoon of fish oil mixed into his food each day not
only eliminated the constipation problem, it also helps to keep his
coat soft and shiny.

The Holisticat mailing list offers some additional suggestions - one
of these should be mixed into the food your cat is most fond of, so
he'll get all of the remedy:

-- olive oil
-- evening primrose oil
-- aloe vera juice
-- chamomile tea
-- slippery elm tea
-- psyllium husks
-- cod liver oil

[NOTE: suggestions all call for some non-specific measure of "a
little" or "a bit".  Start with half a teaspoon. ]

Holisticat - Constipation

Bob may turn his little kitty nose up at any or all of these remedies
at first, but if you're persistent and experiment a bit, you'll be
able to convince him to just humor you and take the remedy.

The Holistcat list also address constipation in conjunction with the
second part of your question:

"When I first started feeding bones, I quickly found that my cats got
constipated if I fed them more than once every third day. After I cut
back they were fine. I'd try just eliminating the bones everyday and
just give them to him a few times a week. As his system gets more used
to bones, then you can start feeding them more frequently."

Holisticat - Constipation

Raw chicken in small doses is certainly good for Bob, but too much
chicken flesh will cause constipation.

Many vets and cat experts recommend feeding your cat raw chicken and
bones for dental health (*NEVER* give Bob cooked bones - they could
splinter and pierce his throat.), but they typically recommend necks
and wings:

"Cats love raw chicken, but we have had lots of problems obtaining a
reliable source of supply. Cats and particularly kittens seem to be
affected by even a low level of bacterial contamination of chicken.
Having said that, raw chicken wings and necks, not having a lot of
flesh on them, are excellent for tooth and gum health.

Separate each wing into three at the joints, and for necks, cut into
two or three pieces for kittens, or leave whole for the cat. Make sure
any uneaten pieces are cleaned up with the bowls."

Feeding Your Cat

"Feeding RAW chicken wings and necks are a good treat."

The Complete Cat Diet

"To maintain oral hygiene give the kitten part of a RAW pork or beef
spare rib or RAW chicken wing every few days."

Kitten Care Guide

"Feeding your dog or cat raw bones at least 2-3 times every week is
perhaps the most important thing you can do to ensure the health of
their teeth and gums. Chewing through bone and cartilage, and tearing
the meat off the bone, exercises and cleans the entire tooth, right up
to the gum line. Normal dry food will not clean your pet's teeth. Raw
chicken wings or necks are suitable for cats (and perhaps small dogs),
but larger soft bones such as lamb or veal are preferable for dogs."

Dental Disease in Dogs and Cats

Try switching from thighs to necks and wings, and see if Bob's
situation improves.

I hope this helps!  If you need further assistance, please just ask
for clarification.

--Missy  <-- owned by Schiller (16) and Bailey (4)

Search terms:  [ "raw chicken" constipation cat ], and personal
knowledge - I've been owned by at least one cat for the past 16 years.
pjc_au-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars
Thank you Missy, this is a great answer and very much in line with
other feedback I have received.

Subject: Re: Constipated Cat
From: dancethecon-ga on 28 Oct 2003 23:52 PST
Hi, Pete,

Missy gave you some good advice about adding supplements to your
kitten's diet to ease the constipation. I have another tip for you,
one that uses the other end of your kitten. You can take a human
glycerine suppository and shave a small sliver off it. Gently push
this glycerin piece into Bob's anus until it disappears. You might
want to wear a latex glove for this. This tip was given to me by a vet
when I had a constipated kitten.

I'm afraid I'm not a big fan of Whiskas cat food. It's OK, but there
are better. For many years I raised and showed cats, and always fed
mine a diet of dry food. The only times mine got wet food was when
they were sick and needed extra-palatable food. Now I have two cats,
both mixed-breed neutered boys, and they get a steady diet of dry
Iams. Iams makes a fine growth dry cat food that's recommended for
kittens. (I am in no way affiliated with Iams, and I buy it retail.)
Your vet would be a good person to get diet advice from, by the way,
and might recommend other brands to you.

Some cats react to a change of diet by getting diarrhea. Fewer get
constipated, but it can happen. Bob would probably be happier in the
long term if he had a steady diet of one food. (And if that's the
case, dry is unquestionably better than wet.)

So far all of my vets--even one who breeds and shows top-quality
Persians--prefer a diet of straight dry food for cats. A little raw
chicken for Bob probably won't hurt. Unless, of course, you're unlucky
enough to get some one day that's contaminated with extra bacteria. I
don't mean to scare you; cats are resilient animals with good immune
systems. But cats can get sick from eating bad meat just like we can.
And I'm not talking about spoiled meat, just meat that comes with
bacteria beyond the usual.

You're right to be concerned about the state of Bob's teeth. Gum
inflammation can be bad for cats systemically. Periodontal disease can
trigger kidney problems that can become dangerous, even
life-threatening. Some veterinarians recommend that cat owners brush
their cat's teeth. You might talk about this with your vet if tartar
becomes a problem for Bob.

There's one more consideration about serving raw food to Bob. To keep
ourselves safe from raw chicken, chefs and home safety experts agree
that we should wash our hands after handling raw chicken, and they
recommend that all countertops and utensils that have touched raw
chicken be thoroughly cleaned. Unless you have a way to keep Bob from
carrying his chicken meat or bones around the house, you might want to
rethink the raw meat strategy, especially if you have children who
play on the floor. But again, talk to your vet, please.  :-)

Best of luck to you both, and I hope Bob stays out of the hospital!

Subject: Re: Constipated Cat
From: owain-ga on 29 Oct 2003 05:23 PST
Although it mostly helps with coughing up furballs, grass is quite
important to a cat's diet, especially if it's an "indoor" cat.

Subject: Re: Constipated Cat
From: snsh-ga on 29 Oct 2003 09:54 PST
did you hear about the cat that swallowed a ball of yarn?  it gave
birth to a litter of mittens.

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