Re: [FH] Merlyn is constipated -- help!
- Hi Dana,
In a message dated 7/31/04 1:02:28 PM, drulf@... writes:
<< Merlyn has faced mild constipation in the past, but he hasn't had a
bowel movement for 2 days now (and he has eaten). >>
What does the cat eat (brand, flavor, canned or dry)? Stool quality is
directly related to diet.
<< We've noticed that
his appetite has lessened in the last day or so, but he is still
eating, just smaller amounts at a time. >>
Cats have evolved to eat many small meals (like up to about 15 meals of about
1-2 oz each) every 24 hrs. Simply stated, their metabolism never turns "off."
So small, frequent meals (as opposed to 1-2 large meals) more closely mimics
a cat's natural feed pattern and fits their metabolism.
How many calories does the cat consume? The *average* guideline (adjusted for
age, activity, metabolsim, etc) is 20-30 calories per lb of ideal body weight
per day. For the cal counts of many popular brands, see:
<< if there is something someone could suggest trying
at home first >>
While it's important to rule out any issue that may be contributing to
constipation (such as an obstruction, megacolon, neurological issues, etc)...and to
also carefully consider the diet...some options for normalizing bowel function
include adding a small amt (like 0.25-0.5 tsp) *soluble* fiber, which helps
normalize the *water balance* in the gut, to a meal. Sources of soluble fiber
incl many vegetables, such as very finely ground zucchini or canned (or baby
Another option is using a very small amt (like 5-10 drops) of pure aloe vera
juice or gel (no sodium benzoate, no aloin, no emodin), such as Lily of the
Desert (www.lilyofthedesert.com) or George's (less than $5 per 8 oz at health
food stores). Aloe vera juice has a very gentle but effective laxative
effect...and is generally tasteless, so most cats accept it in a yummy food treat (like
pure meat baby food).
If is *not* advisable to use mineral oil (or any other petroleum product for
that matter), which can be involved in aspiration pneumonia, digestive tract
granulomas, and nutrient malabsorption. And if you want to use an insoluble
fiber source (such as psyllium), it's *essential* to use a good deal of water, as
directed. // Rosemary