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Ways to prevent constipation in cats?

February 5th, 2004, 11:32 AM
Hey guys... just looking for a little advice. I apologize in advance if this is a little long...

We have 3 kitties - one's 7, long haired and prone to hairballs. 2nd is 4 shorthaired and overweight, 3rd is about 9 months old and shorthaired.

Just before Christmas the kitten was at the vet because he wasn't eating, drinking or using the litter box. He was vomitting up just about everything that he ate.
We took him to the vet, the gave him I.V, Barium, and did some bloodwork. Within 2 days he was better, but they were at a loss as to what the problem is. They said that the bloodwork indicated that there's a very slight chance that it may be Addison's disease. I'm tending to think that he was very constipated (obstructed?). It cost us $600 for this visit and they couldn't even tell us what was wrong!:confused:

So, I have 2 questions, first- would this kitten be uninsurable because the vet mentioned that there's a slight chance that it's Addison's?

Secondly - I would like to feed my cats something to keep them regular & hairball free. Is there such a thing? They're currently on Royal Canin Indoor formula, but I'm going to be switching them to Natual Balance because it's a little cheaper. Is there something better suited to their needs that won't cost me an arm & a leg?

Some of the things I was thinking of(not all at once, of course!) were...
- mineral oil (I believe it should help w/hairballs & constipation)
- petromalt, or equivilant (I know this works for hairballs, will it help keep kitten regular?)
- bran (might help, but I don't think they'd eat it)
- metamucil (I read this was okay to feed cats, does anyone know for sure?)
- adding wet food to their diet

Any suggestions you guys have would be greatly appreciated, we're not going to be able to handle another vet bill like that.


February 5th, 2004, 09:39 PM
Hi there..although I have no idea what Addisons is,I have 3 cats similar ages to yours,mostly indoors,but I take them out for a run in my backyard every day for a while.
Anyway,it is my opinion that cats do need a bit of wet food,mine have about 1 1/2 tbsp each in the morning and at night but good quality dry food is available for them all day and cool water of course.I know if I was a cat,I would certainly like a little variation:D
Mine don't seem to have a problem with hair-balls,but I do not have a longhaired cat,I am not sure,but I think I read somewhere anti-hair-ball food is not that good for the cats,not as a main food.
I hope your kitten will do better I would give him a little wet food.

Ps.Sorry I missread,I thought you were feeding them a hair-ball food.:o

February 6th, 2004, 04:54 AM
Dunno about you have to tell insurers about the slight possibility? Seems it would be perfectly ethical to withold that info... :)

I agree with Anita - feeding canned + dry is much better for cats. If you can find Felidae canned food, it's got a higher meat content than most.
Petromalt etc would probably work, but wouldn't cure any underlying problem.

February 6th, 2004, 07:40 AM
Thanks for the replies guys!

Took a trip to the pet store last night, and picked up some wet food (Felidae! Funny you mentioned that, Carina!) & some laxative/hairball medication.

I'm going to increase the water their getting by feeding wet food a few times/week, and I also add warm water to their dry food in the evenings. I figure I could give the laxative to the longhaired cat a couple of times/week, and the kitten a small bit once/week. Hopefully this will keep everything "moving".

As for the Addison's - I think(?) that it has something to do with an underactive Adrenal Gland (so I think that means that it's not producing enough adrenaline?). Either way, I think that the vet may have put that "slight possibility" in the kitty's medical records. :rolleyes: Anyways, I have to pay off the existing vet bill first before I start paying for insurance.

I'm really hoping that there's no underlying problem, but I have a bad feeling about it. The kitten definately has less than stellar breeding (his mom just went outside, came back pregnant... his brother could possibly be his father! :eek: ) So...... genetics definately aren't in his favour!

Thanks again for the help!