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CRF kitty constipation

Muttflea
April 21st, 2010, 11:59 AM
Nanuk is 16 yrs old. He was diagnosed with CRF 3 years ago. He has done amazingly well (especially compared to Oracle, my other CRF kitty who passed away 3 yrs ago :angel2: Oracle was a rollercoaster of ups and downs, and on sub-Q fluids frequently).

Nanuk has never been on sub-Q fluids. He gets lactulose daily (2ml twice a day), and Fortekor once a day (which he's been on since he was first diagnosed).

Nanuk's main issue is constipation. He drinks copious amounts of water throughout the day and urinates large amounts. But we still have to make an urgent vet visit once every few months to have a hard-poop blockage removed. Other than that his health is fine - he's an indoor cat (he's been almost-blind his whole life, but sees well enough to get around).

What else can I do to keep his bowels functioning? I have started using a bit of canned pumpkin puree in his food (he loves it! :thumbs up ), but how much should I be using? Are there any other cat foods out there that are good for constipation? Any other stool softening ideas?

sugarcatmom
April 21st, 2010, 01:15 PM
Hello and welcome to you and Nunuk.

Nanuk's main issue is constipation. He drinks copious amounts of water throughout the day and urinates large amounts.

Sounds like he may be dehydrated, despite all the drinking. What does Nanuk eat?

Do you have any recent results from blood work and urinalysis?

Muttflea
April 21st, 2010, 03:02 PM
Sugarcatmom - Nanuk prefers the canned food, which he gets daily. On the advice of our vet, I was mixing in a little (1/4 tsp) mineral oil into his food every other day or two, but I wonder now if this is such a good idea :confused: The canned food Nanuk prefers is Friskies.... ya ya I know!! I can't be feeding him anything worse - but he won't eat anything else! I can *sometimes* get him to eat better quality food if it's mixed with Friskies.

Nanuk had bloodwork done a couple months ago - it all came back within the normal range, although a couple results were at the high end of normal (I can't remember what they were, but it corresponded with his crf).

sugarcatmom
April 21st, 2010, 05:23 PM
Sugarcatmom - Nanuk prefers the canned food, which he gets daily.

That's great that Nanuk eats canned, much better than dry.

On the advice of our vet, I was mixing in a little (1/4 tsp) mineral oil into his food every other day or two, but I wonder now if this is such a good idea :confused:

Ya, not a good idea, but not surprising that a vet would recommend it. Much better would be some fish oil (preferably sardine/anchovy, in capsules rather than liquid - stays fresher longer).


The canned food Nanuk prefers is Friskies.... ya ya I know!! I can't be feeding him anything worse - but he won't eat anything else!

Actually there are indeed way worse things to feed, like dry food for example. Some of the Friskies flavours aren't even that bad for a CRF kitty because they're fairly low in phosphorus. Here is link to a chart listing the phosphorus levels of some popular canned foods: http://binkyspage.tripod.com/CanFoodNew.html You want to try to keep the amount under about 200mg per 100 cal. This is a quick list of the good ones:

Fine Cuts with Chicken in Gravy
Seared Filets with Turkey and Giblets
Special Diet Sliced Chicken in Gravy Dinner
Special Diet Turkey and Giblets Dinner
Special Diet with Salmon

I can *sometimes* get him to eat better quality food if it's mixed with Friskies.

That's a good place to start. You might have to go really slowly, mixing only a tsp of the higher quality stuff with the Friskies and over the course of many days, even weeks, increasing the proportion. But the main thing is that Nanuk eat, so even if it's Friskies, that's better than nothing. You may eventually need to add a phosphorus binder if his blood phosphorus levels climb, but you can cross that road when you get there. A good way to get more quality protein into Nanuk is to finely chop some cooked egg whites (start small) and mix it well into his food. Egg whites are an excellent, easily digestible source of low-phosphorus protein (just make sure they're cooked).

For the constipation, some other options to consider are slippery elm bark powder or a few drops of aloe vera juice (but make sure it isn't preserved with sodium benzoate). Adding lots of extra water to Nanuk's food is also a good idea.

Muttflea
April 21st, 2010, 06:04 PM
Sugarcatmom - thank you so much for all your advice. I really appreciate it! :)