Chaos’ Guide to Constipation

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This topic contains 53 replies, has 24 voices, and was last updated by  Janis 8 months, 3 weeks ago.

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  • #53268

    Chaos
    Participant

    So I have found my responses being mentioned quite often when people have questions about poop, (maybe not recently). So I thought I would make a comprehensive guide to your constipated kitten, mostly focusing on younger kittens. Here we go:

    Causes:

    Most often, when we find orphans or begin bottle feeding babies, they have already gotten used to mothers milk and their systems are already processing it. When we switch, the formula will constipate them. This is normal, and will work itself out in a few days.

    Occasionally, we find a kitten who has a blockage in their intestines. This is very serious and the kitten needs immediate medical attention. Surgery may be needed to reverse this. But, do not panic, this doesn’t come up often. To check, simply get a thermometer and put vaseline on it. Insert it into the kittens anus straight, and push in about 1/2 an inch, or about 1 centimeter. If it doesn’t go in by gently pushing, do not force it. When removed, there should be a small amount of feces on the tip of the thermometer. If the thermometer wouldn’t go in a trip to the vet is warranted.

    Another cause, alternatively, is too much fiber. This causes the stool to harden and become painful. Basically, while in the intestines, too much water is absorbed back into the body.

    In older kittens, the most likely cause of constipation is corn in the foods, or a food sensitivity. Remember, cats are true carnivores. They do not thrive on diets rich in corn, soy, or other fillers. This is why I feed mine corn and soy free food. (It also helps the smell!)

    There are many ways to treat it, but it is better to use a solution that is easier on the kitten. This list will go in order of what you should try before calling the vet:

    -Dilute their formula an extra part with water. So instead of 1:2 ratio, use a 1:3 or 1:4 ratio. Use a 1:4 when dealing with a kitten who has hard stool, or very young kittens who just switched to formula. Use less water each day until at the 1:2 ratio for young kittens.

    -Add 1-2 drops of oil to their formula. This can be canola, olive, or mineral oil. Use this when dealing with hard stool, along with dilution.

    -Use 1 mL of canned pumpkin along with a 1:3 dilution. Do not use if the stool has been hard.

    -Triangle Method, try to avoid doing this to very young kittens, as it can be a little rough for them.

    -Use a thermometer and vaseline to stimulate the anus by gently inserting and removing the tip of the thermometer into the kittens anus.

    -Give the kitten an enema with 1-2 mL of water or mineral oil.

    If after all of this the kitten still hasn’t gone the kitten should see a vet immediately. If the kitten hasn’t eliminated after 5-7 days (5 for young kittens up to 2 weeks, 7 for older) it should see a vet immediately.

    Usually kittens will resolve ongoing constipation issues when they are introduced to hard food or wet food. It is also important that we don’t irritate the kitten raw while trying to stimulate for poop. Only stimulate every other, or every 2 potty breaks, and use warm water with a cotton ball. Do not put anything on the anus if it is irritated, especially if the kitten can clean itself or has siblings.

    Some severe warning signs that the kitten should see a vet are vomiting feces or having diarrhea with mucous in it. These are symptoms of the kitten backing up, and needs to see a vet immediately.

    There is only so much we can do when it comes to pooping, and part of being good guardians for our furry babies is knowing when we should see a professional. Ongoing constipation issues that continue after weaning should also be brought up to a vet so they can recommend a change in diet or prescribe a laxative.

    If you see anything I have missed or have gotten wrong, please feel free to add on or correct me. I am in no way a professional, and all of this is knowledge I have gathered while researching about pooping issues for my fosters or bottle babies.

    Happy Pooping!

    #753015

    jcat
    Participant

    Chaos, you’re a gem, thank you very much. This info will be very useful! I would only add that powdered formula does tend to constipate kittens, sieving the formula after you’ve mixed it and before you give it to them may help but you may also want to try changing to liquid ready-mixed formula or to canned goats milk. I would also add, especially if you’re new to kitten care, don’t try pushing a thermometer into a wee kitten’s anus or giving enemas unless you are very confident you know what you’re doing. If in doubt, always turn to the vet.

    #753016

    CatLadi23
    Participant

    Thank you Chaos! You have taught me all I know about kitten constipation over these last couple weeks! lol! & very good points Jcat!

    #753017

    Chaos
    Participant

    See, I was trying to think of what to add, and I thought about those 2 points afterwards. Thank you JCat, most of this is what I learned prowling around here, messybeast, and yahoo answers, as well as what my vet has told me (: It is always great to know when to go to the vet rather than trying yourself (:

    I hope this helps newcomers! Constipation is very common and scary!

    #753018

    Chaos
    Participant

    Bumping for newbies (:

    #753019

    CatLadi23
    Participant

    Yes this should always be near the top, constipation is a very popular topic around here!

    #753020

    CatLadi23
    Participant

    bumping

    #753021

    Chaos
    Participant

    Bump (:

    #753022

    AV
    Participant

    great advice!

    #753023

    Vallanski
    Participant

    Thank you so much for such clear well written directions. I’m finding it very useful with my latest family of foster kittens.

    #753024

    Chaos
    Participant

    Thank you guys. I hope this has been useful to some people (:

    #753025

    feral
    Participant

    There’s always canned pumpkin you can try. I’ve used it for yrs. It’s worked well. You want to get the ‘unspiced’ kind tho. For kittens,you want to mix a small amt.with water to thin it out & give them about half an eyedropper full. Usually one dose does the trick. If not you’ll want to try the same thing about an hr. later. I’ve used it on the elders I’ve had in the past. They seem to have the problem more as they get older. With the fiber in pumpkin,it actually will work to firm up diarhea as well. It’s been a miracle worker for me & my furbabies since I never seem to be able to catch up with affording the cost of vet visits. If you’ve never heard of using it & aren’t sure about trying it,read up on it. It’s how I learned alot for all my feral & rescues in the past. the wonderful TDKers taught me alot as well. 🙂

    #753026

    Chaos
    Participant

    Yup that’s on there. It’s not recommended with constipated kitties with hard stool. Too much fiber is bad. It works well with warm water.

    #753027

    chibby
    Participant

    Arrrgghhhh!!! I should’ve read CHAOS’ post first before using the Triangle Method on my 2-week old kitties! I hope I havent hurt or damaged them (very worried). I’ll cease this procedure and stick to diluting + vegetable oil.

    Bump Chaos’ post for everyone’s benefit!

    #753028

    New Kitty Mom
    Participant

    My babies will be 3 weeks old on 4/1. Momma kitty died when they were 9 days old.I have been feeding KMR ever since. 4 days on canned and now have been on powdered for 4 days. Do they need to poo every day? Are they too young for the triangle method? Their poo is firm but not too hard, but not the “toothpaste” consistency I read about. They urinate and eat well. I have put pumpkin in the formula, but have since read this may also constipate as well. I am going to try dilution of their formula with their next feed.

    #753029

    chibby
    Participant

    Kitty Mom, I started switching completely to KMR liquid from powder. Even if you mix powder with water as much as you can, there are still itty bitty clumps that your kitties swallow and unfortunately do not digest, then gets dry and hard inside their bowels and gets mixed with outgoing feces. Stick to pure liquid until their digestive organ can churn solid food particles.

    #753030

    New Kitty Mom
    Participant

    Thanks I will switch back to liquid.

    #753031

    Chaos
    Participant

    Chibby, the triangle method shouldn’t have harmed your kittens, at 2 weeks old they are much stronger. They can usually handle it well. Don’t be too worried, I’m sure as long as their poop is coming out normally I’m sure they’re fine.

    #753032

    chibby
    Participant

    Oh CHAOS, by following your advice, my kitties pushed 5 days worth of poop!

    1. I switched from powder KMR to liquid. 2. Added 3 drops of mineral oil.

    3. After feeding, I inserted a lubricated thermometer and it came out instantly!

    After the next feeding I brushed their region with a cotton ball expecting only pee to come out but we got another surprise! It was a lot! First a little runny then turned to toothpaste consistency. Took a long while to let all of it come out but it’s so cute to just watch them push!

    Thanks Chaos!

    P.S. May cease the mineral oil to avoid diarrhea.

    #753033

    Chaos
    Participant

    I’m glad. If you notice chronic runny poop you can give them either .2mL of plain canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) with .2mL of warm water, or add 5mL to their bottle. I’ve noticed the first poop away from mom is usually very well formed, the rest usually become runny at some point. While they adjust to their new diets and their digestive system develops, their stool isn’t always well formed.

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