Megacolon in Cats
Constipation is common in cats. It refers to prolonged time for food to travel through the digestive system. When food passage is delayed, the feces becomes hard and dry, making it more difficult to pass.
Obstipation refers to prolonged constipation. The colon is normal in size and function, but the stool is too hard to pass.The vet will need to perform “deobstipation”, under anesthesia the stool is manually pushed through the colon by external abdominal manipulation. Enemas may be given by the vet.
Megacolon is severe constipation in which the large intestine (colon) becomes physically enlarged and impacted with hard stool.
Idiopathic megacolon occurs in almost two-thirds of the cases and no cause can be identified, however, it is thought to be related to abnormal smooth muscle function of the colon.
Narrowing of pelvis, often related to pelvic fractures
Spinal cord deformities (especially in Manx cats)
Rarely, inflammation and cancer
Constipation and megacolon occurs in cats of any age, breed and gender, but are more common in middle-age cats and domestic shorthairs. Male cats are twice as likely to develop these conditions. Sedentary lifestyle contributes to the development of constipation and obesity can affect the course of the disease.
Symptoms of constipation and megacolon:
Amount of stool is absent or reduced and consistency is hard and dry
Straining in the litter box
Long periods of time standing in the litter box without stooling
Continual return to the litter box to try to defecate without success
May defecate outside of the litter box
With severe straining, mucous or blood may be passed
Vomiting, even while straining to pass stool
With increased severity, decreased appetite and weight loss may be seen
If due to pelvic or nerve injury, urinary incontinence may occur
Diagnosis of constipation and megacolon:
Complete history and physical exam, may include neurological exam
Labs – complete blood count, chemistry panel and urinalysis to eliminate other health problems
Thyroid test may be done
Abdominal x-rays, which may identify pelvic narrowing or foreign bodies in the intestine
The abdominal x-rays may show large amounts of stool in the intestines
Treatment of constipation and megacolon:
Mild constipation responds well to increasing fiber in the diet, food change to one with more fiber or adding pumpkin, wheat bran or psyllium (Metamucil) to each meal. Ask the vet for recommendations on amounts of these additives to feed your cat.
It is very important to increase the amount of water your cat drinks when on these diets.
If the constipation becomes more severe or recurrent, the cat will need to be hospitalized to correct dehydration.
Medications can be given to prevent constipation:
Colonic prokinetic meds. Cisapride stimulates the movement of food through the GI tract. It is prescription only available through compounding pharmacies.
Lactulose is a laxative and stool softener. Other laxatives may also by tried.
Personal note: Carrot became very constipated due to fur-impacted hard stool. We have success with Miralax 1/2 teaspoon daily (no flavor, easy mix powder) and petroleum jelly (given mixed in wet food, which becomes ‘mineral oil’ in the GI tract per my vet). Adjust amounts of Miralax based on stool looseness. Also he needs regular brushing!
Dietary changes to prevent constipation:
Highly digestible foods will produce less fecal material and may be recommended instead of a fiber-supplemented diet.
High fiber diets should not be used with chronic constipation or megacolon! All meat diets are recommended.
If conservative treatment does not resolve the megacolon, surgery may be needed. Colectomy, partial or full removal of the colon, is done. Post-op prognosis is good but some cats may have diarrhea for weeks or months after surgery.
Thank you so much to everyone for your generous gifts from our Amazon wish list!!
Carrot likes the new comfy bed!
Amazon often does not put packing slips in the boxes and they never give us your contact info so we are not able to personally contact you to thank you. Please know that we deeply appreciate your kindness and are very grateful to you for your support!
This list is from several days of boxes :)
Meadow wishes everyone a Merry Christmas!
Thank you Denise Beech for the cat food!
Thank you David Family for the petit four treats(the staff loves sweets)!
Thank you Karin RosenQvist for the shark steamer!
Thank you Kathy Campbell for the cat food pouches!
Thank you Kathy Novakovic for the fortiflora, cat food and motion cat toy!
Thank you Kelly Shedlock for the cat food pouches and tiki cat food!
Thank you Leslie Palleria for the catnip toys!
Mack meows happy Holidays!
Thank you Lisa Donley for the cat food pouches!
Thank you Michele Tiner for the cat litter!
Thank you Thomas Anderberg for the candy and cat toys!
Thank you Unknown for the pinnacle cat food!
Thank you Unknown for the holistic cat food!
Thank you Unknown for the cat litter!
Thank you Unknown for the cat litter, pet beds, cat toys and cat food!
Domino trying to sneak a peek under the tree!
Don't forget tonight we open tour and boxes tonight at 6:30 P.M.
Thank you to the wonderful people who share their auctions with the cats!
You may find lots of them at
Here is another auction of a cute cat pin. She is donating 10% of the auction with the cats!! Here is the link:
Buddy, LT and Morris hope you remember to vote this holiday season!
NEW CONTEST - Snicker says please Help the cats win $1,000 and You win a $100 package too Please put Blind Cat Rescue under the shelter block Here is the link: http://www.dailykibble.com/promo/SpreadtheLove2014/
Thank you for helping!!
Snicker loves all his gifts!!
New Contest (#3) Please Help the cats win 10,000 meals from Halo (that is lots of food!! http://tinyurl.com/k5kf2v9 )put in shelter name, Blind Cat Rescue, town St Pauls, NC Thank you for helping the cats!!!!
Jellybean loves the holiday!!
We only have 39 calendars left!!
Please get your now!!
We are now taking orders for calendars and will try to ship them in December. We will try to get them to you by Christmas if your in the US if your international we hope you will get it by then (if not we are sorry), Please order by December 19th 2014. They make great Christmas gifts and what a great way to start the new year with one!
Don't forget we have our annual Christmas tree decorating fundraiser! It makes a great gift for someone who has everything! Here is the link: http://blindcatrescue.com
Do you walk or run? The Droid app is finally ready. If you pick Blind Cat Rescue as your charity, every time you walk/run they will donate to the cats!