When My Cat Couldn’t Poop

My cat was unable to poop last week.

This is the story of my cat Charlotte who couldn’t poop for a few days.

The reason for her constipation is unusual.

I am not a veterinarian and am NOT recommending a treatment plan for any cat. If your cat is constipated, please contact your veterinarian.

If your cat can’t poop, there are many potential reasons. PetMD provides a good overview. However, the cause of Charlotte’s problem was a surprise.

Note: This post contains affiliate links. If you click a link and then make a purchase, I will receive a commission.

Charlotte’s Poop Problems Begin

Charlotte has had problems with constipation in the past. However, this incident ended differently.

On a Sunday, I noticed Charlotte was straining to poop when in the litter box.

So, I gave her some lactulose (prescribed by my vet during a previous episode). And also some CatLax which we’ve given Charlotte in the past (the vet found cat hair in her poop previously). CatLax helps cats pass hairballs.

The price of CatLax varies online. Interestingly, the day I wrote this post, it was significantly less on Chewy than on Amazon.

Charlotte didn’t like the taste enough of CatLax to eat it directly from the tube, so we had to wipe it on her front paws, and then she would lick it off.

Monitoring Charlotte’s Poop (or lack thereof)

Since we have multiple cats, it’s not easy to know when a particular cat has pooped. So I followed Charlotte around as best I could but wasn’t home all the time, and I still slept at night.

Sometimes, she will poop wherever she can, not in the litter box when she gets backed up. For example, she’s pooped by the front door and on the bedroom floor in the past.

On Monday and Tuesday, her behavior seemed okay, so I assumed she pooped in a litter box. However, on Wednesday, her symptoms were worse.

She was straining to poop, but only a little liquid came out. She was also crying out in pain.

The trying to poop was repeated for about a half-hour. She tried on the carpet in the living room (if you are a cat lady, you already know that carpet is the worst).  And also on hardwood floors under a desk in the cat room with the DIY cat shelves.

I followed behind her with a cleaning wipe to clean up the spots off the carpet. Usually, I use a wipe to clean up vomit stains, but it was for diarrhea this time.

I called the vet, and he advised me to give her extra doses of lactulose. Charlotte was getting a little lethargic and vomited the few cat treats she ate.

She felt miserable and spent most of the day in my bed. That night my husband and I slept on couches so that she could have the bed.

Her butt was sore and still leaking some liquid. Having her on the bed sheet was an easy way for us to contain the messes.

Charlotte Still Can’t Poop and Goes To The Vet

In the morning, she still had not pooped, so I made an appointment for that afternoon with the vet.

When I was in bed with Charlotte to comfort her, she sat on me. I could feel a bulge by her tail. I petted Violet for comparison to make sure I wasn’t feeling bones.

The vet gave her a physical exam. His next step was an x-ray.

The x-Ray revealed a massive fecal plug. It was so large that it was physically impossible for Charlotte to pass the stool on her own.

Cat x-ray showing fecal plug

The x-Ray also showed more poop that was backed up in her intestine. So she had to stay at the vet for a cleanout which included three enemas.

We’ve had Charlotte for a few years, and we noticed that sometimes she walks funny. It’s like her back legs had front legs don’t move in sync. Kind of hard to explain.

So, I asked the vet if maybe her hips were not normal. He needed to do another x-ray from a different angle to find out.

He sent me home to await a call with an update as he planned to do the clean-out process after the last client of the day.

When he called, the update was good. He was able to remove the fecal plug (I didn’t ask for details), but he wanted her to spend the night.

Charlotte Has a Healed Broken Pelvic Bone

Also, the second x-ray revealed healed broken pelvic bone. However, the bone did not heal in the correct position.

Cat x-ray with healed broken pelvic bone

When we took in Charlotte from a friend a few years ago, I noticed that the tip of her tail was broken. My friend said her tail had been run over by a car when she was a kitten. So now, we are assuming her pelvic bone was also broken when she was hit by the car.

Due to the broken bone healing in the wrong position, a bone pushes into her colon, making the opening to pass poop smaller than it should be. And this is the root cause of Charlotte’s poop problems.

The vet instructed us to give her a small dose of Miralax every day. I am not a vet or recommending treatment for your cat, so I will not be revealing the dose. However, you can read how we are giving our cat MiraLax here.

Please get in touch with your veterinarian if your cat is constipated.

Charlotte Couldn’t Poop Summary

Charlotte has gone through periods of not being able to poop easily since we adopted her a few years ago.

During my cat’s most recent episode, she could not poop due to a massive fecal plug. My vet also discovered that her problems are caused by a broken pelvic bone that makes the passage for poo smaller than it should be.

Constipation can be a very serious issue for cats. Fortunately, Charlotte did not develop megacolon. My understanding is that complications and side effects from constipation can lead to death if not treated.

This article shares what happened when my cat couldn’t poop. It is NOT advice on how to treat your cat. Please get in contact with your veterinarian if your cat is constipated.

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Heidi Bender is the writer and founder of the Joy of Cats. She enjoys sharing cat information and providing helpful cat tips. She considers herself a cat lady and currently cares for eight cats.

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