If you’ve noticed your cat is straining to poop or is pooping out dry, hard pieces of stool, then you know it is suffering from constipation.
In search of a cure, you may have thought of Metamucil. Metamucil is safe for cats, but it is not recommended for long-term use. Read on to see why, and how you can use it properly to treat your cat.
Note: Before you give Metamucil to your cat, consult your veterinarian.
• Metamucil is a brand name for psyllium hydrophilic mucilloid.
Metamucil is a bulk-forming agent that is widely used as a laxative, but also for lowering cholesterol. It is a mix of insoluble and soluble fibers. Insoluble fiber is good for constipation as it easily passes through and adds to the volume of the cat’s feces.
Soluble fiber is good because it absorbs water while it passes through the gastrointestinal tract and softens the feces. This helps cats digest and poop more easily.
When To Use Metamucil For Cats
It sounds contradictory, but you can use Metamucil for constipation in cats, but also for curing diarrhea. These laxatives help with constipation if the cause of your cat’s constipation is an insufficient amount of fiber.
The psyllium helps soften up the cat’s stool and pass it easily. The psyllium adds to the stool volume, plus it can also help firm up a cat’s watery stool, which helps put a stop to diarrhea. It is known to help with IBD.
How To Use It
The preferred method of usage and dosage of Metamucil is adding ¼ teaspoon to the cat’s favorite wet food, once or twice a day. The most important thing when using Metamucil for cats is to make sure your cat is well-hydrated.
Note: Metamucil absorbs fluids while passing through the cat’s GI tract. Do not use it on your cat without consulting the vet.
Is Metamucil Safe?
It is safe, but not for long-term use. You must be aware that fiber supplements, in this case, Metamucil, don’t work for all cats and long-term use should be avoided.
The fact that it adds to the volume of a cat’s stool can aggravate your cat’s constipation over time. Also, chronic constipation in cats is frequently caused by some underlying health problem.
Read more about it in my article about cat constipation and possible treatment options: Make Your Kitty Poop – How To Deal With Cat Constipation.
Side Effects And Contraindications
Metamucil is known for causing flatulence in some cats, especially those that are not hydrated enough while taking this medicine.
Cats that suffer from gastrointestinal blockage or obstruction should not be given Metamucil. It is also possible that your cat will experience an allergic reaction, so if you notice difficulty breathing or other signs of irritation in your cat, call your veterinarian!
What Are Some Alternatives?
Miralax is a laxative that can be used as an alternative to Metamucil. It contains Polyethylene Glycol 3350 as the main active ingredient. Miralax works by absorbing fluid and directing it into the cat’s stool to soften it.
It is recommended that you use ⅛ to ¼ teaspoons, twice a day. You can increase the dosage gradually, up to a maximum dose of 1 teaspoon.
Note: Always talk to your veterinarian before you include any type of medication in your cat’s life.
If you increase the dosage of Miralax too much, your cat might develop abdominal pain, severe diarrhea, or nausea. You can add Miralax to your cat’s water or wet food, or mix it with water and use a syringe to feed it to your cat.
Read more about Miralax in 10 Things You Must Know About Using Miralax For Cats
How To Treat Your Cat’s Constipation At Home
Increase the amount of fiber in your cat’s diet plan. Make sure that your cat drinks enough water every day, especially when constipated. See if there’s a problem with your cat’s bowls; some cats don’t like narrow or small bowls.
Provide your cat with a wide water bowl and food bowl, or consider a water fountain if your cat isn’t very keen on water. Water fountains have proven to be a great solution, according to many cat parents.
As I said, fiber is highly important in every cat’s diet. Check out these pumpkin treats you can make yourself in Homemade Recipes And A List Of Best Pumpkin Cat Treats, or read the review of the top products that contain pumpkin.
If you have tried different meds, treatment options, and home remedies, and your cat is still having trouble pooping, you must visit the vet.
What Will Happen At The Vet’s?
If your kitty is still suffering from constipation and you’re getting concerned, take it to your vet. Here’s a little insight into what might happen once you get there.
Your vet might perform the following procedures:
• a physical examination
• an abdominal x-ray
• blood tests
• an enema
• an abdominal ultrasound
All of these should give your veterinarian the info they need to determine the cause of your cat’s trouble. Following the diagnosis, your vet will prescribe the treatment that will work best for your cat.
Once the stool problem has been eliminated, your cat’s recovery will run smoothly. Your vet will discover if there was any underlying health condition present, and prescribe the best treatment option.
However, you need to follow your vet’s advice and help your cat recover by modifying its lifestyle, diet, or anything else that’s needed to prevent severe constipation from happening again.
Can Metamucil Really Help Cat’s Digestion?
In the case of mild constipation in cats, Metamucil can be helpful since it is a fiber supplement. Fiber is necessary to soften a cat’s stool and it also stimulates contractions of the cat’s colon in order to help pass the stool.
If Metamucil doesn’t help your cat, i.e. if your cat doesn’t poop after more than two days, consult your vet again.
Does Metamucil Help Right Away?
No, it does not. It takes somewhere between 12 and 72 hours for Metamucil to work.
What Time Of Day Is Best For Metamucil?
You can give your cat Metamucil at any time of the day, but it’s always recommended that you provide it with enough clean water so it stays hydrated. It is best to give Metamucil three times throughout the day at your cat’s mealtimes.
Will Metamucil Harm My Cat?
Metamucil won’t hurt your cat if it’s used properly. It is only intended for short-term use because it can lead to dehydration if used for a long period of time. If your cat isn’t feeling better after about 10 days of Metamucil, call your vet.
How Can I Increase Fiber Content In My Cat’s Diet?
In order to increase the fiber in your cat’s diet, the first step is making the right choice of food.
Talk to your vet and have them prescribe your cat foods that contain more fiber. You can also add a bit of cooked (unseasoned) potatoes, carrots, or pumpkin to your cat’s meals.
Metamucil, and many other fiber supplements, are deemed safe to use and are not that hard to find. They can be very helpful in dealing with minor constipation issues.
Always consult your vet before you give your cat any medication. Other than that, always make sure your cat is hydrated and that it drinks enough water.
If you’ve tried the treatment options recommended by your vet, and your cat is still having some issues, consult your vet again. Maybe there’s an underlying issue associated with your cat’s constipation and your vet is the only one that can help.