Feline constipation is a common issue that many pet owners will encounter in their cats. It can be caused by hairballs, the side-effects of medication, kidney disease, and various other health issues. It needs to be treated in good time to reduce the risk of any further medical complications arising.
Miralax is used for treating occasional constipation in humans; it is a commonly used over-the-counter laxative.
It has also been observed to be effective for cats and dogs, therefore it’s often used when treating constipation in cats. This is known to be safe when done properly, but the dosage must be correctly calculated.
This article will explain to you how Miralax works, explain how to use it safely for your feline friend, and warn you about some of the potential side-effects of using this drug.
10 Questions & Answers About Miralax For Cats
Let’s go over the basic and most important information every cat owner needs to know in order to use Miralax safely for a cat.
1. What Exactly Is Miralax? What Is Its Purpose?
Polyethylene glycol 3350 (PEG 3350) is the active compound in the laxative known by the brand name Miralax.
To give you a short answer – Miralax is a laxative. It works by attracting water into the colon, softening the stool. That causes the colon to naturally contract so that the stool can be moved along the bowel.
Essentially, the changes in the bowel caused by Miralax help facilitate bowel motion, meaning it makes a person (or cat) poop.
Many cat owners will tell you that Miralax works better for their pets than other laxatives or stool softeners such as Lactulose or Cisapride.
Veterinarians often recommend Miralax nowadays, due to its effectiveness in improving the motility of feces.
2. When Is It Used?
Miralax is usually used in two situations:
a) To stimulate bowel movement in constipated cats
Essentially, this drug will make a cat poop in the case of minor constipation.
If your cat is dealing with chronic constipation, Miralax will not solve the issue.
b) To empty the colon of fecal matter before an endoscopy procedure
An endoscopy is a diagnostic procedure carried out in order to look into the cat’s intestines if the vet suspects an issue in that area.
The form of Miralax used during an endoscopy is not the same one as used for treating constipation. The form used during preparation for the procedure contains electrolytes and veterinarians have to be very cautious about administering the right dosage.
Suggested Read: Blood In Cat Stool But Acting Normal: Causes & Treatment
3. Do You Need A Prescription In Order To Get Miralax?
A prescription is not needed in order to get hold of the most commonly used forms of Miralax. You will probably be able to get it in your local pharmacy.
However, even though you can get it without a veterinarian’s prescription, that does not mean you should use it without your veterinarian’s approval!
It is very important to give your cat this drug as the manufacturer advises it and use the vet-recommended instructions on how to administer it properly. The dose for humans will be very different from the dose for cats.
4. Is It Safe To Give Miralax To Cats?
This is a human-intended drug, however it is safe to be given to cats (and dogs) as well.
As with all medications, safe usage depends on following the vet’s instructions and instructions that come together with the drug.
Some cats should not be using this drug, such as cats that suffer from:
• Gastrointestinal obstruction
• Bowel perforation
• Toxic colitis
• Inflammatory bowel disease
5. When Is It Recommended To Give Miralax To A Cat?
Miralax is safe for use in cats that:
• Suffering from occasional constipation
• Are otherwise healthy
• Are not pregnant or lactating
• Do not take other medications that can interact with Miralax
Never give Miralax to your cat before consulting a vet. They are professionals who know your cat’s medical history and will know best how to relieve your cat from constipation.
6. Dosage: How Much Miralax Do You Give A Cat?
Miralax you get from a pharmacy will be in powdered form (the liquid form is used by veterinarians during endoscopic procedure).
The powder needs to be dissolved in liquid or mixed with the cat’s food (preferably wet food). The powder has no taste, so your cat should not protest too much!
The recommended dose of Miralax powder is 1/8 – 1/4 of a teaspoon twice a day. It’s recommended to give it with canned food.
Your vet will modify the dosage according to your cat’s medical history and current state of health, as well as taking age and weight into account.
7. How Often Can You Give A Cat Miralax?
How fast the drug will work depends on the cat in question. Some cats experience a bowel movement a few hours after having Miralax, while for others it takes a bit longer (usually up to 12 hours).
As miralax should be given only twice a day, please refrain from giving it to your cat more than is recommended. Give it time to work.
Even if your cat does not experience a bowel movement as quickly as you expect, that does not mean a higher dosage should be given.
Most cats need to use Miralax for a couple of days. Others might need to use it for a week or two. Whatever the case might be, it’s important to remember that Miralax should be only used short-term.
If your cat’s constipation issues do not ease after two weeks or more, please see a veterinarian. If your cat has severe constipation and is not passing feces at all, then seek veterinary advice right away.
It could be that your cat is struggling with chronic constipation, and in this case, a long-term solution is needed. Finding the cause of this issue and treating it properly is vital for your pet’s wellness.
8. Can You Give Miralax Alongside Other Medications?
Do not give Miralax together with other laxatives. Giving your cat a lot of laxatives might not have the effect you wish for (making your cat poop faster), as it can actually be dangerous for the cat’s health.
You need to know that Miralax will most likely make your cat poop in a matter of hours.
That means that, if there are any medications in your cat’s digestive system – they will essentially be pooped out too.
With this in mind, make sure to give your cat other medication at least an hour before giving your cat Miralax. That will ensure the drug has time to be absorbed into the cat’s system and not removed through defecating.
Always talk to your veterinarian about the potential interaction of Miralax with other medications your cat is taking.
Recommended: Why Does My Cat’s Poop Smell So Bad? Causes And Solutions
9. What Are The Side-Effects Of This Drug?
As with any other drug, it is possible for your cat to experience some side-effects when taking Miralax.
Potential side-effects of Miralax include:
There aren’t a lot of studies that examine the negative impact of Miralax in cats. In fact, only one study dealt with the usage of Miralax for felines, and the outcome was positive for almost all cats in the study.
However, we do know Miralax can have some side-effects based on the experiences of many cat owners throughout the years.
10. How Do You Know When To Stop Using Miralax?
Sometimes you will need to stop giving your cat Miralax because of adverse effects. If your cat is experiencing the following symptoms, its best to stop using the laxative and consult your veterinarian about the further course of action;
• Vomiting a lot
• Not eating anything
• Not having a bowel movement
If your cat is not having a good reaction to a drug, let your veterinarian know right away in order to spare your feline friend from any further discomfort and pain.
It could be your cat has an intestinal blockage caused by a foreign object (in which case an x-ray might be necessary), or your cat is dealing with obstipation (an extreme form of constipation where the cat cannot physically pass any stool).
It could even be that your cat is suffering from megacolon, which is potentially life-threatening for the cat.
For these health issues, a laxative is not the proper form of treatment, and professional veterinary care should be sought right away.
See Also: Cat Poop Half Firm Half Soft: 5 Reasons And How To Help
Support Your Kitty’s Digestive Health With These Dietary Supplements
Preventing a health issue is always much better than treating the issue when it arises. We all want to spare our pets the discomfort and stress of being unwell.
To prevent constipation in cats, I recommend giving the cat dietary supplements that are designed to ensure healthy digestion. I’ve listed my top 3 choices for products to ensure regular bowel movement below…
1. Purina FortiFlora Cat Probiotic Powder Supplement
✅Very popular and well-known product
✅Safe for cats of any age
✅ Efficiently promotes intestinal health
This product is a very popular dietary supplement, in fact, it is one of Purina’s best-sellers.
It contains a strain of bacteria (E. faecium) known to offer cats many digestive system benefits. It also supports the cat’s immune system and works as an appetite stimulant too.
2. Nutramax Proviable Digestive Health Supplement
✅Contains 7 probiotic species
✅Also contains a prebiotic
✅Stable against gastric degradation
This product will support your pet’s gastrointestinal health with 7 strains of beneficial bacteria.
This is definitely one of the main advantages of this product, as many other supplements contain fewer bacterial strains.
3. Pet Naturals Daily Probiotic for Cats
• Efficiently supports healthy gut flora
• Reduces bloating
This product supports your cat’s digestive system and boosts your pet’s immune system. It does not contain any artificial flavors or unnecessary chemicals.
It is designed to restore balance; it will reduce your kitty’s risk of diarrhea as well as helping with constipation.
Now that you know all about the usage of Miralax for cats, you can ensure your kitty’s issues are resolved safely.
When dealing with gastrointestinal issues, and all aspects of your pets health, hydration is so important. Provide your cat with plenty of fresh water and a high fiber diet. For the best results,feed your cat dry food mixed with wet food.
All of these simple home-remedies and lifestyle choices will help your kitty’s troubling litter box visits.
Remember, whatever medication you use, use it with the DVM’s approval. Miralax may be a common medication, but seek advice on the dosage and administer only the recommended Miralax dosage.
Do not use this laxative for longer than a week or two, or however long your veterinarian recommends.
If your cat still passes hard stools and is still dealing with constipation, the underlying cause of constipation needs to be treated.
If you follow the instructions given in this article, as well as your veterinarian’s guidelines, I’m sure your cat will be perfectly healthy in no time!
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