I have a longhaired cat, about 12 years old, who was a stray. Lately, I have noticed blood in the stool. She seems to be feeling OK -- playful, eats well, cold nose and no pain when I put some pressure on her lower extremities. She is an indoor/outdoor cat, and I keep up with her shots.Do you have any idea what the problem might be?.
C.L., Houston, TX Nov 20, 2005
Chronic constipation is a common and painful condition in cats, especially those fed entirely on dry food or a low-fiber canned food. Check your cat's litter box and, with your hand in a plastic bag, feel how hard the stools are. They should "squish" easily. Hard stools can often lead to small tears in the rectum and fresh blood in the stools. The pain associated with defecating can lead some cats to develop a pain-linked aversion to using the litter box, so they evacuate in other parts of the house.Ask your veterinarian about a mild laxative for your cat. Adding a teaspoon of olive oil to her food and a tablespoon of chopped sprouted wheatgrass, alfalfa or mashed lima beans (to add fiber to her diet) will greatly ease her condition.
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