If your cat tends to get constipated a lot you might have considered giving them Miralax to help get things moving again. This is a common OTC medication taken by adults to help with the occasional bout of constipation, but is it OK for cats?
Cats can get constipated for any number of reasons. They may have gotten outside and eaten something they shouldn’t. Or maybe you’ve recently switched cat food brands and they are adjusting to the change. Or perhaps you changed their living environment in some way and they are adjusting to that.
It could also be some silly reason like they just have a hairball that they couldn’t cough up and it made it through their digestive system. Whatever the reason, you want to make sure that you don’t overreact or underreact. Taking the proper steps here is important so the problem doesn’t get worse, and also so you don’t intervene when you shouldn’t.
Can I Give My Cat Miralax? Answer: Not Recommended.
Over the counter drugs are a no-go for cats, for a number of reasons. The first is that they weren’t intended for feline use, and there is not a good way to accurately dose them for it, since their digestive system is completely different than ours, even though we share many of the same organs and body parts. The enzymes that are in a cat’s stomach are designed to break up the kind of food that a cat eats.
A Sign of Other Trouble
Constipation can also be a sign that your cat is suffering from another disorder or disease, if they have it often enough. That’s why it’s a good idea to keep a journal or a log on your cat’s behavior and note down anything unusual like constipation or vomiting. That way you have a tally of it all and if needed you can reference it and be able to spot any trends in their behavior.
By giving them a short term fix you are masking over the symptoms and could be delaying the time it takes to get them the help they need for this problem. Or it could be nothing, and you are treating them for something that would have gone away on its own in due time.
Nature Has Her Way
Nature has a way of taking care of these things, and as humans we might not want to sit with the discomfort of constipation, or we might have to be at work and unable to work through a case of constipation, but a cat doesn’t have this outlook on the situation. They simply recognize it as a part of life, and while they might be uncomfortable they don’t have any responsibilities, nowhere to be, no one to impress, and they can just let time take care of this and let it pass.
That’s why you best bet is to help facilitate them in this by providing the best environment possible for them to get better. This doesn’t include introducing human medication like Miralax to them, as this will be a foreign substance that their body doesn’t know how to handle. It can upset the balance of stomach acids and enzymes and make it so they have more problems than constipation to deal with.
Finding a Healthy Balance
The sort of thing you should do for your cat is to observe them, watch them for any changes, give them the best cat food you can buy, and take them to the vet if things get too severe or you suspect they’ve got a serious condition. Treating their human-like problems with human medicine is never a good idea.
That’s why you should disregard the advice you get from other owners out there, because as well-intentioned as they might be, they are doing you a disservice telling others that it’s OK to give Miralax to a cat. Just because they are treating their cat in this way does not mean that you should as well, even if a vet told them it was OK. You don’t know what sort of vet it was, or what the situation was for that particular cat, so don’t take chances with your own.