If you’re a pet parent whose cat suffers from the occasional bout of constipation, you might have come across the name Laxatone already. A gentle but effective remedy for hairballs and constipation, this popular bowel stimulant drug has helped millions of cats deal with the discomfort and inconvenience of constipation and resume normal bowel movements. But what exactly is it, and just how safe is it to use? If you’ve ever pondered the pros and cons of treating your cat’s constipation with something a little more medicinal than a hope and a prayer, here’s everything you need to know about Laxatone for cats.
What is Laxtatone for Cats?
Even the healthiest cat can occasionally strain to use the litter box. While most mild cases of constipation aren’t anything to be worried about, they can still cause discomfort. Laxtatone is a gentle, effective bowel stimulant medication that aims to restore normal bowel movements in cats. It’s primarily used to help cats suffering from hairball-related constipation, but can also be used in alleviating the symptoms of constipation caused by other issues. Laxtatone is safe to use, widely available, and available in a palatable format that even the pickiest of cats will love.
What Is Laxatone Used For?
We all know that cats love to groom. While their commitment to cleanliness is admirable, it’s not without its complications. If a wad of ingested hair becomes lodged in the stomach or intestinal tract, it can stop food from passing through the digestive system, resulting in a lot of gagging, retching, and eventually, a neat little parcel of hair and vomit for you to clean up. The lubricating properties of Laxatone can be safely used as both a short-term solution to hairballs and a longer-term aid to prevent them from forming in susceptible cats (e.g. long-haired breeds or heavy shedders) in the first place. In addition to reducing the formation of hairballs, Laxatone can also be used as a gentle and effective treatment for constipation. Bloating, flatulence, abdominal pain, and compacted stools are about as much fun for cats as they are for us, but thanks to the laxative properties of Laxatone, your cat doesn’t need to be left straining over the litter tray.
Why Constipation Shouldn’t be Ignored
As petmd.com notes, cats’ bowel movements often vary, but most healthy cats will typically poop at least once a day. If it’s less frequent than that, if they appear to be straining to relieve themselves, or if their stools are small, hard, and dry rather than well-formed, they may be constipated. A mild, one-off bout of constipation isn’t necessarily anything to get too worried about, and could just be a sign that their litter box needs to be changed (cats are facetiously clean, and may avoid going to the toilet if it’s not up to their standards). However, as vetinfo.com notes, some of the other causes of constipation could require greater attention. These include improper diet, obesity, stress, hairballs, dehydration, injury, or an illness such as a gut tumor, digestive tract abscess, or megacolon, a condition in which the bowel becomes very enlarged and weak. If your cat’s constipation continues for several days, or if it’s accompanied by other worrying signs such as vomiting or lethargy, it’s wise to arrange an appointment with your vet as soon as possible. Left unattended, constipation can become extremely serious, but with the right treatment (which will often include a bowel stimulant like Laxatone), most cases of constipation can be easily resolved.
- What are the Benefits of Laxatone?
- When correctly administered, Laxatone offers a slew of benefits, including:
- Safe and effective treatment of existing hairballs
- Hairball prevention when used regularly
- Gentle, effective relief from constipation
What Ingredients are in Laxatone?
We’ve all gotten used to reading the ingredients on the back of food packages, but it also pays to scan the ingredients in medications. Fortunately, there’s nothing in Laxatone that will raise alarm bells (although as Laxatone does contain sugar, owners of diabetic cats should always check in with their vet before beginning treatment). Ingredients include white petrolatum USP, light mineral oil NF, corn syrup, malt syrup, soybean oil, cane molasses, water, gelatin by-products, sodium benzoate (preservative), and natural and artificial flavors. If you have any concerns about the petrolatum content, you might want to consider Laxatone Natural instead, a petroleum-free formula containing soybean, vegetable, cod liver, flaxseed oils, and beeswax.
What Is The Correct Dosage of Laxatone?
Laxatone might be a safe, gentle remedy, but it’s still a medication and like all medications, it’s important to pay close attention to the dosage guidelines. Your vet will be able to provide specific guidelines for your pet, but as a general indication, most cats will require between half a teaspoon and a full teaspoon for the first two to three days of treatment. For long-term prevention of constipation or hairballs, a quarter teaspoon to half a teaspoon, administered two or three times a week, should suffice.
How Should Laxatone Be Administered?
If you’ve ever tried to get your cat to swallow a pill, you’ll know just how kindly most cats react to taking medication. Fortunately, Laxatone comes in a convenient gel form that avoids the problems often associated with pills and liquid medicines. It comes in a variety of highly palatable flavors like tuna, chicken, and maple which most cats find irresistible. Simply measure out the correct dosage and apply in small amounts to your cat’s nose or paws for them to lick off.
Is Laxatone Safe?
When it comes to giving any kind of medication to our pets, we all want to know that what we’re administering isn’t going to do more harm than good. While you should check the ingredients list to ensure there’s nothing in it that your cat is allergic to, Laxatone is generally considered a very safe, very mild product. As with all medications, keep a close eye on your cat after you administer the first dose in case of a reaction. However, there are no commonly reported side effects to the drug, so provided you consult with a vet before using it and stick to the correct dosage, you shouldn’t notice any ill effects.
How Long Does Laxatone Take to Work?
You can expect Laxatone to start working within five or six days of treatment commencing. In the case of long-term treatment for hairball prevention, it will usually take around two weeks to achieve maximum efficiency.
Is Laxatone Available Over-the-Counter?
Although Laxatone is available on prescription, it can also be bought as an over-the-counter medication. If you decide to buy it over-the-counter, be sure to have a chat with your vet first to make sure it’s an appropriate form of treatment for your cat’s condition.
What are the Alternatives to Laxatone?
Laxatone may be one of the most popular treatments for feline constipation and hairballs, but it’s by no means the only one. As cats.lovetoknow.com notes, a few of the other types of laxatives worth knowing about include:
Sentry HC Petromalt
The chief ingredients in Sentry HC Petromalt are mineral oil, petrolatum, and glycerin, all of which can help break up hairballs, lubricate the digestive tract and keep bowel movements regular. Like Laxatone, it also contains corn syrup, so be sure to check in with your vet before you start using it if your cat has diabetes.
With cod liver oil to promote regular bowel movements and petrolatum to keep the intestinal tract lubricated, Lax’aire is a gentle, effective treatment for both hairballs and constipation. Thanks to the fishy taste of the cod liver oil, most cats won’t put up a fuss about taking it.
Lactulose is a bulk-forming liquid laxative that can help soften dry, hard faces to promote easier bowel movements. It’s available on prescription only, and is often used to treat cats with megacolon, which can cause the colon to enlarge and weaken.
Vetasyl is a natural, over-the-counter remedy that uses psyllium seed husks and barley malt extract powder to promote healthy bowel movements. It can be sprinkled over wet food for easy administration.
Although Metamucil is typically prescribed to people, it can also be used as an over-the-counter drug to treat occasional constipation or bowel irregularity in cats. To administer, add one teaspoon per day to wet cat food.
Laxapet’s combination of lecithin, fish oils, and vitamins can help provide lasting relief from constipation and hairballs in a palatable format. It’s available without prescription and is widely available at pet stores.
Katalax is an over-the-counter medication made from a combination of soft paraffin, cod liver oil, and malt extract. In addition to providing effective relief against hairballs, it can also help promote healthy bowel movements and ease constipation.
Cat Malt is an over-the-counter remedy made from a combination of liquid paraffin and malt extract. It’s designed to help soften dry stools and ease any blockages caused by hairballs.
Microlax is an enema used in the treatment of blockages and constipation. As it’s available only on your prescription, consult your veterinarian if you think it may be an effective solution to your cat’s problems.
Are There Any Natural Remedies For Constipation?
If your vet has ruled out any serious underlying causes of your cat’s constipation, there are numerous methods available that will help promote healthier bowel movements and curb hairball formation. Just a few of the things you might want to try include:
Change their Litter Box
Dogs might not care too much about where their poop, but cats are a little pickier. If their litter box is dirty, they might choose to avoid it completely by ‘holding it’ for as long as possible, a habit that can quickly lead to constipation and other problems. Make it easy on them by scooping several times a day and changing the litter completely on a regular basis. If you live in a multi-pet household, make sure that you have one litter box per kitty to avoid them having to share.
Increase Their Water Intake
Water is crucial for keeping constipation at bay, helping to keep the passages lubricated while stopping stools from drying out and becoming difficult to pass. Unfortunately, cats are notorious for avoiding water. If your kitty spends more time backing away from the water bowl than drinking from it, you might need to think up some creative ways of getting more water into their system. Water fountains can be a great, fun way of getting your cat interested in lapping up more water. Running faucets can also be used to pique their interest. It might also help to place more water bowls around the house – although as cats don’t usually like having their food and water kept too closely together, make sure there’s enough of a distance between their food area and their drinking bowls. Refresh the water daily, even if the bowls are still full.
Switch to Wet Food
Dry food might be convenient but switching to wet food is a simple way to introduce some extra hydration into a cats diet. While you’re on the lookout for a new formula, look for one that’s high in fiber-rich foods like carrots, beets, pumpkin, broccoli, and fruit, all of which can help promote healthy bowel movements. If you don’t want to abandon dry food completely, look for a recipe that’s been specially formulated to help reduce hairballs.
Remember to Groom
Although most cats do a great job of keeping themselves looking presentable, most could do with a helping hand to get rid of loose hairs. Treating your cat to a regular grooming session will keep their coat free of the excess hairs that could otherwise end up forming hairballs in their digestive systems.
Stress, especially over prolonged periods, can wreak havoc on a cat’s delicate digestive system. If there have been any changes to their routine lately (a house move, a new baby, or the loss of a family member or pet, for example), do what you can to soothe their frazzled nerves by keeping their schedules as normal as possible, avoiding any loud noises, and using anxiety-reducing aids like pug-ins and diffusers.