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Is Your New Tripawd Cat Not Pooping After Surgery?

Constipation is a normal amputation surgery side-effect in cats and dogs. But there’s always a chance your Tripawd cat is not pooping because of other reasons. Usually the cause is nothing to panic about. So before you do, ask yourself a few important questions.

Purrkins' Recovery Litterbox (Image @purrkins)
Purrkins’ Recovery Litterbox (Image @purrkins)

Questions to Ask If Your Tripawd Cat is Not Pooping After Surgery

It’s not uncommon for a new member to post because their cat is not using the litterbox after coming home from amputation surgery. But it’s important to rule out any medical issues took so you want to always talk to your vet about your concerns.

While you wait for your vet discussion, here are some pawesome questions to ask about your cat’s litterbox habits after amputation, all of them courtesy of Purrkins’ mom, Holly.

Think About Your Cat’s Pooping Habits

Why is your cat not using the litterbox?

Did this just start happening, or has it happened before?

Is your cat straining to poop, vomiting when pooping?

Do you notice if your cat’s poop is hard and dry?

Are there poop balls outside of the litterbox box?

If so that is most likely a constipated kitty.

Now Consider Your Cat’s Litterbox Situation

What is the literbox setup?

Where is your cat pooping? In the vicinity of the box? Somewhere else?

How many litter boxes do you have in your household? If you have multiple cats, do you have at least one litter box per cat?

What type of litter are you using? Has the litter type or brand been changed recently? 

Is the litter box covered? If so, take the lid off. 

Is the box big enough to comfortably turn around in for your new Tripawd cat? Is there easy access Can your cat hop in and out easily with no issues? 

What about the box location? Is the litterbox located in a high-traffic area in the home? 

Is the box in a place where he would feel trapped when pooping? If you have other cats, your new Tripawd cat might be thinking they can ambush him in the box.

When cats feel the most vulnerable, it takes longer to poop. 

Is your cat’s litterbox kept clean? This is critical! No one wants to hop into a dirty box. 

Once you know the answers to these questions you can have a productive chat with your veterinarian. They may prescribe an over the counter cat laxative to move things along. If your cat is still constipated, they may want to do some tests and possible a different motility drug to get his poop moving.

Keep your vet in the loop, and you can always ask the community for support in the Tripawds Three-Legged Cat Forum.

A big thank you to @purrkins Holly for her terrific insight on three-legged (and four-legged) cats!

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