What to feed cats with feline IBS, diarrhea, or frequent hairballs

file000545729422 300x225 What to feed cats with feline IBS, diarrhea, or frequent hairballsUPDATED July 2013 (Pure Vita added)

I’m hearing from more and more cat lovers who are desperate to help their cats resolve colitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or disease (IBD) symptoms, such as:

  • diarrhea or loose stools
  • constipation
  • frequent hairballs or vomiting
  • digestive reactions to certain foods (e.g., food allergies)

If you can relate, I’ve got good news to share.

I just saw a terribly stubborn case of feline irritable bowel symptoms healed through natural means. In a series of posts starting with this one, I’ll share everything helpful I learned from that case and other research.

I’ll start by doing my best to answer: “What natural food options might help my cat with these symptoms?”

But first, important: I am not a vet. Get a vet involved in your cat’s condition. Sometimes these are symptoms of intestinal or gastrointestinal cancer – and you want to catch that early.

What are feline IBD and IBS?

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is an inflammatory immune-reaction syndrome in the gastrointestinal tract. We know healing has been possible for many humans and cats, but the roots of the condition have not been well understood, so doctors have not had reliable solutions.

The symptoms are regular bouts of diarrhea, constipation, or vomiting. You may also see mucous or blood in the stool. In some cats the only symptom is weight loss. Some may stop using the litter box because it reminds them painful experiences.

IBS has similar symptoms to IBD, and I believe it’s a precursor to IBD. The difference is that IBD is so inflammatory that it causes damage to the intestines. Besides making everyone miserable, the scary thing about IBD is it can be deadly because:

  • a cat can actually starve from a very serious case of IBD
  • some experts believe the inflammation it causes can lead to the intestinal lymphoma which has become so common in cats 

By the way, sometimes what you think are frequent hairballs are actually IBD symptoms. If you have a cat who gags or throws up hairballs more than once a month, consider it suspicious.

Natural cat food picks for cats with IBS/IBD symptoms

Mainstream vet medicine often puts cats with IBS/IBD symptoms on manufactured “hypoallergenic” foods like Hill’s Z/D, but these foods are often high in carbohydrates (fattening) and low in quality protein. And according to expert Elizabeth Hodgkins, DVM, these foods don’t always work either – at least not for long.

In her book, Your Cat: Simple New Secrets for a Longer, Stronger Life, Dr. Hodgkins explains that for mild cases of IBD, grain-free canned diets are helpful.

For tougher cases, she prescribes a raw diet of ground meat with cat-appropriate vitamin and essential-fatty-acid supplements mixed in – she refers to this as a “the most complete cure.”

I agree with her on both accounts. And I have also noticed (and know as a human nutritionist)  that simple foods are the best for digestive issues. I have seen cats that do not do well with foods that have a lot of ingredients, even fruits and vegetables. (More on those in a moment.)

Therefore…

First choice 

My first choice of natural cat foods from my “Best” list with the most simple, digestive-friendly formulas are:

  • Hound & Gatos canned. One of the higher quality choices out there. Several different meat formulas. Best online price may be at http://wholepetsholistic.com. Also available at Pet Food Express stores.
  • Feline Pride raw. The most simple raw food I have found is this one recommended by Dr. Hodgkins. You can order it online if you can’t get it from a local store. Note that, due to slightly higher bacteria risk, raw may not be ideal for cats with cancer or weakened immunity.
  • Pure Vita canned. Simple ingredients, grain-free, low carb.
  • Tiki Cat Koolina Luau and Puka Puka Luau canned. Very simple recipes, but the only option is chicken.

Primal’s raw cat food has also significantly helped cats with IBD. The formulas are not as simple as Feline Pride’s (more vegetables and fiber), but Primal is easier to buy locally, so if it works for your cat, great!

Often IBD cats develop an intolerance for common meats they eat regularly, like chicken. 

They may do better with less common ones like duck and venison. Feline Pride offers some helpful options there because they have a variety of meats to choose from. Hound & Gatos have a variety as well.

In a pinch

If those foods don’t work for you for some reason, you could dip into the “Runner’s up list and 2nd choice brands that offer other types of meats in the most simple formulas: Natural Balance LID (Limited Ingredient Diet) canned cat foods and Life’s Abundance Instinctive Choice cannedBecause Life’s Abundance only sells by the case, online, I suggest getting their trial size first, but most cats seem to love it.

If you want to feed raw food to constipated cats

With some cats, constipation is made worse by foods with ground bones – most raw recipes have ground bones in them. When that’s the case, then you could make homemade raw food with one of these complete supplements.

Please keep in mind that cats can die without enough of certain key nutrients so you need to follow very specific instructions if you want to start a homemade raw diet.

My current supplement favorites for making homemade cat food:

  • Feline Instincts Supplement: They provide a recipe and nutrient supplement, which makes it easy to make sure your cat gets what they need. For constipated cats, I recommend the “No Bones About It” version.
  • Alnutrin Supplement: A good supplement and recipe for bone-free homemade cat food. You can request a free sample here, and they include the simple recipe.

Homemade food caveats: Other than getting the nutrients wrong, the other risk with making bone-free food you don’t grind yourself is that the meat may have unhealthy bacteria. I’ve been told not to use packaged meat raw, and that even fresh ground meat from a butcher may not be pure enough. Fresh unground meat is a safer choice. You could also cook the meat and then add supplement afterward. (You have to add the supplement after cooking, otherwise cooking will degrade critical nutrients, like taurine.) Alas, cooked meat is less digestible than raw meat.

What about vegetables? Do cats need some fiber?

For many IBS or IBD cats, fiber only causes more trouble.

I would avoid them, with one exception, which requires some explanation: Foods high in disaccharides much more readily feed the bad bacteria at the root of inflammatory bowel conditions.

This means we should avoid high-disaccharide ingredients like:

  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • FOS (fructooligosaccharides) – a fiber “prebiotic”

But, for constipated cats, if they respond well to cooked pumpkin or squash, then a little pumpkin or squash are fine to add to their food because those don’t have the disaccharides that feed the bad bacteria.

What if no food on earth is working out?!

Sometimes a new food works for a while, and then the symptoms flare up again. Such was the case with my friend’s cat.

This happens with tough cases of IBS or IBD.  First, I would stick with whatever simple foods cause the least reaction. Secondly, I’d assume a deeper healing of the gut is needed – that was the missing piece that solved my friend’s cat’s problems!

Stay tuned for that story in an upcoming post (update: it’s here). In the mean time, here’s a hint: seek help from customer service at Vitality Science. They are amazing and will get your cat on the gut healing path I’m talking about.

What’s your experience? 

I welcome your cat’s story here – we can all learn from each other!

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77 Responses to What to feed cats with feline IBS, diarrhea, or frequent hairballs

  1. john October 20, 2014 at 10:10 am #

    My 15 year old Maine Coon, Tupper, had been plagued with chronic diarrhea for at least two years. When control also became an issue I looked into the problem further because I wanted another five years with him and he was otherwise healthy. We have restored his solid constitution via the use of a fecal (microbiota) transplant.

    The procedure involved an enema using stool from a healthy animal. We started Tupper with an injection of Cefovecin (a 2 week-long-acting anti-biotic) and a two week series of Metronidazole given concurrently. 48 hours after the last Metronidazole dose I took both cats to the vet and we waited for the healthy animal to provide a good sample. He did so into torn paper and the sample was mixed with saline and provided in an enema to the older cat. Tupper was also given another injection of the Cefovecin at the time of the enema. My vet said this was ok as this drug would not kill the good microbiota. It worked.

    This was a new procedure for my vet when I came to her with it. Our first attempt was done with out the anti-biotics and was unsuccessful. It has been only a week now but we have had no loose stools in the boxes at my home and no accidents or loss of control. I paid about $210 dollars for the procedure and had of course done everything else first including a full blood work up to eliminate other possible causes.

  2. Rida Zaidi October 15, 2014 at 10:20 am #

    i am feeding my 4 months old cat boiled chicken but because of that he has a very bad breath and when he licks his fur he stinks a lot. please HELP!!

  3. Erica September 27, 2014 at 4:41 pm #

    My two cats, Iggy and Zoey, had been fed Wellness Canned Chicken cat food almost exclusively for 6+ years. I was unable to get Iggy to eat anything else, no other flavors of Wellness, no other brands of food in chicken. The Wellness canned food looked as though the consistency had been changing in late 2013 and I wrote to the company and was reassured. One day in early January 2014 both cats on the same day developed unrelenting diarrhea. I tried the usual – boiled chicken and rice, beechnut baby food — to no avail. We were having a really bad winter in NJ and I could not drive to my regular vet in NYC so I went to a local vet I used 10+ years previously. We tried antibiotics, two types, and we changed the food to Hills Reduced Cal and finally zoey improved, but iggy now had liquid diarrhea and was bloated and his intestines were inflammed. He was put on prednisone which did not help much either. Finally the vet put him on Royal Canin Gastrofiber dry food. I was appalled but desperate. If the RC did not work we would have needed to put him on a much higher dose of prednisone and lord knows what other drugs. There was some improvement and then we added a probiotic to his food. Iggy’s poop was copious and somewhat soft, but not liquid and he was making it to the litter box. I dared not change their food.

    Come June I brought them to their regular vet for their annual checkup and he ran X-rays. did ultrasound, and pancreatic function and routine blood tests on iggy and Zoey and both were fine. He also did another stool test. My vet insisted I get them off the Hills and RC dry food. I agreed wholeheartedly. I was given a list of foods to try — slowly. Natural Balance LID with peas – all flavors resulted in soft stools for both cats. Petguard – iggy would not eat it. Stella and Chewy – neither one would eat it. And then I tried Natures Variety Limited Ingredient Canned Duck. Slowly I introduced the new food while using the RC and Hills. After a month both of my cats were eating NV Duck LID and both had firm normal sized stools again. It was a miracle. I branched into Turkey and I am slowly trying to introduce variety. Iggy is stubborn and he loved the duck… certainly better than the RC sawdust he had been eating for 6 months. Finally i got him to eat Turkey and will be rotating between Duck and Turkey going forward. Still perfect bootiful poop. It took awhile and for some days their stools were ok with a bit of softness but now all is good for a solid 3 weeks (pardon the pun). I may see if I can introduce some Lamb. NV is expensive with 3 cans a day, but it worked. Not sure if it will work for other cats with sensitive tummy’s. \

    We do not know what caused the problems in January, but I think that both cats now must have some intolerances to some ingredients — have no idea of which ones. I am sure it was due to the Wellness Chicken since that was all they were eating. I dare not experiment now with anything new. For now I am sticking with what works. Sorry for the long message.

    Hope this helps someone who may have a cat with similar issues.

  4. Kim September 16, 2014 at 7:58 pm #

    Some pet owners on here might want to rule out TF, especially cats from catteries. I’ve been on a 2 yr merry-go-round with ibs diagnosis only to find out it’s been TF all along . My vet said he had never seen it in 30 yrs of practice. Upon investigating, I insisted on testing.

  5. Nancy May 2, 2014 at 1:45 pm #

    I’m just starting to research help for my cat. She has lost a lot of weight in the past few months, without my noticing, and I just took her to the vet recently. They did blood and fecal tests – everything good. They want to do an ultrasound ($450) and a food absorption test ($250), and I’d like to be more conservative – I’ve got limited income.
    What I read today sounds like Kali has Inflammatory bowel syndrome – not sure how bad it is:
    she has OK stools, but has vomited about weekly for some time – hairballs – she is long haired and I don’t brush her much. Didn’t think it was a problem to throw up hairballs, but read it shouldn’t happen more than once a month.
    She had some trauma a month or more ago – I think some other cat terrified her – she wouldn’t stay inside or in the back yard, visited the neighbors and only slept on my front porch. She was active and perky and seemed well otherwise.
    She also had fleas pretty bad – Frontline didn’t help – but now another brand has handled that – but she was itching badly for a few months as well – one vet thought it might be an allergic reaction to our air and gave her a cortisone shot – which reduced the itching for a bit.
    I had changed their food – always good high protein food – but couldn’t get Evo for a while, and she and her brother didn’t like others that were recommended (Call of the Wild or???). For a while I was giving her anything she would eat – treats, Meow Mix. She doesn’t like any canned food, even salmon. She would eat a bit of plain yogurt. When I put them back on Evo she started eating again, but now has vomited 3 nights in a row – no hair balls, liquid and undigested food.
    Her mother vomits if she eats too much at a time, so I suspect she has a similar condition. I suspect that the trauma, the fleas, the itching, and the food changes all contributed to making the condition acute – and I now need to be aggressive with this.
    I’ve only given her a tiny bit of Evo at a time now, and have an appt. with the vet tomorrow.
    I’ll share what I know, and think the Dx of inflammatory bowel disease is a good one to begin to treat – I THINK finding a good food she will try (will she starve herself if she doesn’t like it? should I try prepared food – several brands have been mentioned? or try to find home prepared food? raw or cooked?
    Should I ask them to try to cut down the inflammation with cortisone and/or anti-inflammatory meds to start?
    Do I need to spend the $700 for the ultrasound and other test? I don’t want to be stupid about saving money either.

    • Michelle May 13, 2014 at 6:36 am #

      I had a very similar experience with my rescue cat. His issue is more diarrhea but vomiting and fleas were a problem when I first got him. Lots of testing was done and medications administered. I kept slowly switching him to higher grades of cat food but nothing was working.
      Then I discovered raw food and it has been a life-saver. His vomiting is gone as his constant diarrhea is down to a few episodes a year (probably caused by his habit of trying to eat anything that hits the floor). The itching also went away once we got his food right.
      Now both my cats eat raw rabbit and freeze dried Primal chicken and salmon sprinkled on top. My boy was looking at a life of steroids, b12 shots and monthly vet visits. The dramatic changes started in just a couple of days so it’s worth giving it a try before putting your baby and your wallet through more.
      I recently bought some items from Vitality Science too. I am hoping that there products will help fortify my boy’s GI track so little dietary slip ups don’t produce two days of diarrhea. Raw fixed 95% of my cat’s health issues, I’m just looking to fix the remaining 5%.

  6. Nate March 31, 2014 at 2:44 pm #

    Shelly, I agree Steven is very helpful. I spoke to him on the phone about my cat Sunny’s soft stools because I was interested in giving him Feline Comfort. I mentioned that I feed only the best most expensive foods like raw and TiKi Cat Chicken, when Steven said to be carful with the chicken. He got me thinking because I know a lot of cats can be allergic to chicken but I didn’t think Sunny was. So I fed him only canned rabbit by Hounds and Gatos and the very next day Sunny had a normal stool! So no more chicken for him. I’m still giving him feline comfort to see if his bad breath improves because I was thinking it was from an upset tummy. I’m feeding him Rabbit, Duck, and Venison right now and no chicken. Birds are a natural food for cats so I don’t know why Steven would be against feeding any kind of bird.

  7. Shelley March 26, 2014 at 9:28 am #

    Hi, I found your site after a marathon on-line search of trying to save my cat. Ventura is starving in front of our eyes and it is breaking our hearts. I am desperate at this point.
    Ventura is a 13 year old black “Japanese bobtail”. I got him and his “sister” (unrelated) Catalina at the shelter when they were 3 months and 4 months old. They had an extremely rocky start with fleas and respiratory issues that kept them hospitalized for days followed by hours in the bathroom with the hot shower on and the steam machine going full blast. My husband and I would sit in there and hold them while we all inhaled the steam, and this became our real bonding time. Them with us, and them with each other and to this day the bathroom is their favorite “safe place” .

    Since then they have been relatively healthy cats living as indoor outdoor cats. I trained them to come when called by giving them a cookie (whiskas or a few bits of meow mix dry cat food) every time they came. They are let outside only when we are home, and never after dark. If they disappear for more than 1/2 hour, then we are out looking for them, calling them (with “cookies”) and they always come running to jump on the counter to receive their “cookies”. This routine has worked very well all of their lives, letting them enjoy their freedom outside, yet keeping them close to home and safe. Their normal diet has been California Naturals chicken and rice dry food, or the “Costco” brand equivalent, with an occasional small can of Fancy Feast split between them as a special treat…

    Then, last October everything changed. Ventura started losing weight. The vet diagnosed him with hyper thyroid, possibly moving into thyroid cancer. Our only option was to monitor his weight loss and feed him as much as he would eat. But then he started having loose stools, then liquid diarrhea. The diarrhea became chronic and uncontrolled at 4 or 5 times a day and he began losing more weight. After multiple stressful vet visits, nothing has helped.

    Now he has been diagnosed with IBS or IBD. He is taking prednisone, flagyl, fortiflora, and an anti-vomiting med (yes he was vomiting all his food too and anything that managed to stay down came out the other end as liquid)

    After a couple of months using this medication, nothing has changed for the better. Things are getting worse. Ventura will not eat….our routine is so upset that now Catalina (our healthy female) is now refusing to eat…not even cookies, although I do see her sneak food out of their always full bowl of dry food when we aren’t looking. I’m not too worried about her yet, but I think the disruption of normalcy is affecting her. She spends time under the bed, which has always been a last resort hiding spot (fireworks, people visiting with dogs etc, thunder)

    Sorry for the very long post, but that leads me up to current. I might add that Ventura was under stress because of a neighbor cat that was literally stalking us…he would come to all of the windows and the cats would fight through them. I removed this stress about 2 weeks ago when I finally had to get very firm with the neighbor about keeping their cat home. This after weeks of her suggesting I lock my cats upstairs with no windows, or putting curtains, or squirting her cat with a hose to scare him… NO, you keep your cat home or I am catching it and turning it in to our local shelter so you will be forced to deal with him… Although she apparently is keeping her cat home now, Ventura is still obsessed about checking the windows constantly and marking everything when let outside.

    In desperation, as mentioned at the beginning of this post, I took to the Internet this weekend, where I found this site among others. I have tried switching foods and have had no luck until yesterday when I tried Dick Van Pattens natural balance venison and pea. Ventura ate almost 1/2 a can and Catalina the same. This morning I tried “By Nature” ocean fish, and again success with eating, albeit, not much….

    After reading this blog (and I thank you so much) I immediately called Vitality Science on Monday. I got the answering service who said I needed to talk to a customer service person and she would have someone call back. They didn’t call back Monday, but did call Tuesday.

    It wasn’t really a “customer service” person at all, but the owner of the company, Stephen Becker. He spent at least a half hour with me talking about what to do for Ventura. He put together a package of products that I hope to receive by tomorrow. I wish I had asked for express mail as I am so desperate. I have left calls for my new vet, who is out of the office until today. My old vet called it quits soon after Ventura was diagnosed with the hyper thyroid and resulting weight loss. I miss him because he always called back right away even when he was out of the office!

    Anyways, back to vitality Science. I don’t know if these products will save my cat. What I do know is that this man is passionate about saving pets. He gave me hope! He gave me instructions to get food into my cat even if I have to do it by syringe. He gave me a list of foods Not to feed my cats. Top of the list was BIRDS. No birds. No wheat, no soy, no grains, no white potatoes. He gave me a huge list of good food brands to try. He gave me his time.
    All of it I am very appreciative of. He even sat through my frequent bouts of tears.

    I’m a bit curious why some people are so adamant about a certain brand of food that is made from chicken when any bird is at the top of the do not feed list. Maybe different things for different cats..

    The change from dried food, to not eating at all to canned (raw was rejected immediately, even the freeze dried) is difficult, but we are doing it.

    I can’t thank you enough for all of the info provided here, and I pray I can save my sweet little guy. I miss his purring on my pillow at night as he no longer sleeps through the night with us. His “sister” is eagerly awaiting his recovery as well. She wants her routines back and wants all of us in bed together sleeping and purring the whole night through.

    • Sheila August 7, 2014 at 7:34 am #

      Shelley, I am interested to know how things are with Ventura. I also have a Japanese Bobtail (black) Bear Bear who was diagnosed with IBD. I am working through this now.

      Just a note, in regards to the thyroid issue, i had a 12 year old cat who lived for years with hyperthyroid condition. They can control this through steroids. Its not fun to give cats medication and I prefer to go the natural route as well, but sometimes its a necessary evil.

      • Shelley Davis September 28, 2014 at 3:47 pm #

        Hi Erica,

        Sadly, my sweet Ventura lost his battle with his illness and had to be put “to sleep” 5 weeks ago. It was one of the most horrible things I have ever had to do in my life. Sure, we have all lost pets in our lives because unfortunately they just do not live as long as we do. And I have lost pets in my life as well.

        But, I truly think that at least once in our lives, if we are blessed, God sends us a pure little soul all wrapped in fur that truly touches our own soul. Ventura was that soul. And I know his soul lives on, maybe to be reborn to give his pure love to some other lucky person. That is my wish anyways.

        My story continued after I first posted. With the help of the vitality science product, his diarrhea was getting better, but again he refused to eat. Another trip to the vet and advised we should do an ultrasound. We took him to a vet specialty clinic who did the procedure and they were able to do a biopsy as well through a needle drawing out fluid. The bad news was that he had cancer. It was called mast cell cancer that did not form tumors, but rather free roaming cancer cells as I understand. After a lot of contemplation we decided to go with the chemo therapy. To our amazement, he had no side affects, he began eating and gained 2 lbs. we were ecstatic. Unfortunately this is not a long term solution and the chemo continued every 3 weeks. He felt and acted great right after, but each time the results were not as dramatic. In late August he lost his appetite again (his sister even brought him a mouse to eat). Another trip to the oncologist who told us she thought he was right on track and to keep up the chemo. I could tell he was slipping though. I would feed him a literal buffet of anything, just to get him to eat. He ate things he didn’t eat before, and turned his nose up at his favorites, but he did start eating……until he didn’t again. This time I noticed he was breathing hard. I never notice my cats breathing, but I could see his body working to breath. Another trip to the vet showed he had fluid around his lungs that the Dr. drained. Again, he was a new cat, loving life. Until just 2 weeks later his breathing was labored again one night. By morning he was panting and could barely get a breath. It was a horrible nightmare watching my sweet boy not being able to breath. I called the vet and they got him in immediately and drained his lungs again and again, he was loving life. Then, it was 7 days later and drained again with twice as much fluid, then 3 days later. After this time with consultations it was obvious we couldn’t keep taking him in every 3 days to drain his lungs. We made an appointment with our vet to come to the house to put him to sleep in 4 days. Only it didn’t happen that way. By the next day he was already struggling to breath and I called the emergency vet, who came to the house. He said it was time. My husband was bawling so hard that he couldn’t talk. I was too, but got it together enough to hold my precious little soul in my arms while the vet gave him a sedative…. Only my boy didn’t fall asleep. The Dr. gave him another sedative. Enough to take down a human he said. Still Ventura didn’t close his eyes. So I held that little precious bundle of fur while the vet gave him the final fatal injection. It went quickly then, but I was horrified. I’m still horrified. I held my cat that I loved more than anything with his eyes wide open and allowed him to be killed. That was 5 weeks ago. I’m left with seeing a vision of him looking at me while I had him killed. I will never get over it. I still cry daily. His sister howls, still looking for him. The vet assures us that he didn’t know what was happening and that cats don’t close their eyes…. It didn’t seem like that to me. It still doesn’t.

        We did what we had to do. The alternative would be to see him drowning in his own fluids. [A few sentenced edited out here - sorry Shelley, I respect and understand your feelings, but what was written here before could be misinterpreted as alarmingly violent too some. - editor]

        So that is the end of my story of a little soul in the form of a watermelon loving black cat with a curly short tail, yellow eyes and a heart of gold whose greatest pleasure in life was to have some part of him touching one of us, whether it be his head on an arm, a paw on a hand or his whole body wrapped around one of us in some fashion.

        Rest in peace my dear sweet Ventura and may your soul once again touch someone else’s as it touched ours.

  8. azure March 18, 2014 at 4:37 pm #

    my bengal kitten used to love boiled chicken (i mix the nutrients/vitamins in later) but a week after i got him he started having diarhea and absolutely refused to eat anything. the vet meds seem to stress him out even more, he hasnt bonded with me yet so just giving him meds is like torturing him. anyway, boiled eggs is the only thing he will eat voluntarily and i sneak the kitten canned food in there. he is playing and ating again but still having the runs. the vet prescribed probiotics and ive been feeding him that. but its been two weeks! HELLLPPPP

    • Drikus August 6, 2014 at 1:44 am #

      Hi There
      I am a registered Bengal Breeder in South Africa. Our one female had diarrhoea for a very long time( since we got her as a kitten) we have tried a lot of different diets and food brands. In our cattery we feed raw as well as high quality kibble. Hills has a Sensitive Stomach food… that did not make any difference . A while ago we tried their Ideal Balance ( the grain free one with Chicken and Potato and this was the 1st firm stools she had in more than a year. I cant guarantee that it will work for you- but it might be worth a try

  9. azure March 18, 2014 at 4:36 pm #

    my bengal kitten used to love boiled chicken (i mix the nutrients/vitamins in later) but a week after i got him he started having diarhea and absolutely refused to eat anything. the vet meds seem to stress him out even more, he hasnt bonded with me yet so just giving him meds is like torturing him. anyway, boiled eggs is the only thing he will eat voluntarily and i sneak the kitten canned food in there. he is playing and ating again but still having the runs. the vet prescribed probiotics and ive been feeding him that. but its been two weeks!

  10. Alistair March 18, 2014 at 3:41 pm #

    Liz, do you think all the gums used in Hounds and Gatos canned food is anything to be concerned about?

  11. Margaret Skoog RN BSN February 3, 2014 at 11:47 am #

    6 month old kitten, noted from time of weaning to be constantly straining at stool, seldom stooling. Brought into bathroom with other late fall kittens abandoned at one week and being dropper fed. This kitten has been to the vet x 3 to be enema-ed, vet recommends nothing but tuna in oil and extra oil, Vaseline in mouth daily, just not working. Kitten’s appetite is less than good. Kitten is bright eyed, very affectionate and social. Thinking of raw food diet. Coming by and reading all the comments. Have owned lots of cats thru the years, never had a cat like this. Any ideas? Would appreciate any help other cat owners could give. Thank you.

    • Liz-cat February 3, 2014 at 1:06 pm #

      Margaret, our Joel was a lot like that when we adopted him as 6 months. Here’s what worked for him:
      1. Grain free, simple food – the fewer ingredients, the better, but definitely had to avoid potatoes too. (all foods on http://www.naturalcatcareblog.com/bestcatfoods page are grain free)
      2. About 1/2 to 1 tsp 100% pure canned pumpkin with 1 meal per day when he was very constipated. Works like a charm.
      3. Pet Flora by Vitality Science (Easy Go is another formula they make that helps) for several months to help heal his gut flora balance & gut lining.

      Caution – we made the mistake of giving him a raw food that contained ground bones – it made the constipation worse: the bones became so compacted in his colon that he needed a terribly unpleasant procedure to resolve the situation! Never again will we give him food with ground bones!

      (I avoid vaseline at all costs – not meant to be eaten! yuck)

      • Margaret s February 3, 2014 at 4:04 pm #

        Thanks Liz-cat for the very prompt response. We have been doing the tuna with oil and a can of Fancy Feast (usually) Tender Beef Feast or Liver, but not the meats in gravy. Has vitamins and minerals and guar gum (?) added. Usually a bit of pumpkin but it didn’t seem to make any difference. The vet just looked at me like I was from outer space when I said pumpkin… I ordered Easy Go after reading and re-reading thru this webpage and also ordered the Super Cat Food Supplement. Haven’t ever done the Vaseline thing. Actually I do Young Living Essential Oils, have been putting NingXia Red, about a tsp on the food every day as well. Starting a drop of DiGize orally as well. I do essential oils instead of chemicals for flea and tick control, they work well without harsh nasty chemicals.

        • Liz-cat February 3, 2014 at 4:25 pm #

          Funny, my vet is the one who TAUGHT me about the pumpkin! Your cat might need a bit more, but this gut imbalance stuff can be complex. Chances are that what you ordered will help though — it always seems to.

          I think it’s great that you are finding alternative flea control options, but there are some real concerns that essential oils are not safely processed by cat’s- they lack a particular liver enzyme. Here’s an exploration of that: http://www.naturalcatcareblog.com/2012/05/cats-and-essential-oils-perfectly-safe-now-exploring-the-controversy/

          best wishes & health to you guys

          • Margaret February 3, 2014 at 5:27 pm #

            Oh Liz-cat, glad to know the pumpkin worked, will retry it. I use only Young Living Essential Oils, in very tiny amounts, totally pure, not cut, nothing added. I use only the oils recommended by Dr Melissa Shelton, the holistic vet from Minnesota and the author of The Animal Desk Reference. Her story of coming to oils is in the beginning of the book. She was a traditional vet for many years. I also like her book Essential Oils for Natural Pet Care. These oils are more expensive than the oils one might buy in the health food store but as I said they are completely pure. Haven’t had any negative reactions. Thanks for visiting with me here, can’t wait for the other products to come, hope they will give our baby some help and am looking into food we can order on line for him as well. Thanks again.

  12. Barbara January 9, 2014 at 1:54 pm #

    Read my comment above.

  13. Barbara January 9, 2014 at 1:50 pm #

    I feed my cat, Bella, Pure Vita which resolved her diarrhea problem in no time. It is high quality food, grain free and contains pre and probiotics to maintain a healthy digestive system. Pure Vita also comes in turkey and chicken stew canned food. Bella loves it! Good luck!

    • Karyn January 10, 2014 at 4:42 pm #

      Can pure Vita be purchased in retail pet stores? Sounds like a good product .

      The vet thinks a family members 12 yr old cat has IBS . he is currently on ZD ($2.50 a can) They have not ruled out cancer they want to do ultra sound costs $500 He had inflammation so the doc has him on steroids.(ugh) Doing well on the can only had dry before (ugh) it wasn’t natural either. He gained 1 lb of the 6 lbs he lost he still eats a little dry not much so he will throw up sometimes I told them get rid of that dry it has corn in it and other products that I’m sure he is allergic to

      This cat had digestive problems for many years. 6 mos ago this cat was very ill- vomiting diarrhea and became dyhdrated. Anti- botics helped him though that ,but I knew it would come back as they made no diet changes sure enough it has – he could have developed tumors now-it’s just something you cannot just go to the vet and get a drug to cure it. It’s not my cat and try as I may no one listens too me.

      I will be more then happy to purchase the Pure vita-for them yhy aren’t open to supplements.

      I give 100% pure colostrum to my cats is a great product for cats esp with digestive issues. I use to boost their immunes system ,.

      T

    • Karyn January 10, 2014 at 4:45 pm #

      Can pure Vita be purchased in retail pet stores? Sounds like a good product .

      The vet thinks a family members 12 yr old cat has IBS . he is currently on ZD ($2.50 a can) They have not ruled out cancer they want to do ultra sound costs $500 He had inflammation so the doc has him on steroids.(ugh) Doing well on the can only had dry before (ugh) it wasn’t natural either. He gained 1 lb of the 6 lbs he lost he still eats a little dry not much so he will throw up sometimes I told them get rid of that dry it has corn in it and other products that I’m sure he is allergic to

      This cat had digestive problems for many years. 6 mos ago this cat was very ill- vomiting diarrhea and became dyhdrated. Anti- botics helped him though that ,but I knew it would come back as they made no diet changes sure enough it has – he could have developed tumors now-it’s just something you cannot just go to the vet and get a drug to cure it. It’s not my cat and try as I may no one listens too me.
      They aren’t open to supplements.

      I give 100% pure colostrum to my cats is a great product for cats esp with digestive

  14. heather December 31, 2013 at 3:51 am #

    My poor JimBob was found less than a week old on the cold pavement of a barn floor, abandoned by his mom. He was dewormed, as recommended by the vet, but he was such a sickly little guy- he never thrived… Months later he was still sickly, diarrhea, vomiting, gawd awful flatulence… he was diagnosed with coccidiosis- it had taken a toll on his intestines- the vet described them as spaghetti, and very thickened.

    Different foods, probiotics, all bandaid solutions… he’s really failing now, and only 1 year old… help!

    He used to be so full of life and humor- my animal communicator says he is definitely not himself… I cant watch him slip away to nothing… he was my fallen angel when my other baby was struck on the road…

  15. E October 31, 2013 at 9:44 pm #

    I don’t feel comfortable with the Natural Balance LID because it has peas in it. Are peas really OK for cats? I am trying to find something that is something I don’t need an Rx for like Iams, which my cat loves (of course!). He has stress-related IBS. I have loads of questions. But for now, I’m looking for a good quality wet food that will help that he will eat. He’s not very picky. The only food he turns his nose and tummy up to is a dry food. And I’d like to not put him on a raw diet. So, any suggestions would be great!

  16. Karen September 25, 2013 at 6:08 am #

    Your article and posts are so helpful and informative. I have a 6 month old kitten that has chronic diarrhea. He’s been to the vet and has been treated with a probiotic and antibiotic but it ultimately seems to be linked to his diet. I have switched him over to Natural Balance LID canned foods and he’s improved greatly. My question is, I had also tried adding small amounts of the Natural Balance LID dry but that seems to bring back the diarrhea. Why would this be? Is there anyway I can give him the “crunch” experience dry food? Of course he loves and misses it very much! How much should I be feeding him? He always seems to be hungry and I feel as though I’m not feeding him enough.

  17. Christine Zois August 30, 2013 at 7:04 pm #

    Jody, I have a Japanese bobtail who has been suffering with cronic diahreah since he arrived here a year ago. Have done every test know to vet-kind. After reading through the entire web page, http://catinfo.org/, I came to the conclusion that eliminating all the Blue Buffalo dry food was the next step, hence a week ago, I switched the entire pride to only wet, Friskies canned PATES only, no soy, gluten, wheat, or flour. I can report, that FINALLY, the litter pan is full of nugget formed poops. I believe the Blue is just way too rich for some cats, and not necessarily the ultimate choice nutritionally, since the company does not choose to devulge the nutritional values. Take a look at this part of the web page to comare the different brands and their nutritional breakdowns. Even the Paul Newman isn’t the optimal choice…: http://catinfo.org/docs/FoodChartPublic9-22-12.pdf
    So happy to have them off the crack dry food.

  18. Jodi August 30, 2013 at 1:02 pm #

    I have been giving my Siamese Blue basics since march and he was doing very well on it. however I think it is not as effective as it was. He is on his second bout of rreah in a month so I need to come up with a new plan. In the interim I am feeding him cut up boiled chicken which works very well but I know this is not the best solution as he is not getting vital nutrients he needs. I also have 2 other cats that I switched to the blue so I wouldn’t have to feed them separate. so what to do now? can I keep feeding him boiled chicken? Is there a product I could add to it so he gets the nutrients he needs? Is there a cheaper alternative out there that anyone would suggest? I am so frustrated!!!

    • Christine Zois August 30, 2013 at 7:07 pm #

      Jody, I have a Japanese bobtail who has been suffering with cronic diahreah since he arrived here a year ago. Have done every test know to vet-kind. After reading through the entire web page, http://catinfo.org/, I came to the conclusion that eliminating all the Blue Buffalo dry food was the next step, hence a week ago, I switched the entire pride to only wet, Friskies canned PATES only, no soy, gluten, wheat, or flour. I can report, that FINALLY, the litter pan is full of nugget formed poops. I believe the Blue is just way too rich for some cats, and not necessarily the ultimate choice nutritionally, since the company does not choose to devulge the nutritional values. Take a look at this part of the web page to comare the different brands and their nutritional breakdowns. Even the Paul Newman isn’t the optimal choice…: http://catinfo.org/docs/FoodChartPublic9-22-12.pdf
      So happy to have them off the crack dry food.

      • Lynne Johnson February 24, 2014 at 2:37 pm #

        Hello, I was buying Blue Buffalo kibble for two months for my 3 cats. I thought it was a healthy choice after Purina One, but one of my cats started having the worse diarrhea. After bringing him to the vet twice and trying two parasite medications my vet determined Prince likely has Inflammatory Bowel Disease. In the meantime I researched Blue and found many complaints about vomiting/diarrhea for cats and dogs on the Consumer Affairs webpage. I’m not claiming Blue caused his IBD, it’s likely been progressing to this from years of feeding him high grain foods:( But, I can tell you that I got rid of all the Blue Buffalo kibble and decided to go grain free. Prince was picking through the Blue kibbles anyway and only eating the dark brown vita pellets, so there was definitely something he didn’t like.

        After days of researching IBD and trying to find foods without grain I came across this blog–Thanks so much Liz-Cat!!! I have tried several things to see what Prince prefers since he’s lost his appetite. He’s still on his prednisone and is slowly getting better so I can’t tell whether his grain free diet is a result yet (it’s still so new). For wet food we’ve tried Wellness Core (which is what my vet recommended, but has carageenen), Nature’s Valley Instinct (both limited diet and regular), Tiki chicken, and Natural Balance LID. Prince really liked the Nature’s Variety turkey LID so I ordered a case from Amazon today. I also ordered Hound and Gato’s lamb and pork cases off of Pet360 today; I haven’t tried it but there’s a deal for 10% off and free shipping so I figured I’d try, esp after reading several sites state that cats with IBD should have several protein sources in case Prince starts having – reactions to one.

        Because I have a superfeeder and want to have a grain free dry food option for when I’m out of town I put Nature’s Variety duck&turkey kibbles in the feeder. None of the cats seem very excited about it but it’s an option I feel comfortable with and nobody has puked after nibbling. Before this I tried Nature’s Balance LID: pea and duck, but it made both Prince and Deja throw up so I returned the bag.

        I’ve also bought Nature’s Variety frozen chicken and duck in the small bags to try. I would have preferred other flavors but didn’t want to buy larger bags b/c I wasn’t sure. Two of my cats liked the raw meat and acted like it was a special treat; unfortunately Prince didn’t like this option but I think it’s nice to have the frozen option available.

        I ordered the trial samples of Honest Kitchen Prowl and Grace from their website (they came in two business days!), but none of my cats liked this dehydrated food at all. I also bought trial boxes for my mom’s four cats and none of them liked it:( The Life’s Abundance trial pack came in the mail today so we’ll try the wet food in the next day or two. It’s good to know that both companies have trial options so one doesn’t have to purchase in bulk only to find their cats may not like the food.

        I just want to really thank you Liz-Cat for coming up with the best foods list and specific recommendations for cats with IBD! It was so overwhelming to go to multiple pet stores and not know what to buy. Prince has moved to a completely grain free diet and I’m transitioning my other two cats to grain free as well (one refuses to eat anything but Petguard so I’m giving her half of what she wants and half grain free); I hope they live long, happy, healthy lives!

    • Karyn August 31, 2013 at 2:27 pm #

      I have a cat who had blood in her stools at one tme she was very ill. I give her grain free blue wilderness and flying Bassett 100 %OLOSTRUM (Best prices )t is very important to give 100% pure colostrum and it will heal the gut.,but I have since found out that the wildness is not always the best food for a ibd cat. too rich. My11 yr old Gracie is doing well on it. Some cats are sensitive to chicken. Make sure your cat has the basic grain free turkey and potato. I also give her traders Joes canned cat . no-by products @ .70 per can, for a cat with Ibd A vet told me to give her more can then dry. it is always best to switch foods slowly I would start out at 10% new food and see how she does then.increase after a few days.. if she is not doing well go back to the 10%.

      • Lynne Johnson March 28, 2014 at 8:46 pm #

        Hello Karyn, I’m not sure how I missed your message. Thanks for the advice. I actually have Prince on a grain-free wet food diet now, no fish or chicken. Most of the food I bought was after reading the information and suggestions from this site. Since Prince went from grain filled dry food to no-grain wet his switch was abrupt, but needed to be as he has some serious bowel issues. He’s still ill and I ordered that Vitality Science 3 part treatment listed somewhere on this site; just waiting for it to arrive. And he’s getting vitamin B shots weekly, mirtazapine for nausea/appetite stimulant, and prednisone. I hadn’t heard of colostrum before today, so will check it out.

  19. Karyn June 17, 2013 at 2:32 pm #

    Does anyone know about Blue basics dry being helpful for cats with IBS? -I like most of the ingredients except for the potatoes.

    I’m house sitting my11 yr grand kitty he was just treated a few days ago IBS or colitis (still recovering). he’s only fed dry Purina the vet said any changes in diet or supplements to do very slowly

    For. I’m trying to find a simple plan for him My son not going to do the raw food route .I’ve been trying for years to add can to the diet and switch to a natural food. They are willing to switch kibble . I think they we also let me get him some colostrum which I give to all my pets..

    This cat was so sick he was vomiting and had bloody diarrhea -thank god he doing better now Any suggestion ?? Just need to keep it simple right now!!

    • Christine Zois August 7, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

      I would give him a Drontal before trying anything else.

  20. April Austin May 30, 2013 at 6:04 am #

    Hi – thank you for all this amazing information. I have two male 7-month old Abyssinians – both have runny stools. They are on Orijen and Weruva Paw-Lickin Chicken. I’m thinking of switching the Orijen to Nature’s Variety Instinct either Chicken Meal or the limited ingredient turkey-meal. Raw food – I did try raw rabbit with them for a while and after two feedings they will not touch it. I’m thinking the fish in the Orijen was too much for them. Guess I’ll find out when I switch – I also ordered Royal Canin kitten – I will definitely take time in switching the foods and will only try one different brand at a time – and slowly. Any suggestions would be appreciated. I’m still reading through everything on your great site :)

    • Jenny May 31, 2013 at 11:03 pm #

      I have an Aby too that has runny stools! She eat Nature’s Variety Instinct chicken right now and still has the runny stools. I’m going to try a raw food to see if that helps. Good luck!

  21. Jodi May 6, 2013 at 8:51 pm #

    I posted here last month about my Siamese Kitten with Gastro issues, I was looking for ideas on what food to get him on to help him. Well after a few trial and errors I found blue freedom grain free canned and Blue basic grain free kibble. It worked! I worked it in slowly first with the canned mixed with the hills I/D and gradually got him on that and then added the kibble a few weeks later. I also feed him 3 times a day separate from the other kitties. It’s a hard job especially with 2 year old twins and 2 older kids but so worth it to see him thriving! Every once and a while he gets into the pantry where the other cats food is and tries to gorge himself on their kibble and he will get diarreah, but all in all he is SOOOO much better! as soon as I go through the remainder of the food I already had for the other cats, they are all going to be put on the Blue basic. I’m very happy with it!

  22. Shenzy May 6, 2013 at 6:29 pm #

    Hi,
    Very informative post. My cat Braveheart is having the same problem I think. He is 3 years old, male. He was a very healthy and active outdoor cat. He is a local cross breed.

    4-5 weeks ago I noticed him purging. It was watery and yellow and sometimes like mucous. However it did not stink. Stools just kept passing without him knowing of it. So I took him to the vet. The vet wanted to eliminate worms. So gave him worm treatment. This did not stop his condition. I felt it became worse. I usually feed him with bland cooked brown rice and fish (sardins). Braveheart loves this diet. But since nothing was happening I thought of shifting to dry cat food in the market. So I gave him Whikas. Brave has never had Whiskas before so he didn’t eat it dry. I soaked it in water and mixed with cooked brown rice and then he started eating. I noticed a slight improvement in his condition but still took him to the vet again.

    This time the vet gave him Dygitone and Metronidazole with Vitamin B. By this time Brave was had got used to eating dry whiskas. After about 3-4 meals of dry Whiskas and 1-2 dose of the Dygitone, Metronidazole, Vitamin B medication he completely recovered. This was about 6 weeks after he first started purging. He was gaining weight again and seemed less stressed. I am however not sure if it is the medication or the Whiskas that brought his condition to a control. Since his condition got better I stopped Metronidazole and Vitamin B because he doesn’t like taking medicine and also it stresses him out. I just kept him on Dygitone. Later I started mixing dry Whiskas with cooked brown rice, which he happily ate. However after 2-3 meals of switching to this diet, one day he started yelling and yelling and seemed restless. I figured something was wrong and then he started purging again.

    I am really worried. I think it is the wet food that is causing him this problem. We live in Sri Lanka and here you don’t get much option on dry cat food in the the market, the only thing available is Whiskas and it is so expensive. I researched on the net about alternatives and realized that corn is bad, fish is bad, etc. What other dry food can I give my cat. Would bland cooked chicken do? Have any of you tried any food that may be you could share here, Thanks.

    • Barbara May 6, 2013 at 7:08 pm #

      Hi. My cat had loose stools and my vet suggested Pure Vita chicken flavor. My cat does not have anymore loose stools from switching to Pure Vita. It’s healthy and it’s made in us. They have a phone number if u have questions. I’m fussy with what I feed my cat. Whiskas as is a low grade food. Maybe that’s why this is happening. You can order Pure Vita Cat food online. U can also go to any pet store and they may order it for you if you don’t have it there. Good luck!

      • Shenzy May 6, 2013 at 8:28 pm #

        Thanks for the tip Barbara, I will try the Pet hospital in Colombo they might sometimes have an option. Didn’t think of it before.

      • greer123 October 23, 2013 at 8:15 am #

        barbara please stop! you reply to every post with the same schtick?? what gives?? do you work for this company?? there is NOTHING about the food youre pushing that is any better or significantly different than all the other natural brands out there. you said your peace, must you repeat it, endlessly, after every single person posts?

    • Liz-cat May 6, 2013 at 7:57 pm #

      Shenzy, I would avoid all rice! That’s a grain and all grains can trigger IBS reactions in cats. I think your cat was reacting to it.

      If you have very limited food choices, I would sooner feed a food that has fish in it than a food that has grains in it.

      I don’t see why wet food would cause an IBS reaction – I’m sure it’s not the moisture, it’s the ingredients. Grain-free wet food is the healthiest food for a cat.

      Can you order foods online, like from Amazon.com? The foods I recommend are here: http://www.naturalcatcareblog.com/2010/12/the-7-best-natural-commercial-cat-foods-so-far/

      The trouble with just feeding homemade food only, like chicken, is there are critical nutrients your cat won’t get. If a cat doesn’t get enough taurine, for instance, this can be fatal. Taurine is largely destroyed by cooking. I would only feed homemade food with homemade recipes and nutrient mixes like those from Alnutrin and Feline Instincts, both of which you can find and order from online.

      • Shenzy May 6, 2013 at 8:38 pm #

        Yes I can order online. I did suspect the rice, but am so scared to give him anything at the moment because I don’t want it to aggravate his condition.

        Thanks for the food recommendations and tips. I have researched so much and this blog of yours has given be plenty of relief, just to be able to share my story and get some insight into this topic. Thanks a lot once again and keep up the good work. Will keep you all posted on Brave’s condition.

        Actually the next time I visit my Vet I will insist on getting a diet recommended although I have asked my vet several times, I was advised that Brave does not need any special diet change. But even if his condition gets better as you said I should concentrate on giving him a balanced diet with the necessary nutrients in it. I love Brave so much. Also I have another cat, Pikachu, who is just 8 months old, he is of course hale and hearty. But I am worried, is this IBD condition contagious by any chance?

      • Shenzy June 5, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

        Hi Liz,

        I have great news. Braveheart stopped perking!! My god I am so glad. After your advice I stopped giving him rice. I started giving him raw fish and guess what, his condition just disappeared. Brave has gained weight, his eyes are bright and open, face has gained colour and doesn’t look pale anymore. I am so glad that my little baby is ok. I am so glad for all of you for your kind advice and for just being there for support, and god for giving my Brave good health.

        I think raw food does the trick. I have been feeding him just raw fish for about 4 weeks now and hope to continue the same. Brave is an outdoor cat, now he feels confidant and goes galavanting again which is the only thing I am not happy about. He comes back with bruises and scratches. Anyway thanks once again.

        Shenzy

        • Liz-cat June 6, 2013 at 8:48 pm #

          Hi Shenzy, thank you for checking back in with a Braveheart report. I am so glad he is feeling and looking so much better, and that his symptoms cleared up. My guess is he can’t eat grains, including rice.
          BUT I am worried about him having a raw fish diet because the thiaminase in raw fish breaks down the essential B vitamin thiamine in cats. This can cause neurological problems and even lead to convulsions.

        • Karyn June 17, 2013 at 2:14 pm #

          Glad to hear brave heart is doing well!!

          Be careful on giving cat too much raw fish it can be harmful. . I don’t know too much about it, but I did know someone who give his cat raw fish daily from the local fish market. the cat had kidney failure he survived but the vet said it was do to the fish.diet

    • Christine Zois August 7, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

      Shenzy,

      Please try giving your cat a Drontal.

  23. Kim Hunt April 25, 2013 at 5:14 pm #

    Hello, I went to the vet and was given presidone and an anti-bacterial medication. We went through the usual routine of finding a gazillion types of cat food to give him.

    We tried everything. Now this is what has worked. We buy rotisserie chicken hot from the grocery store. He actually loves garlic herb;) It is expensive because he can eat an entire chicken in one day, but he was doubled his weight and is such a happy little guy now.

    I know there is no cure, but we are thrilled it is being managed.

    Our vet is very pleased and a bit surprised.

    • Barbara May 6, 2013 at 7:27 pm #

      Pure vita cat food helped my cat so much with her loose stools. You can read my comments I just wrote. She doesn’t have loose stools anymore. My vet recommended it. Good luck.

      • j. zach October 20, 2014 at 6:34 pm #

        barbara,
        it’s obvious you’re a shill for pure vita. funny thing is, you’ve now managed to turn me off the product completely. People are trying to find solutions for their very sick pets and all you’re interested in is selling inferior product. Shame on you!

  24. Jodi April 4, 2013 at 11:28 pm #

    I have a 6 month old Siamese mix kitten that has had soft stools at best since the day I saved him from certain death. I originally thought it was just a kitten in the shelter thing. I got him all fixed up and started feeling felidae grain free like I do my other 2 kitties. Well this gastro issue continued, but he seemed normal and lively and growing, so I waited. Finally took him to the vet to see if maybe he had a parasite or something. Nope, all tests came back normal and the vet put him on Hills I/D and some meds for a week. He did great on the I/d but that it was explained to me that this food is a recovery food and not for a regular diet. Since then I have been trying to find a food to feed him by trial and error. So far nothing has worked and I feel like the poor little dude is starving! And within 8 hours of trying a new food he gets horrendous stinky poo!
    I now feed the girls separately. Any suggestions on what to try? I’m pretty sure it’s something in the kibble. But he LOVES kibble. I would like to have him on both a canned and kibble but if I need to go raw I will. I don’t quite get the raw food thing vs freeze dried? I just want to find a solution. I’ve got 4 small kids and this is such a headache. I LOVE my furbabies, and my little meezer is the sweetest thing alive! I must fix him before my husband kills me for spending so much money on food and the vet!!!

    • TheNewGrayMare April 5, 2013 at 7:59 am #

      Jodi, your problem sounds almost exactly like what my Misty went through; although, yours might be a little worse if the problems happen within hours! I have a snowshoe siamese who was an 8-week old stray that jumped in my car on my lunch break at work. Like yours, she certainly would have died had I not taken her in. Temperatures were dropping below freezing at night and she had a terrible URI that took three rounds of antibiotics to kill, as well as fleas and ringworm. It was expensive getting her to where she is today, but I wouldn’t trade it for anything. These darling fur babies bring so much joy into our worlds!

      I would recommend trying raw. If you can find someone near you that carries Primal Raw, they might have the sampler package. That way, you get three nuggets of four flavors and can use them to see how your kitty reacts to raw food. It’s also a very cheap way to transition to raw if you choose to do so.

      Freeze dried is a good option to keep on hand for if the power goes out. I have fed some freeze dried before, but Misty is iffy on what brands she can handle. Grandma Lucy’s comes up within a few hours but Prowl stays down pretty good. It’s a challenge getting the freeze dried re-hydrated without kitty going after it while it’s still soupy.

      Good luck with your little boy! Be sure to keep us updated on what you do and how he handles it =)

    • Barbara May 6, 2013 at 7:21 pm #

      Please try Pure Vita Cat Food chicken flavor. I wrote a comment below and it’s healthy, made in us, it’s kibble but also comes in can, and it helped my cat so much. She went from having loose stools for months to no loose stools. She loves it so much. It actually smells pretty good too. You can order it online or through a pet store. Best of luck. Your kitty is worth having the best food. Btw, before I found pure vita, my vet put my cat on mess for loose stool and it made her worse. She didnt even excrete and looked miserable. I’m so happy I found pure vita. Good luck.

  25. Elizabeth January 28, 2013 at 2:42 am #

    My 5 month old kitten has recently been diagnosed with IBS. It has been suggested to me (not by a vet) to try giving him mebeverine (an anti spasmodic drug used for IBS in humans) has anyone tried this before? I’m reluctant to give it to him but I know he is in pain!

    Any recommendations gratefully received!

    Thank you.

    • Belinda February 16, 2013 at 5:53 pm #

      I would not recommend giving a cat or dog any drugs specifically made for humans as this could cause major reactions in animals as well as death. An animals system is completely different from humans and cannot tolerate certain substances as humans can. Talk to your vet first before you try to self medicate your cat and maybe cause him more harm than good.

    • Bobbi February 23, 2013 at 6:59 pm #

      Please read my post above. Pure Vita for IBD or IBS.

      • Connie June 18, 2013 at 7:08 am #

        Is Pure Vita A dry kibble? Because that is all my cat with IBS will eat. I am trying to transition her, but every wet food she turns her nose up to. She loves Instinct Grain free turkey by Natures Variety, but she still gets loose stools. And Gassy. I thought it was because it has too much oil in it. Canola oil and coconut oil I adopted her a year ago when she was 7 from a shelter.

  26. Michelle G. January 11, 2013 at 7:02 pm #

    My 6 year old male cat, Ziggy Stardust, not only has inflammatory bowel, but he is also prone to forming urate bladder stones (he’s had 2 already in his life, and 2 different surgeries to remove them). I took him to a holistic vet for the stone issue, and she recommended a low purine diet. This means especially to avoid organ meats, meat broths, yeasts, and fish. I found a canned food called Soulistic that has a flavor that is just pretty much just chicken, pumpkin, and vitamins/minerals that cats need. It was one of the only foods that I could find that don’t have organ meats or broth. Ziggy’s IBD has been acting up lately (he’s had soft stools for about 8 week now), and I’ve thought about trying to put him on a raw diet, but all of the raw diets that I’ve seen are made with organ meats. Can you suggest any commercially available diets that might be appropriate both for IBD and to prevent him from producing any more urate stones? Thanks.

    • Bobbi February 23, 2013 at 6:56 pm #

      Pure Vita . My cat was having loose stools once a week on and off for awhile so my vet said to try Pure Vita and now her stools are solid. He suspected it was IBD. Every once in awhile she gets loose stools but it has definitely improved. She goes everyday with this food and before she use to skip a day here and there. It has pre and pro-biotics which is good for their digestive system. My vet said it’s a high quality food. I had Bella on Evo for years which is a great product too but wasn’t helping with her IBD. Pure Vita is made in US like Evo is. No outsourcing which is critical for me. Hope this helped.

      • Barbara May 6, 2013 at 7:34 pm #

        Hi Bobbi. I’m so glad u found Pure Vita too. That’s what I suggested in my post. My cat, Bella was eating Evo and they have had 2recalls so far. They sold their company to proctor and gamble and not some ingredients are being outsourced to China. It’s all over the Internet and I also called them. I believe Bella started getting loose stools from the Evo because a lot of people were complaining about the same thing. I got my cat off Evo immediately. They really sold themselves out. Pure vita is great! Thanks for your post.

    • Bobbi February 23, 2013 at 6:57 pm #

      Pure Vita . My cat was having loose stools once a week for awhile so my vet said to try Pure Vita and now her stools are solid. He suspected it was IBD. Every once in awhile she gets loose stools but it has definitely improved. She goes everyday with this food and before she use to skip a day here and there. It has pre and pro-biotics which is good for their digestive system. My vet said it’s a high quality food. I had Bella on Evo for years which is a great product too but wasn’t helping with her IBD. Pure Vita is made in US like Evo is. No outsourcing which is critical for me. Hope this helped.

    • Michelle January 9, 2014 at 1:18 pm #

      Hi Michelle G. Did you find a food that helps both IBD and Bladder issues? My 8 year old, Artemis, has IBD and has been having bloody urine. We ruled out crystals and infection. Right now we are trying to feed him canned z/d, but he does not like loaf soft foods. This is just our first day trying it. Have you had any luck with other foods? We need to clear up his inflamed bladder, I don’t want his food allergies to flair up. He’s definitely allergic to chicken.

  27. Sue January 11, 2013 at 1:29 pm #

    My cat has allways had sensitive stomach. Used to be diarrhea when he was younger. He is 11 yo . Now, it is vomiting. He usually vomits a few times a week. Lately he had some bad episodes a couple times. This morning was one. He vomited for a couple hours. maybe 8 times. Also had diarrhea. I took him to vet .They did xrays to check for any blockages, etc… nothing there. Said it is most likely IBD which is what they also told me years ago (IBS).
    I am just now trying a new cat food which was reccomended at the pet store. Called PureVita. They said it is single protien and has probiotics and good for stomach health. Have you heard of it??? WAs using Natural balance dry. But, they also eat fancy feast can. They loved the pure vita dry so I bought some cans of it too.
    Also, is it a good idea to give probiotics to a cat with IBD??? And if so, can I sprinkle on a little of the ones I have for myself? Got them for foreign travel last year.

    • Cynthia July 12, 2013 at 11:27 pm #

      Hi Are you still struggling or experiencing with this kind of issue? If so, I can reply to you here or faster via email if you still need help, at answers@immuneiq(com) – Cynthia

  28. Karyn January 8, 2013 at 7:48 am #

    100 % Pure Bovine Colostrum is a good supplement for digestive issues . Lots of info on internet for people and pets

  29. Diana September 25, 2012 at 8:45 am #

    I have two 9-year old cats. I have been waging a war with regular vomiting (one) and loose stools (both) for a few years. Neither has been officially diagnosed with IBS, but parasites, etc. were ruled out two years ago. I switched to grain-free canned food only (with the exception of occasional grain-free dry if I have to be away overnight) a couple of years ago and it has helped with the vomiting, but both still have loose stools. I finally ordered some Life’s Abundance Instinctive Choice and they gobbled it up. Unfortunately, the one cat who only threw up when she had a hairball, threw up very soon after eating the Instinctive Choice (and don’t even get me started on what the litter box looked like). Based on my read of the ingredients I’m wondering if she has a shellfish allergy as it contains shrimp. The only fish/seafood they get is occasional canned food that contains tuna. So, even though they loved it, I’ve stopped giving them Instinctive Choice and am back to Lotus, Wilderness, etc.

    As for the loose stools, I’m wondering if my providing them with a mix of different grain-free canned formulas is contributing to that. My thinking has been that I don’t want them to get too set with one formula should it be discontinued, recalled, etc.

    Thoughts???

  30. Akiko September 12, 2012 at 2:11 pm #

    Thanks, Liz, as always for the useful information. I just ordered the Life’s Abundance samples. Hope this will help my kitty…

    She started to have soft stools a couple of weeks ago, then this past week she has been going only every other day and twice a day on the same day.

    I have been feeding her Feline’s Pride turkey for trial (she rejected chicken) and Nature’s Variety raw frozen chicken for main meals, and Weruva Paw Lickin’ Chicken and Meow Luau once or twice a week for variety, plus a handful of Ziwipeak Dry Raw Lamb for snacks mixed with Petguard Yeast & Garlic.

    She’s about 3 years old.

    • Liz-cat September 19, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

      Hi Akiko,
      Your cat hasn’t been diagnosed with IBS, has she? It sounds like those may just be normal responses to food transitions…but then maybe she’d been on the same food for a while? Anyway, going with a simple formula should help even things out. Let me know.

  31. cindy September 10, 2012 at 11:03 am #

    does anyone know if you can feed raw if your cat is on omeprazole and pepcid a/c for severe acid reflux?? Someone told me that I can’t because those 2 drugs reduce stomach acid, which combats natural bacteria in raw diets.

    Thanks!

    • Liz-cat September 19, 2012 at 10:59 pm #

      That’s a good question cindy. It does sound a little risky to fed raw if stomach acid is neutralized. The irony is that the acid reflux could probably be helped by a diet change. I would ask VitalityScience what they recommend for the reflux.

  32. Layla Morgan Wilde (Cat Wisdom 101.com) September 7, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    Thank-you, I’m sharing this with my mom’s vet. Unfortunately, no meds worked and the cat is in the hospital now for a week.

    • Liz-cat September 19, 2012 at 10:56 pm #

      Oh dear Layla, I’m sorry to hear that.

  33. TheNewGrayMare September 7, 2012 at 6:15 am #

    Liz, your blog has helped my Mist Luin so much!

    She was an 8 week old kitten when she jumped in my car on my lunch break at work. After calling hubby and getting his agreement on bringing her home, Misty came to live with us. She went to the vet the next day fro a super bad upper respiratory infection. The first antibiotic shot didn’t kill the infection, nor did the second. The third time she went back, the vet gave me some liquid medicine that finally did the job.

    I honestly think being on antibiotics for so long really messed up her insides. It wasn’t long after we took care of the URI that she started having loose, bloody stool. It smelled so bad she wouldn’t even bury it; she took care of business and bolted! Of course, the vet put her on antibiotics again. We went in circles with what the vet diagnosed as IBD for nearly a year.

    Originally, I was feeding Taste of the Wild. The vet had me change to a higher protein food, but she wanted fiber in there too, so we switched to Wellness Indoor. When that didn’t work and the vet wanted to put Misty on Science Diet D/M, I said no and started the transition to raw.

    Misty has been on raw for almost a year now. Since then, she burys her litter box leavings, she has had no loose/smelly/bloody stool, and she’s a lot more relaxed. The last time she went in for a wellness checkup, the vet was amazed at how healthy she was and asked what I was feeding. She had honestly never considered putting cats on a raw diet, but promised to look into it more after seeing the change in Misty.

    Misty is currently on Primal Raw, Chicken and Salmon flavor. When the store was out of chicken, I tried to give her beef. She vomited three times in four days, but Pet People was kind enough to exchange the partially eaten beef bag for a fresh one of chicken when the new shipment came in!

    I am a total raw advocate now. Yes, the food costs a lot more than kibble, but I more than make up for it in vet savings and kitty health. I’d rather spend $30 a month on cat food than $90 every other month in vet bills!

    Thank you, thank you, thank you for spreading the word about what cats are designed to eat and holistic pet care.

    • Liz-cat September 7, 2012 at 9:24 am #

      That’s wonderful news about Misty! Thanks so much for sharing your inspiring story. You prompted me to mention Primal in this post. The formulas aren’t as simple as Feline Pride’s, but they can still help a lot of cats – Misty obviously being one of them!

  34. HollyAnne September 6, 2012 at 6:47 pm #

    so, is potato starch bad or just potatoes and sweet potatoes? I can’t do raw for my cat with constipation issues. All 9 of them – even the one that usually will practically eat rocks – despise and will not touch Evo with a ten foot pole, Natural Balance is “okay” but they don’t love it. They’ll grudgingly eat Merrick or Wellness if that’s all I can get them but they go insane for Weruva. I only do the flavors with no carrageenan of course. But some of those “safe” flavors have potato starch.

    His vet put him on Hills… Result – cats got fat. A couple of them, including the one in question got very fat! Constipation and IBS stuff did not get better. Nature’s Variety kibble (I know, I know, I’d love to do all canned but I can’t afford it yet) and Weruva canned did help but now I’m wondering about the potato starch. I’m trying some supplements from Honest Kitchen and Grizzly oil. Added a probiotic powder and they dumped even their precious Weruva filled bowls over and refused to eat it. Without the probiotic they do.

    • Liz-cat September 6, 2012 at 8:33 pm #

      Holly, as always I appreciate your reports from the front lines of caring for 9 cats! Good info about how Hills failed them. Potato starch – well, a little isn’t going to be so bad. If those foods that are working, I wouldn’t worry about it.

      • Liz-cat September 6, 2012 at 8:34 pm #

        Oh, and also – I didn’t meant to make it sound like constipated cats needed to go raw. I realized when I read your comment I had to rewrite that part. I was really just trying to say that if you DO feed them raw, ground bones could be a problem.

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