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

UPDATED 2015 (Radcat added; minor updates)

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:

  • Radcat raw*. This one is my (and our cats’) personal favorite because it doesn’t include ground bones, which are difficult for some cats (like ours) to digest. Very high quality.
  • Hound & Gatos canned. Good quality, simple ingredients. Several different formulas. Also available at Pet Food Express stores.
  • Feline Pride raw*. Nice, clean raw food; recommended by Dr. Hodgkins. You can order it online if you can’t get it from a local store
  • 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 foodhas also significantly helped cats with IBD. The formulas are not as simple as Feline Pride or Radcat (it has more vegetables and fiber), but Primal is easier to buy locally, so if it works for your cat, great!

*Note that, due to slightly higher bacteria risk, raw may not be ideal for cats with cancer or otherwise severely weakened immunity.

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. Primal now has a Pheasant formula.

In a pinch

If those foods don’t work for you for some reason, you could dip into the 2nd choice brands that offer other types of meats in the most simple formulas, like 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, the fiber in vegetables only causes more trouble—with one exception: for constipated cats who respond well to cooked pumpkin or squash, a little pumpkin or squash are good to add to their food because it prevents constipation.

I also like pumpkin and squash because they don’t contain disaccharides, which feed the bad bacteria.

Disacchar-what? Basically, vegetables that are high in disaccharides much more readily feed the bad bacteria at the root of inflammatory bowel conditions. This means cats with digestive trouble should avoid high-disaccharide ingredients like:

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

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

  1. Matilda February 4, 2015 at 10:26 pm #

    My cat has IBS and foods high in protein give her explosive diarrhea. Raw food may be the thing that her bowels react most violently to. It’s frustrating because I want to keep hear healthy but I’m also tired of cleaning liquid kitty poo.

    • Nick Anderson May 15, 2015 at 10:39 am #

      I tried everything, and almost had to put my boy down on many occasions due to his condition and losing what seemed like a pound over night at times. The only cure was ‘Rad Cat’ raw food. He loves it, and it has made him stable. No vomiting, no diarrhea, he has solid brown stool now. It is expensive, and working with Raw takes patience, but if you love your cat and you have this extremely frustrating condition. This is the cure in my opinion. (Male tabby colored cat, he is about to turn 20)(no i do not work for rad cat).

      • Liz-cat May 18, 2015 at 7:07 pm #

        Nick, this is great news about your cat and what a difference your new diet for him made! Thank you so much for sharing!

      • Liz-cat May 18, 2015 at 11:39 pm #

        Good grief, I just realized that I hadn’t listed Radcat in this post, even though it’s my favorite and been on my “Best cat foods” page for ages. What an oversight! Thank you for calling it to my attention!

    • Kris July 12, 2015 at 11:55 am #

      Hi Matilda. I think my cat has the same problem. I have tried all sorts of different things and nothing works. I am now starting to think she is intolerant of all animal flesh and organs. Can I ask what you feed yours if you are still around?

  2. Meghan Ragle February 23, 2015 at 6:01 am #

    Going Crazy with out kitty’s IBD– Royal Canine seemed wo work for about a month. Now he seems sick of it and hungry- but doesn’t want that food! I am at a loss!

    • Karen February 23, 2015 at 7:06 am #

      The only thing that helps my cat is my own remedy. It came from a lot of trial and error (and expensive canned and dry prescription food – which never helped her). I mix one 32 oz tub of plain, non-fat Dannon yogurt with one small can (15 oz, I think) Libby’s pumpkin (not pie mix, just pure pumpkin) and one can (about 10 oz) any brand chicken, light or dark meat. The brands seem to matter except the chicken. I sprinkle about 1/8 cup of dry over the top to let her have something crunchy. She loves it and it’s given her regular stools. Without it, she goes back to diarrhea immediately. I mix 3 batches (3 of each item) in a large bowl and pour the mix back in the yogurt containers to keep in the fridge. Don’t drain the chicken, the water adds a lot of flavor to the mix. (Pour chicken in first and break it up with a fork or gloved hand.) Let me know if it works for your cat.

      • Jean March 26, 2015 at 12:27 pm #

        Karen – that sounds like a fantastic idea to try! Thank you for sharing it!! My sweet IBD/IBS suffering kitty seems to crave yogurt, so I always share mine (Yoplait), but for her I would definitely try your brand mix. Who knows…I may be eating it right alongside her because of my intestinal damage from years of undiagnosed sevete gluten intolerance/celiac disease! And Ivm only half-joking about trying it myself! :)

        • Karen March 26, 2015 at 1:02 pm #

          You’re welcome! Hope it works for your kitty (and you!).

      • Vanessa October 21, 2015 at 10:44 am #

        Karen- Thank you so much! I gave this to my kitty last night and this morning and she had a normal bowel movement. You saved me hundreds of dollars avoiding the vet.
        …added some to my dogs food as well, she is picky and usually leaves all her dry food…she loved this and ate a good amount for once.

  3. Eric February 27, 2015 at 6:33 pm #

    My cat was diagnosed with IBD several months ago. The specialist that diagnosed him wanted me to put him on Royal Canine prescription food. We explained to the vet that could not work because I have two cats and they have to be on the same food. I explained, also, that my other cat is diabetic and that Royal Canine sends my cats blood levels through the roof. She looked at us like we were crazy. So, against her wishes, we slowly switched over to raw. My IBD cat made a full recovery and I never seen them have as much energy as they do. Two 12 year old cats were acting like kittens again. Problem is, at about the same time, both cats refused to eat the raw. We tried everything. Switching protein sources, every sprinkle you could imagine, etc. Nothing will work. So that’s why I’m here. To see what canned foods they both can eat and the foods you mentioned would work for both cats. Thanks for the advice.

    • Sherry Zia September 19, 2015 at 8:26 am #

      Could you please give details of what you did for raw? Did you purchase or make your own? Thanks

      • Vironica Dart September 19, 2015 at 4:50 pm #

        Hi Sherry, I purchase raw ground finally organ rabbit meat with bone from a supplier. ( https://hare-today.com or wholefoods4pets) you can also buy whole rabbit at wholefoods but you will have to grind it yourself)
        With Gandalf having allergie issues I can’t give him any supplements or any of the commercial raw meat or can food in the market. So I have to make his raw meals I found he eats it better if I blend his raw food to the same consistency as can food. I mix 1 tablespoon of pumpkin in it in his morning meal only so he doesn’t get constipated from the bone in the meat.
        I try feed him 3 small meals a day. As it’s important that cats eat that way. I hope this helps. If you need anything further don’t hesitate to ask.

  4. Rachel Lindsey March 31, 2015 at 7:06 pm #

    I have a foster cat that is 15 years old due to her age and probably a not pretty background she is missing teeth. Due to her missing teeth she often has trouble eating dry food properly. She wont eat very much and often throws up whole pieces because she can’t digest them. Since I brought her home from the shelter she has been eating wet food. She has constant diarrhea and often doesn’t seem to be able to control when she will have it. She is also very thin, one of the main reasons I decided to foster her. I am worried shes losing everything she eats but don’t want to put her on dry food because then she wont eat very much. Hopefully one of these work.

    • Karen March 31, 2015 at 9:15 pm #

      I replied earlier about my special mix for my cat (large plain nonfat yogurt, 1 can of chicken w/ water & 1 can pumpkin – not pie mix). She is also very thin. I always try a different food (just a little) to see if one agrees with her. She’s on Purina One Smartblend for kittens now. I thought I’d give kitten food a try since it’s supposed to be easy to digest. She’s doing great on it (it’s only been a week, though).

      • Susan November 30, 2015 at 12:02 am #

        Karen how much do you give your cat and how often? can I mix the yogurt & pumpkin and then put with the chicken, because if he doesn’t like it what would I do with it?
        I wouldn’t want to eat the yogurt after adding chicken.

  5. Cindy Joshi April 17, 2015 at 3:43 am #

    My cat was diagnosed with IBS. At first, monthly steroid shots were helping him. Now, they do not seem to help. He doesn’t have diarrhea. He has vomiting. I have five other cats so it’s hard to feed him anything special without the other cats eating the same diet. I have them on Royal Canine rabbit and pea. The cats seem to like that food but he is still vomiting. I hope someone can help me with suggestions. I’ve had him since he was 8 weeks old and he’s about 10 years old now.

    • K. Coppock April 17, 2015 at 7:28 am #

      I wrote about my cat eating the canned chicken (any), pumpkin (not pie mix) and yogurt (plain, fat free or lowfat). She’s perfect on it. Any time I try something else (to see if I can quit the mix), she goes right back to diarrhea. I was forced to separate my cats. I have an enclosed patio that works well.

      • Gail April 20, 2015 at 12:25 pm #

        Karen how long was she on this mixture before you saw results?

    • Vironica Dart August 26, 2015 at 12:03 pm #

      Hello Cindi Joshi, not sure if you resolved your issue with your Cat on Royal Canine Rabbit and Pea yet. My Cat was also vomitting when he ate it! So I stopped giving him the kibble. He is eating raw ground rabbit (with organ meat & bones) Try changing your cats food if you can and see if the vomitting stops.

    • Vironica Dart September 24, 2015 at 2:55 am #

      Hi Cindi Joshi, have you tried slippery elm bark for vomitting an hour before food on an empty stomach? If your cat is on medication try spreading out the medication as SEB can cause other medications not to work.

      What can food are you using?

      You cat could also be having an allergy to the food she is eating.

      If she continues to vomit up her food I suggest you take her to the vet. She could be suffering from pancreatitis

      Here are some reference links:

      http://www.littlebigcat.com/health/slippery-elm/

      http://www.felinecrf.org/holistic_treatments.htm

      http://m.holvet.net/site/slippery_soup.html

      http://www.vcahospitals.com/main/pet-health-information/article/animal-health/slippery-elm/570

      It also helps with diarrhea.

      It can be used on cats, humans and dogs.

      Hope your baby gets better soon.

  6. Rebecca Morissette June 5, 2015 at 3:00 pm #

    my kitten has IBD, so the vet put her on prednisolone 5mg tablets everyday. It has helped and has gotten her IBD under control. I was feeding her kitten purina one (because that’s what she was on before I got her). Now that she’s getting close to 1 year old, so I’m trying to switch her food. I got pure vita dry food. Can someone please explain to me why the feeding portions are so much smaller than from the purina one cat food. i was usually feeding her 1/4 cup morning and night or purina one kitten dry but the pure vita says for cat 4-6lbs feed about 1/5 cup-n 3/10 cup. I also got her some wet best feline friend food (tuna and pumpkin). How should i incorporate the dry and the new wet food? I dont want to overfeed her and have her be fat because she is quite the little piggy. I also got pumpkin patch up.

    Does anyone know the best way to go about the new feeding and how much? She is a toyger/domestic short hair cat. I’m a first time cat owner! Thank you

    • Nancy k August 25, 2015 at 2:32 pm #

      The pure vita food is smaller portion because it is a quality food and that portion contains all the nutrients and calories the cat need… Purines foods are loaded with garbage …. Fillers by products and poor quality … As for intro very very slow

  7. Heather June 7, 2015 at 7:34 am #

    My little 11 year old Isabella has IBS and skin allergies so we have had her on ID for quite a while. Her skin allergies have cleared (though she has ripped out the hair on one side of her body) but she has very loose stools a lot, not all, of the time. She even poops outside of her litter box. I am open to trying a raw diet but was wondering if anyone else has had a cat with both the skin allergies and IBS and if so how well has the raw diet worked?

  8. Linda W. June 30, 2015 at 11:00 am #

    Thank you for all of your comments and suggestions above. I too am at my wits end with liquid kitty poo from my 13 year old calico. She is constantly starving and constantly pooping outside the box. A full and costly blood panel ruled out everything. I am going to the store today to purchase Karens recipe above. Praying it helps… I cannot take this much longer. :(

    • Amy October 2, 2015 at 6:22 am #

      My old lady who is 12,”Boo” is one of 4 cats that I have. They are all indoor cats and have always been feed the brand “Friskies” and will only eat the blue bag (not sure of the flavor) but over the last 6 months or so Boo has gotten sick. She is usually about 22 pounds but other than a bladder infection here and there is very healthy. When she started pooping on the floor, I was worried so I took her to the vet and they tested her and treated her for an intestinal irritation but after many meds it doesn’t help. She is down to 14 pds and is having watery diarrhea sometimes 6-8 times a day. She is happy and plays like a kitten so to look at her (other than the weight loss) she looks great. My heart breaks because I can’t keep taking her to the vets. I live on a fixed income and every time I clean up her mess I think maybe she’d be better off going to kitty heaven but then II turn around and she’s playing with a piece of string!! I cry because I’m frustrated at my thoughts of letting her go. She doesn’t eat people food or cat treats or even can food, she is very finicky. What do I do, she can’t go on this way and neither can I!! Please help…

      • Andrea January 12, 2016 at 9:06 am #

        Please visit: http://www.catinfo.org/?link=urinarytracthealth. This website is created by a Vet who is a Doctor for Cats only. Please copy the link and visit her website. The answers are all there. Also, please do not allow your Vet to inject either your Cats or Dogs with Cortisone Shots, as this will eventually cause Diabetes. Cortisone and other Steroids suppress the symptoms rather than treat the cause. Within two months of receiving this shot for IBS, my beautiful cat’s health deteriorated; despite a good appetite her weight dropped from a healthy 8.5 to 4.9 pounds. She was drinking water and urinating excessively, and the litter box was flooded with sticky urine. I took her to another Vet who took complete blood work and diagnosed her with a Diabetic Reaction to the Cortisone Shot and said, ” NO MORE CORTISONE EVER! ” An adverse reaction to a Cortisone Shot damaged my cats pancreas and kidneys, which resulted in diabetes, kidney failure and a severely weakened immune system. Also, read catinfo.org about the connection between over-vaccinating and disease. There is info regarding the link between the Distemper Vaccine and Diabetes. Stay away from the antibiotic Shot Convenia, many cats including one of my own, have died from this injection (which stays in the body for 2 months not two weeks as many Vets will incorrectly tell you). So, if your Cat has an adverse reaction it is hard to treat. In addition, Dry food is not a species appropriate diet for Cats. They will survive on dry but they will not thrive. It is much better to feed them canned only. I hope this info helps someone. Good Luck!

  9. Michelle July 3, 2015 at 12:54 pm #

    I adopted a cat from a friend who had severe and chronic diarrhea. He got to the point that he was going outside of the litter box all over the carpet. He was thin and always hungry. We tried everything including probiotics and steroids. It wasn’t until we put him on a raw food diet (Primal and Nature’s Variety instinct) that we saw results. After 2 feedings his stool was completely normal. Any attempt to transition him back to a healthy kibble would result in loose stool again. It has been about 8 months since we started him on raw. He is now able to eat kibble about 3 times a week without any issue.

    • Sarah December 3, 2015 at 7:33 pm #

      I had the same thing happen with my cat! We went through months and months of probiotics, steroids, and special prescription diets. 2 days on Primal raw and she was having pretty solid stools. Now she is on Primal and 1/8 tsp of psyllium husk and doing great for the last year. Thank god for raw food and more widespread info on feline nutrition!!

  10. Margot Treybig July 3, 2015 at 2:09 pm #

    HELP !! Over the years we have had several cats the suffered with IBD . We have ALOT of cats, all rescued from ultra high kill ” shelters ” . One of our latest kits has IBD , and the only way to feed her the food that she needs is to keep her in the big playpen cage . Do you know of any cat food that I can feed to ALL of the cats and will be good for her as well ? OH , and not send me to the poor house too ?

    • Karyn July 3, 2015 at 3:14 pm #

      Use 100% pure colostrum and it’s best to feed can only if u use dry do not use anything with corn in it

    • Karyn July 3, 2015 at 3:18 pm #

      Rad cat is a great product but my 14 yr old cat with mild ibd symtoms will not eat any raw food . Trader joes canned is the best price not grain free but the grains are good grains n no byproduct s wheat or gluten

  11. CJ July 4, 2015 at 12:00 pm #

    Hi there,

    I just found out my formerly feral cat has either IBS or lymphoma. We need to do an ultrasound to rule out lymphoma, but I suspect it’s IBS. He has had a tendency toward constipation since I lured him inside about two years ago; I think Tiki Cat wet food was part of the draw to moving indoors with me.

    He was fixed before I knew him and had the feral clip on his ear when we met. I thought he was young–he’s really small–but the vet thinks he has the teeth of a 12-year-old!

    A few months back I started feeding him Primal raw food, which he loved, but the past couple months, he started losing weight. The vet says he’s anemic, has low albumen, and suggested switching to Natural Balance LID, but it’s making him so lethargic, he can hardly keep his eyes open! He goes once when I switch his food–raw back to Tiki, Tiki to Natural Balance–but then gets constipated again.

    She said I should be letting him eat as much as he wants, grazing on dry food and giving him two square meals of simple canned food a day. Any suggestions for dry food for cats with ibs? And wet food that can help him heal?

    The vet doesn’t want to start him on the prednisolone until we can do the ultrasound to rule out lymphoma, and I am inbetween jobs right now. I am hoping to get him healthy again through diet.

    • Karyn July 4, 2015 at 6:16 pm #

      Sorry to hear what your baby is going though . My 14 yr cat will not eat raw foods my other cat loves the rad cat n so does the feral. Check out dr Steven Blake dvm the pet whisperer website he is the most wonderful homopathic vet ! I consulted with him for my dog for many yrs.

    • Vironica Dart September 24, 2015 at 8:29 pm #

      For constipation issues you can try Psyllium Husk Powder

      http://www.blakkatz.com/psyllium.html

      My kitty doesn’t want pumpkin in his raw anymore so I have to use this instead.

      • solomé October 15, 2015 at 7:42 am #

        i’ve been using this, too, for about the last 5 months. nothing else helped and his explosive diarrhea was horrible. 4 litter boxes looked like they belonged to the insane. i mix the psyllium with water, let set for 4-5 minutes and mix with a wet food. it’s made all the difference in the world.

  12. Karyn July 4, 2015 at 6:21 pm #

    He has a product call gemmotherpy pls read the info it might help with your cat. Lots of info on his website .i

  13. Karyn July 4, 2015 at 6:46 pm #

    My 14 yr old cat recently is allergic to fleas .i have spend hundreds of dallors on natural flea control the last couple of months . She only has a couple of fleas now she chews her fur then is sensitive to the fur hacks or vomits now every few days . I am at wits end . Looking into changing her diet .

  14. Karyn July 4, 2015 at 6:54 pm #

    Spraying her with colloid silver. Ordered some probiotics . Has been doing well on blue wilderness wt control grain free n trader joes canned. She had bld in her stools the other day . Is it the fur? Or is there a ingrediant she has become sensitive too? She gets the best supplements . I don’t know what else too do. Her poop is normal never diarrhea

  15. Priya July 5, 2015 at 8:25 pm #

    Has anyone tried Ask Ariel IBD set? It has a digestive soother, power probiotic, and notatum (immune support). I am trying this. I also tried effective pet wellness Medi-clay for detox; did not seem to work. Ask Ariel recommends not fish or poultry, only canned rabbit by instinct….Also trying Mercola probiotics and mercola digestive enzymes; the enzymes don’t help, probiotics seem to help…Vet has us taking prednisone, stopping this seems not healthy and forti-flora, mercola probiotics seem better… Just bought Honest Kitchen Chicken today and plan to boil chicken… although it seems should stay away from chicken? I will go back to Primal, cats not too keen though….after first try… not too interested…BFF also seems good with no preservatives, MSG or carageenan… I honestly think this started when we started the heartworm medication in May….some additives triggered this…. or there was a rachel ray canned food nourish recall in early May as well ??? Used to be a robust 18 pounds, now to 14 pounds, part Maine Coon….

    • Karyn July 24, 2015 at 4:48 pm #

      Found the best probiotic . PREMO PROBIOTIC FOR CAT

      • Karyn July 24, 2015 at 4:51 pm #

        Amazon sells it worth looking up for great info on product and reviews

  16. PL July 24, 2015 at 11:41 am #

    Hi
    I currently have a 14yo male with ibs. We recently had ceruminous gland tumors benign removed from both ears. Current diet is royal canon hp dry. Metronidazole 2xs day. Dry food worked for awhile. Now diarrhea back. Glands tumors possibly tied to food allergies. Anyone have any food recommendations?

  17. Barb August 31, 2015 at 6:42 pm #

    I just got into the problem of IBS with my one sweet cat after he developed it as a result of picking up giardia, a nasty parasite that develops into IBS. He lost approx. 4 lbs and was on Metronidazole for 2 months, then prednisolone (sp) for another month. Now I will try some of the above diets recommended by you all. Thank you.

  18. Dana October 5, 2015 at 5:01 am #

    My 15-year-old, Chloe, recently started popping outside the litter. Took her to the vet because her stool was soft and often had blood. Blood work showed nothing (she’s very healthy for such an old girl who almost had renal failure once!) so I brought in a fecal sample, which also showed nothing.
    Vet figures it’s colitis and wants me on some overpriced Royal Canin which I am not a fan of.
    I currently have dry kibbles out and feed her a dollop of pumpkin with the same amount of wet food and a sprinkle of “pet kelp” (a probiotic with 70 vitamins and minerals) about once a day.
    Well her stool has firmed up but she still cries before pooping and still not in the litter and still bloody. I’m hesitant to go raw as I don’t have a lot of extra money – but any advice?

  19. drkaren1106 October 13, 2015 at 12:11 pm #

    Greetings all.
    I am SO thrilled to have found this blog! I have 2 cats (both adult, neutered males, adopted at about 1 yr/ 1.5 yr. I discovered initially they both had herpes- but got that organized with Lysine.
    My black cat, Pyewacket, (he is about 3 now) 8 months ago had a bout of vomiting, nausea, and diarrhea. The vet ran up a ton of bills and came up with nothing – after tests, anti emetic shots, and antibiotics. Then it stopped.

    I had always fed them Paul Newmans Organic- grain free. The only 2 that were grain free were chicken and liver, and turkey and liver. I know they are a bit low on protein but after calling them several times I liked that they were organic, etc.

    Well 3 weeks ago we had another bout. I went to a different vet who seemed up to speed until she went into the “IF you want a shot to stop the vomiting you have to either give him the cheap wellness (with grain) or the I/D Hills that they sell).SO…I lied.
    I did buy the wellness core (in case I needed to produce cans) and then spent weeks researching(again- I had a skype chat with Dr Lisa Pierson when we first adopted the cats – I was worried about making raw bc both my daughter and I have Systemic Lupus and are on Chemo drugs.

    BC of this site I discovered Vitality Science. I had several WONDERFUL chats with Jeff (the son-in-law of the owner). He suggested the Comfort Feline (and bc money was tight he added a small container of the luxolite). Well here is my problem…the cat WILL NOT EAT IT! I’ve tried adding fortiflora (It is supposed to hide the taste- I ordered Tuna- then I just ordered Beef/Liver flavor-hopefully I’ll get that by Thursday).

    So my question is this (Sorry for length but I need you to understand the history). My cats are VERY FINIKY! They ate Newmans for 2 years then stopped. They won’t touch it. I have spent over $90 in the last 3 weeks buying all different grain free high end cat foods- most ended up eaten one meal, then refused (yes I warm it up slightly from refrigerator-via microwave just 5 secs) and pitched. I’m losing it. I have tried Lotus, Tiki, Weruva, Gatos and (can’t remember the other name), Wellness core, addiction (OMG HATED IT), everything that Vitality recommended (they have a great list on their home page).

    SO…I contacted Vitality Science first about the flavor of the Comfort Feline. Steve wrote back and suggested adding tuna (hate tuna) , Cat Nip (nope), and a fish flake kitty Kaviar -sold at amazon for 1 oz it’s $10.

    First- any suggestions for picky cats for food? Am considering Rad Cat – is it safe for sick humans? What about the dehydrated food? Is that an easier transition? And if so what brand/flavor?

    Second, while I’m waiting for the second flavor or vitality science I’m not giving him the tuna. So any thoughts on flavor for food ? He likes mostly chicken (I know, I know), I’ve tried (don’t yell) adding crushed fromm dry on the top (I know, I know- but I’m desperate-he won’t eat). Someone recommended Evo -from your later blog – haven’t heard of that (not on any of my amazing food lists).

    SO…they hate venison, rabbit, any new protein .Yes, I know i have to get them to get to a place where I can rotate protein daily/meals. The vet is screaming at me about NOT CHANGING ANY FOOD/BRAND (JEEZ maybe if we all chipped in vet schools would give a nutrition class- it’s been shown if you change GRAIN FREE FOODS often the cats don’t get sick when you change but my vet disagrees- off to find a holistic vet for this issue I guess).

    Out of money.
    Out of ideas.
    Out of my mind.

    ANY IDEAS??? PLEASE! Am off to buy more food that I will throw out…they only want chicken or turkey (Sometimes duck if it’s with one of the others).

    Also if you could suggest which I should go with- rad cat or a dehydrated (for my issues).Or should I keep buying canned.

    IF he won’t eat the comfort feline beef…what can I hide it in (tried putting it on lox- he loves lox- bc I was desperate…HE WALKED AWAY…tail up.

    Sorry so long…and thank you in advance for any suggestions.

    Dr Karen the over the edge shrink that needs a shrink!

  20. Simone October 19, 2015 at 12:39 pm #

    I have 4 male indoor cats, all neutered. They were all rescued. Their ages: 18 months, 6 years, 7.5 years and 9 years. Their problems:
    – the 7.5 year old has constipation, his stools are little dry balls and sometimes he meows loud when doing it, he goes to the bathroom once every 2 days and sometimes throws up hairballs. he has a short hair and hates being brushed/touched.
    – the 9 year old is obese and has some allergic respiratory condition, he is longhaired and never throws up, he loves to be brushed!
    – the “baby has nothing.
    – the 6 year old is my main concern, he was abandoned as a kitten in a park and lived there for 3 years until I adopted him, some volunteers care for the cats there. he’s huge, 15lbs but not fat, a couple of months ago he went to the vet because of constant vomiting and regurgitating and also loose stools. ultrasound showed some inflamation in his intestine AND he has only one kidney that’s normal, the other isn’t working anymore. he took antibiotics for 10 days and started with diarrhea. He took probiotics/prebiotics in the form of a paste for 14 days and nothing. he is eating gastro-intestinal cat food for a month and nothing. and he scratches himself a lot, sometimes causing wounds to his skin.
    Their vet just had a baby and I don’t trust any other vet around. I live in Brazil, we have few options regarding cats, cat food and all. Most international sites won’t ship to Brazil.
    My cats eat dry food only, they don’t like other things, wet food isn’t attractive to them.
    I’m thinking about giving him Royal Canin Sensible, it’s the ONLY option for sensitive tummy here. Dry kibble (only option available). The thing is that I leave food for them directly, I could never change this habbit because I spend most of the day out and they do not eat around each other. I have serious behavioral problems.
    After reading your blog I thought about giving probiotics, especially to my 6 year old, along with the Sensible food. I don’t know what else to try.

  21. Rachel Linares November 6, 2015 at 3:56 pm #

    Hello! Just bought Rad Cat yesterday because of my cat having diarrhea AND blood/mucus in it as well… VERY SCARY!! I love my baby!!! So.. QUESTION… has anyone tried mixing radcat with a dry food too? Just wondering… I know this is only the beginning stage for my cat and patience is key! .. but I used to give him wet food AND dry food… So I’m wondering if it’s good to keep doing that… Help! Im a n00b!

    • Karyn November 12, 2015 at 4:56 am #

      If you have any concerns call or em Rad cat . They will be glad to answer your questions.

  22. Deborah December 3, 2015 at 7:17 pm #

    So very thankful to have found this blog and to learn of the many others who are loving cats with IBS. I can relate with so many comments I have read. I was heartbroken when my Romeo was seen by a specialist and diagnosed a year ago with lymphoma and was put on a steroid to help ease severe symptoms of diarrhea. One year later, thankfully he is still with me and my vet now believes it is IBS. I started reading about IBS and how a simple diet can help. While I am not up to making my own cat food, I have changed his diet to Nature Variety Instinct and am astounded at the change. The grain and gluten free limited ingredient diet is improving his quality of life! My poor kitty suffered with the “explosive diarrhea” for so long and in only a few days I have started to see amazing improvement! It was hard to believe a different food would make such an impact. Hoping others can learn, as I did, to make life better for their feline family members. Thanks again.
    Deborah 🐾

  23. Simone December 4, 2015 at 2:34 am #

    It’s me again (Simone from Brazil, I’ve left a comment back in October).
    So my 6yo renal cat has food allergies. As I mentioned before, we have little options of very good cat food here, only one brand of the hypoallergenic one that costs a LOT for a small package. I decided to treat him with homeopathy, I’ve found a very good homeopathic vet here in my city. I suspect he’s allergic to the chicken protein, I started giving him boiled chicken breast (no salt at all) and he loves it, but he started to scratch himself more around his face and neck. The problem is that they only like cat food that’s chicken flavour. They don’t like wet food, they lick it a bit and leave it there. I’m expecting to see good results with homeopathy so I can treat his kidneys too and also 2 of my other cats.

  24. Michael December 11, 2015 at 11:03 am #

    Advice and thoughts on IBD in a lifetime RadCat eater…

    Hi. I’m a bit confused. I have an almost 10 year old Main Coon mix. I adopted him when he was 6 months. Since then he’s been on grain free everything. 30-50% RadCat raw, the rest high quality canned…many of which are listed on this site. I cycled RadCat formulas and the canned so there was variety. Outside in the day, he would hunt and eat mice or voles occasionally, not a lot.

    At a few years old, a hairball would come up every 6-8 weeks. Then a few years ago there was a stretch of a few weeks where a small hairball came up almost every night. He still had a good appetite; not throwing up food. I have a solid holistic vet, we treated with Nutrigest, Phytomicil, fish oils, homeopathic salts, etc.

    Appetite has always been strong. But a few months ago he didn’t eat a meal, then I tried some RadCat, he ate that but then threw that up. Only supplements he’s been on this year has been the Nutrigest and Welactin fish oil. We thought he may need a break from these supplements, so we stopped for a bit. Then a few weeks ago a weekend of not eating, then better.

    Only food he has gone off of in the past was RadCat lamb…but he used to love that.

    What the labs and ultrasound says:
    • Xray from early November showed a clean digestive system, no blockages, no hair to be seen.

    • Low b12 (he’s just at the bottom end of the range). He’s now getting b12 shots.

    • Low albumin. He’s not losing this through his urine, though

    • Thickening in the jejunum

    • A somewhat enlarged lymph node.

    • Pancreatitis blood tested 2 times, negative both.

    • Vet and internist doesn’t think it’s IBD related to food allergy. Vet doesn’t think it’s lymphoma.

    This Wednesday…after trying a new IBD/allergy food (Royal Canin rabbit and pea) he threw this up 6 hours after eating. He was ravenous, and I think I let him heat too much.

    Options this week were to try prednisolone or budesonide. Budesonide stays in the digestive system mostly and is less systemic, but the prednisolone has the ability to bring up albumin levels and help the lymph node as well. We went with the pred.

    Tried to get him to eat the past two days so he could get the prednisolone. But not easy…he had a half dose last night on a few crunchies. Stayed in his system for 4 hours, but threw soon up after giving him some homeopathics.

    He’s at the vet now getting fluids and a cortisone shot, and an anti-vomit shot. Vet just called to say the lymph node seems much smaller than a few days ago.

    If you’re still here, apologies foe the length. Wanted to get it down. I guess my question is…

    Without knowing how he reacts to the prednisolone, my vet thinks it may need to be long term if it works, as Nutrigest did not seem to work in the past. The only other option he mentioned is a strict homeopathic regime.

    So how much success is there with a short term regiment of prednisolone, tapering off and then treat with probiotics, food, etc? In your experience does this only work if the IND is allergy related?

    Thank you for any insight.

    Michael

    • Vironica Dart December 11, 2015 at 8:27 pm #

      Hello Michael

      I’m sorry to hear about your Baby. Your cat like mine
      might be allergic to all supplements in commercial food. The only thing that helped Gandalf stop V omitting was to get him on a raw diet of ground rabbit and organ meat for 6 months I fed him every 3 to 4 hours throughout the day routinely ….he stopped vomiting if I miss a feeding time he would wake me up vomitting. Try this first you have nothing to loose it is the best route to go before cortisone, prednisone /prednisilone treatment. You can get food sources from http://www.wholefood4pets.com or hare-today

      We also tried Royal canine rabbit & per & he couldn’t stop projectile vomiting

      All the best

      • Michael December 16, 2015 at 5:57 pm #

        Thank you, Veronica.

        • Vironica Dart January 6, 2016 at 4:06 am #

          You most welcome Michael how is your Kitty doing?

          I hope his doing better. Gandalf is also allergic to chicken & quail. So your cat may be suffering from food and supplement allergies too. I hope he is doing better. If not ask the Vet to give you some cerenia to help with the vommitting while you get him on a diet that will agree with him.

          Some useful links

          http://www.catinfo.org/

          http://www.radiopetlady.com/category/shows/cat-chat/

          You can listen to the raw food segment and all her talks are worth listening too with Dr
          Elizabeth Hodgkins DVM, JD

          • Michael January 6, 2016 at 10:40 am #

            Hi Veronica, Thanks for your message. Cat 1 is doing much better, but it was quite an ordeal. Another ultrasound was done and what seemed to be a thickening in the digestive tract was now a stricture—completely blocked. This is very rare in cats. So surgery was done the next day. Good news is his appetite is strong and he’s recovering nicely. Sad news has has a low grade, small cell lymphoma. Although the doctors say this is the best to get if your pet is to get cancer, as long term recovery looks great. Treating with traditional and alternative supplement (like transfer factor plus and homeopathies.)

            A question on raw food and digestive cancer. My vet has the feeling that to takes a high degree of chi and energy for a pet to effectively digest a raw food diet, and that with cancer this may be too draining on the body as a whole. I can see the logic. Any thoughts here?

            One note to pass along, seems like the new thinking is that a cat should not throw up more than once a week. If this is the case, the idea is that IBD can turn into cancer over time.

          • Vironica Dart January 6, 2016 at 3:23 pm #

            Hi Michael I am so sorry to hear this.

            I definitely think you are on the right track for your Kitty’s treatment.

            I definitely think that homemade raw food would be more efficiently digestible for your cat even more so now that your cat is fighting all of this (your cats natural diet) than any commercials processed food or can food with all the fillers and nonsense they put into it.

            You can definitely contact Dr Elizabeth Hodgkins for more advice on this she is always willing to go the extra mile to help any cat.

            Please keep us updated on your kitties recovery and journey. Wishing your kitty a speedy recovery and all the best for 2016.

            Ps. My vet suggested I add more water to my kitties homemade raw and I’m also making sure that he has 50% ground rabbit meat, organs and bone with 50% rabbit meat or rabbit organs only.

            I won’t look back after going raw my only regret is putting my cat on a commercial food diet. Had I known I would have continued to let him hunt for his own food.

            Wishing you all the best Michael

          • Michael January 6, 2016 at 3:46 pm #

            Thanks for the insight, Veronica. He has been on a Rad Cat raw diet (40-50%) for 9 years, the rest being high quality organic, grain free canned food. So not many fillers there.

            But what do you add to your home raw food as far as supplements?

  25. Anne December 16, 2015 at 6:23 am #

    Has anyone experienced spontaneous vomiting when making the switch to raw? I was transitioning to RadCat, but although my boy loved it, after a few days, he would eat and then 10-15 minutes later vomit.

    Needless to say, I went back to his LTD ingredient food, but I have recently read that some animals go through detox when making the switch….

    If that’s the case, I’ll try again, as I’m hoping that raw will help his now softserve BMs (a huge improvement) reach something a little more “normal”,

    • Michael December 16, 2015 at 5:51 pm #

      I think it’s best to start slow and with very small amounts if they haven’t had raw before. My kitten threw up Primal once, and was told to move on until I found a raw food that worked.

      • Anne December 17, 2015 at 5:29 am #

        I did start slow. In fact I referred to the excellent transition advice I found on this site. :) He was about to the 1/2 old 1/2 new stage when the vomiting started. He did produce his first hairball, and I thought that might have be related. I want to try again, but will be picking up all the carpets before I do so.

    • Liz December 17, 2015 at 7:30 am #

      Anne, I have a couple thoughts on this too. It’s always possible that certain foods don’t agree with your cat, but a couple other possibilities:
      – the coldness of refrigerated food may cause a cat to throw up. we mix a bit of hot water into RadCat (not to a soupy consistency though – our cats don’t like soupy) to bring the temp up
      – you mentioned a hairball, and that could certainly be it. mixing 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of 100 percent pure (NO spices etc) canned pumpkin with his food could help with this

      • Anne January 6, 2016 at 4:53 am #

        Thanks, Liz. He has been getting pumpkin with his canned food, as it’s a great medium for dissolving the probiotics….doesn’t make his food soupy (also not a fan of “soup”). Pumpkin’s great, I learned about it with my puppy…and have told everyone I know with a dog or cat.

  26. Sue January 5, 2016 at 11:31 am #

    I tried several expensive vet prescribed canned foods for my kitten with IBD (from Royal Canine). Nothing worked. She really liked the greek yogurt, canned plain pumpkin, and canned chicken recipe. I fed that for lunch only for a month. I even tried the Slippery Elm and Enzyme supplements, but what really worked and stopped her watery stools was RAD CAT chicken diet. It’s very expensive, but she loves it and her stool is totally normal. Saved me from ultra sound $$$ to see if something was wrong with her. I tried to go back to canned after she seemed stable, but her diarrhea came back instantly.

    • Anne January 6, 2016 at 4:45 am #

      Sue, when you switched to RAD CAT, was it a slow switch? Were you giving any other supplements (probiotics, digestive enzymes, etc.)?

  27. Vironica Dart January 6, 2016 at 4:50 am #

    Hi I just wanted to ask the group with all their cats vommitting have they had their vets do a thyroid check on their cats for hyperthyroidism, T4?

    It’s a good thing to rule out. That both thyroid and kidneys are functioning as they should.

    There is also a newer kidney test that can help rule this out or detect problems early enough called SDMA this can all be done with their regular blood work tests.

    http://www.littlebigcat.com/health/hyperthyroidism/

    Also cats tend to vomit when they miss their feeding time. It helps if possible to spread out your cats feeding time through the day as most cats are nibblers & eat small amounts throughout the day.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Dwm22nqfwCw&sns=em

    Here is Karen Becker’s talk on why cats vomit

  28. Peyt February 4, 2016 at 1:21 pm #

    I did not know cats could get IBS. I suffered for two years with human IBS and it was miserable. I can only imagine how bad it must be for a pet.

  29. Angela February 4, 2016 at 2:07 pm #

    Hi Dr Karen,
    please do never never ever give your cats any food that has been microwaved ! Microwaves destroy the nutrients of any food and turn it into something the body cannot recognize. Microwaved food is cancerogenous and severely compromises the immune system.
    The first ovens were developed by the Nazis, to supply the soldiers on the Russian front with a method of easily warming their food. When their research proved how harmful they were for the human body, they stopped their experiments. After the war, the Russians seized the scientific documents from Eastern Germany, and continued the studies themselves. They issued a warning about microwave ovens in the 1970s and outlawed them.
    In the 80s, Swiss scientist Hans Ulrich Hertel ran a series of tests about the effects of microwaved food on the immune system with shocking results He was shut up by the electronics industry that threatened him with a $ 5 mio lawsuit.
    That’s the reason why mothers are warned about microwaving the milk bottles for their babies – it’s not that the “heat is unevenly distributed” as they claim. That could be easily repaired by shaking the bottle. The manufacturers are afraid that giving microwaved milk to a baby would result in severe harm to the health or even death of the baby – because once a mother is used to this convenient method of warming the milk, she would probably warm all bottles like that, and as a consequence, the baby would get NOTHING BUT microwaved food – and that would kill it. And then their dirty little secret comes out.
    regards, Angela

  30. SJ February 6, 2016 at 3:56 pm #

    Wonderful advice everyone.
    We have a lovely 14 yr. old rescue cat, Fergus; whom we ‘ve had for 5 months.
    He seems to vomit every 4 to 5 days, and on the same day has a lot of stools that ar partly normal to hard, and partly loose; and not in his litter box.
    He only ever vomits in the morning, after not being fed for about 8 hours.
    We don’t really want to get up in the night to feed him; we did not have children for a reason!!
    In between, he does not vomit, and uses his litterbox.
    He acts as if he is starving all the time, and begs at the table.
    We now feed him 3 to 4 times a day,( depending on who is home and for how long); and smaller amounts.
    It seems to help a little.
    Today I was at the Vet with him, and she talked about IBS, and suggested venison/deer in his food.
    We are trying that as of today.
    He also had bloodwork today to check his thyroid, so we’ll see what that shows.
    We also lift up all the hall mats and carpets every night; and close all the doors in an attempt to at least keep some of the house clean!
    If any one has any other suggestions for me , I will be very grateful; as all this cleaning up is very hard work to say the least.

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