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  1. #1
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    Kitty likely has IBD - any diet recommendations?

    Our vet is suspicious that our 13 year old male, Thor, has IBD. We had that suspicion even before he suggested it. Thor has been tested for hyperthyroid (we had a cat that was treated for that for years, so that was our initial guess when we noticed he was losing weight and having digestion issues), but everything checked-out fine. The only thing that is at all amiss is slight anemia, which isn't particularly abnormal in middle-aged/older cats.

    I doubt our vet will go to the trouble of testing specifically for IBD. We've ruled-out most other things, like thyroid and parasites. Thor never goes outdoors, so parasites or viral stuff are not likely. When I last talked to the vet he suggested steroid treatment, if a short course of Imodium didn't help his chronic diarrhea issues--and it really hasn't.

    So assuming he does go on steroids, we probably do want to find a more ideal food for our 3 furbaby boys. Currently we're feeding them PetSmart's Authority dry for sensitive systems. For years we fed them Iams, but the main ingredient in that $$ stuff is corn, which isn't really good for any animals, much less cats. And IBD is similar to Chron's, so corn would be a no-no for that reason, alone.

    Lately all he tolerates is really nasty, cheap Friskies canned stuff. Hopefully once we get his symptoms under control we can convince him to eat something better. Canned would be fine. We tried Innova canned for senior cats a while back and he REALLY liked it, but he ate it too fast and it made him pretty sick. We'd happily go back to Innova if he could tolerate it better in the future. The ingredients list was not full of fillers.

    Any dry suggestions (I know Blue Buffalo and Wellness are popular, but they aren't cheap and once Thor starts getting his appetite back I expect he's going to go back to his gluttonous ways--his nickname is Piggy, even though it doesn't fit him, of late) or other canned foods? Does anyone with cats who have digestive issues make food for their cats? I don't know that I would go "raw," but I'd happily boil up fish and chicken and liver and other meats if that would be suitable for him.
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  2. #2
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    If you are going to homecook a meal, you have to ensure the diet is complete. Predators usually consume the organs first, and they are full of all kinds of other things. So a homecooked diet will have to include a variety of ingredients.

    As for what to do, consider using a technique to keep your cat from pigging out. Instead of the canned innova, try a dry kibble that you can put in toys. Making the cat work for its food will force it to eat more slowly

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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    If you are going to homecook a meal, you have to ensure the diet is complete. Predators usually consume the organs first, and they are full of all kinds of other things. So a homecooked diet will have to include a variety of ingredients.

    As for what to do, consider using a technique to keep your cat from pigging out. Instead of the canned innova, try a dry kibble that you can put in toys. Making the cat work for its food will force it to eat more slowly
    I'm hoping we can get him back to eating dry, at least in part. He was loving the Authority Sensitive dry food until recently. Now he and our other 2 boys are all turning up their noses in favorite of that garbage Friskies canned. Boneheaded cats.

    Yeah, if we do any quantity of home cooked foods we need to make sure that we're supplementing with taurine, for sure. We've been getting some of those lactose-free cat milks and kitten formulas into him to help make sure he's getting some extra calories, fluids, and nutrients. But he's likely going to need a variety of things.

    Such a big, stubborn dummy. He never would have survived in the wild (we rescued him in the middle of Winter as a 4-5 month old kitten with frostbitten toes in a bad part of town near where my husband worked). He's my baby and he knows it...and I sort of encourage it.

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  4. #4
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    Maybe try a decend kibble like Taste of the Wild, which is grain free. Chicken Soup for the Soul has grains, but gets decent reviews.

    You could also maybe mix in a small spoonful of wet food with water to form a gravy with the kibble. Only problem with this is pets generally expect the gravy every feeding. Therefore not eating dry kibble. The drier content of the kibble with gravy helps to slow them while eating as well.

    Disclosure: I'm not a vet, nor do I play one on mtn bike forums.

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    Grain in general isn't the problem unless the animal has allergies. It is one of the things they would be getting from the organs of their prey in the wild. Wild predators typically eat the muscle meat last, since the organs provide more nutrients. The problem is the low quality stuff with more grain than animal protein, esp for cats.

    Moist foods are technically better for cats but with this cat having problems with eating too fast, it will be hard to slow him down with moist food. To do it you would have to feed him small amounts several times per day and unless you are home all day with the cat that can be pretty much impossible.

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    After rereading my original post. I did a poor job on my post.

    Grain free kibble generally has higher protien content than those with grain. Manufactures of grain free kibble generally try to mimic a more natural diet for dogs and cats as if they were in the wild. Including meats, fish, fruits, veggies, roots etc.....

    Nate brings up a really good point I meant to touch on in my first post and didnt do so well. By mixing a soft food with kibble to form a gravy type meal. Dogs and cats generally slow thier eating due to the coursness off the still dry kibble smoothered in gravy. Thus helping in throwing up from eating to fast.

    Read the ingredients of what your feeding your pet. Monitor them and continue to consult your vet.

  7. #7
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    [/QUOTE]

    There's the problem right there. He's spoiled and lazy. There's a mouse right in front of him and he could care less.
    Ripping trails and tipping ales

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    Quote Originally Posted by Vader View Post
    There's the problem right there. He's spoiled and lazy. There's a mouse right in front of him and he could care less.
    Ha, that's our Thor! He'd never survive in the wild...I don't think he has a shred of natural hunting instinct. I had to get rid of my mousepad, since he was convinced it was his bed and would always be ON it, then I had no room to use my mouse.

    Great thoughts on food options, guys. Mojo, I am considering the Chicken Soup food. That's what my folks feed their cats and they've really had good luck with it. Our feed co-op right in our little town even sells it. The ingredients all sound like things I would eat.
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  9. #9
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    my cat has occasional bum problems. when it's acting up, i get some wet food (good brand) and put some rice in, then some probiotic powder. Seems to help.

    Yes, corn is allergenic, as is wheat and soy. I used to feed her wellness, but they kept raising the price like crazy. a friend with the same issue told me that Costco has a super premium brand (under their Kirkland name) but it is made by Diamond which makes other high quality foods. but you get it at the costco price. now i get food for less than half the price! i read the ingredients too, and they have no corn, soy, or by products. The dog gets the same stuff, in a grain free version (her skin has improved). its not as good as homemade, or raw, but its the best stuff for the money.
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    Man, I wish we had a Costco closer to us (as well as Trader Joe's...gah!). Yeah, Wellness is crazy $$. I think we could make our cats homemade food for a LOT cheaper than going the Wellness or Blue route.

    Poor dumb cats. They don't do any better than we do when we eat a lot of junk.
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  11. #11
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    Fyi, byproducts are organs. It is a human response (and a western one at that) to avoid those. They are fine. ANYTHING can be an allergen. I have a dog that is allergic to chicken. Do you know how hard it is to find dog foods with no chicken? Most contain AT LEAST chicken fat. Makes him seriously ill.

    There is a lot of BS on the interwebs about pet food. More than most things. Like the grain free thing.
    Grain #1 ingredient=cheap junk food
    Grain on the list but a few entries down=fine

    One carb source is not inherently better than others. Corn, wheat, potato, it doesn't matter. All that matters is that they don't get too much of it.

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    Fyi, byproducts are organs. It is a human response (and a western one at that) to avoid those. They are fine. ANYTHING can be an allergen. I have a dog that is allergic to chicken. Do you know how hard it is to find dog foods with no chicken? Most contain AT LEAST chicken fat. Makes him seriously ill.

    There is a lot of BS on the interwebs about pet food. More than most things. Like the grain free thing.
    Grain #1 ingredient=cheap junk food
    Grain on the list but a few entries down=fine

    One carb source is not inherently better than others. Corn, wheat, potato, it doesn't matter. All that matters is that they don't get too much of it.
    I don't think grain is inherently bad, but for a carnivore to have it be the #1 ingredient in a food (which it is in a lot of dry pet foods) makes me put the bag back on the shelf. Also not a fan of corn because it's so high glycemic. I know what eating a lot of high glycemic carbs does to me. And corn is a pretty big no-no for Chron's folks...IBD is very similar to Chron's in cats. Maybe 6 months ago we started avoiding foods with corn in them and the puking going on between our cats has greatly lessened (they seem to do OK with the foods that have things like rice, barley, and oatmeal). Stuff I'm reading suggests that both corn and chicken can be somewhat highly allergenic for dogs and cats. Chicken really is in a LOT of pet foods! I'm sure because it's cheap and plentiful.
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  13. #13
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    In your case, you have very specific needs. I was speaking more about the general anti grain and anti corn sentiment that gets spread around pet owners forums. I left those types of sites because of the religious fanatacism regarding food that you get on those sites.

    Do you jave any good pet food stores near you? Some of them have sample size packages. I used them to figure out that chicken was the source of my dog's allergy. Maybe you could do similar to find a food your cat tolerates well

    I got samples of most of the good brands- Wellness, Innova, Canidae, California Naturals

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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    In your case, you have very specific needs. I was speaking more about the general anti grain and anti corn sentiment that gets spread around pet owners forums. I left those types of sites because of the religious fanatacism regarding food that you get on those sites.

    Do you jave any good pet food stores near you? Some of them have sample size packages. I used them to figure out that chicken was the source of my dog's allergy. Maybe you could do similar to find a food your cat tolerates well

    I got samples of most of the good brands- Wellness, Innova, Canidae, California Naturals
    We've got both PetSmart and Petco and they have a pretty good variety. At the very least we can try the smallest sizes of dry and a few cans. The 2 other cats seem to be able to eat anything and everything (and they both are pudgy, as a result).

    I definitely don't think cats need to be grain-free, per se. I mean, even in the wild cats will eat grass. To feed them only meat/protein would cost a fortune, too.
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    Do you have a Tractor Supply? Their 4Health brand cat food has chicken, ground chicken meal (guts-n-all), barley, vegetables, and probiotics. No corn or soy. It costs the same as the Purina Pro at Petsmart but is much higher quality. Plus, because it's better quality nutrition my cat eats less of it, so I guess that probably makes it cheaper in the long run.

    I also have no medical training and my cat is perfectly healthy, although she turns 12 this month. I have no idea how this food would impact an IBS condition. It seems to me the probiotics might help, though.
    I'm enjoying my childhood way too much to ever give it up.

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    We don't have a farm-supply place real close by, but our local feed co-op has a similar product that we may try. I'm guessing it's also cheaper than comparable foods at the pet food warehouse stores.

    Interesting you mention probiotics. We've been sprinkling a capsule of a 6-strain probiotic on his food for a few weeks, now. Not sure that it helps, but it certainly can't hurt. If he does have IBD, then it's going to take a course of steroids to knock down the inflammation and allow his intestinal tract to heal before probiotics can really do their work.

    I'm going to run a stool sample over to the vet's office in a bit so that they can rule out other possibilities (though parasites are unlikely. Could be a stubborn/longterm infection, though, which would be easy to treat).
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    what I meant by a good pet food store was a small mom & pop type place that sells nothing but pet food. most decent-sized cities and some smaller ones have at least one.

    IME, they are not really any more expensive on the high end brands like Wellness that the big chains carry. they just don't stock the super cheap low end junk so they appear more expensive.

    and my wife and I are buying a 30lb bag of kibble for two big dogs every few weeks, so we're very aware of cost differences.

  18. #18
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    All i know is, since going grain free, my dog has less skin allergies. when she went back on a food that had lots of corn, the skin problems were worse than they ever were. i agree byproducts can be fine, but from what i've heard (and it may or may not be an exaggeration) that in cheaper foods they often use sicker or older animals in animal feed, and the byproducts tend to be more prone to contamination and disease which would rarely end up in muscle meat.
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    Can i ask what is happening to the cat?

    because my cat has bouts of diarreah, and sometimes even streaks of mucous or blood, which signal inflammation. Its on and off though, with weeks of normal poops. I noticed a pattern of her going outside and getting the runs. she's mainly an indoor cat, but sometimes i let her out on the back patio, and she LOVES eating grass. We dont spray anything on the grass, but since she's been inside a lot more, she hasnt been eating the grass, and now i'm not noticing any loose poops. She's otherwise healthy, good appetite, plump, good energy, etc.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    All i know is, since going grain free, my dog has less skin allergies. when she went back on a food that had lots of corn, the skin problems were worse than they ever were. i agree byproducts can be fine, but from what i've heard (and it may or may not be an exaggeration) that in cheaper foods they often use sicker or older animals in animal feed, and the byproducts tend to be more prone to contamination and disease which would rarely end up in muscle meat.
    dry kibble gets cooked down so much that I'm not terribly sure how much that would matter.

    skin problems are frequently attributed to food allergies (according to my wife, the vet). figuring out exactly what that allergy is can be difficult, but it doesn't mean that all grain is the problem. your dog has an allergy to something and by going grain free, you're taking the easy way out by eliminating as many potential allergens as possible. but like in my dog's case, sometimes the allergy is with a meat component of the food.

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    Quote Originally Posted by NicoleB28 View Post
    Can i ask what is happening to the cat?

    because my cat has bouts of diarreah, and sometimes even streaks of mucous or blood, which signal inflammation. Its on and off though, with weeks of normal poops. I noticed a pattern of her going outside and getting the runs. she's mainly an indoor cat, but sometimes i let her out on the back patio, and she LOVES eating grass. We dont spray anything on the grass, but since she's been inside a lot more, she hasnt been eating the grass, and now i'm not noticing any loose poops. She's otherwise healthy, good appetite, plump, good energy, etc.
    What I've read about IBD suggests that this could be what's bothering your kitty, too, assuming it's not parasites or other infection. IBD symptoms can come and go in early stages and depending upon what area of the digestive tract is being affected. Or maybe she's eating something that is temporarily upsetting her system. We had indoor/outdoor cats growing up who would have stuff like this if they ate something weird. They mostly puked after eating grass.

    Thor has had chronic diarrhea for a while, now and has lost a ton of weight in the past year. We were dealing with an elderly, failing, hyperthyroid kitty for so long that we didn't really notice how much weight he had lost and how poorly he was doing until our Lola was gone.

    We just got the results from a stool sample dropped-off at the vet's office this afternoon. Thor has no signs of parasites or other infection, so it's looking increasingly likely that IBD will be the diagnosis. The vet is gone until the weekend, so I probably won't hear from him until Sat. or Mon. to figure out what the next step is. I know he had wanted to try their cat-specific probiotics, too.

    Interesting thing. I stopped by PetSmart to look at food and found that they have a new natural store brand (Simply Nourish)...all ingredients that I would eat and it was located in the aisle with all of the super premium brands like Blue and Wellness (but for about 2/3 the price). I bought a bag of one of the dry varieties (the canned were not a bad price, but I didn't like the amount of packaging--each can was inside a little cardboard sleeve...wasteful). Turkey is the main ingredient + steel cut oats, sweet potatoes, cranberry. They had a couple of other varieties, too, including one with a lot more sweet potatoes and salmon. I realized it was their brand when I got home and opened it and saw that the pieces were shaped exactly like their Authority brand (which we had been feeding our cats, until they all decided they were too good for dry and would only eat canned).

    I opened the bag and they went nuts. I put a bit on top of their existing dry food (that they are barely picking at, now) and they inhaled it, picking around their old food. Cats are dumb.
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    Quote Originally Posted by NateHawk View Post
    what I meant by a good pet food store was a small mom & pop type place that sells nothing but pet food. most decent-sized cities and some smaller ones have at least one.

    IME, they are not really any more expensive on the high end brands like Wellness that the big chains carry. they just don't stock the super cheap low end junk so they appear more expensive.
    I don't know that we have anything like that around here, but I will definitely do some research. There used to be a few stores like that when we lived about an hour S of here, but I think as the warehouses moved-in they all shuttered.
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  23. #23
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    I just read all of this and have no pets. Companion animal diets are incredibly interesting to me apperently.
    Quote Originally Posted by Tone's View Post
    Id scrap the passion forum all together, its a breeding ground for unicorn milkers, rainbow chasers and candy cotton farters.

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    Quote Originally Posted by monzie View Post
    I just read all of this and have no pets. Companion animal diets are incredibly interesting to me apperently.
    I'm always reading random threads like that...I learn something new every day!
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    Have your vet check your cat out for small cell lymphoma... one of our cats ended up with it, he's still alive 4 years later, but the medicine is steep in price. Prednizone and Leukaran is what he is on now, and he's doing fine. Same symptoms your cat has.
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