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Cat constipation & food

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by tibbythecat, May 4, 2010.


  1. tibbythecat

    tibbythecat PetForums Junior

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    My cat has suffered twice from constipation now.
    We have tried ruling things out and think it may be feeding him dry cat food periodically.
    I have always try to feed a varied diet with homemade cooked food, high quality tinned food and dry food.
    I am pretty scared to start a raw diet at the moment but wondered if anyone had any suggestions as to what i can feed as a complete food, there doesnt seem to be a lot of choice even though its in such high demand.
    He eats Applaws, Porta21, Almo Nature, however i have recently read some naff reviews about these not being sufficient complete foods so if i take him off the dry food then he may not get the nutrients he needs. Also some of the alternative wet food have very low/poor quality meat content.
    I do worry as its not clear on the tins and would hate to make him poorly :confused1:
     
  2. Dally Banjo

    Dally Banjo PetForums VIP

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    I would stop feeding him the dry food & see if that helps :) the Applaws has a high content of meat or you could try Purley our lot love that :thumbup:
     
  3. hobbs2004

    hobbs2004 PetForums VIP

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    Hello! Like Dally Banjo I would stop feeding him the dry to see whether just wet sorts your cat out.

    One of my cats is addicted to Porta 21. It is actually a complete food but because of its really low fat content (0.5%) I would suggest that you either feed it in alternation with a higher fat food or mix some goose fat in with it.

    Applaws and Almo Nature only contains cooked meat and stock, therefore lacks the vitamins and minerals that your cat needs. Therefore the manufacturers say that you should fed dry with their Applaws and Almo Nature wet to make it a rounded diet. Also, Applaws has a really high phosphorus content - not good for bones. But they are great occasional treats.

    There are however other foods that you can try your cat on:
    - Bozita - 93% meat content in their tetrapacks and available to order online from seapets, e and r, and zooplus. Bozita also do a tinned version, which is a pate but 97% meat
    - Purely, as Dally Banjo has pointed out, has got a meat content of 50% I believe and is available from Pets at home.
    - Natures Menu has a 70% meat content, and is available from Pets at home too as well as other places.
    - Feline Fayre is often fed by people here - the black pouches are complete- available in Asda, Morrisons etc
    - HiLife - also has a good meat content - varies from 45% to 70% depending on type.
    - Tesco also do a wet food that has a high meat content - I believe it is called Tesco Luxury

    If your cat eats pate, then you could try these:
    - Pet's Kitchen - 90% meat content - available from them directly: www.petskitchen.co.uk/index.php
    - Lily's Kitchen - 65% organic meat - available from them directly: www.lilyskitchen.co.uk/
    -Grau - 89% meat content - available from zooplus
    - Herrmanns - 97% organic meat - available at zooplus but pricey but only need 1 pouch per day
    - Ziwi Peak - new to the UK market - available from the bern per food website - based on the raw feeding principle: www.bernpetfoods.co.uk/acatalog/ZiwiPeak_Daily_Cat_Cuisine.html

    You say that you feed your cat homemade cooked food - would you consider feeding it raw? You say you are pretty scared to feed raw at the moment, without being nosey :eek:, may I ask why that is? There are quite a few raw feeders here that would be more than willing to lay to rest any fears. There are also some great prepared raw minces to be had....

    Hope that helps!
     
    #3 hobbs2004, May 5, 2010
    Last edited: May 10, 2010
  4. Kyvor

    Kyvor PetForums Newbie

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    Hi

    In terms of providing a complete diet to your cat, dry food is probably the best way to go.

    Possibly a simpler thing to try, rather than making wholesale changes to your cat's diet, would be to add some water to your current dry food when feeding. A lot of manufacturers suggest doing this to make the dry food more palatable to your pet, as it produces a kind of gravy effect, but it also adds moisture to the food, which may help to ease your cat's problems.

    Worth a go in the short term!
     
  5. Paddypaws

    Paddypaws PetForums VIP

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    Hi, I can highly recommend Bozita tinned food which I buy from Zooplus. It is very dense and meaty and my cats seem to like it when I add a good dash of warm water to serve it as a soupy consistency.
    I do not think it is a good idea to add water to dry food...firstly it turns into an unappetising mush, but secondly the moisture allows moulds to grow which were inhibited when dry.
    If the cat is prone to constipation you can try
    1. Adding a few drops of salmon oil to food daily
    2. Adding a small dose of slipery elm powder either to food, or mashed into butter.
    3. Adding 1/2 tsp of soaked linseeds to food daily

    Probably not all 3 together, but I tend to rotate!
     
  6. tibbythecat

    tibbythecat PetForums Junior

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    Thanks everyone, your so helpful.
    This may sound silly but I am pretty nervous about feeding them raw meat in case i poison them!
    The history of our Diz (little tabby boy) is that he was a rescue cat and when we picked him up from the centre (over 5 years ago) his bum was sore and red. We didnt take him back as people suggested we should have, he was our little lad by then :) We spent hundreds on vets bills but none had any answers. I did some research & changed his cheap felix diet to a more 'natural' diet (applaws, higher meat content dry food, cooked chicken thighs & coley fish etc) and it more or less resolved his soreness.
    His diet was more or less complete but since he has begun to get consitipated and i have to cut out dry food, its become a concern that his diet isnt complete.
    He is sensitive but of course loves dry food and gobbles it down like its his last meal! When he is ok he is so active and happy that i just want to keep it under control and not have him messed about with.
    I have stocked up on some of the more available food that has been suggested and will take a look on the net later at the others.
    Does anyone know if the raw meat (minced) in pets at home is ok to feed cats? It says its for dogs on the packet. Also if a raw diet is fed then surely this isnt complete either? Also havent we domesticated our cats to eat commercial cooked food?
    Thanks again
     
  7. hobbs2004

    hobbs2004 PetForums VIP

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    Hello! You don't sound silly at all, so don't you worry :D

    As long as you follow basic hygiene standards, there is very little chance that you can "poison" your cat. Your cat's stomach deals with bacteria, such as salmonella, much more effectively than us humans do. So you don't need to worry too much when feeding raw chicken, for example. What we tend to do perhaps a little more than those feeding commercial cat food, is to worm more regularly. So, you could stop boiling the chicken and fish that you feed anyway and just give it to them raw.

    Raw food often sorts ibs in some cats. The other thing that you can try, both for a runny tummy as well as constipation is to mix some slippery elm bark in with his food. This is some truly great stuff, both for animals as well as humans.

    I don't think the prize choice packets that you can pick up at Pets @ Home are complete for cats. Dogs, for example, don't need taurine but it is essential for cats (see the sticky on top of the nutrition site). So, while dog minces frequently contain tribe, cat minces tend to contain more heart (a taurine bomb), liver etc. So, if you want to go down that route than it is going to be slightly more difficult than picking it up from p@home.

    A lot of us use Darlings - the real dog food company - minces. They also do some for cats - not yet available on their website but if you email darlings then you can get a trial pack of 3 kg of different cat minces for £10 inc delivery. They source their food from local, free-range farms. There are also others that now do minces for cats but i cannot remember their names, sorry.

    These minces are complete - they contain muscle meat, bones, kidney, heart, liver, stomach etc.

    I don't normally advocate feeding dry; but unless you change the food, which seems to contain mostly complementary types, or change to raw, it would make sense for you to supplement it with a good quality dry. If money is no issue, check out orijen, which is a good dry food or ziwi peak (insanely expensive but not really dry but wet food that has been freeze dried).

    Sorry for the rather lengthy reply :eek:
     
    #7 hobbs2004, May 5, 2010
    Last edited: May 5, 2010
  8. LKelly

    LKelly PetForums Junior

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    I would say that dry foods would be better than moist, I do know that my friends cat was very sick and she tried Burns foods and they worked for her, maybe worth a go?
     
  9. The Twins

    The Twins PetForums Senior

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    I'm sorry but i disagree - dry is most definitely not better than moist... Yes, it is about what works for each individual cat but i wouldnt not advocate dry as the solution to this... or anything to be honest!

    I echo Hobbs' post above - i think raw would be the best thing and i know how you feel about worrying when first using this method but honestly, i have not looked back since feeding mine a raw diet. It has transformed them! One of mine has IBS-type probs and raw has been a godsend. I used to frequently be in tears when it came to litter-tray visits for poor gilly.

    Anyway, IMO, dry will only accerbate the prob - he wont necessarily have softer poop from eating dry, he'll just have MORE of it so essentially could end up becoming impacted with poop that he cant get out because he is constipated. Dry produces MUCH more poop in general.

    I'd also try some pro-kolin paste as this promotes a healthy gut (in terms of good bacteria) and you can get this on petmeds for about £10 for a 30ml tube.

    Hope this helps!
     
  10. hobbs2004

    hobbs2004 PetForums VIP

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    If a cat suffers constipation, then dry food is generally a bad idea as it not only increases output but also because the cat doesn't take in enough moisture to make it passable. Water balance is crucial in constipated cats - or in any cat really.
     
  11. billyboysmammy

    billyboysmammy PetForums VIP

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    dry food is a BIG nono for constipation. The bowel works by osmosis and dry food can cause dehydration... the last thing you need is a bunged up cat with constipation and the stools getting even drier!

    Agree (as usual) with hobbs and the twins here. Hobbs has given you a good list of foods to try, and all the basics of a raw food diet.

    At the moment a number of the foods your feeding arent quite enough. Some are complimentory (e.g. applaws) and are designed as a treat rather than a meal. Others are lacking in one way or another. All good foods but not quite enough for him so your right to be concerned.

    There are some home remedies to help unbung him in the interim. Slippery elm as hobbs suggested is a good supplement, but for immediate effects a small tin of pilchards in tomato sauce (rinse off most of the sauce but not all - i think its the key to it working!) will work wonders at getting a sluggish constipated bowel working again. Its usually quite quick (and errm explosive) but it certainly kick starts things.

    If it helps, every one of my cats here is a rescue, and i also foster rescue cats (usually pregnant girls and their resulting babies). They are ALL fed on a predominatly raw diet. I dont feed 100% raw as i travel quite a bit, and its easier for my neighbours to open a tin than to expect them to deal with raw feeding.

    xx
     
  12. tibbythecat

    tibbythecat PetForums Junior

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    Hello
    Thanks for all your help.
    I've been away for a week and my cat hasnt had any dry food and there hasnt been a reoccurance of constipation. I'm pretty sure that its the dry food that is causing him to be impacted. Dry food just doesnt seem right for any animal as its so unnatural.
    In one of the latest cat magazines it says that the risks of bacteria in raw meat needs to be weighted up against the benefits of raw food diet. This again has put doubts in my mind but i need to do something.
    Think i will try to implement a raw food diet but keep the more natural food (applaws, highlife, etc). Not even sure that they will eat it as neither one of my cats has shown an interest in raw meat before...its always pretty safe sitting on the cupboard top.
     
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