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kitten intermittent diarrhea

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by lifewithleo, Aug 28, 2020.


  1. lifewithleo

    lifewithleo PetForums Newbie

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    Hey everyone, we have recently welcomed little Leo the Maine Coon into our family but we're having issues with his poop. We got him a couple months ago when he was about 9 weeks old and he was on Felix wet food. Apart from the first couple of days, we have struggled with his poo. It has always smelt extremely strong so we now use a hooded tray but his poo still smells out the whole house. After hours and hours of research for the best food, I bought him Feringa kitten food which he has been on for a few weeks now and absolutely loves but his poo is still not normal.

    For a few days, it was perfectly normal (brown, firm shape) but it then become very loose, dark pinkish colour (not blood but exactly like his food) and smells extremely bad. It then will go back to normal again and back to being bad. His poo currently is back to being quite bad and he now meows when finding his way to his litter box (not sure if this means he is in pain or if he is just trying to find it). He also itches his ears a lot and when we took him to the vet they suspected he had ear mites that was clearing up so they said his flea treatment should sort it out but he is still itching his ear. He also has thrown up clear/milky foam four times randomly over the past couple months.

    Anyway, every time Ive told the vets they've not given me any useful info/advice so I dont want to pay £30 for another consultation for them to tell me "hes still probably adjusting to his new home/food and we should keep an eye out". The vet also said it was unlikely he has parasites and a stool sample should be a last resort considering his issue is probably a food related one (plus he said theyre quite expensive).

    He appears to be completely healthy otherwise however, every since hes arrived, his poo has never been consistently good and we've struggled with it since day one so Im not sure if this is just normal for our little Leo or because of the Feringa food (even though it seems to be a really well tolerated, high quality brand) or if he maybe has a sensitive stomach or food allergy? Im not sure what my next steps should be because I dont want to waste money or time putting him on a new food if his issue is something else. Any advice on what could be happening and what to do next?? Should I try looking into foods for more sensitive stomachs?? Should I maybe try probiotics (saw someone talk about them on here today so maybe thats an option but not sure?) Any advice would be well appreciated!!!
     
  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    Hello @lifewithleo and welcome :)

    I am sorry to hear about Leo's bowel problems, bless him. x

    I know many vets like to leave stool testing to the end and try everything else first. But my view is that after things have been tried such as changing the kitten's diet or feeding a bland diet for a few days or giving them pro-kolin, and it is not helping then I prefer to get stool samples tested.

    Yes, it is expensive if you go via the vet, because the vet adds their referral charge and an admin fee (as is their right to do so). But there is a reputable lab that deals direct with the public (as well as with vet practices) and they are very good. I used this lab myself in the past for 2 of my own cats. And positive results were found in both cats, where the vet had wanted to "wait and see".

    The Lab is called Pinmoore Animal Services Lab. (aka PALS Vet Lab) . Their charge for a "Faeces 2" panel of tests is around £50..

    You will need to collect stool samples from your kitten from 3 different days and pool it in one pot. The Lab will send you a pot if you ask them. The stools must not be contaminated with cat litter, so take a sample from the middle of the stool.

    Give the Lab a call - they are very helpful.

    https://www.palsvetlab.co.uk/contact-us/

    As the vet said Leo may not have a parasite, but he could have a bacterial infection in his bowel, or an underlying virus causing the diarrhoea. Or e.g. as in the case of my 2 girls - pure overgrowth of E.coli.

    Was Leo vaccinated before you got him?

    Not all spot-on flea treatments treat for ear mites - Advocate and Stronghold do - did he have one of those two ?

    It is good he is enjoying the Feringa Kitten food. But have you tried him on a bland home cooked diet at all for a few days and did it help? e.g. home-cooked chicken thighs or poached white fish ?

    The bland diet rests the bowel by slowing down peristalsis. There is no poo passed for a few days and then a formed poo should be produced.
     
  3. lifewithleo

    lifewithleo PetForums Newbie

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    Thanks so much for your response and advice!!!

    He was not vaccinated before we got him so you think maybe its a possible bacterial or viral issue here? So what do you think is the best option moving forward as Im not sure what I should start with. Putting him on a bland diet for a few days and then trying probiotics? Are there any risk with probiotics/are they safe to give without a vets advice? Or do you think changing his food completely and trying that? Or should I just go for the stool sample straight away? Sorry, just very confused as to what should be the best and quickest thing right now to try and get to the bottom of this!!

    Nope, the vets just said his ears look perfectly fine and the flea treatment should cover any remaining mites left - do you think his itching ear could be food allergy related? Although I must say he has significantly reduced itching his ear so Im starting to think maybe thats one less thing to worry about.
     
  4. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @lifewithleo - as you have not yet tried Leo with the simple bland home-cooked diet I would try that first. You can use chicken (thighs or legs are best) and I would pot-roast them in the oven as this conserves the nutrients better than boiling. (Or if you have a slow cooker you can cook the chicken in that.).

    For pot-roasting put the chicken in an oven pan and add about 5 - 6 cms of water (for stock). Cover the pan tightly with baking foil and cook top shelf of oven gas mark 5 for one hour. Serve the chicken chopped without bones and add a couple of tablespoons of the stock for fluids.

    Drain the chicken stock into a pyrex bowl or jug and refrigerate for 12 hours so the fat rises t the top. Skim off the fat and save (for cooking or adding to foods). You should be left with a lovely jelly which can be added by the tablespoonful to his chicken meals. Either add it cold or warm it for 5 seconds in the microwave.

    While he is on the bland diet do not give him anything else at all except filtered water (or boiled cooled water).

    If he is not keen on the chicken you can give him poached white fish as an alternative.

    He may not pass any stools for a few days on the bland diet. This is normal. When he passes a formed stool you should gradually start transferring him back to a cat food diet. As he likes Feringa Kitten I would use that. But if the loose stools start again then go back to the chicken (or fish) and start again. It may be you will need to rethink what cat foods are best for him. But for the moment wait until he has been on the bland diet to rest his bowel. Note: -- take several days over the process of transferring him off the chicken and back to the cat food.

    I wouldn't add any probiotic while he is on the bland chicken (or fish) diet. The bland diet needs to be kept as simple as possible. Probiotics cause disruptions in bowel flora and that is something you want to avoid at present.

    Once he is back on cat food and assuming his stools are formed, you could add a gentle probiotic such as Bio Gaia drops (made for human infants) starting with one drop a day in his food, and increasing after a couple of weeks to 2 drops. I wouldn't add anything stronger than that for fear of rocking the boat.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/BioGaia-La...=1598790771&sprefix=bio+gaiia+,aps,143&sr=8-2

    If the bland diet of fish or chicken does not help then it is time to get some stool samples tested.

    If he has not had either of his kitten vaccines (not even the first one?) then it is pretty important he has them soon. As he has already been seen by your vet are you certain he was not vaccinated then ? But I would try and get his bowel more settled first.
     
  5. lifewithleo

    lifewithleo PetForums Newbie

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    Wow, thank you so much for the detailed advice, I will definitely get him on that bland diet from tomorrow and see how it goes!!

    Couple questions; is there a particular amount of the chicken we should feed him per day? We find he prefers smaller but more frequent meals so shall is there a portion size you recommend?

    Then after the bland diet, if we put him back on Feringa and his loose stools begin, you're suggesting we try another food first then Probiotics or only use the Probiotics if his stools have settled to normal?

    Also - slightly weird question but how bad are cat stools supposed to smell as currently his poos are extremely strong and smell awful!!

    Apologies, he's up to date with all his vaccinations! I meant he wasn't vaccinated when we first got him.
     
  6. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @lifewithleo - I would feed him 4 or 5 small meals a day.

    It is difficult to say exactly how much to give him as every kitten is different. But I'd suggest a couple of level tablespoons of chopped chicken plus some of the stock. If he leaves some of the food then reduce the size of his portions. If he is hungry still, increase the size a little bit. The main thing is not to leave him hungry but not have him overeating and making himself feel uncomfortable.

    If his stools firm up on the bland diet and when you transfer him back to the Feringa the stools are loose again, put him back on the chicken until his stools firm up,

    Personally I would look for a different food to transfer him (if the Feringa turns out not to suit his bowel, after the bland diet has finished i.e. )

    If the Feringa does not suit him you could - as an interim measure - (after the bland diet) transfer him to one of the veterinary diets e.g. one of the Royal Canin gastrointestinal wet diets. (Have you tried him with any of the RC diets? ) Hopefully you would not need to keep him on an RC diet permanently. But such a diet can sometimes be useful as part of a bowel recovery programme.

    I don't usually give probiotics if a cat has diarrhoea because I've found it can upset the bowel more as the bacterial flora in the bowel is changed.

    Do you mean a probiotic combined with kaolin or digestive clay, as advised by the vet? If so and you have tried Leo with it and it did not help then I wouldn't use it. It does not help every cat.

    But if you mean a simple probiotic such as the Bioa Gaia drops I mentioned earlier, I would hold back until the stools are formed, even if they are not firm.

    Loose or soft stools are likely to be smelly because Leo's food is going too fast through his digestive system, not being processed properly and so undigested food is reaching his bowel. Once his stools are firm and formed they should only smell when they are first deposited. Diet also plays a part - a cat on a diet high in grains, carbs, and fillers may have smelly poos. You may notice on the bland chicken diet Leo's stools smell better, :)

    I'm glad Leo's had his vaccinations - sorry for the misunderstanding :)
     
  7. lifewithleo

    lifewithleo PetForums Newbie

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    Thank you so much for the advice and recipe!! Hes been on the bland chicken for about a day now and he absolutely loves it!! Hes had a couple of poos already and they have improved so much already so so far so good. I think we will give him the chicken for a few more days just so his tummy has fully settled down and his poos are completely back to normal - is it bad if we put him on this from time to time (after we sort out his current food issues)? I know this isnt a complete diet but he loves it and its so simple and easy to make for him (plus cheaper haha).

    I'm thinking of what food to put him on after this chicken diet. We will try the Feringa Kitten but Im pretty sure this might lead back to his loose stools. However, Im a big fan of Feringa for many reasons and it does surprise me that he might be sensitive to it :/ I've looked into Feringa Pure as they are a single source of protein so maybe thats why he might not get on with the kitten version. Do you think this is likely and that I should try that? Although the Feringa Pure is for adult cats and not kittens but I have seen online that this doesnt really matter. I've read the reviews for the Feringa Pure and some have said their cats with sensitive stomachs have gotten on well with it so I am in favour of trying it. What are your thoughts? Do you think it will be much different from the kitten version? I have thought about putting him the RC diet but I think we will try that as a last resort.

    Thanks for all your help again :)
     
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  8. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @lifewithleo -- You could keep him on the chicken diet for longer if you wanted to but for more than a few days you would need to add a vitamin and mineral "completer" that is designed for adding to cooked meat.

    The cooked meat diet + completer - is what I am feeding one of my cats at present (because she has bad allergies). The completer I use is Felini Complete from Zooplus. If Leo is much better on a plain meat diet (+ completer) then I'd be inclined to keep him on that for a while.

    https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/cats/supplements_specialty_cat_food/vitamins/155860

    But if you do decide to feed him a home cooked diet (+ completer) for a longer period I would consider adding at least one more cooked meat (e.g. turkey perhaps) to give him some variety. You can cook turkey drumstick in a roasting pan in the oven (same method as the chicken) or buy chopped chunks of turkey thigh and casserole it in the oven with water to make the stock.

    Feringa Meat Menus are a decent food, but that recipe gave my boy who eats Feringa a loose stool (Feringa Rabbit and Feringa Duck were the main culprits) He does better on Feringa Classic and enjoys the Lamb & Rabbit recipe. My boy doesn't have a sensitive stomach, he gets on with most foods OK. But Leo might be fine with it.

    If you are going to put him on cat food you can put him on the bland chicken diet for a few days any time he gets loose stools. But if the loose stools were happening a lot then the usual diet would need reviewing again really.
     
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