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need help and advice about my cats digestive health

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by hamelli, Jul 2, 2019.


  1. hamelli

    hamelli PetForums Junior

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    Hi guys. I am new here. Joined because I am getting increasingly worried about my cats health. Bare with me because this is quite long, and the information could be important.
    (short version: my cat keeps having diarrhoea. she also has scabs on her skin and overgrooms. linked? allergies?)

    Her name is Pam. She is almost 6 years old and is a shorthair calico. indoor cat, never really been outside.we got her in April from her old owners could as not keep her because after she was spayed she didn’t get on with any of their other pets, even her own sister. We were told she was over grooming because of stress at this point.

    Since getting her, she has had non stop soft stools/diarrhoea even though her diet was initially the same as what she had in her old home. she has a lot of flatulence and her stools are very stinky. I assumed this was just because she was settling initially. Her fur is beautiful but her skin has also been bad since. but it fluctuates. some weeks it’s clear of scabs and some weeks it’s not. She still overgrooms, so much. She is a super relaxed kitty, always lying on her back presenting her belly to us and very nice natured. I feel like this point rules out stress.

    Around mid May, she got super sick. She kept vomiting bile, continuing to have soft stools / diarrhoea and we had to take her to the vets a couple of times. We spent £500+ and got no diagnosis. They ruled out pancreatitis and kidney infections. I thought maybe it’s an allergy, because of the skin too, but the vets didn’t seem to care about her skin or link it to her sickness. but it might not be related i guess. They put loads of things in her body to suppress things, like antibiotics, probiotics, anti vomiting stuff, fancy cat food which didn’t help.This was super frustrating. although they mostly helped, we didn’t ask for these things. we just wanted to know what was wrong. We don’t have a ton of money right now and to spend that much without having a clue is just sad. I feel like the vets just want our money even though i was clearly upset and worried.

    For a few weeks after the vets, her stools were ok. Her skin was also a tad better, but still overgrooming. We were giving her some cat grass too which could have helped the digestion. I think the antibiotics lasted for 3 weeks, so perhaps this links.

    However. Her skin is now still quite bad, like before. The scabs are usually along her tail or spine and on her neck. Her stools are incredibly soft, stinky, and sometimes bloody. Flatulence. Overgrooming.

    I am incredibly worried but don’t want to give in to the vets charging us for things that won’t help her. Not sure whether to ask for an allergy test or not.

    Should i try doing an elimination diet? she is currently on Sainsbury’s hypoallergenic grain free dry food and felix wet pouches. Should i try grain free wet food too?

    Sorry if this is a bit confusing, but any help would be appreciated. and any ideas of what this might sound like. thank you so much.
     
  2. BarneyBobCat

    BarneyBobCat Slave to an AcroCat

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  3. hamelli

    hamelli PetForums Junior

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    thank you for this xx
     
  4. Soozi

    Soozi PetForums VIP

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    As this is an ongoing problem I think you should get a second opinion!
    Has the Vet done blood tests and fecal analysis?
     
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  5. hamelli

    hamelli PetForums Junior

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    vet hasn’t done a fecal analysis but has done blood tests. blood tests were fine but just a lot of white blood cells which is why they put her on antibiotics. what would the fecal analysis do?
     
  6. hamelli

    hamelli PetForums Junior

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    also just to add: i’ve tried Kitzyme for about a week now and there has been no, maybe little, on her skin.
     
  7. lorilu

    lorilu PetForums VIP

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  8. Soozi

    Soozi PetForums VIP

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    Hopefully fecal analysis would show if any bacterial infection or parasitic issues. Poo tests can also rule out some diseases. The fecal test results do take longer to come back than bloods.
     
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  9. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    @hamelli - I wouldn't have any allergy testing done, it is an unreliable method for detecting food allergies and is expensive.

    The only scientific way to identify a food allergy is, as BarneyBobCat has mentioned, with an elimination diet. He has given you the link. If you decide to follow this, I am happy to answer any questions you have :)

    The thread on the elimination diet explains where to buy the right foods.

    Itching and scratching on the head or neck area and on the spine are typical signs of a food allergy. Loose stools and flatulence are also signs of food intolerance.

    Felix (A.G.A.I.L) wet food contains a high percentage of vegetable protein which cats can't digest because they lack the right enzyme to process it. Also Felix wet food contains mostly beef as the meat content, and beef is one of the most common feline food allergens (the others being chicken and fish).

    Sainsbury's Hypoallergenic dry food ingredients are:

    "Composition:
    Chicken (60%) (Poultry Meat Meal, Fresh Chicken), Potato Starch, Potato Flakes, Poultry Oil (8%), Whole Flaxseed (4%), Beet Pulp (4%), Chicken Gravy, Yeast, Minerals, Cranberry (0.005%), Marigold Meal (0.005%), Rosemary Oil Extract (0.0005%)".

    It is grain free but it has potato starch and potato flakes added and not all cats are able to tolerate potato in their food.

    You might find if you took Pam off the dry food and gradually introduced a wet food that is high in meat protein (with no veg protein) that her health would improve and you may not even need to carry out an elimination diet for her. Try her with some foods that do not contain beef or chicken. e.g. turkey based foods may be tolerated better. Also lamb.

    A good choice of turkey based wet food on Zooplus UK. Have a look at the pinned thread at this link on the carb content of the good quality canned foods:

    https://www.petforums.co.uk/threads...-just-the-good-stuff-work-in-progress.440844/

    Foods I recommend for sensitive tummies/bowels are :-

    Animonda Vom Feinsten for neutered cats - pure turkey

    Macs Sensitive Turkey

    Macs Sensitive Lamb

    Granatapet Turkey and pheasant

    Catz Finefood Lamb and Rabbit
     
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  10. hamelli

    hamelli PetForums Junior

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    how would i do this easily and cheaply? is there a way?
     
  11. hamelli

    hamelli PetForums Junior

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    @chillminx

    thank you for all of that info! are there any UK supermarkets which sell any of this. do you reckon she could be allergic to the vegetable proteins then, or intolerant to them? and by giving her wet food with only animal proteins, would she be getting the right nutrients?
     
  12. hamelli

    hamelli PetForums Junior

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    @chillminx we are struggling with money right now and would like to know the cheapest way to go about elimination. today i got her some grain free wet food from sainsbury’s as well. i was going to try this with the grain free dry food for 12 days to see if it makes a difference. should i continue or should i buy some see food without grains or vegetable proteins online?

    what i dont understand is that she was on Harrington’s dry food and asda’s own tiger range wet food before coming to us and she was apparently fine
     
  13. hamelli

    hamelli PetForums Junior

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    * wet food. not see lol
     
  14. Sacremist

    Sacremist Mum to 2 cats and a dog

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    I’m not going to repeat what has already been said, because lots of good advice has been given.

    I just want to add, that I had a boy who had loose, very smelly stools and flatulence throughout most of his life. We tried all the above and unfortunately it was without success. In the end, we were referred to a Specialist who performed an endoscopy. It was discovered that he had an abnormally short bowel. The bowel is in three parts and the middle part was missing. All food and liquids were just passing through him quickly before it had time to be absorbed. There was nothing could be done, no food helped.

    I then had a second cat with the same problem. My friend also had a cat with the same problem. It’s more common than even vets realise. They are only just starting to recognise this.

    If everything else you try - food, tests, etc., - fails to work or provide an answer, an endoscopy may be the only way to discover what the problem might be. Unfortunately, it’s expensive.

    However, if there is blood in the stools, your cat might have colitis. A course of steroids can fix this in many cases. Unless, your cat has a more rare form of colitis as one of my friend’s cats had. He needed chemotherapy for it combined with steroids, but the steroids gave him diabetes. He was taken off steroids and put on Atopica. Not great drugs to be taking, but it did cure his colitis.
     
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  15. hamelli

    hamelli PetForums Junior

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    thank you for all of this. sorry to hear about your boy :( how was he after the endoscopy? what did you have to do to make sure he was ok or did he just have loose stools for the rest of his life?

    how much was the endoscopy roughly?
     
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  16. Sacremist

    Sacremist Mum to 2 cats and a dog

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    Unfortunately both boys with a short bowel just had to live with it. They stopped wanting to use the litter tray, but I found they would happily poop on a puppy pad, which was a godsend to be honest. I just wrapped it up and threw it away and put down a fresh pad.

    As they got older, it got worse, because their intestine began to fail. They started to lose weight and I had to have them put to sleep.

    Sasha was fine after the endoscopy, but Jasper didn’t like being messed with and it upset him. He stopped eating for a while after and it was a struggle to get him settled again. He was always a bit of a sensitive soul.

    I can’t remember the exact cost of the endoscopy, but I have about £1200 in my head, but I wouldn’t swear to it. It might be less. The best thing to do is ask your vet. Normally these tests have to be carried out by specialists and they tend to be more costly.
     
    #16 Sacremist, Jul 3, 2019
    Last edited: Jul 3, 2019
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  17. hamelli

    hamelli PetForums Junior

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    ah man i’m sorry to hear that :( how sad :( i’m hoping my girl doesn’t have bad bowels. hopefully it is an easily treated allergy
     
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  18. hamelli

    hamelli PetForums Junior

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    @chillminx sorry for all the Qs. but would you suggest giving her lily’s kitchen cat food? or is there any other good brands which i can get off amazon. thank you x
     

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  19. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

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    No probs with the questions, am happy to help. :)

    Lily\s Kitchen is fine, but it's not cheap. All trays and pouches of any make are more expensive than tinned food. Best to buy tinned food if your budget is limited..

    Can you give me a rough idea of your weekly, or monthly, budget for cat food, and I will see what I can recommend within your budget.

    No cat is able to digest vegetable protein (as Felix contains). It is not due to a food allergy. It because cats as a species lack the right enzyme in their gut to process it, so it passes through the gut undigested as a filler. There is a small percentage of meat in Felix, but not enough to keep an active cat satiated and as a result many cats who eat Felix are always hungry.

    You could give your cat a little fried turkey mince, see how she gets on with it. It may help her bowel. My cats love it. I buy it from Tesco's chiller section. I fry it in a little goose fat for a few minutes.

    You can feed up to 20% of her diet as supplementary (incomplete) food without her becoming short of vitamins and minerals.
     
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  20. hamelli

    hamelli PetForums Junior

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    @chillminx ah that does explain why my Pammy is always so hungry, despite being quite large! i will see if the sainsbury’s grain free makes a difference.

    we usually spend about £20 on cat food a month, so our budget for cat food could go up to £30pm.

    thank you, i will try the turkey mince. could i cook it in oil? we don’t own any goose fat since we (my partner and i) are both vegan lol but we will buy some if necessary. would the turkey be suitable as a substitute for a meal? or just a treat?
     
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