My Boys' Diet and Food Rotation Question - Cat Forum : Cat Discussion Forums
 
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post #1 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-08-2005, 11:38 AM Thread Starter
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My Boys' Diet and Food Rotation Question

I posted a while ago about switching Skeeter and Binx to Innova dry and Wellness canned and how Binx started having runny stools. Well, it's been a month since the switch and he still has runny stools and pretty frequent gas.

So, after some research, I've decided to try switching them to Solid Gold dry (less fruit and veggie content than Innova, but still premium food) and to start feeding Solid Gold canned and California Natural canned in rotation with Wellness canned as well. We still have plenty of Innova, so the switch is going to be pretty slow. But, better slow than sudden, right?!

Question: does rotating wet foods cause stomach upset like switching dry food does? I know a lot of posters feed their cats multiple kinds of foods, is there any technique I should use?

Thanks!
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post #2 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-08-2005, 12:40 PM
 
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This is what Dr. Wendell Belfield says on the subject of changing foods:

"Very often when a pet owner changes pet foods the pet, dog or cat, develops diarrhea and sometimes vomiting. This is not necessarily the pet food, but rather a subclinical form of inflammatory bowel disease."

Now the thing is that quite often (almost always) food allergy is a big part of IBD, so the ingredients in the foods one tries are very, very important.
Rotating foods freely is possible only if none of the foods used contains any allergens for a particular animal.

For cats that don't suffer from food allergies, rotating foods is easy and they welcome the change. They love the variety. With allergic cats foods have to be selected most carefully, and sometimes rotating brands is simply not possible. Serving different flavors from the same brand is the best one can do.

Digestive upset is always an important warning sign, so if a cat develops digestive problems from several different foods then either the same kinds of ingredients are responsible, or the cat's body is just not producing enough digestive enzymes to deal with the foods.
If the cat is allergic, the safest thing is to avoid the foods that contain the allergens. If the problem is below par digestion, then the best thing is to find one good, allergen-free food and doing a slow, careful food change that starts with no more than 1/2 tsp of the new food.
For such cats nutritional treatment can be tremendously helpful.

If you can't get the runny stools under control with different food, the reason might be that your cat's intestines are inflamed. If that's the case he would benefit from a short course of anti-inflammatory medication and carefully selected food that is free of all the major allergens.
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post #3 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-08-2005, 03:17 PM
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How old is your cat? Have you tried a lamb and rice diet? It can be easier to digest and tends to have less allergins. Also, you can add digestive enzymes to the food which can help them absorb it better. When my cat had IBD I used 'slippery elm' syrup (as part of a regiment!) which really helpd. It soothes their whole digestive tract. It's a powder you can get at the health food store. You put about a 1/2 teasp. in 1/4 cup of spring water. Simmer and stir until it starts to thicken. Let it cool! If you can give it to your cat before each meal (about 1/2 teasp.) great. Some cats like the taste. I had to put it in the food.
Also, I'm assuming you've already checked to make sure there aren't any parasites? Some don't always show on a fecel exam (like geardea, which can cause runny, smelly stool and gas) and it may not be a bad idea to treat just incase. I'd ask your vet.

Victoria
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post #4 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-08-2005, 04:31 PM Thread Starter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by nanook
How old is your cat? Have you tried a lamb and rice diet? It can be easier to digest and tends to have less allergins. Also, you can add digestive enzymes to the food which can help them absorb it better. When my cat had IBD I used 'slippery elm' syrup (as part of a regiment!) which really helpd. It soothes their whole digestive tract. It's a powder you can get at the health food store. You put about a 1/2 teasp. in 1/4 cup of spring water. Simmer and stir until it starts to thicken. Let it cool! If you can give it to your cat before each meal (about 1/2 teasp.) great. Some cats like the taste. I had to put it in the food.
Also, I'm assuming you've already checked to make sure there aren't any parasites? Some don't always show on a fecel exam (like geardea, which can cause runny, smelly stool and gas) and it may not be a bad idea to treat just incase. I'd ask your vet.
My boys are both just over a year old. The Solid Gold "Kats-N-Flocken" is a Lamb and Rice formula, so I am hoping for good results with it. I don't think it's a bacteria as the boys both had good vet check-ups a few weeks ago and are indoor-only (so aren't exposed to other cats). Plus, they share a litter box, and Binx has been the only one with the problem. I find the correlation in time between the loose stools and diet change to be too close to suspect anything else right away. I think we'll keep that as our main suspect for now. If this doesn't work, or if symptoms get worse, I'll certainly call the vet. For now, though, they are both happy and active, so we'll try the new food.
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post #5 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-08-2005, 06:01 PM
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If you start them early with a large variety of food, they get used to it quickly and there shouldn't be any problems.
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post #6 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-09-2005, 02:20 AM
 
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Even if you start a cat on a variety of foods at a young age, you are far from guaranteed that they wont have any problems with it. Regardless of starting them young, if the cat has an allergy or sensitivity to a certain ingredient, whether it be a protien source, carb source, or whatever, the cat will have issues when ingesting that source. And if you have too many foods mixed at the same time when you discover this, it will be all the harder determining the specific problem ingredient. Just a thought.
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post #7 of 7 (permalink) Old 07-09-2005, 10:24 AM Thread Starter
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micp879, you make a good point and I agree. Plus, if you start a cat on a food early on, they could develop an allergy to it later. We develop allergies to some things that we are constantly exposed to, so this could definitely happen. It's best to keep it simple so you can more easily determine if the allergy is food-related.
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