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Discussion Starter #1
So I brought Emmy home on Thursday afternoon so I've had her for about 4 and a half days at this point. This morning she started having really bad diarrhea. Like (not to be too detailed), but we could hear her going and it smelled awful! I had to wash her paws after. Then she went again tonight and she needed another bath (feet and bum) and had tracked it a few places.

I only got a small bag of her dry food at the shelter and a few cans of wet when I brought her home so I stopped and got a different kind of food (the shelter had her on Hill's Science Diet Healthy Development, I got Blue Buffalo Healthy Growth Kitten Chicken & Brown Rice). I mixed a little bit (probably a handful) of the dry into her dry food bowl and gave her some wet food last night and again this morning (a spoonful each time of which she ate probably three-forths of).

In hindsight I should have kept with the Science Diet until she was more adjusted to here. I know stress can cause diarrhea. So I've taken all of the Blue Buffalo out of her bowls and am not going to be giving her the Blue Buffalo wet food until she gets cleared up.

My question is - is it more likely it is stress causing this? Or the change in food (I was trying to do it very gradually)?
 

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It could be the food change, stress, parasites, dewormer (if she was given any), recent vaccinations, etc. In short, pretty much anything can cause diarrhea. Stick with the Science Diet until her system regulates. Sprinkling a little probiotic over her food once daily may also help stabilize her gut.

If her diarrhea doesn't improve significantly in the next day or two, consult your vet. Kittens can dehydrate quickly when they have severe diarrhea, and that can be very dangerous.

Laurie
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Got another bath this morning before I had to rush off to work. The diarrhea isn't bad aside from being a mess and very smelly. She is still drinking a ton and is still making it to the literbox. And not the literbox I have in my room (I close the door at night so she can't get to my rats while I'm sleeping so I have one in there for her too), but the litterbox in the hallway. So she can control it. The last time I gave her blue buffalo was yesterday morning (wet) and sometime yesterday I removed the dry so I'm hoping sometime soon it will all be out of her system. She seems to go not long after I give her her wet food, but I've gone back to only giving her the science diet wet.

Should I try removing all food for a period of time to see if that helps?
Or should I keep the dry but stop feeding her the wet food until she regulates?
 

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I would feed her only what she was eating at the shelter, and I would sprinkle a little probiotic over it once daily. After her stool's been normal and solid for a week or so, then I'd start VERY slowly transitioning her to whatever diet I wanted her on, and I'd continue with the probiotic to help the dietary transition go smoothly.

Oh, and I would NOT withhold food for any period of time.

Laurie
 

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Your nearest pet store probably has probiotics formulated specifically for cats, but I just buy human-grade acidophilus at my local health food store. I open a capsule and sprinkle approx. 1/10 of the contents over my cat's food once daily, as necessary.

Laurie
 

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Discussion Starter #8
Got some probiotic stuff and put it on her dinner. Yet again she needed a bath after that. Should I stop feeding her her wet food until this clears up?
 

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Was she eating wet food at the shelter before you adopted her? If not, I suggest you feed her ONLY whatever she was used to eating at the shelter until her digestive system gets back to normal. Then you can again start VERY GRADUALLY to introduce new foods into her diet, if desired.

Laurie
 

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Discussion Starter #10
No, she was eating dry and wet. They said they gave them a spoonful of wet in the AM and PM and to free feed dry so that's what I'm doing now
 

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It's highly likely a combination of factors. Stress from a new home, new food, new owner.

The best would have been to confine her to a small room like a bathroom for a while like 1-2 weeks. Don't think of it as cruel and unusual punishment. It isnt. It's actually comforting to a cat to be in a small area at the onset when acclimatizing to unfamiliar territory. Remember to leave the light on during the day to simulate the sun, turn off the light at night and put a nightlight to simulate the moon. This serves to ground her and give her some bearings in all the unfamilarity.

I took Cap'n Jack off the streets and had him confined for a month in a bathroom. He took longer because he was so skittish and needed more time to calm down.

Also, the change of food would have set her off since it's also in conjunction with the new owner and new dwelling. Usually, start off with 75% old food, 25% new food. Then after about a week, go 50/50. Then after another week, 25% old, 75% new. Then finally 100% new. You can also try a bit of pumpkin in there to help. I believe fish also exacerbates the diarrhea as well, so avoid food with fish in it.

As for the new owner part. When you have her confined to the bathroom, go in and sit around to associate with her. After work, I would go in there and keep Jack company. I'd camp out on a stool with a book, I'd read to him or tell him about my day. Take care not to stare at them as it could be interpreted as a confrontation. I didn't even look at Jack, just looked at the walls or the book when I spoke.

Hope this helps.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
My apartment is small enough that I didn't feel locking her in one room is necessary. My bathroom is a no as it is really tiny. My bedroom and living room are about the same size (bedroom is i think 10x13 and living room is 13x13) and my kitchen is a little smaller than that. I was planning on keeping her in one room, but she does not seem to be skittish or shy or uncomfortable at all so I let her have free reign. She loves to be with me. She cuddles up next to me and sleeps for hours at a time. Anytime I move an inch she is up and following me so I don't think at this point confining her to a room will do anything.

I also didn't change her food. I added a little of the new food in, but have since taken it out. It wasn't even close to 75-25 more like 90-10. I admit I did give her just straight blue buffalo wet food for 2 meals (2 spoonfuls total) and it was a seafood blend so that may have been a double wammy there. But I have since stopped giving it to her.

She has been on straight dry food now (or when I get home will have been) for 24hrs. If all is good when I get home that will suggest a problem with the wet food. If there's still a problem when I get home I want to try keeping her just on wet for 24hrs and see if that helps suggesting a problem with the dry. I have been reading a lot about science diet and a lot of people seem to notice it causes problems with their pets. So I'm not sure what I will do. It would be best to switch her food but whereas shes already having issues i dont know.
 

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Discussion Starter #13
Ok so 2 days on just the science diet dry food and she is still having diarrhea. Trying 2 days on just wet now. I'm not worried about her getting dehydrated as she is still drinking a lot and i'm still scooping out pee so she's getting enough fluids. She's acting perfectly fine otherwise and makes it to the box everytime. Maybe her poo is just runny . . ?
 

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Just to throw something random out there... when I got my feral kitten from under the dumpster at work, she had diarrhea for months. We had her dewormed and on good food, but still diarrhea. It wasn't until she pooed out a bundle of 2-foot long tapeworms that I found out the cause! We got her dewormed again, but 2 months later she left 3-4 foot tapeworm on the couch. It turns out she had a rare type of tapeworm you only get from eating frogs and lizards (spirometra, mostly found in the southeast U.S.) and she needed 5 tapeworm injections over two days to kill them. Yuck!

In any case, you may want to see a vet if her diarrhea has not cleared up. Is it still full-on diarrhea, or just soft stools? Your vet can check her again for worms or anything else that may be doing the damage.
 

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It wasn't until she pooed out a bundle of 2-foot long tapeworms that I found out the cause! We got her dewormed again, but 2 months later she left 3-4 foot tapeworm on the couch. It turns out she had a rare type of tapeworm you only get from eating frogs and lizards (spirometra, mostly found in the southeast U.S.) and she needed 5 tapeworm injections over two days to kill them. Yuck!
OMG!8O
Well. A year after I adopted one of cats, Mimi, from the shelter she started vomiting roundworms. She had been wormed at least twice - in shelter and when I rescued a cat. Mimi is an indoor kitty. My vet sent out her last fecal samples to a lab to be checked as these roundworms had been 'hanging around' a while despite Mimi being treated.
 

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Discussion Starter #16
She's been having solid poopies all weekend! Smells horrible, but it's solid! I think it was the dry science diet. I've been feeding her strictly canned grain-free and she seems all better. :D
 

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Discussion Starter #18
I think our problem is finally over *crosses fingers* I try to keep her on grain-free, but I've also added some other high quality (no by-products and such) to her diet as she went through a few days of not wanting to eat her wet food so I was forced to try some other brands. Now though she seems to be back to eating all her food. I do sprinkle about a handful of blue buffalo wilderness kitten dry stuff on her wet food. Seems to be helping her eat more. I have a question though - she is not pooping as much. Is it because she is on a better food that her body is able to use more of it? Or is there likely another reason?
 

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cats eating grain free wet or raw foods tend to have more compact, smaller and fewer stools then those on dry. Sometimes only every 2 days instead of daily, its actually a good sign that they are getting less useless fillers in their food. but watch for constipation anyways.
 
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