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Baloo has been having diarrhea with blood in it for quite a while, months actually, on and off. The vet told me to feed him the blandest food possible with low fat in case it's a longterm intestinal problem, and handed me SCIENCE DIET SENSITIVE STOMACH dry food sample, and ID SCIENCE DIET presciption wet food. He told me if my cat liked the dry then to buy a bag of it & cans of the same brand wet food.

However, Science diet is a terrible food and the dry he gave me is full of grains, and meat is like not even on the ingredients list!!! I don't want to feed that to my cat. I had him on Merrick's BEFORE GRAIN SALMON recipe and WELLNESS pouches for wet. I'm guessing these foods aren't good for a very sensitive tummy? What can I substitute for the Science Diet my vet is forcing me to feed my cat?

We're also putting him on probiotics and some medicine to help with the diarrhea. If improvement isn't shown in a week we're doing another stool sample to check for giardia. Any suggestions you guys?? I'm going cat food shopping tm and don't know what to get!
 

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Paizly doesn't have issues with diarrhea, but with throwing up. I have found that if food has ANY corn or variation of corn in it, it upsets her tummy. I have switched to Costco's brand, and she has thrown up once in the last couple weeks (something might have stressed her that day).
She does throw up canned food 3/4 of the time, but I think that's because I give it to her after her medicine as a "treat" for being a good patient...so I think it's really the medicine instead (it says it can cause upset stomach). I'm going to try this next week to wait 15 minutes after meds to give canned food... and just give her a little treat like ONE of those moist Pounce things, instead.

I don't know if you have a Costco near you. The first three ingredients are "Chicken, chicken meal, whole grain brown rice...etc". and no corn anywhere. Look for something similar.

I would still get your kitty tested for parasites/germs, it could be that too.
 

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Discussion Starter #3
Unfortunately I don't have access to a Costco here! The food I'm was already feeding him was premium quality with real meat and no grains...but that doesn't qualify as a recipe for a sensitive digestive tract, does it?

What does it mean by a BLAND food? That's what my vet said...and LOW IN FAT. I've been trying to look up what it means to be a food for a sensitive stomach. Some sources say it should contain rice, egg, and oat meal. Others say it should consist of a single protein and single carb source. Others say I should look more minimal ingredients.

So what should I look for in a food for a cat who can't digest foods properly, because he frequently has bloody diarrhea? I need to find another food asap! It's not really a food allergy, but more of a digestive tract problem most likely.
 

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It sounds like your cat was already on some pretty good food. I'm disappointed to hear of yet another vet prescribing a food filled with grains for a cat with a sensitive stomach. If my experiences with my little Athena are anything to go by, grains are often the cause of this sort of problem. She has diarrhea if she has any grain in her diet, even supposedly "better" ones like brown rice or barley.

But I really don't know. This goes beyond my basic cat knowledge. And it sounds like your vet was only minimally helpful. I know that when dogs get bloody diarrhea it's often a sign of stress or some other illness. Testing for parasites again is probably a good idea. I'm surprised your vet didn't want to try that first instead of foisting expensive grain-filled food on you. :(
 

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Has your vet done anything besides prescribe a different food? If not, please find another vet and have your cat tested for parasites. If clear, then a course of metronidazole (flagyl) is typically the next step. If that doesn't work, THEN, I'd be thinking about a different diet. Your cat is eating good food already, the diet is probably the least likely suspect here.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
No, I already got Baloo tested for parasites at this vet and it came out negative. Then he gave me metronidazole, of which I gave the first dose of to my cat this morning. He said in addition to the medicine he wanted a diet change and probiotics, because he would like to attempt a hollistic approach at first to see if the problem is with Baloo's digestive tract. He said if Baloo didn't show improvement from the medicine & diet change in a week, then we would do another test for giardia and give him medicine for that.

So I can keep him on Merrick's Before Grain then? Could the potato ingredients in there be potentially irritating to kitty's digestive system? I just brough Limited Ingredient Diet Natural Balance (Green Pea & Duck), but of course Baloo took one sniff and rejected it. He's such a picky cat! He's obsessed with low end foods like Science Diet and Purina. :( It's a stuggle to feed him. I guess I'll be returning that.

Does anyone know where I can buy probiotics like Eagle Pack Hollistic Solution? I couldn't find it at Petco or a private pet shop. Do those types of things typically have to be ordered?
 

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I wouldn't throw too many changes into the mix here...then if it resolves you won't know why. The problem could be fixed by the med, but you changed food too...so you may then think there's food restrictions and there aren't.

I would go with the meds and maybe a probiotic and leave it at that for a few days. Bloody diarrhea can sometimes come on for no obvious reason, a course of Flagyl can be an easy and quick fix. You will know in 2-3 days whether it's helping...but make sure to finish the prescription.

There are plenty of choices for probiotics...you can use human probiotics, it doesn't have to be a pet specific product.
 

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Oh! Also what I forgot to tell the vet is that I caught him scooting early this week, and he left a faint trail of blood. :( That's the first time he's ever scooted, and he's 6months, so I know it's not normal. Could the scooting be indicative of anything? Do vet clinics allow you to speak briefly with the vet to mention things like that without making an appointment? I'm already supposed to swing by the clinic next week to drop off some payment stuff at the desk, and I feel like I should really mention that to the vet. :/
 

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The scooting is probably related to the diarrhea. Again, drawing upon my knowledge of dogs here (my pomeranian had a lot of these issues a while back) but I assume this applies to cats too: his bottom is probably raw/uncomfortable from the diarrhea.

I'd try gently cleaning it off with some water and a soft cloth for him regularly, to help minimize the discomfort. You may want to ask the vet if there's anything you can safely put on it to help. I remember we used something like Vaseline for my dog, but I'm not sure whether or not that'll be okay for cats since they clean themselves. Hopefully the vet will have some suggestion.
 

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He probably scooting because he's irritated or the was poop/blood stuck to his butt.

Now that you mention that he's only 6 months...another possibility is a parasite called T. Foetus. Is used to be very rare, but it's becoming more prevalent.
 

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My kitten has also had a sensitive stomach since birth with no apparent medical cause ( though not as bad as your poor kitty) so I have done hours and days of extensive research into feline nutrition and the relative benefits of diffent cat foods. If you have already gone grain-free (my first suggestion), your next problem to tackle is probably the protein-to-fat ratio. I think that Wellness CORE and Evo 95% are both too high in calorie % from fat. As soon as I switched my girl from Wellness CORE to Tiki Cat and Weruva (both brands have an ideal calorie % from fat and calorie % from protein ratio), her chronic diarrhea cleared up immediately - it was like magic.

I posted this info below in another thread, but I think it'll apply to your cat too and you might be interested in my amateur research:

I've been making a giant spreadsheet of many of the popular wet and dry foods out there over the past few months, based on info from all of the cat food websites and links that are always posted on this forum (catinfo.org, feline-nutrition.org, etc). I wanted to do this since Janet & Binky's chart doesn't include all of the brands or info I want, and I like working with numbers. I've mainly utilized the formulas on catinfo.org's site to calculate all of the missing numbers and percentages that the cat food brands leave to us to figure out.

On my spreadsheet I've included info such as:

whether its grain-free,
the guaranteed analysis (GA) numbers,
the GA numbers converted to a dry-matter basis,
goals as to what these converted numbers should be,
estimated carbohydrate content based on the GA (since NO brand tells you, even though this number is important !!)
estimated calories from carbs, fat, and protein based on the GA,
estimated calories per 100gs of that food,
and most importantly - the metabolizable energy profile:
- the percentage calories from carbs (keep it under 10%)
- the percentage calories from protein (keep it around or above 50%)
- the percentage calories from fat (keep it around or below 40%)

the wet food is on the first tab (click through tabs on lower-left hand side), the dry food is on the second tab, and the third tab includes info to remember when choosing a cat food as well as ingredients to avoid.

here it is: https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc?key=0Ague4UfCG6c1dHo2ZWU2cHJRdDVRRmNwVnZWNHJVTHc&hl=en

I bet this is wayyy more info than you wanted, but our fur-babies deserve only the best, right?

The chart is sorted by (1) Grain Free?, and then by (2) % Protein on a Dry-Matter basis. I do this because I am only interested in grain-free foods with high protein, moderate fat, and low or no carbs. Good things are in green. Bad things are in red. Goals are at the top in blue. Good luck!! And to the seasoned pros, please feel free to correct any mistakes I may have made on the chart.
 

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Discussion Starter #12
Wow, thank you! I'm going to look at that spreadsheet right now!

And thanks everyone. I'm going as suggested and didn't change diet, only gave the medicine and am still waiting for the probiotics to come in the mail. Is it bad that I switch canned food brands like every week? Baloo has just gotten picker and picker, and now he refuses to eat the same brand ( even if it's a different flavor) for like more than a week at a time. I'm at my wit's end with this guy!
 

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Discussion Starter #13 (Edited)
Okay so the Merrick Before Grain dry says it's low on the protein a little, but that's for the chicken formula. He's eating the salmon, but it's not far from 50% though.
 

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Merrick Before Grain dry foods all have the same Guaranteed Analysis numbers, so they are pretty much equal nutritionally (unless your cat has a fish allergy, which is common). The problem is that the website and the packaging don't disclose the % Ash, which I need in order to compute the % carbs. If I don't have % Carbs, then I can't compute the whole right side of the spreadsheet, which is the most important - the % CALORIES from fat, carbs, and protein are the numbers we want to look at since we want to stay below 10% cal from carbs, above 50% cal from protein, and at or under 40% cal from fat. Sigh. I like Merrick Before Grain dry food because it is grain-free, but I don't like it because the % Protein on a Dry-Matter Basis is only 40.4%, and you can get a much higher percentage with another grain-free dry food like Wellness CORE, Nature's Variety Instinct, or EVO. Hope this helps!! How is your kitty doing?
 
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