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Hi everyone,

We recently adopted a three and a half month old kitten named Lizzie. She came from the shelter with loose stools, and she did not improve for a week while we had her because I changed her food all of a sudden (I didn't know better). She has been dewormed at the shelter at least twice, and had her first vet visit on Friday. The vet gave me a dewormer which I used today, with the understanding that I would return with a stool sample just in case, and certainly if things don't get better.
She is eating a dry mix of Blue Buffalo kitten and wellness core (1/4 cup max during the day) and wet food (we tried wellness kitten, innova and Merrick). Yesterday and today I fed her mostly wet food- I am trying to transition her from dry to predominantly wet.
Tonight she had her first firm stool, but right at the end it got slightly soft again with a "tail" of bloody mucus. I will definitely take a stool sample to the vet on Monday, but was thinking of other possible suggestions from you as well. What do you think? Could it be the food? I am so worried.
Also, tonight I saw her eat litter (yuck!). I guess she likes her clean box. We are using the non-medicated corn chicken feed with baking soda- what seemed like a great cheap alternative to World's Best - but could it harm her?
Thanks for any suggestions!
 

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Unfortunately, I don't have any answers for you, but that's happened (bloody mucus in the stool) 3 or 4 times to one of my cats, and I've never figured out what causes it. I had her checked at the vet each time. There was nothing wrong, and none of the vets was worried. I hope it turns out to be the same for you.

Maybe she's just adapting to the new food?
 

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What you're seeing is colitis...it doesn't sound severe, it's not anything to get too excited about but it definitely needs to get resolved. The variety of foods and eating corn litter can both be factors as can the stress of being rehomed.

I recommend the following:

1) Pick one food and stick with it until this resolves, make any future changes gradually. I'd pick a fairly simple food...one that doesn't have multiple protein sources. BTW, I know many cases of Wellness Kitten causing diarrhea.

2) Add a probiotic/digestive enzyme supplement to the food. Animal Essentials makes a good one, stay away from Forti-flora (yucky animal digest in it). You can also add some canned pumpkin (plain without pie spices)

3) Since she's eating it, get rid of the corn litter. Corn is the source of many digestive issues for cats on cheap foods. Litter eating is usually a phase kittens go through and you may be able to go back to it later, but for now choose something that is not corn based.

4) If stress is a possibility (does she seem fearful at any time? hide? another cat or dog in the house?) then a Feliway diffuser or two may help.

Good luck....

ETA:

I just saw on another thread that you have a young child. Depending on the age of the child, that can be another source of stress for a little kitten...even if your child is extremely gentle when handling the kitten, if there are unexpected shrieks, loud voices, crying fits etc. it can be very stressful for a kitten.
 

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Discussion Starter #4 (Edited)
Thank you so much for the replies and suggestions! I was so worried this might be more serious.

Here is what I am thinking about doing based on your suggestions and food we already have purchased. I will feed her Innova wet with canned pumpkin mixed in, twice or three times a day (morning and evening and maybe a late afternoon snack). During the day when we are not home, she will have Wellness core dry available- 1/4 cup. She seems pretty good about stopping when she is full. I will still try to take a stool sample to the vet tomorrow, just in case. Although the dewormer I applied yesterday hopefully took care of any remaining issues.

I am thinking about changing to clumping clay litter- do you have suggestions as to what I should get that is not corn-based and still clumping? Although I haven't seen her eat the litter today or any time before yesterday- she may have been very hungry last night after a play session. I fed her a late night snack and she stopped eating the litter.

I hate that I have to feed her dry during the day, but we are not home and I don't want her to stop growing. I am adding a teaspoon of water to her wet meals as she seems to enjoy a gravy consistency to her wet food- hopefully that will give her the extra water to compensate for the dry. Also, she enjoys ice cubes added to her water- and will drink quite a bit when playing with them. It's cute to watch.

My daughter is 7 and she is very gentle with Lizzie. Lizzie actually follows her around the house and they have very energetic play sessions. She did seem scared a few times and hid when the TV came on, or when the washer started spinning, etc, but she cuddles with us now and is not timid about asking to be petted. I told my daughter to tone down excitement when they are playing- there is quite a bit of shrieking- but the kitten seems to love chasing her and the cat dancer through the house and doesn't seem to mind the volume much. My daughter is not picking her up unless I am there to supervise, and she is learning the appropriate way to do it. We don't have any other pets in the house.

Lastly, am I feeding her an appropriate amount of food? I was going by what the guidelines on the can and bags say but just wanted to make sure. And I will also look into getting an enzymatic supplement this week.

Sorry about the rambling, I am known for having trouble keeping things short and sweet :)
 

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I would get a litter that is non clumping until she is a bit older, that way you can make sure she is not eating the litter.. I've been told that if kitties eat clumping litter it can get clogged in their GI tract, aka expensive vet bills.

I use a clay non clumping and it works really well, I have a litter eating kitten myself and I don't want to take any chances on her getting sick.


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Discussion Starter #6
Thanks for the non-clumping litter suggestion. I'll look into changing her litter. So far she hasn't eaten any today.
Update: today she has been very sleepy (mind you she is probably sleeping some during the day anyway). She ate very little and turned her nose up at the Innova canned. I insisted and she ate three small meals- from my finger. I also managed to give her about one teaspoonful of canned pumpkin. She ate it plain, not mixed in the food. I didn't give her any dry.
She had three stools today- two in the morning (or that I cleaned in the morning) looked great, formed, normal, no blood. Then there was a soft one in the early afternoon with mucus and blood again.
Could the deworming have been a factor as well? If she looks off tomorrow too she is going to the vet.
 

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My cat has food sensitivities and flare ups of colitis every now and then that sound the same as what you are witnessing. Nice formed poops, but just a little mucus and blood at the end. Her food has not changed since I found a good combination of grain free dry and wet food that she likes. For her, it's stress induced. I foster and that sometimes sets off those stools. Most of the time it's not even an issue anymore.

With a kitten though, you may want to rule out other causes like coccidia, giardia, worms, etc. Initially I had her tested for just about everything the vet could think of and they never found anything wrong with her. Some kitties just have very sensitive GI tracts! You just have to try out some things until you find what works! Good luck! I hope it improves soon!
 

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Thank you! I hope so too. I will take a stool sample in to the vet's office tomorrow. I need to know if she has coccidia or giardia with a small kid in the house. I'll stick with the canned innova evo and pumpkin and see how it goes. No more dry for now.
 

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Discussion Starter #9
I realize each cat has its own sensitivities, but what food do you use for your sensitive cats? Right now I have some innova and innova evo, and wellness dry. Eventually I want her to eat all wet food. It seems like every brand I looked at has issues. If it doesn't have grains it has fish, etc.
 

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:blackcat Rocky had bloody diarrhea with mucous twice on the vets floor his first vet visit with us (It was extremely bloody and had a good amount of mucous). They couldn't find anything wrong with it, and it was obviously a very fresh sample xD!. They did not seem too concerned, but we were scared since his brother died of unknown causes.

Rocky and Lily eat Merrick grammy's pot pie, and turducken which do not have fish or grains. We also leave BG Chicken dry food out for them which does not have fish or grains.
 

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Discussion Starter #11
Thanks for the suggestions! I'll look into changing her food down the road. Right now, after canned pumpkin and consistent menu, the diarrhea is gone. I am waiting on results from the stool sample, but I don't think she has worms or any other parasites since all the symptoms are gone.
Thanks again for everyone's help!


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I realize each cat has its own sensitivities, but what food do you use for your sensitive cats? Right now I have some innova and innova evo, and wellness dry. Eventually I want her to eat all wet food. It seems like every brand I looked at has issues. If it doesn't have grains it has fish, etc.
Evo, Wellness Core, Hound & Gatos, Merrick's Before Grain, Blue Wilderness, and Weruva are all grain-free and come in varieties that have no fish. :)
 

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Thanks Spirite! I looked those up on petflow.com and they have most of the varieties available. Do you rotate brands? It seems like for us right now it would be best to stick with what we have, but for the future rotating of brands and flavors do you do a slow transition or just feed different things at every meal? I'm hoping to find a few brands she tolerates. Weruva sounds really good, as do the others.
 

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I have a suddenly fussy eater (an older cat), so I'm still trying out different brands and flavors. I feed my girls 3x/day, and Celia won't eat the same flavor twice in one day and usually won't eat the same flavor 2 days in row, which means finding 6 different foods...I try to maintain 2 each day that I know she'll eat and experiment with the 3rd, but I've sometimes experimented with 2 new foods in a day and neither of my girls has had any problems. In fact, they seem to like having new things to try. Margaux prefers chicken, Celia prefers fish (though I'm trying to wean her off). But both like Wellness Core chicken, Blue Wilderness chicken, turkey, and chicken & trout. The jury's still out on the Evo and the Weruva 9 livers (I'm trying the paw lickin chicken later today). Celia was lukewarm on both the first time, but sometimes, if I try a couple of days later, she loves it. They hated a brand called Canyon Creek Ranch (can't blame them - it has spinach, which I love, but what self-respecting cat would eat spinach?) and they took about 3 licks of each of the 3 flavors of the Merrick BG that I tried (turkey, chicken, tuna).

Other grain-free brands sitting in the cat food cabinet: Halo Spot's Stew/Spot's Pate, BFF, and Pure Elements. I think Natural Balance, Nature's Instinct, and another nature/natural something are grain-free too. Hope you find the right combination!
 

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Discussion Starter #15
Thank you! I went yo the store yesterday and got a few cans to try when Lizzie is feeling better. We are going through a spotty recovery. The canned pumpkin works, but as soon as she is off it she gets loose stools again. She is on Evo wet and Wellness core dry. Can I add canned pumpkin daily on a regular basis? She eats about a teaspoon of it and she loves it.


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Also, the stool sample came back negative. They didn't say what they tested for, but at this point it's really unlikely that it's anything other than colitis.


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Wow, I thought pumpkin was to soften stool, not harden it. I'm glad Celia didn't like it, since she has the opposite problem as Lizzie - even when she was diagnosed with stress colitis. I'm not sure whether or not you can give the pumpkin every day or not, though it doesn't seem like it would be harmful.

I never know what exactly they're testing for with those stool samples, but it's great news that there wasn't anything wrong. :)
 

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Wow, I thought pumpkin was to soften stool, not harden it.
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I never know what exactly they're testing for with those stool samples, but it's great news that there wasn't anything wrong. :)
Pumpkin can make hard stool softer and firm up loose stool....it's magic :lol:

They're typically looking for parasites...worms, giardia and coccidia are the major ones that cause diarrhea.
 

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Pumpkin can make hard stool softer and firm up loose stool....it's magic :lol:
Whoa. That's just spooky.

They're typically looking for parasites...worms, giardia and coccidia are the major ones that cause diarrhea.
Ah ha. Thanks! Nothing like waiting 12 years to ask...Of course, none of my vets has ever offered the information either.
 
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