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Argh. Little Bee's poo is still soft (actually, sort of half firm, half mushy…and she’s doing up to 3 a day), even after 2 different probiotics and canned pumpkin (not all at the same time ;) ).

She's still on Blue Wilderness (duck flavor, 1/4 - 3/8 cup a day) and 3-4 ounces of Wellness grain-free canned (it's been a variety of flavors since the recall, but I try to transition each change gradually).

Everything I'm giving her has chicken in common, so I'm going to try some chicken-free food for awhile. She doesn't have a lot of allergy symptoms (no sores or hair-pulling), but she does scratch her face and ears more than seems necessary, and I've noticed a little wax. She's been treated for fleas and worms already. I called the vet's office and talked to a tech, and she thought trying a hypoallergenic food sounded like a good place to start, since b doesn't have any really dire symptoms that seem to call for invasive testing or meds that might not help (but could make things worse in the litter box arena).

I've ordered some Natural Balance Limited Ingredient dry (duck) from Amazon, but they couldn't ship the canned NB until April 22, so I'm trying to find some other limited ingredient options. I think EVO, Addiction, Nature're Variety, California Natural and possibly Blue Wilderness's canned (which, annoyingly, I can't get here, even though PetSense carries their dry) are options. Anybody have experiences to share with those in a mild allergy situation? Any other suggestions?

Thanks, y'all. I can't even imagine how some of you cope with IBS or severe allergies. b has made several messes that have taken me awhile to undo, and she almost always has a little dried "evidence" around her anus. I'll admit I'm mean enough to confine her to the litter box room on days when I don't think I can handle the extra "duty" (I have a 2-year-old who's not yet potty trained. And who knows how to take her diaper off when my head is turned. Enough said.) Poor darling. :?
 

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Dear Littlebee:
I am sorry to hear what you are going through. I am still new to this forum and learning many things from wonderful people on this forum, so I do not think I can give any advice. But, I just wanted to share the same kind of feeling and situation.

My recently-adopted cat, Tora, has the same poop situation and it has been about a month. How long does Little Bee have this issue? I tried dewormer(because he had roundworm, now it is negative), antibiotic medicine (the vet thought that he might have some bacteria in his system), plain yogurt, Proviable-KP... still not quite the ideal poop compared to other two cats, and his is exactly the same kind of thing you mentioned. I was thinking about trying grain free diet next but I guess it is not working on Little Bee and I am sorry to hear that. It is frustrating, isn't it? Since Tora may have been a stray cat when we found him, I was confining him. Ever since I found he has the poop issue, he is confined so that he does not share litter box with other two cats. Like you mentioned, it is much easier to handle cleaning and other stuff if he is confined. I am not saying that Tora is confined all day, but he is staying in laundry room with his own litter box when I cannot watch him much, like in the night or when I go out. Having two year old is already handful and then taking care of kitty's mess is too much for you. Keep us posted how Little Bee's poop problem is doing with the new diet using hypoallergenic food. Good luck on potty training as well! It is getting warmer so it is nice to start potty training :) I am sorry that I am not help at all but I hope our kitties' toilet issues will be gone sometime :)
 

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So sorry to hear littlebee is still having these issues. Food sensitivities can be rough to figure out.

I can't remember if you've mentioned this before: have you considered a raw diet at all? Grain-free helps a lot of cats, but since you've already tried that and it doesn't seem to be helping, it may be time to take it to the next level.

My younger kitten, Athena, has the same issues as yours. She is also a siamese mix. I've heard they can have particularly sensitive stomachs, and some searches on google and various forums yielded a lot of other people sharing the same concerns. We tried everything that you have too. Grain-free helped a little. The complete removal of kibble helped a decent amount, but ultimately nothing was really working perfectly. She was still having soft pudding poos, and often had it stuck to her, the way you describe.

Finally, with some coaxing from people here, and a lot of reading of articles and books on my own, I decided to try raw. I figured, nothing else had worked, might as well give it a shot.

It was amazing. Finally for the first time ever, Athena started having firm stools. No more gas, no more bloating, no more soft poo sticking to her butt. I guess she has a particularly sensitive stomach, and what she really needed was food that was much less processed than most commercial cat food (even grain-free canned).

It's been many many months now and she has blossomed into a lovely, healthy cat (she'll be a year at the end of June). Her coat has improved, she's filled out nicely (she used to be a scrawny little thing) and she has no more stomach problems. On the rare occasions I'd slip and give her kibble again, or even too much canned, she'd start having issues again. But once back on the raw, she improved rapidly.

I understand some people are uncertain about making the switch to raw. I definitely was at first, so I understand that position. But it was absolutely the best thing I could have done for her, and it may help littlebee too if she's suffering from the same issue. You can read my transition thread here, it may help address any concerns you might have, as I fretted about everything in the process: http://www.catforum.com/forum/62-raw-food-diet/138798-making-switch.html

I admit I am not as perfect about it as some raw feeders here. I don't do the full homemade diet, I feed premade instead. I work an extremely busy job, and felt a little overwhelmed at the prospect of preparing homemade balanced meals. I wasn't confident in my ability to do it right and was concerned about the time, so if that's an issue for you, premade is a totally viable option. If it's low-carb and fresh raw meat, it should hopefully still help Littlebee (unless she's allergic to a particular meat or some kind of vegetable filler used). I've been feeding my cats Primal. It's a raw formula that comes already balanced in frozen nuggets. I find the price is only slightly higher (only $3 more a month for two cats) than the grain-free canned I was feeding before and it's pretty easy to do. I sample out several days' worth of meals into plastic baggies and just stick them in the fridge to thaw. When feeding, I stick them in a bowl of warm water to remove the chill (my cats don't like their food cold) and that's all there is to it.

Anyway, I hope you're able to resolve it, whatever you decide to do. I'm happy to answer any further questions you might have about any of this, and I wish you luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #4 ·
Saitenyo, THANK YOU! I think of Athena a lot, actually...almost every time I search the forum for ideas, her past threads come up.

I couldn't sleep last night, so was on Amazon looking for LI canned options, and the prices were just getting higher and higher. And I thought, well, ****...if I'm going to spend this much, why not go with one of the pre-packaged raw options? So I hopped over to the raw forum to find some reviews/recommendations, and started to realize that, once I get the hang of it, I could actually be spending LESS for a diet that's better for my cats overall. I finally had to make myself go to bed around 1 am :/, but planning to find your transition thread and read it through this morning. You read my mind! :)

I'm sure my qualms are the same as those of everyone else who's considering raw and hesitating: mostly, time is scarce around here...I can't afford to spend more time planning the cats' meals than I do the humans'. It seems like there's a bit of a learning curve (for both humans and cats) when starting a home-made raw diet. I already get in trouble with my husband and kids for spending too much time hunched over the computer, researching cat food (b likes it...it's quality lap-time, as far as she's concerned). And, I worry about getting all the ratios right, to ensure the kits are getting what they need every day. We live in a rural Texas town, with only one proper butcher, at a small Mexican market about as far from my house as possible in a town this size, so finding a variety of fresh stuff won't be easy. Something pre-packaged may be just the thing to get us started and (hopefully!!!) clear up b's poo issues while I slowly investigate a home-made menu.

I really, really hope I can keep kibble in the picture, though...we go out of town for a couple nights at a time occasionally, and our pet sitters (my parents) find my feeding instructions (measured amounts for each beastie) overly complicated already... Sigh.

Okay...off to read your thread! Thanks again...I'll probably be over on the raw forum with a million questions soon!



So sorry to hear littlebee is still having these issues. Food sensitivities can be rough to figure out.

I can't remember if you've mentioned this before: have you considered a raw diet at all? Grain-free helps a lot of cats, but since you've already tried that and it doesn't seem to be helping, it may be time to take it to the next level.

My younger kitten, Athena, has the same issues as yours. She is also a siamese mix. I've heard they can have particularly sensitive stomachs, and some searches on google and various forums yielded a lot of other people sharing the same concerns. We tried everything that you have too. Grain-free helped a little. The complete removal of kibble helped a decent amount, but ultimately nothing was really working perfectly. She was still having soft pudding poos, and often had it stuck to her, the way you describe.

Finally, with some coaxing from people here, and a lot of reading of articles and books on my own, I decided to try raw. I figured, nothing else had worked, might as well give it a shot.

It was amazing. Finally for the first time ever, Athena started having firm stools. No more gas, no more bloating, no more soft poo sticking to her butt. I guess she has a particularly sensitive stomach, and what she really needed was food that was much less processed than most commercial cat food (even grain-free canned).

It's been many many months now and she has blossomed into a lovely, healthy cat (she'll be a year at the end of June). Her coat has improved, she's filled out nicely (she used to be a scrawny little thing) and she has no more stomach problems. On the rare occasions I'd slip and give her kibble again, or even too much canned, she'd start having issues again. But once back on the raw, she improved rapidly.

I understand some people are uncertain about making the switch to raw. I definitely was at first, so I understand that position. But it was absolutely the best thing I could have done for her, and it may help littlebee too if she's suffering from the same issue. You can read my transition thread here, it may help address any concerns you might have, as I fretted about everything in the process: http://www.catforum.com/forum/62-raw-food-diet/138798-making-switch.html

I admit I am not as perfect about it as some raw feeders here. I don't do the full homemade diet, I feed premade instead. I work an extremely busy job, and felt a little overwhelmed at the prospect of preparing homemade balanced meals. I wasn't confident in my ability to do it right and was concerned about the time, so if that's an issue for you, premade is a totally viable option. If it's low-carb and fresh raw meat, it should hopefully still help Littlebee (unless she's allergic to a particular meat or some kind of vegetable filler used). I've been feeding my cats Primal. It's a raw formula that comes already balanced in frozen nuggets. I find the price is only slightly higher (only $3 more a month for two cats) than the grain-free canned I was feeding before and it's pretty easy to do. I sample out several days' worth of meals into plastic baggies and just stick them in the fridge to thaw. When feeding, I stick them in a bowl of warm water to remove the chill (my cats don't like their food cold) and that's all there is to it.

Anyway, I hope you're able to resolve it, whatever you decide to do. I'm happy to answer any further questions you might have about any of this, and I wish you luck!
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
Hi Spockally! It IS helpful to hear from others dealing with the same frustrations! Thanks for sharing!!

I do think it's worth trying grain-free food for your Tora -- or at least a corn/soy/wheat-free food (most of the premium food makers like Wellness offer an option with higher-quality grains like brown rice). I switched our dogs to a corn/soy/wheat food at the same time that our cats went grain-free (about a month and a half ago). 2 of the dogs regularly had loose stools....but not even once since they've been on this better food. Some of the grain-free cat foods aren't really all that much more expensive than the grocery store brands (Taste of the Wild is one of the cheapest in my area), and you feed less, so it comes close to evening out, cost-wise. And our other cat has shown big-time improvements (we were feeding Purina One before) in her coat and activity levels on grain-free...which is worth a lot.

Also, I've found that if you e-mail some companies (Natural Balance and Felidae, to name a couple), they'll send you free samples. Whoop!

Oy. I just keep thinking that I'm not being patient enough...but b has been on grain-free for over a month now, with no change at all in the litterbox. It also didn't help that, just as I was transitioning her to the grain-free kibble, she licked off a dose of spot-on flea medication and spent a couple days with a very upset tummy (flat-out diarrhea). So I blamed things on that upset for awhile...but the vet tech didn't think it was likely to be contributing at this point. I can't keep dealing with the mess (even though it's not an every day thing) with a toddler around...and I feel so immensely guilty for keeping her cooped up (plus, I miss her!). I was so relieved this morning to find her heinie and paws were clean, though her morning "contribution" was as icky as ever. She's so happy to be out with us. I hope the Natural Balance kibble will be here tomorrow, so we can give it a go...I'll keep you updated! If it doesn't seem to help within a couple weeks, we're going raw...maybe even sooner, since I can't find a reasonably priced canned limited ingredient food that will ship in time.

Keep me posted on what you try with Tora, and what works! Did you do the canned plain pumpkin thing? If you're giving him canned food, it's easy to mix in a couple teaspoons to a tablespoon...b never knew it was there. My other cat tried it by itself, even (and she's a picky eater)...so Tora may like it as a side dish with his dry food! :) It seemed to help the first time I gave it to b...but after that, it was back to goo.

Dear Littlebee:
I am sorry to hear what you are going through. I am still new to this forum and learning many things from wonderful people on this forum, so I do not think I can give any advice. But, I just wanted to share the same kind of feeling and situation.

My recently-adopted cat, Tora, has the same poop situation and it has been about a month. How long does Little Bee have this issue? I tried dewormer(because he had roundworm, now it is negative), antibiotic medicine (the vet thought that he might have some bacteria in his system), plain yogurt, Proviable-KP... still not quite the ideal poop compared to other two cats, and his is exactly the same kind of thing you mentioned. I was thinking about trying grain free diet next but I guess it is not working on Little Bee and I am sorry to hear that. It is frustrating, isn't it? Since Tora may have been a stray cat when we found him, I was confining him. Ever since I found he has the poop issue, he is confined so that he does not share litter box with other two cats. Like you mentioned, it is much easier to handle cleaning and other stuff if he is confined. I am not saying that Tora is confined all day, but he is staying in laundry room with his own litter box when I cannot watch him much, like in the night or when I go out. Having two year old is already handful and then taking care of kitty's mess is too much for you. Keep us posted how Little Bee's poop problem is doing with the new diet using hypoallergenic food. Good luck on potty training as well! It is getting warmer so it is nice to start potty training :) I am sorry that I am not help at all but I hope our kitties' toilet issues will be gone sometime :)
 

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Saitenyo, THANK YOU! I think of Athena a lot, actually...almost every time I search the forum for ideas, her past threads come up.
No problem at all! I can imagine it's been frustrating for you, as I remember how frustrated I was, worrying that Athena was going to be sickly forever. Thankfully there do seem to be resolutions! I'll see if I can tackle some of your specific questions below.

I couldn't sleep last night, so was on Amazon looking for LI canned options, and the prices were just getting higher and higher. And I thought, well, ****...if I'm going to spend this much, why not go with one of the pre-packaged raw options? So I hopped over to the raw forum to find some reviews/recommendations, and started to realize that, once I get the hang of it, I could actually be spending LESS for a diet that's better for my cats overall.
Yup, and especially with homemade. Ideally I'd love to introduce more homemade into my cats' diets someday, simply because it seems even more natural and is much cheaper than the premade stuff. Obviously that's a bit more complicated of course, which is why I haven't totally gone that route yet.

I'm sure my qualms are the same as those of everyone else who's considering raw and hesitating: mostly, time is scarce around here...I can't afford to spend more time planning the cats' meals than I do the humans'. It seems like there's a bit of a learning curve (for both humans and cats) when starting a home-made raw diet.
Yeah, I think that's where the premade really helped me. It takes some of the burden of time off my shoulders. If I had more free time to shop around, source organs, measure and portion out proper amounts, do calculations, etc. I'd love to do homemade. It's just not viable for me right now. I'm also in the same boat as you in that I lack local butcher shops or meat markets and don't have much time to run errands far away (whereas the stores that sell premade raw are right down the street!). Feeding the premade has allowed me to get comfortable with raw in general, and see its results, without fretting that I'm doing something wrong. If anything, it's given me more confidence to eventually try homemade someday. I'm already giving them chicken wings once a week now for their teeth. :)

I really, really hope I can keep kibble in the picture, though...we go out of town for a couple nights at a time occasionally, and our pet sitters (my parents) find my feeding instructions (measured amounts for each beastie) overly complicated already... Sigh.
Unfortunately, if Littlebee is like Athena, that may not be an option. We were trying to keep kibble on hand for that very reason but we'd always come home to a very stinky house. And we're talking even after just one kibble meal left for them overnight. Apparently that alone was enough to upset her stomach. I can get away with giving her grain-free canned for a meal if I forget to defrost some raw in the fridge (did that this morning, d'oh) and she seems to react okay, but kibble just does not work for her.

However there is another option that might work for you when you need to leave something simpler for pet sitters, if they can't do raw or canned. I buy freeze-dried raw to leave for overnight trips. I wouldn't feel comfortable feeding it as a regular diet due to the lack of moisture, but it seems to work really well as an occasional emergency "dry" food. So far, when fed only occasionally, it doesn't seem to upset Athena's stomach the way kibble does.

One caveat: it's expensive. Way more so than regular premade raw. I've been feeding Stella and Chewy's (it comes in these dry patties that you can crumble up) and at only one meal a week for both cats, it's an extra $30 a month. I'm trying to find another option for this reason. If you don't go out of town often, then the cost may not be a big deal, but since I'm usually gone overnight once a week, I have to give them a meal of this approx. once a week (depending on whether or not I'm able to get home in time to feed them breakfast) and then the cost starts adding up.

There's another brand called Ziwi Peak that I'm considering switching to, once I use up this bag of Stella. I need to do some calculations to see if the price is better. It takes a more "jerky" style form than the Stella which I like better too, since it seems more like actual dried meat.

There are a few other brands out there too (Nature's Variety makes one I believe) but of course I'm limited to what I can find at my local stores.

But yeah, I am still trying to find a good solution to this problem myself, as so far nothing seems totally ideal. I actually posted a thread a while back asking if anyone knows of other good freeze-dried options, but so far it seems like other people are as stumped as I am.
 

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Discussion Starter · #7 ·
I just finished your transition thread...as others have said: SO helpful. I'm glad you documented the process.

Freeze-dried!!! That could totally solve the "when we leave town" problem! I am absurdly excited now.

The only specialized pet supply store in town is a PetSense, and it's very limited...only 2 grain-free options (and only Wellness canned) and no raw or limited ingredient. There's a PetSmart about half an hour away, but they don't seem to carry raw, either. We do have a mom/pop natural food store that I can probably get some better quality chicken parts (Wal-Mart is my other option...and I'm just not sure about plopping raw Wal-Mart stuff on plate. We eat it, cooked...but is it good enough for the CATS? ). Maybe I can try some small leg or breast pieces while look for a good pre-made option online. I'm pretty eager to see the litterbox effect, if nothing else...I'm sure you can relate.

Now I'm itching to get online and start price/ingredient-shopping! Do you still have the spreadsheet you made to compare costs of canned/premade raw? I'd LOVE to see it.

Sadly, I think my employer expects me to get some work done this week...

Thanks again!


No problem at all! I can imagine it's been frustrating for you, as I remember how frustrated I was, worrying that Athena was going to be sickly forever. Thankfully there do seem to be resolutions! I'll see if I can tackle some of your specific questions below.

Yup, and especially with homemade. Ideally I'd love to introduce more homemade into my cats' diets someday, simply because it seems even more natural and is much cheaper than the premade stuff. Obviously that's a bit more complicated of course, which is why I haven't totally gone that route yet.

Yeah, I think that's where the premade really helped me. It takes some of the burden of time off my shoulders. If I had more free time to shop around, source organs, measure and portion out proper amounts, do calculations, etc. I'd love to do homemade. It's just not viable for me right now. I'm also in the same boat as you in that I lack local butcher shops or meat markets and don't have much time to run errands far away (whereas the stores that sell premade raw are right down the street!). Feeding the premade has allowed me to get comfortable with raw in general, and see its results, without fretting that I'm doing something wrong. If anything, it's given me more confidence to eventually try homemade someday. I'm already giving them chicken wings once a week now for their teeth. :)

Unfortunately, if Littlebee is like Athena, that may not be an option. We were trying to keep kibble on hand for that very reason but we'd always come home to a very stinky house. And we're talking even after just one kibble meal left for them overnight. Apparently that alone was enough to upset her stomach. I can get away with giving her grain-free canned for a meal if I forget to defrost some raw in the fridge (did that this morning, d'oh) and she seems to react okay, but kibble just does not work for her.

However there is another option that might work for you when you need to leave something simpler for pet sitters, if they can't do raw or canned. I buy freeze-dried raw to leave for overnight trips. I wouldn't feel comfortable feeding it as a regular diet due to the lack of moisture, but it seems to work really well as an occasional emergency "dry" food. So far, when fed only occasionally, it doesn't seem to upset Athena's stomach the way kibble does.

One caveat: it's expensive. Way more so than regular premade raw. I've been feeding Stella and Chewy's (it comes in these dry patties that you can crumble up) and at only one meal a week for both cats, it's an extra $30 a month. I'm trying to find another option for this reason. If you don't go out of town often, then the cost may not be a big deal, but since I'm usually gone overnight once a week, I have to give them a meal of this approx. once a week (depending on whether or not I'm able to get home in time to feed them breakfast) and then the cost starts adding up.

There's another brand called Ziwi Peak that I'm considering switching to, once I use up this bag of Stella. I need to do some calculations to see if the price is better. It takes a more "jerky" style form than the Stella which I like better too, since it seems more like actual dried meat.

There are a few other brands out there too (Nature's Variety makes one I believe) but of course I'm limited to what I can find at my local stores.

But yeah, I am still trying to find a good solution to this problem myself, as so far nothing seems totally ideal. I actually posted a thread a while back asking if anyone knows of other good freeze-dried options, but so far it seems like other people are as stumped as I am.
 

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Dear Littlebee:

I am glad that I can share some frustration with you :) I do understand how you feel about "clean paws"! I took "clean paws" for granted with other two cats and then realized it is really important! I check Tora's paws every morning and a couple of times in a day to make sure.... This morning I found some "left-over" on the window sill and then headed for cleaning, yuck! Yesterday, after I picked him up and then let go, I found some "leftover" on my sweater..... I cannot wait to solve this issue... I am sure you will be much busier with your cute little toddler around and you want to make sure the mess will never go to her. It is hard work! I feel for you :)
Thank you for suggesting about grain-free diet. Thanks for the tip about coupon as well :) I am trying to switch to grain-free for other two cats, so miight as well, maybe Tora also. I am waiting for the vet to call me back and tell me what he suggests. I will keep posted. I heard about pumpkin as well and was going to try it on Tora but the vet said he does not think it will work since pumpkin has too much fiber.
I feel the same way about "confining." I feel so bad as well. I cannot wait to have him all the time with us once his pop issues are resolved! Ever since I found that he pooped on our floor (luckily, it was hardwood!), I tried to let him go to the laundry room where I keep his litter box as often as possible when he is not cooped in the room. I am getting tired of dealing with this situation: separating his litter box from another one and keeping him in the laundry room occasionally.... poor thing!
Let us know how Natural Balance kibble works on her when it arrives. I hope it will help her! What Saitenyo suggested makese sense. I did not know that the reason why Athena stared on raw diet was due to stomach problem. I will definitely check out the thread that she suggested as well. Thank you, Saitenyo! I know you helped me in my thread as well where I posted about SD.
I do hope Littlebee's tummy trouble will be solved soon and keep us poted!
 

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Discussion Starter · #9 ·
Spockally, I wanted to add another plug for grain-free for Tora: Little Bee had HORRID gas when she was still on Purina One. On Blue Wilderness grain-free + grain-free canned, she's gas-free. Then, I tried a little canned food with some rice in it (I'm trying to convince my older cat to eat canned, so I bought the with-rice food for her to try out (no luck), and gave just a little (maybe a tablespoon) to b to see if I could get away with it in small amounts, rather than just throwing it all away). The gas was back today (though the poos don't seem any worse than usual). So if stinky toots are part of Tora's problem, a grain-free food may help with that at least!
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Oh, gosh...poor Tora, and poor you!!! Checking for poo everywhere gets old REALLY fast...and there's not much worse than finding it in random spots in your house...or ON you. Ugh.

I hope your vet will have some good suggestions, too...I'll be interested to hear. I once read a vet's blog, where he recommend a hairball formula food for chronic soft stools, because of the extra fiber. But finding the right fiber balance can be tricky...especially if the stomach is already upset.

Saitenyo's pretty much got me convinced, though I'm still going to give the NB dry a chance, since it's on its way, and it'll take me awhile to find a raw. Sabine, our other cat, is doing so well on grain-free dry (and a tiny bit of canned...there's only one kind she'll eat) that I can let her finish the bag if b needs to be switched to raw full time to get the stools up to par... I'll keep you posted!

Dear Littlebee:

I am glad that I can share some frustration with you :) I do understand how you feel about "clean paws"! I took "clean paws" for granted with other two cats and then realized it is really important! I check Tora's paws every morning and a couple of times in a day to make sure.... This morning I found some "left-over" on the window sill and then headed for cleaning, yuck! Yesterday, after I picked him up and then let go, I found some "leftover" on my sweater..... I cannot wait to solve this issue... I am sure you will be much busier with your cute little toddler around and you want to make sure the mess will never go to her. It is hard work! I feel for you :)
Thank you for suggesting about grain-free diet. Thanks for the tip about coupon as well :) I am trying to switch to grain-free for other two cats, so miight as well, maybe Tora also. I am waiting for the vet to call me back and tell me what he suggests. I will keep posted. I heard about pumpkin as well and was going to try it on Tora but the vet said he does not think it will work since pumpkin has too much fiber.
I feel the same way about "confining." I feel so bad as well. I cannot wait to have him all the time with us once his pop issues are resolved! Ever since I found that he pooped on our floor (luckily, it was hardwood!), I tried to let him go to the laundry room where I keep his litter box as often as possible when he is not cooped in the room. I am getting tired of dealing with this situation: separating his litter box from another one and keeping him in the laundry room occasionally.... poor thing!
Let us know how Natural Balance kibble works on her when it arrives. I hope it will help her! What Saitenyo suggested makese sense. I did not know that the reason why Athena stared on raw diet was due to stomach problem. I will definitely check out the thread that she suggested as well. Thank you, Saitenyo! I know you helped me in my thread as well where I posted about SD.
I do hope Littlebee's tummy trouble will be solved soon and keep us poted!
 

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Yup, Spockally, Athena used to have awful gas and really smelly poos too. Like...room-clearing smell. Even though the grain-free canned didn't completely fix her stools, it did really help with the gas problems. Her stomach used to be horribly bloated all the time and taking out grain and kibble seemed to help with that a lot.

And yup, I do still have a cost comparison spreadsheet. This is my most recent one: https://spreadsheets.google.com/ccc...3lTUmNCMWVMbXlXckQ5R2c&hl=en&authkey=CO3y4bYI

It focuses mostly on raw, since that's what I feed these days for the most part, but I did a comparison to a canned-only diet too.

It's not really tidied up for other people, mostly just for my own use, so I can explain anything that might be confusing. All of these are local prices of course so it might vary depending on where you look. Love's is the pet store I get most of my raw at. Anywhere you see "NV" that stands for Nature's Variety, which I've been feeding for some additional variety, but hope to drop out soon since I like the Primal better (and the Primal is slightly cheaper). I've been working on my local store to order Primal Rabbit and I think they're finally caving. XD The canned prices there are from PetCo. I actually just found a local store that carries Merrick for cheaper though. I haven't updated the spreadsheet to reflect that. Only Natural is a store that sells raw online. I was just curious how much more expensive it'd be to order it (since I was considering ordering the flavors I can't get locally).

The plan in yellow at the bottom is what I'm currently doing. As you can see it's mostly Primal, with some NV Rabbit (until I can get Primal Rabbit), and one canned meal of quail in there too since I can't find quail anywhere locally in any raw form.

For analysis purposes, I filled out Sunday's breakfast meal as a canned meal, since trying to find a way to do that would be my ideal (Sunday mornings are usually the meal I have to miss). Currently that meal is actually made up of the Stella and Chewy's, and you can see below the yellow box how dramatically the price goes up when that one canned breakfast is replaced by the freeze-dried. Also, on weekends where I am home all weekend, I just give them raw for that meal instead of canned or freeze dried.

So this plan isn't totally hard and fast, just a general estimate. Sometimes the cats will beg for more food and I concede because I'm still unclear as to how much they should be eating. When I give them 2 oz per meal they act hungry. When I give them 3, they often don't finish it...2.5 seems to hit the mark most of the time but sometimes they still beg for more food,and neither is getting fat so I just give them an extra tidbit of canned when they still seem hungry.

The calculations up there also don't currently include estimates for locally-bought homemade, because I can't find enough stuff to get estimates on them, and the chicken wings I feed are such a negligible cost that I just didn't bother figuring it out.

The monthly total is on the far right, on the other side of the menu listings (which I jotted down to help me figure out how much I was feeding of each per week). Keep in mind that monthly total is for 2 cats, not 1.
 

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Oh and the "Local Mixes" are basically just Primal from the aforementioned local store, Nature's Variety from another local store, and Merrick from PetCo. Sadly I can't get everything at just Love's. Although if I can get them to carry Primal Rabbit and get my canned at the local store that I was getting the NV from, I can narrow it down to only 2 stores (plus regular grocery store for chicken wings).
 

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Discussion Starter · #13 ·
Saitenyo, I love you! I have done a million price/oz. and price/feeding calculations on a million different foods...but only had the sense to jot down a couple (and then keep misplacing the piece of paper). This is awesome!!!

I'm so excited (especially since poo #2 today was a real stinker). I'm hoping to place an order for one or two varieties of premade raw tonight. I should probably pick up a couple more cans of Wellness, so I'll have plenty to transition with. It seemed like you were able to transition fairly quickly with Athena (unless it was too cold...poor girl!). How many days did you mix it with canned before you offered it on its own?
 

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Discussion Starter · #14 ·
On an unrelated note...my 2-year-old (always looking over my shoulder as I'm typing), saw Athena and Apollo on your signature and said, "Look! Der Wi Bee!" (there's Little Bee!). Cute kid. Cute cats!
 

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Cool, seems there is help for littlebee. And a use for all the spreadsheets! Yay, saitenyo.

One thing I've been doing is weigh my cats once a week and I'm tracking it. Since I switched to grain free (canned and kibble) my big cat has lost 1.4 lbs. I was worried he was losing too fast, so I thought I should track it. He was a bit overweight anyway, and the other cat has maintained beautifully.

In doing research, I've found that cats will naturally eat more on some days, and less on others. So I decided weighing them was better than weighing the food. I just eye-ball the food now.
 

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Happy I could help! :)

I'm so excited (especially since poo #2 today was a real stinker). I'm hoping to place an order for one or two varieties of premade raw tonight. I should probably pick up a couple more cans of Wellness, so I'll have plenty to transition with. It seemed like you were able to transition fairly quickly with Athena (unless it was too cold...poor girl!). How many days did you mix it with canned before you offered it on its own?
I think it's not a bad idea to keep some canned on hand anyway, in case you forget to defrost a meal like I did this morning, or a cat is being picky (sometimes mixing some canned in will encourage them to eat on a finicky day). I keep a nice helping of "emergency canned" stacked in my cupboard even though I usually only give one canned meal a week.

And as for how long it'll take, it varies depending on the cat. Athena did take to raw very quickly, I wonder maybe because it was the first time she probably felt really good after eating? Or maybe she's just not super picky.I think I only mixed canned in her food for about a week.

Apollo on the other hand was much slower. He's my picky eater. I had to mix canned into his food for several weeks, and still have to on occasion (he loves chicken and always eats that, but he frequently decides he has no interest in turkey or rabbit).

On an unrelated note...my 2-year-old (always looking over my shoulder as I'm typing), saw Athena and Apollo on your signature and said, "Look! Der Wi Bee!" (there's Little Bee!). Cute kid. Cute cats!
Haha that's so adorable. And actually last night I was thinking about how similar Athena and Littlebee are, and then realized I frequently call Athena "Little B!" Because her nickname is "Beepo" (it's weird, I know, long story) and we usually call her that more than Athena...so she has all these nicknames that have evolved from that like "Little Beep" or "Little B."

One thing I've been doing is weigh my cats once a week and I'm tracking it. Since I switched to grain free (canned and kibble) my big cat has lost 1.4 lbs. I was worried he was losing too fast, so I thought I should track it. He was a bit overweight anyway, and the other cat has maintained beautifully.

In doing research, I've found that cats will naturally eat more on some days, and less on others. So I decided weighing them was better than weighing the food. I just eye-ball the food now.
That's really smart, I should start doing that! I actually bought a scale a few months ago with the intention of regularly weighing both myself and the cats...but only weighed the cats once. Oops! I should start weighing them regularly. Hopefully that'll help me relax a little about their weird eating patterns, because as you say, it seems like they're randomly extra hungry one day and not interested in much food the next.
 

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Dear Littlebee:

Just FYI, here is what I heard from my vet. Although the vet that I spoke to before said no to pumpkin, the vet that I spoke yesterday recommended to give Tora 1tsp of canned pumpkin 2-3 times a day and see how his stool does about a week (or even two.... I do not know if I want to wait this long). If it still does not work, he wants Tora to be on Panacur(fenbendazole) which is oral dewormer and he claims it also has effect like probiotic. I asked the vet about switching his diet to grain free but he was not sure if it will help. He said the cat food that he recommends, Science Diet, has grains..... I was like "so what???" He was more into Hypoallergenic food than grain free diet. Well, I was not sure about giving Tora Panacur. The first stool test came back positive for roundworm in early Feburuary. We treated it with Profender. The second stool sample done in middle of March came back negative for all active parasites but came back positive for antibodies of giardia. I was wondering if it is really necessary to give him Panacur. I want to avoid medication unless it is really needed. So, I called them up again this morning and talked to another vet. She said that it is not really necessary to give him Panacur especially knowing how difficult to medicate Tora, he does not have active parasites and also the antibiotic med that Tora took should have done the job to treat what was going on in his system because of giardia if he had it in the past. She told me that the vet I spoke to just wanted to be overcautious to cover all the possibilities. Well, then she suggested Tora to be on Science Diet Intestinal Diet can/dry food which is available only through vet office. She was not skeptical about grain free diet, neither. If SD does not work, she wants him to try hypoallergenic food....

So this is the route to take, it seems. But, imo, I rather try grain free food than SD. She claims it has all nutrition but from what I learned in this forum, I prefer not to give that. If I need to pay that much for SD, I rather spend the amount of money on other better food. I think I want to keep Panacur as the last and least option. when I was searching about Panacur, I found this thread. It sounded similar to Tora. It makes me wonder if Panacur might be beneficial but I try to avoid medication first. I got to go now but I just wanted to update with what I heard. BTW, Tora loves pumpkin! Funny! I will talk to you again :)

http://www.catforum.com/forum/38-health-nutrition/69661-kitty-diarrhea-problems.html
 

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Spockally: Unfortunately a lot of vets can be very pushy about Science Diet. I've had several vets-in-training and working vets tell me that their nutrition classes essentially consist of one or more pet food company reps coming to the class and talking about why their food is the best. Even if they provide studies that claim to show that their food is superior to all others (usually studies conducted by, or at least funded by the companies of course) they're essentially just making sales pitches. And if that is what a vet learns in school where they're supposed to be getting factual, unbiased information about their field, then they're likely to assume it's true.

My friend who is currently studying to become a vet says she swears by SD because she found their presentation "very convincing," yet vets and nutritionists I've spoken to, and read articles by, say that once they started doing additional nutrition research beyond those company-sponsored classes, they concluded that there are many better options out there.

The fact that Science Diet pours money into vet education and vet offices, and allows their food to be sold directly by vet offices, does not help matters either.

I am not a vet, and I don't want to outright tell you to go against your vet's advice, but personally, seeing as this isn't a life-threatening condition, I'd be more inclined to try a grain-free food before trying a very expensive prescription diet that contains ingredients I don't like, just to treat a food sensitivity.

It's entirely up to you what to do though. If it is a grain sensitivity, then the SD isn't going to help one bit, considering what they put in it. I personally cannot fathom why they feel they can justify putting so many ingredients that cause allergies and stomach upset in a food that supposedly treats those problems.

Here's the ingredients list of the adult dry sensitive stomach food:
Brewers Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Animal Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Pork Meal, Dried Egg Product, Whole Grain Corn, Chicken Liver Flavor, Oat Fiber, Potassium Chloride, L-Lysine, Choline Chloride, DL-Methionine, Vitamin E Supplement, Calcium Carbonate, Taurine, vitamins (L-Ascorbyl-2-Polyphosphate (source of vitamin C), Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Vitamin A Supplement, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Iodized Salt, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), L-Tryptophan, Mixed Tocopherols (a preservative), Citric Acid (a preservative), Phosphoric Acid, Beta Carotene, Rosemary Extract.

The bolded red ingredients are common causes of stomach irritation and allergies (and other health issues) in cats. The fact that they are the first two ingredients in a food intended to treat these problems seems absurd.

The pink ingredients are ingredients that may be fine, but I'd personally avoid when trying to narrow down a food sensitivity. Oats don't spike blood sugar the way corn does, but depending on how sensitive the cat is to grains and how refined this "oat fiber" is, it could be difficult for them to digest. And any unnamed "flavor" or "animal product" is a concern because you have no idea what that actually is or what animal it comes from or what the circumstances of its handling was. If a cat is allergic to, say, beef, you have no way of knowing if that flavor or fat is beef fat. Even if it says "chicken liver flavor" all that means is it's supposedly flavored to taste like chicken liver. It could have been created in a lab, or made of another animal, or made of vegetables for all we know.
 

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Dear Suwanee:
Thanks for sending the links. I read the articles on the bottom two. It is very interesting to know all the facts, especially about SD again..... I have a question for you, though. You mentioned that your kitty lost weight after you switched the diet to grain-free. Is grain-free diet meant to decrease the weight? My cat lost weight due to her teeth problems (gingivitis and loose teeth and she had teeth cleaning and 4 teeth extraction last week - The vet is hoping that it will help for her to eat better and thus gain back weight) and probably having new cat in our house. By changing her diet to grain-free which has better ingredients than the current diet, I thought I can help her to gain back some weight. Am I wrong? I appreciate if you guide me when you have a chance. Thanks a million in advance!
 
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