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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Hi, in July our kitty (she's 6 years old, we think) came down with a horrible bout of diarrhea and vomiting. We took her to the vet and several days and tests later, came to the conclusion that we think she has IBD. The vet said he thought it was either that or lymphoma, but the symptoms don't seem to fit lymphoma, from what I've seen in my research. The vomiting and diarrhea seems to be under control, although she does have days when it comes back. We're trying to find a diet that would be good for her... but for about the past couple of weeks she hasn't been eating well. She is using her litter box with no problems, and has a solid BM every other day, or so. She is also sleeping a lot, but it's been hot lately, so that could be part of it.

I've been doing a lot of research on IBD over the past couple of months, and found this forum. The most recent post I found here was from 2007, although I suppose I could be missing something. What food do you recommend for cats with IBD? I understand canned is best, and grain and gluten free is a must. We tried giving her Fancy Feast (it was the seafood pate, as that didn't seem to have any grains), and she really liked it, but then started throwing it up. So we switched to Natural Balance LID canned foods. But she doesn't like it very well. We also provide Innova dry food, as that's the only way to get anything into her. She eats about 1/3 to 1/4 the amount of food she's supposed to have per day, for her body weight. For the Natural Balance we've tried venison, chicken, salmon and duck. She really doesn't care for any of them. Well, she will eat it the first day (about 1/4 to 1/3 of the six ounce can is all I can get her to eat a day), but then the next day she just turns her nose up at it. I've tried giving it to her fresh out of the fridge, I've tried letting it come up to room temperature, but no matter how I serve it, she won't eat it. Yesterday she seemed to love the duck, and ate almost half the can! But then today she appeared hungry, following me around until I got to the kitchen, and she was looking at the fridge. I got the food out and set it on the counter for a while, while I set up the coffee pot and did other things to let it come to room temperature. Then I mixed her fiber pill in with it (as I do every morning) and put it down where I feed her... she wouldn't even sniff it this morning. She just looked at me like I was nuts and walked away. I'm so frustrated, trying to get her to eat! She should weigh 8-9 pounds, but since this all started she's down to around 7, I think. She got down to less than 7 pounds, but her weight started coming back up. But now she's not eating again, so I'm not sure what to do... We also gave her the Turkey and giblets, which is not LID, but we got that can by mistake. She seemed to like that one ok. I'm just afraid if we get more she'll change her mind and not eat it. We live in a small town and have to go into the larger city to find Natural Balance cat food.

A town close by recently got a Trader Joe's, and I've heard they have canned cat food... does anyone have any experience with it? I haven't been there yet to look at the ingredients, but I am wondering if it would be ok to try with her? I'm mostly concerned right now that she's not eating well. I'm tempted to go back to the fancy feast because she seemed to enjoy it, but I don't want to do it if she will start vomiting again. This cat is about as picky as my 7-year old daughter... I have a hard time getting her to eat as well. I guess we just have a picky household. :)

I appreciate any advice you can offer. I really want to find something my cat will eat, that will not upset her tummy. If there's any other info I could provide that will help, let me know. Thanks.

Emily
 

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Discussion Starter · #2 ·
Oh, and one other thing... I realize canned food is best, but since I'm having such a hard time getting her to eat anything, is it ok to leave out the Innova dry food? I know she grazes on that throughout the day, but even with that she only eats at most 1/3 of what she's supposed to eat for her weight. The Innova dry does not have wheat or corn products. Thanks.
 

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My cat Sophie had IBD. I tried a variety of foods because she was a picky eater and didn't want to eat something she previously threw up. I had the best luck with Evo 95% duck, and later after she decided not to eat that with the Evo 95% chicken/turkey. She also would eat dry duck/pea I think it was Hill's (prescription) but also Natural Balance has a duck/pea dry. She didn't like the Natural Balance wet duck/pea either.

It's OK to leave out the dry. If she's eating the Innova, I'd go ahead and leave that out. I used to leave out the wet too, although it's not ideal to eat after it's been out for a few hours. It's my opinon, but I would not go with the Trader Joes. You are better limiting the type of protein to whatever she can handle.
 

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My cat Monty was diagnosed with triaditis (which includes inflammatory bowel disease). You definitely want to stick to a limited ingredient diet! The ingredients in other foods are the reason that she would vomit and have diarrhea. Monty was the same way, he was not interested in wet food so i had dry food available for him at all times. After i took the wet food away for a while i reintroduced it to Monty and he started to eat it again. Cats should eat several small meals throughout the day, that's what is natural for them. The only concern with only having dry food is her having a better chance of becoming constipated but you would rather have them eat dry food then not eat anything at all. Here is a website the internal medicine vet told me about today that has info on IBD: Gastrointestinal Laboratory - Texas A&M Veterinary Medicine & Biomedical Sciences and this is another website i found where other people write about there experience with cat IBD so you can maybe get some ideas from what has worked for them: http://www.ibdkitties.net/
I would maybe call your vet and have them give you some ideas on other foods that would work and that would be readily available to you. Also, have you ever thought about ordering food off the internet and having it shipped to you? Just a suggestion.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Thank you all for your comments and suggestions!

furryfriends, I will print the list of cat foods from that link you posted and take it with me when we go shopping later today. Hopefully we can find something she'll eat.

Nan, figuring out what she can eat (and what she will eat) is tough! :) Hopefully we can find something today that she'll enjoy and will not upset her tummy.

Punk4life, thank you for the information. I've looked in to ordering cans of food online, but the shipping prices can be quite high. I'd consider it if I knew she'd eat the food... but since she's being so picky right now I hate to order anything yet.

Auntie Crazy, thank you for the link with the tips of feeding canned food! I've glanced through them, and will reread it later today when I have more time. I'm not sure we'd be able to do a raw diet at this time, but it's something I'm willing to consider. For now I just want to get her to eat... anything!

It's been about 3 days and she's hardly eaten anything. She acts hungry, but just won't eat. Although last night she did eat some tuna. I don't know if that's good for her, but I was getting concerned that she wasn't eating anything, so I decided to try it. And she licked the bowl clean. :) I only gave her an ounce because I wasn't sure if that would be good for her, and she had thrown up twice yesterday before eating the tuna. I was concerned the tuna would make her sick, but she seemed to tolerate it ok.

Thanks again to all of you for the links and suggestions. Hopefully we can help get her back to her healthy self again. :)

Emily
 

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Franklin, on the left in my avatar, has IBD. From 6-18 months of age he suffered from regular bouts of diarrhea, vomiting and inappetence. I spent that year chasing all kinds of food solutions. I do not believe they exist. At the end of that year, and seeing his third vet, a biopsy (the only way to diagnose IBD) confirmed the IBD diagnosis. At that point he weighed 5 pounds. He was placed on high dose prednisolone, which was tapered over two months to his current maintenance dose (5mg every other day). That was 15 months ago. He has thrown up twice in those 15 months, the litter box has been nearly perfect, his appetite is good and he weighs 8 3/4 pounds.

I have been where you are. My suggestion would be to have the biopsy done and confirm, or rule out, IBD. Franklin has had no ill effects from the prednisolone. The food chase can be long and hard on both you and your cat.

Just one man's opinion.
 

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Something that most cats love is baby food, so if she continues her non-eating streak, it is something you may want to try. I personally prefer to use the Beech Nut brand, because the ingrediants are simple and just have a meat and meat broth, which cats can digest.

It isn't something you can feed long term, but in a pinch, it does work. You could also see if she would eat canned food if you mixed some baby food in :)

Since she will eat tuna, I wonder if she prefers that type of food texture. What texture's of canned food have you tried (pate, chunks, slices, etc)?
 

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The other thing you need to watch out for is dehydration. When a cat is dehydrated, they feel sick to their stomach. If she hasn't eaten in a few days, you should give your vet a call to let them know what's going on.

I agree with Kwarendorf about the prednisone. It helped Sophie. If I had known about this site at the time, I probably would have tried the raw diet.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
kwarendorf, thank you for the suggestion. I've thought about the biopsy, but unfortunately finances have been pretty tight this year. The diarrhea and vomiting seem to be improving, so I'm hoping she's on the road to recovery. :) But if they come back in full force, we will consider the biopsy. I'm curious about the prednisone though... is that something your cat will be on indefinitely? I was on prednisone for a year and a half around 12 years ago, and now have cataracts. Does it affect cats the same way it does humans? Although I suppose in the case of an indoor kitty, diminished eyesight later in life would be better than a lifetime of tummy troubles. :)

furryfriends, that's funny about the baby food! :) I wonder what it is about baby food they find more appealing than cat food? Most of what we've been giving her is pate, so I'm also wondering if she would prefer a flaked food. The only thing is, most flaked foods I've looked at contain gluten. I'll have to keep an eye out and see if I can find one that is gluten free, and see if she likes that better than the pate. Although I am finding some pates she likes!

Nan, she's using the litterbox normally as far as urinating goes, so I think she's ok as far as not being dehydrated. She also seems to be drinking pretty regularly.

And now for an update! Wednesday we went shopping and bought several cans of food for her to try that were on the idbkitties website. Right now we're just trying the less expensive brands, since when we bought the more expensive ones she wouldn't touch it. :) We got several of the Fancy Feast classic varieties, a couple Friskies, and something else, I forget what it was. Well, Wednesday she ate 3/4 of the three ounce can, which was more than she's eaten in a while. Thursday she finished that can and ate 3/4 of the next 3 oz can, so she had a total of 3 ounces on Thursday. Today she's not eating quite as well with the newest can I've opened, but I'm wondering if she doesn't like the flavor. She did pretty well with the first two I tried, so we will get more of those. I also took her dry food away and am trying to feed her on a schedule of every 4-5 hours, to get her used to eating small meals throughout the day. I'm hoping if we stick with this she will eventually start eating more. But at least this is a start! I think she should be eating at least 2 of the 3 ounce cans per day, but eating one per day is better than she's been doing, so I'm encouraged that we'll eventually get there. Autumn has also been a bit nicer since she started eating the new food. She was getting a bit cranky, and I think she was just so hungry. I understand, I get cranky when I'm hungry, too. :) She's also started waking me up in the morning by walking all over me and sitting on me until I get up and feed her, so I think that's a good sign, too. :)

Thank you all for your advice and encouragement!

Emily
 

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I can't say whether or not predisolone does the same thing to cats as people. Franklin is actually taking prdenisolone, rather than prednisone. A cat's liver converts prednisone into prednisolon and it is the prednisolone that works the intestinal magic. giving him predmisolone from the start taves his liver the effort of converting it. He is taking 5mg every other day and will for life.
 

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Oh,Yeahh!! :) I'm glad she's eating! I sympathise with you trying to find anything that she'll eat just to get her back to eating!

About the pred, you basically have to try and see what works. Sophie was about 8 when she started to have problems throwing up & not eating. My vets would put her on pred for a week or so and taper it off and she would be fine for months. Once they put her on it for a month and later just when I asked for it. Finally when she was about 14, is when it was started for life. I was SO glad when the vet did that because it was practically the only thing that seemed effective. (I think it was the same dose 5 mg every other day, although I was able to sometimes skip a day an give it to her 3x a week & she was fine.) She lived to be almost 18.
 
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