Best budget friendly sensitive cat food

Meg142!

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Hello all! So my cat has a sensitive stomach and goes between having constipation or diarrhea, there's no in between. I've tried the hills science sensitive formula, Purina focus sensitive stomach, and a Rachel Ray's nutrish which I just learned is actually really bad for cats? I haven't done research on that one yet as I just heard it from a friend today. My point is we have yet to find something that works for her. We've tried grain free, chicken, lamb, fish, to rule out a sensitivity to grain and different meats, she's also had a lot of testing done and doesn't have any health issues ( other than her sensitive stomach). I'm completely at a loss and getting very frustrated as she often can't make it to the litter box to poo. I usually find her less than pleasant surprises just outside the litter box, or on the litter box wall, like she just barely got in it in time, or on my bed :barfgreen: where she sleeps like she couldn't even hold it long enough to get off the bed. I'm looking for some suggestions for new foods to try with her. I'm a college student so I'm on a pretty tight budget which doesn't help me because I know a lot of foods people usually suggest are pretty pricey. I'm definitely willing to pay for something slightly higher end but I'm sorry, $50 for 8 pounds of the hills science was just way too much. Thank you all in advance!

PS. I just had a thought. I've heard that for some cats the grain free bothers their stomach. So far everything I've tried has been grain free or uses rice instead of corn. Should I try just a run of the mill food to see if grain actually helps her? I'm just worried about really messing with her stomach and making the problem worse.
 

LifeWithOliver

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I have tried every kind of canned cat food available(from Middle East, Far East, Europe and the States) for almost 10 years. My cat refuses the canned food completely.1 brand he had a bad reaction to it. I finally decided to use fresh meat. My cat is finishing her dish and is very happy. I also give dried food. I never had any problem with dried food.
 

MissClouseau

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Not to say don't look for a new food but seeing she has constipation and diarrhea often, consider using prebiotics daily.

If it's available where you live Pro Plan Delicate canned wet food seems to work well for my cat. It has turkey. It also has dry food version but since my cat is intolerant to grains I didn't try it. As for dry food Acana Wild Prairie.

I haven't had success myself as it contains grains and again my cat is intolerant to them but I have heard some people got success with Royal Canin Sensible 33. It has prebiotics in it.

Generally speaking simplest formulas are the least risky. On budget I would personally first try the simplest formula you can find + daily prebiotics. If she can handle chicken for example for wet food you might try Naturea Chicken wet food it only has chicken, chicken liver, water, and vitamin additives.
 

mizzely

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When Jasmine was sick and throwing up meals, we tried Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Stomach dry with Friskies Pate. Solved the issue for us almost completely!

Sometimes it's just a matter of trying everything :( However, if you are switching foods often, that itself may be the problem. Do slow transitions over the course of a few weeks and then keep her on the same food for at least a few weeks before trying something new.
 
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Meg142!

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Not to say don't look for a new food but seeing she has constipation and diarrhea often, consider using prebiotics daily.

If it's available where you live Pro Plan Delicate canned wet food seems to work well for my cat. It has turkey. It also has dry food version but since my cat is intolerant to grains I didn't try it. As for dry food Acana Wild Prairie.

I haven't had success myself as it contains grains and again my cat is intolerant to them but I have heard some people got success with Royal Canin Sensible 33. It has prebiotics in it.

Generally speaking simplest formulas are the least risky. On budget I would personally first try the simplest formula you can find + daily prebiotics. If she can handle chicken for example for wet food you might try Naturea Chicken wet food it only has chicken, chicken liver, water, and vitamin additives.
Do you think I could get a prebiotic meant for humans? I looked around on chewy.com and they only have two or three options for cats all over $20.
 
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Meg142!

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When Jasmine was sick and throwing up meals, we tried Purina Pro Plan Sensitive Stomach dry with Friskies Pate. Solved the issue for us almost completely!

Sometimes it's just a matter of trying everything :( However, if you are switching foods often, that itself may be the problem. Do slow transitions over the course of a few weeks and then keep her on the same food for at least a few weeks before trying something new.
That's the same food she's on now! She's still in the transition process but in really hoping it works out. I usually try to transition her food in about a 2 week period and then test it out for about a month. The Rachel Ray's food didn't necessarily make her worse but it didn't make her any better either so I got the Purina pro plan which was the best budget friendly sensitive food at my Walmart. I was noticing that she won't poop for an entire day, than the next day she will have one or two really big soft poops. I started giving her wet food once a day for the past month to see if it would help but no luck yet. I'm thinking about maybe trying a wet food designed for sensitive stomach too.
 

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Meg142!

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Azazel

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How can a food with ingredients that include pea protein, corn gluten meal, soy, soybean meal, ground rice, oatmeal, preservatives, potato protein, and cassava root flour be "sensitive" to an obligate carnivore's stomach?

All of these ingredients are insensitive to a cat's natural diet. Cats need high animal protein and high moisture in their diet. All of these carbs are completely inappropriate for a cat and will just mask any underlying GI problem, not solve it.
 
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Meg142!

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How can a food with ingredients that include pea protein, corn gluten meal, soy, soybean meal, ground rice, oatmeal, preservatives, potato protein, and cassava root flour be "sensitive" to an obligate carnivore's stomach?

All of these ingredients are insensitive to a cat's natural diet. Cats need high animal protein and high moisture in their diet. All of these carbs are completely inappropriate for a cat and will just mask any underlying GI problem, not solve it.
I'd love to be able to do a raw diet however I can't even afford chicken, beef, etc for myself, no less my cat. I've also read of some cons that go along with raw as well. I try to pick foods with as few ingrediants as possible and stay away from corn and so because I know those are typically the worst. My cat gets plenty of water, I had to get one of those bowls that refills itself because I was refilling her bowl two or three times everyday. She also gets a can of grain free wet food that I usually mix with some more water so I know she's hydrated. I'm trying to do the best I can for my cat with what I have, which right now is finding a dry food that works for the both of us.
 

Azazel

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I'd love to be able to do a raw diet however I can't even afford chicken, beef, etc for myself, no less my cat. I've also read of some cons that go along with raw as well. I try to pick foods with as few ingrediants as possible and stay away from corn and so because I know those are typically the worst. My cat gets plenty of water, I had to get one of those bowls that refills itself because I was refilling her bowl two or three times everyday. She also gets a can of grain free wet food that I usually mix with some more water so I know she's hydrated. I'm trying to do the best I can for my cat with what I have, which right now is finding a dry food that works for the both of us.
I get it, and I don’t blame you. I blame pet food companies for ripping off consumers. There’s nothing especially “sensitive” about any of the sensitive labelled foods.

The more wet food and the less dry food you can give the better. Properly hydrated cats don’t drink much water. Drinking excess water is usually a sign of dehydration. Cats are supposed to get water from their food.
 

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Do you think I could get a prebiotic meant for humans? I looked around on chewy.com and they only have two or three options for cats all over $20.
I remember seeing cheaper ones with good reviews on Amazon. I don't think we live in the same country, those who do might have some recommendations. You can also email the vet clinic that did the tests on her and ask for an affordable probiotic recommendation. That would be like a follow-up to the treatment they tested her for.
 
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