Best wet foods without thickeners for IBD cat?

Serenityinaz12

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Trying to find suggestions of the highest quality wet foods I’m having a hard time finding ones they don’t use gums/thickeners. My cat was recently diagnosed with IBD and am trying to do what I can it’s overwhelming and frustrating trying to find a new food especially since a lot of brands seem to have changed their formulas due to ingredient shortages.

Any help would be appreciated
 

Astragal14

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One of my cats has IBD and also can't have any gums. He's okay with agar agar, but there's another list of filler ingredients he can't have either (like pea products, potato products, etc). The majority of his diet is Rawz and Dr. Elsey's, with some occasional Orijen, Identity, and Feline Natural.

Be sure to check the ingredients for each food; while none of them have gums, some may have other ingredients that may bother your cat. My cat can't have Lotus or Essence foods for this reason.

Here is what we've found in our research:

No gums/no agar agar
Rawz
Tiki Cat (shredded cans only, their pouches and pâtés generally have thickeners)
Orijen (all their wet food includes fish, even if it's not in the name)
Feline Natural (my cats prefer the pouches over the cans, but I still have to mix it 50/50 with something more palatable)

No gums, has agar agar
Dr. Elsey's (their production has been SLOW, so order a lot if your cat likes it, I emailed them and they told me they're producing one flavor at a time, so if something sells out it can be months before it comes back, they said their turkey just finished production and will be available within a few weeks)
Lotus patés and Just Juicy
Identity
NutriSource & Pure Vita (their recipes remained the same but they changed their ingredient sourcing during the pandemic and my cats no longer liked them, I keep checking to see if they've reverted back to the original but not yet)
Essence
Halo (kitten food only, all their adult foods have gums)

Good luck in your search! I know how overwhelming this can be. The pandemic caused so many shortages, ingredient changes and other problems that I just felt so lost at times and had no idea what I would be able to feed him. Hopefully some of these suggestions will work for you and can give you enough room to relax while you sort things out.
 
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Alldara

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Trying to find suggestions of the highest quality wet foods I’m having a hard time finding ones they don’t use gums/thickeners. My cat was recently diagnosed with IBD and am trying to do what I can it’s overwhelming and frustrating trying to find a new food especially since a lot of brands seem to have changed their formulas due to ingredient shortages.

Any help would be appreciated
Have you tried a freeze dried food? You add water to make it wet. My late cat very much enjoyed it. It doesn't have peas, starches, etc. The "filler" is small amounts of things a cat would find in their prey's stomach and therefore eat.

Here's a link to one of their foods: Absolutely Rabbit Freeze-Dried Raw Dinner Morsels | Stella & Chewy's Pet Food

let us know what works for you, or if we are offering things that don't work for you so we can help brainstorm :)
 

daftcat75

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Mouser is another gum-free brand with novel proteins that I am excited to try with my IBD kitty. Betty doesn't seem to have food-related issues. Her only presentation, besides a sometimes sluggish appetite, is hairballs. She used to have one a week and they would tear her up for half a day. Now we can go two or three weeks between them. She started steroids and is doing well with them. All of this is to say it makes it hard for me to try new foods with her because she isn't symptomatic with her current food. I mean not in a clear-cut, "feed her this and she'll have hairballs / feed her that and she won't" kind of way. But I do think the Hills I/D chicken stew she's so fond of has too many carbs. I would be delighted to get her eating other foods to dilute the total carb content in her diet.

Incredible Pets sells Mouser by the can. That should help you run this rather unique food past your cat before going all-in on a case.
Search: 8 results found for "mouser"
 

daftcat75

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I'm back to report that Mouser (Brush Hunter flavor aka rabbit and mouse) was a HUGE hit with Betty! Since it's a new food to her, I could only offer her a 1/3 portion. It should have been 1/4 but it's a tiny amount of food and I wasn't mixing it with her old food. She went alligator jaws, teeth hitting the plate, snarfing noises, could not pick it up fast enough. A few bites and it was gone. I think she likes it. Now the hardest part: we wait a day to make sure there are no surprises one way or the other on its transit through her. 🤞 If there are no gut or butt surprises, she'll get a half portion tomorrow.
 

LTS3

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Have you tried a freeze dried food? You add water to make it wet. My late cat very much enjoyed it. It doesn't have peas, starches, etc. The "filler" is small amounts of things a cat would find in their prey's stomach and therefore eat.

Here's a link to one of their foods: Absolutely Rabbit Freeze-Dried Raw Dinner Morsels | Stella & Chewy's Pet Food

let us know what works for you, or if we are offering things that don't work for you so we can help brainstorm :)

:yeah:

I feed my IBD cat Vital Essentials freeze dried raw. Unlike other brands, it contains no veggies and other fillers.
 

Hateires

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My boy (12 year old baby) has suspected IBD. I unfortunately can’t afford much more testing but it seems to fit. His labs were great for his age except for a mildly elevated ALT (liver enzyme) which the vet couldn’t really explain.
I suspect, and she agrees, that he’s allergic to chicken. He’s always vomited and someone at petco suggested he might be allergic so I went chicken free for a while. Vomiting decreased! The chicken free food made my other cats poop sooo sticky and gross so I did a test of chicken again and he seemed ok? This is where I failed him and I regret it greatly. I gave him chicken (his favorite food…he will come running if you yell chicken from across the house). Until he started having diarrhea. I thought it was the other kitty for a couple weeks then saw him have an accident on the floor close to the litter box. I took him to the vet and expected it to be his thyroid but nope. Just the ALT was off.
So back to chicken free we went. And his diarrhea has eased significantly. He also got probiotics and an antibiotic shot just in case. There’s been no more diarrhea on the floor and poops in the box look good for the most part. He stopped eating the acana food so I switched to a call of the wild turkey limited ingredient. And he starting vomiting a lot more. So now I suspect a turkey allergy as well!
So he’s now on the same brand but trying two different flavors. He loved the angus beef at first but just grazes now. He loves Weruva wet food. My bank account doesn’t like it, but he’s worth it and it’s been on sale at petco. So we’re avoiding chicken and turkey. I’ve heard a little about gums being bad but honestly I’m having a hard enough time finding food already. Should I be searching for food without any gums too? At 12, I don’t think going raw will really work will it? I work a lot, 6 days a week, so I don’t even cook for myself. I would for him though. He’s my world.
sorry this is so long!
 

maggie101

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My cat Maggie is going through the same thing. She has been on weruva steak frites for a long time because I thought she was allergic to chicken, then throwup and diaheria. Wellness core chicken turkey cuts next for a long time,then diaheria and throw up. Possible ibd. She will see a specialist next. Pricy. I ordered weruva trulex glam&punk since my other cat doesn't like it but maggie does. My cat Coco will eat what the others dont
 

daftcat75

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A lot of people are trying a new food called Mouser that is mouse meat plus another protein. My Betty loves the Brush Hunter flavor which is Rabbit and Mouse. We’re still in the middle of the transition. But so far, so good. 😽🐰🐭😻👍

Mouser cat food!

Incredible Pets sells Mouser by the can so you can try it with your cats before going in on a case.

Search: 8 results found for "Mouser"
 

maggie101

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This reminds of when my cats had to spend the night at my parents. They kept banging on the door so I opened it.they ran one way,looked up,then other way. I grabbed my cat peaches and she growled and bit me. It was roof rats so I will buy a can of mouser. Sounds very unappetizing to me,but my cats will love it
 

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i see that at a local store but it’s $30 for 8oz…I pay less for a 4-5lb bag of call of the wild kibble. Am I missing something about how to use the freeze dried food? It seems like 8oz would be a day or two worth of food.
The freeze dried pieces get smashed up into pieces and rehydrated in water before serving. The pieces do expand like a sponge as they absorb the water so a small amount of freeze dried pieces ends up turning into quite a bit when fully rehydrated. I personally use a brand that has freeze dried patties. One patty is one meal (for my cat anyways) when fully rehydrated. Much easier than measuring out kibble-like pieces. One 8oz bag of patties is a little more than a week's worth of meals at 2 meals a day. I've never counted how many patties are in a bag, maybe about 2 dozen?

Freeze dried raw is more expensive than dry food but the quality is so much better. The processing of freeze dried is different from dry food so that's also a factor in the price.
 

cejhome

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I looked at Rawz for our cat. I am doing Rabbit and/or Lamb right now due to itchy ears/chest. Had him on chicken & pumpkin. Rawz has Dandelion Greens and Fenugreek Seeds in it. Not sure about the fenugreek seeds, haven't read up on them, but I don't want any greens. A past kitty we had developed calcium oxalate stones. Was not a fun experience for any of us, poor baby. Don't want to take a chance on "greens" causing issues. I have ordered a few cans of Mouser Rabbit & Mouse to try out. The only non-meat thing in it is tomato paste. Not crazy about that, but it claims 97% meat. Rawz rabbit claims 96% rabbit so I am sure the dandelion is a tiny percentage, but I am paranoid about any "greens". Both are available mail order from Incredible Pets by the can. I have ordered 4 cans of the Mouser mouse/rabbit and Essence Grain Free Ranch & Meadow Recipe. Fingers crossed. He will eat the Instinct LID rabbit IF I mixed in a tiny bit of Soulistic Lamb (which has tuna in it, but limited things available in our area to try).
 

daftcat75

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I looked at Rawz for our cat. I am doing Rabbit and/or Lamb right now due to itchy ears/chest. Had him on chicken & pumpkin. Rawz has Dandelion Greens and Fenugreek Seeds in it. Not sure about the fenugreek seeds, haven't read up on them, but I don't want any greens. A past kitty we had developed calcium oxalate stones. Was not a fun experience for any of us, poor baby. Don't want to take a chance on "greens" causing issues. I have ordered a few cans of Mouser Rabbit & Mouse to try out. The only non-meat thing in it is tomato paste. Not crazy about that, but it claims 97% meat. Rawz rabbit claims 96% rabbit so I am sure the dandelion is a tiny percentage, but I am paranoid about any "greens". Both are available mail order from Incredible Pets by the can. I have ordered 4 cans of the Mouser mouse/rabbit and Essence Grain Free Ranch & Meadow Recipe. Fingers crossed. He will eat the Instinct LID rabbit IF I mixed in a tiny bit of Soulistic Lamb (which has tuna in it, but limited things available in our area to try).
Instinct has more fruits and veggies than Rawz or Mouser. I never want to clean up cranberry barf from a cat again.

The dandelion greens and fenugreek seeds in Rawz are very small amounts. Like the tomato paste in Mouser, they are natural alternatives to the gums and thickeners used in other foods.
 

cejhome

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Instinct has an LID version of Rabbit that only has stupid peas (in addition to the rabbit). They are only a few per can (whole English peas) and easy to pick out from the can. I love some of these "LID" foods that have tons of extras in them (not).
 

Timmer

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Trying to find suggestions of the highest quality wet foods I’m having a hard time finding ones they don’t use gums/thickeners. My cat was recently diagnosed with IBD and am trying to do what I can it’s overwhelming and frustrating trying to find a new food especially since a lot of brands seem to have changed their formulas due to ingredient shortages.

Any help would be appreciated
I really don't have anything to add to what others have already said. I just wanted to chime in that I'm going through pretty much what you are going through and I understand your frustration. You hope things work and they do for awhile and then it's back to vomiting. I finally started cooking for my Fiona. I poach chicken and she loves it, she keeps it down, and her diarrhea has stopped. I also give her half a Pepcid now, daily, because the last time she vomited it was dry food and a lot of bubbly stomach acid.
I really feel lost and alone in this. Our vet had her on prescription food and it gave her diarrhea and he told me keep her on it because he thinks she has a food allergy. She probably does, but I didn't think it was right to not help her with that diarrhea, so I fired him.
She's my second cat with IBD. My other cat, Timmer, had it several years ago and passed away.
 

daftcat75

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I really don't have anything to add to what others have already said. I just wanted to chime in that I'm going through pretty much what you are going through and I understand your frustration. You hope things work and they do for awhile and then it's back to vomiting. I finally started cooking for my Fiona. I poach chicken and she loves it, she keeps it down, and her diarrhea has stopped. I also give her half a Pepcid now, daily, because the last time she vomited it was dry food and a lot of bubbly stomach acid.
I really feel lost and alone in this. Our vet had her on prescription food and it gave her diarrhea and he told me keep her on it because he thinks she has a food allergy. She probably does, but I didn't think it was right to not help her with that diarrhea, so I fired him.
She's my second cat with IBD. My other cat, Timmer, had it several years ago and passed away.
I don't know that Pepcid is actually doing what you think it does. And despite its safety profile, it's really only good for a short period of time before the cat's body adapts to it. I actually believe Pepcid may do more harm as it raises the stomach pH allowing for more unfriendly bacteria to make it through. Stomach pH is the first line of defense against gut dysbiosis (gut bacteria imbalances that are part of the IBD problem.)

Instead of Pepcid, I would,

a. Make an effort to eliminate dry food which is never good for any IBD cat. All those carbs feed the wrong bacteria in the cat's gut.
b. Add Optagest to her wet food to help her digestion.
c. Split her daily food over several small meals fed more frequently rather than two or three a day. My Betty eats five a day. One of those goes into a timed feeder so I no longer have to wake in the middle of the night to feed her. Lunch could also go into a timed feeder. But I still work from home and appreciate the enforced lunch break.
c. Make certain you are balancing the poached chicken with a vitamin and supplement premix like Alnutrin. If you are just feeding her the chicken, you're setting her up for larger problems down the road. If you can't source fresh liver or don't want to, you can use freeze dried liver instead at about 1/3 the called for amount. If the recipe calls for 45 grams of fresh liver, use 15 grams of freeze-dried and add 30 more mL of water.
d. If you are able to pill her or get her to take her own capsules (see video below for ideas on that), then I definitely recommend the Gut Restore Supplement from AnimalBiome. This will be far more effective than any probiotic you can buy and it has helped my Betty immensely. But it is dried poop in those capsules and she will not appreciate them opened in her food. It won't even work that way. The capsules have a coating to survive the acidic stomach. The free contents of the capsule would be killed by the stomach acid as that's a big reason why a cat's stomach is so acidic.
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Timmer

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Instead of Pepcid, I would,
Thanks. I will look into the Optagest. I tried another probiotic for her and it made her sick.

She usually eats small amounts. She came from a hoarding situation and I believe she never got regular feedings. She likes to graze. She won't eat regular meals like the other cat.
At this point I only give her the chicken to sort of supplement her canned food. The vet had her on a food trial of rabbit and she ate it for a time, but it did give her diarrhea and eventually she refused to eat it. She was losing weight. Now she's gaining the weight back.
I do agree about the dry food. This is the grain free prescription "rabbit" food I got from the vet, by the way.
Thanks for your tips.
 
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