Cat diarrhea???

christianrayb

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I have a one year old cat that I’ve had since he was 2 months old. He has never had consistent solid stools from day one. He was initially on science diet at the shelter. He’s had numerous (3-4) vet visits trying to diagnose his issues. The vet says that all of his tests are clear of parasites, so we crossed that off the list. I switched him over to a grain free, chicken-free diet after the vet recommended rx food if we couldn’t solve his issues with antibiotics and probiotics. He’s been on several different foods (3 maybe) in the last year with no help in the stools. Is it possible he will just always have runny stools, or at I missing something? He was on the purina beyond salmon grain free and I just recently in the last 2 months tried the 4health grain free white fish and potato line. No luck.

I’m gonna add that he appears to be in literally no discomfort. He plays and is always his normal self; however, I am worried that it is turning into a chronic issue with something underlying.
 

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mrsgreenjeens

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Has all of his food been fish flavors? You might consider might consider trying a different protein (and check the ingredients carefully because even though the name of a food may say Turkey and Sweet Potatoes, it may still contain fish).
 

lisahe

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Has all of his food been fish flavors? You might consider might consider trying a different protein (and check the ingredients carefully because even though the name of a food may say Turkey and Sweet Potatoes, it may still contain fish).
I agree with mrsgreenjeens mrsgreenjeens about avoiding fish.

What is your cat's name, C christianrayb ?

You're very right that it's really important to try to figure out what's causing the problem: it's good that you're starting now, though I'm sorry your vet hasn't been more helpful. It can take time to figure out what's causing a cat's digestive problems. Sometimes you have to be very methodical in making changes to their diet. So! A few questions!

Why was your cat put on a chicken-free diet? Was there reason to suspect that chicken was a problem? Has he ever eaten grain-free foods with chicken? If so, were they given a few weeks (or longer) to be sure they worked? I ask these questions because it's not always the protein that causes symptoms: it's often grains, potatoes, peas, thickeners, or other filler or texturizing ingredients in a food.

One of our cats has a bunch of food issues (potato, agar-agar, green-lipped mussels, and possibly tapioca...), though her symptom is barfing rather than diarrhea. My approach with her has been to track what she's eaten and when her symptoms come. Sometimes trial and error brings a quick answer. Sometimes it takes months to find a pattern. Right now I'm seeing what happens if she doesn't eat tapioca. A week later and she's barfing less.

If I had no idea what was causing her problem, I'd start by feeding wet food with the simplest possible recipe(s). For better or worse, those are easiest to find in canned chicken recipes. (This is why I was asking about your cat and the chicken!) Chewy has shredded chicken in broth that our cats love. (This one, which is out of stock right now, though there's a similar one with a little turkey in it.) Tiki has a similar food with shredded chicken. For our cats, who have sensitive digestive systems, I avoid a lot of things: carrageenan, all grains, potato, peas, lentils, chickpeas, other legumes, agar-agar, mussels... We feed a lot of raw and homemade foods because they don't have those ingredients. Our options for canned foods are pretty limited; we feed them small amounts of Dr. Elsey's Clean Protein dry food, only the chicken kind, which doesn't have any fillers.

One last thing I'll mention is that I recall, in recent years, that some people have mentioned that their cats got diarrhea from legume ingredients like peas, chickpeas, and lentils that have become more common in cat food.

That ended up being a lot more than I expected to write, sorry! I hope you're able to figure things out soon.
 
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christianrayb

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His name is monty! And yes, all of his foods have had a lot of the peas and lentils in them. I switched him over after a month and a half of continued diarrhea with a chicken food with lots of grain, so I just assumed starting there may help. When I switched to the purina beyond grain free with salmon, he finally had some solid stools, but he went back to the constant runny and explosive go’s, so I tried a different brand again. We’ve been on this grain free fish one for about 2 months with no improvement. I will for sure look into trying chicken again, as fish hasn’t had the best results! Will also try to steer clear of the other fillers as much as possible and see if any of that helps. Like I said, he shows no sign of discomfort even while going (I’m a litter box watcher constantly), but I can’t help but think something else is seriously wrong.
 

lisahe

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Monty's lucky you're doing all this.

Is this the 4Health food he's eating? I'm figuring it might be since it has all the peas! If he's been eating only foods with peas and lentils, my suggestion would be to start by just getting those out of his diet. (I'd keep the grains and potatoes out, too, for good measure, though my strong suspicion is on the peas and other legumes!)

Does/will Monty eat wet food at all? They really are easier for controlling the ingredients! Even just trying something like, say, Fancy Feast Classics (the turkey & giblet "Classic" food doesn't have any fish! and there aren't any carby fillers) might be helpful. Personally, I'd stay away from fish since it's a common one for allergies and sensitivities, but again (the way I approach this stuff), I'd make the peas my first step, to see if removing them makes a difference. I like to cross potential problems off my lists...

I completely understand your concern about a bigger problem. A lot of cats seem to have food issues like this -- Edwina, our cat that I mentioned, has plenty of them! -- and if you can identify the problem, he'll get better. The big thing is that you're working on it. And as long as you keep at it and read all the labels (ingredients can change!), you'll figure it out and be able to prevent it from happening again. Unless you introduce a new ingredient that causes new symptoms. We have this problem sometimes (I think Edwina's current tapioca problem started because more of her foods have it now) but at least I now know how to approach attempting to resolve things. Though it can take time.

Again, good luck! Let me know if you want more links to simple chicken-based foods. :) I'm so rooting for you and Monty!
 
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christianrayb

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Yes that’s the one! And yes, he’s totally obsessed with wet food. I give him wet food here and there. The hardest part about all of his issues is that I have two other cats, so food switching is always a process because I also have a norwegian forest cat that I rescued and he’s quite the picky eater. But luckily, only Monty has belly problems. I will definitely pick up some of those canned foods tomorrow and start looking for a food with no fish and peas and see how they all do with yet another switch. Who knew shelter kitties would be so problematic 🤣 thanks so much!
 

lisahe

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Yes that’s the one! And yes, he’s totally obsessed with wet food. I give him wet food here and there. The hardest part about all of his issues is that I have two other cats, so food switching is always a process because I also have a norwegian forest cat that I rescued and he’s quite the picky eater. But luckily, only Monty has belly problems. I will definitely pick up some of those canned foods tomorrow and start looking for a food with no fish and peas and see how they all do with yet another switch. Who knew shelter kitties would be so problematic 🤣 thanks so much!
It's a big plus that he likes wet food! For many cats, they're the easiest way to feed a diet that doesn't cause digestive issues. But yes, I understand about multiple cats: we have to feed most meals to our cats separately. Ireland's like your Norwegian forest cat (picky) and Edwina's like Monty (belly problems). Ours are shelter kitties, too. They're the best cats in the world (though so are yours :lol:) but they are not easy to feed!

lisahe lisahe does this seem like a good start?
To be honest, I don't like the ingredients much in this one because there are several grains. Which can mean higher carbs and the chance of other food issues since cats are such serious carnivores. (Most dry foods, other than the Dr. Elsey's chicken that I mentioned, have fillers so it's kind of a guessing game on what or might not work. Unfortunately, Dr. E's food is pretty expensive; I'm glad we don't use a lot of it!) But! All that said, the plus with the food you highlighted is that there aren't any peas, lentils, chickpeas, or other legumes. Which means 🤷‍♀️, well, that's one angle to take: first take all the peas and fish out of Monty's diet and see what happens. Personally, I think removing the peas first is an excellent first step. If that works, then you can work on his more permanent foods later, fine tuning his menu offerings. That's what we've done. If it doesn't work, well, it's back to the drawing board, trying a different approach. The hard part is to try to find a method -- and patterns -- in the madness. (This is why it can take months to figure this stuff out...)

Since you mentioned that you'd been feeding something from Tractor Supply, I took a look at the wet foods on their site. The best (I think! and of course I think in terms of what our cats can eat) are their Kitchen Selects, the chicken and beef pack. The chicken and beef foods have small amounts of fish but the turkey/giblets one doesn't. And there's no carrageenan. It's very, very decent food, pretty much the same as Fancy Feast Classics, but with slightly better ingredients (again, IMHO!). I tried our cats on it a few years ago and was sorry they weren't quite enthusiastic enough about it for me to buy it again. (And now Ireland's asthmatic so isn't supposed to have fish, even in small amounts...) Some of the other Tractor Supply wet foods look pretty decent, too, with the only downside being carrageenan, which causes digestive issues in some cats. (I avoid it.) Again, though, you could do food trials and figure out if that's a problem or not.

I have to say that, in the end, you'll have to just feed what works. If the chicken food you mentioned works for Monty, well, it works! But, at least in our experience with Edwina, this is always a work in progress. I resolved the green-lipped mussel issues last year... but now they're the tapioca issue. At least I've started to learn how to deal with this stuff quicker!

Again, good luck!
 

mrsgreenjeens

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Like lisahe lisahe , I feed my cats two different things, therefore feed them in different rooms, and you might need to do that also, since you have multiple cats, but only one with tummy issues. For Monty, I would really try to feed strictly canned or raw food, since those tend to be made with less "bad" ingredients. Do you free feed though? That's where you might have a problem. We used to free feed until we needed to put one on a diet. Because of that, everyone (we had four at that time) had to go on scheduled meals and convert to wet food so we could monitor the chubby one's intake better. They were not happy about it, but eventually it all worked out.
 

lisahe

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Like lisahe lisahe , I feed my cats two different things, therefore feed them in different rooms, and you might need to do that also, since you have multiple cats, but only one with tummy issues. For Monty, I would really try to feed strictly canned or raw food, since those tend to be made with less "bad" ingredients. Do you free feed though? That's where you might have a problem. We used to free feed until we needed to put one on a diet. Because of that, everyone (we had four at that time) had to go on scheduled meals and convert to wet food so we could monitor the chubby one's intake better. They were not happy about it, but eventually it all worked out.
This is pretty much our story, too! And it's easier than it sounds, in fact it's tons easier than what happened before we started feeding separate meals.

I, too, would try to work toward feeding Monty only canned food since our experience with Edwina is that it's always something! First potato, then agar-agar, then mussels, now tapioca. By starting off feeding wet foods with relatively law amounts of potential irritants at least it's easier and quicker to solve each problem when it arises. Raw and homemade are definitely easier, though even those can cause problems.
 

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lisahe lisahe does this seem like a good start?
Hello Monty and C christianrayb and family, and welcome to TCS! I do hope you can find a good diet for Monty. My Suha gets the runs pretty frequently, but she's 17 and it's not unheard of in older cats. I am a firm believer in wet food and feed a variety of Blue Buffalo and Soulistic varieties, plus Blue Buffalo dry food for mature cats free-fed. I want her and Elvis,14, to eat three tins a day, but more often, they eat 2, and nibble on their dry food. They drink plenty of water, from our cat fountain and the other bowls of water throughout the house.
Soulistic is grain-free and most varieties are seafood. It's available through petco.com and their stores. It's very high quality. Blue Buffalo also makes grain-free varieties and has many poultry, meat, fish, and combination formulae.
You might look up daftcat75 here on TCS and ask if he wants to talk about Monty's situation. His Krista was on special diets and he has quite a lot of good suggestions for cats who need specialized diets.
Please keep us informed as to Monty's progress, won't you?
 
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