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Changing feeding time causing sickness?

Treecie

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Hello, I recently got a cat on September 4th from an owner that was moving away from the state. Owner said that she was feeding my cat once a day for breakfast and then free feeding throughout the day dry kibbles. Well, when I got her, that's what I did for couple weeks but then she would meow for food at night so I started giving her two meals a day: one in the morning and one at night at 8 AM and 8 PM. I figured, she was asking for it so she would get used to it. But, she's been throwing up (sometimes with hairballs) and having diarrhea to the point that she can't use the litterbox anymore afterwards and will start pooping on the floor or on other furniture.

Most days, she is pooping and peeing just fine so I don't know if the change in feeding time is affecting her stomach or something else is going on. I am feeding her the same exact foods her owner had been feeding her to minimize stress so I don't think it's the food. I also got feline greenies after just a couple days of getting her because the vet said she had a lot of tartar. I recently found a thread saying that these caused a lot of cats to get sick as well.

Any help will be appreciated!
 

Kieka

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Feline greenies could be causing stomach upset, especially if her diet has been limited to a specific brand and food line for a while. Plus they don't actually do anything for tarter on cats teeth. Brushing teeth or getting dental work done will help but dental marketed treats are just gimmicks. Cats naturally do clean their teeth through diet but we are talking raw food and knawing
on feather, fur and bones to clean them not one bite treats.

Did you take her to the vet for the diarrhea? It sounds bad enough that I would worry about dehydration or some medical related cause. I've dealt with food stomach upset before and it's usually just a few days and levels back out.
 
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Treecie

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Hi Keika, yes I'm going to stop feeding her the treats and see what happens. I've been wanting to brush her teeth but she doesn't like the toothpaste and I don't think she will like the brushing because she's never had her teeth brushed. The dental cleaning is more than $1000 here so I was avoiding having to go through with that hence the treats.

I have not taken her to the vet for the diarrhea yet. She does poop solid, normal looking poops and pees normally most of the time even the next day. She is her usual self after shes done vomiting and having diarrhea. I'm considering getting her back to once meal a day in the morning diet...
 

Kieka

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Frequency of meals shouldn't impact her potty habits especially if she's eating a food she is already used to.
 
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Treecie

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I’ve posted this question on Quora as well and someone there said that it could be that because she’s eating more of the food it may have triggered an allergic reaction to something in the food that wasn’t a problem before...Is that possible? Anyway, I am going to stop the greenies first and see what happens. Also, does having a hairball in these vomits make a difference to what is going on here? She’s long haired but doesn’t groom excessively to the point where it’s concerning but I am a first time cat owner so I don’t know.
 

Kieka

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What do you feed her (specific brand and flavor)? If they are drastically different it could be triggering a sensitivity issue. But most owners feed chicken based for both so it wouldn't make a difference.
 
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Treecie

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I feed her the exact same thing the previous owner did. A variety pack of fancy feast classic pate (all fish flavors) and dry food is Purina Cat chow complete.
 

Kieka

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I'll respond again once I've had a chance to look over the foods, probably two hours since I have to drive home first.
 

Kieka

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Purina Cat Chow : Chicken by-product meal, ground yellow corn, corn gluten meal, whole grain wheat, rice, soy flour, beef fat preserved with mixed-tocopherols, chicken, fish meal, liver flavor, phosphoric acid, calcium carbonate, salt, potassium chloride, choline chlorid

Fancy Feast (one of them, rest are similar): Cod, Fish, Liver, Meat By-Products, Fish Broth, Sole, Shrimp, Artificial and Natural Flavors, Added Color, Guar Gum, Tricalcium Phosphate

Honestly, there is more in the cat chow that would cause problems for your cat. I'd consider changing the dry to something better if you're going to stick to a one wet food meal a day. The amount of corn, wheat and grains in the cat chow can lead to diabetes and weight retention around the midsection. not necessarily to a grain-free food as a lot of those have different problems with a lot of peas and potatoes to substitute out the greens. There are a couple dry foods out there that don't have as much carbs which tend to be the issue for cats. Their biological need is for a low carb high protein moderate fat diet. Dry foods tend to not meet that need because they have so many carbs make them shelf stable and dry. Dr Elseys is one off the top of my head that is decent for a dry. There is a chance of a allergic reaction to one of the fish items but you could alleviate that by mixing in some other flavors of Fancy Feast such as the chicken base ones or the beef base ones. in the long run her health will be better for having more wet food only because she gets less fillers but it has more moisture which is beneficial for their kidneys.

the digestive issues could be due to the increase in protein and decrease in carbs. In which case it is a good thing to just let it work through and stick with the two wet meals a day. maybe transition a little slower with one meal one day and two meals the next day until she gets used to it a little more. but a diet that's mostly the Fancy Feast would be better for her long-term health and wellness.

since she is a long-hair the hairballs could be part of the issue if she's not getting groomed regularly. you may want to consider weekly grooming just to help cut back on the amount of Loose fur that she's grooming off of herself. since the fancy pieces mostly fish based should have a good amount of Omega threes which will help some with the hair balls, but you may want to consider a hairball gel as well.

I'd still feel better with a vet check just to make sure she doesn't have any sort of worms or parasites that are causing the digestive issues.
 
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Treecie

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Wow, thank you so much for your detailed reply! I have read about dry food generally being bad for them because of the carbs so I will definitely think about weaning her off of that. She has been eating less of the dry food since I've started feeding her the wet food twice a day instead of one. It's relieving to know that it may be because of the higher protein intake rather than a symptom of something serious. Tbh, I am dreading the possibility of having to bathe her bum again because of the diarrhea, but I am really hopeful that that may be the issue because I think I did start her on this new schedule a little too fast for her stomach and the previous owner didn't have any issues like that with these exact same food products. The previous owner did give me tapeworm medicine because she said she had an incident of that but not anymore. I can provide a fecal sample to the vet to see if she still has it or contracted it again somehow. As for the hairballs, I bought a furminator and I will now start grooming her as much as possible weekly. I added a picture of my cat to my profile so you can see who we've been talking about all day lol her name is Trudy.
 

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:wave3: Trudy is a pretty little cat!
I second what Kieka said. I think you're doing a lot for your new kid and can't add much advice. It's always nice to see someone adopting an adult cat.
Keep in mind, the furminator does "cut" the hair, so I'd limit to using it once a week (or less) and get a good metal comb for using in between. The furminator can do a good job of getting a lot of dead coat out, but over using it can sometimes produce an animal with a patchy coated appearance if used too often. Does she like to be brushed?
 
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Treecie

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HI! Thank you. It's been a dream come true to have her be a part of my life :) I actually didn't know that 8 was considered senior but here we are haha. She tolerates brushing when she is in the mood. I think I will just have to do it intermittently.
 

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I would say ditch the greenies and reduce the dry and see what happens. Of course take her to the vet too for a once over, get some bloodwork done ideally to get a baseline of her overall health.
 
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Treecie

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Yeah I'm going to stop giving her the greenies. I'm trying to get a medical history on her from her previous treatments but the previous owner is not very responsive to my texts. All she told me when she gave her to me is that she was in excellent health and her shots are up to date. I asked her where she took her to for her vet visits and she said that she only took her to the shots clinic at various petco locations because they moved a couple times. So basically, her medical history is nonexistant lol. I actually emailed about this today to the vet so when she replies I will let her know about this situation.
 

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Owner said that she was feeding my cat once a day for breakfast and then free feeding throughout the day dry kibbles. Well, when I got her, that's what I did for couple weeks but then she would meow for food at night so I started giving her two meals a day: one in the morning and one at night at 8 AM and 8 PM.
Did I get this right: she used to eat smaller meals throughout the day but now she eats two meals at 8 am and 8 pm? Smaller meals throughout the day is much easier for digestion. Regardless of the food, there could be problems like exactly you described throwing up, worse hairball-related issues, etc with two big meals. Try to at least split the food to 4 portions throughout the day. If not possible right now, I suggest investing in a timed-feeder in the long run.
 

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Did I get this right: she used to eat smaller meals throughout the day but now she eats two meals at 8 am and 8 pm? Smaller meals throughout the day is much easier for digestion. Regardless of the food, there could be problems like exactly you described throwing up, worse hairball-related issues, etc with two big meals. Try to at least split the food to 4 portions throughout the day. If not possible right now, I suggest investing in a timed-feeder in the long run.
I wondered the same thing as MissClouseau MissClouseau -- I don't understand if the two feedings are timed or not. I can say, though, that five small meals a day works great for our cats. I'm lucky that I work at home so we can do that but I've seen mentions here that some people who work outside the home feed three or even four meals a day. The meals don't all need to be the same size, some can just be small snacks! (We feed four fairly evenly sized meals plus one small snack.)

I definitely agree with the other comments about ditching the treats and feeding more low-carb wet food!

I also want to come back to grooming and hairballs. One of our cats has fur-related barfing problems, too, and if we don't brush her daily, she seems to start gathering fur in her gut. We use regular brushes for her (the "slicker" kind) and the daily grooming really helps. We use other types of brushes sometimes, too: a Furminator type as well as a ZoomGroom. I also add some egg yolk to her food because it acts as an emulsifier, to keep fat from clumping the fur together. In the end, though, we definitely see a correlation between vomiting and (s)lack of brushing.
 
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Treecie

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Did I get this right: she used to eat smaller meals throughout the day but now she eats two meals at 8 am and 8 pm? Smaller meals throughout the day is much easier for digestion. Regardless of the food, there could be problems like exactly you described throwing up, worse hairball-related issues, etc with two big meals. Try to at least split the food to 4 portions throughout the day. If not possible right now, I suggest investing in a timed-feeder in the long run.
No, she used to only eat one meal in the morning and dry kibble throughout the day. That’s it. So when I got her I started giving her two meals a day and I still have the dry kibble out.
 
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Treecie

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I wondered the same thing as MissClouseau MissClouseau -- I don't understand if the two feedings are timed or not. I can say, though, that five small meals a day works great for our cats. I'm lucky that I work at home so we can do that but I've seen mentions here that some people who work outside the home feed three or even four meals a day. The meals don't all need to be the same size, some can just be small snacks! (We feed four fairly evenly sized meals plus one small snack.)

I definitely agree with the other comments about ditching the treats and feeding more low-carb wet food!

I also want to come back to grooming and hairballs. One of our cats has fur-related barfing problems, too, and if we don't brush her daily, she seems to start gathering fur in her gut. We use regular brushes for her (the "slicker" kind) and the daily grooming really helps. We use other types of brushes sometimes, too: a Furminator type as well as a ZoomGroom. I also add some egg yolk to her food because it acts as an emulsifier, to keep fat from clumping the fur together. In the end, though, we definitely see a correlation between vomiting and (s)lack of brushing.
I could give her three meals a day. How do you groom the belly? I’ve observed that she does groom herself around there mostly and I haven’t been brushing that part cause she will only let me brush her for like 3 minutes. I read that olive oil in the wet food can help with the hair balls too is that ok? The egg yolk is a good idea though.
 

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I could give her three meals a day. How do you groom the belly? I’ve observed that she does groom herself around there mostly and I haven’t been brushing that part cause she will only let me brush her for like 3 minutes. I read that olive oil in the wet food can help with the hair balls too is that ok? The egg yolk is a good idea though.
The belly's the tricky part! I sometimes catch her lying on the bed and then get her to roll over. One of the brushes I bought is relatively small -- it fits better under her belly for use when she's standing up.

I'm not sure about olive oil; I've used a few small doses of Vaseline when Edwina was having a lot of trouble, following this advice (here) but wouldn't want to use any of those things all the time! The egg yolk, though, does (I think!) seem to help.
 
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Treecie

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The belly's the tricky part! I sometimes catch her lying on the bed and then get her to roll over. One of the brushes I bought is relatively small -- it fits better under her belly for use when she's standing up.

I'm not sure about olive oil; I've used a few small doses of Vaseline when Edwina was having a lot of trouble, following this advice (here) but wouldn't want to use any of those things all the time! The egg yolk, though, does (I think!) seem to help.
Trudy kind of lies on her side and opens up her belly not on her back. She does let me brush her almost to her belly that way so maybe I can try to push the boundary little by little haha. As for the olive oil, I looked up online and it shouldn’t be any harm and said that it actually benefits their skin and fur so i’m gonna try that first to see if it helps. That site has some good information that kind of validated what’s going on with my cat so thank you for that!
 
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