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Charlie: The Food Trial Diaries (ibd / Food Allergy (sensitivity) Or Stress)

Discussion in 'Cat Health' started by FeralHearts, Feb 4, 2019.

  1. FeralHearts

    FeralHearts Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    We have began Charlie's food trials. Sort of. I'm not doing this the typical way so I am hoping for feedback, support, input - even if I'm totally off my rocker. As I've discovered these past few months.... It's takes A TCS Community to raise - and keep raising - a kitty.

    I've included some pictures below for others to see what a food allergy might look like in their kitty. In his case - chewing / licking the back of his leg raw is one of his symptoms.

    This is not, the first, second - or even third time this food trial has been attempted. This has been 3 years of on and off of attempts to change his food. In the past they have all ended in food strikes / starvation attempts on his part. I am determined it's going to work this time.

    What I'm going to do is off book, I think, at least from everything I've read or been told. If someone has a better idea then the plan I've decided to try - I am absolutely all ears.

    So after all the insanity. The insanity can be found here: https://thecatsite.com/threads/aggressive-resident-it-just-got-real-no-idea-how-to-help-him.378469 let the food trials begin!


    History:

    For those who don't know Charlie, he's a 6 year old Lynx Point Siamese with some issues.

    -Asthma
    -Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM - genetic heart condition. Mild. Non medicated at this point.)
    - Food Allergy / Sensitivity or IBD - maybe. No one is sure. Two vets are leaning towards a food allergy or sensitivity. So that's where we start.
    - Behavior issues.

    The issues above has been around long before the new additions to the home. We've also just finished 3 months and 6 weeks + 2 weeks of antibiotics getting him sorted from a kidney / bladder infection that was really bad (4/4 blood etc.) and no indication of that sort of issues. The only one - he attacked someone badly. Xrays showed inflammation in the intestines. Ultrasound showed the same and nothing else.

    The Plan:

    He eats both dry and wet food. Wet food 3 times a day. Dry a handful at night with his last wet food meal. What I plan on doing is introducing 1 new wet food a day for 1 meal until I find one I can manipulate him into eating.

    Every time I've tried mixing his wet food with a new one - even the tiniest bit of new wet food - it fails immediately. His one vet suggested not to bother with that since he refuses every time. So no mixes. One changed meal a day so I don't upset his tummy too bad with the changes.

    His dry food - This one I do plan on slowly mixing. I'm also going to stay with the probiotic for now until he's fully switched.

    Once he is fully switched I will have to stop the probiotic - as there is beef in it. At that stage, assuming it doesn't epicly fail yet again - it will be 8 -13 weeks of a LID of whatever he accepts.

    What do you all think?


    Results so far:


    The food: Feb 3 or 4th 2019:

    I've read enough around this beautiful site to understand that the dry food in this trial is crap food. I'm fine with that - temporarily - if it does what needs to (and gives him the nutrients he needs of course)- so we can find out - and correct what's happening. For those that don't know the dry food mentioned below is Hydrolyzed, meaning it's been broken down so that it won't trigger an allergy ... even if it's the same protein a kitty might be allergic or have a sensitivity to.

    Dry Food: "Royal Canin Multi Care Feline Hydrolyzed and Urinary Support" Yeah, I challenge you to say that three times - fast!

    I added a small amount of this to his normal dry food. Nope. Then I added the probiotic on top, just a bit and he ate some of it. So this might have a fighting chance.

    Wet Food: Simply Nourish - Limited Ingredient Diet - Natural, Grain Free, Ocean Whitefish and Potatoes.

    I had to add a few purebites salmon to get him to eat it at first but it was a miracle and a win. Problem though - looking at his wellness food - yup - there's whitefish in it so this first time ever success - off the table. :bawling2::bawling2::bawling2::bawling2::bawling2::bawling2:
     

    Attached Files:

    Last edited: Feb 4, 2019
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  2. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

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    I'm here for moral support for you two!
    :vibes::goodluck:
     
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  3. FeralHearts

    FeralHearts Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Thank you XOXOXOXO we're going to need it - and if you see me doing something foolish - feel free to slap me upside the head.
     
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  4. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

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    Lol :heartshape: .:hangin::grouphug:
     
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  5. FeralHearts

    FeralHearts Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Anyone have any tips for a super picky eater? I really want to help him.

    This was this mornings food reaction:

    The dry food was only half eaten.

    FAIL - Wet Food: Simply Nourish - Limited Ingredient Diet - Natural, Grain Free, Duck and Potatoes. Added bits of pure bites on top to see if I could get him to eat it. Also FAIL.

    This is what happens. Every time. I'm really not expecting it to be different - but it has to be. Somehow.
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
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  6. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

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    Hi!
    let me get that long list of toppers and enticements for you, I don't think I've provided that to you before :)
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
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  7. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

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    Have you tried feeding in unusual locations? Even at different heights, such as on a thick book or small box?

    Check with your vet to be sure these foods are ok.

    Try making these recipes - they're just as viable for an adult cat as for kittens;
    Kitten-Rescue.com

    These below can be used on their own, in moderation or combined with food. Also, if you heat the food a little - stir it so there aren't any hot spots from the microwave.

    Or you could heat some water, about a tablespoon, and add that to canned food. A small glass works to stir it all up.
    • Chicken, beef or ham flavored (pureed) baby food such as Gerber Stage 2 - make sure there is no garlic or onions in the ingredients
    • Tuna and/or the juice, a low mercury/low/no sodium brand is called SafeCatch
    • Salmon, mackerel
    • Sardines (make sure there are no bones)
    • boiled cut up chicken or turkey with no seasonings
    • canned kitten food any brand
    • Try mixing in Kitten Milk Replacer - there are recipes on the internet or store bought
    • Fish, tuna or BBQ flavored canned wet food (I personally have never seen BBQ flavors, but...)
    • Lickable cat treats or pouch treat 'gravy' poured over the food
    • kitten glop (recipes in website link above)
    • Bonito flakes
    • fortiflora
    • fish oil
    • green beans, asparagus mushed up, lettuce, applesauce, mashed chickpeas, black olives
    • whipped topping such as reddiwhip
    • dry pasta
    • Avocado, tomato, butter, broccoli, raspberries, cantaloupe
    • goat milk, or no lactose cow milk
    • whole cooked eggs (the white must always be cooked) or raw egg yolk now and then
    • broth with no salt and no garlic or onion or seasonings of any kind
    • There are also commercial toppers, Applaws is a brand that can work well as a topper
    • Some good treats would be freeze dried Purebites, Orijen, Meowtinis, Meowables, Only Natural Pet, Primal
    • There are also Lickimats that you could spread types of soft food onto, even plain unflavored yogurt, and even freeze it. Licking something can help a cat to feel better emotionally The LickiMat - Food Puzzles for Cats
    • shredded cheddar cheese, string cheese
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
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  8. Wile

    Wile Opener of cans Alpha Cat

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    Hi Feral! A picky eater is definitely no fun. Just thinking outside the box, have you tried exercising/playing with him before mealtimes? I find a hungry cat is sometimes more willing to eat new foods.

    Also does his wet food need to be duck? Would a rabbit or venison-based food interest him more? What proteins are off the table for him?
     

  9. sidneykitty

    sidneykitty TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Just wanted to say I'm following your thread for ideas/advice I haven't thought of as I'm going through a food trial with my cat now. She's got a potential food intolerance/IBD diagnosis we are working through diet changes with her.

    Suffice to say, for a cat who's always been picky about her food, we're having a similar experience as you are with getting her to eat the trial foods. Some she just won't even touch... One thing I'm trying now is putting some kibble on top of the wet food so she's sort of forced to eat some of it as she loves kibble. Too soon to say how its's going.

    Hang in there! I hope Charlie starts eating his foods soon!! Changing a cat's food is not easy!
     
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  10. verna davies

    verna davies TCS Member Staff Member Forum Helper

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    I sympathise with you. I also have a picky eater. Tried all sorts of food and still trying. Try feeding little and often, stay and talk to him, tap the bowl to draw his attention to it and dont leave any food down so that hopefully he will be hunger and want to eat the little given him. Please keep us updated.
     
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  11. Wile

    Wile Opener of cans Alpha Cat

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    I am in the same boat as well, so I will be watching this thread with much interest :) I do have a picky eater, but luckily my picky eater is the healthy cat so she just gets what she wants. My possible food intolerance/allergy/ibd kitty is generally very good about eating most of what I put in front of him.
     

  12. FeralHearts

    FeralHearts Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    I love you guys XOXOXO

    I looked through my files. Yes, you have your own file @Furballsmom - back from when you were helping me to get W.L and Mia to eat when they were sick but I didn't see toppers. I still have the kitty glop etc. :-) So some of these below were on the list - some not.

    Thank you! XOXOXOX

    I'll try everything and report back. I figure if I can get him to eat with tricks and then slowly take away the tricks maybe we stand a chance.

    That dry food - I read the ingredients and I'm not happy at all. Soy - really - soy for a cat. what the helk!

    I will try the different locations too.


    Thank you :-) XOXOXO

    I can certainly try to play harder at mealtime and see if that makes him hungry enough to forget he hates everything.

    It doesn't have to be duck. I've tried so many over the last 3 years I can't even recall them all. Even different brands of the same new protein (like Duck) in case there is something about the way a brand does something that might trigger an "I will tolerate this from the person who feeds me."

    I have to stop at about 2 weeks as he loses weight, starts to refuse everything - even his old food - and that becomes dangerous. Then I end up in tears on the floor begging him to eat.

    Off the table for sure is Chicken, Turkey, Salmon - and as I now know - whitefish falls in there too. They want him on nothing he's been on. One protein and one new carb. So it would be beef, duck, venison all in a LID though. All things he's always rejected since a kid.

    My thought process with toppers and enticers is that if I can get him to at least try it - maybe he'll decide something is okay. Then I can remove the toppers and actually help him.

    I will take any suggestion for LID food. Thinking about it - he's never had rabbit. Maybe I can get my hands on some LID rabbit.


    Thank you XOXOXOX

    *hugs* I hope you fair better than I have.

    What will work for Charlie - once or twice - is a sprinkle of parmesan cheese - sadly it only works for two meals and then we're back to "Forget you human. I'm on to you. NO!" Maybe your wee one will like that - the parmesan that is?

    Let us know how you are doing too. What's worked and not.

    If you have a picky kitty - changing food is like some form of bad Karma torcher!



    Thank you XOXOXOX

    I can try this too. He does like company. So sitting with him might help encourage him.

    I'm sorry you have one too.

    I wish we could make them understand we are trying to make them feel good.


    I remember - your wee one, Wile, was having a problem with his urine too if I remember right and you got that all fixed up. Food trials were next on your hit list too.

    You helped me get samples to the vet for Charlie! :-)

    FYI - After 2 weeks, plus 6 weeks of antibiotics and multiple tests - he's clear now. :-)

    I'm glad your picky eater is healthy!
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
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  13. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

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    yes, exactly this :crossfingers: :cheerleader:

    LOL I have my own file? :lovecat2: :blush:
     
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  14. Wile

    Wile Opener of cans Alpha Cat

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    Yes my "wee" one who was "wee"ing everywhere last summer ;) Now the only problem I have left to solve is :barf:

    Since you're in Canada I think the Rayne LID rabbit is an option for you. My vet recommended it and orders it in for me. So far I haven't had much luck with it, but maybe Charlie will like it. It is expensive though - a 6lb bag of kibble costs me $70 and a 5.5oz can costs $4. I eventually decided that home cooked food was a more affordable option.

    I've got my fingers crossed for you that this trial works out.:clover:
     
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  15. Noirele

    Noirele TCS Member Adult Cat

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    My cat is doing a food trial too, with hydrolized royal canin dry food. But our gastroenterologist told us specifically to feed only that, avoiding any canned food, supplement or topping. I don't know, probably it's a different situation.
    Anyway he is way better now, but he is starting to hate the anallergenic kibbles, which is no fun :cringe:
     
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  16. FeralHearts

    FeralHearts Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    :-)

    Yes you do. :D It's a good file. It's a collection of suggestions for each of the kitties situations you gave. This way I can reference when I have a problem and go "Oh yes, @Furballsmom said to try this etc." :-)

    *fingers crossed that gets solved for you - soon*

    Expensive ouch but I can re-arrange my budget for 13 weeks for that providing nothing else goes wrong. I will ask the vet this week about the Rayne. Thank you!

    I made a billion calls at lunch for Rabbit LID - and zippo. I finally got a nice girl who put aside some Primal Freeze dried nuggets. I'm giving that a go tonight and we'll see. Right now he's not touching it. *sigh* but he night is young!


    The gastroenterologist is correct. Ideally you want to transition the food and keep them on it about 13 weeks.

    I've been down this road with charlie off and on for about 3 years. Those who say a cat will not starve themselves obviously never meet a Charlie. His main vet was shocked that he did it. We've had to stop and start and stop and start as he gets to a point where he refuses even his regular food. So the idea here is to try different toppers and method s to get him to try the new things, then, once we find one - slowly take the tricks away and hopefully have him on one things for 13 weeks.

    *hugs you* Ughh yes, it's no fun when they start to hate it. Frustrating. You can ask the gastroenterologist if maybe kitty can try another type / flavor to help keep it interesting? Still along the hypoallergenic line? I don't know fully what your situation is but I know with Charlie we will be adding more things in later to try to ID the trigger - or at least a few things and hope it doesn't trigger.

    What I'm doing here is desperation. I've read enough here, and I know enough about chronic inflammation, to know that it can cause a host of additional health issues and eventually turn to cancer if left untreated. I'm already at risk of losing him early because of his heart and lungs, I'll be darned if I'm not going to try every crazy thing possible to make sure I don't loss him to IBD or something else that I can help. I want him to have as long a life as possible healthy and not always uncomfortable or in pain because of this kind of thing. I love him way to much for that.
     
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  17. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

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    :vibes::rock:
     
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  18. FeralHearts

    FeralHearts Thread Starter TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    PS I forgot to tell you earlier how happy I am for you that he is way better. XOXOX Keep up the good work - I know it's not easy. :vibes::heartshape:

    Thank you XOXOXOX

    Okay so Day 2: More epic fails.

    Everything has been a fail. Again. Though I'm not ready to give up on the Rabbit just yet. I'll try that one again a different way and see.

    Tomorrow I'll try the duck in the am again as he did at least take a few bites of it.

    I'll be going shopping in a day or two and add some of the toppers to my shopping list. I can't begin to tell you how weird I think these are:

    • green beans, asparagus mushed up, lettuce, applesauce, mashed chickpeas, black olives
    • whipped topping such as reddiwhip
    • dry pasta
    • Avocado, tomato, butter, broccoli, raspberries, cantaloupe
    LOL

    but if it gets him to eat things. I'm game. I don't know which one I think is the weirdest... the reddiwhip and the dry pasta are on my top of "My vets going to think I'm insane" list - when I eventually tell her. Which will not be now lol
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
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  19. Furballsmom

    Furballsmom Cat Fan especially Black Cats Staff Member Forum Helper

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    :lol:
    I promise at least one cat somewhere has eaten at least one (sometimes more) ingredient of that list, including my own boy (he will wake up from the deepest sleep when he hears the reddi whip can :tongue:)
     
    Last edited: Feb 5, 2019
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  20. sidneykitty

    sidneykitty TCS Member Alpha Cat

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    Sigh. Me, too! I've now tried beef, lamb, rabbit and duck wet foods and so far no luck! Tonight I got her to eat half a portion I served by crushing up her kibble and putting it on top. She's so smart (or stubborn?) she just licks off the top layer and then stops so I have to put more on to get her to eat it...

    My next stop might be raw, home cooked or baby food. I'm going to quickly run out of brands/novel proteins she just won't touch though I'm trying to be patient. Haven't tried adding broth yet, either. Or a lot of those on @Furballsmom excellent list.

    I'm crossing my fingers for you @FeralHearts ! If you discover the secret, please let me know!
     
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