IBD kitty, barely eating

njg55

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Dec 11, 2014
Messages
120
Purraise
67
My cat has had IBD for about a year and eating Royal Canin rabbit protein wet and dry food. She's been on Prednisolone for several months, which initially worked well, but now I'd say she's almost back to where we started in terms of soft stools and diarrhea, although she doesn't often vomit and has regained lost weight. I've just returned from a week of vacation during which a family member took care of the IBD girl and her sister and reported that she ate about half of what she was offered at every meal. She generally needs a lot of coaxing and patience before she'll eat, and he didn't always have time for that, so it's OK. She ate well when I got home last night but wouldn't eat this morning until I'd tried a dose of transdermal Mirataz, which she hasn't been receiving because her appetite was fairly good once she got started on a dish. It's late afternoon now, but although she keeps going to the kitchen as if she's hungry, she won't eat any wet food. After first reheating some food from an open can, I then tried a new one. She ate a bite or two then left. I'll keep trying, and in a few hours will give her a daily dose of Fortiflora on top of the canned food; that usually also acts as an appetite stimulant, although no longer as strong as when we first started the probiotic several weeks ago. In the chaos of arriving home last night, we forgot to give her the nightly dose of Pred, and my son told me he didn't remember to do it every day, so it's possible that all this disruption in her routine is partly the cause of her loss of appetite. I'm about to go to the pet store to see if any other novel proteins foods that don't require prescriptions are available, since she has to eat something. I'm also debating letting her have the regular cat food her sister eats. Since her current treatment plan (the special diet, Prednisolone, and Fortiflora) isn't benefitting her very much, I figure that a few dishes of normal food won't make things that much worse until I've had a long discussion with the vet about other options in terms of food, medication, etc.; an appointment is already scheduled later this month, but I can try to see the doctor sooner or at least relay a message through a vet tech about the current situation. Any ideas, those who also struggle with IBD kitties and appetite?
 

silent meowlook

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 10, 2014
Messages
3,668
Purraise
6,970
Hi. It sounds like nausea. I wouldn’t try other foods just yet. Do you have any medications prescribed for her for nausea?
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #4

njg55

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Dec 11, 2014
Messages
120
Purraise
67
Cerenia is frequently mentioned in articles and comments about IBD. Shirley hasn't been prescribed this, but it might be necessary now. It's one of the things I plan to ask about when I communicate with the vet's office. Since I wrote earlier, she ate well at around 8 p.m., when I put the daily dose of Fortiflora on her food. Within an hour or so, I saw runny diarrhea in one of the litter boxes, relatively fresh, so possibly having occurred following that meal. Is the probiotic or the food in general the issue, or the erratic medication schedule this pat week? All of the above? Lots of variables here.
 

silent meowlook

TCS Member
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 10, 2014
Messages
3,668
Purraise
6,970
Hi. Could be all of the above or just progression of the disease. I would think the stress of you not being there and the inconsistent medication schedule may have caused it. Of course, I don’t know and I am not a vet.
 

stephanietx

TCS Member
Veteran
Joined
Dec 1, 2005
Messages
14,839
Purraise
3,568
Location
Texas
We have better luck with Ondansetron (Zofran) for nausea than Cerenia. We also will give plain Pepcid (over the counter, Famotadine 10 mg, 1/4 tablet) as needed for nausea.

What I've found with my IBD kitty in regards to eating is that he likes his food fresh, so I open a new can and put half of it in the freezer for the next day or two. I make sure dry food is kept in an air-tight bag as well to keep it as fresh as possible.

Lastly, it's a day by day thing and some days are better than others. There are good days and better day followed by bad days. Stress is a major contributor to flare ups, so maintaining a stress-free home and sticking to a schedule is important.
 

tyleete

Queen of the Crazy
Alpha Cat
Joined
Apr 9, 2016
Messages
345
Purraise
377
Location
Virginia
It may not help with the diarrhea, but when my IBD kitties don't feel well (especially if on an antibiotic), the only thing they'll way is
Instinct limited ingredient Rabbit kibble. The worst 2 are also allergic to the gums in wet food, found out when they did great on dry but when switching to the wet, right back to being sick.
This seems to be like kitty crack to them & my go to when they don't want to eat.
I've also found Zofran helps better with nausea, while Cerenia helps better with vomiting.
And if the vomiting won't stop, Cerenia is shots are needed
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8

njg55

TCS Member
Thread starter
Adult Cat
Joined
Dec 11, 2014
Messages
120
Purraise
67
Since my original post, I had to take Shirley to an emergency clinic, where they said after initial observation that she was in critical condition. I won't go into all the details, but the most significant problem they found was internal bleeding. However, she responded well to treatment and came home today after a two-day stay. In addition to the Prednisolone, she will be taking Ondansetron, Visbiome probiotics, and vitamin K1. My concern is that she still is showing no interest in her canned food. She ate some dry food in the few hours between the time I brought her home and when I offered her the canned, so I think was was hungry. It's prescription Royal Canin rabbit. My husband knows she's on a special diet but took matters into his own hands and dribbled a few drops of the broth from our other can's food (not a novel/special protein) onto Shirley's food, and she nibbled some of that off and on. It's probably better to have something in her stomach, even if there's tiny bit of "forbidden" ingredients in it, than going hungry. Since it's evening, I can't speak to anyone at my regular vet's office or the emergency clinic about her food. She is scheduled for a follow-up visit in a week, but of course I can take her back to the emergency clinic or try to change her appointment to happen sooner. But she has to eat! The only special protein foods I can get without a prescription at a pet store are Instinct and Merrick, neither of which is 100% novel/selected protein but which often appear on lists of foods for IBD cats. Should I try that? I have a can of Instinct already but have been hesitant to try it.
 

tyleete

Queen of the Crazy
Alpha Cat
Joined
Apr 9, 2016
Messages
345
Purraise
377
Location
Virginia
I have several IBD kitties and 2 with other medical conditions attached. Whenever they are sick from either being on an antibiotic or having other problems? Instinct Limited Ingredient Rabbit kibble is my go-to. They can be feeling really bad & refuse their regular food, but will Always eat this.
Also, they're both allergic to all poultry, fish, and the gums found in wet cat food. So their normal food is Essence Ranch & Meadow. I learned long ago Rx diets are not so good and Instant and Essence were the only foods I found without any of their triggers.
Best of luck💗
 

lisahe

TCS Member
Top Cat
Joined
Mar 23, 2014
Messages
6,185
Purraise
5,034
Location
Maine
The only special protein foods I can get without a prescription at a pet store are Instinct and Merrick, neither of which is 100% novel/selected protein but which often appear on lists of foods for IBD cats. Should I try that? I have a can of Instinct already but have been hesitant to try it.
I completely agree with S silent meowlook and stephanietx stephanietx about stress and inconsistent medication. Our cat with presumed (and relatively mild) IBD tends to vomit when she's stressed. Even changes in the weather can get to her! We keep Cerenia on hand for vomiting. It sounds like your cat's symptoms are a fairly different from Edwina's.

As for feeding, that's always difficult. njg55 njg55 , do you have a good sense of what your cat's forbidden ingredients are? Personally, I prefer staying as cautious as possible with foods, not feeding anything at all that I even suspect might cause a problem. If your cat can eat chicken or turkey, Beechnut baby food is very plain; it works nicely to get Edwina back on her food. But of course every cat is different! In our experience, the biggest trick is breaking the cycles of the factors -- a combination of inflammation, food sensitivities, stress, food anxiety, etc. -- that give her symptoms. Usually the key problem seems to be rooted in some sort of stress but sometimes she develops a new food sensitivity. It can take lots of trial and error to figure all this out but keeping a journal with information like dates, times, symptoms, sources of stress (even, I kid you not, low barometric pressure), and last meals fed before incidents can help a lot in understanding what causes incidents. We've ended up feeding homemade food for two big meals a day because the recipe's so simple, without gums or other thickeners (or fish!) that bother both our cats.

I hope Shirley feels better soon!
 
Top