Kitten with IBD

Linsey

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Our 5 month old kitten, Auggie, was just diagnosed with IBD after 2 months of tests, labs, scans and finally biopsy. I‘m very happy it is not lymphoma but find it strange since she is so young. Symptoms started after her 12 week vaccinations, so wondering if it’s an immune response or truly IBD. Vets say IBD and vaccines don’t typically cause reactions like this. But my previous cat, Oscar had immune mediated poly arthritis due to a vaccination. He was treated with prednisolone for 6 months, tapered off and it never came back. He lived 6 more years when we finally lost him to HCM and CKD. I’m hoping that is what happens with Auggie but if not I want to get educated and get her on a solid treatment plan.

She started prednisolone tonight. She is still recovering from biopsy and spaying surgery and will be on a 30 day course of Amoxicillin. She is currently also on zofran and mirataz which we will be tapering off of this week. Also getting B-12 shots 1/week. Food: Beechnut baby food (beef, chicken, turkey), Purina EN wet food and Dr. Elsey’s dry chicken. Supplements: Fish Oil, Proviable DC probiotic, NuVet Plus Feline vitamin. I do not want her eating baby food or the EN And would like to get her switched to canned Ziwi venison, Feline Naturals Lamb or Freeze dried raw rabbit from Stella & Chewy or Vital Essentials. I’ve also read that chicken may not be good for kitties with IBD. What are some Foods that you guys would recommend?

Should I add in digestive enzymes? Or any other supplement? What about animalbiome (Fecal transplant in a pill).
reading IBD kitties.net but also looking for support, advice and what works from experienced IBD caregivers.

thanks in advance!
 

Furballsmom

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LTS3

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Here are two web sites with good info:


Probiotics and digestive enzymes can be helpful. Most vets aren't familiar with these, though, but you don't need vet approval.

Food - LID type novel protein foods seem best for most IBD cats. Canned foods are better than dry foods. Chicken can be a trigger of IBD flare ups so avoid feeding that if possible. I personally feed my IBD cat a commercial frozen raw diet but he's been eating it since he was a kitten. Raw and home cooked diets are options you can look into. You don't need vet approval to feed any non-prescription food to your cat.
 
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Linsey

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I have been looking into fresh food vs raw food:
smalls.com
balancedblends.com

Any opinions on these Brands?

I worry about straight up raw food with the recalls, bacteria, and having to deworm her regularly. If I go full raw, it’ll be the freeze dried variety.

Have been reading a lot on the IBDkitties.net site but am still unsure about how often to rotate different food to prevent intolerance/allergies and as alternative if something makes them sick. Should I change it up every meal, every other day or every other week? And how many varieties should I rotate in: 2, 3, 4? And can I do a mix of raw and fresh?
 

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It took a while of trying different foods before finding one that was good for my cat - we tried prescription diets, grain free, boutique foods, freeze dried, LID, etc. He used to have diarrhea pretty often and in general his IBD seemed to make him feel crappy a lot.

Finally he ended up happiest on a Royal canin venison limited ingredient wet food. After a while we took the vet’s suggestion and switched him to Natural Balance venison wet food since it’s very similar and way cheaper. I sometimes mix in natural balance rabbit too just for some variety. His IBD has been under control on that food for years now, I think in the last 5 years he’s only had to take a course of prednisone once and that was after a move.

Try not to overload her with a bunch of supplements and vitamins, especially at the beginning when you’re trialling foods because they could be causing some of the stomach upset and just make things more confusing.
 

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Here's are TCS threads about those two brands:


My IBD cat has eaten Nature's Variety Instinct frozen raw since he was a kitten. He's 10 years old now and has never had a problem with the food or has ever needed to be dewormed. When NV had multiple protein options, I feed different proteins roughly monthly. When it was time for a new bag, I just chose a different protein. Now that NV only has chicken and rabbit, I can only feed rabbit since chicken is a no-no for my IBD cat's tummy. I do feed him a different brand of raw for snacks, switching it up between the frozen turkey and beef/salmon varieties and a few of the freeze dried varieties.
 

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I'd like to second all/any comments here about looking at diet. Chicken was/is a big trigger for our guy, and getting him on a different food (in our case the Royal canin venison limited ingredient wet food from our vet) made a world of difference.

With that said.... K kittenmittens84 , would love to know specifically which Natural Balance food he's on - our cat is also on the Royal canin venison limited ingredient wet food and we would love to swap to something cheaper!
 

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Rawz pates are the gold standard canned food for IBD cats. The recipes are truly single protein (no chicken ingredients in the turkey formula, no fish unless you're buying a fish flavor) and truly limited ingredient--no freakin' cranberries or clay like Instinct's "limited ingredient" foods. (I never want to clean cranberry barf again.) I would try the turkey, rabbit, or duck flavors.
Where to Buy | RAWZ

IBD is something that absolutely needs to be managed with diet. Meds are helpful and Auggie is taking the right ones. But at the end of the day, you need to determine the triggers and eliminate them. Meds can only help so much if you are still poring gasoline on her gut fire.

For starters, I would ditch the dry altogether. There are just too many nonsense and potentially irritating ingredients in dry food. Meat, moisture, organs, and supplements are all cats need. All those grains, starches, fruits (with the exception of pumpkin for poop issues), and vegetables in dry food are poorly digested and potential triggers.

I would also try to eliminate the baby food because it is not nutritionally complete. And your kitten still needs all the nutrition she can get to keep growing into a healthy cat.

The fewer foods you feed, the easier it will be to determine trigger ingredients. The more foods you feed, the more ingredients you are feeding, the more likely it is to stumble upon triggers. If you can afford it and Auggie likes it, I would center her diet around Rawz and keep it simple.

Once you have her stable for a few months, you can try to introduce other foods. But if you never have her stable, you'll never know what her triggers and thus what foods need to be avoided are.
 

kittenmittens84

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I'd like to second all/any comments here about looking at diet. Chicken was/is a big trigger for our guy, and getting him on a different food (in our case the Royal canin venison limited ingredient wet food from our vet) made a world of difference.

With that said.... K kittenmittens84 , would love to know specifically which Natural Balance food he's on - our cat is also on the Royal canin venison limited ingredient wet food and we would love to swap to something cheaper!
The venison one is this one: Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Venison & Green Pea Formula Grain-Free Canned Cat Food, 5.5-oz
Although I’m a little worried now because I haven’t bought it in forever (stockpiled when a local pet store had a sale) and the venison one specifically seems out of stock in most places now that I’m looking? I hope I didn’t curse it!

Luckily he enjoys the other NB LID flavors too so there’s a backup. This is the other one he likes that doesn’t bother his stomach, it’s duck not rabbit (I’m getting my animals mixed up lol) Natural Balance L.I.D. Limited Ingredient Diets Duck & Green Pea Formula Wet Cat Food, 3 oz., Case of 24 | Petco

The other venison prescription food alternative our vet suggested was Instinct venison pate I believe. Never tried it though.
 
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Linsey

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Rawz pates are the gold standard canned food for IBD cats. The recipes are truly single protein (no chicken ingredients in the turkey formula, no fish unless you're buying a fish flavor) and truly limited ingredient--no freakin' cranberries or clay like Instinct's "limited ingredient" foods. (I never want to clean cranberry barf again.) I would try the turkey, rabbit, or duck flavors.
Where to Buy | RAWZ

IBD is something that absolutely needs to be managed with diet. Meds are helpful and Auggie is taking the right ones. But at the end of the day, you need to determine the triggers and eliminate them. Meds can only help so much if you are still poring gasoline on her gut fire.

For starters, I would ditch the dry altogether. There are just too many nonsense and potentially irritating ingredients in dry food. Meat, moisture, organs, and supplements are all cats need. All those grains, starches, fruits (with the exception of pumpkin for poop issues), and vegetables in dry food are poorly digested and potential triggers.

I would also try to eliminate the baby food because it is not nutritionally complete. And your kitten still needs all the nutrition she can get to keep growing into a healthy cat.

The fewer foods you feed, the easier it will be to determine trigger ingredients. The more foods you feed, the more ingredients you are feeding, the more likely it is to stumble upon triggers. If you can afford it and Auggie likes it, I would center her diet around Rawz and keep it simple.

Once you have her stable for a few months, you can try to introduce other foods. But if you never have her stable, you'll never know what her triggers and thus what foods need to be avoided are.
Thanks so much - Looking into Rawz now! The pates appear to quite popular and out of stock in a lot of places. Is the pate texture easier on their tummies vs the shreds?

I don’t want to give her dry food at all but don’t want her to go all night with nothing either. Trying to feed her as early and as late as possible but that still leaves a good 7-8 hours at night. What can I leave out that won’t go bad? She’s only 5 months and with IBD, going that long on an empty stomach makes her vomit bile. w

thanks for all the great recommendations - I have so much food trying to get her to eat anything at all and finally baby food was all she would eat before we got her diagnosed and on meds. Was in the process of trying to transition to Stella and chewys freeze dried rabbit. But maybe I’ll try the Rawz rabbit instead.

hmmm... what do you think about leaving out the freeze died rabbit at night? Not moistening with water, just chopping it up into smaller bits and leaving out as dry?
 

daftcat75

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Rawz shredded is probably just as good. The trouble with the shredded is that it comes in all the usual suspects of problematic proteins: chicken and fish. If you need a novel protein like turkey, rabbit, or duck, you need to go to the pates.

The trouble with freeze dried is that it often contains ground bone. Even healthy cats can get constipated if the bone content is too high. Commercial raw is hit or miss with IBD cats depending on bone content. It’s quite the challenge to find a decent commercial boneless raw. But the other trouble with any dry food (freeze-dried included) is that it’s not high enough in moisture. Of course, once you add moisture to freeze-dried, she’s on the clock to finish it within an hour or so because it’s a raw food.

For simplicity, keeping her universe of ingredients and thus the possible triggers as small as possible, I would pick one food and feed only that.

For the overnight dilemma, I have used timed feeders to great success. I often put out two (in case one didn’t open, which happened maybe two or three times over almost a year of usage) and set them to open a couple hours apart. So if Krista got her last meal at 10 pm, I’d put out a 1 am and 3 am feeder. Then I was up at 5 or 6 to feed her first breakfast.

I would feed yours smaller meals more often if you aren’t already doing so. Krista had lymphoma and was on steroids so she wanted to eat every two hours. I was feeding her every three with the feeders covering those meals I wasn’t around for. This may be excessive. I would recommend at least a couple breakfasts and a couple of dinners with a feeder (or two for redundancy) at lunch and overnight. Figure out how much you need to feed daily and divide by the number of meals to know how big each meal should be.

My favorite timed feeders don’t seem to be available anymore. I recommend the clamshell design over the wheel. The wheel will rotate any uneaten portions away where your kitten can’t get to them. The clamshells allow her to come back as many times as she wants. There’s no time limit on a portion before it’s taken away. Wet food can be left out for hours.

I haven’t used this particular feeder. But this seems like the only clamshells still being sold. 🤦🏼‍♂️

Cat Mate C20 2 Bowl Pet Feeder With Ice Pack https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0002YHUPC/?tag=thecatsite


Krista waiting on her feeders.
AB300684-33CF-4CA0-AD3C-7FD056C63D4A.jpeg
 
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Linsey

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Just got a case of Rawz rabbit pate delivered today! Will start the slooooooow transition tomorrow.
We are doing a small meal every 3-4 hours. So she’s getting 5-6 meals a day. Was researching the feeders will probs try the one you linked daftcat75. I’m hoping I can insert glass or ceramic bowls instead of the plastic. Not sure she’ll like cold food but we’ll give it a shot. 😊
 

daftcat75

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Just got a case of Rawz rabbit pate delivered today! Will start the slooooooow transition tomorrow.
We are doing a small meal every 3-4 hours. So she’s getting 5-6 meals a day. Was researching the feeders will probs try the one you linked daftcat75. I’m hoping I can insert glass or ceramic bowls instead of the plastic. Not sure she’ll like cold food but we’ll give it a shot. 😊
Krista didn’t like cold food. Not leftovers anyway. I used a food scale to weigh out her portion into a snack baggie. I pressed it flat as I could and ran it under hot water to bring it up to a more palatable "mouse temperature". (lukewarm) Then I spooned it out onto plate or into feeder. It was okay if it cooled down from mouse temp to room temp as long is wasn’t leftovers temp. 😹 I did that for every portion in her last year or so whether it was first or last portion from the can. It wasn't that much more work and it gave us some extra wonderful memories together. It usually took no more than 30 seconds to a minute to warm up canned food for her.

In this video, it takes a bit longer because I used only lukewarm water for her raw portions to avoid cooking them. This was a treat meal for our nightly prednisilone wrestling matches. 🤼‍♂️😾🤦🏼‍♂️ She knew what was coming after this and before that meal 🤼‍♂️😾, and yet she always showed up for it. 😻

We did these raw portions for about a month before she started chemo. We ditched the raw when she started the immuno-suppressing medicine and found an different way to dose her (fish flake and s. boulardii wrapped pill halves.) I wish I had a video of that routine. I only wish I had found transdermal pred sooner.
 
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Linsey

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Auggie has been transitioning to the Rawz rabbit pate with no issues, yay. But that might be because she’s still on pred. So how do I know that this food is the one for her. I feel like I won’t know for sure until she’s off the pred, but wondering if there are any small signs I should look for, good or bad? Oh and the timed feeder - genius! Auggie doesn’t seem to mind cold food. So she’s eating 100% wet now. :banana1:

also how long does it take for intestinal inflammation to resolve on pred? I think it’s helped but her belly is still larger than normal and bumpy feeling. She’s been on it for 2.5 weeks.
 
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daftcat75

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Have you asked your vet these questions? She/he’s the only one you should listen to about when to taper the pred and how to do it.

It was my experience with Krista that trigger foods can still trigger even with pred. So if she’s doing well on this food, then it’s a good food for her.

I’ve read that allergy diets should be given 2 to 3 months to work. This isn’t much different. Give the diet a few months.

The pred? I don’t know. Again that’s a question for your vet. But it will probably be given for at least a month before any change in dose is considered.
 

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Hi there. Mine had terrible blood in his stool from IBD. I tried all the commercial limited ingredient diets for months as well as the pred and the probiotics. What finally cured him was a few months of raw food. I got mine at a local pet food store here, in the frozen aisle.

This was the brand I used, but it’s only available in the Northeast.

Raw Dog Food - Raw Cat Food - State of Nature Raw

I was able to put him back on canned food after that or part canned/part raw. A year ago he had PU surgery so he’s on urinary vet food, but he still doesn’t have any blood in his stool.

He still gets half a tablet of pred.
 

reba

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Thank you for sharing. I got such a kick out of that video. I love the gutteral meows they do when they’re waiting fo dinner.

Mine is easy to pill thank god and he never threw up from the raw. I tried to get them all on raw, but they got deathly ill if I put so much as a morsel in with their regular food.
 
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Linsey

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Auggie is doing really well. :hearthrob: She has a checkup with vet on Monday and hoping we can reduce the prednisolon - fingers crossed. I have a weird question that I think is related to IBD but might just be a because of one of her supplements. Her breath is really terrible, is this a symptom of IDB? Or is it because her diet is nearly pure protein and gamey rabbit at that? I also give her a dose of fish oil everyday. She’s only 6 months old and still too small for me to get my finger in there to brush her teeth, so I was thinking about a water additive called Oxygene Which seems to have great reviews on Chewy.

just wondering if this is typical of kitties with IBD or does she just have halitosis. 🤣
 

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Most cats have bad breath due to poor dental hygiene. Teething kittens also have bad breath.

Try the CET mini cat toothbrush. I've used that brush on my cats when they were kittens. It's only sold as part of a CET starter kit.

1613785126683.jpeg


A cotton swab would also work on small mouths.
 
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