New Cat Parent with questions

Worom

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Dec 13, 2019
Messages
28
Reaction score
63
Hi everyone, Sorry for the wall of text

I'm a first time cat parent, I adopted a Female Dilute Calico Domestic Short Hair back in March of this year estimated to be around 3 years old at the time, she turned 4 in October, and have run into several questions and she appears to have a few health issues that I'm wondering if anyone has had any experience with. I've been also working closely with her vet as well to try and help her out.

She has cat acne that comes and goes, but we seem to be getting a handle on it by making sure that any boxes that she lays on are covered with towels to lay on top of instead, keeping her chin cleaned with Vetericyn, using metal food dishes, and switching our laundry detergents and hand soaps to unscented dye free versions, and switching her litter to a totally unscented dust free version as well.

She was also somewhat constipated when I first adopted her and was regurgitating food at least 1 - 2x a week so we switched her from Earthborn holistic primitive food that she was eating at the time to Hills Science Diet Sensitive Stomach and Skin, this helped with the vomiting but the constipation remained and might have become a bit worse, she had to be treated with an enema at the vets office. At this point the vet recommended we switch her over to Royal Canin Gastrointestinal fiber response food and we transitioned her over. This resolved the constipation, but made the skin acne hard to control. The vomiting was also somewhat reduced but I would see regurgitated food probably 1x a week which I made the vet aware of as well, she didn't seem overly concerned since it was almost always just food with no real evidence of bile.

Fast forward a few months and she had an incident where she vomited up all her food and once all the food was up she started to vomit up bile, at this point I took her to the vet and they didn't see any apparent cause so they gave her Pepcid and Cerenia injections which stopped the vomiting and she went back to her normal self it seemed.

She also has had issues with ear infections she had one in August that cytology showed was yeast, and then she had one in November that was bacterial, both were treated with tresaderm. After the 2nd ear infection I had a mobile vet come out to recheck her, I used the mobile vet to try and reduce the amount of stress from car rides, They found that there was still an ear infection and they cleaned out her ears and gave her a Convenia injection, which I would never get again as apparently it can cause issues and once its in the system there is nothing that you can really do until it clears out which that vet didn't explain.

Fast forward to a week ago and she had another episode of vomiting that was worse than the first, she vomited all her food and a good bit of bile and even continued to try and vomit after. As her regular vet office was closed I decided to go into the emergency vet. The emergency vet did blood work, two sets of xrays, and supportive overnight care to make sure she was stable including IV fluids.

Her blood-work was normal, X-rays were also normal so no foreign body or anything like that. She didn't eat or drink at all on Sunday but was using the litterbox and producing good sized pee balls. Come Monday she still wasn't eating or drinking so I took her in to her normal vet and they recommended an ultrasound, they also gave her subcutaneous fluids, and mirtazipine. She then started eating her food a little bit after the mirtazipine pill, and started drinking here and there and was still producing good sized pee balls in the litter box.

I then brought her into the vets office the next day for the ultrasound and everything came back normal, all her organs looked good. She did regurgitate her Royal canin food again that morning and stopped eating it and utterly refused it, she was acting hungry and meowing for food. The vet then gave another food to try which was similar but she refused that as well. I did notice that she would eat her treats without issue and the vet suspected a possible food aversion. So on Wednsday she didn't eat her food at all as the Mirtazipine was wearing off, I called the vets office and they didn't call me back, my voicemail must have gotten lost in the shuffle, however that night the emergency vet called back to check on her and said to do whatever I needed to get her eating again. So at this point I went over to petco and picked up 4 different brands and flavors of food to see if she would eat it. I started with the Acana medowlands and she ate that on Thursday, but on Friday decided she didn't like that so I opened up the Purina pro plan Focus sensitive stomach and skin and she has been eating that, she is having some loose stools due to the sudden switch in food, but a slow transition wasn't possible as anything involving the Royal Canin food would cause her to outright refuse to eat.

I'm wondering if any of you all have had similar experiences and if I'm doing everything right as much as possible? This is my first kitty and I just want to make sure i'm doing everything I can for her.
 

denice

Advisor
Staff Member
Advisor
Joined
Feb 7, 2006
Messages
15,860
Reaction score
8,914
Location
Columbus OH
Yes I had a cat with the issues with vomiting, anorexia and constipation. His would flare every few months and started when he was only 18 months old. He had a couple of episodes of staying at the vet on an IV. The first episode when he was only 18 months old they first thought he had a foreign object. Turned out he had IBD. He was 7 1/2 before a vet got him diagnosed right.

Yeast infection in the ears can also be caused by a food sensitivity. Which Purina Plan food is she on as far as the protein and is it wet or dry? She is eating something which is very important.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #3

Worom

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Dec 13, 2019
Messages
28
Reaction score
63
It is the Purina pro plan focus skin and digestive sensitivity lamb formulation dry food Pro Plan Focus Sensitive Skin & Stomach Lamb Dry Cat Food | Purina . First ingredient is lamb which she hasn't had before
My vet does suspect some type of allergy for her ear infections, but we haven't tested yet. The vomiting incident and food aversion side tracked the testing discussion
 

Azazel

Time spent with cats is never wasted.
Top Cat
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
Messages
2,845
Reaction score
3,396
I say it in every thread, but first thing I would do is switch her to all wet food. Constipation occurs when there is a lack of moisture retained by stool. More water intake = less chance of constipation. Unfortunately vets love to prescribe inappropriate dry food to cats. Cats should get moisture from their food. They have naturally low thirst drives and will only drink regularly if they are dehydrated.

The prescription or “sensitive” labelled food is also very unnecessary. Get her on a good quality canned food diet (high animal protein, low carbs), and you should see improvements in the constipation and hairball issues.

I also recommend all cat parents to read this website: catinfo.org
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #5

Worom

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Dec 13, 2019
Messages
28
Reaction score
63
I say it in every thread, but first thing I would do is switch her to all wet food. Constipation occurs when there is a lack of moisture retained by stool. More water intake = less chance of constipation. Unfortunately vets love to prescribe inappropriate dry food to cats. Cats should get moisture from their food. They have naturally low thirst drives and will only drink regularly if they are dehydrated.

The prescription or “sensitive” labelled food is also very unnecessary. Get her on a good quality canned food diet (high animal protein, low carbs), and you should see improvements in the constipation and hairball issues.

I also recommend all cat parents to read this website: catinfo.org
I have made attempts to switch her to wet food, she is quite resistant to it though, her reaction varies from not wanting anything to do with it to drinking the broth and leaving the chunks behind. Any suggestions to transition her to a wet diet would be much appreciated. I assume it would best to wait until her GI tract settles down from the abrupt switch of foods from the adversion issue?
 

Azazel

Time spent with cats is never wasted.
Top Cat
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
Messages
2,845
Reaction score
3,396
I have made attempts to switch her to wet food, she is quite resistant to it though, her reaction varies from not wanting anything to do with it to drinking the broth and leaving the chunks behind. Any suggestions to transition her to a wet diet would be much appreciated. I assume it would best to wait until her GI tract settles down from the abrupt switch of foods from the adversion issue?
Have you tried different brands, flavors, and types? Maybe she will like pates better?
The website I linked you to above has a great resource on transitioning:

https://catinfo.org/docs/TipsForTransitioning1-14-11.pdf

I wouldn’t give up on this, it’s crucial that cats eat wet food.
 

rubysmama

Forum Helper
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
17,207
Reaction score
36,538
Location
Canada
Hello again. :wave2: Yes, unfortunately, I'm very familiar with a cat with digestive issues. I adopted my Ruby 6 years ago, when she was estimated to be 2 or 3 years old. The very next day after she came home she vomited a clear liquid, which I now know to be bile, and happens whenever she goes too long between meals and her tummy gets empty.

Ruby also had loose stools from the beginning, and would also vomit up food from time to time. After a couple months of this, my vet suggested changing her food to a hypoallergenic veterinary duck based canned. That, literally, normalized her stools by the very next day.

Because Ruby still enjoyed her kibble, the vet suggested giving her a few teaspoon of a gastro-intestional dry food every day.Ruby loved it, but from time to time her digestive system would rebel, causing loose stools. I also suspected a chicken intolerance, and sure enough once we finally switched the dry food to a duck and pea one, Ruby's stool issues cleared up 99.9%.

Ruby still will vomit the bile if she goes too long between meals. Or if she eats her kibble treats on an empty tummy, there's a good chance she'll vomit them as well. But it's a much more rare occasion, since the food change.

Since your Mo has constipation issues, more canned food definitely might help. Plus with canned food, you can add a little water to each serving which would help get more liquid into her.

I've had no issues with Ruby's ears or skin, but wonder if Mo's issues are food allergy/intolerance related.

Sorry you are having so many issues with your first ever cat. I'd say that it was a rare occurrence, but actually there seems to be a lot of cats with digestive issues these days.

Just read about Mo not wanting much to do with canned food. That's the one issue I didn't have with Ruby, as in fact, when I first adopted her she was food obsessed and would eat anything! But I have read about many kibble addicts who refuse to eat canned food.

Maybe something in this TCS article will be helpful:
Transitioning Your Cat From Kibble To A New Type Of Food (canned, Raw, Or Homemade) – Cat Articles

Or: 18 Awesome Cat Feeding Tips By Thecatsite Staff Members – Cat Articles
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #8

Worom

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Dec 13, 2019
Messages
28
Reaction score
63
Have you tried different brands, flavors, and types? Maybe she will like pates better?
The website I linked you to above has a great resource on transitioning:

https://catinfo.org/docs/TipsForTransitioning1-14-11.pdf

I wouldn’t give up on this, it’s crucial that cats eat wet food.
Thank you for the link, I will give it a good read.

I've tried pates, she kinda licks at some of them, chunks and gravy she will drink a bit of the gravy and that's about it. Most of the stuff she just puts her nose up and walks away. But the stuff she does try its weird its like she has no idea how to eat the food. I've seen the catfooddb mentioned, is it a reliable source of food information for cats?
 

Azazel

Time spent with cats is never wasted.
Top Cat
Joined
Apr 14, 2018
Messages
2,845
Reaction score
3,396
Thank you for the link, I will give it a good read.

I've tried pates, she kinda licks at some of them, chunks and gravy she will drink a bit of the gravy and that's about it. Most of the stuff she just puts her nose up and walks away. But the stuff she does try its weird its like she has no idea how to eat the food. I've seen the catfooddb mentioned, is it a reliable source of food information for cats?
Catfooddb is something different than what I linked you to above. The link I sent you above is for Dr. Lisa Pierson's website, catinfo.org. It is a reputable source for information on cat health and nutrition.

Catfooddb is a database of cat food nutrition values. It can and cannot be reliable. The values are based on what's written on packaging labels which is not always exact (usually it's in minimums and maximums). Dr. Pierson has a chart on her website too that gives nutrient amounts for different canned foods. She actually called every company and obtained exact values when compiling her chart, but it hasn't been updated since 2017 so some of the information may no longer be accurate.

I highly recommend you read her tips for transitioning dry food addicts. She has a lot of great tips and tricks.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #10

Worom

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Dec 13, 2019
Messages
28
Reaction score
63
Hello again. :wave2: Yes, unfortunately, I'm very familiar with a cat with digestive issues. I adopted my Ruby 6 years ago, when she was estimated to be 2 or 3 years old. The very next day after she came home she vomited a clear liquid, which I now know to be bile, and happens whenever she goes too long between meals and her tummy gets empty.

Ruby also had loose stools from the beginning, and would also vomit up food from time to time. After a couple months of this, my vet suggested changing her food to a hypoallergenic veterinary duck based canned. That, literally, normalized her stools by the very next day.

Because Ruby still enjoyed her kibble, the vet suggested giving her a few teaspoon of a gastro-intestional dry food every day.Ruby loved it, but from time to time her digestive system would rebel, causing loose stools. I also suspected a chicken intolerance, and sure enough once we finally switched the dry food to a duck and pea one, Ruby's stool issues cleared up 99.9%.

Ruby still will vomit the bile if she goes too long between meals. Or if she eats her kibble treats on an empty tummy, there's a good chance she'll vomit them as well. But it's a much more rare occasion, since the food change.

Since your Mo has constipation issues, more canned food definitely might help. Plus with canned food, you can add a little water to each serving which would help get more liquid into her.

I've had no issues with Ruby's ears or skin, but wonder if Mo's issues are food allergy/intolerance related.

Sorry you are having so many issues with your first ever cat. I'd say that it was a rare occurrence, but actually there seems to be a lot of cats with digestive issues these days.

Just read about Mo not wanting much to do with canned food. That's the one issue I didn't have with Ruby, as in fact, when I first adopted her she was food obsessed and would eat anything! But I have read about many kibble addicts who refuse to eat canned food.

Maybe something in this TCS article will be helpful:
Transitioning Your Cat From Kibble To A New Type Of Food (canned, Raw, Or Homemade) – Cat Articles

Or: 18 Awesome Cat Feeding Tips By Thecatsite Staff Members – Cat Articles

Thank you for sharing your experience and the transitioning information. Yeah I really want to get her on a wet food, for hydration and to hopefully prevent the constipation issues, especially since she utterly refuses to eat the GI foods now. The ER vet said it could be IBD and my normal vet said it could have been acute pancretitis, the latter one made me go huh because her labs, ultrasound, and xray were normal. One of the big issues is in the area I live in the selection of vets is limited, and any specialists are around 2 to 2.5 hours away.
 

rubysmama

Forum Helper
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
17,207
Reaction score
36,538
Location
Canada
Ruby's vet also thought she might have IBD, but we never did any tests to confirm.

Here's a link to search feline only vets, if you want to make sure you are aware of any that might be closer to where you live. Just be sure you choose "Feline Only" in the Practice Type Drop Down menu.

Find a Veterinarian and Practice | The Cat Community
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #12

Worom

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Dec 13, 2019
Messages
28
Reaction score
63
Ruby's vet also thought she might have IBD, but we never did any tests to confirm.

Here's a link to search feline only vets, if you want to make sure you are aware of any that might be closer to where you live. Just be sure you choose "Feline Only" in the Practice Type Drop Down menu.

Find a Veterinarian and Practice | The Cat Community
Thank you, looks like there is one feline only vet in my area. I'll have to check them out.
 
  • Thread Starter Thread Starter
  • #13

Worom

TCS Member
Thread starter
Young Cat
Joined
Dec 13, 2019
Messages
28
Reaction score
63
An update on my little Mo, she is doing a good bit better now, she had dirreah from the sudden food switch that has lasted around 48-72 hours where she was going around twice a day. I kept a close eye on her and made sure she wasn't getting dehydrated. Today she hasn't had a dirreah episode, so I'm hopeful that has resolved otherwise I would be taking her to her least favorite place(the vet). Once she has a normal movement I will be starting the process of convincing her that wet food is good for her.

I picked up some cans of wellness pate, weurva cats in the kitchen, and a can of nulo. I'll be following the recommendations from catinfo.org and picked up some fortiflora to sprinkle in the wet food.
 

rubysmama

Forum Helper
Staff Member
Forum Helper
Joined
Nov 25, 2013
Messages
17,207
Reaction score
36,538
Location
Canada
Fingers crossed Mo continues to have a happy digestive system. :redheartpump: :crossfingers:
 
Top