On Raw Cat Food, but loose stools persist

Ragdoll_Dad

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Hello Everyone!

So glad I joined this site! I have two purebread Ragdolls. They are year old now, with one weighing at 15.5 lbs and the other at 16.5 lbs. Since they were 4 months old their diet consists of raw boneless chicken chunks (80%), chicken liver (2%), water (17%), and pure pumpkin (1%), along with Alnutrin with Calcium (with a calcium to phosphorous ratio of 1.1) and fish oil (from capsules). I make their food myself. I also include Pet Ultimates probiotic powder in every meal (they are fed twice a day).

My 15.5 lb cat's stools have always been perfect (firm, brown, and hardly any smell). However, my 16.5 lb cat's stools have always been quite the opposite (loosely formed, mucous like, and SMELLY!); I mean I can smell it from the other room! I have had him tested for parasites twice, and they found nothing! He's active. his coat is soft and shiny, and he had gained weight at a healthy pace all this time. I do notice he sounds a little more wheezy than my other cat when purring. He goes to poop just once a day (sometimes twice), but I notice his anal area is more red than my other cat; I've read this can be from constipation, but in constipation the stools are typically hard so not sure if I can make any conclusion from that.

Might any of you know what might be causing these kinds of stools? I've brought this up with my vet and she just recommended a probiotic as the parasite tests came back negative, but it still hasn't helped his stools. It's funny because I feed the same exact food to my other cat and his stools are absolutely fine. I do want to note that they are NOT from the litter or parents, so different genes all together. I do however feel guilty of giving them only chicken all this time, so I will bring turkey into the mix very soon (maybe he's just allergic to chicken?). So many possibilities!

Any input would be greatly appreciated! Thanks.
 

dhammagirl

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Hi
I don’t have any solid ideas on the cause of the smelly soft stools, it could be a variety of things.
But I think trying a different protein would be good to start, see how that affects the stools. Another possibility is to increase, slightly, the bone or calcium in the food for that cat only, see if that firms them up.

My ginger cat Bilbo had such stinky, and kinda soft, poops that they’d stink up the whole house - everyone knew when he dropped his bombs! :lol: After he got treated for hyperthyroidism (radio iodine therapy), his stools firmed up and got less stinky.
 
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Ragdoll_Dad

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Thanks for the reply! Hopefully the turkey turns things around! I'll look to see if the calcium intake should increase a little.
 

She's a witch

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What kind of parasite test was done? The usual, quick and cheap fecal flotation is not the best tool, as it shows that there are no parasites in the stool sample, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the organism is free of them, just they weren’t shed at this time. I’d recommend sending the sample for PCR diarrhea panel as it gives much more reliable info. Given he’s purebred, it’s possible it tritrichomonas foetus, not rare in the cateries unfortunately.
 

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I second the recommendation for a diarrhea PCR. Fecal float is looking for parasites large enough to float and be seen on a slide. If it's a bacteria strain that's causing this, it won't be seen that way. Krista had terrible diarrhea last summer. Fecal float showed nothing. PCR showed clostridium, a very nasty bug. She had diarrhea for months and antibiotics wasn't cutting it. In the end, a whole lot of sacchromyces boulardii eventually crowded out the clostridium. Good thing Krista likes the stuff.

You can try turkey as a different protein. Krista is allergic to chicken. She's also allergic to egg yolk despite them being different proteins. If turkey and Alnutrin alone doesn't help (and nothing comes back from the PCR), you can try a brief experiment with eggshell calcium and boneless turkey. I wouldn't do this more than a couple of weeks because it's not balanced. But if that clears up the stools, then you know he's not just intolerant of chicken muscle meat, but also the egg protein. In that case, you'll have to mix up your own supplements. I don't know of any of the premixes that don't include egg yolk.
 
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Ragdoll_Dad

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What kind of parasite test was done? The usual, quick and cheap fecal flotation is not the best tool, as it shows that there are no parasites in the stool sample, but it doesn’t necessarily mean that the organism is free of them, just they weren’t shed at this time. I’d recommend sending the sample for PCR diarrhea panel as it gives much more reliable info. Given he’s purebred, it’s possible it tritrichomonas foetus, not rare in the cateries unfortunately.
I guess it was the quick test, as I dropped off the sample in the morning and they took a look at the fecal in their own vet office and gave me a call later that day to tell me it was negative. I was not aware of PCR diarrhea panel; would I do this through my vet office?
 
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Ragdoll_Dad

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I second the recommendation for a diarrhea PCR. Fecal float is looking for parasites large enough to float and be seen on a slide. If it's a bacteria strain that's causing this, it won't be seen that way. Krista had terrible diarrhea last summer. Fecal float showed nothing. PCR showed clostridium, a very nasty bug. She had diarrhea for months and antibiotics wasn't cutting it. In the end, a whole lot of sacchromyces boulardii eventually crowded out the clostridium. Good thing Krista likes the stuff.

You can try turkey as a different protein. Krista is allergic to chicken. She's also allergic to egg yolk despite them being different proteins. If turkey and Alnutrin alone doesn't help (and nothing comes back from the PCR), you can try a brief experiment with eggshell calcium and boneless turkey. I wouldn't do this more than a couple of weeks because it's not balanced. But if that clears up the stools, then you know he's not just intolerant of chicken muscle meat, but also the egg protein. In that case, you'll have to mix up your own supplements. I don't know of any of the premixes that don't include egg yolk.
Definately will look into the PCR diarrhea! Is sacchromyces boulardii over the counter?
 

daftcat75

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I guess it was the quick test, as I dropped off the sample in the morning and they took a look at the fecal in their own vet office and gave me a call later that day to tell me it was negative. I was not aware of PCR diarrhea panel; would I do this through my vet office?
You’ll drop off the sample like last time. But they’ll send it to a lab. It will take a few days and cost a lot more. $400 here but everything costs a lot more in the Bay Area.

S boulardii can be found in a health food store.

This is the gold standard.
Jarrow Formulas, Saccharomyces Boulardii + MOS, 5 Billion, 90 Veggie Caps Amazon.com: Jarrow Formulas, Saccharomyces Boulardii + MOS, 5 Billion, 90 Veggie Caps: Health & Personal Care
 

She's a witch

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It’d be the best to send it out through the vet office (they’ll be able to tell you how to get a sample and how to store it) but you can also consider sending it yourself to UC Davis, it’s $127 plus overnight fedex shipping.

 
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Ragdoll_Dad

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Thanks for the suggestions! I'll let you know how things turn out!
 
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Ragdoll_Dad

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PCR panel test came back negative :ohwell:. I guess i'll need to switch to turkey from chicken to see if his system just doesn't take chicken too well.
 
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