Unique Dietary Needs

Iconiu

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We have a 16 year old cat who throws up if he eats only dry food and has the runs if he eats only wet food. We've settled on feeding him a 1/4 cat of wet food,4 times daily with Raw Paws organic pumpkin powder to give him the extra fiber he needs to not have the runs. This does a reasonable job of preventing throw-ups and runs but he is yowling after every meal like it's painful to eat. Many days he chooses to poop outside the literbox despite having 3 clean options. The most frequent place for him to go is upstairs so navigating the stairs or even over the rim of the bathtub is required. This rules out old cat avoiding stepping up issues. I'm not sure what else I can remove from the food that he might be sensitive to.

Anything with beef in in results in immediate throwup. He used to handle fish and chicken OK but but that's iffy now days.

He has access to Halo indoor cat holistic chicken and & chicken liver recipe which is what our other cat eats primarily. He rarely eats the dry food.

Here's a list of ingredients for Blue Buffalo Limited ingredient grain-free indoor Turkey & Potato.
Turkey, Turkey broth, turkey liver, potatoes, natural flavor, carrots, pea flour, fish oil, carrageenan, cassia gum, flaxseed, powdered cellulose, pumpkin, cranberries, blueberries, guar gum, potassium chloride, taurine, salt, choline chloride, sunflower oil, iron amino acid chelate, zinc amino acid chelate, vitamin e, vitamin C, thiamine mononitrate, copper amino acid chelate, manganese amino acid chelate, sodium selenite, niacin (b3), B12, folic acid, tocopherols.
 

fionasmom

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Welcome to The Cat Site! This sounds like a medical problem to me, not necessarily a nutritional one. Yes, there is probably something in the fact that certain foods trigger his responses, such as the beef that you mention. However, the fact that he yowls like it is painful to eat means that he needs to see the vet. There could be a lot of reasons for this, and at his advanced age, he needs help. There may be dietary needs at the bottom of this once you see if he is having dental issues, intestinal issues, or anything else that is causing the distress. His pooping outside the litter box may be related to this as well, as it does not sound behavioral.

How To Solve Litterbox Problems In Cats: The Ultimate Guide – TheCatSite Articles

This article mentions that if using the litterbox is painful, a cat will try to avoid it as he tries to avoid the pain.
 

hopscotch

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Hi Iconiu, I have a nearly 16 year old cat with very similar dietary issues. He’s a cancer survivor too, so I am super careful with foods.

He stopped eating dry food all on his own about a year ago, which was good because it caused him to wretch in the morning. I think he had an acid stomach in the morning.

Simba’s primary wet food is Blue Buffalo Limited Ingredient Turkey and Potato. Simba also has a history of difficulty with beef and with chicken. They will make him vomit and give him gastritis. He also had issues over the years that started with salmon and shellfish then eventually spread to any fish or fish oil. Fish, shellfish and fish oil is also offensive for Simba and make him sick. Hence, the reason I ended up with BB Turkey and Potato. That food uses flax seed oil instead of fish oil for the Omegas.

I also have Simba eating Hill’s hydrolyzed chicken food (occasionally) and he also quite likes Instinct Limited Ingredient Rabbit in Savory Gravy Pouches. The pouches are not complete balanced meals so he cannot eat just that. I notice that Instinct also sells a Limited Ingredient Lamb pouch in the dog food aisle. The ingredient list is exactly the same as the rabbit ingredient list for cats, but just uses lamb instead. I’m going to try this out as a hypoallergenic option to beef. Venison is also good for older cats as it’s low fat and hypoallergenic. I have a local place where I can buy ground venison as a supplemental protein.

Like many older cats, Simba has some pancreatitis, so I’m watching not only the ingredients but the fat content on the label as well. I was told once by a vet nutritionist to keep the fat content to 4% or lower by weight of the food when dealing with a cat that has pancreatitis. The Instinct pouches are easily at or below 4%. The Blue Buffalo Limited Ingredient Turkey is up at 7%, however, I think I may be having luck reducing it a bit by adding a small amount of Pank-Aid pancreas enzymes in with it. They digest it a bit before kitty eats the food, with the idea that it decreases the load on the pancreas for digestion of fats, etc. The Instinct Limited Ingredient rabbit pouch is 2.5% fat and the lamb one is 4%.

I agree with the person above that it’s best to take this issue to a vet because of the complexity and litter box issue. I hope the ideas here can help give you ideas for diet changes, if they are needed.
 
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LTS3

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Sounds like a possible food sensitivity / allergy or gastrointestinal issue. Has the cat been to the vet lately for a check up and blood work? If not, that's the first thing to do.
 

savedbycat9

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Hopscotch I saw your other post regarding your cat's lymphoma. What were his first symptoms? I have my cat who is 8 and she has an enlarged lymph node on her neck with no other symptoms. We are pending blood work results, and needle aspiration before we do other diagnostics.
 

hopscotch

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Hello, Savedbycat9. An enlarged lymph node is definitely important to check out.

Simba had primary gastric lymphoma in the stomach, meaning the cancer started as an aggressive lump in the stomach wall and not in the lymph nodes. It would have spread to the lymph nodes eventually though.

He had been prone to gastritis since he was about 8. I had done two endoscopies over the years, once due to general vomiting and the other when he vomited what appeared to be coffee grains. The latter time there was an ulcer, but only gastritis inflammation otherwise. when it developed into cancer I had noticed I could not get him to stop vomiting daily after two weeks of the usual remedy from his doctor for the condition: 1/4 of a 10mg regular strength Pepcid AC and daily Cerenia. As soon as I stopped the Cerenia he would start vomiting again. I knew it wasn’t right when he vomited in the afternoon as well as first thing in the morning. The precise day I phoned the vet and asked them to book an endoscopy ASAP was the day that I saw a pink vomit. I was not going to fool around with that.

The mobile endoscopy specialist found the lump and it was about 1cm (3/8”) across x 2cm (7/8”) long x 0.5 cm (3/16”) high in the middle of the larger curved stomach wall. It was bleeding a bit and the specialist took samples of it and all over the stomach. The cancer cells were found only in the lump but with lymphoma microscopic cells could be elsewhere so chemo was the way to go.

I hope that helps? If you need more info, feel free to message me or respond in the original thread. I’m sure other people will look for this kind of information eventually and it could really help.
 

savedbycat9

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Thank you. I took my cat the day after I noticed the lymph node growth. We are pending blood work, and aspirate results before we take our next steps.
 
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Iconiu

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Thank you all for the recommendations, especially the account of Simba. Circuit has been to the vet with various recommendations. They had blood work done to check for organ failure and diseases but this only ruled out certain things rather than being a definitive solution. Like with human medical care, general practitioners are set up to give out "canned" solutions rather than being true diagnosticians.

I'll write back in a few weeks after we have time to try some of the suggestions..
 
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