Young cat with diarrhea

Lranders29

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Hi everyone,
I'm looking for advice related to diarrhea. I have two kittens, I can't be certain of birthdates as they were brought into a shelter as strays, but we can guess one is 6 months old and the other closer to 7 months.

Both have been fighting sicknesses since we brought them home and it's been a battle. Both have had several rounds of strong meds to get rid of bad URIs. Anyway, my boy Neptune has had bad tummy issues this whole time. He's been off antibiotics for about 10 days and things aren't improving. He's been tested for parasites and bacteria several times - only the first time about 6 weeks ago did he test positive and follow ups have been clear. He is now otherwise healthy after the pneumonia cleared up. No mucus or blood in stools. Was in for his last check up for that 10 days ago.

Well, he still seems to have tummy issues. Namely, stools ranging from diarrhea (and a few accidents) to very soft. He's gassy and sometimes looks bloated. When we first got them they were on Chicken Soup kitten formula, then I incorporated some Science Diet. I read more and realized those weren't the best foods but didn't want to switch things while they were sick. Our other cat has been perfectly fine on them. I then tried incorporating Nulo as it seems to have better ingredients in my price range. So they have Nulo wet and some Chicken Soup kibble when they get extra hungry. I tried Taste of the Wild and that was the worst reaction so far - vomit. I can't put my finger on what bothers him - we've tried formulas with: chicken, turkey, beef, salmon, tuna, duck, venison. I've followed directions in changing in stages. Of course, these were multiple protein forms in the same food. All run through him within 45 minutes, and I feed three times a day wet with kibble out when they get hungry when I'm not home.

I can't seem to find a great option to try. Will it be detrimental to his growth to try adult formulas of limited ingredient or sensitive? I can't imagine he's getting great nutrition right now with food running through him, but he drinks plenty of water. The limited ingredient options seem to have some decent quality stuff, but no kitten formulas. Thoughts? I don't have a crazy big budget...at this rate, plain chicken might be cheaper but gosh I want to try all options first, and chicken might bother him.
 

Mamanyt1953

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Many, many cats are allergic to chicken, so that might be the issue. What you want to look for are novel proteins, cat foods that contain only ONE protein, and that not the usual found in cat foods. There are a good many on the market, but I have no experience with them, and don't know them off the top of my head. I would suggest a google search for "novel protein cat foods." That should give you some directions to go in!

Bless you for giving these guys a home, and sticking by them through all of this! OH...be sure to check our Cat Nutrition Forum, here:Cat Nutrition , as well as the Food and Feeding section of the articles! LOT of information in both places!
 

mrsgreenjeens

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I think it is okay to feed Adult food at this point, especially since he is having these issues, and I agree that he may need to go with a novel protein. I also agree it should NOT be chicken.

Have you tried adding probiotics to the mix? We use human ones for our guys, but there are some for that might be better in your case. Ours are basically used for "maintenance" to maintain a healthy gut in our furkids.

Here is another thread with what appears to be a similar problem in a young cat that might have some helpful advice for you: 16 wk Maine Coon Diarrhea 4wks
 

bitkit

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Before going with another protein, I'd personally try an all wet diet and see how things go. For dry, I feed my cats with sensitive stomachs Nulo Cat & Kitten Chicken and Cod, or LID Chicken which is only sold at Petsmart. They all do well on it and the transition was quick and easy.
 
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Lranders29

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Thanks all for the replies. A few answers to some things...

He doesn't seem to eat dry food AT ALL! Not even treats!

I've had him on probiotics for a while now. I will look into the saccharomyces boullardi!

It seems Nulo Turkey and Duck didn't agree with him which was a bummer. I really wonder if it's Turkey and Chicken he can't handle. I went and got some "one protein one veggie" wet cans of Merrick last night and was able to find Chicken, Turkey - even though I bet those are culprits, but wanted to try them separately - and also duck, salmon, tuna, and a different brand of rabbit. I already know Beef and Mackarel are no-nos. I really like Nulo's ingredients and price so I'd like to find something that works.

I know people here don't like Royal Canin and I don't like the ingredients either. When I told the vet yesterday about his continued issues she gave me some cans of their GI formula. Of course, it was his first meal in who knows how long that he didn't have diarrhea within 10 minutes. I hope I can find a protein that works so I can feed him something both better quality and less expensive than RC. I was so happy he didn't get sick though - feel bad he's had food running through him, that can't feel good.
 

Landon&Lucasmom

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There are some parasites and protozoa that cannot be detected on the fecal smears and fecal floats done in the vet's office. Ask you vet for a PCR panel, we had to have this test ordered for our kittens that had chronic loose stool. Most vet's don't offer the PCR test unless you ask. With all the antibiotics your cat has been on, his gut may be damaged and he needs a good probiotic. Pro-Pectalin is a really good, you can also use a bit of slippery elm. Even after treatment for our kittens they continued to have loose stool multiple times a day. We tried several different foods, but the only thing that helped our boy was switching them to a raw diet. Since starting raw they have not had any loose stools and only go once a day.
 
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Lranders29

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There are some parasites and protozoa that cannot be detected on the fecal smears and fecal floats done in the vet's office. Ask you vet for a PCR panel, we had to have this test ordered for our kittens that had chronic loose stool. Most vet's don't offer the PCR test unless you ask. With all the antibiotics your cat has been on, his gut may be damaged and he needs a good probiotic. Pro-Pectalin is a really good, you can also use a bit of slippery elm. Even after treatment for our kittens they continued to have loose stool multiple times a day. We tried several different foods, but the only thing that helped our boy was switching them to a raw diet. Since starting raw they have not had any loose stools and only go once a day.
Thanks for your reply. We talked about that. She mentioned doing another sample and if all else fails, sending it to a vet school to test further. He hasn't had a stool sample done since his last round of Bayril (which he was on for 6 weeks) - so it's no wonder his gut is damaged. What have you done for raw - store bought or home made?
 

Landon&Lucasmom

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Thanks for your reply. We talked about that. She mentioned doing another sample and if all else fails, sending it to a vet school to test further. He hasn't had a stool sample done since his last round of Bayril (which he was on for 6 weeks) - so it's no wonder his gut is damaged. What have you done for raw - store bought or home made?
We order frozen raw from Raw Feeding Miami and also use Blue Ridge Beef and Vital Essentials frozen (not the freeze dried) we buy at a specialty pet store. From the day we brought our kittens home they had horrible diarrhea, they were put on different medications because they couldn't figure out what was wrong with them. Finally we got the PCR panel and they were diagnosed with TF, we treated them. They got somewhat better but still were having loose stool with mucus and blood. 2 days after starting raw they had their first normal poop and we have no issues since then.
 

Mamanyt1953

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Expect this to take some time and experimentation, because every cat is different. I have heard LOTS of good things about a good, complete raw diet, so that would be on my list to try, as well as probiotics. In the end, the very best cat food for your cat is the one that he will both eat, and that does not cause him to have diarrhea, no matter what brand, or form it comes in. NO FOOD is "excellent" for the cat if it stays in the dish!
 
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Lranders29

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Thanks everyone. My next question is - how do I experiment? One can at a time? A week of one kind to see? I know it’s suggested to do slow changes so I’m not sure.
 

stephanietx

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We feed our male cat Royal Canin Gastrointestinal HE and have for about 9 years now. He can't tolerate the completely grain-free diet we have the rest of the tribe on, but we have figured out a ratio between rx food and the grain free food that keeps his poops good.He is not a fan of raw either, so this is what we've found works best for him.
 

Mamanyt1953

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One type at a time, and it can take up to THIRTEEN WEEKS to know for sure. Not always, but it can. This is a project. Get a notebook. Write down brand and type, when you started it, and what the results are. That will keep you sane. Or make an excel spreadsheet, if that is more natural to you.
 
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Lranders29

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One type at a time, and it can take up to THIRTEEN WEEKS to know for sure. Not always, but it can. This is a project. Get a notebook. Write down brand and type, when you started it, and what the results are. That will keep you sane. Or make an excel spreadsheet, if that is more natural to you.
Thanks. This is so frustrating. Found poop outside of the box today too so I’m wondering if it was an accident or if we have other issues on our hands. Tomorrow I’ll get more prescription food and try that for a bit and get another sample re tested. Oh, and a notebook!
 

geodevos

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Hi everyone,
I'm looking for advice related to diarrhea. I have two kittens, I can't be certain of birthdates as they were brought into a shelter as strays, but we can guess one is 6 months old and the other closer to 7 months.

Both have been fighting sicknesses since we brought them home and it's been a battle. Both have had several rounds of strong meds to get rid of bad URIs. Anyway, my boy Neptune has had bad tummy issues this whole time. He's been off antibiotics for about 10 days and things aren't improving. He's been tested for parasites and bacteria several times - only the first time about 6 weeks ago did he test positive and follow ups have been clear. He is now otherwise healthy after the pneumonia cleared up. No mucus or blood in stools. Was in for his last check up for that 10 days ago.

Well, he still seems to have tummy issues. Namely, stools ranging from diarrhea (and a few accidents) to very soft. He's gassy and sometimes looks bloated. When we first got them they were on Chicken Soup kitten formula, then I incorporated some Science Diet. I read more and realized those weren't the best foods but didn't want to switch things while they were sick. Our other cat has been perfectly fine on them. I then tried incorporating Nulo as it seems to have better ingredients in my price range. So they have Nulo wet and some Chicken Soup kibble when they get extra hungry. I tried Taste of the Wild and that was the worst reaction so far - vomit. I can't put my finger on what bothers him - we've tried formulas with: chicken, turkey, beef, salmon, tuna, duck, venison. I've followed directions in changing in stages. Of course, these were multiple protein forms in the same food. All run through him within 45 minutes, and I feed three times a day wet with kibble out when they get hungry when I'm not home.

I can't seem to find a great option to try. Will it be detrimental to his growth to try adult formulas of limited ingredient or sensitive? I can't imagine he's getting great nutrition right now with food running through him, but he drinks plenty of water. The limited ingredient options seem to have some decent quality stuff, but no kitten formulas. Thoughts? I don't have a crazy big budget...at this rate, plain chicken might be cheaper but gosh I want to try all options first, and chicken might bother him.
My elderly (15 and 16) cat gang of four shares several potty boxes. I kept finding one watery bloody deposit with no practical way to discover who was bleeding. I also noticed dry rock hard poops which is a painful constipation symptom of older cats. For the constipation I started adding un-flavored psyllium husk to their food. The hard poos became normal as expected but, (SURPRISE), the bloody diarrhea disappeared too. I never figured out which cat had the bleed problem but it is gone for a year now and never happens anymore. The psyllium husk miraculously cured both diarrhea and constipation. It normalized both problems and I never fail to add it to their meals. They get only a quarter teaspoon twice a day shared among four cats. I got NOW brand psyllium husk powder from Amazon. It's for humans and I take it myself on occasion. Psyllium husk is easy to find. My first batch was from Walmart but it was flavored which I hated and the cats rejected it. They don't mind the un-flavored stuff. Please try this very cheap harmless remedy before anything else. And good luck.
 
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Lranders29

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Hi again all,
I’m continuing Neptune on the RC GI high energy and wet Merrick limited ingredient duck. I’ve added probiotics AND sweet potato. Stools have gone from thick liquid to soft serve ice cream - sorry if that’s gross. He’s still very gassy and smelly! How long do I continue on those foods since there’s been very little improvement? I know a poster said it can take up to 13 weeks to see a change. Sister is on the same wet food and gets some (like 1/4 c per day) of Merrick backcountry kibble.

I also took him to a new vet for a second opinion. They checked him over and tested a stool sample and retested for FIV - thankfully negative. That vet is thinking Haws Syndrome - haws had popped up last week. The vet agreed it wouldn’t be good to switch up food right away either.

Any suggestions?
 

geodevos

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Never heard of Merrick. My cats (see post above) get IAMS regular kibble in the orange bag, 1/4 cup Twice a day, soaked up with enough water to make it soft, plus psyllium husk mixed in. I briefly added some unflavored kefir drink (that I take myself) (from Walmart) for the probiotic. I think the kefir helped more than the expensive probiotic powder from the vet. Kefir relieved my diarrhea but taking it daily resulted in ....how shall I say it? ....constipation. So it can be overdone. Considering that experience I only gave kefir to the cats until their stool looked normal. I've continued psyllium daily for months now with good results.
 
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