Cat food/stomach illness advice please?

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Cat food/stomach illness advice please?

Postby JadeScarlet » Mon Jan 27, 2014 2:34 pm

I was a member years ago, but I couldn't figure out my old username so here I am again.

We have 3 cats: Angel (age 10), Huckleberry and Agatha (Age 3)

We've just moved and are having trouble finding a cat food that suits our cats. Angel and Huckleberry throw up occasionally. I think all of them have diarrhea. Lately the litterboxes have just been gross. Every single poop that turns up is either loose and smooshy or downright runny. And someone is missing the box and going on the floor outside the box. Not sure who though.

1. Is it food? What brand should we try? We used to live in Brazil and they ate a Brazilian brand that isn't available here, but it was supposed to be "all natural food for indoor castrated cats." They liked it. They get dry (available all day in a feeder) and wet food is put out every evening (friskies). They got friskies wet food in Brazil also, we didn't have a lot of options. Since we got back we tried Nutro but they didn't like it and now we have some other natural brand but since we switched to that they started getting sick. I've also seen that Blue natural catfood in the store but haven't tried it yet. I don't want to keep switching brands but I want to find something that is healthy and that keeps their tummies happy. And it has to come in round pellets. For some reason the cats only eat round pellets. The little flat pellets just don't work for them.

2. Is it an illness?

3. Is it a reaction to flea treatment? We just did a dose of advantage on all 3 cats. They are indoor cats but one of them has recently taken to going outside and sleeping under a tree during the day. She never leaves the yard though.

I guess what I really want to know is - should I find a new brand of food and give it some time to see if it works for them or should I take them to the vet to be checked sooner?

They all had a comprehensive wellness exam before we moved them into the US last August. And they were fine for the first few months, its only lately these tummy issues have turned up.

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Re: Cat food/stomach illness advice please?

Postby neko2 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 4:55 pm

Could be the move, location of the box, age of the cats, type of box, etc.
I used a US covered box for years but then the oldest decided she couldn't get in (scrubbing floors at 8 pm is not fun) so we had to go back to the German covered box. It uses a lot more litter.
Also they get colds like we do. If the diarrhea is still going for more than a day, I'd take them to the vet to make sure they hadn't gotten into something.
Don't know if that helps or not but I hope so.
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Re: Cat food/stomach illness advice please?

Postby lenawest » Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:06 pm

One of my older boys went thru this recently. Vet decided it was basically Irritable Bowel Syndrome. He came back negative for parasites and infections. It was months before I realized how bad it was. She gave him daily Proviable capsules and The prescription gastro pet food. It worked wonders. He still ate regualr dry foos and wet food, but I gave him a small handful of the prescription stuff every day. On a sour note, with him, it was a side effect illness of being FIV positive. BUT it's not always a side effect, it can be a condition in and of itself!
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Re: Cat food/stomach illness advice please?

Postby wolfsdawn2 » Mon Jan 27, 2014 5:40 pm

:( I hate to say it, but it could well be a combination of "all of the above".

IF it were me, I'd consider feeding all of them plain chicken boiled in slightly salty water for a couple of days and give their collective tummies a chance to settle down. Also, sterilize their feeding and water bowls and litter boxes as well as the areas surrounding their food and litter boxes, JUST to be careful.

Taking them, or at least taking the worst-off, to the vets is ALWAYS a good idea when in doubt.

Also remember that no matter how good a new food is supposed to be for them, ANY switching from one pre-prepared food to another one CAN cause tummy upsets, so the switch needs to be ANNOYINGLY slow.
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Re: Cat food/stomach illness advice please?

Postby Honeybun » Tue Jan 28, 2014 12:15 am

For my cat I try to feed her food with low to no cereal content. In her case she doesn't get diarrhea but it affects her skin to have too much wheat in her diet. I can't help with brands though as I'm in the UK, I feed her butcher's classic and james welbeloved, I don't think you can get them in the US.
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Re: Cat food/stomach illness advice please?

Postby Calypso » Tue Jan 28, 2014 8:13 pm

Unless the food you're giving them is actually bad in some way (like tainted), it's pretty unlikely that all three would suffer from gastro issues due to diet alone. Although changing an animal's diet can affect them in terms of causing vomiting or diarrhea, it wouldn't likely continue on and on as their bodies would adjust. That said, I would hazard a guess that it's more likely that they have some sort of illness like a parasite or something. If it's the flea treatment then that too should wear off.

Being that you moved, perhaps they're getting into something that they shouldn't be? Some kind of chemical or access to food they shouldn't be eating?

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Re: Cat food/stomach illness advice please?

Postby JadeScarlet » Thu Jan 30, 2014 12:42 pm

Thanks for all of the great advice. We still aren't sure which or all of the cats it is, because at least one of them is making normal "deposits" in the boxes. I think its most likely Huckleberry - 3 year old male - because I've witnessed him throwing up lately, and his "deposits" are much larger than the two female cats, and the diarrhea is quite massive. There was another big pile of it this morning, on the bath mat in the bathroom, not even near the boxes. And another in the children's play room... The latest food I've tried is Blue buffalo holistic cat food, and we have the sensitive stomach version, so maybe they are still getting used to it (I changed it this weekend when I realized we had run out of the old food and I couldn't find it at the store - that has been a big frustration, trying one brand of cat food then the store is out of it when I need another bag). If I get a chance I'll try boiling some chicken for them, but my time is stretched thin these days (I have two small children plus I'm pregnant due to give birth any day now). My kids never get sick, but these poor kitties seem to be having a rough week, or at least one of them is.

The flea treatment was over a week ago, so it should be over. One of them did have fleas and the fleas are all gone now. We've been in the new house for 4 months now and they only just started getting sick last week. If it happened once I'd say maybe its just that they ate too much or found something, but its now every day.

I'm taking Huck to the vet tomorrow to see what they say and then I'll bring the other two in if it looks like something that they all have.

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Re: Cat food/stomach illness advice please?

Postby JadeScarlet » Sat Feb 01, 2014 8:37 pm

Good news no parasites or worms!

Of course the day I take him to the vet is the day the diarrhea stops. We've been on the new food a solid week, the litterboxes seem normal again, and they gave us some antibiotics just in case. If those don't work or if it comes back then they want us to try a prescription cat food and feed him separately from the other cats, which would be a challenge (normally we leave dry food out all day long and then just do wet food at night). But I'm hopeful that things are looking better for Mr. Huckleberry and that this new food will make all three of them happy. The vet said he was well hydrated and seemed normal otherwise.

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Re: Cat food/stomach illness advice please?

Postby Honeybun » Tue Feb 04, 2014 12:57 am

Did you suddenly change their food or weane them onto it? That could have been the problem.

Good luck with the baby :happy:
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Re: Cat food/stomach illness advice please?

Postby JadeScarlet » Thu Feb 27, 2014 6:11 pm

Sigh....a month later, the same cat that had diarrhea is now throwing up every day for about 4 days now. No changes in food, they've now been on the same brand for over a month and the other two are fine. No one is having diarrhea at the moment, the litter boxes seem normal.

Could it be a hairball?

Or should I go back to the vet - she said if he didn't get better then he might need prescription cat food, which would mean we'd have to start feeding them separately. How do you do this? We currently leave dry food out all day. I'm guessing we'd have to shut the sick cat in the laundry room with his prescription food at the same time we put the regular food in the kitchen for the others, then give them some time to eat, then take the food away again when we let him out? And just feed them twice a day? Three times a day?

We have a newborn baby at home now and yet its the cat that is giving us the most worries. He spits up more than the baby.


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