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Working and Companion Animals From Kittens to Homestead hounds, bring your dog and cat questions here!


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  #1  
Old 01/03/17, 05:36 PM
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Best cat food for digestive troubles!

I have an 11 yr old cat that is having a hard time with throwing up occasionally and icky, runny poop. This has gone one for some time, she's been to the vet, responded somewhat to antibiotics for a time, it comes back. She's had blood work done, he didn't find anything wrong there. She has been wormed. Also, she is very thin, any tricks to help her gain back some weight would be great. She feels fine, quite lively and happy, just her digestive tract seems to give her trouble.

My main thought at this time is food intolerance. I am looking for a high quality single protein source, no grain type cat food for her, either dry or canned or frozen raw. If it could be found at a pet store, or other local store great, if not I will mail order it.

So, I would love to hear suggestions, people's experiences with various cat foods, etc. Thanks for your help!
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  #2  
Old 01/03/17, 09:54 PM
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We had a cat with horrible allergies. Only thing we found was raw diet. We started taking any organ that we didn't want, (lung, spleen, excess liver and heart), sometimes a little old meat from the freezer, dice it all up and add just a little lard. (Maybe a cup to 5 pounds of meat).We ground the whole mess along with around a quarter to a third cooked white rice by volume in a sausage grinder, when we had it dirty. Freeze in small ziplocks. If you have small critters, and some old grinder plates, you can do bones and all. We used squirrel or rabbit that was shot up too bad, and some young cockerels that we didn't want to feed any more, but not quite big enough to be worthwhile. We just saved up stuff in the freezer, thawed it out when we were going to grind something else, and then re-froze a big batch. Most amazing health turn around I've ever seen. Wouldn't have given a nickel for that cat, missing hair, skin and bones and in six months he looked fat and shiny. We think it was a fish allergy, hard to find cat food without some fish by-product. I don't know why we started mixing with the cooked rice, my wife's idea, but it worked really well to bind everything and it soaked up all the blood. It is horrible looking stuff, but they love it, we still feed the stuff, even though the cat we have now didn't have allergy problems, she is 10 and bounces around like a kitten.
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  #3  
Old 01/03/17, 10:33 PM
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Thanks! I'm not really in a position at this time to make raw cat food, I wish I were! I really hope for someone that has tried a commercial brand and can recommend either for or against it. I'm sure just raw food would work great.
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  #4  
Old 01/04/17, 08:48 AM
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If you have a good pet store nearby, check with them. Many of them keep a freezer with frozen, raw foods now. It's kind of the "in" thing, but does work well. I feed my dogs some raw with every meal of good, meat based kibble, and get bones from a local hunter. Cats can be picky eaters, but it's worth looking into. My older cat doesn't like many things, but will eat cooked chicken, so that's what she gets along with one of the best kibble, grain free.
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  #5  
Old 01/07/17, 10:36 PM
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Try this:
http://www.veterinarypartner.com/Con...&S=0&C=0&A=598
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  #6  
Old 01/08/17, 12:17 AM
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That's very useful, thanks!
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  #7  
Old 01/08/17, 02:08 AM
 
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You don’t have to “make” raw food. You get a bag of chicken wings. Take one, put some butter on it, or maybe make slits and put in kibble to get her to eat it. There is no need to grind it unless the poor thing is toothless.

Might also try kefir. It has over 30 probiotics that will aid digestion.
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  #8  
Old 01/08/17, 02:15 AM
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I'm about to try kefir for myself.

Right now, availability for things like chicken wings is poor - I live 30 miles from a grocery store and we've done our shopping for the month. However, if I have a chance to go to town for something, I will certainly consider it. What would you use if you wanted to avoid chicken and go for a less ordinary protein? I'd really like to get her on a protein she hasn't been eating.
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  #9  
Old 01/08/17, 12:46 PM
 
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The thing with chicken is that they are small. Your pet gets skin (vitamin K), muscle, ligaments, and young bones. With beef, only muscle meat and maybe some bone. They need a high ratio of bone to muscle, which only a small animal will give. Few grocery stores carry rabbit, let alone mouse, rat, gopher, goldfish. If your store carries fish that would be ideal. It is more expensive, but would be a nice addition for variety, especially for a cat.

Your cat might even eat canned fish. Mackerel is the best choice because it is a deep see fish. I used to feed it to my dog every once in a while, but in his old age he won’t eat it (a bit of dementia). I think canned mackerel is probably a better choice than commercial cat food because it is just fish with no additives, other than oil for packing.

If you can’t find kefir, go to a health store (local rather than GNC) and see what they have. I’m not sure if cats need additional Vitamin C. Commercial foods have no C and predators would naturally get trace amounts in raw meat. C helps with inflammation and many other things.
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  #10  
Old 01/08/17, 01:35 PM
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Oh, canned fish is an excellent idea! I don't know if she'd eat it, but I do have ducks and duck eggs. I haven't been raising any for butcher, but the eggs should be acceptable as part of an alternative diet. I also have access to raw cow's liver from some mostly grass raised healthy cows if I want to include bits of that. At this point, anything she can eat that gets her off of normal cat food and away from the proteins she's been eating would be better than nothing. She's still lively and seems to feel good, but I really want to turn around this digestive tract problem and get some weight on her. Would water canned tuna be ok for now? She loves it and I have plenty in the pantry.

I can get kefir online if need be, I will look into that today. My daughter started using it recently and says she is feeling great.
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  #11  
Old 01/09/17, 12:11 PM
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I got my kefir from romysbaskets here on HomesteadingToday. Here's a link to her post on the barter board.

I have 10 orders available of Kefir Grains $5 each

Her kefir arrived healthy and raring to go. She helped answer my newbie questions, and I've been making kefir ever since.
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  #12  
Old 01/09/17, 12:48 PM
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Thank you! I've contacted her, if the cat doesn't like it, I will!

Also, had a great idea for my cat. She hasn't eaten well for a long time, but she LOVES tuna fish. I'm trying some high end canned food that looked promising, but she wasn't so keen on - I mixed some tuna into it and she gobbled it right down. Since I started trying grain free and limited protein source canned cat food, her tummy does seem to be doing better, so am excited about going this direction and possibly doing the straight canned mackerel or tuna at least part of the time. Thanks for the canned fish idea, Maura! BTW, is there any problem with water canned tuna? (At this point, I just want her to eat more of something that doesn't upset her tummy horribly, balanced nutrition is secondary to that.)
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  #13  
Old 01/09/17, 01:01 PM
 
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I’m sure water canned is fine, it’s what I prefer for myself. With oil, I think that is what mackerel is in so there’s no choice. Just drain the tuna because there is also salt added. The tuna is unlikely to have bones/cartilege, but the mackerel will. This is a good thing as bone should be included in a raw or predator diet.
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  #14  
Old 01/09/17, 04:02 PM
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Ok, I'm sure oil would be fine for her, she needs to gain weight anyway. I'll look for mackerel next chance I get.
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  #15  
Old 01/13/17, 10:34 PM
 
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Actually, high oil levels can upset animal tummies so I'd drain it anyhow. I'd like to give my two cents on catfood...

Try to feed wet catfood. Wet catfood is way better than dry. Many cats have some level of chronic dehydration going on because they don't drink enough water to make up for eating real meat vs dry kibble. Lots of studies on this.
http://www.littlebigcat.com/health/w...canned-food-2/
I think this article sums it up.

You can absolutely find rat, mouse, guinea pig, goldfish and rabbit if you look past your local grocer. Most petstores carry these items for snakes, lizards and bigger fish, both live and frozen. Per lb they are on the priceier side, but if you're grasping at straws...? A large rat may run you $15 at a pet store and goldfish will be $1 for 5 2 inch long fish. Almost every pet store will carry frozen rats, mice and live goldfish as feeders. Rabbits, mice and rats are not particularly difficult to raise on your own either if you can find live breeding pairs. If it works, you can order guinea pigs, rats, mice and goldfish bulk online from reptile/fish sites for cheap. Reptile owners are great people if you're looking to feed a cat whole prey.

Also, I would skip the kefir and go straight for the probiotic powder. Kefir is made with (usually pastuerized/homogenized cows) milk and while it's nearly lactose free, when you have an animal with a glass stomach, why risk anything strange going in and making it worse? A big container of probios will cost you $10 so way cheaper than kefir and will last you a good long while. You can find it at most farm stores and some pet shops.

Lastly, (and this goes with my first point) I would suggest investing in a cat fountain to help increase your cat's fluid intake. If a cat fountain is too expensive, a gravity fed bowl may be better than a still bowl. We had something like this for our cat as a kid;
https://www.walmart.com/ip/7694856?
with a water-proof placemat under it. He drank more water that way because he'd paw some of the water out so that the water would be "running" and then drink.

You may even be able to set something up with a simple water pump like one of these;
https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00EWENMAU/
If it doesn't scare your cat. It's cheap and may be worth a try.

Good luck!
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