T.C. - the first cat with chronic diarrhea with which I had experience and success
Does your cat have chronic diarrhea? Have you tried everything to help the cat in conjunction with your veterinarian? Does your cat still struggle after trying many things?
Chronic diarrhea can have many causes and probably many solutions. I have found that focusing on the cat's diet is the best solution for getting things under control.
In 2004 my cat was 14 years old and I was seeking to feed him a more healthy diet. I fed him some canned food that contained vegetables. As a result of that, he got explosive diarrhea which occurred 5 times a day. I brought him to the veterinarian and they prescribed a medication for 2 weeks. After 2 weeks there was little change to his diarrhea and we returned to the veterinarian and they prescribed another round of the same medication. It didn't work. The veterinarian gave me a couple of possible causes of his diarrhea that would need further medical tests & examination. Meanwhile my cat also started vomiting so I turned to the internet to find out as much as I could about his condition. I found the website: catinfo.org that promotes feeding cats a homemade raw food meat diet when they are experiencing chronic diarrhea. The website contained a recipe with step by step instructions for how to prepare the food. I decided to give it a try. My cat's diarrhea stopped in 3 days of feeding him the homemade food. I was blown away after seeing his 6 week chronic diarrhea, stop. I continued feeding him a homemade diet until he passed away 3 years later.
Since then, I have volunteered to foster cats with chronic diarrhea for a local animal shelter. This is after the shelter veterinarians have tried different options in their facility and the diarrhea has not been resolved. Sometime the cats need an extended time in a foster home to concentrate on feeding the cat a constistent diet that will resolve their issues.
What can we do to help these cats?
1. Homemade food. I recommend a homemade raw food diet as described on the catinfo.org website. I suggest using chicken as the protein source, if the cat can tolerate it. Most cats that I have fostered, respond to this homemade diet within 3-5 days. Their diarrhea stops. I keep feeding them this homemade diet and nothing else, for a month. Then I transition them to a high quality, grain-free commercial food over a period of a couple of weeks. If their diarrhea returns (it usually doesn't) I stop feeding commercial foods & go back to the homemade food. Some cats need the homemade food for a longer period of time. I have had foster cats for up to 4 months trying to resolve their diarrhea with this diet.
2. Change the protein source. If the chicken-based homemade diet doesn't seem to make a difference after a week or 2 or if vomiting starts, try a different protein source in the homemade recipe. I have fostered cats who can't tolerate chicken so they need another protein source; turkey, beef, etc.
3. Digestive Enzymes. I have seen amazing results for some cats using the OptaGest enzyme. 1/4 teaspoon in their food each day is all that it takes for some cats to resolve their diarrhea. This can be purchased at many pet food stores or online.
4. Other remedies. In conjunction with the homemade diet, try some other remedies that veterinarians have provided in this book, Veterinarians' Guide to Natural Remedies for Cats by Martin Zucker. This book has been so helpful for trying other things to help cats for which the homemade diet has not resolved their diarrhea. There are many other remedies explained in this book.
5. Homeopathy. I have successfully tried homeopathic remedies that fit the diarrhea symptoms explained in this book: Homeopathic Care for Cats and Dogs, Small Doses for Small Animals by Don Hamilton, D.V.M. I have carefully given a remedy & waited to see if there were results before I continued with another dose. If you are uncomfortable with this, consult with a veterinarian who administers homeopathic remedies and work with them to find the proper remedy.
6. Grain-Free food. Cats are carnivores, they need to eat meat. They basically were not made to eat grains. Even if commercial pet food manufacturers market their food with grains to be fed to cats, feed your cat a grain-free food. Grain-free canned food is preferred over grain-free dry food. There are many different choices of grain-free foods in stores now.
7. Patience. Some cases take a very long time to completely resolve. Some cats can't tolerate commercial foods, even high quality commercial food. I know people who have fed a raw food diet for 5 years, then transitioned to cooking the meat for another 5 years and then the cat is able to tolerate a high quality grain-free commercial food. So that is 10 years of patiently feeding the cat quality homemade food before they returned to a high quality, grain-free commercial food. Be patient. Sometimes things are not resolved in a week or a month or two.
8. Always consult with a holistic veterinarian if you are uncomfortable with any of these suggestions and if the cats symptoms do not improve or worsen. There can be many underlying issues with diarrhea and a veterinarian can examine and evaluate your cat to find the most appropriate solution.
Here are several cats that have been successfully treated with the suggestions above:
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