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Feeding advice for a stray cat with diarrhea

July 7th, 2005, 09:22 PM
Hello everyone,

I'm new to this board (found it through Google), and I could really use some advice.

Over the 4th of July weekend, my husband and I found a stray cat, and took her home.

She had clearly been out on her own for a very long time, extremely skinny (you can see her bones) and dehydrated. We took her to the vet on Tuesday, and they gave Panacur to put in her food for the next five days. They said we should try to address the malnutrition first, and then to bring her back for additional tests.

My question is, her appetite is good, but she does have diarrhea in addition to regular stools, which may be the result of parasites, or just simply to being unused to regular feeding for a very long time. The Panacur is supposed to address that, but while we wait, can any of you advise me of foods that might be best for her sensitive tummy? Right now I'm just giving her canned chicken, as that seems to have the best result, but if there's any advice any of you could give, I'd really appreciate it.

Nicole :)

July 8th, 2005, 02:45 AM
Her ordeal has likely led her to be scared she might not have food for awhile (poor baby!!!) and she aywant to gobble everything you give her. . Usually, vets recommend gradually introducing or re-introducing small quantities of a light, easily digestible diet. Boiled rice is a good food to give her and to add chicken-rice dinners as the diarrhea subsides. A low fat high protein diet with lots of fibre seems to be best - like chicken and rice. You might also try adding unflavoured yogurt or if you have them, probiotics - Lactobacillus acidophilus 1/4 capsule per 10lbs of body weight twice daily to restore the natural bacteria in the intestineand to help the intestinal immune system. Yogurt used to work extremely well with my bunny - especially when he was a geezer bun but I find it easier to administer capsules to the cats. My bunny actually liked banana yogurt but then again, he also favoured Lucky Charms which contained way too much sugar for him.

Canned pumpkin is also highly recommended (1tsp/day).

Diarrhea can be a symptom of so many conditions she may have developed while out in the wild - worms, infectious diseases like coccidia - and until the workup is totally complete, it may be hard to know - ir is it complete?

Whatever you opt to do, it would be good to confer with your vet to make sure it's OK. Good luck!!!

July 8th, 2005, 08:26 AM
Oh, what a lucky cat, so kind of you to take her in. When they're starving, cats will eat anything: dirt, garbage, dead animals. She probably has worms, and a very tender digestive system. Cyber is right on, plain chicken, cooked white rice, a bit of plain yogurt. And if she'll let you, lots of touching, to reduce her anxiety. Come back and let us know how she does!

July 8th, 2005, 03:05 PM
Thanks Cyber and Badger for the advice. I'm going to try to add rice, maybe mixed in with the chicken that I've been giving her. And I was wondering about yogurt, I know it's supposed to be good for digestion.

Cyber, are the probiotics you mentioned an over the counter thing? I'm in San Diego, so not sure if I can get them over the counter here.

As soon as my next paycheck comes, I do plan to take her to the vet for a follow-up workup. The Panacur is supposed to help with any intestinal parasites, and I've been giving that to her daily mixed with her food.

You're right, she definitely a gobbler, and I've been giving her small doses of food throughout the course of the day, rather than one big helping, which seems to bring on the diarrhea more readily.

I'll keep you posted as to how she's doing. Thanks again!

Nicole :)

August 25th, 2005, 09:07 PM
That story makes me think of a wild cat i found a few years ago. It was really cold out, -30 and the poor thing was in my bird feeder eating the seeds.
I mico waved some canned cat food for him and he just inhaled it. He came around every night for his food. I gave him as much as he could eat. I couldn't get near him, he would growl and hiss. I tried to get him into our garage but no luck. Poor bugger disappeared one night and I never saw him again. :sad:

Lucky Rescue
November 14th, 2005, 01:17 PM
Yes, large meals for a starving cat will definitely bring on horrible diarrhea. Been there done that.:(

Small meals of plain boiled chicken and rice or rice water added should help. When she's better you can start adding small amounts of whatever you want her to eat.

The vet also sells canned food for gastric problems and it does seem to help!

Thanks for taking in this poor kitty!:)

November 14th, 2005, 02:21 PM
Yes, probiotics can be found OTC at a health store or even a grocery store where the vitamin / heath food section is. (or at a pharmacy). They are probably cheapest at a grocery store. GNC has them but they are eexpensive, imho! Do you have Walgreen's or is that just an east coast co.? Sometimes, they have good sales on vitamins and that kind of thing.

Thank you (not sure I said this the 1st time) for taking in this kitty. You are a kitty :angel: !! How is she?

December 7th, 2005, 05:07 PM
A feral I rescued was also having diarrhea in my care after regular vaccinations and de-worming meds. I was giving her dry food only and leaving it out to eat as much as she wanted. Though others on this board may have better advice about how to introduce her to regular meals, I would like to tell you that my feral cat's system self-adjusted and she did stop her diarrhea without any meds or special foods after a few weeks. Keep a close eye on possible dehydration, worms and she should not progress to vomiting. Make regular appointments with your vet until the situation resolves.