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Constant diarrhea in mom's cat

gsurosey
November 25th, 2009, 10:03 PM
Hello one and all

I'm new here, so please tell me if I do something wrong. This may be a bit long, so I apologize for that.

Anyway, I'm posting a question for my mom. She has an indoor/outdoor cat that she has had for a few years (about 4-5 years maybe, I'm not sure). He was a stray and she took him in when he kept coming back to her yard. The entire time she has had him, he has had diarrhea problems. Here's some history on him that may help.

He doesn't show any signs of any kind of medical problem. He's picky about what kind of cat food he eats. When she first decided to take him in, she went through a bunch of different food choices until she found what he would eat. Only certain brands of dry food and certain brands/consistencies of wet food; anything else he'll stick his nose up at. When he does go outside, he will hunt/kill small critters.

He's been treated before for possible parasite infections, worms, and no one is sure why he always has diarrhea. He doesn't show that he's uncomfortable or in pain at all. Other than the diarrhea problem, he seems to be a happy and healthy cat. Is there anything that can be done, or even needs to be? Can he have this constant problem and still be OK?

Thanks for your help.

luckypenny
November 25th, 2009, 10:49 PM
Welcome to pets.ca, gsurosey :).

When was the last time this cat went to the vet? Has he been vaccinated? Is he neutered? Is there grain in his food? When was he de-wormed last?

There are all sorts of issues a cat can have that would cause diarrhea. Has a stool sample ever been brought to the vets for an analysis?

14+kitties
November 25th, 2009, 11:06 PM
There are numerous things that could be causing issues. As LP stated, it could be worms or other parasites. It could be the food kitty is eating. He may have an allergy to something that is in the food. That is the common reason for diarrhea. I see you said he has been treated for worms. Has this been recently?
One of the problems with having an indoor/outdoor kitty is that you never know what kitty is eating when he is outside. If he is not treated for parasites on a regular basis he could be getting reinfected time and time again.

Now, as for the food. Cats are meat eaters. They do not need, nor is it beneficial to them, to have grains in their food. In fact it can cause some major issues with cat health. Especially males. Getting rid of the dry food altogether is probably one of the best things your mom can do for her cat. Cats need their water with their food, not beside it. Therefore the best food you can feed them is a good quality canned food like Wellness, Nature's Instinct, Evo, Merricks, etc. A raw diet would be the optimum for the cat. Seeing as he already is eating mice and birds getting him to eat better quality food like raw chicken should be a breeze.
The website I posted is one of the best sites you can read for information on the dos and don'ts of feeding cats. It is one that one of our best kitty gurus has told many people about. I am sure she will be posting here as well. :D

http://www.catinfo.org/

Your mom could add a small amount of pure pumpkin or squash to the cat's wet food. Make sure it is pure pumpkin, not the pie filling. It helps to get rid of the diarrhea. She could also try a small amount of Slippery Elm which is available at Health Food stores and good pharmacies in capsule form. Depending on the cat's size he would probably need about 1/3 of a capsule mixed in with his wet food.

gsurosey
November 25th, 2009, 11:22 PM
Yes, he is neutered and he is up-to-date on his shots. She has brought I believe multiple stool samples to the vet (I'll ask her if they said anything since I don't actually know what the outcome of that was). He has been treated for worms and parasites not b/c he had them that they know of, but basically as they don't know what's causing his diarrhea so they'll try this treatment type thing.

His most recent vet trip was because he was missing for a couple days. The neighbor's cat beat him up and he was stuck in the neighbor's shed for a couple days (my mom saw the cat come home and the neighbor's cat has beat him up many times). He has gotten IV fluids a couple times for dehydration as a result of being beaten up and therefore not eating/drinking. After treatment, he gets better in that respect but still the diarrhea continues.

She tries to keep him in the house so he doesn't keep losing fights but he really likes it outside during the day, so she lets him roam around on the weekends when she is home to let him in. He prefers to go to the bathroom outside and only uses his litter box during the week when he is in all day and basically has no choice. Even after he gets beaten up, he meows and paws on the door to go outside.

Since he's had this as long as she's had him, she thinks maybe something happened before he came to live with her. My mom doesn't know where the cat came from; he just kept wandering into the yard before she finally decided to let him stay and invited him into the house.

Friskies 'Seafood Sensations' is the dry food he eats. I'm not sure what's in it. I'll check back tomorrow. Thanks guys.

Hazmat
November 26th, 2009, 04:02 AM
Try a different Vet. I know some love their Vets. But a good people person isn't necessarily a good vet. For example I've been to a very high cost Vet. who was very very nice and personable, but most issues he farmed out problems: sending me to a specialist. He was/is the nicest guy in the world. He cost me at least twice the money I spent. Often costing huge amounts of money.

I moved and had to get another Vet. was cheaper, he did not have the people person skills that I was used to. At first I hated him. That was until I needed a blood test. The first Vet. would have farmed me out and/or sent me 70 miles to get a second opinion or would have farmed out the blood test to a Lab, which would take 2 or 3 days to get results back. Even then I would get a run around.

The second Vet. laid it on the line, told me what was needed. He was blunt and rude. At first I hated him! Then I needed another blood test. He had the blood lab report, and gave me the computer printout 20 minutes later! 20 freaking minutes, on site! that doesn't count tests that take days but I got printouts of those a few days later.

First Vet. very nice, fancy building and parking lot. and big bucks. Second Vet. blunt and sometimes rude and in a small building with almost no parking lot.

I'll take the second Vet. anytime. He costs a lot less and I can deal with his personality and freaking parking. My pets are getting treated right!

ps:that Friskies 'Seafood Sensations' is probably not very good. Although I do not subscribe to the Wet food only thing that most on this board promote. That Friskies looks like mostly corn.

PSS: My Maine Coon cat had diarrhea for a year. I am thinking that he finally got used to the food I feed him. As for as the cat eating critters, I am thinking that if you are feeding him he is probably not eating the critters that he is catching.

Now I shall sit back and wait for the anti-dry food posts :)

14+kitties
November 26th, 2009, 07:18 AM
PSS: As for as the cat eating critters, I am thinking that if you are feeding him he is probably not eating the critters that he is catching.

Why would you think that Hazmat? This confuses me. I do have some feral cats I feed very well. In fact one lives in my porch most of the time when she isn't out hunting. I feed her canned twice a day and she gets a very small amount of treats. I still find the evidence every morning and usually once or twice through the day that she had indeed eaten mice. She brings them into the porch to eat and leaves the guts behind. :yuck: If the cat is eating Friskies dry then the mice and birds he is catching while outside are probably ambrosia to him.

Love4himies
November 26th, 2009, 08:03 AM
Why would you think that Hazmat? This confuses me. I do have some feral cats I feed very well. In fact one lives in my porch most of the time when she isn't out hunting. I feed her canned twice a day and she gets a very small amount of treats. I still find the evidence every morning and usually once or twice through the day that she had indeed eaten mice. She brings them into the porch to eat and leaves the guts behind. :yuck: If the cat is eating Friskies dry then the mice and birds he is catching while outside are probably ambrosia to him.

I agree, my Snowball who was very well fed was also a mouser. He would eat the head and leave the rest for me on the deck :yuck:

Friskies is a crappy cat food and is probably the reason for the diarrhea. Some cats can't tolerate any grains/corn in their food and some can't tolerate any commercial cat food and need to be on a raw diet, The only way you will know for sure is to change his diet.

gsurosey
November 26th, 2009, 09:32 AM
Hmmm. The diet suggestions intrigue me (and my mom currently standing over my shoulder).

When the cat does hunt, not only does he eat some of his kill, but he also plays with it. He tosses mice or whatever he gets into the air and bats it around (I didn't believe my mom until I actually saw it myself). As for what else he gets into when he's wandering around, there's pretty much no way to know. There's a trailer park nearby and we don't know if he eats anything from there or not. It's a fairly residential area in the middle of nowhere.

I wonder how he would take a food change. I've been doing some searching about changing cat diet and whatnot. When my mom first took him in, it took her weeks to figure out what he would and would not even eat. She went through a few brands and types of cat food. This is her first cat. We've always been dog people, so she knows less about the cat world. Every dog we've ever had would eat almost anything, so she wasn't used to him turning his nose up at a bunch of stuff.

Oh, and the wet food he eats is Friskies brand, too. It has to be the big chunky stuff. If it's the stuff that's ground up, he won't eat it. My sister always says that for a stray, he's pretty picky.

I'm not sure if this is relevant, but my mom found out that someone down the street was the one who neutered him. She doesn't ever talk to him so she doesn't know how that process went for him. She did say he isn't a vet, so she's not sure if when he fixed the cat something happened to him and if that has anything to do with this.

I thank you all for your suggestions. I don't have regular Internet access (only here at my moms and I'm only here through this holiday weekend), so I'm trying to gather what I can before I go back to my place. She does check her e-mail and stuff pretty much everyday though. Let me know if anyone here wants to get in touch w/ her directly.

*Note: I mean no disrespect to her cat by not mentioning his name; in fact I'm sparing him. How he got his name is a long story in which the short version is that not knowing the first thing about cats, she thought he was a she so he has a very female name.

gsurosey
November 26th, 2009, 09:39 AM
Oh yeah, my mom also mentioned that she thinks that the cat thinks he's part dog in that he drinks a lot, and does some things such as paw and cry at the door to go out (HATES to use the litter box and only does if he's in the house all day). He likes to be the center of attention and sometimes will lay in the middle of the couch or kitchen table to be around people.

14+kitties
November 26th, 2009, 09:49 AM
:wall: If the neighbour down the road "neutered" him himself first off he deserves to be shot! The way it is done is that elastic bands are put around a cat or dog's sac very very tightly. This very slowly cuts off blood circulation to that area and the sac eventually falls off. It is very very archaic. I wonder how the man would like someone to do that to him! :wall:
The neutering will have nothing to do with the diarrhea. That is almost positively diet related. Please take some time to read the website I gave you previously in this thread. It really would open your eyes.
I did mention some good quality canned foods in my first post as well. Wellness has a pouch that has chunky food in it. Some of the canned food is chunky as well. It takes some trial and error to find the ones your mom's kitty will like but for his health it is well worth it. Yes, it is more expensive. Believe me, the cost is nothing compared to vet bills further down the road.
Is there some reason your mom can not keep the cat indoor only? I know you said the cat meows and scratches at the door. That would be a good time to divert the cat's attention from going outside by playing with him and keeping him occupied. It is entirely possible to change an outdoor kitty to an indoor one.
Good luck. Your mom is about to embark on a good journey with her kitty. :cloud9:

14+kitties
November 26th, 2009, 09:52 AM
Oh yeah, my mom also mentioned that she thinks that the cat thinks he's part dog in that he drinks a lot, and does some things such as paw and cry at the door to go out (HATES to use the litter box and only does if he's in the house all day). He likes to be the center of attention and sometimes will lay in the middle of the couch or kitchen table to be around people.

The drinking a lot can be good. It can also mean there is a hidden medical reason for it. Has your mother taken him in for a complete health check lately? Blood work, urine testing, etc.? Cats usually do not drink a whole lot which is one of the biggest reasons that dry food is a no no.

14+kitties
November 26th, 2009, 10:07 AM
When the cat does hunt, not only does he eat some of his kill, but he also plays with it. He tosses mice or whatever he gets into the air and bats it around (I didn't believe my mom until I actually saw it myself). As for what else he gets into when he's wandering around, there's pretty much no way to know. There's a trailer park nearby and we don't know if he eats anything from there or not. It's a fairly residential area in the middle of nowhere.

That is completely normal. Cats like to "tenderize" their food before eating. :D :rolleyes:
I would be concerned with him wandering around. You never know if someone has left antifreeze or other ingestible products around that could be fatal to the kitty. Another reason to keep him indoors. Not to mention tainted meat and being beaten up or killed by other cats, dogs or people.
If kitty still wants to go outside your mom could take him out on a harness. Not just a collar. They are too easy for the cat to slip out of. A harness works best. He will fall over and/or flop around when he first gets it on. He thinks it's an insult for him to have to wear it just to go outside for a while. But they are well worth it for your peace of mind. You have a happy cat who has been outside and don't have to worry about the perils of being outside.

Khari
November 26th, 2009, 10:10 PM
I'm not sure if this is relevant, but my mom found out that someone down the street was the one who neutered him. She doesn't ever talk to him so she doesn't know how that process went for him. She did say he isn't a vet, so she's not sure if when he fixed the cat something happened to him and if that has anything to do with this.

I really do not think this has anything to do with your kitties diarrhea problems. I hear of diarrhea in cats on a regular basis (just search diarrhea on this forum and there will be many threads on this subject). And from what I have researched many of the times the problem is diet related, stress, allergies, intolerances to certain ingredients (ie: chicken, grains, perservatives, guar guam, carageenan, beef, soy, corn).

Try a different Vet. I know some love their Vets. But a good people person isn't necessarily a good vet. For example I've been to a very high cost Vet. who was very very nice and personable

I agree - I think it is time to see another vet. I think you need a new pair of eyes. For your vet to say he has no idea what the problem is - come on - there are many possibilities for why diarrhea occurs. And for your vet to not even suggest anything that we on this forum have suggested to me is NOT right. It almost sounds like the situation I went through with my longtime vet (10 years). Bishop had diarrhea for years and the vet just said he had a sensitive stomach - never educating me on what that meant. He would pump him with medications over the years and the diarrhea would always return. Always doing tests for worms, etc. and same thing negative everytime. He had me feed him vet prescribed food for sensitive/allergic cats (unfortunately the main ingredient was chicken). The food never helped for long - the diarrhea would always return. The best thing I did for him was take him to a new vet that was a raw feeding advocate. He has been fed a raw diet for over a year and his diarrhea has not returned.

check out this website
http://fnes.org/

gsurosey
November 28th, 2009, 11:25 AM
I've ventured into where my mom keeps the cat food. There's the bag of dry food, a few cans of the wet food, and some sort of dry Purina sensitive stomach stuff. As for the questions of what exactly the vet has done for him, I don't know. I do know the last time he got beat up, he was on IV antibiotics and fluids b/c he had a fever that wouldn't break for a couple days and had an injury surgically lanced b/c it wouldn't drain. I would assume blood work would be run to track at least blood counts etc (there goes my EMT brain again), but again, I'm not sure exactly what the vet did for the cat.

I have noticed before that when he does pee in his box, he pees at lot (at once). Almost like he stored it up hoping to go out, then was forced to use the box when he couldn't hold it anymore. I let him out today b/c my mom had to work (the Thanksgiving holiday here threw off her work schedule a day) and he usually goes outside on the weekends. So, he's out now probably hunting.

It may be easier to implement some of the suggestions I've seen here if I lived here, but I don't. I'm only visiting for the week. Add that to the fact that my mom is as stubborn as I am. That adds up to I'm not sure what if anything will change with the cat. I've told her some things that you guys have suggested, and I thank you for that. I think she's at least thinking about it. hopefully, she tries some of them out.

Either way, I thank you all. :)