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Old October 9th, 2009, 05:33 PM
dogmelissa's Avatar
dogmelissa dogmelissa is offline
Pet Guardian
Join Date: Apr 2005
Location: Calgary, Alberta
Posts: 565
Question Higher fibre than Horizon Legacy needed - cats!

Long story short, my kitty Aubrie went to the vet today for an anal gland abcess that had ruptured. The same thing happened to her (same side? can't remember) almost 3 years ago to the date (was also in October). This time it wasn't so bad that she needed surgery and she had it cleaned up, squished out a little (and the other one expressed since it was full) and sent home on antibiotics.

The vet insisted that the problem is that Aubrie isn't getting enough fibre in her diet and sent me home with a free bag of the Hills W/D - 9% fibre max. Aubrie and my other girl cats all eat Horizon Legacy - 3% fibre max. Beyond the fact that I don't necessarily buy this theory, as the girls have been eating food similar to the Horizon for years (they've only been on Horizon for about a year), and since her last anal gland issue was 3 years ago (and neither of the other cats have problems), there is absolutely no way that I'm going to feed them the garbage that is the Hills. Ok ok, I'm going to use the bag that I got (mixed with the Horizon) but I'm not going to buy more.

I can't remember what they were on before... I'll have to go look at my old posts, but they've been on a few different kinds of food and this one has been working really well for all 3 girls, so I'm hesitant to change but willing to if it'll save Aubrie the pain of having to have her anal glands expressed regularly (which I'll probably do anyhow) or prevent future abscesses.

So, the question is... is there any food in the same quality bracket as Horizon Legacy that has more fibre in it?

Thanks in advance,
Melissa (& Aubrie)
Guardian of Taz (10) & one-eyed wonder Cube (11).
Forever in my heart: Patches Gizmo (1987 - 2008), Sierra (1999 - 2010), Rusty (1999 - 2012), Aubrie (1999-2014)

"If you can't afford the vet, you can't afford the pet."
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Old October 9th, 2009, 10:12 PM
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Love4himies Love4himies is offline
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You can add raw bone to their diet to make cats poops more firm so it will create enough pressure to express the glands on their own. That is the natural way to do it.

You can also add canned pumpkin for fibre, but is not a natural part of a cat's diet.
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Old October 10th, 2009, 07:55 AM
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Khari Khari is offline
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Join Date: Dec 2008
Location: Winnipeg, Manitoba
Posts: 198
Just wanted to share what happened with my cat with my vet of 10 years. He was treating her for enlarged anal glands for over 2 years. She would get the same symptoms (pooping outside the box, vomiting near the litterbox, running back and forth to the litterbox) so I would take her to the vet and he would express her anal glands. I would also add pumpkin to her canned food but it never helped. He sometimes gave her medication for the pain. Finally I took her to another vet after two years. The problem WAS NOT her anal glands. It was that she had a huge blockage and was severly constipated. Unfortunately we tried clearing up the constipation but she was too far along and now has Feline Megacolon (which is where the colon is very stretched and the muscles can not work on their own to push out the poop). I believe that if the old vet would have diagnosed her properly in the first two year she would not be at this stage. This may not be the case for your kitty but it can be something for you to explore in the future. Added fibre made her situation worse. I now feed her grain free canned food with the max of 1.5% fibre and DO NOT add pumpkin.

I hope that your kitties problem clears up on its own. You could go to various pet food stores and look for a higher fibre content on the cans/bag. Also, moisture is a big help as cats need alot of moisture in their diet. And dry food does not have much moisture. Make sure your kitty drinks alot of water.
Mom to Libby (4 Month Old Kitten) 🐈
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Old October 19th, 2009, 12:35 AM
Twocents Twocents is offline
Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: SW Ontario
Posts: 78
Lactulose laxative, water, resources

Have you tried switching to 100% wet food?

Most cats on canned food have smaller bowel movements. A bonus - their feces also isn't as odourous compared to cats eating kibble. Important benefits of wet food are becoming more widely known. Dehydration will cause or make constipation worse. Cats eating a kibble diet are usually dehydrated, as referenced in Dr. Zoran’s JAVMA article “The Carnivore Connection to Nutrition in Cats”, http://catinfo.org/zorans_article.pdf.

Under the section “Water”, she states

“ The water needs of cats reflect their early status as desert-dwelling animals and their development as strict carnivores that obtain most of their water requirements from consumption of prey. Cats have a less sensitive response to thirst and dehydration than dogs or other omnivores, and they adjust their water intake to the dry-matter content of their diet rather than the moisture content.[37] This means that cats eating commercial dry foods will consume approximately half the amount of water (in their diet and through drinking), compared with cats eating canned foods.[2]"
[Ref. 37: Anderson RS. Water balance in the dog and cat. J Small Anim Pract 1982;23:588-598]
[Ref. 2: Kirk CA, Debraekeleer J. Armstrong PJ. Normal cats. In: Hand MS, Thatcher CD, Remillard RL, et al, eds. Small animal clinical nutrition. 4th ed. Philadelphia: WB Saunders Co. 2000:291-351.]

Our oldest cat, Lily, age 16, is an exception to the rule and gets constipated eating 100% canned food. She used to eat kibble earlier in her life (before we switched to canned food). Adding pumpkin didn’t help and I was worried about petroleum jelly preventing the absorption of nutrients.
A holistic vet/chiropractor we went to said her constipation could be related to her sore back, a disc problem, and prescribed Chinese herbal pills. He said to increase fibre intake – suggested adding toasted hemp seeds to her food. He said he could also prescribe rhubarb root pills for her constipation. We wanted to try the hemp seed, but he said we could try lactulose when I mentioned it. Hemp seeds also weren’t available when I checked the local health food store, so we bought lactulose. It’s available in isle with laxatives in pharmacy/grocery store.

I've had excellent results with the lactulose. It is different than other fibre supplements – it’s a colonic content acidifier laxative. I consider any fibre supplement that requires you to consume a lot of water with it unsuitable for cats. I also like that I can get her to drink it fairly easily, though not on its own. It could be administered orally with a syringe, if that’s easier.

Once a day, before Lily’s breakfast, I pre-feed her:
- lactulose (just under one teaspoon full)
- mixed well with about a tablespoon of liquid* [low sodium tuna juice works well or some Wellness mixed with water] and
- a teaspoon of wet cat food (not mixed with the liquids).

*You could also mix the lactulose with FortiFlora powder and a little water. FortiFlora may be available from your vet. Although it’s a probiotic made by Purina, you can use it as a flavour enhancer. The base ingredient in FortiFlora is animal digest - the substance that makes dry food so very enticing to cats. This powder can also be very useful when transitioning cats to new food. (Dr. Lisa Pierson on www.catinfo.org, under Feeding Your Cat: Know the Basics).

I believe you could get cats to drink more water by making a FortiFlora solution and adding a bit to or alongside wet food.

Since I started the lactulose, it appears Lily is sometimes pooping IN the litter box! Her feces is defiantly smaller now and she is quite regular (daily).

Lactulose notes: bottle says other medication is not to be given within two hours of lactulose dose. Check with your vet and/or pharmacist about long-term use.
Bottle we bought was under $20 for 667 mg/mL. [= 133 doses].

Hope this helps.

Best wishes,

~ Twocents

Mom to our cats/foster cats/stray cats, ranging in age from kittens to 16-years-old.
[2 male kittens (b. May 2) & their playful young mom, all B & W, available for adoption soon (after spay/neutering.) Near London, Ontario.]

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PS: You may already know about the following links. If you want more info on feline health and nutrition & wet food diets, extensive resources for cat owners are available at Feline Outreach, www.felineoutreach.org

Feline Outreach Links include:

www.Catinfo.org – by Dr. Lisa A. Pierson. Litter box problems, disease and obesity prevention and treatment through diet, the importance of water. JAVMA article “The Carnivore Connection to Nutrition in Cats” - cats are unique… strict carnivores with no dietary need for carbohydrates. By Debra L. Zoran, DVM, PhD, DACIVM http://catinfo.org/zorans_article.pdf

www.LittleBigCat.com – free article library. - Constipated Cats, article by Jean Hofve, DVM, http://littlebigcat.com/index.php?ac...onstipatedcats

Also worth viewing:

www.traciehotchner.com – Tracie Hotchner is author of “The Cat Bible: Everything Your Cat Expects You to Know”, & creator/host of CAT CHAT (on the Martha Stewart Radio on Sirius satellite radio.) Dr. Elizabeth Hodgkins, one of the popular pioneers of the wet cat food movement and author of "Your Cat: Simple Secrets New Secrets to a Longer, Stronger Life", is Cat Chat's official vet. She "brings incredible wisdom and experience to the show because she has devoted her life to wellness in cats, first spending time inside a huge pet food company and then turning her back on those products."

www.felinenutritionalnotes.blogspot.com - Nutritional information is published from this site where you will find a link to the latest NRC Recommended Daily Allowances. Some info here is hard to find elsewhere on the Internet. “May all your pet food choices be made based upon education and reliable information, backed by science.”
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