How I cured my cat’s chronic diarrhea

cat diarrhea

When I take in a rescue, it usually doesn’t take too long to figure out why they were dumped or abandoned. Usually, with the dogs, it’s because they are in that pup or young adult stage, where they are no longer a cute little puppy, but instead, an energetic ball of mischief. With my cats, it’s been just the fact that someone apparently didn’t want three kittens, or wanted rid of their or someone else’s cat, or in some cases with either of them, the owner possibly just didn’t care enough to look very hard for their missing cat or dog.  In Julien’s case, it was probably because his previous owner was tired of his diarrhea and the mess it was causing.

A new cat…with a diarrhea problem

Julien showed up in a tree in my yard in the middle of the night on November 28, 2013.  By all appearances, he was in excellent shape and like KK, who had shown up the previous year, was friendly and sweet, coming immediately down the tree to me when I called for him, much to my surprise.  We guesstimated Julien to be between 1-2 years old and were happy that KK would now have a companion to play with, barring he wasn’t just a lost cat, which it turned out, if he was, nobody looked for him.

Sadly, we discovered right away that quite often, immediately after Julien ate, he would have very bad diarrhea.  With no other symptoms and no blood, I felt, after it only being immediately after he ate, that it must be food-related.  Not knowing what kind of diet he’d been on before his arrival, I thought maybe the extreme and sudden change in diet was just not sitting well with him.

I was quite experienced with dogs having diarrhea when they arrived since almost all have had worms, had to forage for dead animals or whatever they could find to eat, were stressed and I’m sure on a much different quality of food than I feed.  With them, I had always had excellent luck using plain yogurt to get their digestive issues resolved quickly. This only being my 2nd cat rescue, I hoped that what had always worked for the dogs would also work for this new young cat.  Unfortunately, my good luck with using yogurt to cure diarrhea in the past stopped at Julien.

My attempts to cure Julien’s diarrhea

KK was a picky eater, getting tired of whatever canned food I’d been feeding him after about a week, so I cycled through all the foods that he would eat, hoping that one cured whatever was causing Julien’s issue.  I tried a variety of different proteins from different companies with different ingredients.

I researched possible ingredients that could be causing the issue, like carrageenan that has been used in labs to cause gastrointestinal inflammation in animals, so I avoided those foods.  I added pumpkin and slippery elm, all with little to no improvement.  During more research, I tried some liquid herbal blends, some clay-type products and spent hours online reading forums and posts about diarrhea in cats.

Not wanting to take Julien to the vet for vaccinations and neutering until he was 100% healthy, I had hoped to avoid a costly and possibly negative vet experience by fixing this issue on my own.  I finally decided after about two months of attempts, however, that whatever Julien had must be more serious than a parasite or food issue.

Since my last vet had prescribed the NSAID ‘Previcox’ that killed my dog (read that story here, http://savingcatsdogsandcash.com/previcox-killed-my-dog/) a few weeks before Julien showed up and blew me off during my dog’s adverse reaction, I had to try to find a new vet to take Julien to.  Unfortunately, since I’m in a rural area and there are no holistic or even somewhat holistic vets around, finding one that you trust, is reasonable in cost and that you get a good feeling from is very difficult.

The vet I settled on was an older vet who was old school and I was hoping with her years of practice, Julien’s issue would be an easy (and cheap) diagnosis and resolution.  After putting Julien through a lot of poking and prodding, doing a fecal exam, testing him for FeLV/FIV (feline leukemia virus and feline immunodeficiency virus), and being sent home with prescription food and meds, some of which I’d already tried, along with some medication for ear mites, we left with no conclusion to his diarrhea and $169.22 lighter in the wallet.

After trying the vet’s recommended food and products, with no relief for poor Julien, I got back online, determined to get to the bottom of this issue if it took the rest of my life.  The vet had left it basically that sometimes this just happens and used an example of a client she had that had to feed her dog pinto beans and mashed potatoes, I believe it was, to keep from having any gastrointestinal issues.

Unlike the vet and that poor dog’s owner, I just couldn’t accept the fact that this was something I couldn’t find a cure for.  The having to scramble to help him in the litter box to avoid getting his feet dirty, the foot baths, and cleaning up the floor when I/we didn’t catch him at all or on time, was tiring and only gave me that much more incentive.

A help, but not a complete cure

One thing that I did come across in all of my research that probably helped Julien the most before I finally found the culprit, was the ‘Slippery Elm Syrup’ recipe I found.  I know there are other variations on the web that probably work too, but this is the one that I found back then that worked and has continued to work quickly and well for my crew, so I’m passing it along.

It worked much better than just adding slippery elm powder to the food, as I had tried previously and had been recommended.  Besides plain yogurt and pumpkin, it’s one of my go-to remedies for diarrhea in any of my pets. There are also claims that it helps constipation as well, but I haven’t used it for that purpose, so I can’t personally attest to that.

Not knowing any better, I had bought an expensive one pound bag of slippery elm powder that will probably last my lifetime.  Unless you just need a pound of it for ongoing use, I’d recommend this smaller container of it:  http://amzn.to/2u4DSIa

cat's chronic diarrhea

The chicken connection

Despite the slippery elm syrup helping, it didn’t completely cure Julien’s diarrhea, so my research continued.  Eventually, I ran across an article that provided new information I had not come across in all of my previous research.  It talked about the need to rotate proteins to prevent animals from developing an allergy, which I had already read about and was doing (or so I thought), but it went further.  It advised getting 100% away from any other protein during the rotation to rule out an allergy issue.

For example, if you are feeding rabbit as one of your proteins, you don’t want chicken to be a component in the ingredients.  It made sense, but as I quickly found, finding food that didn’t have overlapping proteins in the ingredient list proved to be nearly impossible and very frustrating.  Julien had been getting chicken in some form or another in every food I had offered him, even though chicken wasn’t the main ingredient in them.

One day, I stumbled across Nature’s Logic Rabbit Formula.  Here is the ingredient list:  Rabbit, Water Sufficient For Processing, Pork Liver, Dried Egg Product, Montmorillonite Clay, Porcine Plasma, Herring Oil (Preserved With Mixed Tocopherols), Egg Shell Meal, Brewers Dried Yeast, Dried Apple, Dried Apricot, Alfalfa Meal, Dried Artichoke, Dried Blueberry, Dried Broccoli, Dried Carrot, Dried Chicory Root, Dried Cranberry, Dried Kelp, Parsley, Dried Pumpkin, Rosemary, Dried Spinach, Dried Tomato, Rosemary Extract.

In looking over the ingredients, it was a relief to see that Nature’s Logic had used pork liver and blood instead of any chicken in their ingredient list.  It looked promising, so I price shopped and then placed my order.  Within a week of receiving it and starting both cats on it, Julien’s diarrhea completely cleared up without having to use any other pills, potions, syrups or powders.  Apparently, Julien had developed a sensitivity to chicken and even the slightest little bit upset his system.

For three months, I fed the cats exclusively Nature’s Logic Rabbit to give Julien’s gut plenty of time to heal before adding chicken back into the rotation gradually.  Because I’d had such good luck with it and because both cats were doing so well on it and not tiring of it, I stuck with the Nature’s Logic line and rotated between both cats’ favorite flavors, chicken and rabbit as well as rotating in other flavors, like Turkey, and giving them water packed sardines or salmon for protein variety.

Once Julien had been diarrhea-free for two months, and I felt comfortable the worst was behind us, he went back to the vet where he was neutered and his vaccinations were given.  I told the vet what my findings were in hopes that maybe she uses that knowledge with her other patients who may have a similar situation and don’t have the time, resources or determination like I did to spend months trying different foods and products to get to the bottom of what was causing Julien’s chronic diarrhea.

If you suspect your cat may have food-related diarrhea and can’t find the rabbit version locally, you can contact Nature’s Logic for a sample to make sure your cat will eat it before you buy a case of it.  I have found the best price online for it at Chewy.com.  Both the cat and dog formulas are the same, so to save money, I purchased the cheaper dog food version.  My cats did very well on this brand until I got six cats and feeding them canned was no longer affordable.  I now feed my cats raw.

11-3-17 Update:  I recently wrote a post about colloidal silver that I believe can help with diarrhea if it is as a result of something to do with possible bacteria in the food making the cat sick.  Here’s the link to that story with the brand that I recommend, http://savingcatsdogsandcash.com/colloidal-silver/.  I’ve used it a couple of times recently along with canned pumpkin to help alleviate some temporary bouts of diarrhea in a couple of my cats that I believe was from something they ate.  Colloidal silver has so many uses though, I recommend always having it on hand.

How I cured my cat's chronic diarrhea
Julien today. Healthy, happy and one of the biggest cats in the crew.

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If you want to see pictures of Julien and all of my other rescue animals and their antics, check out our Facebook page here, https://www.facebook.com/savingscatsanddogswhilesavingcash/

Want to see a listing of all the items I own and recommend or have researched and recommend?  Here they are with notes included as to why I love them or how they’ve helped.  https://www.amazon.com/shop/savingscatsanddogswhilesavingcash

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8 thoughts on “How I cured my cat’s chronic diarrhea

  1. Thank you so much! your information is wonderful !! I adopted a kitten a week ago, he is 6 months old and I noticed that he has soft poop, not sure if it is diarrhea or not but seems I need to start searching for better food for him to make sure the foods he gets is good for his health. The information in this article helped me a lot. I am new with this whole thing 🙂

    1. Hi Sherry,
      Thank you for your kind words! Congratulations on your new kitten!

      Unfortunately, trying to track down exactly what is causing the soft poop can be tedious. I tried sooo many different things with Julien, but he had watery diarrhea, so his case was a bit more serious. However, making sure you have a quality food can rule that out as an option from the beginning. Make sure you feed him canned or raw, as he needs the moisture content, especially with his current bathroom issues. I definitely love Nature’s Logic and if it didn’t cost so much to feed my six cats, I’d still like to have it as an option, as raw feeding so many cats like I do now is very time-consuming. They did well on it, I like the ingredients, and all of them loved it.

      In any case, chewy.com usually has the best prices on Nature’s Logic. I’d probably recommend starting with the Rabbit (both cat and dog formulas are identical and the dog version is cheaper per ounce.) version to rule out a chicken allergy, which is the most common. Once your kitten has been on that for a little while (may only take a few days or up to a few weeks), if there is no change in his bathroom consistency, and as long as he has no other symptoms, you may need to add in some yogurt, pumpkin or slippery elm (I wrote about that too in another post).

      Also, in case he came from a shelter and/or has picked up a bug of some sort that may be causing the soft stools, it wouldn’t hurt to give him some colloidal silver, which is like an antibiotic, killing bacteria, viruses and any other “bugs” he may have. Even if the food helps him, I highly recommend every person (pet owner or not) have some colloidal silver on hand. I’ve used it a couple of times since I wrote my article on it, including on one of my cats, and I can’t recommend it highly enough. See my post about what kind I’ve used and recommend.

      Good luck with your new kitten and getting him 100% healthy! I hope you two have many wonderful years together!

  2. Thankyou for posting ur article.. Iv had a kitten that has had diaorreoh for couple months & tried various foods etc with no luck.. had him at the vet all otherwise well in himself & as u described evrything he ate come straight out the other end like he had no control very watery & leaky evrytime he moved.. got so sick of cleaning poop evrywhr evn all over myself after he’d been laying on my lap poor boy.. Im going to try your way of treatment look into the natures logic try him on that.. Hopefully it will work for him as nothing else has so far.. Many thnx Cheryl & Spyro the kitten 🐾🐾

    1. Oh Cheryl, I remember those awful days and months all too well. While I can’t say for sure that what worked for us will work for your Spyro, I would definitely look into it. This all happened a few years ago and I’ve since switched all my cats to raw feeding because it is actually cheaper than feeding them high-quality foods like Nature’s Logic, which I recommend trying to get a can or two locally first, if possible, to make sure Spyro will eat it. The cat and dog food versions are the same, so keep that in mind if you have other cats, or want to be more economical. If you can’t get it locally, you can contact Nature’s Logic and I believe they will (they used to) send you a sample to try. If you buy online, chewy.com is the cheapest I’ve found it. If your budget is tight, which is understandable, because I know their price has gone up considerably since I bought it last, there are a lot of other good raw and dehydrated food options out there. Your cat may have a food allergy, but not to chicken, so it may be a game of narrowing down ingredients to determine what may be the cause. Feel free to reach out to me through my contact page (on my ‘About’ page) if you need any more help and I’ll try my best to help you get to the bottom of Spyro’s issue.

  3. Thank you for posting this! I just recently adopted the sweetest shelter kitty and am dealing with his diarrhea. The shelter had him seen by a vet several time and they ran several tests which all came back normal and tried some different medicines. Eventually he was put on the Hill’s Prescription Z/D dry diet which he dislikes and won’t eat, but it sorta works, so i began mixing in some of the wet Z/D food and he would happily eat all of it. For some reason tho the wet Z/D caused the diarrhea to begin again. Another trip to the vet and the poor kitty is back on strictly the dry Z/D food which he is not happy about. This article is definitely something to think about and consider trying. At this point I’m willing to try anything to help my little Deputy feel better and eat more as I’m worried he’s not eating enough on strictly the dry Z/D diet. Thank you so much for posting this!

    1. Hi Allison! You’re welcome for the post and thank you for rescuing! Unless your vet specifically did an allergy test, they probably won’t find any food allergies or intolerances, which could be what Deputy is suffering from. First of all, I would try to avoid any dry food of any kind. Deputy is probably already dehydrated because of the diarrhea and with no moisture in it, dry food is terrible for even the healthiest of cats. In the wild, cats eat fresh foods with lots of moisture, so that’s what their bodies are designed to eat and will help keep their kidneys untaxed like dry food does.

      My first recommendation would probably be to find a food without any chicken at all in it, since that is a very common allergy trigger in both cats and dogs. Nature’s Logic Rabbit formula worked for us, but not all cats like it, so if you can find a local store that carries it, you can get a can and try it. I think you can also request a sample of it from Nature’s Logic, but I’d say the sooner you can get to the bottom of the issue, the better, so buying a can locally, if possible, would be faster.

      Another option is to buy a pre-made raw food. Unfortunately, I make my own, so I don’t have any good brand recommendations, but a local pet store may carry something in the frozen section, or you can buy some dehydrated mixes online (or local) that you just mix with water. The important thing to remember is that you want absolutely NO chicken of any kind, way, shape or form in it, to rule that out as the cause.

      Whatever else you do, I recommend making the slippery elm syrup and giving it to Deputy with his wet food to help calm down what has obviously got his insides upside down. There are no negatives to giving it, so rest assured it won’t hurt him and can only help him.

      If you need any more help, feel free to contact me and I’ll try my best to help you get to the bottom of Deputy’s tummy troubles.

  4. Hi there….from Phillippines. I am Maricel and have 23cats and kittens. I admit that it is really hard to manage the counting of my Cats. Especially the cleaning of all their mess and poofs. My family doesn’t like much cats. Even my husband. So everyday of our routines and my life with cats…I always keep convincing them to had more patience since all of my furbabies was just inside our house and freely moved.
    I am dreaming for almost 3years that I could have them spay/neuter for I had no enough money to pay Vets.
    I want them to control the population and stop them to be being pregnant(my femaleCats twiceor thrice a year.
    Aside from this,,, most of them are sick.
    Teary eyes, soft poofs, sinus, itchy ears
    Hard for me because they’re 23.

    Do help please
    And need advice.
    Thanks….Maricel

    1. Hi Maricel. Wow, you sound like you are in a really tough spot. Not having a supportive family/spouse is tough, so my heart goes out to you there! Based on what you wrote, here are my thoughts… First, I’d try to contact a local animal rescue group or organization that can hopefully help you find low cost spay/neuter options. They may also have some financial support help for you. With just a quick google search, I came up with this, http://www.paws.org.ph/veterinary-services.html but there may be others in your area or they can be your starting point for advising of another resource if they are not near you.

      For treating so many cats, hands down, I recommend colloidal/ionic silver. I make my own because it is too expensive to treat several animals with store bought. Making your own ionic silver is easy and very cost effective. If you have an old phone charger, a couple of alligator clips to hold the silver rods (they’re cheap), and two silver rods, you can make your own ionic silver using distilled water. I made my entire unit for around $25 USD because we already had an old phone charger. The silver rods are the expensive part because you want as close to pure silver as you can get. I wrote an article about colloidal silver that I think will be beneficial to you. In addition to your animals, it can help you and your family as well, as it is anti-fungal, anti-bacterial, and anti-viral. Basically, it works like a liquid antibiotic without the harshness to the gut that antibiotics cause. It treats both internal and external things. Here’s the link, http://savingcatsdogsandcash.com/colloidal-silver/

      If the colloidal/ionic silver is not an option for you, apple cider vinegar (ACV) and Lysine are great for treating respiratory issues, including sneezing, runny eyes, etc. You can put the Lysine in their food and the ACV on the cat themselves, so they will lick it off and ingest it. I jusst put some ACV on a napkin or cloth and rub it on the cat. Otherwise, it is hard to get it in them because it is pretty strong smelling and tasting. I buy the human version of Lysine pills and then just smash them into a powder and sprinkle it on/in the cats’ food.

      A good reference site I use often to treat my cats and dogs at home is http://www.earthclinic.com. You can look up the ailment and get a selection of things other pet owners have used to cure it. This site has both a human and a pet section, so you can treat yourself from remedies found there also.

      Hopefully this information is helpful and will get you headed in the right direction. Let me know if I can be of any other help. Hang in there!

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