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
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.
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
As I’m sure you noticed, I don’t have any ads on my blog. While they do generate income for those who use them, I don’t like them and find them distracting. Instead, if you found this article helpful and would like to donate to helping keep this blog up and my rescue efforts, you can donate at my Paypal link below.
If you’d like to get notified when I publish a new article, sign up below (and be sure to check your spam folder).
SaveFollow me and my crew on Facebook
32 thoughts on “How I cured my cat’s chronic diarrhea”
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 🙂
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!
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 🐾🐾
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.philanimalrescue.org/what-we-do.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 just 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!
What dosage of colloidal silver and what frequency for treating cat’s diarrhea? Is this safe for extended periods of time or does it clear up fairly quick? I have 2 cats that have had diarrhea for approximately 1 week but we’ve adopted a new kitten that was a farm stray. We also just opened a new bag of dry food, and my cats who are only indoors managed to escape and were outside for a couple hours. So I’m not sure what I’m dealing with. The kitten was vaccinated about a week after she arrived and my cats are up to date on their vaccinations so I’m not sure it’s due to the little one. She did have some diarrhea but with a food change hers are becoming more solid. My larger male cat is losing weight though so I am concerned. Any insight is appreciated, thank you!
It’s probably unlikely that in two hours’ time of being outside both of your cats got into something to give them both diarrhea. In case it is, I would recommend adding a teaspoon of colloidal silver to their food 2-3x a day and also some to their water. You can also put it directly into their mouth if they will allow. Colloidal silver is not dangerous in any way and can be used long-term without issue. If it is bacteria or something causing the diarrhea, colloidal silver (as long as it is dosed often and in enough quantity) tends to work quickly, usually noticeable results within 12-24 hours, but you’ll want to continue on a few more days after symptoms resolve, to make sure you got completely rid of whatever it was causing the issue.
Hopefully you feed wet food as well, since that makes it easier to put the colloidal silver in and kibble is horrible for cats (they aren’t designed to eat dried food, they are carnivores–meaning they eat mice, rabbits, birds, etc., for their food and water). The cats that came to me from a diet of eating kibble have tartar buildup on their teeth. Those that were young that I fed canned and then switched to raw or have been completely raw fed, have none. Just something for you to consider since tartar and plaque can lead to awful health issues later down the road. 🙂
You mentioned opening a new bag of food. If you have continuously fed the same food for a long period of time (many months or years) it’s also possible your pets have developed a food allergy to something in it. Chicken causes a lot of allergy reactions (itchiness, diarrhea, etc.) in both cats and dogs. It could also be the food is just not good quality. I’ve read about plenty of food-related illnesses and deaths from the food animals are fed, so that’s a possibility also. You might do an online search of it to see if anyone else has complained about the food having that effect on their cats.
Diarrhea is dangerous in cats, especially ones only fed kibble since their bodies are already working overtime to compensate for the extra moisture they should be getting from their food and then to lose it to diarrhea. If these were my cats, I would look at when the diarrhea started….both cats at the same time? (probably food-related–try slippery elm and a new food), after a flea/tick medication or vaccine administration? (probably related to that. Cats bodies are small and those toxins build up in their system over time…which is why I don’t give any of it to my cats after their initial vaccinations and they aren’t vaccinated again. Detox may help, I’d recommend milk thistle). Only after their outing? (possibly food-related to something they ate out there, I’d give them slippery elm with their food and mix some pumpkin and 93% or more lean cooked ground turkey together and feed that to get their stools firmed up). Add colloidal silver to any/all of those options. Since it is both of your cats at the same time, I really feel like this is probably food-related, so definitely take a look at that and how long they’ve been on that particular brand and/or protein source.
Hopefully this information is helpful and you get your issue resolved soon. I know how stressful it is to have pets that are not 100% and not know the cause. Good luck and let me know if I can be of any other assistance.
Unfortunately, it looks like the Nature’s Logic rabbit formula now has chicken fat. My cat is allergic to chicken, and I don’t think it will work for her.
Here is the updated ingredients list:
Rabbit Meal, Turkey Meal, Millet, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols), Pumpkin Seed, Yeast Culture, Spray Dried Pork Liver, Dried Egg Product, Alfalfa Nutrient Concentrate, Montmorillonite Clay, Dried Kelp, Spray Dried Porcine Plasma, Dried Tomato, Almonds, Dried Chicory Root, Dried Carrot, Dried Apple, Menhaden Fish Meal, Dried Pumpkin, Dried Apricot, Dried Blueberry, Dried Spinach, Dried Broccoli, Dried Cranberry, Parsley, Dried Artichoke, Rosemary, Dried Mushroom, Dried Lactobacillus acidophilus Fermentation Product, Dried Lactobacillus casei Fermentation Product, Dried Bifidobacterium bifidium Fermentation Product, Dried Enterococcus faecium Fermentation Product, Dried Bacillus coagulans Fermentation Product, Dried Pineapple Extract, Dried Aspergillus niger Fermentation Extract, Dried Aspergillus oryzae Fermentation Extract, Dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum Fermentation Extract.
Never mind. I just figured out that you are using the canned version.
Yes, sorry for any confusion. I was referring to their canned food. I just double-checked their cat food canned Rabbit version and it appears to still be chicken product-free, but since I switched to feeding raw, I don’t keep up with the ingredients any longer. I will say that my cats did very well on it (the canned version, I’d never feed my cats kibble nowadays as I’m much more educated about how awful kibble is for cats and I’m all about them thriving, not just surviving). I also found the larger dog food cans were the same ingredients (again, not sure that is still the case, so you’d want to verify) at a better price per ounce.
Keep in mind that you can also find limited ingredient dehydrated foods (Stella and Chewy’s as well as Primal are popular ones) that you just add water to that may also have the limited ingredients you need. If nothing else, feeding raw really isn’t that hard and when you consider you are only feeding about 3% of your cats’ body weight. It’s quite affordable and really not that much work. You control exactly what’s in it and there really are a lot of benefits from it. You can also buy pre-made from online sources and I know some of them offer allergy-free options.
It’s always tough when you have to avoid certain ingredients, as I learned when trying to find Julien some food that had no chicken of any kind in it. Hopefully one of these options gives you some ideas or a good starting point for solving your problem. Let me know if I can be of any more help.
I’m replying to an old post of yours, but felt the need to reply nonetheless. The proteins in chicken that cause allergies ARE NOT PRESENT in chicken fat! It’s true! Chicken fat is added to many, many foods as a preservative… but it is not an allergen. I’m the catmom of a chubby tabby who is allergic to chicken and turkey (very genetically similar to chicken!), so I have to read labels very closely and spent a lot of time looking into this. I promise, you are safe with foods that use chicken fat, just so long as they don’t have any chicken, chicken meal, chicken broth, chicken liver, etc in them.
HEY SUGARBOO, I have a question for you about our Cat, He seems to only want to eat Chicken flavored dry food, but he either has to have the highest amount of Fiber in it also, He is getting older, but he remains a picky eater, he gets diarrhea So Very Bad that we have been taking him to get his behind shaved, he can’t reach his own butt to clean it himself. My husband is actually having a clean his butt with Cat wipes. Which is Very difficult, because of our ages. We have taken him back to the Veterinarian, but they don’t seem to know what we should be doing, or Not doing. I’m truly hoping that you will be able to help us out, with our Cats problems. 🥺🥺
I’m sorry to hear about your cat’s health issues. Your poor guy has a lot of obstacles. The first is that his body is already moisture-deprived from eating kibble, which doesn’t have nearly enough moisture in it, causing it to tax the kidneys. Then, he has diarrhea, which causes him to be even more dehydrated. Kibble is notoriously high in carbohydrates, which can cause obesity, which would make it difficult for your cat to clean himself properly. He’s in a tough spot and I worry for him.
You didn’t give me a lot of information about his history, including his age, how long this has been going on, what medication if any, he’s been prescribed, if he’s ever been fed anything other than kibble, or given any other protein besides chicken, what you’ve tried to help him, like slippery elm or pumpkin, and the results from any of those.
If this were my cat, I’d start by overhauling his diet. It may be a slow process, but I’d definitely get him off kibble and try another protein besides chicken, which is often the cause of health issues in both cats and dogs. That’s hard to do, as I found most all foods have chicken in the mix somewhere, but as I’ve mentioned numerous times in the article and in response to other commenters, Nature’s Logic makes a rabbit formula in wet food that has no chicken in it. Stella and Chewy’s is one brand and Primal is another that make dehydrated food that you just add water to that may also be an option. Both make a rabbit version, which is what I recommend, as long as there is no chicken in the ingredients. Always double check the ingredients as manufacturers and ingredient formulations do change.
Another option is to introduce raw food to him. I feed all of my cats raw, using chicken, pork, salmon/sardines on a regular rotation, occasionally beef, and then when money allows, rabbit. Most cats love sardines (packed in water) or salmon, so you could start by introducing that to him along with a smaller portion of his kibble and if that works out, add in some Nature’s Logic Rabbit food, or some raw food that has 10% or less of fat on it. You can just buy it at the grocery store. I like pork loins, lean beef cuts with little fat, or even lamb, so long as it is all lean. Slowly decrease his kibble amount and increase the other food amounts until he’s completely off the kibble. Until the chicken, which I suspect could be the culprit here, is completely out of his diet, he will continue to have diarrhea.
I would also make up the slippery elm slurry and give that to him with his food. His gut is very inflamed from all of the diarrhea and slippery elm will help with that. You can buy it locally in the human formula and empty the capsules, or go to the top of the page under the ‘Shop’ tab and I have my product recommendations listed on my Amazon page.
Sadly, most vets are not very well educated on foods and most likely have recommended Hills or Science Diet or some brand they sell in their practice. It’s full of junk ingredients and there have been problems with it making pets sick and killing them. Please avoid them and concentrate on getting your cat on a more species-appropriate food.
Hopefully diet alone will help your cat like it did mine, but if not, I have some other suggestions that include adding probiotics, especially if he’s been on any antibiotics which may have messed up his gut flora. In the meantime, I’d also avoid any toxins on or near him like vaccinations and flea/tick meds. His body needs to heal and helping boost the immune system to do that is important. That’s also another reason why a good quality diet is so important. Just like us, a healthy diet goes a long way to good health.
I think the sooner you can make these diet changes for your cat, the sooner you will see results or at least be on the path to a healthier cat. If you need any more help, let me know and I’ll do my best to help.
Had the same problem with my cat. It was triggered by an antibiotic treatment after being neutered. I switched his diet to Health Extension cat food which contains probiotics and lots of other good things for his gut and this eventually solved the problem.
Yes, antibiotics can definitely cause diarrhea in both cats and dogs. Antibiotics kill the good gut flora as well as the bad, which is why I like to avoid them when at all possible. I’ve had multiple cats spayed and neutered and never had to give antibiotics, so it’s interesting that you were prescribed them for your cat.
I’m glad you were able to resolve it with food, but for anyone reading this, it’s always good to follow up antibiotics with probiotics to help replenish the good gut flora that antibiotics kill. Slippery elm is also great to add during that time. Many people in the groups I’m a member of also recommend Answer’s Raw Goat Milk to help with digestive issues due to the probiotics it contains.
That’s the great thing about colloidal silver, it doesn’t affect the gut flora like antibiotics do, which is why I highly recommend it for the first line of treatment in anything that would normally require antibiotics. In addition, some animals, like one of my dogs, just can’t take antibiotics of any kind without getting diarrhea and with CS you don’t have to worry about diarrhea or other side effects, either, which is always a plus.
Thanks for taking the time to share your experience and for the reminder about antibiotics causing diarrhea, Becky. It definitely may help someone who is also struggling with finding the connection between their pets’ diarrhea and the cause.
Hi CC! Thank you so much for this post! My two orange boys have been on Nature’s Logic canned Rabbit for quite some time now, along with the Lamb and Mackerel from ZiwiPeak. However, due to some skin sensitivities we ended up cutting out the ZiwiPeak and have been feeding the NL Rabbit exclusively. I’m just wondering what your experience was with their litter box habits on this food? I have noticed that their stool is usually quite firm and on the smaller side then when we have tried to integrate additional food (which resulted in smelly, big and sometimes too soft poops). We give them a little bit of psyllium fiber twice a week which keeps them regular, but we do find that the stools are still smaller and firmer, and typically they each only go once a day.
Anyhow, I’m just wondering if you had a similar experience? I’m inclined to think that this is because it is a high quality food that they digest well (much like what some cat owners describe happens when their cats are on raw diets). I’m just always a bit concerned about constipation, but no one seems to be in any pain or discomfort. Let me know if this is what you found as well!
Hi Michelle! I’m so glad to hear your boys are doing well on Nature’s Logic. To be honest, it’s been so long since my cats have been on it, I can’t remember their bathroom habits, but what you are describing sounds completely normal. You are right about the quality of food you feed resulting in less being left in the litter box. It also is usually much less stinky or not stinky at all.
For financial reasons, I switched to raw a few years ago and have found that all of my animals who are on that diet go much less, less often, and there is no odor, though the cats do pee as much as my dogs, thanks to all the moisture in the food (a good sign and the way their bodies were designed to get moisture). 😉 I took in a cat last year that seems to have developed a sensitivity to chicken and will get sick after eating it, so I wanted to share that with you also. Chicken is a culprit in a lot of food sensitivity issues and can result in gunky ears, itchiness, diarrhea, and vomiting. Instead of chicken, when the other cats get it, I feed my one guy pork, and they all get a rotation of Vital Essential Rabbit Nibs (dehydrated), chicken thighs, pork (usually loin), and salmon/sardines in water for protein sources. Those are some ideas for you in case you can’t find any other non-chicken options and need another protein source. If you try the pork and your cats don’t like it, at least you can eat it yourself. 🙂
I will try to write an article in the future about what and how I feed my crew (of currently seven cats) to help those that have to avoid chicken, as I know it’s hard to avoid in many foods and can be very expensive for multiple cat households to feed the high-quality limited food.
I’ve read a few of your articles, but haven’t noticed you mentioning taurine, which cats need in their diets. You even said one brand of canned food had the same ingredients for dogs and cats, but I didn’t think dog food has taurine. Do you add it to the raw food you make? I’ve never seen it sold separately.
Thank you for your comment. To answer your question, I don’t add taurine to anything because prior to feeding raw a few years ago, I fed Nature’s Logic which has enough taurine from the natural ingredients it is made of. The cat and dog food were both the same ingredients at the time, but since I haven’t fed it for a few years, I’m not sure if that is still the case.
According to their FAQ page about taurine not being listed on their cat food, this is Nature’s Logic’s reply: “When taurine is listed as an ingredient on a product’s ingredient panel, this means the base diet contains inadequate levels of natural taurine and the producer has added a man-made synthetic form of this required amino acid to the diet mixture to meet adequacy. No taurine is listed on any Nature’s Logic ingredient panel because the natural ingredients of the diet contain adequate amounts of natural taurine from the high levels of meat, poultry, and organ tissue ingredients. This is the way cats should derive all their needed protein, including taurine.” Here is the link to Nature’s Logic FAQ page which contains this information, https://www.natureslogic.com/faq/
Since feeding raw meat, which naturally contains taurine, I have no need to add a synthetic version of it. I do know that it is sold as a separate supplement on the market, but if you are feeding raw meat, you should be ok. Dark meat will have more taurine if you are concerned and want to make sure your cat is getting enough of it. There are charts online that tell you how much taurine is in different types of meats also.
So glad I found this- one of my cats has been struggling with diarrhea for several months. I am going to try your recommendations. I also wanted to ask you…what do you feed your cats? We have 8- mostly drop-offs- and the elderly get canned food, and the younger get kibble. But it seems everyone would do much better with some type of wet food. I need something affordable!!! Also large cans of wet food are becoming scarce where we live.
Thank you for sharing all your information.
It could definitely be the chicken causing diarrhea, but it could also be a bug of some sort. I’d start with changing the food first and see if that helps, since that is the easiest route to take. Try the lean (93% or leaner) turkey and pumpkin mix with slippery elm to see if that reduces or eliminates the diarrhea. Your cat’s GI tract is probably really inflamed if it’s had diarrhea for several months, so that’s where the slippery elm will help.
As far as feeding, all of my cats are raw fed. Quality canned food became too expensive when I took in a young male cat with a big appetite several years ago, so I switched to raw and have been pleased with the results. I don’t feed (or recommend feeding) any kibble because it is basically carbs and junk that can cause obesity and diabetes, plaque and tartar buildup, plus is hard on a cat’s kidneys since they are designed to eat moisture-rich fresh food like birds, mice, rabbits, etc. Spending the money on better quality food will keep your cat healthy and out of the vet’s office later. My oldest cat came to me older and with bad teeth, which I suspect is a result of his prior home feeding him kibble, which caused a lot of plaque and tartar on his teeth that has caused him issues and that I’ve had to work on. My younger cats all came with plaque/tartar-free teeth and they’ve remained that way on the raw/natural diet.
As far as what meat I feed, I give my cats mostly pork (loins and chops are lean and more affordable) and chicken thighs. I cut the pieces into thumb-sized chunks that helps exercise their jaws as they chew and cleans their teeth. With raw feeding, you will need to make sure to include organs (especially liver) and bone. With seven cats, instead of organs and bones, I feed them beef liver powder (occasionally I purchase a full organ powder) and pork bone meal to ensure one cat doesn’t pick out all the organs. Too much liver can cause diarrhea, so just sprinkling a little of the powders on the meat is the easiest way I have found to make sure they all get some.
Feeding raw can be scary and intimidating, but don’t let it be. No two raw feeders feed the same and yet we get the same good results. Feeding raw isn’t an exact science. For example, each cat doesn’t need an exact amount of liver and/or bone at every single meal. It just has to be included in their overall diet. I just put some of each powder in an old spice jar and lightly sprinkle it over the food as I cut it up and put it into 24 oz. containers. I very lightly sprinkle it after the container is half full and also on top.
You determine the amount of raw meat to feed based on the ideal weight of the cat. For example, if you have a 10 lb. cat, they need approximately 3% of their body weight in raw meat/bone/liver-organ. It’s not a whole lot. Here’s a website you can use to calculate the amounts to feed, https://perfectlyrawsome.com/pmr-barf-dog-cat-raw-feeding-calculators/ I have seven cats (5 males and 2 females) with varying ages, sizes, and activity levels and they eat about four pounds +/- a day depending on the weather and other factors. All of my cats are indoor/outdoor, so I have a few that also supplement what I feed with what they catch outside.
If you have young growing cats, they may temporarily eat more until they mature, or if you have mostly females, they will be smaller and probably eat less. The good thing about raw is that they are getting the nutrients they need, so they don’t have to eat as much of it as they do processed food and your litter box will have less poo and have less (or no) stink when they do go. My cats do pee large quantities though, since they get so much moisture from their food, which is a good thing.
Since you have a cat with diarrhea, it’s possible chicken (in any form at all) is the culprit, so just for the sake of determining if that is indeed what’s causing the issue, I’d switch to pork, sardines, or salmon (fresh wild-caught or canned and only wild-caught in water) to see if that helps if the turkey/pumpkin/slippery elm mix doesn’t stop it. Nature’s Logic rabbit is what I used in the past, but the price has gone up exponentially since that time, and there are really very few canned options that don’t have chicken of some sort in them somewhere. Feeding raw will probably be cheaper than a good quality canned food, which are still processed with high heat (destroying the nutrients that have to then be added back in, usually from china-made supplements). Your cat will be fine to be fed raw without the bone or organ meat for a week or so just to see if that helps with the diarrhea. I actually have one cat now that vomits after eating chicken, so when I buy chicken, I make sure I have pork or turkey or something else on hand for him to eat while the other cats eat the chicken.
Some cats like beef and other meats, but most of mine don’t, plus beef is very pricey, so I normally just stick to pork and chicken, along with wild-caught water-packed salmon/sardines, and a dehydrated rabbit food that I sub in occasionally as well. I don’t give the rabbit too often though because it is high in fat (15% to 20%) and that’s awfully high and will make my cats vomit (because it’s too rich) if they eat too much at once. A high-fat diet can also cause pancreatitis. When I cut up the raw food, I take off most of the fat since birds, mice, etc., in the wild don’t have a lot of fat on them and fat is where toxins are stored. Most supermarket meat is from feedlot fed animals, so obviously, they aren’t fed the best quality and any toxins will be stored in their fat, which you don’t want to feed to your cats.
While you are feeding your cat with the diarrhea other non-chicken food, make sure it doesn’t have access to any food with chicken (in any form at all like blood, egg, liver, etc.) in it, as that will contaminate your results. While Julien, the cat in this post was able to resume eating chicken after a few months’ break from it, my current cat that vomits after eating chicken, has not, so it is possible that the intolerance to chicken (if that is what is determined) will remain even after a break from eating it.
I know this was a lengthy reply, but I wanted to try to cover everything for you. 🙂 If you have any questions or need any more help, just let me know.
This was an awesome and so very helpful reply. Thank you! I love what you are doing. We are sort of doing something similar- but are more of a train wreck and flying by the seat of our pants….
Omg! This post has helped me with the diarrhea that a kitten that I rescued was having! I ordered the nature’s logic canned food and the first bowler movement that the kitten had was normal.
Nothing helped: activated charcoal, colloidal silver and even kaolin pectin. I then started to wonder if it was a diet thing. It seems to be. He was eating wellness cat food brand which isnt bad at all but he is responding well to the nature’s logic.
Its been almost 2 weeks of constant messes and cleaning up that it was driving me crazy. I’m so thankful for this blog. I will donate. Its been so helpful and I can tell that you have a good heart and soul.
Do you have any advice on litter training a kitten?
Yay! I’m so glad to hear the switch to Nature’s Logic has helped your kitten!! I remember those messy days with Julien all too well as I struggled to figure out what was causing his diarrhea. Kudos to you for not giving up the search to help your baby too!
As far as litter training a kitten goes, I had three kittens suddenly at once about five years ago and I don’t recall any issue with litter box training, but I had other cats that were using the litter box, so they had the visual and the scent of where the bathroom area was. lol. My main house litter box is also only a few feet away from where I feed them. I know that’s not what the “experts” recommend, but it’s the only area I have with vinyl flooring besides the kitchen, so they are fed and have a litter box in the laundry room and there is no issue with them using the litter box.
If you are having trouble with your little one using the litter box, you might make sure it’s not too high for him to easily get in and out of. Also, you can try putting the litter box closer to where you feed him so it’s easier for him to remember or be reminded that’s where he should go. If he’s going to the bathroom somewhere he shouldn’t, try to get some of the mess in his litter box as a smell attractant that THAT is where the bathroom going is supposed to happen. Maybe even occasionally set him in the box, just so he gets a feel of the loose litter under his feet and understand that’s a good place to use for the bathroom. Lastly, if none of that works, I’d recommend confining him to an area (like the kitchen or laundry room) where the box is, so he doesn’t get too far away from it that he forgets where he’s supposed to go. Once he gets the hang of how the system works, he should be set.
Thank you for your kind words and VERY generous donation!! Since Amazon reduced what they pay for product referrals by so much in April of 2020, the expenses to keep the blog up are higher than what it makes from referring readers to them, so all donations are greatly appreciated.
I’m happy that sharing my own experience with Julien helped you with your kitten’s diarrhea issue. If there is anything else I can help you with, please don’t hesitate to ask. May you and your new little baby have many happy and healthy years together!
Thank you so much!
Yes, there were moments where I would wonder if putting him back outside was the best option because the messy diarrhea all over my bedroom was too much but I couldn’t give up on this kitten.
I would feel like a horrible person and wouldn’t sleep at night knowing a young kitten was outside hungry and exposed to the elements again and dehydrated ( because of the diarrhea), we also went had, and still are going through, very hot weather here in NY.
I found him in my backyard and he was injured. He is super friendly and likes to rub against and cuddle with older cats, and I suspect that one of the strays struck him. He had blood around his nose and mouth. I felt so bad for him.
I also feed the strays in my backyard but this kitten I was compelled to take in. He was receptive to me and didn’t run away from me.
I gave him colloidal silver for some days, a light bath and some mineral water with a bit of spirulina as a nutritional pick me up.
When he started the diarrhea I did put him back outside for the night a couple times to give myself a little break from it (he also expressed a desire to go back outside a few times) but he always came back crying at my door. I knew I had to keep him.
Its not his fault he had the diarrhea and he certainly didn’t ask for it. To me, abandoning a pet just because of a problem like this is equivalent to abandoning a loved one because he or she has a disease– it’s not right.
At the end of it all, I told myself that his problem was now my problem and that I wouldn’t give up.
Reading your story and determination was beautiful and helped me.
I have a vet appointment for him next Tuesday so I look forward to that. I made a vet appointment because of the diarrhea but I feel like they would not know what the main problem would be and it would be a guessing game, so I am super grateful for your blog ❤❤❤
I received your email but am replying here so everyone sees it. I also encourage everyone to donate as much to you as possible because this wealth of information is priceless.
I plan to donate again soon because I see that you’re doing great work. and another thing about you that I appreciate is your lengthy and thoughtful responses to everyone. That is another beautiful trait because you could simply not respond or just give “good enough” replies.
As I said, I can tell you have such a beautiful caring soul. It’s one of the most attractive human traits.
Oh and as far as the litter training, the kitten “Hero” is what I named him, he goes to the litter box 65 percent of the time and now that his diarrhea is gone, he goes more often. I have 2 boxes for him to choose from and sometimes he uses the box of my other cat Leo.
I know he will get use to using the box but honestly, I have no problem cleaning up after him here and there as long as it isn’t diarrhea because that was truly horrible, and I know he wasn’t happy about it either.
What a lovely comment! Thank you so much for appreciating my effort. I try to be the person “out there on the web” that I’ve needed in the past when I’ve had an issue with my pets. I know the frustration of trying to figure out the problem and vets being of no use. That’s why I started this blog. I wanted to share the information I’ve learned along the way, both good and bad, to help others out there. I try to ALWAYS respond to comments in a timely fashion and share as much as I can to help. It also turns out that I’m kinda windy, but I like to be thorough. lol 🙂
You are to be commended as well for stepping up and helping out innocent animals who are in bad situations through no fault of their own. It’s heartbreaking how cruel people can be to animals. I’m glad Hero had you to help him and I’ve no doubt your paths crossed for a reason! 🙂
Just a few things I want to mention to you (and any others who might read this) to think about. First, you mentioned feeding Wellness cat food. I know years ago when I fed it, I discovered that it had carrageenan in it. As you may or may not know, carrageenan is a known gastrointestinal irritant, despite what the product manufacturers say. I actually wrote Wellness an e-mail regarding their addition of the additive and was assured their version was the “safe” one. Doubtful, because what else would they say?, I stopped feeding Wellness. Here’s a link for anyone who might want to read up on it: https://truthaboutpetfood.com/why-carrageenan-can-be-dangerous-to-your-pet/
Secondly, as far as taking Hero to the vet next week, please make sure he is 100% healthy from his injury as well as his gastro issues before you let them give him any vaccinations, if that is part of your plan. Vets know that they are not supposed to give vaccines to pets that are not healthy, but I read stories ALL the time of them doing it anyway. If Hero’s body is fighting off an infection or still overcoming any inflammation that may have been caused by the long bout of diarrhea, which he may have had before he found you, you don’t want to add any more burden to his immune system with vaccines. In any case, just keep that in mind. As a rule, I don’t rush any cat (or dog) to the vet when I take them in until I make sure they are completely healthy.
Lastly, vets know very little to nothing about pet nutrition. Their classes on nutrition are funded by the big name foods they sell in their clinics and of course it’s biased towards kibble and their food. My current primary vet actually told me that kibble is good for cleaning a dog’s teeth. Nothing could be further from the truth! If that was true, we’d all only have to eat potato chips to clean our teeth instead of brushing them. Those carbs holding that kibble together are “glue” and you’d think common sense would allow one to understand that despite someone telling you the opposite, but apparently not. Sooo, just a warning, don’t count on your vet to give you or have good advice on food-related issues. Obviously, some do, but most don’t. They’d rather administer antibiotics, give a shot for diarrhea (aka treating the symptom, not the cause), or recommend awful food that if it does happen to help with that particular issue, it will likely cause others. They tend to go the “treat the symptom” route with their care, while I prefer to know what is CAUSING the symptom and not just throw dangerous drugs at them, hoping that stops them.
I hope this was useful information and again, if I can be of any more assistance at all, please don’t hesitate to ask. <3 CC
When I was cleaning my cat yesterday, I noticed that her poop is not what it normally is. The other day when I went to the supermarket I saw a cat pie and bought it for my cat to see if she liked it. And I think that’s what caused my cat’s diarrhea. In reality, when cats have diarrhea, cleaning them up takes a lot of time and effort. I think it’s time to change your diet.
Should I feed him foods high in fiber, probiotics, and other nutrients like protein?
Introducing new foods can definitely cause GI upset in pets, but if you stop feeding her the “cat pie”, I would think her symptoms would resolve if things were fine before she ate it. If things don’t resolve themselves right away, you could give her some cooked pumpkin (plain, no spices) or slippery elm powder mixed with her regular food. If this is an ongoing issue once she’s only eating her normal diet, you can do a lean ground turkey and pumpkin blend as a bland diet for a few days. Adding in slippery elm powder or syrup may also be necessary, depending on how out of whack her digestion got.
In the future, I’d avoid any sudden food changes or treats like a cat pie that may cause a flare up again. Slow and steady is usually how it’s best to transition cats to new diets to avoid GI upset. It could have been the drastic change from what your cat normally eats, a reaction to whatever protein was used, too much fat, or a number of other things that could have brought on the digestive upset.
Hope this helps and your cat is feeling better soon.
Thank you for these helpful tips. I appreciate your enthusiasm. But your article is really useful for cat owners. I hope to get more accurate and useful information about cats in the future.