new cat's bowel 'issues'

gibby2015January 10, 2011

I have a question related to the new Siamese cat that I got from the shelter. Ever since we got him he's had loose, odiferous stools and gas. We - and vet - thought it was related to whatever he might have been eating as a stray and shelter cat. So he's been eating canned Natural Balance Chicken and Pea and dry Natural Balance Duck and Pea. We have an IBD cat and that's what he eats so that's what everyone eats. That however has not made much of an impact on new cat's stools/gas.

So a couple weeks ago he was started on FortiFlora probiotics. Still no improvement and over the last week he's also been vomiting which he never did before - with a couple incidents of barfing out one end that results in some poop coming out the other. I guess the barfing could be entirely unrelated though - could be hairball or something. Otherwise he eats well, is gaining weight, and is very active and seems quite healthy and two vet exams and tests have shown nothing negative. He is now an indoor only cat as my other cats have been for 10 plus years.

So the vet is recommending trying a different food as the first step in figuring this out. It can be any food - doesn't need to be anything special - just a different food. So I will look for another good quality food and hopefully keep cats from eating each others food that they shouldn't have.

He's had one fecal test that showed no parasites but he's having another one to see if anything is still there that didn't show up the last time. My understanding is that you could keep doing a lot of fecal tests and still have a chance of missing things that aren't in that particular sample so I'm not sure how you are ever sure there aren't parasites remaining.

Anyone have any other thoughts or ideas on this?

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murraysmom Zone 6 OH

Have you tried giving him yogurt? A teaspoon at a time won't hurt him and might balance out his digestive tract.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 5:43PM
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Yeah, deworm him. It's cheap, easy, and doesn't hurt him. I deworm with Profender regardless of fecal results. Also if the tests were not run *immediately* on *fresh* samples you will miss coccidia and/or giardia.

Also Siamese cats are susceptible to T. foetus which requires specialized testing and even more specialized treatment.

If he is an older cat, I'd recommend thyroid testing. Hyperthyroidism can cause diarrhea and vomiting. I'd also run a screening CBC and chemistry just to see if there are signs of chronic disease (anemia, hypoproteinemia, etc). I'd also strongly recommend FeLV and FIV testing if that has not been done. X-rays may reveal a foreign body or megacolon. That's just to start.

These chronic cases can be tough to crack. Sometimes you need biopsy to get a diagnosis and that doesn't guarantee you can fix the disease.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 9:14PM
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He's already been dewormed once. He's been tested for FeLV and FIV and came back negative. He's had a CBC which was all normal. I have a hyper-T cat and he doesn't seemed all like that cat was before treatment. He's only about two so not that old.. His specimen today was fresh so maybe that will show something the last one didn't. In the meantime I'm trying some other food....

    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 10:35PM
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Shelters feed Crappy food. Cats can have giardia and other gasto problems. If the cats hair is falling out then yes! test the T4 or Thyroid. Start with a wormer then the probiotics then feed a food that is for sensitive stomachs or Digestion issues. Science diets I/D is for Vomiting and Diarrhea. Many food companies now make food for these issues. Don't keep changing foods! pick one and stay with it! giving the cats system time to adjust too the new food. If these thing fail to work then other test may be necessary. I my line of work I see this problem in cats and dogs often.
Use common sense, be consistent in whatever you decide to try and give it time to work. Save your money on the blood work until you give the other things a chance to work. It did not get that way overnight and so it will take time for it to go away.

    Bookmark   January 10, 2011 at 10:52PM
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Sounds like a stress issue to me. Give him time to adjust to his new home and he will probably be fine. I vote for yogurt if he will eat it. Of my 7 outdoor cats, only 2 will eat yogurt.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 8:49AM
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Best of luck with your sweet boy. I hope round 2 of parasite testing give you answers. Aquawise mentioned giardia, and I was going to ask if he had been checked for that yet. My kitty had that about 2 years ago, and that turned out to be the source of her loose bowels- that we had blamed on her multiple health issues. I hope his tract regulates soon- poor guy.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 10:37AM
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Glad the dreaded FeLV and FIV are negative. Being 2 years old it's highly unlikely that he would be hyperT4 but I do remember treating a 1.5 year old Siamese with I-131, so it can happen. Easy enough to rule out.

By *fresh* fecal sample I mean collected at the vet office and read immediately. Both coccidia and giardia die within minutes of defecation and once dead they are almost impossible to find. We use a fecal loop to get the sample in office, and read it immediately. We diagnose a LOT of coccidia, not so much giardia in this area, many times other vets have missed it because they 1) didn't collect fresh sample or 2) send out fecal tests or 3) don't run the direct sample immediately. We often see coccidia in direct sample and by the time the float is spun down and read can't find it any more. I know lots of places here don't do direct fecals, which is why we find the coccidia and they don't.

OTOH, he may just be getting used to the new food. Or something worse (foreign body, megacolon, other). In any case, I hope everything straightens out very quickly.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 11:19AM
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Good news - latest fecal showed a persistent case of round worms. So now all three of my cats are being treated. Hopefully this is the culprit and we can get back to "normal". Time will tell.....

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 12:39PM
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My Siamese took around 6 months in house to settle in before his bowels settled down. He tested negative for any and all baddies. Just a case of a "nervous stomach" is what my vet settled on as a diagnosis, and sure enough, as soon as I quit fussing over him and hauling him back and forth to the vet, his movements started to not clear out the whole house like they had. Even more time, and he got to his comfort level with the other house occupants, and everything firmed up and has stayed that way.

He's still a fussy nervous animal though. Every once in a while he'll express his displeasure at our single night away weekend trip by very deliberately leaving his feces in front of the litter box on the floor. It only happens when we're traveling though. Just one of his quirks. At least the loose and runny bit resolved itself or it'd be even worse to clean up.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 6:06PM
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Yep. that'll do it! Glad you found the culprit (probably).

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 8:01PM
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I'm glad it's something straightforward (probably). After many years of CRF and IBD and hyper-T, I was not relishing the idea of a 2 year old cat who already has chronic ailments.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 8:56PM
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I have two kittens. They had diarrhea when we brought them home from the shelter and tested positive for round worm. De worming didn't help. Diarrhea continued, especially for the smaller one. Many trips to the vet, lots of meds, tests, etc. The larger cat improved but the smaller one had very loose stools and my how both of their stools stunk. This went on for five months. I changed foods several times, prescription green pea and rabbit, Blue, Before Grain, you name it. Still loose, stinky stools. Then the little one got diarrhea again. Both kittens were eating - a lot - and the big one slightly overweight and the little one looked like a basketball. So the vet put them on prescription Purina Overweight Management. Changed to it immediately as one had diarrhea already. I was appalled by the ingredients - mostly corn gluten meal, some wheat gluten, a little chicken by products. Very high protein, low fat and low calorie.

In TWO DAYS their stools were normal, solid, smaller, didn't smell much at all and only once a day. I couldn't believe it. The larger one has lost what he needed to lose so I supplement his food with kitten food. The smaller one is slowly losing. They love the OM. I want to get them off as soon as the smaller kitten gets to his right weight. But I am worried that the bowel problems will start up again. Guess I'll just have to give it a try and hope.

It's probably a combination of the change in locale, being with other cats, and the food. I never knew cats had such delicate intestines. These are cats nos. 7 and 8 and I never had these problems with any of our previous cats.

Good luck.

    Bookmark   January 11, 2011 at 10:33PM
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Just reporting back that my kitty is fully recovered now thank goodness. The gas problem improved right away but the loose stool took awhile to get back to normal. I finally saw him in the box (hard to tell for sure who's doing what with three cats) and confirmed he's now dropping logs not piles. Who would think one could get so excited about such a thing but I hate the idea of parasites - yuck!

    Bookmark   March 30, 2011 at 1:25AM
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