Category Archives: Fluffy

Parent for all of cat related feeding categories

How to Choose Healthy Cat Food for Fluffy

Choosing healthy cat food poses questions and problems.  We look for healthy ingredients, try to avoid the bad ones and pray Fluffy will eat what we select, because felines are finicky creatures and often change their minds. It’s a learning  process. But what if someone made it easier for you?

Reviews.com researches all kinds of products to help consumers make wise choices in their buying decisions. A recent study of cat food conducted by the team led to their review of numerous brands of cat food, producing a guide to help consumers choose the safest and healthiest formulas for their feline pets.

The research team avoids bias by not interviewing manufacturers of the products they review, and they do not accept sponsorships for reviews.  All research is done in-house by the Seattle-based team, and they begin by reading all text available on a product. As they state on their website, they spend “weeks analyzing scientific studies, lab results, historical trends, and user experiences. We zero in on the authorities of a category and parse through their opinions to learn what really matters.”

97 veterinary professionals were consulted for the cat food review, along with hundreds of cat owners. Foods were cat-tested, as well as analyzed. The team analyzed 1759 cat food formulas before narrowing the list down to the 8 that fit their chosen criteria. They spent 300 hours researching the cat food industry and studied the science of what cats actually need for an optimum diet.  The source of cat food brands was also important.

The team’s graphic comparing the ingredients of cat food brands they approve versus grocery store brands speaks for itself.

 

Healthy cat food infographic

 

How Specific Cat Foods Were Eliminated

In choosing which cat food formulas to omit from their list of approved brands, the team used 4 criteria.

1.  Any formula where an identifiable meat was not the first ingredient was automatically eliminated.

2.  Foods that contained controversial ingredients, such as artificial colors and dyes, chemicals, or preservatives were deleted.

3.  The team removed foods that contained rendered ingredients, sugar, and questionable items that might be potentially harmful to a kitty.

4. And they removed foods based on the manufacturer’s history of recalls and took into account customer satisfaction.

Lauren's pet dines on healthy cat food.

Lauren of Reviews.com with her cat, “Bo.”

 

My contact with the team explained that “Brands that were eliminated based on their manufacturing location aren’t all necessarily “bad.” Rather, we assumed the position of someone choosing a cat food for the very first time and felt that this was criterion upon which to come to a choice.”

The Final Approved List of Cat Foods

  1. Addiction Grain Free Canned Cat Food
  2. Blackwood Chicken Meal and Field Pea Recipe Grain Free Dry Cat Food
  3. Earthborn Holistic Wild Sea Catch Grain Free Natural Dry Cat & Kitten Food
  4. Fromm Gold Holistic Adult Dry Cat Food
  5. Lotus Just Juicy Pork Stew Grain Free Canned Cat Food
  6. Now Fresh Grain Free Adult Recipe Dry Cat Food
  7. Redbarn Naturals Salmon and Delilah Grain Free Canned Cat Food
  8. ZiwiPeak Daily Cat Cuisine Venison and Fish Canned Cat Food

Before publishing this article, I quickly reviewed each of the 8 preferred, healthy cat foods that made their approved list and would happily feed any of them to my own felines.  In fact, I do alternate the Fromm Gold Holistic Adult Dry Cat Food with another brand for Chico and Lucy.

Chico eats healthy cat food.

The difficulty with cats is coordinating their picky appetites with the budget and what’s really good for them. Our now 11 and 12-year-old kitties have gone through many brands of food over the years, as we tried to keep them happy, please our budget and feed them healthy cat food. At least now, when our two fur-balls decide they no longer care for the current brand I’m feeding them, I have some trusted options to try, thanks to www.reviews.com.

 

Review: N & D Grain-Free Feline Chicken & Pomegranate Adult Food

Healthy & tasty cat food logoOne day when I was shopping in my nearby holistic pet store, a clerk asked if I wanted to try a sample pack of a newer line of dry cat food they carried.  I often examine new products because my own two cats are as picky as felines can be and also because I’m always on the look-out for new products to review on this site.

Hint:  Pet stores receive free sample packages of dog and cat food from their distributors, and I assume the intention by the manufacturer is for the retail store to give them out to consumers in hopes of bringing in new buyers, although, I know of at least 2 cases where the pet store staff was taking those samples home for their own animals instead of offering them to customers. When you shop at a local pet store, always ask for samples of a dog or cat food you would like to try. If they don’t have samples and you know the store does carry the brand, ask them nicely to order some samples and call you. It doesn’t cost them a dime.  A smaller retail store should be happy to do that. Big box retailers may or may not offer such samples to customers. When I created and ran a local pet store, we kept a small container of samples of certain types of food near the checkout counter and encouraged customers to take one. This is good PR for the store, but it’s also good for pet owners who would like to try their cat or dog on a new food but don’t want to be stuck with 3/4 of an open bag if the animal refuses it.

The new product sample I took home was received excitedly by my two picky felines. I gave them a couple of pieces of the kibble as treats, and Lucy and Chico both gobbled it up. Since they had recently refused to eat their current dry cat food, I returned to Holistic for Pets the next day to purchase a bag of N & D Grain-Free Feline Chicken and Pomegranate Adult Cat Food to go along with the wet food they also eat.

This food is manufactured by Farmina Pet Foods, an English company specializing in food research and formulation. What began as a collaboration between Farmina and the Russo Mangimi Company in 1999 to develop foods based on scientific studies on the well-being of pets, is now a large company creating healthy pet foods sold in many countries of the world.

According to their website, Farmina’s mission is to develop the best all-natural, nutritious and scientifically validated food that both cats and dogs will love. If you ask my cats, they have succeeded!

Farmina’s N & D Grain-Free Chicken recipes are formulated to meet the standards of AAFCO profiles for all life stages, meaning any age cat or kitten can safely eat this product. Under their guaranteed analysis, it shows there is 44% crude protein in this product, which is a high amount of protein for commercial cat foods, and the amount of protein from animal sources is 97%, also very high.  The company advertises their food as consisting of 70% premium animal ingredients, 30% fruits, minerals and vegetables, and 0% cereals.

healthy cat food

Click on the Ingredients List to Enlarge

 

Note that there are no artificial preservatives in this food: Only natural antioxidants using tocopheral-rich extracts as a natural preservative are used.  The food is also completely free of genetically modified ingredients! Human-grade regional ingredients are used with no meals or by-products.  There is also a low glycemic index and the company uses only cruelty-free testing of their products.  All-in-all, I am very pleased with this dry cat food and so are Lucy and Chico.

Review: Comparing 4 Popular Cat Treats

We are owned by Lucy and Chico, both Siamese-mix kitties, who are only fed healthy cat treats. Yes, we spoil our fur babies with treats! But it took several years to find healthy options that appealed to our picky duo.

Cats are notoriously difficult to please. Like many humans, they prefer junk food. We know that could harm their health and shorten their lives, so it’s up to us to provide healthy alternatives. Let’s look at 3 popular cat treat brands and see how they stack up.

Fancy Feast Duos
Cheddar and Crab Souffle Flavors

cat treats

Choose healthy cat treats

This treat starts out bad and just gets worse. The product begins with a waste product from the beer brewing industry. That means the ingredient with the most weight in the treat is not healthy. Then we see chicken by-product meal. Regular readers on this site know by now how I feel about any kind of by-product. By-products are absolute no-no’s for any kind of pet food! Here is why. From by-products, we move to corn gluten meal. Too many cats are sensitive to corn-based ingredients, making any such inclusion in cat food suspect.

Glycerin is often used as a preservative in pet food. I don’t like it for my own cats. Anthony Bennie, co-founder of Clear Conscience Pet, explains why it isn’t good for yours.

Cheese powder is flavoring – no substance, mainly for show. Then we see animal digest, which is as bad as it sounds since it is the digested part of who knows what animals. Wheat starch is a poor carbohydrate choice, and wheat is often linked to allergies in pets.

Further down, we get to the color. “Added color” could be anything. Specifically named colors, such as red 40 or yellow 6, which are potentially carcinogenic, just pour chemicals into our pets. BHA is considered carninogenic. BHT is also a carcinogen that causes kidney and liver damage in rats. Both are chemicals that are added to oils to be used as preservatives in pet food.

Fancy Feast® products are part of Purina. The reviews I found on the website were glowing, citing how much their kitties loved the treats. Of course they did, since it’s junk food. It’s up to you to provide a healthy cat treat as an alternative.

Blue Kitty Yums

cat treats

If you trust Blue Buffalo products, this isn’t a horrible cat treat. It wouldn’t be my choice because of a few ingredients and because I don’t feel comfortable with this company.

healthy cat treats

It begins well with chicken. I’m not thrilled with brown rice as the second weightiest ingredient but it could be worse. Maple syrup does not belong in any kind of pet food. Then they make it worse with vegetable glycerin. (See a link above to learn about that ingredient). I question the need for potatoes as a carbohydrate when they have already added a large amount of brown rice. Salt is unnecessary and not good for pets, and then they include fish oil which could contain ethoxyquin, a bad chemical. A named fish oil would be a much better option (think Menhaden Fish Oil). That would tell us it is free of ethoxyquin. As I said, this isn’t the worst treat on the market but it surely is far from the best.

Meow Mix Irresistables® Soft with Salmon

cat treats

Not healthy cat treats

This is one poor-quality cat treat! It begins with chicken and that’s a good thing. The second weightiest ingredient is a carbohydrate, and that is followed by animal digest which was described earlier in this article. They make it worse by adding a by-product next. Further down the list, we see glycerin, also discussed above. Finally, we see the salmon that was listed in the title. Unfortunately, it’s far enough down the ingredients’ list that there can’t be much of it in these treats. Animal fat that clearly lists BHA, a carcinogen, as a preservative could be most anything since it is not a named specie. They used fish meal and say it is preserved with ethoxyquin, a known carcinogen. Pet owners today know not to feed their cats a food containing known trouble. Moving on, there is salt and known chemical colors and more BHA.

This is not a treat I would ever want my fur babies to eat!

Wellness Kittles Crunchy Natural Grain-Free Cat Treats

healthy cat treats

healthy cat treats

There isn’t much to say about this Wellness® cat treat. Any self-respecting kitty would be thrilled to eat this one! It begins with a named fish and that is followed by a list of healthy ingredients.

After reading the ingredients of all these well-known cat treats, which one would you choose?

Recall: Triumph Cat Food Recalls Ocean Fish Formula

Another Cat Food RecallThis 4th recall in recent weeks for foreign material in the product appeared tonight on another website. Triumph Premium Cat Food Ocean Fish Formula, in 13.2 ounce cans, made by Sunshine Mills whose corporate office is in Alabama, is being recalled.  The recalled products were produced on August 3, 2016.

The company verified the recall via a phone call with the other site. They have not issued any other details at this time. When further news is available, I’ll update this post.  Meanwhile, if you feed this food to your cat, return it to your place of purchase. No information was given about refunds.

Recall: Wellness Cat Food

Because their quality team found a foreign material in a product other than a Wellness product that was made in the same facility as Wellness, the company decided to voluntarily recall some of their cat food. The foods affected are as follows and come in 12.5 ounce cans:

RECIPE BEST BY DATE
Wellness Canned Cat 12.5 oz Chicken & Herring 08/04/2019
Wellness Canned Cat 12.5 oz Chicken 08/03/2019 & 08/04/2019
Wellness Canned Cat 12.5 oz Chicken & Lobster 08/04/2019
Wellness Canned Cat 12.5 oz Turkey & Salmon 08/05/2019
Wellness Canned Cat 12.5 oz Turkey 08/04/2019 & 08/05/2019
Wellness Canned Cat 12.5 oz Beef & Chicken 08/05/2019
Wellness Canned Cat 12.5 oz Beef & Salmon 08/05/2019

 

If you have any of the 12.5 oz.cans showing the above best by dates, contact the company at info@wellpet.com or call 877-277-9587 for a refund. Their press release did not say what the foreign object might be.

Recall: Companion Pet Food

Companion Dog and Cat Food is a store brand, manufactured by Simmons PetFood. Companion is sold in Stop & Shop Supermarkets and Giant Food Stores in several states. According to a release by Stop & Shop Supermarket Company, the manufacturer is recalling all of its “cuts and gravy” style dog and cat food. Apparently, this recall affects different private label brands all across the United States.

Recalled Companion products are:

Brand      Description                             Size       UPC

 

Companion  Chicken Dinner and Gravy Cat Food       3 oz       8826700301

 

Companion  With Tuna and Gravy Cat Food            3 oz       8826700303

 

Companion  With Turkey and Giblets In Gravy

Cat Food                                3 oz       8826700304

 

Companion  With Beef and Gravy Cat Food            3 oz       8826700302

 

Companion  Mixed Grill and Gravy Cat Food          3 oz       8826700300

 

Companion  Pouch Variety Pack Cat Food       12-3 oz Pouches  8826705355

 

Companion  Two Flavor Variety Pack Dog Food  12-13.2 oz Cans  8826705341

 

Companion  Pouch Variety Pack Dog Food      12-5.3 oz Pouches 8826705356

 

Companion  With Turkey In Gravy Dog Food       5.3 oz Pouch   8826700385

Companion  Stew With Beef In Gravy Dog Food    5.3 oz Pouch   8826700384

Companion  Chicken Dinner In Gravy Dog Food    5.3 oz Pouch   8826700386

Stop and Shop

Companion      With Beef Cuts In Gravy Dog Food     13.2 oz   8826700353

Stop and Shop

Companion      Slice Beef Dinner In Gravy Cat Food   5.5 oz   8826700306

Stop and Shop

Companion      Sliced Chicken Dinner In Gravy

Cat Food                              5.5 oz   8826700305

Stop and Shop

Companion      Country Stew Cuts In Gravy Dog Food  13.2 oz   8826700355

Stop and Shop

Companion      With Chicken Cuts In Gravy Dog Food  13.2 oz   8826700357

Stop and Shop

Companion      With Beef Cuts In Gravy Dog Food       22 oz   8826700375

Stop and Shop

Companion      Country Stew Cuts In Gravy Dog Food    22 oz   8826700378

Giant

Companion  Slice Beef Dinner In Gravy Cat Food       5.5 oz   8826700306

Giant

Companion  Sliced Chicken Dinner In Gravy Cat Food   5.5 oz   8826700305

Giant

Companion  With Beef Cuts In Gravy Dog Food         13.2 oz   8826700353

Giant

Companion  With Beef Cuts In Gravy Dog Food           22 oz   8826700375

Giant

Companion  Country Stew Cuts In Gravy Dog Food        22 oz   8826700378

Giant

Companion  With Chicken Cuts In Gravy Dog Food        22 oz   8826700381

Giant

Companion  With Beef Slices In Gravy Dog Food       13.2 oz   8826705342

Giant

Companion  With Chicken Slices In Gravy Dog Food    13.2 oz   8826705340

Because other brands may be involved, expect to see more of these recalls in coming days. This recall is occurring because of possible metal contamination in the products. If you have purchased one of the affected foods, return it to your retailer for a refund. You may also call the manufacturers Customer Affairs office at 800/232-9880 for more information.

J.M. Smucker Recalls Certain Lots of Cat Food

The J.M. Smucker Company today announced a limited voluntary recall on certain lots of 9LivesTM™, EverPetTM™, and Special KittyTM™ canned cat food due to possible low levels of thiamine (Vitamin B1). The company’s Quality Assurance Team found the problem during a routine review of production records and made the recall out of an abundance of caution.

Thiamine is an essential ingredient for cats. If they are deprived of thiamine in their diet for several weeks, felines are subject to gastrointestinal issues such as vomiting, decreased appetite and weight loss. Neurological issues, since as seizures or walk difficulties, may also occur.

The affected product was distributed to a limited number of retail customers from December 20 through January 3, 2017.

The affected production includes the following:

Brand Product Description UPC Code Consumer Unit Lot Numbers Units per Case Selling Unit Size UPC Code on Case
9Lives Meaty Pate Chicken and Tuna 7910052238 6354803 12 13 oz 7910052228
9Lives Meaty Pate Seafood Platter 7910000402 6356803 24 5.5 oz 7910000402
9Lives Meaty Pate Seafood Platter 7910000367 6355803 6 4pk
5.5 oz each
7910003670
9Lives Meaty Pate Super Supper 7910000327 6358803 24 5.5 oz 7910000327
9Lives Meaty Pate Super Supper 7910000286 6358803 6 4pk
5.5 oz each
7910002860
9Lives Meaty Pate Super Supper 7910052239 6355803 12 13 oz 7910052229
9Lives Meaty Pate Super Supper 7910052239 6364803 12 13 oz 7910052229
9Lives Meaty Pate with Chicken and Seafood 7910000364 (793641) 6356803 6 4pk
5.5 oz each
7910003640
9Lives Meaty Pate with Chicken and Tuna 7910000324 6356803 24 5.5 oz 7910000324
9Lives Meaty Pate with Chicken Dinner 7910000410 6356803 24 5.5 oz 7910000410
9Lives Meaty Pate with Liver and Chicken 7910000312 (793121) 6355803 6 4pk
5.5 oz each
7910000312
9Lives Meaty Pate with Ocean Whitefish 7910000420 6358803 24 5.5 oz 7910000420
9Lives Seafood Poultry Variety Pack 7910053377 6307803 24 5.5 oz 7910053377
9Lives Meaty Pate with Chicken & Tuna 7910000366 6357803 6 4pk
5.5 oz each
7910003660
EverPet Mixed Grill Dinner 7910053114 6356803 12 13 oz 7910053114
Special Kitty Beef and Liver Dinner 8113112120 6355803 12 13 oz 8113112120
Special Kitty Classic Tuna Dinner 8113112157 6358803 12 13 oz 8113112157
Special Kitty Mixed Grill Dinner with printed wrap 8113109609 6355803 1 12 pk
13 oz each
8113109609
Special Kitty Mixed Grill Dinner without printed wrap 8113112119 6356803 12 13 oz 8113112119
Special Kitty Super Supper 8113179041 6355803 12 13 oz 7910079041

If you have purchased any of the affected product, call the company at 1-800-828-9980 Monday through Friday 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM EST or contact consumer.relations@jmsmucker.com.

How Scratching Posts Keep Fluffy from Ruining Your Sofa

If there is one habit that annoys cat owners about their  furry felines, it must be their busy claws. Cats scratch.  It’s what they do.  It’s more than just exercising their claws. Scratching helps remove the dead outer layer of their claws and also allows them to mark their territory and stretch out their legs. Scratching is also a stress-reliever for cats. Cats do NOT scratch your belongings to get back at you or to willingly be destructive. However, their scratching can wreak havoc on your home. Fortunately, there are ways to lessen the damage and redirect your pet’s need to scratch that will save your sofa and still allow Fluffy to exercise her claws.  The alternative would be declawing, which is a major surgery for your cat and cruel. Declawing essentially removes part of the toe and maims the animal for life.

Chico loves his scratching post.

Chico Loves His Scratching Post

Scratching posts are best for Fluffy only if they are tall enough. They allow the cat to stretch its entire body as it reaches for the top. The post below originally came wrapped in some kind of rope, which didn’t last. Cats can get their claws stuck in rope as it begins to fall apart.  Eventually, we removed the rope and replaced it with a piece of short-napped carpet and Chico loves it!  He can stretch out his entire body as he works his claws on it, and it is strong enough to remain upright when the big cat attacks it.

Scratching post

We also keep several scratching boxes around the house. These boxes are very inexpensive (under $5 at Big Lots and other discount stores) and a good alternative to a vertical post.  Our smaller kitty, Lucy, prefers the boxes.  Yes, they are messy but the cardboard that is scratched off easily vacuums up. I place boxes beside an upholstered chair and by each end of the new sofa. Neither cat has ever tried to scratch the furniture, and they did so on a regular basis with the old pieces.

With both the posts and the boxes, it helps to add catnip. We use the spray version on the vertical post covered in carpet and sprinkle a bit of catnip around the base to attract the kitties. Regular catnip is very appealing when sprinkled on the cardboard boxes and both of our cats will roll around on them.

We tried cat deterrent sprays but for various reasons, they didn’t help. Our new furniture has a stain repellent on both pieces, and I found that the cat deterrent would not adhere to it.  Nor would double-sided carpet tape. Many people use the tape, because most felines detest having their claws touch the sticky tape. It works as a good trainer, if it will stay on your upholstered furniture.  Some cat owners prefer to apply the artificial nails, or nail caps, that glue onto the animal’s own claws but don’t have sharp ends like a real nail. You can purchase those at most pet supply retailers.

Finally, offer a treat to your cat when he or she uses the scratching box or post. She will learn to associate that activity with something good to follow.

 

 

5 Symptoms that Indicate Your Cat May be Sick

Beautiful Ragdoll Cat

In memory of Bella

If you are owned by a cat, you may have experienced health issues with your feline friend. If so, you most likely realized that your kitty does not advertise her ill health.  An illness or injury will most likely reach serious before you become aware that she needs help.  We experienced this several times with various cats.  The most difficult and painful for me was Jake. Jake was my baby, an 18-month-old rescue that Jim brought home at age 3 months to heal from being run over by a golf cart. At that time, he suffered a broken jaw and an upper respiratory infection.  He stayed in our guest room while he recuperated, separated from our other two cats.  One of those was Chico, also 3 months old. They become acquainted by touching paws beneath the closed door and once Jake was released from quarantine, he and Chico became best buddies.  They played from dawn to bedtime and at night, Jake slept curled up beside me.

JAKE IN BOWL 6

Jake at 1 Year

When he was 18 months old, Jake didn’t come to bed with me for the first time ever!  Next morning, Halloween Day, we found him hiding in a corner of the breakfast room.  I headed to work and Jim took Jake straight to the vet’s office.  A few hours later, Dr. Carlos called to tell me that Jake was really struggling to breathe, that he was working with him but wasn’t sure he would make it.  Said he would keep me posted.  Later in the afternoon, I received the dreaded call that I needed to allow him to euthanize my boy. I was locked in to work.  The street was closed off for a children’s Halloween celebration and I could not get my car out to drive to Jake.  Heartbroken, I agreed to let Jake go and learned later that he had a congenital heart condition and it was surprising he had lived as long as he did.  We never had a clue that anything was wrong with him.

When our son’s Ragdoll, Bella, reached the end of her life she, too, found a corner to hide in and refused to come out to eat.  Michael knew when he took her to the vet the next morning that the end had arrived because of Bella’s advanced age.  Our permanent foster, Abby, behaved the same way. She hid under my desk until we dragged her out to visit the vet.

Cats in the wild know not to call attention to any infirmities to protect them from enemies. Apparently, that instinct transfers to domestic animals, as well.  However, there a few warning signs to watch for to alert you when problems arise.

Diarrhea.  By itself, diarrhea would be something to watch, not worth a trip to the vet.  However, if it continues and you cannot find a cause such as change in food, talk to your veterinary professional.

Listlessness.  If your pet is normally active and engages in regular activities, you should be concerned if she shows signs of lethargy or hides from everyone.

Stops eating.  You know your kitty’s eating habits. If they change, or she stops eating altogether, it’s time for another opinion.

Vomiting.  It goes without saying that if your cat vomits frequently or you see projectile vomiting, take her to the veterinarian pronto!  Occasional vomiting isn’t usually a concern and often involves trying to hack up a hairball.

Coughing and sneezing.  Together, these two could signify an upper respiratory infection. Because we had seen it before, when our Chico began sneezing recently and it went on for 2 days, we called vet.  We were told that as along as it wasn’t accompanied by fever or other symptoms, we should buy some Lysine.  We found some chicken-flavored chewable Lysine tablets and crumbled them over Chico’s food.  He gobbled them up and within 2 days, he stopped sneezing and wheezing.

These are 5 simple ways to determine if your cat is sick.  You may run into others.  Just remember that it’s always better to call your veterinary professional if you are in doubt.

IBD: Common in Cats

SICK CATS

 

Just picture it!  Your guests are enjoying appetizers in your living room before dinner. In walks Fluffy, swishing her tail back and forth. She stops, looks around at everyone.  Just as they begin commenting on her beautiful coat or her pretty face, Fluffy begins to heave…and heave…and finally horks up a gigantic load of vomit.  There is no end to your embarrassment as you rush for cleaning supplies. We cat owners have all been there. But when does the occasional appearance of a hairball or second appearance of Fluffy’s dinner become a concern?  When it becomes a chronic situation. Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)  in cats causes chronic vomiting and diarrhea.

IBD is not an actual disease but rather, is a group of disorders caused by the infiltration of inflammatory cells in the mucosa of the gastrointestinal tract.

If the inflammation is restricted to the large intestine, it will be called colitis, but if the small intestine is involved, the term used will be enteritis. If the stomach is the source of the problem, it will be referred to as gastritis.

The cause of IBD is mostly  unknown but it is considered the result of certain kinds of bacteria, allergies, genetics, or parasites that causes cats to produce antibodies attacking their own digestive tracts. Symptoms of IBD in felines include diarrhea (not always in the litter box), vomiting, lethargy, loss of appetite, constipation, abdominal pain, and weight loss.  In some cats, you may only see weight loss and/or pooping outside the litter box as symptoms.

Because the symptoms of IBD mimic other diseases and conditions, a veterinarian will perform several diagnostic tests. Expect a complete blood count and chemical profile to rule out diabetes, liver disease and renal problems. A urinalysis is necessary. A fecal exam will be performed to rule out parasites.  Pancreatitis can run concurrent with IBD and other tests may be necessary to rule that out as the cause of symptoms.  The veterinarian will also need a good history of the cat’s symptoms and behavior so be sure to document incidents as they occur.

Once diagnosed, the search will begin to find the cause of the cat’s IBD and eliminate said cause.  A change in diet likely to be necessary.  In general, a low-fat diet containing a novel protein is best. A novel protein is one that the animal has not eaten previously.  If the colon is involved, a high fiber diet may be in order. Antibiotics and Prednisone may be used to treat the symptoms.

Some veterinary professionals believe that IBD is caused by ingredients in commercial cat food.  One suggests that wheat gluten is an ingredient to avoid. Wheat gluten  is a cheap source  of protein used by some manufacturers in place of real meat to save money. Some animals will react to the gluten, causing inflammation in the bowel and all the symptoms of IBD.

Another ingredient is carrageenan.  “Chronic ingestion of carrageenan has been shown to be the cause of an immune reaction that triggers inflammation, insulin resistance, and glucose intolerance – precursors of diabetes.” (http://drjudymorgannaturalpetcare.blogspot.com/2016/03/inflammatory-bowel-disease-caused-by.html?m=1)

Carrageenan is found in many canned cat foods (and dog foods), used as a thickening agent.  When you shop, read the labels on cat foods. Avoid any containing glutens or carrageenan.

http://www.cat-world.com.au/inflammatory-bowel-disease-ibd-in-cats.
http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=1+2122&aid=304
http://drjudgymorgannaturalpetcare.blogspot.com/2016/03/inflammatory-bowel-disease-cause-by.html?m=1