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Food for cat with sensitive stomach

(22 Posts)
bediscalling Fri 27-Oct-17 09:56:35

I am cat-sitting for my parents for a few weeks. Their cat is a pedigree and seems to be rather highly-strung - desperately upset by the smallest changes of routine, of which there have unfortunately unavoidably been several recently (new neighbours, nearby building work, etc.). She also seems to have a sensitive stomach and is very prone to diarrhoea which gets worse whenever she gets stressed.

She has been to and from the vet and they can find nothing wrong. They advised a "sensitive" dry cat food, which she can't stand and won't eat unless she really has to. My parents have tried her on all kinds of commercial foods, but the only one she will reliably eat is Whiskas.

I recently overheard someone saying something about grain intolerance in cats, so I bought some grain-free food and tried her on it, and I do think there was a slight improvement. Unfortunately after three days on it she turned up her nose and flatly refused to eat it. In desperation that she shouldn't starve herself on my watch I went back to Whiskas. She wolfed the lot, and I have spent this morning washing the floor - again.

Does anyone have any experience of grain intolerance in cats, or any recommendations for foods to try? The one I bought was the "solid" sort, whereas what she really likes is the "pieces in gravy" type. I also suspect that the reason she went off it was that all the sachets were the same flavour, so I would like to try something which has a selection. We have only ever had completely robust moggies before so I'm a bit clueless. I don't want to spend a fortune on random cat food, but I do think she would probably be better off on something other than Whiskas.

ScoopyDoo Fri 27-Oct-17 10:09:57

My cat (def not pedigree) seems to have similar issues. He adores James Wellbeloved grain free dry food (won't touch any other dry), and this is mostly what he eats. I give him half a pouch/small can of wet every day, and he tolerates 'IAMs naturally', and LOVES Applaws tuna. The IAMs boxes are very cheap so I don't think the quality can be brilliant, but they do come in a range of flavours and might be what you are looking for. there's also a huge flavour range in the Applaws small cans, but he only eats the plain tuna ones.
A pet shop (Jollys etc) is more likely to have a wider range of grain free than the supermarket, if you can get to one.

EachandEveryone Fri 27-Oct-17 12:56:00

Even grain free can give them the runs at first I think it’s the high meat content so you will have to do it slowly. Not grain free but have you tried Sainsbury’s Taste the difference either chicken or fish. Looks good quality if a little bland. Mine love it and we go between that and sheba in sauce. But the small packets of sheba to try.

dementedpixie Fri 27-Oct-17 14:39:52

Sheba fine flakes is grain free and my 2 like it. They turned their noses up at all the quality high meat stuff I gave them and also don't like pate style

EachandEveryone Fri 27-Oct-17 14:42:07

I agree. Didn’t know it was grain free though so that’s a bonus

AGoodCupOfTea Fri 27-Oct-17 14:44:03

Could you not try a raw meat diet? This usually firms stools up instantly. Just get off cuts from the butchers things like liver, hearts, or you can get a bag of frozen chicken thighs from Tesco cheap. Just defrost and boil in water

dementedpixie Fri 27-Oct-17 14:44:35

It doesn't mention cereals in the ingredients. The select slices do though. Gourmet perle also doesn't have grains on the ingredient list

dementedpixie Fri 27-Oct-17 14:45:52

Is it not harder to raw feed cats compared to dogs ?

Lancelottie Fri 27-Oct-17 14:49:45

We've had a decent amount of success with Meowing Heads catfood. One of ours is sick on Whiskas and IAMS but seems to be thriving on this. I haven't tried the wet food yet but she likes the dry version.

GerrytheBerry Fri 27-Oct-17 14:51:28

Our old dog was like this and fed him on James well beloved until we came across Tails, you go on there and state what allergies or sensitivities your pet has and what food they currently eat, and they blend you their own version of it and send you a month supply with free delivery.
Pretty sure we got a two week trial free as well. It was perfect.

GerrytheBerry Fri 27-Oct-17 14:53:50

Sorry I'm not actually sure they do cat food though thinking about it!
Ignore me...

AGoodCupOfTea Fri 27-Oct-17 14:54:16

It’s not hard at all, cats are obligate carnivores they love raw meat smile

YesItsMeIDontCare Fri 27-Oct-17 14:58:01

It’s not hard at all, cats are obligate carnivores they love raw meat

Can you come and have a word with Leroy please? He refuses point blank to touch the stuff! grin

He does have Royal Canin Digestive, worked wonders on his slightly dodgy back end!

dementedpixie Fri 27-Oct-17 14:58:22

But you have to get the right proportions to get the right nutrients

AGoodCupOfTea Fri 27-Oct-17 14:59:10

Haha poor Leroy! Does he not even like a good chicken thigh?

It’s a good diet for cats with sensitive digestion problems, that’s what I meant really.
Obviously every cat is an individual wink

silentpool Fri 27-Oct-17 15:01:15

I would put her on only wet food ( try something that has limited ingredients, just meat and gravy) for 4 or 5 days. If something in her previous food has been irritating her gut, it will need time to heal. My cat didn't get on with a new brand of food and was vomiting daily. We did this and he was fine after a few days to go onto a different brand of dry food.

stressystressy Fri 27-Oct-17 20:16:46

Raw is fantastic for cats with sensitive stomachs. There is a group on Facebook for cats with IBD and the best successes they have is with raw food. It can be a slow transition for some cats but not impossible - it just takes perseverance (the only way I can feed my fosters as cheaply as I do is through raw feeding, and they all transition eventually a even at 15!)

You do have to be careful though, the cheapest way to do it is to make your own, and there are specific ratios of meat, organ, and bone to take into account to make sure the cat gets everything it needs. Meat naturally high in taurine being a good example. There are companies who pre-mix raw for you (obviously this costs more) - Natural Instinct and Purrform get great reviews.

Also, probiotics. They can make a huge difference.

bediscalling Fri 27-Oct-17 21:56:08

Thanks for all the suggestions. Sorry for not coming back sooner - been working.

I am not absolutely certain that it is grain that is upsetting her, it's just a guess, but I think it is probably something in the Whiskas. Or at least something in that exacerbates the problem. I realised this evening that the dry food she's been having from the vet also contains grains, so I might try one of the grain-free dry foods too and see if that helps. At any rate, she was definitely much worse when she had the Whiskas than when she didn't.

I have to admit I am not that enthusiastic about raw feeding given it's not my cat. I have been told about it before (by a neighbour who fed their animals that way) and it sounded like it was fairly hard to be sure of getting the right balance. I think I'll stick with commercial foods for the moment and see how she goes.

Because I don't drive it's hard for me to get to any of the big pet shops, but presumably I could order some stuff online.

Redken24 Fri 27-Oct-17 21:58:58

James well beloved

Ollivander84 Fri 27-Oct-17 22:05:16

Natures menu my cat loves. Also meowing heads. Not forthglade, even the dustbin cat wouldn't sniff it grin
Applaws, but not all of them are complete foods. AATU do pouches as well. Lily's kitchen

dementedpixie Fri 27-Oct-17 22:35:55

I get AVA grain free dry stuff from pets at home. It has about 60% chicken in it which isn't bad

AGoodCupOfTea Sat 28-Oct-17 22:06:57

Zooplus is great for good quality food. Ones with high meat content like Feringa will be good.

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