cat w loose stool for years. diet advice needed. new here

topic posted Thu, August 24, 2006 - 8:13 PM by  Karen
hi! im new here, this seems like an interesting place. i hope you can give me some advice. i have 2 furry angels, aged 6 years now, cinnamon graham and cracker jack. they are brothers.

cracker is my problem. he has always (since i got him at 6 months old) had loose stool. he goes in the litter box, makes his contribution, scratches but is careful not to get a grain of litter on top of it, then runs like hell out of the box, cuz even he knows it stinks! after that, he seems more bouncy for awhile, so i always thought it was because his belly was feeling better after getting that nastiness out of his body.

i had talked to the vet and she didnt seem to concerned, mumbled something about more fiber, but didnt help much. she said if he wasnt feeling well, i would know it from a grumbly tummy or something.... Ive been free feeding them dry Iams original for years (sorry, i thought it was a pretty good food / they are not overweight). once in awhile id try cracker on a high fiber diet (Science diet high fiber or something), but it never helped.

a few months ago, i noticed some blood in his stool (handy that he never covers it). i freaked out, then called the vet. i took some stool in and they tested it for parasites/ worms, but no suprise, they found none. Again a recommendation of a prescription high fiber diet.

not happy with that, i started to do some research and ended up reading about the raw diet. makes sense to me. Cracker does not like any kind of wet/ canned food, so i thought nature's variety was a good choice since they offer dry, canned and raw and therefore, I could transition him over slowly and give him a variety.

so i started mixing the dry into the iams and thought i saw a little improvement in the poo. its strange, but its actually half and half. half tan and watery, half dark and hard. striped poo! hes been on the dry only for a few weeks now and tonights contribution was all light colored and watery.

so now what do i do? im guessing its an allergy to something? he wont touch the canned, let alone the raw and it just kills me to starve him to force him to eat canned. he barely eats the dry natures variety. should i try NV grain free? ive been looking at digestive aids, but im not shoving a pill down his throat daily and i dont think he'll touch something like pumpkin. The world of herbs gets confusing really fast too! I wish i could find a high quality canned that he likes, but he's a carb cat and prefers a little snip of toast to a piece of chicken. if he had his way, he'd eat Wiskas or some cheap dry food. Anything with high meat content he shuns. Actually, he doesnt care about food too much in general.

Cinnamon by the way is the opposite. Loves meat! He loves the canned NV and although he wont touch the raw NV (yet), he will eat raw chicken if i give him some little pieces.

Im determined to get cracker to poop normal! Can anyone offer any advice? He's otherwise healthy and i'd like him to stay that way!

Thanks for reading, sorry this is so long!
posted by:
  • I went through something similar with a cat that I had. My first and largest bit of advice is find a new vet ASAP. Your vet is obviously not willing to look into it more. There is something OBVIOUSLY wrong, esp if there is blood in his stool. My cat had a vet that wrote off the problem as Irritable bowel syndrome. We changed her food but with no relief. When I moved I took her to a new vet. He took blood tests and immediately found that her liver was failing. She was 14 years old, so don't worry, yours is probably less serious. But still, you MUST find a new vet. He needs blood tests done. And if a stool sample is taken he needs something more than just looking for parasites. That's not enough.
    For now try a new food. Switch foods slowly over the course of a week, adding a bit more of the new food at every meal. Try switching to a high quality (Science Diet doesn't really qualify for this, even the prescription food). If you only want to stay with kibble, try Pinnacle, Castor and Pollus Organix or Ultramix, Wellness, or Innova Evo. I would recommend feeding wet though because he's already losing water through his stool, so getting as much water into him will help. Wellness, Pinnacle, Natural Balance, Felidae, Castor and Pollux are all great foods.

    My cat bonnie would NOT eat canned when I first got her. With patience and diligence I finally got her to eat it. Just slowly transition to it. And don't give in. If he's not going to eat it, he's not going to eat. A cat can safely go without food for a couple of days. He'll get hungry enough and will just eat it. Also you can bribe him. Add some brewer's yeast (worked on bonnie). parmesan cheese also works. Bonnie now eats it with gusto. I can also now feed her raw with no problem.

    The main thing you want to do is try and remove wheat, corn, rice and barley from his diet. All can cause allergies in cats. The only grain I allow my cats to eat is oatmeal. And even that in small amounts. You'll really need to read the ingredients lists on food. A good kibble will list the first two ingredients as a meat source. A great kibble will list three. Potatoes and sweet potatoes are ok. So are green peas. Just avoid the grains. And also avoid by-products and non-species specific meats (i.e. "animal liver" "meat"). You can also for now try avoiding beef. It can cause allergies in pets also.

    I hope this helps.
    • Thanks so much for replying. i moved recently, so the old vet is inconvenient anyhow. there is a Cat Clinic near me Im thinking of trying since they obviously specialize in cats. The stool blood is very occasional, I only have noticed it a few times. The vet and tech said this is common in cats, which I thought was strange, because I had read to the contrary on the web, which was freaking me out. Ill try the new vet, thanks.

      Just to clarify, Cracker is eating Nature's Variety dry now and has been for a few weeks. Since that isnt solving the issue, what do you think of Natures Variety Raw Instinct (Grain Free) The first few ingredients are: Chicken Meal, Chicken Fat, Tapioca, Pumpkinseeds, Salmon Meal, Alfalfa Meal. I dont see wheat, corn, rice, barley or even potatoes or oatmeal on the ingredient list. Do you think Nature's Variety is a pretty good brand? Seems like Innova Evo is usually regarded as the best though. I guess I will try something that is grain free for awhile and see if that helps. Then I will know to avoid all grains and maybe eventually I can get to a grain free canned for him since that should be even better right? Then if that doesnt work, maybe I can try fiber supplements?

      I hope your kitty with the liver trouble ended up being ok! That must have been so scary for both of you!

      Thanks for replying. I think it helped to staighten out my thinking.


      • Cats really have no need for fiber so I wouldn't worry about adding it. Just think of what a cat will eat if it didn't have you to feed you. The only plant matter it would get would be from the contents of it's prey's stomach. And meat doesn't have fiber.

        Also, cat vets are notoriously over priced and just because they specialize in cats doesn't make them better vets.

        You're right, blood in stool is NOT, I repeat, NOT normal. Neither is frequent vomiting, which many vets also dismiss as "normal."

        Nature's Variety Raw Instinct looks pretty good. I've been thinking of giving it to my dogs. One is allergic to corn and wheat so the other one doesn't get it either.

        The most important thing is slow transition. If you go too fast you'll make the diarrhea worse until he gets used to it.

        Thanks for your thoughts on Boo Kitty. Unfortunately she only made it 3 weeks after she was finally correctly diagnosed. My old vet wasted a year and a half. If we had found out earlier something could have been done.
        • wow, sorry about boo kitty. i hope you told the old vet what happened, so next time he knows better and does the blood work ! I just informed my husband cracker is going to a vet to get blood work done this week. he said ok. :-) cross paws for me!

          bad news is i was met with a khaki colored pile of liquid in the litter box this morning. no blood though.

          good news is i picked up some innova evo both dry and canned yesterday (both grain free) and i cant believe cracker ate both! Even a few bites of the canned cold from the fridge! horray horray! the evo is more convenient for me to get and it seems to have alot of people who recommend it, so i decided to try it over the natures variety grain free. I am so psyched, I hope this helps him!

          I do try to transition him over from one dry food to the next, but he's too smart for that. He just picks out the kibbles of what he wants to eat and leaves the less desired food in the bowl. what a little snot! So he might give himself a tummy ache, but I will stick with grain free canned and dry for at least a month, until he gets used to it to see if the issue clears.


          Karen and Cracker Jack

          • just to follow up... I just got back from the new vet a few hours ago and she called me with the bloodwork already. NEGATIVE on everything. No liver problem, no pancreas problem, no anything that she could see. she ran another poop test too and it was negative for other nasties also. woohoo! Im so happy!

            she thinks the lose stool is a fish allergy. I think its grain of some sort, but maybe she's right cuz Iams dry does have fish meal in it. She gave me a weeks worth of pills to give him to kill any bacteria in his system and a bag of Eukanuba vet formula that is designed for cats with digestive difficulties. I didnt really want to try it because it has fish meal and corn in it too, but she swears that cats with fish allergies do really well on it........ she said its only temporary and when we get him cleaned out, we can go on what i feel is right for him (oh, except for the raw, she nixed that idea!) so... no real cause of the occasional blood yet, im hoping its just related to the digestive difficulties, but i will keep an eye out more for sure!

            the only bad news is poor cinnamon has a light heart murmur that now i have to worry about !!!!!!

            Thanks for getting me to go. Cost a fortune, but I feel so much better!


            • The raw thing is interesting. Vets either like it or hate it. Unfortunately, most of the literature they read on it is distributed by the large pet food manufacturers, which of course don't like it. It's competition for them. Every animal that I have known that has been on the raw diet has done superbly well. There is only one anecdotal "case study" where two cats, an elderly cat and a very young kitten who died while eating raw. They both had compromised immune systems. However, pet food manufacturers LOVE to use this as "proof" that raw diets are bad. Well, I had a cat that spent her life eating their food and she didn't fair much better. I also had another cat die due to diet related complications. I then started doing my own research. If a cat is on it's own, it will eat raw animal meat. They can't cook.
              • i just casually brought the topic up and i could tell just from the look on her face, she wasnt a proponent. I said "oh, so your not a fan of the whole raw thing huh?" and she said no because she has treated several cats with salmonella poisoning due to raw food. I thought that was odd since ive heard cats cant get/ rarely get salmonella poisoning. I let it go though because I had 50 million other questions that needed to be delt with first regarding my kids. My plan is to get them both on a high quality canned diet first, then Ill revisit it.
                • it all comes down to proper food handling.
                  • This is the maximum depth. Additional responses will not be threaded.
                    Have you tried Slippery Elm Bark??

                    • no, i havent. but I have heard of it for loose stool. im really trying to find out whats wrong first and treat that, not the symptoms. i think its something in his food he isnt digesting right, so I would like to ID that and eliminate that ingredient (corn or fish is suspected). Id also like to get him on canned food. If I fail at that, I will look further into slippery elm and some of the other digestive aids that ive read about. right now he's on a dry Eukanuba low ash vet formula. I hate it because it has corn in it, but the vet says I need to give it a chance to see if it clears his issues. She also put him on a week of metronidizole to clean out anything that might hanging out in his system. Thank god we finished that last night. So Im just going to give it a few weeks and see if anything changes. Really i havent been finding much at all in the litterbox from him, so that's concerning too. Always something isnt it?! Thanks for the suggestion!
                      • Yeah, if the antibiotics and prescription food aren't doing anything, you might need to talk to the vet about trying a proper food elimination trial using novel proteins, i.e. something your cat hasn't had before--IVD makes a line of prescription food for those purposes, containing venison, duck, rabbit, etc. that most cats don't encounter too often.

                        But in my experience and from the stories I've heard, cats with certain types of food sensitivities respond best to the raw diet, including the cat belonging to the woman who runs
                        • great site Candy!
                          • AAAAHHH!!!! Im so aggrivated, not sure where to turn! Cracker really didnt seem to be doing well on the Low Ash Euckanuba dry the vet recommended. His poops were just a little thicker than pancake batter. Definately worse than when he used to eat Iams dry. I dont know, maybe he wasnt on it long enough, but you'd think if it was going to help I'd see some improvement right? He finished his course of Metronidazole (sp)

                            So I put out some Innova Evo (grain free) for my other kitty and Cracker started to eat it. Horray I thought since my goal is to get Cracker on grain free canned. Well, his poops got totally worse, thinner than batter, very mucusy and a little blood. It looks horrible. He didnt have a whole bunch of the canned, I know that can hurt his belly, but I figured he wasnt doing good on the Eukanuba anyhow, maybe eating something with no grains would help.... but now Ive taken the canned away since he got so bad on it.

                            I just dont know what the hell Im doing with him.

                            How long should it take for a new food to help if its going to?
                            Can anyone tell me what the mucus means? Is that just from him eating some canned?
                            How can I make his transition to canned easier? Any particular supplements that will make it better for him?
                            I keep thinking of adding more fiber since the canned is 0.5% and he's used to 3% but maybe that's not right...
                            Hubby says to just put him back on Iams to give him a break, but I dont want to quit when we've come this far!

                            I dont know what to do. Ive been getting him to drink lots of water, so he seems ok there. And he seems to feel fine, actually he's been quite active and affectionate. Should I just mix the canned slowly into the dry?

                            Appreciate any thoughts.

                            Karen and Cracker
                            • definitely mix the canned in slowly. A sudden change will make him even sicker. I'd ask your vet about Crohn's Disease and Giardia. I would say that changes would probably take about 2 weeks. What does your vet think? If your new vet isn't willing to find out what's wrong you need to find yet another one. The good ones are few and far between. You can also check out the Veterinary Medicine tribe. You can also try mixing in some goat's milk yogurt or probiotics to help his gut bacteria.
                              • oh yeah, and canned pumpkin can help with the diarrhea too.
                                • she tested for Giardia and it came back negative. Chrones didnt come up... I guess Ill give her a call back tomorrow and tell her the Eukanuba isnt working and get her opinion.

                                  Im thinking of getting some of the probiotics tomorrow. maybe mix it into the canned then slowly mix the canned into the dry. any brand in particular you know of/ like? do you think the pumkin should be in addition or one or the other?


                                  • Karen; Sorry to hear about your kitty. I obviously don't know what could be wrong, but if it helps, I have had a similar experience with two Bengal kittens I recently acquired. When I got them home, I transitioned them from the breeder's mix of Royal Canin and Healthwise dry to Wellness dry. From the first day they were home, they both had loose stools. After one week of loose stool and diarrhea, I took them to the local cat clinic and the vet gave me a probiotic (Culturelle) and something to firm their stools (essentially montmorillonite). I took a stool sample with me and it was negative for parasites. After another week of the vet's prescriptions and the same Wellnes dry food, there was absolutely no change in their stool. I even saw blood and mucous in some their stools. Really smelly too! Completely frustrated, I took away ALL the Wellness kibble and started to give them canned Wellness Kitten food, a little at a time. By the next morning, both of them had completely normal stools -- and their stool frequency had dropped from 2-3 per day to one per day or less. I have had them on a straight canned diet of the wellness with bits of raw chicken ever since. I did try to introduce some Eagle Pack Lamb and Oatmeal dry for a few days, but as soon as I increased the amount to >1/3 cup, they both reacted with soft stools again.

                                    Makes me think that they are both sensitive or even allergic to something in the dry food, and my guess is the carbohydrate (particulary grain) content. The wellness kitten canned has less than 5% carbs in it with no grain. I am looking for a holistic vet or one that is a proponent of raw food diets for cats -- not necessarily because I'll start them on raw but because my guess is that a vet who advocates raw diets had probably educated themselves more on feline nutrition.

                                    Good luck!
                                    • ohhh!!!!! Bengal kittens! I bet you love them cuties to pieces!

                                      I called the vet today, but she wont be in until tomorrow (Tues). I ordered a supplement for him today that is a combo of probionics and digestive enzymes. Ill get it wednesday and if the vet agrees, start to work it in. I just really wish i knew if it was the corn or fish that was giving him trouble (or something else). To find a food that is grain free, fish free and he will eat (that last one being the toughest) is impossible! And switching to a canned from a dry is confusing enough to his system. I wish he liked Wellness canned, but so far no luck on putting some out for him to smell.

                                      Natures Variety has Montmorillonite in it in both canned and dry. I wish he'd eat that too, its what his kitty brother Cinnamon eats, but so far Cracker wont touch the chicken/ turkey, duck or rabbit. I want to find the venison, beef and lamb, but they dont sell them around here and they can only order me a case.

                                      Well anyway, the poo still looks bad, but he doesnt seem to be miserable and is drinking water, so ill just slowly keep working the wet in. I just cant go cold turkey with him. Im too afraid. He's 6, not a kitten, so he might not bounce back as well (plus his little bottom is red already! - dont tell him I told you, he'd slash me! ssshhh )

                                      Thanks for your story and glad to hear yours are doing better. That mucus is pretty nasty to see! Pretty scary, especially with blood mixed in! It makes me feel better yours had this too and ended up just fine!

                                      Karen and Cracker
                                      • well cracker won the battle, but not yet the war. yesterday i put him back on his dry Iams. I really didnt want to do it, but his little red butt needs a break. im hoping things firm up and then we can try working into a canned again. its just too hard on him to be trying to transition from a dry food that doesnt agree with him, to a wet one that might not. I sprinkled on digestive enzymes and probiotics also, to try to build up his system in the meantime.

                                        I spoke to the vet who was quite suprised the flagyl didnt help. she suggested a science diet z/d diet because she said the proteins are broken up really small and the body wont reject them. i really just dont like that idea. i want to solve the problem with good wholesome food his body will accept, not high science (if that makes any sense). she also mentioned steriods, which i also do not want to give him.

                                        so ill give it a few weeks with nothing but iams and see how it goes. wish me luck!
                                        • Karen,

                                          I came across this posting while researching cat diets for my sick kitty. How is the cat doing now? If still not doing well - Has Irritable Bowel Disease been ruled out? Depending on where it is in the digestive track the symptoms can vary. Yours sound like IBD in the colon. There is treatment that can be performed. Check out these web sites for information.


                                          • my guy gets loose stool sometimes, also nervous barfing sometimes (when he's had a run in with an evil cat or an evil human LOL!).

                                            he's always been on a combo diet of dry food and some canned (he's fussy about the canned stuff). I've found the Purina One brand kibble for sensitive systems seems to help him a lot. also, i started feeding him catnip (because it settles the tummy) and i think that helps too.

                                            just keep trying stuff until your kitty feels better.....the good food for kitty IS out there!
                                            • Blood in the stool can mean different things depending on how it looks. Is it bright red or dark? Dark is definitely a problem. Bright red can just be a sign of his irritated colon and nothing more, though there is the possibility it could be something else. When my kitty was having high constipation and on Lactulose, she occasionally had a little bright red blood in her stool and it was no big deal. Darker red blood means the bleeding is higher up in the colon and worrisome.
                                              • Unsu...
                                                i have one word for you:


                                                and i lied, pumkin deserves a novel! so here goes!

                                                we adopted a stray from a shelter and they forgot to conveniently tell us he had digestive problems - the most horrid butt pee imaginable, yes, it stank so bad i had to open all windows in the home.
                                                he could not keep anything in, it would fly out of him, literally, right after feeding.

                                                i tried the raw diet but at first it did not work.
                                                i tried the all mean evo crunchies by innova, it at first didn't work either!
                                                then someone said pumkin...and life changed... gradually...but very effectively.
                                                it's oct. now and we got him this april, and he's got normal, perfectly formed poops!

                                                what i did was give him canned pure pumkin. about a tablespoon 3X a day when he was at his worse.
                                                he loved it and i'd be surprised if your mew did not.
                                                at the same time i gave him a bit of evo all meat organic crunchies by innova...increasing the dose each time.
                                                this was about the same time all those grain scares were going on too.
                                                this also would rule out if he had allergies to grains.

                                                butt pee subsided with the pumpkin dramatically. how do i know? well, when i didn't give it to him and gave him straight protein he'd return to his sad condition of stinking us out of the house!
                                                i then started giving him two organic raw patties (the size of a tbsp each) mixed with a tbs of pumpkin.
                                                this did the trick and regulated his guts...and he loooved the meals!
                                                about two months ago my partner bought him crunchies by innova that also contain other grains. he's done ok on these, along with an evening feeding of pumpkin and raw.

                                                i still give him pumpkin here and there by itself as a treat since he loves the stuff.

                                                try this, i'd be surprised if it didn't work.
                                                oh, and he's not allowed to eat cat grass, it would put blood in his stools. i imagine it's because the grass was sharp and would wound his delicate digestive tract on it's way out.
                                                so make sure kitty is not munching on any plants or grasses till their guts get stronger.

                                                good luck!
                                        • Hi Karen! I know its been a while since you posted last, however I am hoping you will check this, your Cracker seems to have the same problem as my Bynx in all of my research your postings are the closest match to our problem.
                                          Bynx has had issues w/ loose stool/diarrhea for a long time (I believe since he was a kitten), with occassional blood and mucos. Like you at the first sight of blood I took him in to see the vet. She took a stool sample and prescribed an intestinal wormer the first go round. The stool sample came back negative for everything and the wormer didn't change anything. So we did a second stool sample, blood work, and antibiotics as well as prescription science diet i/d canned food. Which not surprisingly did nothing. The third time I took him in she prescribed another medication (I can't recall what it was) to mix w/ a small amount of the i/d food and metamucil and using a needleless serringe to administer. Again no change. I had him on purina one sensitive systems in the beginning and her last idea was to try a hypoallergenic food from royal canin, but it would require that he not have ANYTHING else but that food for at least 30 days and it was meant for only him. I have another cat and two dogs so I didn't know if that would really be possible considering if he had even a morsel of a different food it would throw the whole trial off and I would have to start from scratch. So instead she suggested trying a novel protein based food, so we tried a salmon/duck food from a brand called Natures...something (my appologies, its sort of late and I am having a hard time remembering) that didn't work either. The next step was a gi panel/trytrichanoma test. However after all of the tests that had already been run and all the diet changes and vet visit expenses. I was pretty much tapped out financially and had to hold off on any further testing. Bynx doesn't act or appear sick at all. He has loads of energy, a good appetite, drinks plenty of water and he's an average weight. Aside from the stool issues he's in great health.
                                          Long story short I was hoping you may have been able to find an answer after all this time. I too am at my wits end. I love my baby very much and worry that my financial shortcomings may be affecting his health. If you have any more information I would greatly appreciate an update on Cracker. Thanks!
  • Any luck with Cracker? I've got a cat with the same issue, Shadow is almost 9 and has had loose stools since I got him at 6 months of age. Occasionally there is blood in his stools but not very often, when he goes he will stink you right out of the house and then he doesn't cover it so one of my other 3 cats will have to and they do. I've taken him to the vet and everything came back saying he's normal, I've tried different diets and foods and nothing helped so then I tried the so called "pumpkin miracle" and that was an even bigger problem, sure he loved it but it caused him to crap every where but where he was supposed to. So much for that miracle. My other 3 cats are perfectly normal and they range in ages from 4 o 13 so they have been exposed to everything that Shadow has so it is really frustrating especially when he decides against using the litter box. Any other suggestions out there?
    • Our cat loved eating the Iams pouch food as a kitten. Her poops were terrible - they smelled up the whole house! Finally I started doing some research. I put her on a raw diet and she was better instantly. Then we had to board her when we went out of town and the vet did not like raw food. We found Inova Evo, and it works just as well for her. Recently I read that you should switch cats diets every so often. We tried Wellness and that seems okay too. It seems to work for her if she has food with no grains at all. Every once in awhile she will still have a loose stool but rarely.
      • Karen, we are so sympathetic because we have the same problem. We got Duncan at 5 months and he has had diarrhea and soft stools from day 1. 4 days before we got him, we also adopted another cat (from a family member), plus we had three of our own. So, it took us a while to determine which of the 5 had the problem but we suspected the "baby". We have already gone through 2 rounds of the Metronidazole, we had two stool studies at the vet, plus he was dewormed (again) for good measure. He's currently on a different antibiotic (Amforol), but no change. We've also tried changing foods (Chicken Soup, Wellness, Call of the Wild) and probiotics (and yogurt!). - Duncan exhibits no signs of illness; just the soft stools. The boxes have to be completely washed out every week (all four of them!) because he gets it all over the sides.

        We also found out that he has a gland problem and might have to have his anal glands expressed every few months (we're keeping our fingers crossed on that one).

        Anyway, my husband periodically works at an all natural pet food store (which sells the raw food), so we might try that next.

        Also, he doesn't vomit and has been GAINING weight (not losing) - he's still a growing kitten - so I don't think he's got IBD or IBS or anything like that.

        It's just a messy mystery. if anyone has success, please post it.
        • KG
          offline 0
          I seem to have the same problem I have seem on this post. One of my cats had loose stool and sometimes wouldn't go to the box, a real mess that. After surgery we did find out the cause and changed her diet. She has been a lot better, I have a great vet. I adopted another kitten after she seemed to be doing so well and this one is even worse. She has had worm medicine twice and the vet is running test. The thing I can't seem to find any information about is my new kittens problem. Her stool is always loose and even seems to leak out of her. I know it can't be a defense thing because she sat on my purring and the next thing I know I am drenched in mostly liquid feces. Has anyone ever heard of a problem like this?
  • In addition to grains, cats can be allergic to fish, beef, and chicken. I would try Natural Balance Limited Ingredients Duck and Green Pea formula. The transition to the new food must take about a week. Some cats don't do well with switching to new food immediately. Mix in about 25% of the new food with the old food and increase it over the next 7 days. Good Luck!
    • I see that these are older posts but I am in dire need of help- I am going to try the "pumpkin miracle" and Incalink is already on EVO chicken with lowest grain content available, however his poops have always been loose and have worsened (especially in smell!) over the years. They are small and light colored but totally loose and the smell is super-concentrated! Our other cat is totally normal. I am about to try a holistic/acupuncture vet because I am not happy with any of the 5 vets he has seen in our town-it's slim pickin's around here...the emergency is that several times a week he will step in his poop and track it around the house and by the time I am home from work and discover this I have a big mess to clean up- super gross! Help!!
      • Try some new protein type food, like lamb. One of our cats got this soft stool for a long time and we took him to vet for all kind of checks and everything is fine. After we switched the food from chicken to lamb (home cooked ground lamb), the stool turns to normal immediately. Good luck!
        • I have also had problems with one of my boys. I got him from the SPCA almost 2 years ago now. From the very beginning he had loose, bloody stool. He is a long hair, so I had to clean him often. He was very healthy in every other respect, and the vet could find nothing wrong with him. After a lot of research, I came up with a recipe that works for him

          1 Lb ground wild meat (if I don't have moose, elk, buffalo I will use antibiotic/hormone free gr beef)
          1 Lg can pure pumpkiin
          4 T ground flax
          1 can tuna
          4 eggs
          1 lg container low fat yogurt
          2 c cooked brown rice
          4 T wheat grass powder
          2+ cups of filtered water

          Cook ground meat. Add eggs at end, and cook. Mix all other ingred & add as much water as needed. You want it to be a little runny

          I divide it up, and freeze it, and just take out enough for about 4 days. I feed about a T in the am & again in the pm. I would feed more, but that's all he'll eat at one time. It's become like a little treat, and has done wonders for him. If I stop with it, the loose stool returns, so for a little bit of work - I have a happy, healthy boy :)
  • We have two cats that we got as kittens that were abandoned. This was over 2 years and the first time I gave our first cat, Cami, canned food she threw it up shortly after eating it. But the canned food was just the cheap brand from the grocery store, 9 lives and/or Friskies. I fed her only dry food after that, Purina One Chicken and Rice. When we got the second kitten, Feliz, he ate the same dry food as our first cat and seemed to do well on it. However, we noticed he always seemed to have a dirty butt and then after several months he started having runny and bloody stool. I switched the cats to Taste of The Wild Rocky Mountain Feline formula figuring a higher quality food would help but it didn't. After searching the internet I found this posting and I switched them to good quality canned cat food. I fed them canned food and my husband and stepdaughter continued to feed them the dry food. Feliz still had an issue so we went 100% canned food and Feliz hasn't had an issue since then and Cami doesn't have any problem with it either. I have been feeding them FreshPet Select cat food, which they love and I can get at my grocery store, and Wellness canned, which they sometimes love and sometimes don't seem to care about (finicky critters :D ). I miss the convenience and more economical cost of dry food. Has anyone had any success with any dry food?
  • not at home and he didn't know that he should do that” and soon all the cats had it and have had it ever since, over a year. The vet cannot find anything but I am sure it is some viral or bacterial thing and not a result of what food they eat. We have tried every food out there, and Changed litter to pine bedding intended for horses which did help some, not licking the perfumes and chemicals off their feet. Raw rabbit, turkey and chicken have helped the problem with raw is taurin deficiency so you need to supplement, studies show un supplemented raw will eventually kill your cat from taurin deficiency
    • I'm new here also. I've read this entire thread and I am surprised and relieved to know that my 7YO cat Sophie isn't the only one with this problem. (I didn't mean to imply that I was glad that other kitties have this problem, only to know we aren't alone).

      I adopted her from our local humane society in March 2011 and she has had intermittent loose smelly stool ever since I brought her home. She also has always had itchy skin and scratches a lot at her neck and head, nibbles on her legs and feet, and has very sensitive ears. Despite that, her coat is beautiful and she doesn't have any bare or inflamed patches, nor does she have any ear infections. I have had her to the vet numerous times and her answer is to put her on a hydrolized protein kibble which I've resisted. She thinks Sophie is allergic to her food which can cause these multiple symptoms. (She was tested multiple times for parasites which were negative, but not IBD.) She also insists on flea treatments though Sophie never goes outside and is the only pet in my house. If she had brought fleas or eggs into the house, I would see evidence of them by now in my furniture and rugs. I do not like putting this poison into her system when I don't see any evidence of fleas.

      I did switch her off of the Science Diet kibble she was eating at the shelter and onto a high-protein Wysong kibble with chicken as the protein source. It has no grains or starches in it. Does anyone know if an extremely high protein (60%) diet can cause a loose smelly stool? I think I read somewhere that cats in the wild who eat high-protein raw prey have a somewhat loose stool. I don't know whether that is true.

      I read one post that recommended a wet food over dry, which I agree with, but this cat will not eat wet food. I have tried every brand under the sun. I think she has probably eaten kibble all of her life and doesn't recognize canned food as food at all. She lays her ears back and squints her eyes and runs from it like it something to be avoided.

      I am at my wit's end because these multiple symptoms make it like looking for a needle in a haystack. Her itchy skin subsides quite a lot on cortisone shots, which I don't really want to keep giving her, but I also read that these shots won't relieve itching caused by food. Her blood was tested for environmental allergies and it came back positive for some trees, weeds and molds, in additional to household dust. The vet recommends ordering a serum made especially for her allergens and beginning those shots soon to ready her for next spring. She is still itchy even though the allergy season has subsided some for this year.

      What is the best way to determine which symptom is caused by what? I don't mean to ramble on but it's hard to focus on what is going on with so many symptoms. Thanks for any help anyone can provide.
  • ben
    offline 0
    My new kitten having same problem. Tried everything with no luck...taking in a stool sample and asking for it to be tested for Tritrichomonas foetus, something that is not normally tested for but as become very common and very contagious among cats. It is not life threatening but can cause cow pat like stools and watery ones often with fresh blood and mucus. Here is a link to a good site explaining this flagellated protozoan parasite:

    But please lots of your own research into it since treatment can be life threatening and Tritrichomonas foetus itself is not life threatening and symptoms usually clear by themselves.
    • I've had cats all my life and Lola is the first one that has ever had a problem with her bowel movements. They have all eaten just plain old regular dry Purina Cat Chow and thrived and lived long and happy lives. Lola started out the same; no problems. Even gave her treats and she loved them and no ill affects .Then we moved away and then moved back three years later. This is when her problems began. She didn't like anything I put in front of her. Now my picky eater will eat only Fancy Feast Medleys White Meat Chicken Florentine. Did a lot of research on the internet and have decided it's the fillers in the dry food that cause the loose stools. No more dry food and no more treats. She gets plenty of water from the wet food. While it's expensive, it has eliminated the problem. She's a long haired Siamese mix and I got really tired of wiping her butt and spraying Lysol after each episode. Like many of you, my vet did several tests and everything is normal. I used to occasionally break down and give her two (2) treats and sure enough, stinky bottom and runny stool. It's just not worth it. So all the grains, nuts, fiber, whatever fillers are used in dry food seem to be Lola's problem. I've come to believe it's similar to Irritable Bowel Syndrome. Hope this helps some of you.
      • Thanks to those of you who have offered advice. I took Sophie to the vet last week and she gave her a cortisone shot which has helped the inflammation and skin scratching tremendously. Her stool is entirely normal in both consistency and smell. I do not like steroids and do not want to depend on them but they do work wonders, if only until they wear off. I was also advised to switch her to a hydrolyzed protein hypoallergenic food, which I was reluctant to do, but she seems to like it which surprised the heck out of me. It is high fiber and easily digested, so we'll see if that is more of a permanent fix when her system gets used to it. I would dearly love to get her on wet food because I agree with Nancy that the dry kibble can cause and/or make allergies worse. I have tried a couple dozen varieties and flavors of wet food and she refused them all. Wouldn't even give any of them a try. I thought all cats would eat the smelly wet food if given the chance, but not Sophie.
  • REad this entire thread because my 3-year-old Isabelle had soft frequent stools for 3 months. Stool sample came back negative, changing brands of food didin't help, nor did probiotic. ($20 for 10 days.) Rather than start down the road of all the tests I decided to read this thread and start with the simplest approach first: eliminating grains.

    I switched from Natural Balance Ultra to Natural Balance Limited Ingredient...within 24 hours her stools were normal, and have been for a week now so I know it's not just a coincidence, so I hope this helps somebody else.
  • I know this post has been around for awhile but I was hoping someone had found an answer.

    My cat has this same issue.

    I adopted my cat from a shelter four years ago. Everything was fine. They had sent me home with a small bag of Scient Diet and I slowly transitioned him to Iams Indoor Hairball dry food. He is a long haired mitted Seal point (possibly Ragdoll and/or Birman mix). The food worked great. He was passing proper stools twice a day, his hair from washing in atleast one.
    About a year an a half ago, he had to have two teeth extracted, and that's when the nightmare started.
    After the surgery his stools became loose and he was going several times a day. Very loud gas would accompany the passing of the stools.
    The vet did tests and nothing came back. The vet thought his system might have had a reaction to the anesthesia and still be trying to get rid of it.
    This problem continued for months. Again I took him into the vet, they ran blood, urine and stool tests. Only one thing was slightly elevated (can't remember what it was, but it was regarding the liver) but they said it was nothing to be concerned about since something else was normal. If the two things were not normal at the same time, then there would be a problem.
    They gave me some anti-diarhea medication for him, but after a few days on it, he got very sick. He was listless, wasn't eating or drinking. I then took him to another vet. His xrays were horrid. He was completely backed up from one end to the other. They kept him over night and cleaned him out. A few days later I had him back at the vet. He was there for a week. It was horrid. We almost lost him twice and I was on the verge of making the ultimate decision when I visited him there one night.
    But they got him better and he came home. At that time the vet wasn't as concerned about switching his food just yet, as he was with just getting him to eat. I was giving him a full dose of Laxatone every few days. But he became used to it and soon it was everytday, then twice a day and then it stopped working completely. He started getting backed up again. I gave him an enema (under vet's training) and he cleaned out. He was on prednisone to help with his appetite and water intake.
    I will add at this time that he is the most picky cat I've ever had or known. He refuses to eat canned or soft food, he doesn't not like fish type stuff. He doesn't even react to the sound of a can opener, which I thought was a built in instinct in all cats :)
    The vet gave him Hills Prescription diet dry food for digestive problems, but he hated it and refused to eat it. I had heard about Limited Ingrediet Diets (LID) and asked the vet for approval to try. He was ok with this. I bought Natural Balance LID and the change was IMMEDIATE. Since he had not been eating I had stopped giving him any type of laxatives/stool softeners for about a week. I gave him 1/4 cup of the LID food and he ate it all within a few hours. Which is more food than he had eaten in over a week. I gave him another 1/4 cup when I went to bed and that was almost gone when I woke up. I put down his daily service of 1/2 cup that morning before going to work and decided that if he eats that I will start him back on the laxatives when I got home that night. When I got home a good amount was gone, but the best thing was, there was a good sized, formed stool in the cat box. I've never been so happy to scoop in my life. I decided to wait on the laxatives and see what happened. He enjoyed the food, and even took a liking to one of their flavors of LID canned food, which I would give him about a teaspoon of each morning. Almost everyday a proper formed solid stool. If he skipped one day, the next day he would pass two stools.
    Within days of this transition to the LID food, I noticed parts of his personality and little 'quirks' were coming back.
    Three months have now passed since swithcing him to the LID and everything was fine. Then all of a sudden, a few weeks ago, he returned to the frequent soft stools. I thought maybe too much canned, so I took him off that completely, but it did not change anything.
    I did wheen him off the predisone, a couple of months ago, because his appetite and water intake were good.

    The new vet diagnosed him with IBD, which he felt was caused by the constant "blow outs" of gas and soft stool. Was I wrong to take him off the prednisone? Was that helping his system and helping keep his stool firm? Is there something else I can try to firm up his stool? Even if he has to take it for the rest of his life? I'm so afraid to give him anti-diarhea medication, after what happened the last time. I'm breaking into tears right now, just thinking of the pain and suffering he went through during those couple of months of the constipation and days at the vet being cleaned out. But I also know that these soft stools are uncomfortable for him, especially when he gets the 'blow outs', or even worse, when they are so bad he can't make it to the cat box. When that happens, it is obvious that he is embarrassed as he hides under the dinning room table, which is his "leave me alone" place.

    During the constipation, we did try him on pure canned pumpkin, but he would have nothing to do with it.

    Other than the soft stools, gas, etc. He seems fine and not in any distress. He is eating and drinking. He is social, active and playing.

    I am hoping someone has an idea as to how to help my boy. And hopefully something to add to his food or in liquid form. He has very large fangs and his teeth are sharper than normal (even vet commented on that), so attempting to give him a pill is near impossible. But he is very good about taking liquid meds through a needleless syringe plunger.

    Thank you for reading.

    Bruce's mommy
    • I forgot to add, just in case:

      I have always washed his food and water bowls out twice a week, by hand, with just hot water and a plain unscented dish soap.
      His litter box is scooped several times a day, the litter rotated out at least once a week, and the box itself scrubbed with hot water and vinegar at least once a month (more if needed).
      HIs blankets and pillows are washed regularly, and I add a bit of vinegar to the rinse to make sure no soap is left in them.
      He always gets lots of daily attention. We interact play together, he gets brushed daily, we have cuddle time at bed time, and Sunday is usually my 'at home' day for laundry and other chores and I spend the in between time giving him lots of attention and love.

      Thanks again.

      Bruce's mommy
      • Oh wow, count me in with the group who has a kitty with bad diarrhea and is trying desperately to figure out/help her. Started about 3 months ago, all was fine and she started pooping outside the first it was kinda normal but over time it got runnier and runnier. She was addicted to these cat treats "temptations" that are totally made of garbage but must taste amazing, so I took her off, she was eating only these and not the regular dry food (purina one). Also took her to the vet who said it could either be IBD or colon related, she was hit by a car in the fall and recovered as far as we know from Xrays at the time. So she gave me prednisone since there was no sign of worms. I did not start her on the medication...........i wanted to try and see if it was diet related, she is only about 2 and I thought after doing online research she might have been too young to have IBD and get hooked on a i went through the entire cat food choices over three months in an attempt to see if it was from grain in her food. All this time she was active, playful, and ate canned fancy feast food and drank regularly. I kept her on the fancy feast so that she would be getting some food, she is also a picky eater.........and she is extremely lean, only weighs 7 pounds (we call her Tiny) so anyway, after many various tries and no real luck, i went back to the vet last week and updated her. I just can't bear to see my sweet girl so thin, and I feel like whatever she eats is coming out and not being absorbed. so now I have her on the prednisone, and took off the cover of the litter box, and she is using it again but not haveing formed stools. As of last night she did not want her usual night time meal, and didn't seem to want it this morning although she did lick a little of the gravy. She did not wolf it down like she has in the past. The last pill she got was yesterday morning 24 hours ago. And just a little while ago i found a very liquid stool outside the litter box AND i caught her scooting her bottom, something i had never seen her do. She also looks really miserable..........not lethargic, but like she wants to be left alone. I am so nervous about all this, i just don't know what to do and have done so much switching that I don't even know what i should feed her, especially since as of today she won't eat. I wanted to know if this is related to her 'plumbing" would the medicine make it worse if it isn't IBD? That is something I fogot to ask my vet last week. The vet told me to increase her pills to twice a day for three days, then go back to one a day and call her to let her know how she she has only had one pill in the last 24 hours instead of 3. I don't know if that could be making her feel bad...........i wasn't told it would other than it might make her more thirsty. I also watched he eat some new wet food that I bought on Friday, some Evo canned turkey, which she ate pretty good. So is it related to me switching foods on her? ARGHH!! If things haven't gotten better by mid week they want me to bring her in for a pelvic Xray to see if it is related to her accident, but one side of me wonders why it just bothered to show up 5 months after her I wish she could talk. I love this little cat like no other, and she is one of 5, three are outdoor cats and one is her indoor buddy. I have had cats forever, have weathered the storms of FIP and mega colon (which also robbed me of two of my sweethearts in the past) so I am just over the top anxious about what to do. Thank you for the thread and for letting me join in, it's about all i can think about lately with her acting so different.
        • Same thing with 1 of my 6 cats. Daryl was a feral I found , fixed adopted along with his brother Larry. I found homes for the other 3 in the litter. Daryl always had a huge appetite and was overweight... He WAS least 13 pounds Last Year. He was 6 POUNDS last week. He is 7 years old. He retained his semi wild nature. He always had large loose pudding type bowel movements. They smelled horrible. Sometimes he went near the litter box, not inside. Sometimes there was blood (bright red) on one side. I mentioned to the Vet, they dismissed it as hemorrhoids. I noticed he started looking thinner about 9 months ago. I got him to the vets, he pooped himself on the way over, was so wild, they had to net him and put him under just to do draw blood. He was traumatized just from a vet visit. The blood came out normal, they suspected hyperthyroidism, diabetes..none of that however. I switched food to Fromms, Tiki Cat etc..grainfree brands. Daryl still had a ravenous appetite, but would vomit out all the food he ate at least an hour after he consumed it.Last week he looked so bad, I rushed him to another local Vet. Daryl was so weak, he laid flat on the table with his eyes open. The Vet had him on IV for dehydration for 4 days, did a radiograph which showed an impacted bowel. They flushed that out, rehydrated him and was sent home. (after 4 days of IV hospitalization)
          24 hours later he could not lift his head. I rushed him to another emergency Vet Hospital. His potassium was extremely low (which causes weakness, tremors),. He was placed on IV for electrolyte therapy for another 3 days. An Ultrasound revealed his intestines are mildly thickened which can be either inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD)or LYmphoma . IBD can turn into intestinal cancer if untreated..
          To confirm that, it would have been an additional $1500 for an endoscopy and biopsy. I am already $4400 into saving Daryl this past 2 weeks so opted not to have that done since Lymphoma is terminal anyway. (can you believe $4400, and no diagnosis!) I opted to treat him for IBD. He is on Prednisone, Tumil K (for potassium) and Metronidazole. The last 2 for 1 week. He was prescribed Hills Z/D as well.
          He has been home for 2.5 days. Initially he was lethargic and wobbly. My husband thought we wasted $4400, and he was sent home to die.
          However, He is improving! His appetite returned along with a lot of energy. At first his bowel movements were firm, yesterday they were large and semi soft, no blood. This could be a side affect of the Tumil K however. He is up to 8 pounds. He will return to the Vet for follow up blood work and a weight check Thursday. Potassium must be checked to see if he must continue the supplement.
          I can't stress how important it is to have electrolyte levels checked (blood) if a cat appears ill. Daryl was treated for dehydration, however his potassium level was not checked, he was sent home and almost died 24 hours later!
          Malnutrition can cause low potassium levels (hypokalemia). Constant diarrhea and vomiting can cause that.
          Hopefully he will regain the weight he lost. We are not sure if the intestional blockage caused this or was a result of him being dehydrated.
          • I am throwing this into the ring as so far, I have not seen anyone else mention this. Hyperthyroidism in cats will cause loose stool. Magda was a rescue cat (like all of my cats) who became a real pain to have around the house because of her loose stool. I tried lots of the usual things, fecal flotations, de-worming, pro-biotics, diet changes, etc. It wasn't until she started eating like a horse and still losing weight did I finally ask for blood work which confirmed that she had an over active thyroid. She was also losing her hair. Once she was on a prescription, her stool firmed and she got her coat back. Many years before, I had another thyroid kitty which I treated with the radio-active iodine treatment (I had more money back then). He also did wonderfully well after this treatment (not so well on the prescription).
            All cats are different, like people. I found your post because I am currently looking for ideas for a couple of 14 week old kittens that pooped beautiful little tootsie rolls, but are not doing so well now. I tried another brand canned kitten food and they all went loose on me. I immediately moved them back to the Hills canned kitten food, but they are not regular yet. It has been five days. They have already been de-wormed with Drontal. I took 2 specimens in to the vet and there is no evidence of anything lurking in the poo. I am going to try adding a little pumpkin. It is good to know that my household is not the only household with this problem.
            • Max was born Mar 4, 2012. I got him on june 4, 2012. His butt was poopy stained, he had constant runs that stank and he had been eating Frikies dry food.

              I swithched him to Go and after 1 week and no improvement I began trying other grain free foods and enzymes. Blood, urine and stool samples tested normal and did 1 week prescription for a just in case...after 6 weeks Vet suggested "boiled chicken". The stool solidified right away. After 2 weeks I tried Go again and he had runs in a few hours.

              I suspected Canola oil to be a culprit, I went back to boiled chicken and searched for cat foods without canola which is hard to find. Two weeks later tried again a grain and canola free pet food and got instant runs. Back to boiled chicken...

              At 6 months old I added chicken livers to the chicken and it stayed solid. At one year I switched the chicken to ground beef and at 15 months switched chicken livers to beef liver.

              What I have noticed is that extra lean ground beef and beef liver will loosen his stool slightly but regular ground beef and beef livers is always normal stool. I think the animal fat is what tightens a cats stool properly.

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