View Full Version : Cat eats hay and has chronic diarrhea....

Bank of Dad
Feb. 5, 2010, 03:05 PM
The title says it all. Any natural remedies for this poor kitty? I tried metronidazole (Flagyl) and Immodium, changing the food, and pumpkin. Just a few bits of hay and his tummy gets irritated again.

Any natural remedies for this cat who only eats one kind of dry food, and any garbage he can find.

Minerva Louise
Feb. 5, 2010, 03:41 PM
Has this cat been vaxed for FIV? aka "cat AIDS" Chronic diarrhea is a big symptom. If the cat is positive he will give the disease to other cats. Take this cat to the VET.

Edit to add:
I hope your cat is ok. I didn't mean to sound so harsh. FIV isn't in most "over the counter from the farm store" vax combo shots. My little black cat that came to me as a 6 week old skeleton had it. She lived about a year and a half. She was a sweet cat but had to be kept inside away from other cats to prevent her from spreading the disease.

Feb. 5, 2010, 04:32 PM
maybe a different food so he won't feel as inclined to go eat hay?

Feb. 5, 2010, 07:20 PM
My cats all eat raw meat and bone, as in: throw them a raw chicken back, they eat it, or they chew it off of the animal I am butchering for the dogs.

Maybe your cat would like it and his gut will be healthier for it.

I would have to wonder why he is eating hay in the first place, and also why it would be so irritating for his gut. I think it is probably a symptom of something more serious.

Bank of Dad
Feb. 5, 2010, 07:23 PM
oops, this is my 13 yr old house cat, vaccinated all the time, lots of workup for the diarrhea from the vet, he only gets pieces of hay when I carry it on my clothes in the house. Just looking for more ideas to help him. I would love to give him raw chicken or meat, or rice. He is an unbelieveable picky eater, no wet food, no people food, no tuna. When he stops eating for a day or more, I actually have to force feed him until he eats on his own again.

Feb. 5, 2010, 08:07 PM
Cats get IBS (irritable bowel syndrome). You really might want to have your vet give him an exam to rule out anything serious.

Feb. 5, 2010, 10:24 PM
Cats will often seek hay/grass/etc. when they have an upset stomach, including reflux. This was true of my beloved cat Peepers that I nursed through chronic renal failure for 4 years and only recently lost to the disease at 13 years old (many years too early--she was the light of my life).

The vet prescribed Pepcid AC, 10 mg tablets, 1/4 of the tablet. You MUST use famotidine, which is the active ingredient in Pepcid (a generic is fine) and it must be a 10 mg. Some vets will say a little more than 1/4 tablet. Peepers did best on 1/4 - more than that and it seemed to make her lethargic.

I never used this with Peepers, but it occurred to me that probiotics might help your cat's digestive system. They certainly work for me as an IBS-prone person.

Even though directed at renal failure, here is an excellent website that might help you with treatments for many cat-related health issues: http://www.felinecrf.org/

Feb. 6, 2010, 01:09 AM
Yay, chronic kitty diarrhea. So much fun. We just finished working up my 11 yo DSH for it...took a while to finally get a diagnosis of IBD, but before that we did:

food trial - novel protein diet, high fiber diet, highly digestible diet, FortiFlora (none of these helped)

Abdominal radiographs and ultrasound (he also has hypercalcemia, and one of the things that can cause it is cancer, so this was going on a cancer hunt - didn't find any abnormalities here either)

Fecals (multiple) - checking for common intestinal parasites (rounds, hooks, tapes) as well as coccidia, giardia, clostridia, and campylobacter. Also did a giardia antigen test. Everything was negative.

Tried a fenbendazole trial and a metronidazole trial - both of them made him vomit, the metronidazole (Flagyl) also made him stop eating and so nauseous that he was sitting around drooling after the 3rd dose.

Sent out blood for a PLI, folate, and cobalamin to check for exocrine pancreatic insufficiency (this is when the pancreas, for whatever reason but in cats usually secondary to chronic pancreatitis, stops making digestive enzymes) - all normal

Finally did GI biopsies a couple of weeks ago, and came back with a diagnosis of inflammatory bowel disease. The most effective treatment for this is steroids, usually prednisone. My cat is VERY difficult to pill (and I was a small animal tech for 8 years, so I'm pretty good at it) so we're trying a subcutaneous dexamethasone injection once a week and seeing how that goes. I haven't seen him in the box for a few days, so I'm not sure where we're at, but I did see a solid stool last week. We'll be giving it a few weeks more to decide if we need to adjust the dose.

I don't know of any natural remedies for this condition, but I must admit that I am more comfortable with traditional Western medicine...I'm not opposed to alternative therapies, as long as they aren't going to do harm and that, if they don't work, they don't interfere with treatment that the animal really needs. You can treat empirically for IBD, but for my own cat I preferred to have a diagnosis (mostly because I was worried about lymphoma, which IBD can progress to if it goes on long enough).

Good luck with your kitty - I hope you find something to help him!

Feb. 6, 2010, 09:46 AM
How about mixing in 1/2 to 1 teaspoon of dry baby rice cereal into his wet food once or twice a day? That was prescribed for a friend's cat, and worked well. Once the stools are back to normal, you could add in 1 teaspoon of powdered acidophilus into the food daily for a while to rebalance the gut. CVS has capsules for people that work just fine.

ETA: My mother's dog gets this when he eats the shade grass in the yard. Because it has little burrs in the stalks, it irritates his intestines, thus diarrhea. He has to have Benefiber daily during the grass season.

Feb. 6, 2010, 10:10 AM
poor kitty. Indoors? do you grow a pot of "cat grass" for the cat to eat?
Picky eater suggests to me the cat has some kind of chronic digestive problem and often feels ill in the tum, vet might be your best bet to figure out why.

Bank of Dad
Feb. 6, 2010, 02:46 PM
I like the idea of the baby rice cereal. I thought about mashing up regular rice. I can poke this down him. He might have IBD, but I know if he eats anything with "roughage", ie, a dog biscuit, hay, grass, he gets this diarrhea for days. Last go round, in Oct 09, he ate gardenia leaves, vomited a few days, stopped eating a few days, liver enzymes went way bad, gave IV fluids, gave food and water by syringe for days, pumpkin, until he finally got back to normal, which he was until two weeks ago when he sneaked outside and pigged out on something nasty. Now I have no plants or flowers in the house.

With our Maryland blizzard, I can't get him to a vet for a few days anyway. He is eating and drinking well, so its not an emergency.

Feb. 6, 2010, 09:07 PM
I give my cats the baby food cereal once a day when it's cold out--first I mix a couple of teaspoons of the cereal with water into a runny paste then add their moist food and stir well, they love it!

I'd be concerned about this cat's depraved appetite. It's not normal for cats to be eating gardenia leaves and other odd things. When you take the cat to the vet have him check the cat's thyroid--that can cause depraved appetite.

Bank of Dad
Feb. 7, 2010, 01:34 PM
In Nov 09, he had complete blood work up. I was hoping it was thyroid, but that was completely normal. He lived with the gardenia plant his whole life, would nibble and puke a leaf or two and be fine. Last time he just couldn't stop puking.

Friend suggested slippery elm and golden seal. Gave me the directions from a book she swears by called New Natural Cat.

I'll check with the vet if he ever makes it into the office, thru the snow.

Maybe a shot for the diarrhea.

Feb. 8, 2010, 02:58 AM
Also, if your cat is inside all the time I would reconsider the "vaccinated all the time." He probably has immunity now that he is 13 years old. Repeated immunizations can be hard on mature animals. And defintely don't let the vet vaccinate the cat when he is sick.

Cats are also known for getting tumors at the vaccination injection site, which is why cats are generally vaccinated in the leg, as it is easier to amputate than the shoulders.

Bank of Dad
Feb. 9, 2010, 04:54 PM
Right, actually its been a few years since the last, except rabies. I just said that generally so folks would know the vet has a boat named after my pets. All of them see him regularly.

Feb. 9, 2010, 05:02 PM
Cats eat grass (hay) to make themselves vomit.

Yes, there is a digestive something going on. Could be worms. could be millions of other things.

Since the cat doesn't live 'naturally' there probably isn't anything 'natural' to get rid of parasites he's picking up around the barn, you're tracking in on shoes and clothes. The viruses and cancers also have to be considered.

Feb. 10, 2010, 10:34 AM
While you are investigating the cause of the illness, it would not hurt to pick up a pot of cat grass for her. Your cat was nibbling on the gardenia because that was the only plant she could get to. Ditto the hay. The grass aids in their digestion.