What to feed cats with feline IBS, diarrhea, or frequent hairballs

file000545729422 What to feed cats with feline IBS, diarrhea, or frequent hairballs hairballs feline ibs feline IBD feline diarrhea cat throwing up

UPDATED 2021 (Answers raw food added; minor updates)

I’m hearing from more and more cat lovers who are desperate to help their cats resolve colitis, irritable bowel syndrome (IBS) or disease (IBD) symptoms, such as:

  • diarrhea or loose stools
  • constipation
  • frequent hairballs or vomiting
  • digestive reactions to certain foods (e.g., food allergies)

If you can relate, I’ve got good news to share.

I just saw a terribly stubborn case of feline irritable bowel symptoms healed through natural means. In a series of posts starting with this one, I’ll share everything helpful I learned from that case and other research.

I’ll start by doing my best to answer: “What natural food options might help my cat with these symptoms?”

But first, important: I am not a vet. Get a vet involved in your cat’s condition. Sometimes these are symptoms of intestinal or gastrointestinal cancer – and you want to catch that early.

What are feline IBD and IBS?

Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is an inflammatory immune-reaction syndrome in the gastrointestinal tract. We know healing has been possible for many humans and cats, but the roots of the condition have not been well understood, so doctors have not had reliable solutions.

The symptoms are regular bouts of diarrhea, constipation, or vomiting. You may also see mucous or blood in the stool. In some cats the only symptom is weight loss. Some may stop using the litter box because it reminds them painful experiences.

IBS has similar symptoms to IBD, and I believe it’s a precursor to IBD. The difference is that IBD is so inflammatory that it causes damage to the intestines. Besides making everyone miserable, the scary thing about IBD is it can be deadly because:

  • a cat can actually starve from a very serious case of IBD
  • some experts believe the inflammation it causes can lead to the intestinal lymphoma which has become so common in cats 

By the way, sometimes what you think are frequent hairballs are actually IBD symptoms. If you have a cat who gags or throws up hairballs more than once a month, consider it suspicious.

Natural cat food picks for cats with IBS/IBD symptoms

Mainstream vet medicine often puts cats with IBS/IBD symptoms on manufactured “hypoallergenic” foods like Hill’s Z/D, but these foods are often high in carbohydrates (fattening) and low in quality protein. And according to expert Elizabeth Hodgkins, DVM, these foods don’t always work either – at least not for long.

In her book, Your Cat: Simple New Secrets for a Longer, Stronger Life, Dr. Hodgkins explains that for mild cases of IBD, grain-free canned diets are helpful.

For tougher cases, she prescribes a grain-free raw diet of ground meat with cat-appropriate vitamin and essential-fatty-acid supplements mixed in – she refers to this as a “the most complete cure.”

I agree with her on both accounts. And I have also noticed (and know as a human nutritionist)  that simple foods are the best for digestive issues. I have seen cats that do not do well with foods that have a lot of ingredients, even fruits and vegetables. (More on those in a moment.)

For more on grains and the feline digestive track, please see this post by Fern Crist, DVM and this article and  this one by Dr. Becker


First choice 

My first choice of natural cat foods from my “Best” list with the most simple, digestive-friendly formulas are:

  • Radcatraw*. This one is my (and our cats’) personal favorite because it doesn’t include ground bones, which are difficult for some cats (like ours) to digest. Very high quality UPDATE: Rad Cat no longer in business : (
  • NEW Answers Raw Cat Food, Detailed Formula, fermented with whey. Great clean ingredients and the food is is easy to digest because the whey helps break down the proteins. Plus, the whey also helps product against bacteria risk. This food has made a HUGE difference for our GI-lymphoma-surviving IBD cat.
  • Hound & Gatos canned. Good quality, simple ingredients. Several different formulas. Also available at Pet Food Express stores.
  • Pure Vita canned. Simple ingredients, grain-free, low carb.
  • Tiki Cat Koolina Luau canned and Puka Puka Luau. Very simple recipes.
  • Life’s Abundance Instinctive Choice canned. Again, simple and our cats love it. Because Life’s Abundance only sells by the case, online, I suggest getting their trial size first, but most cats seem to love it.

Primal’s raw cat foodhas also significantly helped some cats with IBD. The formulas are not as simple (it has vegetables, fiber, and ground bones), but Primal is easier to buy locally, so if it works for your cat, great!

*Note that, due to slightly higher bacteria risk, raw may not be ideal for cats with cancer or otherwise severely weakened immunity. 

Often IBD cats develop an intolerance for common meats they eat regularly, like chicken. 

They may do better with less common ones like duck and venison. Feline Pride offers some helpful options there because they have a variety of meats to choose from. Hound & Gatos have a variety as well. Primal now has a Pheasant formula.

In a pinch

If those foods don’t work for you for some reason, you could dip into the 2nd choice brands that offer other types of meats in the most simple formulas.

With some cats, constipation is made worse by foods with ground bones – most raw recipes have ground bones in them. When that’s the case, then you could make homemade raw food with one of these complete supplements.

Please keep in mind that cats can die without enough of certain key nutrients so you need to follow very specific instructions if you want to start a homemade raw diet.

My current supplement favorites for making homemade cat food:

  • Feline Instincts Supplement: They provide a recipe and nutrient supplement, which makes it easy to make sure your cat gets what they need. For constipated cats, I recommend the “No Bones About It” version.
  • Alnutrin Supplement: A good supplement and recipe for bone-free homemade cat food. You can request a free sample here, and they include the simple recipe.

Homemade food caveats: Other than getting the nutrients wrong, the other risk with making bone-free food you don’t grind yourself is that the meat may have unhealthy bacteria. I’ve been told not to use packaged meat raw, and that even fresh ground meat from a butcher may not be pure enough. Fresh unground meat is a safer choice. You could also cook the meat and then add supplement afterward. (You have to add the supplement after cooking, otherwise cooking will degrade critical nutrients, like taurine.) Alas, cooked meat is less digestible than raw meat.

What about vegetables? Do cats need some fiber?

For many IBS or IBD cats, the fiber in vegetables only causes more trouble—with one exception: for constipated cats who respond well to cooked pumpkin or squash, a little pumpkin or squash are good to add to their food because it prevents constipation.

I also like pumpkin and squash because they don’t contain disaccharides, which feed the bad bacteria.

Disacchar-what? Basically, vegetables that are high in disaccharides much more readily feed the bad bacteria at the root of inflammatory bowel conditions. This means cats with digestive trouble should avoid high-disaccharide ingredients like:

  • Potatoes
  • Sweet potatoes
  • FOS (fructooligosaccharides) – a fiber “prebiotic”

What if no food on earth is working out?!

Sometimes a new food works for a while, and then the symptoms flare up again. Such was the case with my friend’s cat.

This happens with tough cases of IBS or IBD.  First, I would stick with whatever simple foods cause the least reaction. Secondly, I’d assume a deeper healing of the gut is needed – that was the missing piece that solved my friend’s cat’s problems!

Stay tuned for that story in an upcoming post (update: it’s here). In the mean time, here’s a hint: seek help from customer service at Vitality Science. They are amazing and will get your cat on the gut healing path I’m talking about.

What’s your experience? 

I welcome your cat’s story here – we can all learn from each other!

Love to hear your thoughtful thoughts! Leave a reply...


  1. I’m desperately seeking advice/help for my 7 month old kitten. From the day I adopted him (10 weeks), he has had chronic diarrhea.
    Whatever is going on in him has caused flare-ups that have put him in the ER vet twice and back and forth to various vets trying to figure out the cause. His ER trips were due to flare ups causing his colon to completely stop functioning temporarily (creating a total blockage) that resolved itself over time.

    We’ve tried grain-free, GI prescription food (hills and RC), and have had the most luck with what he’s currently on, limited ingredient duck and pea food.

    He’s been on and off metronidazole (which helps tremendously) but the diarrhea is back as soon as he stops taking it.

    He’s currently on fortiflora as well.

    Right now, his pools are semi-solid, though stinky and 2-3x/day.

    I’m thinking there has to be something we’re missing, and am dying to know if it’s a good allergy or a gut biome issue.

    I’m running out of funds to help this guy and he’s only 7 months old. Desperate for any assistance!

    1. Jan, please ask your vet(s) to consider a fecal culture to rule out nasty bacteria such as e-coli-, campylobacter, salmonella, etc – the metronidazole may not be targeting one or more of these bacteria, so a culture might show something else. Might also consider ruling out giardia. Lastly, rule out viral disease, because Felv, FIV, etc can all cause diarrhea. An ultrasound would be extremely helpful to look at potential intestinal wall thickness, growths, or nearby organs that may be enlarged or a congenital defect that might be affecting his GI system. If none of these diagnostics confirm anything, ask your vet to consult with a veterinary internist.

      1. I had a bangle with severe IBS. Testing testing testing! My advice would be before you have any more testing , slowly move over to Royal Canin cat food ( specific for bangles.)!Not sure what it is that is in it, not only did it stop the diarrhea, my cat now is round like his Mama !

    2. Jan not all infections show up on the standard stool check at the vet. it may need to go to a centre that does more advanced testing. No doubt in my mind at that age your kitten has an infection that is not responding to standard treatments. 🐈

      1. Thanks for everyone’s input. We had blood and PCR testing done. He came back negative for FIV/felv thank goodness. His results came back as having extremely high clostridium levels. The vet suggested a long course of antiobiotics, though she said clostridium levels are often chronic, as cats should be able to deal with them on their own without symptoms. She suggested it is likely a systemic issue.

        We tried a raw diet out of desperation, and this has completely cleared up his diarrhea (going on a week now!!). I have no idea what this means for his health/condition, but am happy we at least have a fix for now.

        1. Hi Jan,

          My kitten is having chronic diarrhea as well. He’s on halo kibble which seems to at least help with the diarrhea but he still has very soft/mucusy poop. Any dietary change seemed to cause diarrhea again. I have taken him to the vet on multiple occasions and he does not bacteria infection or parasites.

          If you dont mind sharing, what raw food did you have your cat try and what kind of meat? How long of a transition period did it take to fully switch your cat to raw? Thank you !!!

            1. Yes. I sprinkle probiotics on his food everyday but it doesn’t seem to help that much. Still soft poop on a good day. Canned food seem to cause diarrhea. Halo kibble has helped but still no solid poop.
              I’ve heard good things about raw diet for cats with chronic diarrhea, so I’m hoping that’s the cure I’m looking for.

              1. I recently switched my cats to royal canin hydrolized rabit dry and stopped all systoms within 5 days!

              2. I tried every cat food under the sun for my 2 Manx cats. The little female kept having poop stick to her 2 inch curly tail and down her bum. She was very skinny and always diahrrea and vomit. After cleaning her up once one year, the vet recommended putting her down which I did about 2 years ago. I couldn’t clean her myself because she was semi feral and couldn’t pick her up.
                Now I just have the male who always had diahrrea and frequently vomit. He is on Royal Canin hypoallergenic dry food. I tried him on the canned and he wouldn’t eat it. Finally decided to just stick to Friskies Turkey pate (he has no teeth) and he’s been fine for months!

          1. Hi Emma,
            I live in Canada, so got a pure raw food at the pet store (NO added vegetables/fruits). I started him just doing home cooked chicken breast, turkey, tuna to first start the transition and determine if there were any food allergies. He never did well with any sort of fish, we determined (most commercial foods have some sort of fish oil).
            I then started the raw food from the pet store (there are lots of recipes online to make your own, as well). It just requires some meat, some animal organ, and some suggest adding in bone as well.
            Again, I first starting microwaving it to partially cook, and then weaned off of that. It has resolved all of his issues. Every time he’s accidentally eaten kibble, its instant diarrhea (smelly and mucus), but resolves once it’s out of his system and back to the raw food.

            1. Being in cat rescue for over 20 years and listening to vets over the years fish of any kind is not good. Makes diarrhea much worse.

  2. Please help me… my loving cat, 15 next month has chronic IBS and Diabetes. The steroids the vets w aged to five to treat the IBS can’t be given because of the diabetes. He has lost so much weight, drinks all the time and yet seems so hungry.
    He was prescribed an allergy dried food which helped to take away the gas and smell but not the diarrhea. He craves other food and after the weight loss the vets suggested putting him back on his regular wet car food. Within 24 hours all the gas and smell was back, it was awful so they put him back on the allergy food.
    He’s getting frail and I feel so helpless. I know he’s old but he’s only just turning 15, surely something g could help him? Lisa

    1. Hi Lisa, I’m in the UK and my companion Biscuit was put to sleep last night. He was 12 and three months. I got him from the Blue Cross 1.5 years ago, knowing he had a history of chronic colitis. He was the most affectionate and wonderful cat and living on my own, with a covid lockdown, I am going to miss him hugely. In the end his diarrhoea was constant, of fluid consistency. He’d strain at least once every two hours. He was always hungry as he wasn’t able to absorb the nutrients. I tried veterinary food but he wouldn’t eat it and steroids didn’t work. He weighed only two pounds, he smelt and his coat was in a poor condition. I think I made the right decision but can’t help but think I could have done more, showed more love in his last moments and I should have been with him when he was euthanised, to support him and not have been a coward. I’m devastated.

      1. Hi Rebecca!

        So wonderful to find a similar case from a distance away!

        I took in a senior love bug 1.5 years also! He has hyperthyroidism, ibs, and prolonged ringworm… he’d been losing weight slowly, and I didn’t catch it sooner, until he became really weak last week… took him to the vet and had the quality of life talk 🙁

        He seems to not want to eat his dry prescription food, and only eats a bit of his wet prescription food (which gives him gas and doesn’t help his ibs :/). I just gave him a few greenies and he devoured them! Hopefully he’ll be as enthusiastic for his prescription treats. And hopefully the vet approves a high calorie and high protein supplement
        To get him to gain some weight.

        I too had started to think of how I could have maybe done more. Maybe fed him more wet food when he was brought out permanently from my laundry room when the pandemic began. (I kept him in the laundry room at first to try to isolate and clear his ringworm). Or that I should have just let him run around even with ringworm because I did so anyway when I was home for 6 months due to quarantine… maybe if I had noticed he started to lose weight sooner, I thought he wasn’t eating as much of his food because he had stated to eat my other cats food. Or what if I had spent more time with him instead of frolicking… etc…

        I talked to my therapist today actually, and it helped. She said life happens. Not that he was put in the back burner, but other things did take away some focus from him, like being in a car accident and having to deal with that bs… among other life things…

        I’ve been nurturing him for the past week even more so than before. I haven’t slept too well, and thankfully? I’m not working too much or too early so I can still devote a lot of time, whether he comes around or not (praying he does).

        It’s true that we can’t change how we went about things, but I think it’s important to remember that we at least had the heart to take in senior cats with issues that no one else might have the time or willingness to do so. I know at least in my case, he was going to get put down so when I heard about it when I worked at the shelter, I took him home! Best damn day of my life. Perhaps it’s because we seemingly have a big caring heart, that makes us be hard on ourselves, and think we didn’t do enough. I thought the other day, that perhaps it’s true, not because we didn’t do enough, but because part of being human (which I have trouble with sometimes) is knowing there are too many ways to do and go about things.

        I’m so thankful I found this blog, and your comment, and I hope you get to read it. And if you would like, we can connect on social media or somehow else if you don’t have it, because we seem to be going through a similar situation, and I think it’s important to find support in people who go through similar things.

      2. I’m so sad for you struggles and losses everyone. Blame is fear. And fear is the opposite of love. We can’t be in both at the same time. We are human and have to work to make the conscious choice, to think, feel and act with love… including towards ourselves.

    2. I know how you feel Lisa, hopefully you did more research, and found good information, and/or that just loved on him as much as possible until the end </3

        1. I should never have fed him that dry food for so long, but I was so sick and in so much pain myself and was having such a hard time getting up and getting him his wet food when he was hungry, and sometimes I would forget and he would go hungry, so I got the dry food so that wouldn’t happen. But I left him on it too long, I think, and now he has either cancer (most likely) or crippling IBS. Either way, he’s only 11. It’s too early. He was my company through my many illnesses and the COVID lockdown. It’s too soon. Now that I am getting physically stronger I had so much planned for us. I was going to take him out of this apartment, that has been his world for so long, and show him some of the outdoors. Now none of that will happen. It’s a really slow process. It’s been a month and a half now, constantly by him, taking care of all his needs, and then the times when I know he’s suffering and there’s nothing I can do to make it stop, and I think, now is the time, it’s over, get it done. But then suddenly he’ll get up and walk, trot around, tail up, demanding petting or food or something. It’s exhausting and painful.And all the time you have to remind yourself…this is all I can do, I can’t save him…

  3. Help! We got a 5 month old Siberian kitten for my Daugheter because my husband is allergic to most pets. Husband is doing fine but kitten has had smchrinic diarrhea with a little blood since day one. 6 vet visits and test and kitten is not better. Now on boiled chicken breast and a little Rx fiber cat food. I have work and kids and to clean poop all over my daughter’s room nightly has become hell. Help!

    1. Lida, oh dear, that sounds so stressful. The plain boiled chicken may help kitten stabilize for a little while. A potentially easier option is Beechnut plain turkey or chicken babyfood (with NO onions or garlic etc). What I would do is check out this page: https://www.foodfurlife.com/my-cat-has-diarrhea—what-do-i-do.html#/ — Go to the part about giving your cat Jarrow’s S. Boulardii + MOS and also slippery elm. Both can be given in food and both can be purchased at Whole Foods or through Amazon. If that doesn’t help quickly, I would also keep looking for a vet that can help.

    2. We have a 6 year old Siberian who also had bloody stools and sever IBS issues. After many tests and food changes, Royal Canin veterinary diet hydrolyzed protein adult HP dry food and Royal Canin digest sensitive wet food eliminated all problems. Our kitty hasn’t had bloody stools or IBS issues since we changed his diet. I hope that this helps you.

      1. Turned out it was Tritrichomonas foetus. 3 rounds of Ronidazole and the cat is better. Handsome boy went through a lot. Specialty cats are prone to this parasite.

  4. Nothing was working for my cat who had diarrhea every day. Then I found Vitality Science and it helped tremendously! I mix some Lithothamnium in his food every day. I don’t know what we’d do without it. I also have him eating duck or rabbit dry and moist food.

    1. I googled this and only found dog products. Could you tell me what you are using for your cat? Nothing is helping my kitty and I’m desperate!

  5. I have a 13 year old female cat with urinary crystals, and newly diagnosed with mild IBD. She recently had major surgery to remove a hairball from her small intestine. We have had her groomed with a lion cut, and are brushing her regularly, to minimize the hair she swallows. She is a very picky eater and won’t eat anything other than fishy stuff. She won’t eat chicken or fowl. Because of the crystals we must have her on a totally canned diet. She won’t eat the canned Hills or Science Diet or any of the foods the vet recommended. Arg! Do you have any suggestions for a canned food that is grain free and easily digested that would be suitable for IBD?

    1. Jennifer, I’m sorry to hear about your sick kitty. Raw diet would be the best, and you will need to transition her onto it slowly. My favorite brand is Small Batch, but Primal makes some that come in little nuggets, besides the larger portions. A fishy diet is not good for cats, but if she’s gotten used to it, you could try the chicken and salmon made by Primal (get the small 1 lb. bag to start) and gradually wean her from one with fish to other varieties. I hope you have a good selection of raw foods where you live. Be sure to checks the bags of frozen food to make sure the food is not all stuck together in a solid form. Remember to begin very gradually, sneaking a pinch into her regular food until she gets used to it. Keep us informed on how she does.

  6. I have a rescue who’s history I don’t know. I’ve had her for 2years and always get blood drawn and urinalysis done. I can’t figure out what is the issue with her. I try one thing and another issue pops up. I currently have her on vital essentials nibs which is a raw diet but I think it may have constipated her. I managed to get her un-constipated but now she’s diarrhea’d outside of the litter box and just had a mucousy bloody stool outside of the litter box. She got tons of energy, eats the vital essentials well, and has been after my people food more too which unusual for her. She’s also started throwing up again which she had stopped doing when I switched to vital essentials. I want to introduce a wet food that may help with constipation but she’s not always into wet and it often goes to waste. There are so many food options and my head spins. I don’t know if the colitis (which I’m only assuimas she has) has to do with the changing of the season or if its her food or just her anxiety (she is quite high strung). Any adcadv at all would be greatly appreciated. Sorry for the wall of text.

    1. Jennifer, have you had your vet check her out for this? You can’t assume what it is. Regarding raw food, I feed my cat Small Batch raw, and some freeze dried raw from Primal and Stella and Chewy. For raw, I prefer Small Batch, because they do not use High Pressure Processing on their food. What brands of frozen raw are available in your area? As far as constipation, raw food does cause your cat to produce smaller, drier stools. If she is having a movement every day, or straining with a bowel movement, she is not constipated. I also let my cat have a bit of canned food, just in case his raw food becomes unavailable and I have to switch him to canned, so he is used to it. Please stay in touch regarding your kitty.

  7. My cat is dealing with IBD and has been on a variety of medications to help. She was on prednizolone and cisapride as she also has a Megacolon. She also takes lactulose and has been for quite awhile. She has always struggled to go to the bathroom until we got her on all of that and this past December it has morphed into diarrhea with some blood. And if she’s backed upt she’d get sick as well.

    I have her on probotics now and she was approved to go back on lactulose. Also have Cerenia if she’s nauseous. She was doing well for about a week, though, and then it was back to some diarrhea and vomiting. And not eating. I have been trying to introduce new food, which was the nature variety instinct. I’m thinking of trying one of the food suggestions that isn’t raw like maybe the hound and gatos first. Has anyone had any luck with this? I’d like to try the raw but if her or Immune system is compromised, I’m hesitant.

    1. I also had a cat with IBD and if I could do it over again, I’d have fed her raw (commercial food) when she first started having symptoms and before she got put on prednisolone. However, even with the prednisolone, she worsened, I asked the vet to prescribe Budesonide, a steroid that has a greater effect on the bowels and a lesser effect on the rest of the body. It did help a lot more than the prednisolone, but it was prescribed too late. Here’s a website to look at: https://www.diamondbackdrugs.com/budesonide-for-veterinary-use-ibd-in-cats-and-dogs/ I wish you the best with your kitty and you might want to try consulting a holistic vet re: the diet and you might have to experiment to find what works for her. I’m not sure how she could handle raw food at this stage, sorry to say.

      1. Hi Gloria,

        Thanks for your feedback. I was going to try transitioning her to homemade cooked meats after much debate with EZComplete to see how that goes.

        As for Budesonide, I will ask if he thinks that could be more beneficial for her at this point or not. I have a friend who has her cat on that as well. I really wish I would have known all this stuff at the start of it.. it’s upsetting that vets don’t work with you on the diet. I never realized until recently. I feel so sad for her.

        1. Megan, I’m sorry for your kitty’s problems. As for asking your vet about budesonide, I would simply ask him to prescribe it for her, rather than asking what he thought about it. It really helped my cat, but he would not have prescribed it for her had I not asked him to. And as for diet, most vets are fairly ignorant about diet except to prescribe expensive foods that are usually ineffective and costly. My vet would not even look at the custom homemade diet (from a holistic veterinarian) that I was feeding her. Had I known then what I know now, I may not have lost her. As for EZ Complete/Food Fur Life, I think it would be worth trying. I hope your kitty improves greatly.

    2. Meghan, that sounds really hard. Poor kitty. We had a cat who suddenly couldn’t seem to digest anything. What worked for him for a few months was to make homemade cooked ground meat, then add Food Fur Life for nutrients (check them out, they are great! I need to add them to my homemade food post). BUT, then he stopped wanting to eat that food for some reason. We switched to freeze-dried Stella & Chewy’s (which I just added back to my “Top Cat Foods” list), add a lot of warm water, and he LOVES it and is doing great. No issues. My final best tip for you is get thee to this facebook group — super helpful: https://www.facebook.com/groups/RawFedIBD/ PS I should add the caveat that this FB group is specifically focused on feeding raw, but you could ask them what they think about the immune system question.

      1. Thanks Liz! It is such an awful thing for her to deal with and it’s very frustrating and disheartening. I was going to try transitioning to homemade cooked meat also with EZComplete to see how that goes. I also need to find out if I can get her back on cisapride which helps her contract and push out stool.

        I will also keep the Stella & Chewys in mind! And ironically, I did join that FB group back in Jan when I had the idea about probiotics for her. They are a wealth of info! I’ve gotten great tips from them and it sounds like you also have the same ideas! Going to try and do my best by her. Thanks.

  8. I have a 15 year old cat whose had vomiting issues for many years, full body heaves twice in a row (usually in the mornings) about three times a week. I have tired the Vitally Science as recommended here for over three years, it helps to relieve his symptoms after he vomits but in my experience has done nothing to stop the vomiting from occurring in the first place. So as far as healing the gut for any long period of time I don’t think it works. I’m giving up on it and looking elsewhere, too expensive and the customer support (which I’ve used both phone and email many times) is pretty useless, basically they tell me to keep experimenting with dose amounts. I’ve got to the point where I’ve gone over the standard dosage and done it three times a day, I think three years is enough experimenting and enough money wasted.

    Frankly I’m at my wits end, because he rarely vomits food, and he’ll go three days without any problems then almost on cue vomit at 6 or 7 in the morning on the fourthe day (just liquid) and then I can barely get him to eat for the next two days, then the cycle repeats. I’ve tired feeding him late at night, that seemed to work for a short time but didn’t last, he used to eat Rad Cat all the time (that never helped) he’ll barely touch the stuff now, and he’s just getting pickier. My next try is going to be boiled chicken, I’ve heard that helps to some degree.

    1. Try boiled chicken if you wish, but remember, that is not a complete diet and he surely will suffer from health issues related to dietary deficiencies if that is his only food.

    2. My older cat started doing the same thing as yours, vomiting occasionally but as time went on he did so more frequently. He’d eat grass to calm his tummy and regurgitate it with stomach fluids. I tried different food brands but, always stuck with chicken or turkey protein source. His IBD became severe and he was put on predinisone but, passed away about 1 yr later from cancer. I only read after he passed that if IBD isn’t treated it becomes severe, cats stop eating and cancer forms shortly after! The 2 triggers of IBD are Chicken & Carrageenan. The vet recommended NOVEL proteins to protect a cats healthy gut; Beef, Lamb, Rabbit, and Duck. Hounds and Gatos makes all of those foods but, by the time I started feeding my cat low allergen foods, it was too late.
      My suggestion is switch foods, eliminate the two irritants, before it becomes to late. Good luck with your kitty.

      1. Raw food can also help w/ IBD, but if the cat’s immune system is compromised (and it may be if he/she is on steroids) it may not be a good idea. I lost a kitty to IBD this year, and if I could do it over again, I’d have started her on raw food right away. I did cook homemade food for her, but she perished anyway. Very sad case.

  9. I have found that putting a little pumpkin into our cat’s diet helped when she was suffering from IBS diarrhea bouts. Also because it was an inflammatory issue we gave her some goat’s milk that had cinnamon and turmeric in it. Both spices are natural anti inflammatorys and goat’s milk is great for probiotics. We did them one at a time. Didn’t want to introduce too many new things at once to her. These items do seem to help to keep her regular and help when she does have a flair.

  10. hi everyone, has anyone found a vet that is very Nutrition savvy as I really need help with my cat with IBD…spending a lot of time crying and upset as I keep dealing with flare ups and weight loss – up and down all the time and I need a good vet in the NY/NJ area. I have gone to many doctors and tried different foods (I refuse to do Hills/roayal canine) but I am getting so upset and hopeless.

    1. I as an herbalist have the same problem with a 12 year old cat that I found outside would not leave so I mix the herb Marshmallow root, Echinacea root, plain yogurt, pumpkin, slippery elm bark, catnip,,This will make their bowels in check may take a week or 2 but no people food, you and mix it will a good cat food to make the cat like it the cat I found is doing well on it

  11. I have a “rescued” 9 month old kitten that has diarrhea – had it in the foster home but was improving apparently. I bought and used the same special Hill’s food they were using but cat still has diarrhea. He was on FortiFlora and took him to the vet for booster shot and she gave me more. For a day he started having a show of semi solid and then back to diarrhea. He isn’t dehydrated, does drink a lot of water, is very playful, not vomiting. What more can I do to stop the diarrhea???

    1. Has your vet checked the stool for parasites (they may not show up, even if present, so may have to be checked more than once). Also, ask him to order a “fecal pathogens test” (not just a ‘stool culture’). There are better probiotics than FortaFlora. I have used BeneBac. If your vet does not have it, you can order it from Amazon. It has several different cultures in it and is easy to give. Don’t give more than the recommended amount, or the diarrhea can get worse. Wish you the best with your kitty. Also, you may try slowly transitioning him to a raw diet. I use Rad Cat. Remember, raw has to be handled carefully. Keep frozen what he is not eating and toss any that he has not eaten within 30 minutes. I thaw out a day’s supply in the ‘fridge, and keep it only two days. Best wishes for you and the kitty.

      1. I have a cat with IBS. She has diarrhea. Trust me we have done everything the sun except try lots of different foods because my other cat has allergies. He is allergic to flax, pork, and soy. And we stay away from wheat and corn. One of the other cats will only eat dry and nothing else….have tried. So I need a dry I can leave out that will for for the other kitties and then I will feed some sort of wet/raw once a day. Any suggestions? Currently on Open Farms. Tried prescription diets.

    2. I currently have my cat on Amber Technology Kitty-DT Digestive support drops and Amber Technology Vibactra Plus Immune Oral and Skin support drops. Available thru Amazon. He gets 10 drops of each 4 times a day for 10 to 15 days. He’s in his 8th day now and this seems to really be helping with the IBS and bloody stool. He’s been tested 3 times for parasites , all negative. My friend has used this same regimine Paxxin for Kitty-DT in her dogs . Works wonderfully. Hope this helps. I mix the drops with a small amount of Purina ProBiotic powder and his favorite food. No problem with him eating it.

  12. I have a 20 year old Siamese with IBS. Two things i suggest checking out as they have worked to keep her happy active and healthy. Ask your Vet about Vitamin B12 injections. I give them at home 1 x per week. And also read up about Now brand slippery elm powder. I make it daily. 1 half teaspoon of slippery elm powder mixed with 1 cup boiling water. Alow the mixture to cool to at least room temp. Then using a doser i gently feed my cat about 1 teaspoon worth 2 times a day morning/night usually before she eats. It helps keep her poops solid and her belly calm as it was loud with noises before i started this routine. The slippery elm coats the gi tract. Many herbs are unsafe for pets so please read up. But Now brand of Slippery Elm is pure and has worked fantastic for my ibs cat. Hope this helps someone.

    1. Hello, A. Glad that your “older” kitty w/ IBS is doing fairly well. How long has she had IBS and was it diagnosed with a biopsy? Also, how much B12 do you give her? I started with every two weeks but it wasn’t enough, so shortened it to every 10 days and found that she runs out of “appetite” before then, so now I am giving her 250-300 mcg. per subcu injection once a week. How much do you give your cat and how long have you been giving it? I wanted to try slippery elm for her but my vet blew up at me when I asked about it. He has no stomach for all of this “holistic” stuff as he refers to it. Needless to say, I am changing to another vet.

  13. I would like to post a warning about Xanthum Gum in catfood.

    I recently lost my beloved cat, Cali to intestinal cancer. She had a spinal injury, and suffered from incontinence and chronic constipation. The vet blamed the cancer on IBS. She was 14 years old. I subsequently adopted a kitten from the local rescue who had IBSD, I named Diana. Having learned a lot from taking care of Cali, when the usual medications did not work, I got her a Nutriscan for food sensitivity and changed up her diet. After that, it became apparent that the one thing that was a major cause of her problem (farting and liquid stools), was Xanthum Gum (XG). On foods she tested sensitive to that contained XG she would actually vomit. On food she should have been fine on, that contained XG, the IBSD persisted. She is off it now and healing. I hope. It is hard to find a food without gums that she has no sensitivity too. I think the XG really messed her up.

    I did feed some of these foods to my poor Cali, even after she got sick, thinking I was doing the right thing as they were high end canned foods. Her constipation would occur on soft stool. I wonder now what I did to my poor girl.

    There are a lot of vegetable gum thickeners being added to catfood and they are all probably laxative, gas producing inflammatories to our cats. XG is amongst the worst as a bacterially manufactured product, link to intestinal illness and at least one death in human infants. I guess the rich and powerful are making too much money off this product to have warnings out on it.

    Omnivores may be able to handle these better, but it is so wrong to be putting and significant amounts of these things in cat foods. Beware!!!!!

    1. What is a nutriscan? Is this something that tells you what your cat may be allergic to? If so, who does one see to get something like this done? I suddenly have 3 cats with IBD (age 14 and 16)… 2 of them have had a bit of this over the last 2 years but it has really reared it ugly head and I am so frustrated. I am cooking pork tenderloin which they will eat up til now (fingers crossed) and have tried rabbit in pouches but they now refuse it. I’d love to have a food allergy test done but nothing like this exists here.

  14. Thomas has been fighting IBD for 3 years, He has had a intestinal biopsy, 2 ultra sounds. A once beautiful cat is now skin and bones except for a swollen belly. I have never fed him just one protein source, ever. He grew up on Wellness canned, but every meal was a different protein. For 2 years he has been on Tiki Cat, Weruva, Bravo, Natures Variety, Kasiks,Nulo and Ziwipeak. He takes Benonite Clay, Pet enzymes and plant based probiotics from Vitality Science. We also have Rad Cat, Feline Pride, and Balanced Blends in the freezer. He will eat those if I sauté them in bone broth until it is dark pink and not completely raw. Thomas also has 6 brothers and sisters who eat the same as him, can you only imagine my food bill at 5-6 cans a day. He just is not getting any better. Periodically he ingests a few dry dog food kibbles if he beats me to it, if I have not taken it up after my dogs eat. Could that be enough to keep him from healing. And after 3 years and 14 years old, could he ever be better? When I feed him the raw commercial diets do I need to add supplements?

    1. Shelley, I feel so sorry for your poor kitty and you. My 13 y/o cat with IBS eats a custom made food per a recipe from a veterinarian. Her main meat is turkey, along with chicken hearts and chicken liver; then I add about 8-9 different supplements. I am able to add a little of a canned food that she likes (about 1-2 tsp. of the canned per feeding), since she gets tired of eating “the same old thing”. She did well with the addition of prednisolone (not prednisone) for awhile, so the vet took her off of it. She rapidly went downhill, so she is back on it and doing much better. She will have to be on it for life, but it beats the alternative.
      I also give her 250 mcg. of injectable vitamin B12 every two weeks (got a Rx from the vet and I get it from the Costco pharmacy in 1 ml. vials, because it starts to deteriorate once a vial is punctured, and should be used within 30 days). I also purchased good quality syringes and needles online and give her the subcutaneous injections myself. Not hard to do, once you are shown how to do it. The B12 helps her appetite a lot! Also, the prednisolone has made her feel so much better and her weight has stabilized, perhaps gaining a little. My veterinarian said that the only way to enable her to absorb more of her food was to decrease the inflammation, via the steroid. I don’t feel that I had any choice and hope to have her around much longer now. If you don’t get good responses from your vet, try another one. Blessings on you both!

      1. Thank you Gloria for your kindness. Thomas wants to eat non stop since his body is needing the nutrition. I had him on prednisolone for a while but did not seem to help. One day he eats a food he really likes and the next day he turns his nose up at it, we go through a lot of different foods, canned, raw, dehydrated, I grill chicken for him when we cook out, he eats everything once or twice and then no more. I have given shots before so not a big deal but the vet wants me to bring him in every couple of weeks so she can do it and really so she can shame me for not putting him on science diet. Yes I need another vet!

        1. Shelly, how long was Thomas on prednisolone? My kitty started off on a higher dose and tapered to a lower dose, based on weight. She is now on 2.5 mg daily, with a meal, to avoid stomach irritation. Shame on your vet for wanting her to come in for B12 shots. If you get a new vet, ask for B12 Rx in the little 1 ml. vials. I have read that even though lab tests show normal B12 levels, the cellular levels may be low. Here is an article in which you may be interested:
          http://veterinarycalendar.dvm360.com/update-managing-inflammatory-bowel-disease-and-intestinal-lymphoma-cats-proceedings?id=&sk=&date=&pageID=3. If you need info on a good source for quality syringes and needles for the B12, let me know. Wishing you and Thomas a better New Year!

    2. IDK about feeding all that you have mentioned. I know NOT to feed any fish, as it usually contains crushed bones which will def irritate the intestinal track. I only feed Natures Variety Limited Inged Diet Lamb, Rabbit, , Duck, or Turkey ( whatch for crushed bones ). My kittie is allergic to grains and gluten, and poultry, so she cannot eat the poultry for more than a day. If she eats any other commercial wet or dry food, her stool gets loose and she is hungry much of the day. Try only brands without anything added that will irritate. Stay away from ANY fiber too. These cats do NOT need fiber to irritate.

    3. One thing that really helps me is to get a Nutriscan test. They can identify a lot of the food sensitivities. It is about $300 but worth it. They test most protein and carbohydrates. Once a cat get sensitized, many foods can be a problem. Send them a sample of the pets saliva by having them chew a rope. Saves a lot of sick time.

    4. Hi Shelley Shoreland so sorry to hear about Thomas. The dog food is definitely a problem is there a way you can make sure he doesn’t eat it. I would recommend getting B12 injections for him from your vet and administer them monthly. If his eating commercially raw. You do not need additional supplements. Vitamin B12 is crucial as they have difficulty absorbing this with IBD. There is an amazing group on Facebook you can join too

      I really hope you can help you kitty gain weight and get better soon . I would avoid chicken.

      Wishing Thomas all the best

  15. Our cat has severe diarrhea. Her sister was dying of KD and I was feeding them both KD food. Maybe coincidental, but I trace her gut issues to that KD food. I am feeding her RAWZ, and she loves Fancy Feast, which I have been supplementing with FOS, which after reading your column I will stop. It looks like a crime scene in her liter, but she behaves normally. Any suggestions? No parasites, no thyroid issues.

  16. Greetings from Ecuador, I have two tuxedo cats 14 y.o. cat with IBD. I been dealing with the problem the last 8 months. Started with chronic vomiting, weight lost and diarrhea. After visiting several vets my cats was misdiagnosed with Feline leukemia. I decided to make my own research on the internet and found out about Inflammatory Bowel disease. I knew instantly all the symptoms matched. I decided to change their diet and started cooking at home; a simple 5-minute boiled whole chicken including liver and insides; deboned and serve with the broth. Started with small portions every 4 hours. Like the hand of God all the nasty vomiting stopped and my cats loved the food. It was a good soft diet for the first week but I knew it wasn’t enough nutrients on it. I decided to look for a complement at local pet stores (not many choices in Ecuador). I found a dry kibble made especially for feline sensitive stomachs. I started adding that to the home cooked meal at proportion 50/50. Big success! After 8 months, my cats have gained weight, no vomiting, no diarrhea and they seem to be in good shape. It is very hard to be there to feed them every 4 hours even during the night but it worth it. The only thing I cannot control is their anxiety for eating. They seem to be hungry all the time. I feel I got everything under control, except that I will need to travel soon for 10 days. I wonder if I can put them into the dry kibble as long as I am out of town. But what if they get sick again? Anyway, thank you for letting me share my story. I love my cats like they were my children.

    1. Do you have someone to come and care for your cats while you are away? If so, you can make a good supply of the homemade food, and freeze portions of it (enough for more than ten days, in case your trip takes longer). I suggest that you freeze it in freezer containers or bags, enough for 2-3 days at a time, so one can be thawing out in the fridge overnight for the next day(s). It should not stay in the fridge for more than 2-3 days to avoid spoilage. I, too, have a cat with IBD (over a year) and am cooking at home for her, too. I think I cook more for her than I do for myself. You can also look at http://www.catinfo.org for a homemade recipe using raw meat, but I prefer to cook it lightly, since she doesn’t seem to tolerate raw meat very well.

  17. Our IBS/IBD kitty story.
    Just came across this site. Looks terrific ! Last April we acquired a drop -off ,
    ( someone dropped her in our yard/driveway )very sick, emaciated, starving, and dying small black/white female kitty. She was parasite infected inside and out. We kept her on the porch in a a dog crate for a week . We have 5 other kitties inside/outside. We fed her dry food/water and watched her. She was suffering from severe diarrhea and very dehydrated and in much pain all day long. a lot of gas too. We decided to vet her, since she appeared to be so very friendly to us and the other kitties. I hoped to adopt her out when well as we have done many times. Vet wormed her , inoculated her and sent her home. The pain, gas and severe diarrhea persisted even after cleaned of internal parasites. She came indoors , but had to remain in the cage, because of the mess and constant clean-up and disinfecting of my kitchen floor.
    I researched for hours and hours for a food to feed her and spent $$$$$ in the process. A wholistic vet was very helpful in guiding me toward appropriate feeding choices too. Most vets are not taught proper nutrition for pets in Vet school. They are taught by pet food reps who come to the college and push their food products. So Ive heard. She is a petite 6 lb girl , so she didn’t eat much. Dry kibble was out of the question. I decided to feed her cooked chicken and then turkey for several months and froze the portions. She wasn’t well, so I added chicken/turkey canned cat food, knowing it would hurt her, but I had NO choice. She needed the supplements it added to her diet.. She tolerated it somewhat. Still loose bowels though. Then realized she must be allergic to chicken/grains. Severe itching also plagued her constantly. Her BMs were still loose , but not solid. I came across Natures Variety Instinct Limited ingredient canned turkey and ordered a case. I ordered many other products on a trial basis, but nothing made her feel better. We cannot afford raw, as we are feeding 6 kitties ( one senior, one struggling with obesity, and others )Her BMs were a little more solid for several months. The itching continued though. I tried NV Instinct LID canned rabbit after reading good reviews. Pricey and DID hurt our budget, but seemed to be a little better and NO itching, but very stinky BMs in the litter box. Next tried NV Instinct LID canned Lamb. It is rather dry and sticky so I add a little water to make it more appealing to her and she gets her H2O. By now, I had discovered slippery elm syrup and RXvitamins RX Biotic probiotic and added these daily after much trials concerning the dosage. She now gets 1/4 tsp slippery elm syrup with small amount of food in AM, then 1 hour later with her morning feeding , she gets her probiotics added So does everyone else with morning feeding. She must be fed 4-6 times a day, small portions too work well with her. Also, we must keep the others food away from her. She cannot eat anything else or symptoms return. immediately. BINGO. Solid BMs in the litter box, NO itching and NO stink !!!!! Thank Thank God she isn’t picky ! NO pain, NO gas, NO more diarrhea. All of this took me 8-10 months to achieve all on my own and much research. We have had her here for 11 months now. She is a very happy , always playful, and ever loving indoor kitty named Cinderella.
    thanks for reading. 🙂

    1. Thank you for sharing your experience w/ your little kitty. I have an older kitty w/ IBD, as revealed by sonogram. It must be mostly upper GI, since she did not have diarrhea, just vomiting. The vet recommend open surgery to do bowel biopsies to determine if it was lymphoma, but I felt that she would not survive the surgery, because of her age and extreme weight loss. In the beginning of this illness, she started w/ vomiting hairballs, then on to vomiting food and water (drinks a lot of water, typical of IBD). She is currently on canned food, NV mostly and she likes the rabbit and turkey the best. I also have to give her cooked turkey and/or unsalted canned Alaskan salmon just to get her to eat. Since cats w/ IBD are chronically deficient in vitamin B12, I give her B12 injections at home, starting w/ weekly, for 3-4 weeks, then bi-weekly. It really perks up her appetite. I also give her probiotics (Bene-Bac…daily for 7 days, then about every other day) and am trying to transition her to a raw diet, but am making it at home. It is more affordable that way. I am currently using My Natural Cat powdered mix which I add to partially cooked lean meat (chicken thighs, lean beef, liver, chicken hearts). It you make it at home, it is cheaper than buying the ready frozen ones in the stores. I freeze it in little globs on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet for an hour, then bag it and date it in freezer bags. My male cat really likes it and my female kitty w/ IBD is starting to like it. Both are 13 y/o and I hope to have them around for many more years.

      1. Just wanted to add one more comment. Whatever food you feed your cats, please read labels, since it seems that many canned cat foods contain carageenan (used as a thickener). It has been linked to intestinal inflammation. I read every lable carefully to make sure this is not included in the ingredients.

  18. My cat Blinxie has always been a very small, petite cat, so when at 13-14 years of age, she stated looking a little too bony and was continually licking fur from her back legs, belly and seemed generally, “itchy,” I did some general things like de-worming her but when going to the vet and she was diagnosed with IBS, he gave us the prednisone and wished us luck. Both vet and I knew this wasn’t a cure all and I knew that I had to get down & dirty with the internet as I’m generally a natural foods & medicine person. I discovered this wonderful blog like everyone else and tried the raw food thing but think it was too severe of a jump for my cat as she wasn’t completely interested and threw up the food itself. So next I turned to the Vitality Science products and introduced her to the PetFlora, SuperFood, Super Pet Enzyme and her whole world turned around. I would say within a month possibly less, all of her hair had grown back, I’d never really seen her look “fat,” and just a stunning looking cat. As the stools were still a little loose, I invested in the Luxolite from Vitality Science. I even did videos on the fact that inspired others. However, now 3-4 months into her better health, she’s gotten itchy again and has begun the routine of licking hair off of her legs and belly and feel we’ve missed something. I keep reading about “the backing off” phase but not sure what that means or if its relative to overall IBS or what. My cat never had vomiting or diarrhea associated nor does she now, but we’re definitely on a backslope moment. I’ve sent an email and put in a call to Vitality Science but if anyone has some advice here, we’d be grateful because she had “beaten” it for a good stretch.

    1. Hi drumshadower, I’d recommend joining both or either of these Facebook groups; “Raw feeding for IBD cats” or “IBD Kitties” (this one has owner who feed commercial food as well as raw). I’ve joined both, although my cat has a mildly sensitive tummy or just very low level IBD, these groups have helped immensely. In particular the Raw Feeding for IBD Cats page. Hope that helps xox

        1. Hi drumshadower. Haha, it’s ok. It’s only 6:30pm where I am. The raw feeding group was started by the founders of EZ complete, which I believe Gail mentioned earlier. It is a meat completer and makes raw feeding easy. I use it for my cat’s dinners, while her breakfasts are canned – so you don’t have to go complete raw if it’s not working (my kitty gets constipated on complete raw- hence the canned for breakfast). The founders are very very knowledgable having hone through many illnesses with their own brood of cats. Hope it helps 🙂

          1. Oh I see! Well, funny how we assume its night everywhere sometimes! Cats nocturnal after all! I’m already taking a peek at the EZ site and appreciate the pointers and references and just positive cat vibes!

            1. Hi Drumshadower, yes it’s quite good – just need to introduce it very very slowly, particularly for an IBD/sensitive cat. It’s the only way I get my kitty to chew chunks and to feed raw without her getting constipated! Argh Cats!

  19. People, my 10 year old male tabby has been diagnosed with IBS.
    I gave him pure food (0 grain,0 additives) and added pure pumpkin.
    I also have given him 1/2 tspn of diatomaceous earth mornings and
    evenings. He now only vomits once day in the early am.
    I suspect that his stomach is empty during the late evening
    and becomes irritated. He vomits exactly at 5 am every morning.
    Any suggestions would be welcome.

    1. Do you feed him right before bed? Does he have access to food throughout the night? I have a non ibd/ibs not who if he doesn’t eat enough will vomit as well. You are correct with you assumption of empty stomach = acid buildup = vomit

  20. My symba cat has bad diarrhea which he cant.make.it to his potty box fast enough….this comes with extreme pain and alot of crying out on his part…..have got him on pro one sensitive and sometimes it doesnt work…..hes lost so much wieght and i cry when he has these episodes…..vets say its stress or food allergies…..no tests were done…..need to gind him some relief and a cure for his ailment…..any suggestions?

  21. Everyone – If you are on facebook I HIGHLY HIGHLY HIGHLY recommend you to join the groups “IBDKitties” (one word) and “raw feeding for IBD Kitties”. The amount of info and knowledge on these pages is unparalleled. If not on facebook at least read thru http://www.ibdkitties.net
    Some top ideas for all of you from these pages:
    B12 Shots – if kitty is deficient they will not absorb their food
    Human Probiotics and Saccharomyces Boulardii – You can read about both on the facebook page and website
    Raw Food – Has helped SOOOO MANY kitties – Rad Cat is my fav.

    Our foster now part of the family, came in with FULL BLOWN LIQUID poo. Combination of prednisolone, B12, raw food, cooked chicken with Food Fur Life (a food mixer you can find on facebook and the internet) has helped her TREMENDOUSLY. She cannot free feed hard food even though she loves it, rips her gut up 🙁
    Her poos are BEAUTIFUL (if that can be said of poo 🙂

    Please Please for your sake and your kitties check out the references above.
    I am not taking anything away from this page but the above are resources no IBD kitty parent can be without. I know from experience.

    Peace and Love to ALL OF YOU

    1. Thank you so much! This will be a great resource as I have spent a lot of time researching this new diagnosis for my boy. I can’t get enough information. My boy is rather picky and recently won’t eat anything but fish. I’d like to try another food. Is your lady a picky eater?

      1. Hi Brandy my girl is semi picky. She loves everything she can’t eat. We make her chicken breast and diced it up to and mix it with foodfurlife it’s a powder that can be mixed with raw or cooked meat. It has all the nutrients she needs. The company was founded by the two women who run the raw feeding for ibd kitties Facebook page
        We also offer fancy feast classic flavors of beef and yes fish which I know isn’t the best but she eats. Any food with gravy is bad for her apparently it’s has gluten.
        Good luck

        1. Thank you so much! I will look into the foodfurlife, as I have read that in many posts. I have found I am on the ibdkitties.net daily…sometimes even hourly. All of the information there and on the Facebook site has been my saving grace. I’m willing to try anything to help Buddy feel better. Again, thank you so much!

          1. I use EZ from foodfurlife too. Slow transition as my kitty is sensitive but now she has it for most of her fingers and no more constipation issues worth trying to balance raw with bones. Very simple to use instead of purchasing and trying to balance all supplements & offal.

  22. I ordered venison rad cat that was hard to get my cat won’t touch it. He’s got explosive diarrhea blood lost weight been giving him rabbit but no help than I found this site. What can I do to entice him to eat this???? Please I don’t want my cat to die. The vet was useless

  23. I have a 10 week old kitten that I took in from someone else. They told me he uses the cat box but since I’ve had him he doesn’t. He’s had diahrea all over my house. I came home one day with my kids and as soon as I walked in the door the smell hit you. 6 piles of diahrea. I’ve caught him in the act yesterday and immediately picked him up and put him in the cat box. He pees in it, he never poops in it. I need help what do I do about this? He’s seeing a vet tomorrow but in the meantime what should I do to stop him from pooping everywhere.

    1. Hi Liz
      get a second box. Some cats like to separate poop from pee. But his diiarhea might come too fast for him to make it to the box

  24. I have been having the same problem, my cat is about 14 yrs old, used to be 15+ lbs (not fat, just big) and now he is down to 7.5 – I have paid for every test known to man and they cannot find out what is wrong with him; even steroids only help for 24 hours at best (although the first time they worked great for almost a month). All your success stories give me hope, I’m going to try some of these brands and see if I can find the “magic potion” too! Thank you!

    1. Our 10 year old Maine coon cat has been through the mill- vomiting, diaherra , conspiation , enlarged heart . Like yourself we knocked on every vet/ every test going . In the end we found a WONDERFUL holistic vet who saved our cat’s life . Please contact Dr.Nick Thompson . His website is holisticvet.co.uk

      His email is nickthompson@holisticvet.co.uk

      Do not give up !

      1. Hi,got a british short hair 4 yrs old, suspecting she got IBD had diaherra for over 2 months. How did Nick Thompson help your cat? Thank you.

  25. My 19 year old kitty has battled IBD for several years. I had all but given up throwing money away on treatments and unappealing foods recommended by his vet. I’ve spent years dealing with explosive diarrhea and vomiting. After reading your review, I decided to give the Hounds and Gatos brand a try. Raw diets weren’t an option as he is a grazer…I now have tried all the flavor offerings to test whether my boy will eat it and if it helps with his potty issues. I am so relieved to share that the lamb flavor was the magic potion! He is experiencing his first solid stools in years! I cried the first time I discovered it was working. He appears to be putting on weight and instead of exploding several times a day, he has one or two mostly normal bm’s a 24 hr period. Thank you so much for your guidance. I know he is so much more comfortable and this fur mommy is thrilled beyond words!

  26. Hey guys…follow up, I started giving my cat fancy feast moist KITTEN food in the morning and the night to keep her hydrated, as well as Royal Canin Veterinary diet Hydrolyzed Protein Adult HP (amazon or your vet). Kind of pricey on this, I think $50 for a 7.7lb bag, BUT since switching over to these 2, there is no more vomiting, and the diarrhea has stopped completely now for4 weeks!! My cat looks better, runs around again, and went from 4.8lbs to 6.4lbs!! After I thought there was no end in sight, This has done it. I recommend this, I promise, you will see an improvement after a couple days, so don’t quit if its not within 24 hours, again, this will do the trick!!

  27. Please help, I have a 15 year old bruiser who went from 16 lbs. to about 8 lbs now and skin and bones. He lost most of the weight in the last 6-8 months. First he had labs with the only abnormally of high esophils blood count, indicating either tape worms or lymphoma. His kidney, liver and thyroid were all good. After tx for tape worms he continued to lose weight and the vet said food allergy. I tried every brand of food, for cats with gastro problems and he continued to lose weight and just seems lackluster and not interested in eating. After more weight loss and more research I called the vet this week and said I want an ultrasound. I am in the medical field and I don’t want my pet to die because he is not being treated as best as necessary. Initial ultrasound showed no lymphoma but some fluid around one kidney. Needle biopsy was done and cytology report came back negative as did of lymphoma.The vet put him on antibiotics as a attempt to fix things. I am still waiting for rest of reports. He just doesn’t seem to have much appetite, doesn’t even smell food I offer, he seems to like only gravy, by the way, all his fangs have been pulled but one, so I don’t think it is a dental problem. I am desperate to try and save a family member who appears to be dying for no apparent reason other then imflammatory bowel syndrome. What do you suggest? If vet said he has cancer then I would have accepted and made him comfortable, but I feel he is slowly dying from something that should be able to be fixed. I had a cat in the past who had to have a peg tube and I WILL not do that again. Thanks so much for any feedback. I have had the same vet for all my cats for 15 years and have complete faith in him, he is at a loss too.

    1. Hey Jennifer,
      Recently I went through the same thing you are going through. I was at my wits end, but I never stop searching for a solution. I would recommend acupuncture, yes accupuncture saved my cats life. I also change her food, I stopped feeding her chicken and fish. Went to a single based protein. I feed her a high fatty brand called Mauri–Wild Brushtail Entree which she loves and is still on this food. We took her off of dry food, since it was very hard on her. I was told by her Dr.that dry soaks up all the moisture in their stomach. She was withering and was skin and bones. We kept her on vitality Science probiotics, steroids and Acupuncture. With all of these changes she is back to get normal weigh and a happy little girl. It’s my hope that you find a good solution for your Brusier. 💞💖😻

    2. I have a cat with Inflammatory Bowel Disease and possibly lymphoma. Diagnosis was made by ultrasound. Lymphoma could only be diagnosed w/ surgery, and since she is very frail (has lost 4 lbs) and is 13 y/o, I decided to not to have the surgery done. Worried that she may not survive it, and if she does have lymphoma, vet said survival is less than 1 year. So, I have started giving her vitamin B12 shots (perks up her appetite), (250 mcg.) once a week for 4-6 weeks then tapering down to perhaps every 2-3 weeks, eliminating chicken from her diet (in case she is allergic to it), and giving her a probiotic gel, Bene-Bac daily. The vet also has her on Flagyl (which is not only effective for things such as guardia, but helps reduce bowel inflammation, as well. Also feeding her only freshly cooked turkey, un-salted canned salmon (sparingly), and high quality canned foods that contain no carageenan (causes bowel inflammation). She now rarely vomits and I think she may have put on a little weight (will know when she goes in to the vet for a weight check this week). She seems to feel much better and I am considering transitioning her to a raw diet if she will eat it. One holistic vet said that raw food “could kill her”, so I am scheduling a consultation with another holistic vet on that issue.
      To reiterate: B12 shots, Flagyl (low-dose once daily), pro-biotic, freshly cooked meat, good quality canned food with no carageenan, and a little canned un-salted alaskan salmon.

  28. I was happy to read this post. I’ve been battling IBS with my cat for the last 3 years. The vet prescribed budesonide 1mg daily which came from a specialty pharmacy. He took that for a little more than a year and then was weaned. I also add the contents of one full Metamucil capsule to each 3 oz serving of his food. All of that seemed to help along with identifying the proteins that seem to aggravate the problem. Chicken and turkey are definitely out for my cat. I tried salmon, venison, beef and rabbit — and for my cat, only beef and rabbit are keepers. I give him Instinct Rabbit and Purina One Classic Beef pate. And he gets lots of steak treats (which I sear on each side before feeding. So it’s red on the inside but cooked on the outside.) I feel bad because he loves dry food but it always seems to be a problem, even if there isn’t any evidence of problematic meat ingredients. I’d like to find a good recipe for making healthy dry food — something without too much carbohydrate and something that he’d like to eat.

    1. Madeline, I realize that it has been several months since your post on needing to find a good dry food for your cat. Although dry food is not generally recommended for cats with IBS, may I suggest Orijen? Their dry food seems to be much better quality than others. They have several varieties and most cats really seem to like it. It is usually only sold in small pet food stores or online.

  29. Hi everyone,
    I’ve had great success with isolating one uncommon protein – such as beef – and feeding only that. It’s tricky since even so-called ‘beef’ canned food often has chicken liver or other animal protein in it, so you have to be quite careful. Hound and Gatos, and Instinct are two great brands with ‘clean’ beef options. There are some others, too, for variety. For treats, Orijen makes an all-beef dehydrated dog treat that the cats love. I haven’t tried raw foods yet…

    Squishy was vomiting almost daily for a while. It was very scary (not to mention messy). On the new diet, she hasn’t vomited once in the past 4 months! She is still underweight and eating too much without gaining weight, so I might try more gut-healing supplements. But I wanted to share this story for others’ benefit.

  30. My 10 year old male tabby cat was having problems with vomiting. After undergoing an ultrasound, it was determined that he had IBS. The vet said he needed a hypoallergenic cat food, but my cat did not like the hypoallergenic cat food and would not eat it. I had a quandary on my hand. Per the vet’s advice, I gave my cat a quarter of a Pepsid AC. Since my cat did not eat the hypoallergenic food, I was trying to give him a high protein, low fat, low carbohydrate food. My cat would have good days, but mostly bad days. After reading several blogs about cats with IBS, the common factor that seemed to appear to help cats with IBS was feeding them a raw food diet. I decided to give raw cat food a try. I started with Chicken RadCat Raw Cat Food since a lot of sights rated it number one. I’m happy to say that after one week, my cat has stopped vomiting and I no longer give him Pepsid AC. He no longer is withdrawn and goes outside now and plays. Instead of sleeping all day under the foot stool, he is outside playing and starting sleeping in his cat tree. I tried several cat food that were high in protein and low in fat and carbohydrates, but nothing seemed to work. I was dealing with this issue for about 8 months. My cat underwent a blood test and x-rays that came out negative. It wasn’t until he had the ultrasound that confirmed his problem of IBS. I plan to change his diet every 3-4 months so that he doesn’t develop a problem with the chicken. I found a lot of very useful information from the website healthypets.mercola.com. I know it’s only been 1 week without vomiting, but my cat is now eating and is his normal self. I can only hope he begins to gain the weight he lost. Will keep you updated on his progress.

  31. Hi
    I’m from Australia, I am cooking my guys. Hormone free chicken and organic natures gift. However natures gift is no longer supplying or making it. So my boy Tommy was constipated before then recently a bout of the runs, with a bit of blood at the end. So atm I’ve done a broth with rice lamb chicken and it has completely settled. This is short term lots of work and I can’t find anywhere in Aus for 1. Supplement to add and 2. Organic tin food. I’m not keen on them eating dry they where on a vets formula for breakie.
    At a loss, as he seems to flare up occasionally with diarrhoea if I give other tin food. Now keeping a food and toilet diary.
    His bloods from the vets very good and races around silly still. He’s now nearly 11. It’s ironic as this all started after my 16 year old male passed last September. Stress maybe.
    Any websites that ship to Australia would be helpful. Thanks Tanas

    1. Try EZ Complete from foodfurlife.com They also have a Facebook group called ‘Raw feeding for IBD Cats’. They have some great tips.

  32. My cat has been having bloody stools/diarrhea for 6 months now. His sister has bouts of blood in her stool but not as often as him. He has it every time he goes.-not always diarrhea but always blood. The vet said its colitis- he was on antibiotics for a week and the blood stopped, once he was off the antibiotics it came back. Ive been trying different foods to see what helps. The vet suggested I give him pumpkin or metamusol. Ive been giving him pumpkin but that doesnt seem to help. He has no problem eating anything. He eats whatever he can get his paws on. I’m trying to find a food that will help with this. They get wet and dry food in the amount of calories they should consume to maintain a healthy weight daily. Everytime I switched food it was over a weeks time to help them get used to it and ween out the old food.
    Ive had him on:

    Tiki Cat Puka Puka Luau Succulent Chicken in Chicken Consomme
    Tiki Cat Koolina Luau Chicken with Egg in Chicken Consomme Canned
    Redbarn Naturals Chicken Stew Grain-Free Canned Cat Food
    BFF Tuna & Pumpkin Valentine Recipe in Gravy Canned Cat Food(they get this about twice a week)

    Orijen Cat & Kitten Dry Cat Food
    Nature’s Variety Instinct Grain-Free Chicken Meal Formula Dry Cat Food
    Wellness CORE Grain-Free Indoor Formula Dry Cat Food, 2-lb bag

    Please help!

    1. I’ve tried every food you listed plus more. I previously had her on vet diets and they did improve the situation, but didn’t resolve it. I know how you feel. I’ve finally had luck with Blue Basics Turkey recipe (I imagine duck would be good also). I’ve had the first formed normal/dark looking stool in months. I highly recommend giving it a shot. I know it’s dry .. but it’s definitely working for now and once she is stabilized I might venture into their wet choices for this as well.

    2. I had the same problem. I work at a pet food store and tried all the pricey stuff like Orijen and nothing worked. Although I am not a fan of Science Diet, the one thing that has calmed my cat’s GI issues down has been Science Diet sensitive skin and stomach.

    3. I have a kitten who has IBS. I tried everything, including the products from Vitality Science for treatment resistant diarrhea and vomiting. Finally I changed him to a raw diet and SUCCESS!! I’ve been using Primal, both the frozen and dehydrated. Murphy LOVES it! It IS expensive, (the large bag of dehydrated venison makes 3Lbs and is
      $43.99 +tax!! (And it only lasts a week). I am now researching recipes I can make myself to cut costs.

      If your feline friend is struggling with tummy troubles this may just solve the problems! And you can also take heart knowing your cat is enjoying exactly what a carnivore is meant to be eating – raw meat! Best of luck!

  33. What kind of raw meat diet? My cat has lost so much weight, and i was giving him moist and dry, but the explosive diarrhea now and the gas was unbearable. Trying to figure something out,I feel sorry for her.

      1. Canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) may be given in small amts., perhaps a teaspoon a day. It may be useful if cats need a little fiber but too much will give them diarrhea. I do not recommend canned tuna (human or for cats). Human tuna has too much added salt, also, unless you can find some that has no added salt. It will not do anything to help with IBD, and fish should only be fed occasionally, in small amounts) to cats. As far as raw food, it is difficult to make a completely raw diet from meat purchased from the grocery store. I buy turkey thighs, chicken hearts and chicken livers, using 3 oz of hearts to each 2 lbs. of meat. Cook them lightly and then add the supplements before freezing in small portions. You can find a homemade recipe at http://www.catinfo.org or http://tcfeline.com/original-raw-cat-food-recipe/. You can also purchase supplements pre-made at http://www.foodfurlife.com/store/c1/Featured_Products.html. This saves a lot of work by not having to measure out several different supplements each time you make a batch of food.
        I have another cat that eats Rad Cat raw food, and he is doing very well on it. It is sold frozen at the smaller pet food stores. I let it in the fridge until it is starting to thaw (a few hours) but still mostly frozen, and chop it into small portions before refreezing.

        1. You have to remember that tuna has a lot of mercury in it as my vet reminded me. Ever people should not eat too much tuna.

        2. Tuna has a lot of mercury in it as my vet reminded me. I have been feeding my 2 cats tuna when I run out of regular cat food but have stopped that. I have 2 manx cats, brother and sister, and I have been struggling with these issues ( diahrrea, blood in it, occasional hairballs) forever. My tiny female has lost weight so the vet said she had IBS/IBD and prescribed prednisolone and Royal Canin Hypoallergenic dry food. This has no meat in it, only rice and soy as well as vitamins. I will try this for a while and then will try some of the suggestions on this page if it doesn’t work. They get dry food and canned food as they have no teeth. Both lost them all through resorption and dental surgery. I just discovered this page yesterday and it is great.

          1. Susan, If your cat was diagnosed with IBD/IBS , I would recommend an all wet food diet or raw. Most Vets are NOT taught nutrition in vet school. They are taught about food my pet food companies pushing their food. Irritable bowel is just that, an irritated bowel tract. The kibble scratches and grinds all the way throw the intestinal tract ( since cats dont consume much water) of pets who eat this food for a lifetime. Cats dont drink much water in the wild, since they get their water from the raw meat they consume. A cats natural diet should be meat in its natural form, RAW. I feed my IBD kittie Natures Variety Limited Ingredient Diet Lamb, Rabbit, Duck or Turkey. She has an allergy to poultry, so we have to use those sparingly. She does great on the Lamb and Rabbit. The food is pricey, but it is worth it. HOpe this helps.

      2. Canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) may be given in small amts., perhaps a teaspoon once or twice a day. It may be useful if cats need a little fiber but too much will give them diarrhea. I do not recommend canned tuna (human or for cats). Human tuna has too much added salt, also, unless you can find some that has no added salt. It will not do anything to help with IBD, and fish should only be fed occasionally, in small amounts) to cats. As far as raw food, it is difficult to make a completely raw diet from meat purchased from the grocery store. I buy turkey thighs, chicken hearts and chicken livers, using 3 oz of hearts to each 2 lbs. of meat. Cook them lightly and then add the supplements before freezing in small portions. You can find a homemade recipe at http://www.catinfo.org or http://tcfeline.com/original-raw-cat-food-recipe/. You can also purchase supplements pre-made at http://www.foodfurlife.com/store/c1/Featured_Products.html. This saves a lot of work by not having to measure out several different supplements each time you make a batch of food.
        I have another cat that eats Rad Cat raw food, and he is doing very well on it. It is sold frozen at the smaller pet food stores. I let it in the fridge until it is starting to thaw (a few hours) but still mostly frozen, and chop it into small portions before refreezing.

      3. Canned pumpkin (not pumpkin pie filling) may be given in small amts., perhaps a teaspoon a day. It may be useful if cats need a little fiber but too much will give them diarrhea. I do not recommend canned tuna (human or for cats). Human tuna has too much added salt, also, unless you can find some that has no added salt. It will not do anything to help with IBD, and fish should only be fed occasionally, in small amounts) to cats. As far as raw food, it is difficult to make a completely raw diet from meat purchased from the grocery store. I buy turkey thighs, chicken hearts and chicken livers, using 3 oz of hearts to each 2 lbs. of meat. Cook them lightly and then add the supplements before freezing in small portions. You can find a homemade recipe at http://www.catinfo.org or http://tcfeline.com/original-raw-cat-food-recipe/. You can also purchase supplements pre-made at http://www.foodfurlife.com/store/c1/Featured_Products.html. This saves a lot of work by not having to measure out several different supplements each time you make a batch of food.
        I have another cat that eats Rad Cat raw food, and he is doing very well on it. It is sold frozen at the smaller pet food stores. I let it in the fridge until it is starting to thaw (a few hours) but still mostly frozen, and chop it into small portions before refreezing.

  34. Hello, it’s Simone from Brazil. I’ve recently posted about my cat with food ‘allergies’, and it’s been a week now that I’ve taken him off dry food completely. I’m feeding him only raw meat, a recipe made by a vet specialized in nutrition. He has no diarrhea anymore! He went from explosive liquid diarrhea 5 times a day to tiny stools once or twice a day, since his bowels are ‘adjusting’ to this new diet. This is a victory 🙂