It can be tricky to find a food that doesn't wage war on Kitty's sensitive stomach. You may have tried several different brands and found that they always come back up after mealtime. Foods formulated especially for Kitty's tummy can bring him some relief.
Irritable Bowel Syndrome
Irritable bowel syndrome, or IBS, isn't actually a particular disease. It refers to a collection of conditions that cause Kitty to have a hard time digesting his food. According to the Cat Health Guide website, diet is to blame in 50 percent of IBS cases. If Kitty is frequently throwing up, having diarrhea or experiencing appetite loss or weight loss, these are all symptoms of IBS. Bacterial infection or reaction to a medication can also be to blame, so it's important Kitty visit his vet to determine the cause of his symptoms. If Kitty is over the age of 7, he's more likely to develop IBS.
A food intolerance is when Kitty has trouble digesting a particular type of food, which often leads to IBS. First his vet will want to do a blood test to determine if he as an allergy to a particular food. Unlike an intolerance, an allergy involves an immune response to a particular food. The vet will likely prescribe a special diet, often of home-cooked foods, that eliminates potential irritants. Slowly, different ingredients can be added to determine which ingredient is causing the symptoms. If chicken is causing the trouble, a diet free of chicken should return your cat's digestion to normal.
Foods to Try
Some proteins are easier for Kitty to digest than others. Turkey is a good alternative if chicken is out, as it is known to be easily digested. Look for formulas containing wheat, oats, rice and egg proteins, because these are less likely to cause tummy upset. Stay away from “cheap” brands because they often include additives, dyes or flavorings that could be tough for your cat to handle. Always read the label carefully before feeding him anything to make sure no chicken is on the menu. Ask your vet for suggestions.
If simply changing his diet hasn't completely eliminated the problem, some supplements can alleviate IBS symptoms. Try adding some omega-3 fatty acids to his food, as these help to ease digestion. Natural supplements containing podophyllum, alchemilla vulgaris, plantago major and sulphur all reduce stomach upset. Just as for humans, probiotics can bring help, too. These supplement the good bacteria that naturally occur in the digestive system. You'll find food and treats formulated with probiotics at your local pet store. Always follow dosing instructions exactly and use only formulas specifically for felines.
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