Fighting Feline IBD with both a Traditional and Holistic Approach

By Lisa Provost, guest blogger and owner/operator of IBDKitties.Net

When my little girl Alex died, the last thing I wanted to do was mutter the words “feline IBD” ever again. I didn’t want to hear it, talk about it, type it, or think about it. I never could have imagined that two years later I’d be running a website in her memory, spending most of my time researching this insidious disease and trying desperately to find an answer for the poor little ones that still live with it.

The truth is there is no answer because IBD is a trickster, a shape shifter, an ever-changing face like Jeckyll and Hyde. How do you go into battle with something like that? And make no mistake about it; it IS a battle. Strap yourself in for the ride, because like any other inflammatory disease, this is a constant roller coaster of ups and downs. The stress from this disease can take its toll on both you and your pet. Some days you feel like they’re finally turning the corner and you’re able to exhale. Then without warning, things change and you’re trying to figure out what happened and how to fix it. Its frustrating, exhausting and can leave pet parents feeling helpless and hopeless. I know because that’s how I felt. But there is hope and there is indeed help.

In short, Feline Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD) is a group of disorders that cause inflammation in the lining of the stomach and/or intestinal tracts, basically changing how these organs perform their normal bodily functions. IBD is an uncontrolled inflammatory response, causing the inflow of inflammatory cells into various parts of the gastrointestinal tract.

In the three years since Alex first got sick I’ve done nothing but research feline IBD and it’s cohorts in bodily trauma and I’ve come to find out a few things about this mysterious enemy. A good starting point is diet. I cannot stress enough how important it is to keep rotating your cat’s diet, whether they’re sick or healthy. The logic of feeding one food day in and day out to your pet is gone. That’s old school thinking and as food allergies, food intolerance, IBD, skin allergies, etc. pick up in cases everywhere, people are finding that out the hard way. If your cat stops eating its regular food, instead of leaving it there and just “waiting to see what happens”, try actually giving them something different. The longer you wait, the more they will resist. They have a strong will and can hold out for a long period of time. Problem is, the longer they hold out for food, the more damage is being done to their organs. It takes less than 48 hours for a cat’s liver to start feeding off its own stored reserves and to begin shutting down. This is called hepatic lipidosis, or fatty liver, and has a high mortality rate. Waiting too long for them to give in simply isn’t an option. I know because this happened to my Alex. She developed Triaditis; which is IBD, hepatic lipidosis and pancreatitis. She didn’t survive.

Switching your cat to a completely grain free diet is most often a helpful first step. The best diet includes high-quality protein, low or no carbohydrates and low fat. If you can switch them to a raw diet and they do well on it, they’ll be all the better. But be aware that any and all diets require proteins to be rotated continuously to work correctly. Any inflammatory disease is in a constant state of change and therefore everything done to treat it must be also. And I do mean everything! Food, alternative and all-natural treatments, probiotics and medications are only going to work for a couple of months before your kitty may begin to backslide. The reason being, the ever-changing intestinal flora, bacteria and micro-organisms with the capability of mutating, all need to be tricked in order to keep fighting the inflammation as they tend to adapt quickly to the new environment and stop working properly.

I am a big believer that both Western and Eastern medicine has a place in recovery from all diseases and health conditions. Feline IBD is not something to play around with and needs to be treated immediately. If your pet’s condition is deteriorating quickly and your vet feels that Western medications are warranted or things will continue to go downhill, I believe it’s necessary to do what you have to do in order to save your pet’s life. I’ve seen benefits from people who’ve brought their cats to two vets – one being a traditional vet and the other a holistic vet that works with their primary vet. This way, you know exactly what’s going into your pet’s body, and if there could be any potential side effects or contraindications in using any kind of medication or natural treatment.

When treating with all-natural remedies, be aware that natural doesn’t always mean it’s safe. Many natural remedies can actually be dangerous and even toxic to your pet. Try not to overload your pet with treatments. Your pet’s liver has to filter everything and too many treatments at once may unintentionally overstress the liver. Please check with your vet on any vitamins or supplements to avoid any excess doses the body would have to deal with.

IBD is manageable; but not yet curable. IBD is a chronic disease; there are no magic pills, no magic diet or food, and no magic alternative treatments. There are however many safe and effective treatments that stabilize your pet’s condition and greatly help in their recovery. Make sure to always discuss alternative and all-natural therapies with your vet. Your pet may have several health conditions where using certain treatments could worsen recovery. Always obtain all-natural products from a reputable source. Many all-natural products that are safe for human consumption may be too strong or not safe at all in high doses for pets. Even if it may be cheaper to buy the human version, they could contain additives that are potentially harmful or damaging to your pet’s recovery. This isn’t the case with every product but that’s why it’s better to discuss these with your vet to be sure.

Here are some natural treatments to consider for feline IBD:

B12 injections – B12 is best given in injection form as it bypasses the stomach and small intestines, which often don’t process or absorb B12 adequately in kitties with IBD. Unfortunately not all pets can be given injections and some will certainly let you know it. Sick or not, they are usually still in fighting form. If this isn’t possible, give a B12 tablet that’s a vegetarian version. It has to be completely clean: meaning no sugar, artificial sweeteners, added coloring or flavoring, none of that. Sweeteners like sorbitol, mannitol, dextrose, xylitol, sucrose, fructose, high fructose corn syrup are hard for them to digest and can lead to diarrhea or stomach irritation. When choosing a dose of B12 it’s best to start with a 1,000 mcg but because it’s not being absorbed as much as the injection, you may have to raise the dose to 5,000 mcgs per day. B12 is non-toxic and water-soluble and in pill form won’t all be absorbed anyway. If doing the injections, ask your vet to write you a prescription for B12, it’s much cheaper and the bottle is larger for pets than it is for humans. You can have your script filled at any pharmacy that does generics for a very small cost. The guidelines for B12 injections are low at .25 ccs per month. Many vets are now agreeing that pets don’t see much improvement on this low dose and some will go as high as 1 full ml or cc per week for severe malabsorption. Ask your vet about raising the dosage, especially when it comes to gastrointestinal diseases. B12 also increases hunger naturally as a bonus side effect.

Probiotics that are made for pets not only help to get some vital healthy bacteria in their intestines but also entices them to eat. Be careful when using probiotics made for humans as pets have much different flora in their intestines and the human version may upsets the applecart way more than it helps.

Colostrum is passed down from the mother’s milk and is the first defense in newborns against foreign pathogens. Colostrum contains antibodies (immunoglobulins) that are necessary for stimulating and strengthening the immune system. It contains high quality protein and growth factors that promote the development and proper function of the gut.

All-natural anti-nausea treatments include things like slippery elm bark and marshmallow root. Be sure and give these 30 minutes away from any other medications like Pepcid to avoid the chance that either one will prevent absorption of the other.

Denosyl and Denamarin both contain S-Adenosylmethionine (SAMe), which may increase liver glutathione levels, a potent antioxidant. SAMe may also help protect against liver cell death and help liver cell repair and regeneration. It must be given on an empty stomach although the pills are very small and can be inserted into a small treat if your pet is too hard to pill.

L-lysine also has very good immune system support and is commonly used in the treatment of Feline Herpes Virus and its associated respiratory and ocular symptoms. It can be used for other inflammatory diseases such as IBD and has been shown to ward off attacks from colds, allergies, asthma, etc. due to a low functioning immune system. For a cat with an already compromised immune response, this may give them a leg up should they develop symptoms of something else.

There is hope for future treatments of IBD and other immune disorders as places like Colorado State University begin research into using stem cells to treat these diseases. It’s been rough going so far as the use of steroids, antibiotics and other immune suppressing drugs are essentially necessary to fight the effects of IBD. But eventually by repressing the immune system enough you leave it open for other diseases to attack and spread, and hardly able to fight them off. Using stem cells could finally be the breakthrough we’ve been looking for to let their own bodies fight these conditions and do the repairs naturally. It’s exciting news and something I hope to learn more about in the near future. It may have come too late for my little girl, but if it saves thousands of pet’s lives, better late than never.

View cat supplements at Only Natural Pet Store

For more information on Feline IBD and other GI disorders and how to feed them a proper diet, please go to

188 thoughts on “Fighting Feline IBD with both a Traditional and Holistic Approach

    1. Hi Lisa, your article is very clear and helpful. One thing I did not understand though… was your reference to colostrum. Is this something that can be given to an adult cat?

      1. Hi Jackie, yes colostrum can most definitely be given to adult cats. It’s used all the time for IBD and digestive disorders. I hope this helps.

  1. Thanks for the great info, Lisa. My cat has IBD and has been suffering for many months now. It only seems to be getting worse. She apparently is resistant to the medication my vet has prescribed. We just started B12 (which my vet said, “Hmmm… why haven’t we tried that yet?”) so I am hoping it helps her at least absorb the nutrition from the food she does eat and keep down. Thanks for your work.

  2. Lisa,
    This is absoultely Powerful & a Wealth of knowledge!
    Alex is sure very proud of you as I am too!

    Thank you

  3. Hi everyone and thank you for your support. Ann, I’d love to hear from you so we could talk about your kitty’s case further! Maybe we can figure out why the medication isn’t working? There are always other options but B12 absolutely helps in a big way! Write to me when you get a chance.

  4. Hi Lisa,

    Thank you so much for all your help & support! I’m so amazed at what I’m learning here. Wow!

    Liz & Kally Kat

  5. Hi-
    I have been looking for exactly this type of info- my cat has been on prednisone (steroid) for several months- I am very concerned about his immune system and long-term liver function. For awhile I had him on fish oil caps and a probiotic that may or may not have been viable (it was on the grocery shelf at the health food store, not refrigerated) but have since stopped those now that he has moved from wet food and pumpkin to dry venison and green pea. Although his stool is much more firm he still goes (#2) outside of the box frequently. Other than the long-term concern the main concern now is that he is CONSTANTLY begging for food- although I am glad that he has a good weight (he had been too skinny before the diet change) I can’t help but think he must be miserable to be hungry all of the time…sorry for the whole story! Any suggestions for immune support, appetite control, etc. will be gratefully accepted!!

    1. If the cat is constantly hungry, you should bring him for the blood test. The cat has diabetic disease always feel hungry.

  6. Hi Amanda, I’m so sorry your baby has to go through this. Is he on pred for IBD or is it something else? Also, is he on Prednisone itself or prednisolone, which is the less harsher of the two. There is another steroid called Entocort that doesn’t have to be processed so much by the liver. It’s designed to go straight to the intestines and bowels. One thing is that pred can make them extremely hungry because it’s a steroid. In some respects that’s a good thing. Because with these types of issues, they’re usually nauseas and can starve themselves which is WAY worse than being hungry all the time.

    The other issue I’m concerned with is if he’s suffering from malabsorption syndrome. That also does this and that may also be indicative of other health issues like pancreatitis. I just put up a new page on my site about B12 exactly for things like this. It’s a very important vitamin and helps greatly with these issues. Also, feel free to email me if you’d like to talk more about it and give me more details. The more information you give me, the better I can see what might help and what you might want to ask the vet about. Mail me at

  7. I just found this page and wanted to thank you for sharing your information. My kitty has been ill now for 3 months. Few people understands the stress and the emotional upheaval. My kitty has an arsenal of foods we have tried but is just now 8 lbs and coming off of another bout of vomiting. She was about 13lbs of fluff. We are just learning and praying for the best. We have seen three veterinarians who have contradicted each other in small ways and this is very confusing for us. I have questions but am beginning to wonder where to turn. Thanks for posting and providing help after the loss of your dear kitty .

  8. Hi Ellen, I know this frustration and helplessness well. Can you please email me at and we can talk? I’d love to try and help you. there are many things the vets don’t know that we kitty parents do. Please come to my site and let’s chat. I’m so sorry you’re going through this with your sweet little baby. You are not alone, believe me. I hope to talk with you Ellen.

  9. Dear Lisa,

    many thanks for this information and I agree that Alex would be glad to know that her case at least is now helping others! I’m myself desperately looking for an answer for my girl Kiki and hope you dont mind that I tell you her story.

    She’s 17y old and has had diabetes for 6,5 years and kidney problems for 2years. Nevertheless, she was doing fine until doctors insisted that I should change her food to support the kidneys. She has been on Hills m/d for four years for the diabetes which apparently was not good for the kidneys. However, she did well on the m/d and only started to go downhill as soon as I tried kidney food. Since November 2010 she has been vomiting and had diarrhea without any specific reason. I finally could convince the vets that she must be allergic to food and she’s now been back on m/d since February. Things went well until unfortunately I got a bad bag of Hills m/d (something went wrong in the factory with the coating apparently!) which threw her off again and she has now been struggling with stomach/intestinal problems for more than a month. Since I dont think she’s allergic to m/d I fear it might be IBD triggered by food allergies but I’m terrified to change her food again given that that made her sick in the first place. She can also not get cortisone due to the diabetes. I’m now starting the B12 but I was wondering if you would know of any other supplement I could give her? The vets have no idea but think it could be food allergy, chronic pancreatitis, the kidneys playing up, etc…

    She hasn’t lost weight yet but I can see she’s getting weaker so any advice would be very much appreciated!! Sorry for the long story but I’m running out of ideas…


  10. Hi Ines, the problem with Hill’s is it’s FULL of grains and fillers. Nothing but carbs and sugars which is not helping her diabetes at all and putting strain on her other organs. Can you change her food to something like Natural Balance Limited Ingredient? That one is very mild and is specially made for digestive disorders and food allergies and intolerance. It’s grain free and so much better than Hill’s. Many, many times when a diabetic kitty changes diet and gets off of grains, their diabetes improves and sometimes eventually even goes into remission. Is she eating only dry food or is there canned also? If there’s only dry, that’s not good for her kidneys. She should be put on a grain free wet food with lots of moisture and even a little added water.

    Now the other thing is that you don’t say if she’s ever had a PLI blood test done for pancreatitis. Pancreatitis happens often in elderly diabetic kitties because at this point, it’s been working hard for so long, it’s strained. That should have been done by your vet and/or an ultrasound to see exactly what’s going on. X-rays don’t show the pancreas, it’s located behind the stomach.

    Right now supplements are not going to help too much. She needs antibiotics to get that bacteria under control. And something for the nausea and acid. Kidney disease and diabetes both produce a lot of acid reflux and the more nauseas she gets, the less she eats. The less she eats and drinks, the more dehydrated she’s getting. Is she getting fluids for her kidney’s also? At her age and at this stage, she should be.

    Feel free to contact me through my website if you’d like to get deeper into what’s going on with her. I’ll be more than happy to help you either here on the blog or through email, whatever is best for you. Let me know what she’s had done for tests. I will tell you that a fantastic anti-inflammatory for the kidneys is the only Natural Kidney support. I used that for a long time on my nephew kitty Moufasa, it really helped a lot!!! The combination of the different herbs in that one works very well.

    I’ll give you some encouragement. A good friend of mine has a diabetic kitty who is about to turn 17. His was in remission but he got very sick this winter with pancreatitis for the first time ever. He’s doing very, very well now and is ready for his 17th birthday. So don’t give up! There are a lot of things left that can be done!


    1. HI Lisa, My cat is 12 years old and he just got diagnose for diabetes. i feed him Hills M/D. could you please kindly advise which food your friend’s cat eat? ( the one is turning 17th birthday).
      Thank you so much!

      1. Hi Lily, I can’t find your comment so I can’t remember what you mean by the food my friend’s cat is on. I don’t know what is happening here on this site but I’m not seeing several comments that were written to me. I’ll have to write to them and check on this before I respond.

  11. HI Lisa:
    I am sorry to read about Alex first of all.
    Secondly, you are very brave to put a website up and share what you know, what you didn’t know and what you are learning and willing to share with others.
    It is 0500 CA time as I write this. I took my Princess Kitty to the VET ER yesterday morning and they have kept her overnight. She has vomited in the past 2 years but not consistently. I have taken her to the doc and he said she had mild stomach irritation. She doesn’t like my brothers who come to visit my 91 year old mom and after they leave is when she’d throw up the grass we let her go outside to eat. She is 15 or 16 and is an indoor kitty. We go out with her when she wants to go eat grass or to get some sunshine.
    Speed up to current time, in April 2011 she was having distress breathing and she was “barking” trying to get something out. I was out of town for mandatory training to my brother took her to the VET ER who said then her R kidney was smaller than the other and it appeared she had some constipation and to watch her and make sure she eats and drinks, which she has done.
    Last month, she was acting really listless and didn’t seem to want to eat much but looked well I guess you can say “depressed”. I took her in again and they said that as he heat jumped 20 degrees in a day and it was around 100 (we don’t have AC) that it may be heat stress as they had been seeing some cats and dogs come in with similar symptoms.
    This past Friday she would not eat. She would go to her food bowl and wait for us to give her some dry food, she would look at it, then walk away. On Saturday she did the same thing but then she started throwing up. When she used to throw up she would get whatever is stuck in there and then she would go eat again. She had been having normal bowel movements until Friday. On Saturday she started with wet stool, AKA diarrhea but it was small. Sat night she drank some water then threw it up and it was foamy.
    That night as she was laying down she let me rub her tummy. I thought if I could rub or “fix” her by massage she would get whatever it is out of her out, either through vomiting or by bowel. When I went to massage her right tummy area (she was laying on it) she gave me the pain growl but yet allowed me to rub her.
    Sunday morning she was yowling in pain but wanted to go outside to get some grass. I took her out and about 30 later, she went to the litter box and had runny stool but was red and somewhat mucous appearing. She had also passed some of the grass she ate and then she threw up again. I took her to the VET ER where they indicated her right kidney was smaller and it appeared she had gas but no obstruction. They said she seemed to be doing fine and wanted to hydrate her and put her on antibiotics for a possible infection. I called 8 hours later and talked to another doctor who said she may have IBD or indications of kidney cancer. (I DONT KNOW HOW HE KNOWS THAT) especially when her blood levels seem to be leveling out.
    He suggested a GI Profile to determine for malabsorption. He also suggested a scope however because she is a senior cat,she would go under anesthesia which may not work for her.
    It all depends on her blood tests and how she does. She has not eaten since Friday (that we know of) and if he said if she doesn’t eat soon then her liver could fail. I am a wreck and don’t know what to do or where to go. I was referred to you by a friend who is on Catster and is on a thread called CCLs on Facebook.
    You seem to have more answers and knowledge about this ugly illness/disease than any of the medical literature on the subject. I don’t know for sure it is IBD or kidney cancer or even pancreatitis. Or the triple threat that Alex had.
    All I know is I am so undecided on how to proceed with Princess Kitty. She is a finicky eater and if I have to change her diet everyday I will. If I have to force feed her I will. She is very tough to be “pilled” as she never had a need for it so she fights us all the way.
    I don’t know what else to say except for a confirmed diagnoses of IBD do they have to do the scope? That is certainly more invasive and I wonder if it would even do more damage to her. I guess I’m being greedy and wanting her home to take care of her instead of letting her stay in a hospital overnight (or 2) and thinking I abandoned her.

    Thank you for this board and I don’t know if you will get a chance to read this as the last time I saw you log on was 3 months ago.
    If you are unable to help can you refer me to somewhere else for more info? I won’t get any results until Tuesday morning. So the next 24 for me are very scary and I know they are for Princess Kitty.
    Thank you,

  12. Hi Valerie, I’m so very sorry this is happening to your Princess. I will be more than happy to talk with you and make some suggestions. It would be better if you contacted me through the website, that way we can get into more details: Please do so asap and I’ll be looking for your email. Something is very wrong here and as far as the doc suggesting IBD and maybe cancer, well he really has the experience on what her symptoms are. I’m not saying he’s right and I’m sure he said he only suspects it. But I do HIGHLY suggest a full blood panel and please do that ASAP. I also suggest an ultrasound instead of a GI scope. An ultrasound is just like with a person where they rub the belly with the little warm thing. It can show everything much better than the x-rays. But anytime there is this much vomiting, blood, diarrhea, and PAIN, you need to get the full blood work up right now especially to see if there’s anything going on with the liver. Is this vet the ER vet or the regular vet? PLEASE contact me at that address and let’s get her some help pronto.

    Again, I’m so sorry you’re going through this sweetie

  13. Valerie I haven’t heard anything from you. Please write to me so I can help you with this! I’m more than happy to talk at great lengths with you and make some suggestions but it’s easier to go back and forth on this board. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE email me at

    The same goes for anyone here that needs any help or just needs to talk.

  14. Yes, good website – unfortunately I found it too late for my 18 yr old beloved cat who passed away 3 weeks ago. I figure now he had IBD – his bloodwork in June was fine but he did through up quite a bit.

    We got a kitten in July and maybe he wasn’t eating enough or drinking enough even though I was home with them for the first 2 weeks they were together. He died 8-22 with quite a bit of buildup of fluid in his intestines.

    The ER vet said he had hepatitis or fatty liver disease.

    I feel so bad thinking that maybe the kitten stressed him out of eating.

    Thanks for listening.

  15. I’m so sorry Madelyn, I too found out way too many things after Alex was already gone. It’s bittersweet for me now to be able to help others with this knowledge. But I couldn’t save my little girl. It’s heartbreaking. You have my sincere condolences. I know exactly how you feel. Please start the new kitten out on a feline appropriate diet. This will really help with health and well being.

  16. My cat Casanova has just been diagnosed with IBD. I have him on hypoallergenic food which is from my vets. I have him on a stool softener which he takes not 2 times a day so he does not become constipated again. It is called laxaday powder. He is also on medi – cal wet food hypoallergenic too. He is also getting msn and glucosamine for his athritus in his wet food 2 times a day. He seems to be going to the bathroom okay and his vomiting is reduced to 1 a day at night or early morning it seems. The vomitt smells foul like it is right from deep in his intestine. He has both lower and upper Gi IBD. I am thinking of putting him on vitamin b12, Is there another way besides the needle to give it to him. He will not do needle or liquid well. What kind of probiotics should he get and how much. He is a pure bred Siamese chocolate point. He is my best friend and if anyone could help, this disease is horrible to watch him suffer and especially the vomiting. He is now 12 years old. Maryann

    1. Hi Maryann, I’m sorry Casanova has IBD. Not fun at all! Be watchful of the glucosamine because sometimes it actually aggravates IBD. Only on occasion though so it may not bother him at all, just something to keep in mind.

      early morning vomiting is classic IBD. Make sure he gets several small meals per day especially late at night before you go to bed. At least 4 meals per day if you can manage it. Unfortunately B12 in a vitamin for ANYONE, pet or human, with intestinal issues has to be given by injection otherwise it just won’t be absorbed. I tried it myself with my Alex and again with my sister’s two cats and it does nothing in pill form when they have GI diseases. It really needs to be injection. Liquid won’t even work, it has to bypass the stomach and go right into the system.

      Him being a Siamese makes sense as they tend to get these diseases as part of genetics. It’s very easy to give shots, would you have someone who could help you by holding him? I have instructions and a video on my website: If not, maybe you could have the vet do it. As far as probiotics I wouldn’t do Fortiflora like the vets offer, that has animal digest which is just gross. I’d do something like Prozyme, which is very good. I’d only do once a day to start with and see how it goes, if he tolerates it well (which he should, that’s a gentle one), do twice daily.

      Please feel free to contact me further if you need to talk more in-depth:

  17. Lisa, thanks for making this place where IBD cat parents can come to discuss and learn more. My boy Leo who is only 10, doesn’t have much longer to live. I sit up nights wondering what I could have done differently, but I just don’t know. He was a turkey, once a 22 lb cat. When he started dropping weight the vets didn’t seem too concerned as it was very gradual. When he hit 14 lbs we started doing labs. No thyroid issues, no parasites, no diabetes, nothing. We eventually found some very painful diseased teeth in his mouth and ended up putting him through a dental procedure, which I still feel guilty about, but the vets said he would be a different cat. Over the months to follow he dropped so much weight he started losing strength. We had an ultrasound and a needle biopsy of the lymph nodes and his intestinal wall to rule out cancer. We started prescription foods and tried to keep him eating with appetite stimulating meds, along with his prednisone. This last month has been the worst. Now at 9 pounds 1 ounce, he is now no longer interested in anything. The vets said he is very sick and dying now. I still don’t want to accept this, he is only 10. I wish I knew more about IBD long ago when he first started losing weight. Maybe we could have given him more time or completely stopped the downward spiral. Now I am left with this emaciated little boy who was once the king of the castle. I am heartbroken but I can’t give up, even now with him so weak and now breathing heavily because his red blood cells are so low he can’t get enough oxygen to his blood. He still gets B-12 shots and meds. I can’t stop fighting but I am wondering if at this point I am just being selfish while he suffers.

    1. Boy Angela, this post made me cry. It’s so similar to my Alex in a lot of ways. I know it’s easy for someone else to say try not to feel guilty. If I said that I’d be talking the talk and not walking the walk. I still have guilt trips and have to stop myself from getting too upset over what happened with Alex or I will be no good to my kitties that I have now. Angela is he open mouth breathing? If so, he needs to get to the vet immediately. Can he walk or anything or is he just too weak? If he’s still able to walk and is just breathing heavily, I’m wondering if he’s having problems with his heart. There is another steroid besides prednisone, called Entocort. Ask your vet and see if this is an option. It does not need to be converted by the liver and is easier on their systems. If he’s struggling as badly as you write here, it may be time to let him go sweetie. I could not be more sorry to even say that, I don’t say it lightly. I believe in giving the kitty every last chance available and nothing hurts more than losing our furchildren, I can vouch for that. I think you already do know and feel that you don’t want him to suffer either. So ask the vet about the Entocort asap. Tell the vet I have many case studies on my website that show it works on cats! If he wants to try it with Leo, then go for it. But if the vet thinks it’s too late, then please know you can write to me at my website and I’ll be there for support okay? I know how it feels and it’s torture. Sending you many hugs.

  18. Lisa – I am so sorry about Alex. I read both yours and Angela’s stories about Alex and Leo and am just sitting here sobbing about the heartache you both have endured and because of months of watching my little girl suffer with IBD and feeling so helpless and inept.
    I have read everything I can find on feline IBD but despite all of this information I am still confused and frustrated as there are so many conflicting theories and recommendations (i.e. diet (raw vs canned), supplements, natural/holistic treatments vs traditional, vets with no knowledge of nutrition, etc.).

    Jasmine – my tiny little 12 year old Birman (just 6 lbs.) is the one I am so worried and would welcome your advice about. However, Angela’s post was in April of this year and it is now almost November so I’m not sure if you are still writing/accepting more posts. If so, I will try this coming weekend to put my experience with Jasmine’s IBD together chronologically to give you a better idea of our struggle. I lost my 1st cat to cancer at the age of 16 and, while he lived a good life right up until a few months before he died, that was over 10 years ago and I still haven’t gotten over losing him. Jasmine is 12 yrs. old and her “sister” Mya is 11. I got them at age 1 and 2 from a breeder who had “retired” them because for physical/reproductive issues that prevented her from showing them. As is typical of the breed, these little girls are such sweet, adoring & affectionate cats and I can’t bear the thought of losing Jasmine because of something I could/should have done differently and/or sooner.

    I will wait to hear back from you as to whether or not you are still accepting posts and willing to try to advise me. In the meantime, please know that I am so sorry that you lost Alex. I truly believe that no one can ever know the bond between cats and their moms unless they’ve been owned by one 🙂 ! Thank you so much for helping so many people who, like myself, are doing the best they can – albeit without results – out of love for their loving, furry, companions.


    1. Hi Sue, yes, I’m still here. This post will always be here and I’ll always reply to anyone who needs to help their little ones. Please let me know what I can do for you and your sweet Jasmine! I know it’s confusing but treatments are different for each kitty and as they respond to one thing, they may not respond to another. You just have to keep trying until you find what works. Let me know what you’ve done so far and what’s been going on and I’ll do my very best to help sort this out okay? Hang in there and thank you so much for your condolences. Four years has not softened the blow much.

  19. I feel so discouraged about one of my cats, Moki, who has IBD. He went from a chunky 11# (overweight, he was eating the neighbor cat’s food) down to about 8# in 2 years. Currently nine years old, Moki had diarrhea from parasites when I first got him as a rescue kitty at 5 months. Over his life he had bouts of diarrhea, which would go away after giving him probiotics. A few years ago, the diarrhea got worse, the probiotics didn’t stop it. Poor little guy gets gas and cramps, has bowel spasms and never goes in his box except to pee. I tried him on various diets, from z/d (during which his fur looked terrible) to what I feed him now, which is raw. Nothing has helped. I’ve consulted with 4 vets. We tried Vit. B12 shots, that didn’t help, neither did acupuncture, Chinese herbs or other supplements for the intestines. With the raw food, at least his fur looks better, so he must be absorbing something. I go online and buy T/C Feline, a powdered pre-mix (no grains) which I add to previously frozen raw meat. The vet put him on Prednisone, which sometimes keeps the inflammation down but not always. Sometimes the vet prescribes Metronidazole for bacterial infection, but it leaves him weak and does not resolve the diarrhea. I give him probiotics. He is now outdoors most of the time including at night, which is problematic as Winter is coming. It’s a good thing he generally likes being outside (except during very cold/ wet weather). I just can’t take cleaning up the many splotches of feces, washing towels that I place on sofas etc. when he’s inside. He does go through periods of being a little better, but then he reverts right back. Right now he is at a severe stage.
    Thanks for listening!

    1. I’m so sorry this is happening. I wish I had an answer for the diarrhea but I am having the same exact issue with my sister’s cat Midnight. Nothing I seem to do helps control it. One thing I am trying that I just got in today is something called Lectin Lock. It’s all natural and supposed to push out the bad bacteria. I have only given her one pill so far so I don’t have any idea how or if this will work. I can keep you posted though and let you know. I got this product idea from another person with an IBD kitties who is using this and also 500 Mg Curcumin with 5 Mg Piperine. I haven’t tried that one yet but am looking to see how she does on this first. I never had to deal with diarrhea with Alex, she didn’t have that issue so this is new to me. It’s really something isn’t it? HORRIBLE! The smell, the mess, the cleaning, it’s enough to make us vomit. Even though I don’t have the answers, I’m here to listen if you need to talk.

  20. Clyde will be 16 in May 2013 and has struggled with IBD for probably 4 years. I’ve gone to multiple vets who all prescribe the same things…prenisone, metronidozole, and pepcid ac. They tell me to go grain free or use the prescription food or the limited ingredient foods like duck and green peas…blah blah blah is all I keep hearing! We’ll need to do exploratory surgery, etc. I’ve probably spent $5000 and gotten no where. NOTHING…and I mean nothing has worked. He still has lost weight…down to about 7.5 pounds from his healthy 17lbs. He has left diarrhea messes in the house and even urinated where he shouldn’t. Many times I think it’s as if he can’t make it to the box. He’s constantly meowing for more food even though he just ate an hour ago. The food is not being digested and just moving right through him…typical colitis/IBD. And the smell is horrendous when it comes out the other end. So much so you can smell it on the second floor.

    Even though I have been researching this issue from day one and thought I’ve tried everything, there was one I had not and figured I needed to as a last resort. Raw diet… It’s now been 7 days since I put Clyde and his sister on a raw diet…cold turkey. I did not ease into it because what good what it to anyway with their issue. They throw up and have loose stools whatever you did before so who cares if it happens now. Just shock the system into it. There are many raw options so you don’t have to make it yourself because I wasn’t, so I bought every possible pre-packaged raw food from the pet stores around me and brought them all home for them to try. As cats are picky, I let them choose which one they wanted. They both love and eat the Stella & Chewy’s freeze dried frood….just add water and chop up. I had taken Clyde off the Metronidazole a week earlier because I figured it wasn’t helping him since he still had diarrhea. I also gave them Pure Vita dry so they had some kind of kibble to eat. Yes the Pure Vita is not pure meat but they needed something dry kibble. Within 36 hours of going cold turkey to Stella & Chewy’s, there are NO loose stools at all…no messes on the floor…no screaming hungry cat crying for more food…and no smelly stools. He’s going once in the box a day and no other issues. I’m not sure how long it will take to add the weight but I’ll feed him as much as he’ll eat of this and for the rest of his life. From research results, it may take as little as 6 weeks and as much as 6 months. I’ll just keep going at it this way and give them no other foods like treats, etc….nothing that’s not based on the raw diet. Keep your fingers crossed!

    1. That’s wonderful news Stacy! I’m so glad the raw is working so well. Keep up the good work and keep me posted. Love hearing success stories!

      1. I justed adopted a sweet emaciated shelter cat with vomiting, loose stools who is withdrawn. I am so sad to see her suffer and overwhelmed from not sleeping and the messes. I reasersch constantly. I would just like to make it 24 hours without the vomiting. She is on prednisone and I/d for now. Thank you.

  21. Hello everyone, I send my heartfelt empathy.
    I found this thread after searching for information for my beloved Oscar. Like Angela’s kitty, Oscar is only 10, and was formerly a big 14lb cat. Now he is 8lbs6oz (and I am thankful for the 5 oz. weight gain!), and has been on massive injections of Depo-Medrol *once a week* for many weeks now. He typically perks up for a few days and eats a lot (I cook him chicken thighs as he has been rejecting everything- canned, freeze-dried and otherwise- else.) Afterward, he crashes, and is now throwing up bile. I have a wonderful vet, and though we have discussed the downsides of this treatment, we can’t seem to come up with anything else that achieves him some relief. When an x-ray (he was limping, too) showed his whole belly looking very opaque, the vet thought perhaps he had lymphoma. but I am now reading that IBD can cause scarring in the stomach cavity. For the last 2 days, I have been trying a low-dose Prednisone (5 mgs) rather than giving the Depo-Medrol injection, but I am starting to think we should just give the injection, since he is feeling sick and eating nothing… It certainly doesn’t help that he was infected with FIV after a recent move to another state.
    By the way, I have used homeopathic and natural remedies for my cats with good success, but this condition really caught me off-guard. I often wonder what might have happened if I had said NO to that very first steroid shot, but know such second-guessing won’t help. Like Sue, I feel “helpless and inept”. I have hope for a little more quality life for sweet Oscar. He is still finding enjoyment in between these bad days. Perhaps things can still get better.
    I guess I am just grateful to have found this thread, and send out some virtual hugs to all those who are nursing (or who have lost) beloved companions to this condition.

      1. Hi Stephanie, I’m sorry you and Oscar have to go through this. Has he never had an ultrasound? X-rays are not good enough to show what’s really going on inside his intestines. This way the vet can check his liver, pancreas, everything in there. Also, why isn’t he on B12 injections weekly? The great side effect of B12 is massive hunger and it helps him to absorb his nutrients. You said you have him on prednisone. Not prednisolone? prednisolone gives a much better response and is faster and better acting than regular pred. You could also try Leukeran, which is a chemo drug but is used in severe cases of IBD. It does work for many kitties. Oscar sounds like he’s in that category.

      2. Hi Lisa,
        thanks for writing me back. I think that things were looking so bad for awhile that the vet and I were both just “waiting for the inevitable”, but he had a pretty good week last week. I will definitely talk to the vet about an ultrasound, Prednisolone and Leukeran (he had mentioned that medicine once). And I failed to mention he has been getting B12 injections (his last one was last Thursday) and it does generally help with appetite. He still has not eaten anything at all today, and has thrown up bile a second time, so I gave him some subcutaneous fluids (the vet has let me take home a kit- I got some practice with that with my kitty Carl, who died of kidney failure). In any case, I just feel so sad about it, and don’t want to see him suffer. That is the worst part, not knowing when to let go.
        I am trying not to be “sorrowful”, but just to enjoy him every moment. I sure would love to see him fat and sassy once again.
        I appreciate your thoughts – thanks again.

      3. Stephanie please know you are not alone in this. I’m so sorry you’ve lost one already to kidney failure. This makes this even harder. What about pepcid a/c for nausea? You can also ask the vet about Cerenia for nausea and vomiting, that would definitely help. Can you syringe feed him if he goes too long without eating? Is he on appetite stimulants?

  22. Thanks, Lisa. I will definitely see about getting Cerenia and an appetitie stimulant. He is SO hard to give pills to…and I gave him syringe antibiotics (for stomatitis) for months, and that was AWFUL. He fought me so hard. So I know that syringe feeding would not be ideal.
    After the FIV diagnosis, it has been one thing after after the other, and of course I wonder if the antibiotics caused the IBD… I have tried Fortiflora, too, but I just can’t get it down him.
    “tomorrow is another day”, and the vet will be open… I will pull out all the stops in a bid to get him some *quality* time.

    1. I understand, I’m not sure if they have Cerenia in transdermals but you can try. That’s so you can rub it on his ear instead of pilling him. But you can try pill pockets, will he eat those? You put the pill inside the treat and they usually eat it like that. That poor little guy of yours has a lot of issues. I’m so sorry you are both going through this. Please let me know what happens at the vet.

  23. I did have a phone consult with the vet, and he said we could try one more round of meds and injections, but he was also pretty clear that we are likely near the end. At this point, I am wondering if he would prefer to not continue to be poked and prodded. I am sitting quietly with him, and this choice. Thanks for all your help – and your kind shoulder.

    1. I’m not there to see him so I can’t tell if that’s true. But there are other medications to try that you haven’t yet. Budesonide is another steroid that works differently than pred and could be tried. I am not trying to insult your vet at all, just wondering if there are no other vets in your area? Sometimes a vet will give up when they just don’t know what else to do. But as I said, I’m not there to see how your sweet little one is really doing. Again, I am so sorry you’re going through this. I know from personal experience how emotionally draining this is.

      1. Well, I have been to other vets before this one. I really do think he knows what he is doing, but I certainly appreciate those suggestions. He said that he is pretty sure that there are other elements at work than IBD (and yes, perhaps cancer). After reading about those treatments I am not sure I would want to pursue them as many folks report their cats suffering from them. Yes, I am pretty exhausted too, and I can only imagine how Oscar feels. He is peaceful for the moment, and I am still trying to feel my way through it.

  24. I’ve been reading your other article (ibdkitties) and looking at your sweet Alex. What a beautiful girl! Our animals are such gifts, aren’t they? They often come to us with mysterious pasts, and they are returning to Mystery, too, like we will.
    But it is so hard to accept when they are sick with something that takes them all too soon. Thanks again, and blessings to you.
    I will let you know what happens.

    1. You’re welcome Stephanie and good luck to you both. I know that Oscar has a loving and wonderful mom who only wants the best for him, no matter if that will cause you pain. If you need to talk you can always contact me here or on my site at Feel free to email me okay?

      1. Hi Lisa! Well, Oscar has rallied! I was sure yesterday that the end was nigh, but not for nothing do we say cats have 9 lives, huh? I talked to my vet about all the meds that you have suggested… I’ve decided to keep up with the Depo-Medrol because it’s injectable, but also to add Pepcid and an appetite stimulant. He DID (finally!) eat a little tonight. I am relieved for the short term, but know were this is heading. I guess the life lesson is to treasure every purr, every trill and every head butt, right?
        I will keep checking in.
        I am also here to extend a sympathetic hand to anyone else dealing with this… and to say, once again, “thank you Lisa”…

  25. Hi everyone! I read all your posts and am having the same issues w/my baby girl Annie. She is 13 yrs old. She started to get diarrhea a while ago, sev years. Took her to 2 vets. One diagnosed her with giardia and put her on antibiotics. Still she had diarrhea with no improovement. 2nd vet said she may have food sensitivity. So i guessed and bought grain free. It worked! I was so relieved. Now her diarrhea is back. Recent vet trip ruled out any protozoa, blood or mucus in her stool. I havent had her blood work done or had an xray or ultrasound. But am thinking i can state she probably has IBD. I will try the raw diet and see how this helps her. Thanks everyone for your stories.

      1. Hello everyone, and Lisa and Isabella;
        I am so sorry to hear about Annie!
        My cat Oscar is feeling less well the last 2 days, and that roller coaster is SO HARD. I do, however, feel a lump steadily growing in his left side, so I suspect my vet is right, and there are several things going on.
        I was talking to a neighbor about IBD in general, and she said her husband was helped tremendously by chiropractic, of all things… I wonder if there is a holistic vet around who might be able to help Annie? Also, I can highly recommend a book that saved one of my cat’s lives (more than once!) “Dr. Richard Pitcairn’s Natural Health for Dogs and Cats” – it also contains lots of recipes.
        For my own cat, I have decided (perhaps unfortunately) to mostly forgo the “holistic” approach in favor of simply keeping him as comfortable as possible for as long as possible. I am still trying to stay centered “in the moment”, but it’s hard when you don’t know what to do to help a friend.
        Sending a big hug all around –

    1. YES, you are RIGHT… what I have observed is WAY beyond what people seem to describe. I’ve got tears in my eyes. Our poor babies.

      1. No, not fair at all. The good news for the cats on this page is that they have people who care, and some treatments available – if not for a cure, at least *some* comfort. Trying to look on the bright side, which is hard…

  26. Hi Lisa….

    My sincere condolences on the loss of your friend, Alex.

    I have spent the last few hours reading about IBD and came to your site. I’m stunned and saddened as I am believing that my dearest, fluffiest furr ball Haiku who is a 10-year old cuddly male has IBD. It all start last fall when he began vomiting and having diarrhea and I noticed that he was losing weight even though he was eating constantly (from 12 to 8 lbs.)…I couldn’t feed him enough. He was diagnosed in early October with hyperthyroidism. In mid November, my husband and I chose to have him treated with the I-131 shot. When he returned home after being away from us for 4 nights and 5 days (Yikes!), I had switched over to a raw diet, which initially he LOVED. However, after a few weeks, he started turning his nose up to it and began vomiting and having diarrhea again. I took him in a week before his regularly scheduled post I-131 check up as I was concerned he was exhibiting signs of kidney disease (which can often be masked by the hyperthyroidism). He had blood work done and his thyroid levels were back to normal (the I-131 worked!) and his kidney and liver were fine. He also gained weight! The vet was stumped and sent me on my way.

    I had come to the conclusion on my own that perhaps he had developed a food allergy. So I began changing his diet. His vomiting and diarrhea continued. This time, his vomit included a hair ball. Typically, his first throw up would be food and the subsequent ones would be bile. And he would always vomit in the early morning. I decided to put him on nature’s variety LID formula beginning last Thursday. The following day, I had made a vet appointment and she was stumped. She took a feces culture and saw some white blood cells and decided to put him on an antibiotic. I was happy that he hadn’t lost any weight and had continued to gain from the hyperthyroidism.

    He was doing GREAT until this evening when he had a bad vomiting/diarrhea spell – vomiting a hairball with food and then bile. Reading all through the thread, it sounds like my little buddy perhaps has IBD. I’m so heartbroken since he just went through everything last fall with the hyperthyroidism. I feel absolutely helpless. I don’t even know where to begin and how to help him. I’m not even entirely clear how my vet makes the diagnosis. I read somewhere about a biopsy, and I just don’t want to put him under anesthesia. My friend who is an acupuncturist told me this evening that he would look at him. I’m just stumped. Thank you for listening.

    1. Hi Melissa, you are understandably overwhelmed and the first thing I want you to do is to sit down and breath. I know this is scary but you are NOT alone okay? Now! I think your vet doesn’t sound like he knows that much about IBD and I’m wondering if you perhaps have another vet in your area (maybe even an all cats vet) that you can take him to. yes, for a definitive diagnosis you need a biopsy but I never got one for Alex and many people do not and their kitties are still treated as if it’s IBD. So you need to either get your vet on board or find another one who knows more about the condition and get another opinion on this matter. there may in fact be something else going on but at least you’ll find someone that doesn’t say they are stumped and send you home without any treatments or answers. That’s something you need asap and you need to get him on a treatment plan. Is there in fact another vet you can take him to?

    2. Hello Melissa and Lisa,
      I just wanted to check in – I saw Melissa’s post. I am so sorry, Melissa, that you and Haiku are dealing with this! I’m glad you have an acupunturist friend, though. Maybe that is an avenue to pursue, and what Lisa says makes a lot of sense.

      I let my dear cat Oscar go on Tuesday. My dad, who had a special affinity with him, was also present, so Oscar went gently, in the company of his two best friends. It was one of the hardest things I ever had to do, but yet I am glad we could render this last assistance.

      I wonder what is at the root of this blasted IBD in cats? Do you think it is diet? I guess that is the most likely culprit.
      Melissa, I am sending my *best* thoughts and *heartfelt* prayers that good help can be found for Haiku!

      1. Stephanie I am so very, very sorry about Oscar. There are many suspected causes to IBD and yes, diet can be one of them. Again, I’m so sorry for your loss.

  27. The love if my life developed food sensitivities a few years ago. He had diarrhea for two years. I had taken him to the vet during this time, he seemed healthy, we tried different medications, nothing worked. There were a few natural supplements I tried that worked, but only temporarily. He had been eating Blue Buffalo salon dry food for years. In my search for finding something to alleviate his diarrhea, I learned about raw diets for cats. I switched him over to Nature’s Variety chicken, dry and raw. The very first day, he had a solid stool! Cured! Or so I thought… He had been on this new diet for over a year, and everything was great, until a few weeks ago. The diarrhea returned… Then vomiting. He was lethargic and depressed. I didn’t understand. I was scared. I took him to the vet. His amylase was high. A sign of pancreatitis. He was eating good raw food. Why did this happen? The vet prescribed pain meds for his discomfort and suggested giving him Hill’s prescription diet. I took a couple cans, but was dissatisfied with their nutritional value. I got a different flavor of Nature’s Variety raw, duck this time. I mixed the Hill’s can with the NV raw duck and quit giving him the NV chicken dry. So far the vomiting had ceased and his stool seems to be improving. I really would prefer to keep him on a raw diet and avoid foods that lack nutrition. I am suspecting that he developed an allergy to chicken after being fed it too long. I am now researching pancreatitis, IBD, and diets for him; hoping that I will be able to continue feeding him raw. Then I came to read that rotation might be a key part in this mess. I’m hoping that I will not have to put him on a prescription diet, as I feel they lack nutrition, and that rotating raw will do the trick. I love Peri so much, he’s been in my life for 15 years. He’s an amazingly healthy youthful cat, except for this wicked disease. I came upon your article while looking for answers. It was very educational and helpful. Thank you so much for posting this.

    1. Hi Natalie, I’m so sorry Peri has this debilitating disease. I have to say you are not the first to be confused as to why it still happened even on a raw diet. That’s because although a raw diet is preferable and still the best option, it’s not a cure for IBD, there isn’t one. Pancreatitis is a painful and horrible condition that can happen out of the blue regardless of whether they are on the best diet possible or not. I hope that changing up the protein and rotating them will help little Peri. Please let me know if you need any help with anything.

    2. Honestly, in my opinion, I think IBD is just a result of a cat having an overactive immune response. I have tried several different foods and diets with my cat and it works short term but the IBD comes right back. I’ve been dealing with this for 3 years and the frequency of her “episodes” are now every 6-8 weeks. I can’t keep living like this so my next course of action is to try probiotics and fish oil. Google Vitality Science. I have been looking into their company and they have good reviews but I thought about trying their products as well. I do not believe diet plays a big a role in this as every one thinks or else most of these cats would be cured or at least have it under control, because we have all tried diet changes and yet we are all here sharing our stories and frustrated beyond belief. I’m at my wit’s end. I have missed work due to my cats illness, spent thousands of dollars on vet visits, and we are now looking at replacing our carpet because her vomiting has completely ruined it.

      1. Lisa I’m sorry your kitty is going through this. I will tell you though that the definition of IBD is a overactive immune response, that’s not a matter of opinion, it’s what the disease is. And yes, actually in some forms of IBD diet can control it and some do not need to be on medication. I get emails daily from people and some are much more difficult cases, which is what seems to be the case here on this site. But mostly IBD can be stabilized with the right diet and right medications together. IBD is very complicated and changes frequently so diet and supplements alone don’t always do it. But diet is one of the triggers for IBD as well as other things like parasites, genetics, and so on. There is NO cure for IBD so as far as diet or anything else curing it, that’s not going to happen unfortunately. It can only be stabilized and under control. Even with a raw food diet. I really don’t know what to say about your kitty because I don’t know if you’ve tried medications to stop the vomiting. If not, you should. Cerenia is a great med that acts as an anti-inflammatory, pain medication and anti-emetic. It should be considered, for your cat’s health and well being.

  28. I’m glad I found this site. My 13 year old, Hendrix, started losing weight in December and became lethargic as well. I took him to a vet who said he had a uti and gave me amoxicillin. He seemed to be doing okay, but it gave him a slight diarrhea and after I came back from vacation in January he had a nasty vomiting attack that left him weak (I suspect the dry cd food did not agree with him since he eats it wet, but loves the dry). Since the beginning of last year he would vomit in the mornings when I went on vacation and I just figured it was stress vomiting, but when I returned from my vacation this time, he vomited 2 massive hairballs as well. He also did not want to eat his Hills cd wet food (he had crystals 8 years ago and the vet at the time told me he could only eat this). I brought him to a different vet who re-ran the blood work and is suspecting that he has IBD. He is scheduled for an ultra sound. I promptly stopped feeding him the prescription food and he has been on a digestive/probiotic since December. This has controlled his vomiting, but now he has a large amount of semi-soft stool (once a day) and has become very finicky about eating. When his system gets used to the food (grain free) he rejects it. I am constantly feeding him something new (just to get him to eat) which does not help with the soft stool. I’ve just started to add Pet Flora to his food along with Plant Enzymes and Probiotics mixed in. Tomorrow I will pick up cortisone from the vet because he is still having a hard time absorbing nutrients and I want him to stop losing weight. I will wait a few days to see if the Pet Flora works before giving him the steroid. Can you give a pet too much probiotics? The holistic pet store recommended the Pet Flora when he was on the antibiotics (told me to give it to him until the diarrhea stops). I have been giving Hendrix the Plant Enzymes and Probiotics since December and it has stopped his vomiting except for when he got sick after I returned from vacation and as I mentioned before I think this was because he got a mix of dry cd as well as wet since he was only fed once a day (and I forgot to tell my neighbor to sprinkle the enzymes on his dry as well). I sometimes feel horrible that I probably aggravated his illness by having him fed the dry cd when I was away.

  29. Hi Lisa, and everyone else who has a pet suffering from IBD or other intestinal issues. My beloved cat Smith is in the process of being diagnosed, (Lymphoma is still on the table too, he is scheduled for a full thickness biopsy April 3 to settle that issue.)

    Roller coaster is really the term for this condition. One day it seems like he is on the mend, happy as a clam, (except he always has diarrhea no matter what) and the next day he can spiral downward so fast I think he wont make it through the night.

    Cerenia, Mirtazipine, probiotics, Vitality Science products (I got their “resistant” kit) Metronidazole, Tylosin, Fenbendazole, even a triple whammy of Metronidazole, Clindamycin, and Amoxicillin. He worsens on Prednisone, so that has only been used for 4 days at a time, we have not yet tried the other immune suppressants. I’ve been afraid to, until we ruled out as many possible infectious agents as we could.

    Right now he is pretty bad. I am just feeding him boiled chicken and broth, some electrolytes, and probiotics. I am afraid to do anything for fear of making him worse. He has been grain free for a while now, but there was some gluten still hiding in a food I recently discovered, so finally, that has been removed too.

    Two things, one, for the people who have a lot of trouble pilling. Smith HATES pills. Particularly Metronidazole. (And I don’t blame him, I tasted it, it’s vile.) We used to have life or death struggles over medicines. I finally got wise and developed a technique that might help others. It saved our relationship.

    I use meat baby food. Just meat. Nothing else. You get a syringe, suck up a little of the baby food, and squirt a little in their mouth, then quickly pop in the pill, and then give them the rest of the baby food in the syringe to help it down. The first squirt coats the tongue, the second squirt helps it down the throat without dissolving. It is the same principle as giving children a pill in applesauce. It took a little while for the “pill dread” to wear off, but he is MUCH easier to pill now.

    Second thing, I read a lot of science. In humans, “fecal bacteriotherapy” is showing promise in treating many intractable intestinal issues, from C. Difficiles to IBD. It consists of, basically, giving enemas of a healthy persons feces to a sick person. Which apparently, allows the gut to be repopulated by some bacteria that they either have not yet identified, or if it is a known, administering orally is simply not feasible for whatever reason.

    I think it is the magic bullet, personally, as the results in humans can be amazing. Life saving. But I cannot find a single vet willing to try it to save my Smith. More and more, its becoming apparent that our “microbiome,” particularly in the gut, plays a HUGE role in our immune response. I personally think that the problem with many of these “IBD Kitties” began a long time ago when some vet gave them some antibiotic, for some other condition, which then threw their gut bacteria out of whack and began this nightmare ride we are all on with our beloved cats.

    Anyway, just my two cents. Thank you so much Lisa, for doing what you do. It is comforting to read other’s stories and know I am not alone in this. I wish everyone the best of luck. <3

    1. Hi Alyson, I’m so sorry for what you’re going through with Smith. I hope it’s not lymphoma. Have you considered trying Budesonide (Entocort)? It’s much easier on the liver than pred. That’s a great tip for pilling, do you mind if I put that on my website? Also, the fecal transplant has been brought up to me several times recently and one person actually wrote to some of the universities that do veterinary studies. They all said it sounded promising so please if you can, write to places like Tufts, Cornell, UC Davis, Texas A&M and encourage them to start studying that process. That’s the only way we’ll ever get vets to start doing it. The reason they aren’t right now is because it’s not been done in animals before, never. So it’s completely new and never been tested. There has to be a first time for everything. Thank you so much for the response, the kind words and for sharing your story. I hope Smith can find the help he so badly needs. Please let me know if i can ever help you with anything.

      1. Lisa, absolutely do share the baby food trick on your website if you feel it would help others. It was really a game changer for Smith and I. He had gotten to the point where he would hide from me and scream as I dragged him out from under whatever piece of furniture he was hiding under by the scruff of his neck, and would dig his claws into my hands and try to pull them from his mouth as I attempted to pill him. I would hold his mouth shut so he wouldnt spit them out, and he would be drooling, making horrible sad miserable noises, refusing to swallow until it dissolved in his poor mouth. (Which of course only made it taste nastier, but try explaining that to Smith) And then he would be avoid me, act fearful of me. It broke my heart.

        Now, he only makes token attempt at escape. And the pills go right down. So please, do share it. Hopefully, it will spare some poor pet parent and their beloved some misery.

        Thank you for the suggestion about writing to those Universities. I will. Smith is going to U. of Tennessee for his biopsy. (Im still wavering between endoscopy and surgery. They want surgery, for a full thickness biopsy, but I’m so worried about subjecting him to major surgery.) I spoke to the vets there about it, but they basically just blew me off. Some nonesense about how they would be afraid to damage his bowel. (Really? Giving a cat an enema is THAT exotic a concept?? Funny, my regular vet, who also declined to try the procedure, just told me how he has another cat client who has the opposite problem Smith has, chronic constipation and how tired that owner is of having to give constant enemas.)

        Sorry. That was bitter. But I don’t have a lot of love for vets at this point in Smiths journey. (4 years in) I started off starry eyed and trusting, wanting to do the best thing for him, and now, I am totally jaded and I look up everything they say or prescribe. I’m sure they call me the nightmare pet mom behind my back, because I no longer just do what they tell me to do without question. Now, I want some serious rationale from them. I pissed off his vet at UT by asking them to test for Histoplasma before we did surgery. He got very annoyed with me, and let me know I was just delaying diagnosis. Which, did turn out to be the case. But thats not the point.

        The point was, from my point of view, that histoplasmosis was on the table as a possibility, and it could be diagnosed with a urine test. Being Smiths parent, it was a no brainer that we should do the urine test before hacking my poor baby open, but, he didn’t like the fact that I didn’t just do what he wanted to do, right when he wanted to do it.

        Sigh. Anyway. Thank you for your kind offer to help. You already have helped me enormously, just by doing what you do. I read every single case history on your website, and I am SOOOOO grateful you and the fur parents did those. I got more out of those histories than I have many technical papers on the topic of IBD or any vet I have ever seen. I am pretty sure that he does indeed have IBD, after reading those. It could have morphed into lymphosarcoma by this point, but he still rebounds, he isnt in a steady decline, so I’m hopeful that it has not progressed to that yet.

        Thank you’ thank you. thank you, and thanks to everyone who took the time to write those histories. I may pester you with some questions after the biopsy, but your site has given me a LOT of great ideas to try, including the Budesonide. 🙂 It may take me a while to try out all the tricks I have already learned from you.

      2. Alyson thank you for letting me use your trick with the baby food and thank you telling me the case studies helped you. That’s what they are there for and I’m glad their purpose is being fulfilled. I hear what you’re saying about vets. A lot of them are great and then you get the stubborn ones that don’t care what the pet parent says at all or even wants to hear it. I’m sorry you’re going through that, it’s a tough and maddening situation. Please know I’m here for you if you need me at any point. I can only give recommendations and opinions but at least you’ll have some one in your corner.

  30. Hi Lisa,
    I am very sorry to read about your baby Alex. IBD is such an insidious disease. My sweet little 9 year old girl, Suki, is in the animal hospital in ICU as I write. This began two years ago when she started to vomit undigested food through the night until it was just bile. I rushed her to the ER and she was moved to the internal medicine ICU. After a battery of blood tests, ultrasounds, x-rays and a liver aspirate, she was diagnosed with IBD and inflammation of her liver and bile ducts. She stopped eating and they were afraid that she was heading into hepatic lipidosis (fatty liver) so they put an e-tube in and I had to feed her for several weeks through the tube until she started eating on her own. She has been on budesonide for two years since the first bout with IBD. She did not have symptoms for a while, but now it has come back in full force. They want to do an endoscopy, but I don’t want to traumatize her anymore when it seems obvious it is IBD. She is also significantly anemic this time and they are not sure why. She does not like wet food, so I am forced to give her dry. I’ve been reading up on raw food diets, but my vet said that was not good with her compromised immune system. On top of that, I seriously doubt she would eat it and I don’t want her to get fatty liver again. The doctors are suggesting I put her on Hill’s I/D dry. I am trying to find a holistic vet here in Houston, but for now I am at a loss as to what to feed her and what holistic approach to take to control this. I need help! Please let me know your thoughts!! Thank you, Andrea

    1. Hi Andrea, I’m so sorry that you and Suki are going through this. I suspect the reason they want to do a biopsy is to look for lymphoma not just IBD. As far as her being anemic are they going to do B12 injections? If not, that’s something that should be done immediately. As far as food is concerned I say just give her the Hill’s for now to get her back on track and then think about doing something like Natural Balance LID once she’s stable. Also, for her liver, I’d give her denosyl as it’s all natural and something that vets recommend very often. I’m not an expert in holistic medicine so I don’t know beyond that really what to do. I hope you can find a good holistic vet. You might want to consider adding Ursodiol to the medication mix for now until she stabilizes. It helps a lot with the liver and panreas. And once the liver is inflamed, you risk pancreatitis as well. Poor Suki, I’m so sorry again, I really hate to hear that a kitty is doing so poorly with this awful disease. Please let me know if there’s anything else you need and we’ll try and figure something out. Keep us posted!

      1. HI Sue, yes actually after awhile their body doesn’t need as much of the probiotics so I would hang back on those a bit and give only about twice a week and see how that goes. Also, I would request from the vet to start B12 injections immediately. This will help not only with the absorption issues because of the diarrhea but with hunger as well. I know this is tough, there is nothing easy about this disease. Please let us know how the ultrasound goes. I’m glad he’s going to be started soon on steroids because as much as I would rather give all natural, sometimes you need more to save their lives. It’s just the way it is. In time you can try tapering it down after he’s stabilized.

  31. Hi,

    My little man, Bird, has been having a horrible time with IBD. He’s gone from 9+ pounds down to 5.8 – and he was always a very thin Abyssinian. He’s been having bloody diarrhea, no vomiting. The vet has been treating him with Dex, and she just started B-12 shots because of his anemia (19), and also a medication to stimulate red blood cell production. He’s been eating Hill’s A/D, and quite likes it, although goes off it when he’s about to explode.

    Anything further I should consider? I’m afraid he’s in his last week or two of life, at this point.


    1. Oh perry, I’m so sorry to hear this. That’s a lot of weight to lose and it sounds like what happened with my Alex. Has she considered giving Leukeran with budesonide instead of the dex? This combination, either Leuk with bud or Leuk with prednisolone, seems to work well, especially for cases like this. Again, I’m so sorry Bird is so sick. This breaks my heart to hear this.

  32. Hello: My boy, Valentino, is 9 yrs old. He’s a pretty big guy, but has always been on the thin side…he’s about 10-11 lbs now…down about 2-3 lbs from his highest wt. Last 6 months or so, he’s thrown up several times a week. Mostly hairballs, but sometimes food and/or clear liquid. 2 weeks ago the vomit was bloody (he occasionally has bloody stools and they are always soft). Long story short…vet said possibly ibd or lymphoma..had ultrasound & needle asipration for mass and enlarged lymph nodes…inconclusive. They gave him B12 shot and wanted to do more invasive procedures to find the cause. He was so stressed, I didn’t want to do that. So he is now on .5 mg prednisolone. It hasn’t been quite 48 hours. His appetite is poor and he looks nauseous most of the time. I’m hoping the prednisolone kicks in today and he starts feeling better. I’ve order the cat probiotics and Life Gold Cancer support and both should arrive early next week.

    Can anyone tell me how long it will take for the prednisolone to start working…if he’s not feeling better in a day or two, should I discontinue it???

    Thanks for your support…this is a great service!!!

    Valentino’s Mom

    1. Hi Suzanne, sorry your poor boy is going through this. NEVER just stop a steroid cold turkey like that. It’ll do more harm than good. First of all they need to give him something for that nauseousness. Call the vet, ask about giving a 1/4 of a 10 mg tablet of pepcid a/c for the nausea. He’s not eating because he’s nauseous. if that doesn’t work, ask the vet about cerenia, works GREAT. Also ask about an appetite stimulant to get him eating again. He needs to keep eating. But don’t stop the pred whatsoever before speaking to the vet first! If the prednisone doesn’t work ask about Entocort.

      1. Thanks, so much!!! I forgot to add that I do have him on 1/4 of 10 mg pepcid a/c tablet. I’m grinding it and giving it to him in 100% grass fed butter (which he laps up). I’ve read other folks grind up the pepcid – although on the package it says not to crush. Hope this is okay??? Also, he really likes the butter…not sure if fats are bad for IBD/Lymphoma kitties??? I’ve tried the raw food…he’s not going for it. Right now his favorite is organic turkey lunch meat from Costco and some Fancy Feast flavors..he’s also eating some dry food. He is eating…just not like his usual “always hungry” self. I’m hand feeding a lot…

        Thanks for the tip about the prednisolone…I won’t stop it….


      2. I actually would not give anymore butter, saturated fats are not good. you can dip it in low fat cottage cheese though or mix it with a little water and syringe it into him. If the pepcid is not helping him, call the vet and ask about Cerenia. That pill works GREAT for nausea.

  33. Okay…no more butter…too bad, ( It is good quality grassfed, so high in Omega 3) because that’s the one thing I know can get the meds into him. What about crushing the pepcid. Have you heard anything negative about that? Thanks, again…

  34. Hello,
    Thank you very much for the website
    I am french so excuse me if my English is approximative…
    My cat is ckd .Against the gastristis due to ckd , i needed to give him omeprasole (prilosec) .I immediatly noticed a changing in the stools :they switched from good to soft.
    After a mouth , i stopped omeprazole and gave ranitidine .I noticed the stools became better .He was on ranitidine 3,5 mouths. During these mouth , i noticed problems with stools :sorbitol as excipients gave him diarrhea , propylene glycol (in echographic gel ) , macrogol .
    Unfortunaly , ranitidine wasn’t enought egainst gastritis from ckd so i added omeprazole .
    My cat has been improved by this addition but the stools were worst than before !!!
    I noticed than sight diarrhea with olive oïl , olive frut, olive cooked.
    With olive cooked , it was steatorrhea !!!
    So i gave him pancreatin .The stools were less nauseabond !
    I gave him hydroxyde aluminum and the stools became worst!!!
    The food has changed a lot of time since the begining :often veterinary diets and homemade food …
    Now i try (the kitty is difficult with food…) 70% homemade and 30%sensitive

    This is my question :i think i have to try giving him omeprazole in anothey administration route (subcutaneous ) .May be like this , the GI wil not get in direct contact with the substance …What do you think about this ?

    Thank you VERY MUCH for attention !!!

    Judith (in France),

    1. Hi Judith, I think you are giving too many things. All those olive products are just making things worse. I’d stop those immediately. I don’t know what hydroxyde aluminum is but if it made it worse I hope that’s been stopped as well. As far as giving omeprazole in sub q fluids, that confuses me because i’ve NEVER heard of doing that. I wouldn’t if it were me. Have you tried giving Pepcid A/C instead of omeprazole? I would ask the vet if you could give 1/4 of a 10 mg tablet of pepcid a/c instead. but try to eliminate a lot of this stuff if you can. if you’re feeding a homemade diet, that should help a lot. Also, see about giving probiotics. you can order some through this site or go to a wholistic store near you and get something that’s at least 6 billion in healthy bacteria. NO more anything with sorbitol or any propylene glycol, no more additives. Only clean products from now on. I hope this helps!

  35. Dear Lisa,
    I don’t know if you can help me, but I’m desperate and there’s so much info you’re giving here (it’s much appreciated!).
    My cat has fatty liver disease. He’s only 5 years old and has gone from 25 lbs to 10 lbs. Presently, I’m feeding him with chicken breasts which I have cooked for him (then pass it in the meat grinder, then in the blender and add water to it to make a purée – that’s the only “texture” he can swallow). In it, I add Wei Ling Tang (1/4 teaspoon) which was prescribed to me by a holistic vet.
    The thing is, I don’t have the financial means to go see a vet anymore. I also bought the book: “Homeoathic Care for Cats & Dogs” by Don Hamilton, VM and from that, I’m also giving my cat Tsinami a granule of Chelodonium CPSE for his jaundice, one of Arsenicum Album for his nausea, and one of carbo vegetabilis for bloat as he was having a hard time to swallow.
    At first, he wouldn’t eat at all, but now he’s up to 10 very small mouthfuls at a time which I only manage to force into him 2 or 3 times in the most, per day. AND this is my biggest concern. I know he’s not eating enough.
    The source of the problem is that I moved from a city house to a trailer in rural region, changed province, etc. Big time cultural change for me which is affecting my cats as well too. The female cat Zoé is doing ok – even growling at Tsinami at one point – thus, I had to be firm with her to leave him alone.
    Thus, to get back to the issue of Tsinami not eating enough, the other thing is that after I give him food he wants to go out and eat grass – and I don’t know if that’s good for him. (I’ve come to sit him on my lap and sit him as if he’s a baby and force his mouth open and drop it onto his tongue – which works better than just having him sitting there and forcing his mouth open while he tries to back off from me.) When he’s really fed up he keeps his mouth shut tight and I stop. I don’t want to go back to “stuffing” him like the first vet had recommended that I do. I also tried the Hill’s A/D formula and that just made him throw up even more.
    I’m reading about the B-12 so do you think I should try it for the fatty liver disease? Do you know about that? I’ve also read on another blogue somewhere that Vitamin C is good – do you know about that?
    Also, at one point, I tried the Wei Ling Tang in the liquid formula and Tsinami just started foaming like crazy. I thought for sure I had finished him up instead of helping him. I called the holistic vet’s office and was “reassured” that he did that simply because it “tasted very bad”. Never again. I don’t want to put my cat through that kind of ordeal.
    Also, I’ve bought “GoProMatrix – the premium goat milk protein” which I’ve stopped giving him as I felt that he was getting too many things and I felt that it wasn’t necessarily better that way. At this point, he’s being hydrated by that special liquid that you put a needle under the skin (sorry, my mother tongue being French…) – I give him 50cc morning and again at night.
    Do you know what I can give him to stimulate his appetite?
    This all started mid-March and I’m exhausted from it all. Like you mention with your so very sad story, it’s ups and downs. Presently, I consider Tsinami to be “stable”. I started feeding him chicken breass something like 7 days ago. At first, he’d eat only 1 to 3 bites. Now, he’s up to 10 to 13 bites. I’ve tried the canned tuna (again) and he doesn’t want to hear about it. I bought all kinds of other foods (from Fancy Feast to baby food in jars – niet – nada – nothing. He doesn’t want to have nothing to do with them. I even tried haddock fish which he also turned down.
    Like I’ve mentioned above, I’m desperate. My deepest wish is jus to see him back to his old self – to be no longer stuck indoors – to be chasing mice and enjoying the wide open spaces.
    I’d like to see him dring and eat by himself and be well again.
    Would you happen to have any recommendations for me?
    Thank you ever so much for the time that you are taking for each of us. May you be blessed. Namaste.

    1. I’m so sorry this is happening to your baby. Some of the things you’re giving him I’m really not familiar with at all. And you have to be very careful here for several reasons. Too many things will stop the liver from healing properly and vitamin C is not recommended as too much can cause additional problems. Yes I recommend B12 injections for sure. As far as his eating, you really risk jaundice and him needing hospitalization if you don’t syringe feed him the proper amount of calories. Usually they insert a feeding tube to help with this but since you can’t afford it I highly recommend getting a high calorie cat food and blending it to syringe feed. I know you don’t want to shove anymore into his mouth but this is to save his life. Liver disease is nothing to fool around with, believe me I know. I also recommend giving Denosyl which is all natural and widely used by veterinarians. You can get it from the vet or order it online. I honestly wish I had something more concrete to tell you but food is the answer here! It’s absolutely essential he start getting more calories in him. That’s really A LOT of weight to lose and so quickly, I know you consider him stable but taking a total of 13 bites of food really is not stable at all. He needs to get much more than he is now. Can you syringe feed him? Have you done that before?

      1. Hi Lisa,

        Thanks for your reply. Well, yes my cat definitely has jaundice – has ever since the beginning. That’s why I bought “Homeopathic Care for Cats & Dogs by Don Hamilton, DVM”. After reading your reply above, I grabbed the book (again) and yes, Denosyl is in there in the “Amino acids” paragraph on p. 364. That’s why I had bought that (very expensive) goat protein powder. Thus, I’l start sprinkling some on his food again.
        You know Lisa, the very first vet I went to see had already given up on my cat. I’m a firm believer in “listening to my guts” and given my financial means, I couldn’t pay the 1200$ asked to have a ‘feeding tube” inserted in him.
        Thus, a month later I went to see the holistic vet who told me I was doing a very good job. Given my financial means, she couldn’t do much more either. However, she did elaborate on what to keep giving him, what dosage and how frequent. That’s why he’s having to three little pellets a day (one for nausea, one for bloat and one for jaundice). She had also given him acupunture to help the “fire” inside of him.
        Also, it was strongly recommended that I try giving him the Hill’s A/D formula but that isn’t working for him a this time and point I’ll try again somewhere down the line, but for now, the cooked chicken breasts that are passed in the meat grinder / blender with added source water work just fine (and the Chinese remedy). I totally realize that 12-13 bites twice a day (yesterday, I managed a 3rd feeding a around midnight!) isn’t much, but as long as I’m seeing progress, I’m not changing this diet. I’ve found out the hard way that “very small amount” is much better than bigger amount and then having him all throw it up. That would only weaken him more and he’d become overcome with lethargy.
        Also, with all the negative posts that I’ve come across on the internet with all those “commercial foods”. I now know that raw diet is the best thing for our cats, but realize that my cats are not there yet. I’m slowy starting with my other cat however, as I don’t cook as much the organic chicken I got.
        Well, just as your comments are helping so many people with their loved pets, I hope that other people out there who read mine will “not give up” even if the vet does. Of course, it’s all a matter of your cat,s choice, also. I’ve asked my cat many, many times if he’d just prefer to just “move on” and each time there was some sort of a sign that told me he wanted to stay here to eventually enjoy all the nature that’s now surrounding us.
        Also, I do realize that food is the solution here. Except, at the state that my cat was at when I went to see the Holistic Vet, she told me that my only concern was to get any amount of “good food” in him. In order for his system not to shut down on him. Thus, yes, 12-13 bites are not much, but they are way better than the ONLY, then TWO bites that I started off with 2 weeks ago. Oh yes, at first, it would be one bite every two hours (that’s how long it takes the system to digest it). Then, if he didn’t throw up, I’d feed him again 2 hours later. If he did throw up, that meant 2 hours after that (and not 2 hours after the last feed). Then, a second bite went in, then gradually it increased.
        The main thing I feel one has to remember is to do what works best for your cat and yourself. I would never have imagined one day that I’d sit my cat on my lap like a baby to feed him. But, that’s what working. After, he likes to go outside and eat grass. This worries me. But that’s what he wants. Given that I was able to give him a third feed late last night, maybe HE KNOWS what’s best for him after all?
        This morning, I saw him starting to do some sort of a “grooming” as he licked his front paws. That’s a FIRST since the beginning of this nightmare. I’m just keeping my fingers cossed.
        Again, thanks for your feedback and since I can’t buy Denosyl, I will most definitely try sprinkling some goat protein on his food for the Amino acids.

  36. Hello Lisa,

    Our 15 Yr. old girl “Nantee” has IBD and we are considering the use of steroids but are concerned because she is now on raw chicken diet. Our vet’s here in Australia do not seem to have much experience with IBD in cats and have not given good advice. We have had bloods, Ultra Sound, Elimination Tests etc. Nantee’s symptoms were many, but mainly vomiting after defecating (not due to constipation). We have changed her diet a number of times but always found that food with Carbs, Fibre, Veg or Oily types would make her feel sick after eating. She could not digest this type of food and would sometimes vomit. We have also tried giving supplements, B12 injections, Omega 3 etc but they nearly always seem to upset her. The raw chicken we now feed is Local Free Range, no hormones etc, lightly steamed and given in small amounts 5 to 6 times a day. Since she has been on this diet her condition has improved considerably. She has not been vomiting but she still seems lethargic. We would like to add more to her diet as we are aware that just feeding one type of food is not good for her long term and we feel that the steroids may help in this regard.

    We wish to ask your opinion regarding the use of steroids (Prednisolone) with raw diet as we have read that this may not be wise?

    1. HI Dean, did you not get my reply to you this morning? I sent you an email, check your spam folder. it’s really fine to use steroids with raw food. I’ve seen hundreds of people do that and never have any issues. Also, think about trying rabbit as a protein source next as it’s highly digestible and very lean.

  37. Hi! Thank you so much for this site. My Odin ,a 4 year old albino, was diagnosed by biopsy in June. His only symptom was weight loss and eventually I realized it looked like his feces were fancy feast colored. He has been on 1 ml of prednisolone and I was told to do the prescription diet. Unfortunately when we went back in for his 4 week post biopsy check up he had lost more weight. He was at 7.5 he should be 10. So the vet told me that right now our main goal is to get some weight back on him. I had to put him back on fancy feast but I am sticking to the classic flavors as they have no wheat gluten. It has been 2 weeks and he is up 2 ounces. Tonight I was in the kitchen when he went and much to my dismay it looked like his feces were fancy feast colored again. I have bought a few more types of food that appear to be healthier and have more of the novel protein sources but he will not eat the prescription and he asks for his fancy feast. Sigh. Any suggestions? I have removed all seafood from the rotation for now and am going to try and stick to chicken, turkey, duck, venison and rabbit for now. Thank you so much for providing us with a place to ask and share our roller coaster stories.

    1. And my end goal is to get him off fancy feast completely. I will never ever feed this food to any cat again willingly.

      1. Sorry forgot to add this important bit. During his ultrasound we also found out he has some damage to his right kidney. It was also biopsied and it came back as a blood clot that has basically killed the top half. We are currently monitoring it by ultrasound until we get to a point where we will have to take further action. So we are also being careful with anything that may be bad for his kidney.

    2. Hi Meaghan, usually when the feces are the color of the food or the medication it doesn’t have so much to do with the food as it does that he’s most likely suffering from malabsorption syndrome. the food and nutrients are going through him and he’s not absorbing it. I would highly suggest getting B12 injections from the vet and getting them regularly to get his absorption levels back up. Also, as far as food, I like Nature’s Variety, Natural Balance LID, Evo, Wellness, Weruva, Merrick, there are plenty of them you just have to try them slowly. but really most importantly is to get that B12 and get it soon! it’ll help with hunger and also with gaining some weight.

      1. His appetite is actually very good, just being a picky pain in the butt. I did pick up some weruva today and gave it to him as a treat and he loved it. I will be trying to add that in as their primary food slowly. I have tried almost all of the others except Merrick and evo and he and the other two just bury them which is a pretty good sign that I won’t win that battle lol. I will look into the two I haven’t tried. I should have mentioned that he does have thickening of his small intestine wall, sorry I was nervous posting on a forum for my first time ever. We are due to go back to the vet next week for a weigh in so I will ask about the vitamin b12 and will continue trying to get him off his fancy feast. I just get so stressed out about him since he is acting lethargic and sick and he is normally such a happy, active cat and also he is so young. Thank you for getting back to me!

      2. it does sound to me like malabsorption syndrome if he’s pooping out his nutrients like that. Poor thing, I can perfectly understand why you’re feeling so stressed. I’ve been there! they may have to up his pred for a bit to get him stabilized.

      3. Yes I agree. I think I will put a call into the vet tomorrow. I decided to cut out the seafood flavors because it is more noticeable after has those but that may just be the dye coming though more. Thanks again!

  38. Lisa —

    My heart just about broke learning of your dear departed Alex. Here’s my own situation. My 13 yr. old black longhair Guinevere may well suffer from IBD. My wife and I noticed her eating less and less about two weeks ago,,, before she stopped eating altogether LAST week.

    She wasn’t vomiting though, and she defecated exactly ONCE outside her litter box, that was all.

    But as I said, she’d lost her appetite.

    So off she went to the vet, where an ultrasound revealed a swelling of the cecum which I soon found out is basically a feline appendix that is attached to the colon.

    Gwenny stayed in the hospital for three days as our wonderful veterinarian — Dr. Laurel Leach — attempted to make the swelling go down with IV-administered antibiotics, but subsequent ultrasounds revealed little if any improvement.

    And Gwenny still wasn’t eating.

    So Dr. Leach performed an “exploratory” tonight and removed the swollen cecum…but found severe inflammation of the colon as well, and sent the excised cecum and samples of the colon to a local lab for analysis.

    We ought to have the results back in 48-72 hours, and of course, there’s a chance it might be cancer.

    Gwenny’s in the hospital now, recovering.

    I got to see her after the surgery. She was weak, of course, but her eyes were open and able to focus on mine for a moment or two. Dr. Leech and her assistants were pumping milk down her throat via an olficatory hose, which broke my heart. It couldn’t have been comfortable for my little girl but I was glad they were getting some food in her.

    So here’s where we are, Lisa — it’s the reason I am writing you at 4:15 in the morning Los Angeles time:

    If the lab results say “Cancer” then we’re screwed, because Guinevere is 13 and I’m afraid she won’t survive a battle with the Big C (hope to hell I’m wrong though).

    But if the results say “IBD” I’m afraid we’re screwed there, too, because the more I read about this dreadful and difficult-to-manage disease, the more depressed I get.

    Because we’d have to be giving pills and shots to Guinevere every friggin’ day, Lisa, and here’s the problem: Guinevere is an INCREDIBLY skittish cat.

    How skittish?

    I’ve had her for 11 years and I still can’t pick her up or pet her. She’s never bitten or scratched me (thus far, although she isn’t shy about hissing), she just wriggles loose and darts away.

    Now it isn’t like we NEVER touch her, of course. We do. But on her terms. She’ll nuzzle against our legs when we’re opening the Fancy Feast at mealtime, and she’ll rub against our outstretched hand occasionally or let my wife or me scratch her behind her ears once in a while… but that’s about it.

    Long story short: She is NOT a lap cat. In fact getting her into her carrier is like the Invasion of Normandy. It easily takes us 15 or 20 minute and leaves the apartment looking like a twister came through. It isn’t pretty.

    So the question is, how the heck do you treat a cat like that.for IBD (assuming that’s what she has)?? You think Gwenny’s gonna submit to getting SHOTS every day? Think again.

    I know this is premature, and my wife and I will both be a lot smarter come Thursday.

    Meanwhile, God bless you and your remarkable website, Lisa. Talk soon!


    1. Aw David, I’m so very, VERY sorry to hear all of this about your sweet Gwenny. Life can be so unfair and it’s just not fair that these beautiful creatures have to suffer so much. I wish I could give you an easy answer about treatments for her IBD but just know that there are some ways to handle it. there are steroids that are transdermals that you put on her ears. I don’t see shots every day, that’s only for diabetes so please put that out of your mind. Plenty of people have kitties like yours and although very difficult, they somehow manage to give medication. So let’s take this a step at a time and wait for those results first. Please know you can contact me anytime at or here if you need to talk. Keep me posted on what the results of her tests say. I know this is very hard, there’s nothing pleasant about IBD or cancer for that matter. Big hugs to you, your wife and your sweet Gwenny.

  39. Great website! I need to know how much slippery elm and marshmallow to give my cat. Thanks.

    My cat turned 18 years old this summer. She was diagnosed three years ago, and giving six months to live. It takes a lot of work to keep her feeling happy, and healthy. But as you well know, they are SO worth the work.

    I am sorry you lost your kitty.

    1. Hi Natasha, you said your kitty was diagnosed with something and given six months? What was she diagnosed with? It has to be more than IBD as there is no time frame to a kitty’s life with IBD. They really are worth it and I’m so sorry your kitty is sick. If you look at this page on my website, you should find instructions on slippery elm:

  40. My Princess cat Is 12 and zwent slowly from 16 to 6 pounds. I thought she had cancer but by a process of elimination (no pun intended) we have deduced that she has
    iBD. She is 6.8 now. She is on Pepcid 5 mg daily, methimizole twice daily for hyperthyroid and prednisolone 2 .5 mg twice daily and B12 injection weekly. We now feed ZD low allergen prescription diet. She rarely vomits but has bouts of horrible yellow diarrhea sometimes for a day or two. She has great bloodwork every single time it’s been done with her thyroid levels being within normal limits and her liver showing totally normal values. What about boiled chicken, or drained cooked ground beef (just meat). I won’t do the raw diet. She gets a little wet food twice a day. I have four other cats too. I was hoping for some information on acupressure points for cats for bowel issues if you have any links.

    1. Hi Nena, so sorry Princess has lost so much weight! wow!! I’m surprised he liver levels are normal with that yellow diarrhea but glad to hear it. I’m sorry, I don’t have any information on acupressure points for kitties at all. Have you seen a holistic vet? they’d be able to help you with that. As far as foods, you can home cook, I have a page on my website for that:

  41. Great website and sorry for your loss. I came here looking for information of what could be wrong with one of my cats. He was a rescue from a neighbor who died and I’ve been doing my best to care for him and his family (I took them all). I don’t have much money so I’ve been doing it all on my own. A rescue helped me get them all fixed thank goodness for that.

    When I got him he was loaded full of worms (tape and round) and ear mites which I treated myself. He still had diarrhea and I’ve tried Metronidazole, Febendazole, and Amoxicillin. I can’t really afford to give him a raw diet and all special diets come from a vet for this problem which I can’t afford. Many vets try to push Prednisone and I don’t want to deal with diabetes as a side effect. I also don’t want to have a cat on Tylan for his whole life. I want to build good bacteria in him and not kill everything off. I’d like to try natural treatments if I can.

    A few days ago he started pooing in the bathtub and on the carpet. It was very loose and I suspect he feels worse. What I’ve started doing is giving him sodium bentonite clay by pill that I filled, digestive enzymes and a little Fage yogurt because it has lots of types live cultures. I pill him with clay before each meal and a whole enzyme pill after each meal. Today I woke up to clean carpeting and bathtub so it seems to be working. I never thought about B vitamins but I have a multiple B vitamin (B 50) that I might try adding to his diet. I have used this B vitamin in cats with failing kidneys so it’s safe to use.

    His fur is is soft and shiny but he’s a little on the thin side. I’m hoping I’m able to put some weight on him, stop the diarrhea and make him feel better. I will keep watching for accidents and try to see when he uses the box to keep an eye on what’s going on. I am cleaning boxes all day long so he will want to use it more. It’s hard when you have several cats using a few boxes.

    Wish me (us) luck!

  42. Lisa…Thank you for the IBD information. I lost one girl to IBD May 2013 and now my other girl has just been diagnosed.

  43. Hello Lisa,
    Thank you so much for taking the time to provide this informative site. I know that your experience and loss of your kitty Alex propelled this….I know that there are a lot of cat owners who are very thankful for your time and knowledge.

    My name is Dianne and I’m Spanky’s mom. Spanky is 18 years old and has been having gastrointestinal issues on and off the past year or so, but over the past 4 months seems to have gotten worse. He also has early stage kidney disease, which is being managed with herbal drops. He was getting 2.5 mg of Pepcid, but since he gets Cerenia every day, he doesn’t really need that anymore. His kidney levels are still ok. Slight increase, but nothing terrible.

    I am desperate for some solid info in treating IBD. Due to Spanky’s age, and his fragile state, both the vet team and I thought it best to treat what we know, rather than try any biopsy. He has had extensive blood work, which revealed his B-12 was low, and his cardiac values were a little off. He had a cardiac ultrasound, which showed very mild thickening, not significant enough to treat, however, they did find that his blood pressure was up. He now receives amlopidine daily, and his blood pressure is now in the normal range.

    He’s always eaten wet food, but starting vomiting more than I was comfortable with, along with some pretty explosive diarrhea. If it wasn’t diarrhea, it was a very voluminous formed stool (grayish), and extra smelly. Sorry to be so graphic. We tested for EPI, which was negative. So, now we have started to treat for IBD, which the vets have told me could also be lymphoma. No way to know for sure at this point….

    Spanky has always had a great appetite. For most of his life, he ate canned Friskies and Fancy Feast wet food – never dry. I know that’s not optimal canned food, but I tried to get him to eat the “healthy” food, to no avail. I started him on Natural Instinct Grain Free Rabbit, and he really LOVED it. He would devour it. I also started using Forti-Flora, which did help initially with the loose stools. The vet started him on Prednisolone and I weaned him off, because he had a constant recurring eye infection. I suspect the immune system was already compromised, and the Pred sent that into orbit. At the recommendation of a friend, I purchased Arabinogalactan Powder (Larch Tree Bark Extract), which soothes the gastrointestinal tract. Everything seemed to be working okay, except now he’s not interested in the canned rabbit anymore. Tried that for a while, and most recently, it seemed as though it bothered him. I heard that Newman’s Own Chicken and Brown Rice was a good option, so I tried that slowly…seemed okay, but then he lost interest in that too. Just a few days ago, I tried EVO grain-free duck – another novel protein, which he’s never had before. He absolutely loved it, but it obviously didn’t love him. The diarrhea has been AWFUL. The Forti-Flora would always get the stool back to normal, but not this time. Up until a few days ago, his appetite was voracious….he would wake me up at least 4 times a night for food.

    I decided to try the Pred again to see if it could take care of the obvious inflammation. His dosage from the vet is 5mg twice per day for 2 weeks, then down to 5mg once per day. That seems to have quelled his appetite. He seems to eat at semi- normal intervals. With all of that previous voracious eating, he never really gained any weight. He was once a cat at 14 lbs, and is now at 7.2lbs. Here is a list of meds he currently gets:
    • Amlopodine
    • Kidney Gold Support (4 drops w/water)
    • 5 mg. Prednisolone
    • ½ Tab 16mg. Cerenia
    • Kidney Gold Support (4 drops w/water)
    • 5 mg. Pred

    I tried Proviable DC at the recommendation of others….it really bothered him, so I continued with the Forti-Flora. He did have B12 injections weekly for a month, and now we are ready for the once per month injection, along with a weight check.
    He’s also been urinating outside of his box, which is super frustrating. Boxes (3) are always clean, scooped immediately for him. He’s fastidious. I started confining him to one bedroom, and miraculously he started using his box again.
    Do you all feel like you are swimming in pool of Jello, and just can’t seem to make any progress??? I am feeling so helpless…I know this could be small cell intestinal lymphoma, but I’ll never really know because I can’t have a biopsy done. He’s just too fragile.

    My apologies for this extra long post, but there is so much information to give to receive any good suggestions back. Any and all help/suggestions would be appreciated…oh my gosh, I’m just overwhelmed at this point.

    With thanks,
    Dianne and Spanky

    1. Hi Dianne, I’m so sorry to hear this about your baby. First I would like to suggest your vet start him on Leukeran right away. there’s not reason not to start him on chemo if they even suspect lymphoma. in fact a lot of times severe IBD is brought under control with Leukeran as it has less side effects than pred does. And it’s not forever, just short term. secondly please read the probiotics page of my website as Fortiflora is garbage. The human grade stuff and certain strains is now what we’re recommending. Can you do home cooking instead? a lot of times home cooking or raw is much better for them than commercial food. I also would love you to join us on my Facebook IBD support group. We have a bunch of wonderful and knowledgeable people there that can really help you through this step by step.

  44. Hi, thanks so much for all the info. My 14-year-old snowshoe cat Buster has had IBD symptoms for a about a year an a half, tho not diagnosed till about 7 months ago. Started treating it with diet–pumpkin, wet food with new proteins like rabbit and venison, and B12 shots. Was doing very well. Then a couple of weeks ago, he got dehydrated and also started pooping outside the box. Went to vet who gave IV and also started on prednisolone. (I started with 1.25 to be sure no adverse affects. Then went to 2.5) Last few days his appetite has lessened and today he’s gotten enormously and unusually finicky. (Was giving prednisolone but had to switch to prednisone bec can’t get back to vet til middle of week; vet is 35 minutes away….and was wondering if he could smell difference. That is the only thing that has changed.) Have also given some ProZyme…not sure what/if it does anything. So current issue is his sudden finnicky attitude towards his food, and his eating less. He would always just chow down. It feels like a test of wits as I have been scrambling trying different things out. Maybe I need to calm down:) Perhaps B is picking up on my stress.

  45. Hi Lisa,
    I don’t know if this site is still active, however, if it is I would like your advice. My 16 year old cat has IBD as far as we know. She had many tests that rule out other things. This has been going on for about a year now and it is a horrible disease, and I am doing everything I can to help her. She is very thin and loses her appetite when she gets an episode. She vomits clear liquid often. She took some generic flagyl which made her letharic 2 days ago…I stopped that. She had taken flagyl mini tabs in the past without this reaction. I may now start prednisolone. I an nervous about the pred. Anyway, what dose do you recommend for flagyl and prednisolone. Does pepcid ac help at all? Thank you.

    1. Lisa…the vet dose on the flagyl was 62.5 mg. and prednisolone 2.5 mg. I plan on half for each. I wanted to do flagyl mini tabs before the pred. because it is not as bad as pred. But they each have side effects. Any info or thoughts are appreciated.

      1. Hi there Joanne, I’m sorry your baby is sick. Believe me I understand. Frankly I hate Flagyl. That’s just my opinion, it helps some cats and others it makes them worse which it did to my kitties. she needs something for nausea it sounds like so ask the vet for Cerenia and if you can give Pepcid A/C. The Pepcid is over the counter, a 1/4 piece of a 10 mg regular strength tablet once to twice daily. That will help with acid reflux and the vomiting clear liquid. Did she have diarrhea? What’s the Flagyl for? Don’t be nervous about pred. I know it stinks to give it to them but cutting that already smallest dose in half will actually not do anything to help with the inflammation. You’re better off going with the 2.5 and giving it some time. Remember that inflammation can lead to cancer so you need to get this down some. Changing the diet to grain free, low carb and a good quality protein can help. Or going raw or home cooked is even better. I have a very loving and knowledgeable group on Facebook if you’d like to join us:

  46. Lisa, thank you. I have joined the group on Facebook. I gave Heidi flagyl for diarrhea, inappetence and general IBD symptoms, which seemed to help in the past. This time around it made her feel very groggy. Is this why do you not like Flagyl? Right now, her biggest issue is not eating and looking very skinny. She is about 8.46 lbs. I was able to get her up to 9 lbs. a few months back, but now we are going through another episode. But this one doesn’t seem to go away, hence, I made the decision to try the prednisolone. My regular vet is away for a few weeks, but I plan on having a talk with him on her treatment. She is 16 years old so I worry a lot about her.

    1. Oh good. It’s actually much better if you ask these questions in the group as we can answer more in depth there and show you to the files we have on everything including Flagyl toxicity and side effects. Others can also join in as I am not as frequently on the computer right now, I’m caring for my very sick elderly mom full time. But I do participate in the group also, it’s just easier for me because they are all very knowledgeable as well there and can offer you some help if I’m not around. But PLEASE post and introduce yourself. they are a wonderful bunch and I know we can offer some suggestions. 🙂

  47. Hi Lisa, I have a question about continuing my cat’s Prednisolone. My 15 year old rescue cat, Magic, was diagnosed with IBD about 2 months ago. We’ve tapered his Prednisolone down to 1/2 pill every other day. He’s on limited Ingredient and “no grain” wet and dry food. He’s doing great! Can I stop the Prednisolone?

    1. Hi Alison, don’t ever stop a steroid cold turkey. never. You’ll send your kitty into serious withdrawals and Magic will become very sick. But since it’s a half a pill every other day I’d think you should try 1/4 of a pill every other day for a week and then probably stop. But please let your vet know what you’re doing just in case. SO glad he’s doing well!!! Lovely to hear good news for a change.

  48. I’m so glad I found your website! I’ve been researching IBD ever since my 13 year old Maine Coon mix was given a tentative diagnosis 2 weeks ago. He went through blood tests and xrays (all normal) but his ultrasound showed mild pancreatitis, thickened intestines, splenomegaly, and possible triaditis. The lymph node aspirate was negative for lymphoma but my vet said it could still be there, just not obvious yet. I chose not to put him through a biopsy as he HATES the vet and gets insanely stressed going (I’m currently considering a mobile vet for him as he pees, howls, and pants when put into a carrier).

    So we started him on B12 injections 1x/week and prednisolone BID, and he’s continuing to get probiotics every morning. He’s also been switched to a straight rabbit grain-free diet, and while he hasn’t vomited or had diarrhea in almost 2 weeks, he’s hardly gained more than a few ounces. His appetite is way better and he eats 5-6 times a day, but he’s also drinking and peeing a lot (steroids). He recently developed an URI, of which he’s had in the past so we’re thinking the steroids just brought it out due to his immune supression, but the constant sneezing hasn’t helped. I feel so bad for him but luckily he’s only dropped from 16 to 13.5 pounds during all of this and he’s heading back towards 14. It’s just so stressful and frustrating. I’ve lost cats to cardiomyopathy several times in the past but have never had to deal with IBD, and I don’t want him to suffer. I also can’t stand waiting the 6 weeks to see if he relapses, which according to several vets is indicative of lymphoma. Luckily he’s still very affectionate, runs for his food, and ISN’T vomiting/diarrhea anymore, but the lack of weight gain is concerning and I’m the kind of person that while I consider my pets my kids and would do anything for them, I also refuse to let them suffer when I personally know what my limits would be if it were my own body (I’m an RN with an extensive living will).

    This is the first website to give straightforward and experienced answers so thank you.

    1. Hello Alice. I understand your trepidation. This disease is indeed frustrating. the lack of weight gain is not unusual and I can assure you that if he’s not vomiting, does not have diarrhea anymore and is eating well, then he’s not suffering. Please don’t jump the gun on that because they can bounce back from this. It can’t be cured unfortunately and he will have to deal with it the rest of his life. But with the right care, supplements, diet, etc. he can be stabilized and have a wonderful quality of life. And believe me, my cats are my kids also. I have had 3 cats with IBD unfortunately and each time I learn more and more. As far as the sneezing is concerned I’d start him on L-lysine and also another supplement called Lactorferrin with it. They work in conjunction on the respiratory system to bump up the immune system. Also, I’d take a look at this page of my website about human grade probiotics for the gut: Have you joined my Facebook IBD group? This post sounds familiar to me.

  49. Hi Lisa,
    I am thrilled to have found this site, thank you from all of us frustrated and worried cat parents.

    The trouble is with my Krissy, currently she is nearly 13 years old.
    I feel the need to start out with what this little girl means to me and how the love I have for her has changed countless cat lives, and still counting!

    I got Krissy when she was just 4 hours old. A very dark, depressed time in my life. I knew nothing about kittens, I was a dog person! (Great Dane at the time)
    Needless to say I figured things out, and Krissy became the light in my life, an angel who fell from the sky, coming to bring smiles and love again.

    Because of the love I have for her, and had since the beginning, it opened up my eyes to the whole cat world, all of the homeless, unwanted, unloved cats living without a home, a sense of belonging. It hurt my heart, I felt for every one of them.
    I began feeding cats all over town, tnr’ing them and continuing their care.

    Fast forward to the present, I am co-founder and vice president to a non profit cat rescue group, and a member of the board of directors for the Humane Society as their cat advocate, have saved countless lives, continuing to tnr and care for many homeless cats in town.
    I pull from the kill shelter as often as possible, relocate ferals in danger, am an advisor on a large cat community website, and write a column in a small bi-monthly magazine.
    My current mission is working with the city to change their TNR policy and stopping the ferals from being sent to the kill shelter and euthanized, but rather allowing community cats. Amazingly, I am making progress with that!

    Now for Krissy, who continues to be responsible for all of the kitties I have helped/saved. She is still the light in my life.

    A couple years back, I noticed she sometimes wouldn’t seem to feel well.
    Oh, let me add in that Krissy is a chunk. Always has been, smallish appetite and my vet and I believe she is genetically structured to just be one of those “fat cats” since we tried every angle to help get some weight off, it just doesn’t happen.

    I thought to myself, maybe she is just getting older, etc. no specific signs, so I accepted it as just that.
    In Dec. of 2013 I decided to get her seen by a vet, being in rescue I have all the vaccines/meds I need so she hadn’t been seen in probably 9 years. So she had a blood panel done. It looked beautiful, all except her eosinophils were quite elevated. We ruled out parasites, fleas, and figured it must be a food allergy triggering this elevation.
    I worked on switching her to canned food, until I got her on half dry/half canned.

    Suddenly last Oct. she started vomiting one day. Took her to a diff. vet, who suspected pancreatitis. Fed her chicken only baby food for a few days, got her settled, gave her pepcid here and there. She got better for a bit, then it repeated.
    Had her bloodwork done again and an ultrasound. Bingo, ultrasound told it all.

    Inflammed pancreas, intestines, lymph nodes, thickened bowel loops.
    Ultrasound vet is considered an expert, she did not feel it was lymphoma, diagnosed with IBD and Pancreatitis. Recommended limited ingredient turkey food, but only the dry she will eat, the canned I have to feed her the turkey classics (pate) from Fancy Feast, not the best but………she refuses the better canned.
    She is not on anything else. Vet doesn’t seem to be all too experienced in IBD/Pancreatitis, which makes me very nervous and uneasy.

    I try to get a straight answer from her about what next, I know she needs to be rotated, but she seems fairly leveled out now, and whenever I give her anything else, she acts like she feels crummy again.
    Also mention, she is sick of the turkey fancy feast, so occasionally lately I give her a different flavor, fish. I now see it is causing her to have eye drainage a bit, as another mild reaction.
    I’m lost. Can’t get her to eat a different or better canned, I’ve read that dry is not a good solution yet that is her main food, I’m afraid of not rotating her protein too, vet tries to stay away from prednisone, likely due to her chubbiness already. (she hasn’t lost weight) plus, recently she told me that often with thickened bowel loops it turns into small cell lymphoma. If pred is given prior, it won’t be effective if it did turn into lymphoma.

    So here we are, this is the most frustrating issue I have ever dealt with.
    I feel so lost, uneducated, floundering here and there looking for the right solution, I just don’t know what I can do to help make her well again, not just stable, I can clearly see she is not herself, and wonder if she ever will be again.

    No diarrhea, never has, no vomiting other than the 2 days during it’s peak, no weight loss.

    I would sure be so grateful for some thoughts or ideas for her. I can’t live with this preoccupation everyday that I am not doing everything I possibly can to help her…..before it goes further.

    Thanks so much Lisa.
    Great name btw 🙂

    Sincerely, Lisa

    1. Aw Lisa, I understand how you feel. First I suggest you join my support group for this on Facebook: Second, I would like you to read up on these conditions on my website: Third, I think your vet needs to do some research of her own and tell her I have case studies on my website for her to look at. Ask her to try budesonide instead of pred, it’s a different kind of steroid and has less of a chance of turning into diabetes. Also, Fancy Feast classics are not that bad to be honest, as long as their are no grains or gluten. You can even try Friskies. Because when a kitty is sick, the most important thing is that they eat, especially if she has pancreatitis and she’s chunky, we don’t want her to get fatty liver for any reason. Pancreatitis is extremely painful and if your vet has not given her pain medications, she needs to and NOW. Also anti-nausea meds. Cerenia and/or Pepcid AC. This is not a disease to be taken lightly, my Alex passed from a pancreatic infection. But if treated immediately and correctly kitties can bounce back. A low carb, grain free, good quality protein is best but like I said, we need to get her over this hump first. read this page also: This inflammation with IBD and pancreatitis will not just go away with food. She needs medication. It’s just the way it is. If this vet doesn’t know enough about it then I suggest you seek an internal specialist or another vet with more IBD experience. Hugs Lisa, this is tough, I know!

      1. Thank you so much for your reply and info!
        I will def. be joining the group and reading the links you gave. This is very helpful.
        For example, this is the first time I have been informed that I can not get rid of the inflammation with diet only. I have been searching for the answer to this forever it seems.

        I’m very aware of the fatty liver risk, and I do have Pepcid on hand in case needed, but she doesn’t seem to have nausea nor a lack of appetite, just the “not her normal self” ways and looks.
        So you’re saying she should be put on budesonide? I wonder why her vet hasn’t thought of this? That’s what I mean, I don’t believe she has enough experience with these issues.

        Thanks so much!

      2. Right and I should be more specific as IBD cannot be cured only stabilized. So I should not have said “get rid of the inflammation”. But more specific to help the inflammation go down to a level where she’s stable. I’m very glad to hear she’s not nauseous because pancreatitis can do that. Yes I believe it would be best to inquire about trying budesonide. The problem is here that we are not looking at treating just IBD anymore. And the more problems that occur, like pancreatitis, the more inflammation can spread. So something needs to be done to get that inflammation “under control” and maybe later on diet could be all that’s needed. The best diet really is either a raw food diet or home cooked. Doubt your vet will go for either as most vets push prescription foods that have more grains than even any human should eat, never mind an obligate carnivore. Join the group. You’ll learn A LOT there.

  50. Thank you Lisa, I do understand with IBD it’s about controlling it rather than healing it.
    My vet said it’s impossible to know which came first, pancreatitis or IBD, not sure why it matters really. (?) Basically the same treatments I believe.
    Inflammed lymph nodes as well, plus the thickened intestinal wall. Ugh…

    I just received my order for U-stew, I am going to make home cooked food and adding this will eliminate all of the supplements needed.

    I am going to the fb group now, thanks again!

  51. I have something I wanted to add; grapeseed oil. I began using it on our senior kitty because it prevents hair loss/promotes hair growth and now her coat is *almost* as lush as it was 6 years ago before her age started taking hold of her. So out of habit I began giving it to Emma, our 10 year old kitty with IBD. Her vomiting stopped, and her stools began firming up and are no longer bloody. I have not even changed her diet and she’s been doing very well since I’ve started using grapeseed capsules and breaking them into her food. She’s *almost* ready to be let out with the other kitties but I need to help her re-establish a positive outlook on the litter boxes again and how they’re not painful objects 🙂 Wonderful article! I’m looking into some of the things you suggested to help her out further.

    1. I wanted to add…benefits of grapeseed extract include healing colorectal cancer and breast cancer.. so I am not at all surprised it’s helping Emma with her gut.

      1. Jennifer I’m happy in one way but grapeseed extract and grapeseed oil are not good for them. Anything grape is toxic to cats and their livers cannot process this. Eventually you may see some problems with elevated liver enzymes and some damage. I would not continue with it myself, I know it’s working but it concerns me. just my opinion sweetie.

      2. No offence Lisa, but I did a lot of research into it before using it.. there is a major difference between toxicity of grapes, and toxicity of grapeseed. The reason the grapes are toxic are the chemicals in their skin and pulp, which are not present in the actual grapeseed itself. As with everything; too much of anything can be a bad thing. The little bit I use is very healing 🙂

      3. Well I’m glad something is working. As I said, it’s just my opinion. 🙂 I’ll be happy to read up on this when I have a little time. thank you.

  52. Hi Lisa

    I have a cat named Alex who has IBD….questionable Lymphoma. He never had an endoscopy so we treated as severe IBD and he was unable to take the steroids because he went into CHF because he also has cardiomyopathy. We did several different chemo drugs until he finally crashed. His levels were critical with the WBC, RBC and platelets. He was actually bleeding rectally. In to the ER to help him and a couple overnight stays in ICU. I then stopped all chemo and started looking for holistic interventions. I found two sites Vitality Science and Pet Wellbeing. I have been using herbal anti-inflammatory and luxolite. I also have GI distress from vitality science. I also use Life Gold from Petwellbeing. He was doing well until just recently. He is losing weight and his Ultrasound shows Thickened intestines and enlarged lymph nodes. He was eating grain free foods and some raw food but since he has this other flare up he only wants to eat food with grains. I am so upset and they want to try steroids again but I am afraid he will go in to CHF again. He got sick in 2011 and had chemo for many months I am not sure even how long now, but he was always sick and stressed when receiving chemo. I want to help him but I am not sure which path to go. I can’t seem to manage him like before. the first time he was sick he weighed 8lbs. and I had him up to 12 almost 13lbs. He now weighs 9.4lbs and that seemed to happen quickly. He was probably in remission for about 2 years, with a now and then flare up, but not like this. I am not sure what to do….any good feedback is always helpful. I am pretty knowledgeable on this disease, but it is hard when you see your cat is so sick. How do you force them to eat the right foods and take their meds when they are so sick??


    1. Oh boy Tricia, this is quite the predicament, Well first of all we need to get him eating no matter what because he develop fatty liver disease quickly. I would be careful with any appetite stimulants due to his CHF because that can cause rapid heartbeats. So that’s probably out as well. I’m suspecting a lot of nausea here though so I’m thinking Cerenia for the nausea and even Pepcid on top of that. Ask the vet about that and B12 injections. At least with Cerenia it’s a good anti-inflammatory and pain management. I am wondering if he’s got pancreatitis here. Have they done a PLI for this recently? I think they should: Check that page and see if he’s laying like that at all. In the meantime he should be syringe fed to stop any occurrence of fatty liver:

      1. You said he was eating grain-free, but was it free of carrageenan? Apparently carrageenan is a REALLY controversial ingredient in wet foods and has been linked with making IBD worse, but also causing it to begin with. I had issues feeding our cat Emma wet food with carrageenan. It actually made her symptoms worse than eating grain-laden dry food. The wet food brands without carrageenan are limited, but they do exist. Try Nature’s Variety Instinct. It is more pricey, but this is the first time since we adopted Emma that she has actually gained and sustained weight. She rarely vomits anymore. We couple it with Slippery Elm Bark(I mix it with filtered bottled water to make a paste and give it to her via syringe) and after a week of this food, she actually had her FIRST normal bowel movement!

  53. Lisa,Thank you for what you do for our cats. Your Alex was a lucky cat and left such a legacy.
    I have a 15 year old cat diagnosed with IBD in December. I want to make sure I am doing everything I can for him now. Prior to his dx. he was having diarrhea and vomiting. He was put on prednisolone 5mg daily, probiotics (fortiflora) and Hills prescription i/d canned food. His vomiting is gone. His stools are soft and a lighter color than previously. He actually seems to feel well…he plays and is active. He is hungry and thirsty all of the time so I feed him small amounts frequently. When our vet has tried to cut the pred. dose down, his diarrhea gets worse, so we are back to a daily 5mg dose indefinitely. His blood work has not shown any liver or kidney problems, but his hemoglobin was low at his last visit. At that time he had had some streaks of blood in his stools, but since returning to daily pred. I have seen no more blood. His stools are extremely smelly. After reading your blog, I am going to ask about B12 shots. the two things I am thinking about now are 1) Should I stick with the Hills i/d or rotate to something different? 2) are smelly stools part of this syndrome or a bad sign? Thanks Lisa. You are great to make yourself available for us feline mama’s 🙂

    1. Hi Linda, what I’d like to see you do is start a probiotic called S. boulardii. This is a human grade probiotic that is specifically to treat diarrhea in humans and in pets. It’s perfectly safe and we use it all the time in the IBD support group. Read up on it here on my website: Also, I am not partial to the vet prescribed diets at all and find they may help for a little while but keeping them on those foods should only be if NOTHING else works. What I would try is a good high quality protein, low carb, grain free wet food. If that doesn’t work and you’re okay with trying it, try a raw diet. If that doesn’t work you can try home cooking which I have a recipe on my website as well: Do this all slowly though, no quick changes with diet as that can really send things into a bad flare. The smelly stools is the bad bacteria (possibly bacterial overgrowth) causing problems in the gut. The probiotic should help.

      1. Hi Lisa, After switching to the S.Boulardii probiotic, continuing a special diet and daily prednisone, PeeWee’s stools have improved from diarrhea to a soft yellowish-brown a stool. The smell might be a tiny bit better, but is still a problem. Would you suggest a different probiotic or give the current plan longer?
        I am so in hopes that he will have a remission. Thanks for any thoughts or advice.

      2. Hi Linda, sometimes you have to give it more time but you also have to look at what you’re feeding. Sometimes that doesn’t help so much. Stay away from grains, soy, etc. go for high quality protein, low carbs, grain free wet if you can. It also depends on how long you’ve been doing the S. boulardii. Remember this didn’t happen overnight so it won’t be helped overnight.

      3. Thanks Lisa. I will just continue. To answer your question about PeeWee’s diet, he is eating Hills ID canned cat food and I give him an occasional small amount of Soulistic chicken with pumpkin for a treat. He is a sweetheart. I’ll have to see if I can post his picture on the FB page. Thanks again!

      4. it could be the Hill’s doing this I hate to say. Full of grains and junk. Are you in the group? For some reason I can’t see anyone’s new messages to me here on this page I’ll have to email ONP and see what’s going on. If you’re in the IBD FB group it’s easier to get me there.

  54. Lisa

    First, thank you for providing so much insight and help to all of us who care for our kitty! I know every case is different and brings new angles to treatment. Our cat, Zoe, was a stray and developed IBD at around @2 yrs old — She was not eating and was vomiting. (Note: Throughout the whole journey as follows, her stool has been solid and she goes 1 to 2xs a day). Our Vet did an ultrasound and he put her on a low dose of Dexamethasone mixed in a liquid multi (.4mg per ounce). It varied, but we gave her a dose approx once a week and she was doing well. We switched her diet to a mix of dry and wet food that did not have grains, plus added probiotics (actually one you have on your site). However, she gained bloat weight and went from 11 to 15 lbs in 2 years of administering the drug. But, it wasn’t until she showed real muscle weakness in her back legs that we became really concerned. We had read that Dexamethasone could have such effect, so we stopped giving it to her on Vet’s advise to see. And, for 3 Months she was eating and doing well and went back to 12 lbs — her muscle strength returned and she was jumping as normal. Then, she started a few days with a small vomit (spit up) in the morning and returned to normal the rest of the day. We took her to another Vet, and again ultrasound. Now, it seems she has some signs of Triad disease (very early signs in liver and pancreas). That’s when I discovered your article and stopped the canned grain-free can food we were giving her — it Carageenan in it! We switched to boiled chicken and dry food only and, she did well — no more vomit etc — but the Vet advised to start Predisone (5 cc a day). We did, but started with 2.5 dose because she looked out of it when we gave it to her. She looked better before. However, we have since been giving it to her everyday and she is doing well — although she seems groggier with the medication. My question is, if she is showing no signs, in your opinion do we continue the Predisone? And, do cats react weird to this drug? Which is why we do not want to go to 5cc a day. Are we being foolish, by not doing so? Any insight would be a great help. Thank you.

    Be well, Debbie

  55. Hi Debbie, it does in fact sound like a reaction to something. Not sure if it’s pred or are you possibly giving Metronidazole (Flagyl) antibiotic? Because that drug can lead to neurotoxicity and especially with liver disease. if she’s having these issues with pred what I would do is ask about changing to budesonide. Don’t just stop pred cold turkey though as you can send her into withdrawals, but taper down. Also, if on Flaygl, ask the vet to stop it. That can be what’s causing this also. Have you thought about doing a raw food diet? or home cooked?

  56. Great article. Can you recommend a kitty probiotic? Also, what dose do you recommend for the injectable B12? Thanks

  57. Lisa, thanks for your article. My 11-year old kitty, Trixie, developed IBD three years ago. She is now a smelly, thin cat whose coat no longer shines. I have tried various foods and feel comforted by reading this not to keep using the same food. I do switch it out all the time. I know I will lose her to this illness, but your advice encourages me to keep treating it. Some days I am on the verge of euthenizing her and other days I see a ray of hope. It’s a horrible disorder. I also worry if Trixie feels pain. But as long as she eats and seems happy to sit on my lap and purr, I will continue to try to keep the IBD at bay.


    1. Aw Cynthia, you are NOT alone and there are probably more things that can be done. Are you on Facebook? you can join my IBD support group, the people there are SO supportive and knowledgeable. Things like B12 injections for malabsorption syndrome, trying home cooked or raw diets, probiotics (human grade versions). etc. Here’s the group:

  58. This is the best information on the web. I have been going through this with mine. Alex and you are helping fur babies and parents. Your hours of research is notable

  59. Hello Lisa, I can’t thank you enough for taking the time to supply this information – as well as the tremendous amount of support you offer. I’ve been reading this blog for the past hour and am so impressed by the amount of information here.

    My little girl, Carly, was diagnosed with IBD by one vet about a month ago (based on my description of her symptoms) however our “main” vet hasn’t officially said that’s what it is. I had taken her in for a 2nd opinion as I am so concerned about her…also overwhelmed. Right now I am trying some dietary changes (introducing raw) which has really been a challenge. Since she is currently being treated for a UTI, I didn’t want to start her on the antibiotic/prednisone regime yet but it seems that is the next step? Also, I am confused about the probiotic issue. Obviously it is very important, but there is a lot of conflicting opinion out there as to what kind to give her.

    Any and all advice you could pass along will be greatly appreciated! Thank so much for everything you do for us cat parents!

    1. Hi Karrie, I apologize for taking so long to get back to you. Probiotics and pred together are not a problem. In fact, many have to be on antibiotics for a short time to get the bad gut bacteria under control. We are now recommending human grade probiotics instead of pet versions. Some universities did a study and found that the pet versions did not have enough healthy flora and not the correct kind. If you look at this page of my website you can read all about it, I included a link with the study: Raw is an excellent first step! With the second opinion make sure they do an ultrasound as that’s the only way to see the thickening of the intestines. Feel free to join my FB support group Karrie!

      1. So good to hear from you Lisa! I just placed an order for a pet probiotic from one of the web sites you suggested (and since it was my first order I got a discount and free shipping!). Also, I did join the FB support group a few days ago and have already gotten some interesting and useful information – as well as enjoyed the many photos of these beautiful and special creatures. Thank you again for communicating with me!

  60. Thank you for your article. I’m pretty sure my 16 year old kitty has IBD, and I’ve been on the roller coaster of this diagnosis with her for the past 6 months. It is indeed, like you say, a roller coaster of an experience. Just when I think something is going to ‘fix’ her or at least help for a while, it stops working and it’s back to exhaustive Internet research and vet visits. I appreciate all of your suggestions and will look into them myself. Have you heard of George’s aloe water for the tummy nausea? I haven’t used it yet, but have read that it works pretty well in tandem with other natural things, like slippery elm. Thank you for your information here! And it’s nice to know I’m not alone 🙂

    1. Hi Susan, I’m sorry I’m just getting back to you now. I am a full time caregiver here at home so I sometimes am late with responses these days. Anyway, yes I actually recommend George’s on my website. Have you seen my Facebook IBD group? Please join us there if not. We have a lot of updated information since this article came out.

  61. Aloha

    Thank you very much for making this site. My cat was just diagnosed with IBD and is not yet home from the animal hospital, but I’m researching all I can to be prepared for the future.

    Appreciate all your research and help.

    Hugs and healthy thoughts to all the animal lovers here.

      1. Michelle I’m so sorry to hear this. My kitty Alex passed away in 2008 from sepsis of the pancreas due to pancreatitis. I’ve lost two more from IBD since then. she did not have surgery and neither did the others. I did the best I could with what I knew at the time. Medications, diet change, etc. Have you seen my website? Fortiflora is junk to be honest. It does not contain nearly enough probiotic strains to make a difference and the primary ingredient is animal digest which is disgusting. A raw diet is fabulous or even home cooked which I have information on my site about both. I know you’re scared, this is not easy. First, please look at this page of my site about probiotics: Also please join my support group on Facebook. I have almost 2,000 members who are extremely knowledgeable and supportive.

  62. We are newly dealing with what we believe is IBD, in our 6 year old, Mort. He is losing weight rather rapidly and we have to make quick decisions. Received our estimate today for surgery and we were advised we can do it Wednesday of this week, or not until the end of January. We are doing B12 injections and have started him on small amounts of kefir and fortaflora daily, and are researching raw diet. I am thinking he will have the surgery, I am just scared. I liked your article. It was honest and informative. Thanks

  63. I think this has to be one of the worse conditions a pet and pet parent can suffer from. I’m completely at a loss and feel like I’ll be making some very tough plans in the near future because NOTHING is working. She was diagnosed Feb 2015, but started developing it May 2014…….it took awhile to find out exactly what was going on. It doesn’t seem as well known here in AU as in US. It didn’t take long before she couldn’t deal with the special Hills diets – i/d and z/d. I managed to get her (at 13yrs old who had always refused it) onto raw meat. But fresh raw meat is another trick here. I can only get lamb, beef, chicken and sometimes goat. She refuses roo. I have tried pet probiotics, but they did nothing…..over here pet ones don’t have live cultures and are weak doses. So I tried an adult strain, but it doesn’t seem to have done much to help either. I did have her on a Colostrum mix which also had slippery elm in it. I tried a Homeopathic remedy – didn’t work. I tried a herbal mixture – didn’t work. I ended up having to put her on steriods a number of months ago, but now they aren’t working either. I’ve read about products in the US that are suppose to completely settle the inflammation so you can then start your fur baby on a proper diet to keep them stable. But because I’m an outsider, they completely ignored me when I contacted them to try and purchase the products.
    I’m willing to try anything to save her!!! I just don’t know what to do next.

    1. Shell I am so sorry. I agree. this condition is horrid and hell! What I want to know is what products you’re reading about that state that they can “settle the inflammation completely”. there is no such product Shell. I don’t want you to be fooled. There are many things that can be done to help and stabilize but there is no cure for this and even a product or person claiming that, it’s a lie I’m afraid. Are you on Facebook Shell? Can you join us there in the support group? We have quite a few people in Australia that can help you with getting products like the right foods, supplements. etc. The link for the group is: I also want to show you this from my website: If you can get the human grade probiotic strain called S. boularii there I have stop diarrhea instructions. Pet versions do nothing, you’re right.

  64. To everyone, I’m going to have to check this page more often if I can remember. I’m not getting all the responses in my email so I very much apologize if you responded to me and I didn’t answer. 🙁

  65. Hi Lisa,

    I just found your web site and would love to hear your thoughts on my situation, if you don’t mind. I’m rather at wit’s end with helping my poor IBD kitty, and am just not sure what to do at this point. Between trying to wean him off his medicine, changing to better quality foods, giving him holistic remedies, and trying to determine which proteins are best for him, I’m going out of my mind. Here’s what’s happening… 11 year old cat, Sammy, was diagnosed with IBD 1.5 years ago, and has been on Metronidazole since. At the same time, we started him on the Hills i/d food (though I was aware of its poor quality; I didn’t know what else to do). Both seemed to help, as the vomiting “only” occurred every couple of weeks. Then last Fall, he suddenly begin vomiting again. So I did more research and started him on three products from Vitality Science – Feline Comfort, Luxolite, and GI Distress. Worked like a charm, and he didn’t vomit again for 5 weeks. Shortly after that, i switched his food to Hound and Gatos, along with some of the Primal Foods raw meats (It’s been a real challenge because he’s extremely finicky, but he’s now been off the Hills i/d for 1-2 months). The Vitality Science folks suggested trying to wean him off the Metronidazole, with my vet’s ok. My vet was agreeable and suggested cutting back from the current 3x/week to 2x, then 1x, then none. But each time I try and think it’s going well, he vomits again within 2-3 weeks. I thought between the better quality food and the three products, I would be able to wean him off the meds, but is it possible I’ll never be able to cut out the medicine? I’m also in a quandary as to which proteins to feed and have no idea if this could be contributing to the problem. Some sources say any protein is ok for IBD cats as long as it is good quality and grain-free; other sources suggest staying away from the birds (chicken, turkey, duck, etc.) but then other recommendations say to stay away from fish, and others say beef can be an allergen (it makes my head spin!). The canned beef is the only flavor he ‘ll eat from Hound & Gatos (I just can’t get him to eat their Lamb, Pork, or Rabbit, and the others contain either chicken and/or fish). He goes wild for Primal’s freeze-dried raw (any flavor) but their proteins are limited, so if I need to stay away from poultry and fish, my only option there is to feed him the freeze-dried pork. I’m just not sure if I should avoid the chicken, turkey, or fish, and/or whether I should just continue with the meds AND the holistic products together, etc. Sorry to be so long-winded, but if you can share any insights, I would be most grateful! Thank you!

    1. Hi Laurie, to me you feed whatever protein they do well on. that’s it. The only thing I say is stay away from fish due to studies stating it can cause thyroid disease. Yep, not good for them at all. but do what you have to do to get him to eat. Also, have you considered a raw food diet? Homecooked? I have all that information on my ibdkitties website in the food section. I’m confused as to why your vet didn’t put your kitty on steroids yet. metronidazole shouldn’t be used long term. it can cause neurotoxicity in the liver. Laurie can you join my Facebook support group? It’s a large and very knowledgeable and wonderful group.

    2. Hi Lisa,

      I just read this article, found your website, and the song “Here comes the sun” just started playing in my head. I know, there are no miracle cures for kitty IBD, but just a place where someone has some useful information and advice is a gift. The vets don’t know how to help, and I’ve tried holistic and western vets. We have been suffering for several years ~ and it’s hell. My husband thinks I am crazy, and thinks I am unintentionally transferring stress to our kitty & causing her symptoms. Wants to put us both on Prozac. 🙂
      Kelly is 10, and has been getting progressively worse for 6 years. Last spring we decided to try a holistic vet. Despite my insistence that rotating her food seemed to help, the vet was emphatic that we not rotate her food (Wellness chix). So we didn’t. You can imagine how bad things got. We have tried probiotics, only to find (as you shared above) that she began to react to those too. Steroids changed her sweet personality completely ~ made her angry and aggressive towards her brother. Rounds of Metronidazole did help, but I do not want long term antibiotics if I can avoid it. By the end of the summer, she was having such a violent attack that she stopped eating completely. Went to the store, bout a slew of high quality, grain/gluten free foods ~ but nothing helped. Took her off the probiotic, still no better. Then my hubby gave her some raw chicken he was cutting for our dinner. She gobbled it up, and tolerated it ~ even had a solid poop. So after 2 days of that, we tried Instinct Raw Frozen Bites in addition to the Wellness chix. Helped for a bit, as usual. I am sure she has absorption issues because even the best stool she passes has the orange/tan color of the Wellness ~ like we put some of the food right in the litter box. Last fall, we began working with Vitality Science ~ Stephen has been wonderful and worked with me practically daily, but nothing helped. Last week he recommended we try rotating with a novel protein ~ he suggested kangaroo or wallaby. He couldn’t find any for cats, so he suggested Wild Calling kangaroo for dogs. We got it last night, not sure how it will go. Last week I brought her to the vet b/c she was VERY lethargic and her third eyes were showing. She had a temperature, but exam was otherwise “unremarkable”. Told vet history (he just bought practice from prior vet) and told him I do not want to use Hills or any other prescription food. He gave her some fluids with B’s and a shot of Convenia. She perked up, but still would not eat. I was afraid to change her food, because I thought it would make her worse ~ esp if raw wasn’t helping! Vet said to feed her anything she would eat, so I got a slew (again) of foods. She has been eating, stool is not as rancid as usual. Only had 3-4 diarrhea attacks, other stools are “squirty logs” as my hubby said.
      I tried joining your Facebook support group ~ but it’s closed. I am so in need of support. Help. 🙁


  66. Thanks, Lisa! I did try the raw but he just doesn’t seem to like it, even when I gradually introduce it by mixing with his current food. Tried different brands and different proteins, but no luck. He does seem to like the freeze-dried raw, though, so I “mix and match” between that and the canned. And I did join the FB group – just haven’t had much chance to log in but I definitely plan on it. 🙂

  67. Oops, also, regarding steroids….I thought steroids were more harmful long-term. Is it “safer” to be on those long-term than the Metronidazole? I wish I could take him off the medicine completely, but he’s been vomiting again now that I’ve reduced him to twice a week – even with all this probiotic stuff! Eergh.

    1. You could also try home cooked instead: And it’s hard to say about the steroids. Metronidazole was never meant to be used to blatantly and so long as the vets are doing. Pfizer states it in their literature and I’m not sure why that literature is constantly ignored but we often see neurotixicity because of it in the group. It depends on the steroid and how long it’s being used. but ask these questions in the group. they will help you for sure. glad you joined

  68. My cat first bump started on her left side by one of her nipple then it started developing more really close to each other lumpy feels hard mass and she also went bold in that area , she’s about 11years I’d say had her since she was a kitten she inside cat never been spayed nor babies., she’s sleeps all the time before the injection she’d look like she wasn’t feel good but seemed more comfortable then. Now she looks worse and made it worse ., I took her to the vet she was going bold eyebrows hair was thinning you could literally c her skin when she move, eye balls black where always huge. So I took her to the vet lady told me she’s wouldn’t recommend PAYIN ALL MY MONEY TO BUT HER THRU SURGERY REMOVING CANCEROUS TUMORS cuz they wouldn’t be all gone because she said it does look like it has spread cuz there was one single bump under her left arm pit. So she says you could but her down today or I could do a steroid injection cuz she was a lil uncomfortable wasn’t eating I had to bring the food to her so she says steroid injection would make her more comfortable and eating and I’d have like 3 weeks before to put her down so she was really wanting to do that cuz I was like can we do some blood test that wouldn’t necessary say what she exactly have she also said or you can do pain medication just for the pain, OR she said I could do both she recommended both , but there could be a bad reaction and make it worse so I said how often does a bad reaction where it makes her feel worse says she don’t know told me not much ., she was really rude I was asking questions of course., anyways so she gave her an injection right leg thigh area my cat screamed and pee in the cat carrier before walking outta the cottonwood hospital Utah more then once then gave pain medication also. Female DSH BREED BLACK AND WHITE . ( DEPOMEDROL STERIOD INJECTION sty / 1.00 20MGml ) and pain meds also SIMBADOL IN VAL SYRUP 0.3CC/2.5CC VAL EVERY 8-12 HOURS BY MOUTH give 0.2*ML/CCS//// RXNumber 164683 my cat started eating more yes just lasted a week in a half maybe if that now she looks worse now she is so skinny just touchen her side didn’t have no fat just rib that skinny sleepy but wouldn’t sleep now she not drinking water at all she loves water. And she seems depressed limpd or feel down after injection now when she goes to get up she looks lost wondering what she’s about to do next when she stands up for 5mins eats lays back down she looks like she dieing bad I’m just wondering with the injection and pain meds both is to much for her or not good for the cat!! ??.

    1. Jn, I’m confused by this post. I’m not sure really what you’re even asking me. Does your kitty have IBD? It doesn’t look like it. if this is cancer you need to see a specialist and very, very soon. Especially if your kitty is worse. Please don’t wait, if she’s that skinny time is limited. Please see an internal medicine specialist asap.

  69. Hello Lisa,

    First off, thank you for all your support on here and wonderful insight!

    Here is what is happening with my cat. He has had diarrhea and vomiting for years but I never thought much of it because I had two cats at that time and didn’t know which one was doing it – also it was naive on my part to not take it seriously. I must have thought that I have finicky cats with sensitive stomachs.

    Now I have just one cat and I realize it has been him that had the issues for years.. Long story short, he’s lost about 4 lbs in the past 4-5 months and now he’s down to just 8 and looking skin and bones. I took him to the vet and all tests came out normal! – repeated blood tests twice, did an X ray, and Ultrasound, and the GI blood tests for cobalamin, pancreas, and folates. Everything came back normal! The only other test the vet said I should do is a biopsy to rule out small cell lymphoma. I refuse to put him through surgery and spend approximately $3000 just to find out whether he has cancer or not – especially because I refuse to put him on chemotherapy. I believe in a holistic approach so even if he had cancer, I would still try to treat him with a combination of standard medicine and holistic treatments.

    The vet said I should put him on Hills and Royal canine hydrolyzed protein, and when I did, the very next day he vomited and had diarrhea worse than ever before and stopped eating and drinking water for 24 hrs afterwards. He looked lethargic and very sick. I started reading all I could about natural remedies, so I went online and ordered the following things that I want to get him started on:

    – Purina Fortiflora – has not arrived in the mail yet
    – Pet Flora from Vitality Science, Advanced Cat Immune Restoration / Cat Cancer Support from Vitality Science – these haven’t yet arrived in the mail yet either. See link here:
    – Premium Alaskan Salmon Oil – gave it to him twice but then stopped putting it in his food because he wasn’t interested in it
    – NuLife Natural Pet Health Probiotics – I’ve been putting this in his food since January 15th but I don’t see an improvement from it
    – Tylan capsules that the vet prescribed and I started giving him two days ago
    – TF Factor powder – started him on this a couple of weeks ago but now he’s not interested in his food when I mix it in, so I syringe feed him some of it daily
    – Essiac tea – made the tea and gave it to him one time only but his diarrhea got worse that night probably from the Rhubarb in it so I stopped. I then ordered the same formula but for pets, called NHV ES Clear. I have not started him on this yet.
    – Kitty Kaviar – treats that supposedly makes them eat when they refuse anything else. This hasn’t arrived in the mail yet but I’ll keep them as a back up plan just in case.
    – Stopped giving the following dry and canned foods that I used to rotate from time to time because he’d get tired of them: Royal Canine High Protein Selected diet (prescription food that I’ve had him on for months), Against the Grain Chicken & Pumpkin canned food, Petite Cuisine Tuna Entrees canned food (this I gave him till today because I didn’t know what else to feed him but since it has Carrageenan, I’m going to stop it asap!), Castor & Pollux Organiz grain-free canned food, Party Animal canned food, and possibly other grain-free brands that I can’t recall now.
    – I’ve just ordered him today two types of Nature’s Variety Grain-Free canned foods because I read they don’t contain Carrageenans.
    – I have given him raw, organic beef and lamb ground meet since Monday because he refused to eat food on Sunday and I freaked out. I have also gave him Petite Cuisine Tuna entrees, as mentioned before, but I’m going to stop that altogether.

    He is now on a small dose of Prednisone since March 1st and the Tylan capsules, raw meat, TF Factor powder whenever I can syringe feed it to him, NuLife Natural Pet Health Probiotics powder, and that Petite Cuisine Tuna food that I’m stopping today. Since starting the Prednisone and Tylan, his diarrhea got worse! It’s so watery that he can’t contain himself and leaks all over the house.

    What do you think I should administer to him from all these things I’ve ordered?

    Any advice will be greatly appreciated, and I’m sorry for the long message!

    Thank you very much!


    1. Hi Laura,
      I have been going through issues for years with my cat as well (see #167 above). After leaving info above I joined IBDkitties on facebook (Lisa’s support group), and also found Raw Feeding for IBD Cats group on Facebook. I STRONGLY suggest you do this. There are a lot of people with information, but the administrators of these sights in particular, have been unbelievable helpful. Everything has changed for Kelly in 3 weeks ~ for the positive. They have recommendations for holistic/natural approaches whenever possible, though sometimes starting with a mild med to get a jump on a condition then slowly weaning and transitioning to the natural approach works better for some cats.
      It is great news that everything came back normal from CBC, Chem panel and GI!!! You may be catching the situation before it progressed into a permanent, lifelong condition!!! Re the probiotics and supplements you listed above ~ please don’t open yet! I tried almost everything on your list ~ Vitality Science, Pet Flora, Fortiflora, Salmon oil, New Life, Essaic tea (made it here myself) ~ nothing worked ~ huge waste of money. There are specific probiotics and supplements that work for certain conditions, and how you introduce is also important. Again, having CBC/Chem/GI numbers will be super helpful, since the people in the fb groups will have a better profile of what you are dealing with. I began a recommended protocal last Saturday. I have asked a zillion questions, and posted long, long messages ~ they don’t care, they are there to help. I’ve gone on in an absolute panic, freaking out ~ everyone there has been there and understands. In the week that Kelly has been on this new protocol ~ wow ~ I have a new cat.
      I did CBC/Chem/GI 2 years ago and results were normal. I switched to a holistic vet, who then assumed that Kelly’s issues were allergies, and strongly recommended we stop rotating her proteins (which had always helped her). We kept her on a farily high end commercial wet chicken, and fairly high end commercial frozen raw food for the next 11 months. Unfortunately, this was the worst thing we could have done since the issue was not allergies, but immune response (leaky gut type of thing) to a protein after a few weeks of being on it. Not vets fault, since they are trained to find and treat disease. We don’t want to wait until the GI irritation causes organs to shut down, causing a diagnose-able disease ~ but that’s why (in my opinion) most vets can not/do not help us. Right after Christmas, Kelly developed explosive, liquid diarrhea that would not go away no matter what we tried. The smell has always been able to make your eyes tear, but it was so bad ~ it was waking us up from a dead sleep, 1 floor above the litter box. No natural treatments nor meds were helping. She developed a fever and I was more scared than ever. Vet gave her a shot, some B12 and sub-q fluids, helped a tiny bit for a day or two, then she declined again. That is when I wrote above and joined fb groups. I insisted on another panel of CBC/Chem/GI. CBC/Chem all normal except eosinophils and Basophils were high ~ not dramatically high though. Got GI results back yesterday, all normal except Cobalamine (B12). So we are dealing with either just IBD or cancer (lymphoma). Re cancer and chemo, I hear ya. I have always been passionately against any chemo treatment or medication for my babies. Not willing to do biopsy either, so going to treat as IBD and see how she responds. Many people have added Leukeran just in case, (since often lymphoma is slow growing), and say their cats are doing really well. I will have to read more about the options/side effects if she doesn’t respond to IBD protocol. Personal decision for all of us.

      Anyway, you get my point. Before groups ~ felt like I was hiking uphill in the mud ~ trying my hardest, and not getting anywhere. Now, the path is dry, and I have a foothold. Still have a climb, but we’re making forward progress. Good luck, whatever you decide to do. Sorry you too are going through this. Hugs!!

      1. Hello Patty,

        Thank you so so much for your comment and sharing with me your own struggles with you kitty! It sounds like both of our cats have pretty similar situations – suffering for years, having tried holistic things and western medicine, having put them on raw food but also a slew of other foods, etc. I do not know what the solution is, and sometimes I think that if I had spent more money on further testing, maybe the vets will find the real cause of his health issues. Maybe it’s some rare cat virus that it’s not identifiable in regular blood tests; maybe it is indeed small cell lymphoma, or maybe it’s a whole other disease that it’s very hard to detect through the tests we’ve done on them so far. But who has that kind of money, time, and nerves to keep returning to the vet over and over again? I’m expecting a baby in 2.5 months, so I can only imagine how much less time and energy I’ll have left to try to discover the real cause of my cat’s health problems, and so much less money and time to try to find a cure. I’m really worried and frankly this is wearing me down.

        I am going to search those FB groups that you recommended but not before I get the exact test results from the vet so that I can show the numbers to them if needed. I really appreciate your help and please do stay in touch if you make progress with you cat and I will do the same! We might figure something out together 🙂 Two days ago I have started putting some organic psyllium husk in his wet food to try to harden up his stools. His stools are now a little like what your husband says, haha, “squirty logs” – which is an improvement from totally watery stools. Not sure if it’s from the psyllium or if the Tylan antibiotic is finally kicking in. I don’t plan to keep him on that antibiotic for long as I don’t believe in staying on antibiotics long term – I’m just testing it out to see if it helps but if it doesn’t, I’ll take him off of it. I’m also not going to switch him to Metronidazole either. I hate giving him the Predinisone but I’ll have to finish the entire dose because I can’t just take him off of it all of the sudden.

        Wishing you lots of luck! Warm hugs to you too,


      2. Laura I wrote an entire response to you last night and it’s not even here. I’m so sorry! The FB group I’d like you to join is mine, I’m not sure why that response to you isn’t here. And also I wanted to mention that there are also tests for EPI (exocrine pancreatic insufficiency) and SIBO (small bacterial infection). Please don’t want to join us in the group. we have over 2,000 members that are extremely knowledgeable. Please also read this page of my site about using a probiotic strain called s. boulardii:

    2. Laura Fortiflora is junk. If you can cancel that order I would. It’s got animal digest in it which is disgusting and the little probiotic in it, barely touches the problem. You want human grade probiotics Also, EPI (exocrine pancreatic insufficiency) is not included in the blood tests you did and we’re seeing a lot more of it. SIBO (small bacterial overgrowth) also is not included in that test. those can cause kitty to keep losing weight also and become skin and bones. A raw food diet is best, or home cooked. If you can’t do those, grain free, low carb, high quality protein, no soy wet food only.

      Please join us in my Facebook group. we have a large group of very knowledgeable members there:

      1. Hello Lisa,

        Thank you for your response! I’ve just asked to join your group and now I’m waiting to be accepted.

        I feel at the end of my energy with my cat, and as much as I adore him I think I have to find him a new home. His pooping outside of his box (soft drips or simply pooping outside of the box) and whenever I leave a towel or rug or anything on the floor, he’ll think it’s fair game to piss on it. He must have learnt this behavior of peeing on things on the floor from the small dog I used to have years ago that would go on pee pee pads when I would be at home. So between having to figure out what is wrong with his health and administering all these meds to him and probiotics, and cleaning the bathroom floor twice a day from poop and not being able to have any rugs on the floor, I simply cannot do it anymore. I just can’t. And it’s killing me because I love him and do not want to give him up – and who would even take him?? I’m expecting a baby in 2 months so imagine the nightmare that it would be to have to deal with the cat while raising a new born baby! I won’t have time nor patience to have to clean after the cat’s feces or urine, having to medicate him, etc. What am I do to?? I’m literally desperate and in tears. Who do I give him to? I cannot just put him to sleep – I would never be able to do that. I don’t know who would adopt a kitty with GI issues – let alone one who needs so much cleaning after. Help!

      2. oh Laura, I don’t know what to say to that. That’s a very tough spot to be in. PLEASE join my support group Laura. My father is in the hospital right now and I’m unfortunately not on the computer much right now. If you join the group you have almost 2,000 people there with very good knowledge and support and I’m sure someone has been in this spot!

  70. Hi,
    My cat had the same symptoms – on/off vomiting for the past two years. I would bring him to the vet. Did an ultrasound but results showed a slightly enlarged pancreas. So vet diagnosed as pancreatitis and put him on a low fat diet. He was also on the heavy side. And was put on meds. The vomiting would flare every couple of months. His appetite was good, never lost any weight.

    Last month, he had another vomit episode and this time it was bloody. Decided to go for an endoscopy and he was dura used with lymphoma of the stomach and intestine.

    I believe that he was misdiagnosed and probably had IBD, which eventually led to his lymphoma.

    Please be careful on nutrition. I’m no expert but a grain free diet, high protein and low carb is probably good. And yes try to alternate with wet food – chicken perhaps.

    Get your cat to the vet and check for other diseases if he continues with symptoms. Supplement with probiotics is good. But please get your cat to the vet to check on his overall health.

    My cat won’t make it but I hope my story will help others.

  71. We rescued at 4-5 yr. old male cat KC two years ago. He has been vomiting and pulling out his hair for the entire time. Having no previous history, our vet diagnosed IBD, but nothing seems to be working including changing food at least 8-10 times and using Budesonide on his food daily. Any suggestions? Blood work, ultrasound shows a healthy 18 lb. cat…………………help!

    1. Hello Judy,

      My cat had good blood work too, and ultrasound didn’t show anything abnormal, yet his stools were watery, smelly, and he’d vomit bile all the time and lost a lot of weight. I never checked him for small cell lymphoma because I didn’t want to put him through the biopsy and spend God-knows how many thousands of dollars on the procedure. Instead, I decided that I had to switch his diet and eliminate all foods with ingredients I cannot pronounce, carrageenans, prescription foods, etc., and put him on a raw food diet mixed with a brand of canned food that it’s clean and simple (Nature’s Variety).

      Additionally, I’ve put him on a low dose of Prednisone for a month (slowly tapered) to help with IBD. After one month, the vet decided it would not hurt to continue with the steroid but switch him to Prednisolone instead. I’ll give him the Prednisolone for another month or two and then take him to the doctor to check him for diabetes (as I worry that steroids could cause diabetes)

      His diet now is a mix of Nature’s Variety canned food (it contains no carrageenans and is 95% protein) mixed with some enzyme powder (whatever enzymes you want to buy), one capsule of Nutricology Saccharomyces Boulardii, Vegicaps, and some raw food I’ve made at home for him. I’m slowly transitioning him to an all home-made raw food diet. His stools are now hard, he’s gained some weight back, his coat is looking better and smoother, and he’s got his energy and playfulness back. On rare occasion he still vomits clear, foamy liquid stuff, but that’s still a huge improvement from him vomiting almost every day, dark bile and food. The doctor had recently also had me give him B-12 shots (1 per week for a total of 5 weeks for now) just in case he needs the extra boost of energy.

      I hope this helps and keep us posted on the progress you make with your kitty!

      1. KC will not open his mouth to take a pill so the vet suggested opening the capsule and sprinkling it on dry cat food moistened with a little water.

  72. I am happy to see a forum dedicated to this topic, and it is immensely hard having a fur baby with this disease. My Burmese cat, Ozzy, has been throwing up since he was 9 months old. He just turned 4. I have switched up foods wet, dry, grain free, veterinarian, only one thing results…chronic puking.

    Within the last 2 weeks I ran all the tests except biopsy to rule out IBD, and surprisingly his blood work came back negative. His B12 levels were good, too. Based on everything the vet and I discussed, we’re trying him on prednisilone. I’m on day 3 now. He’s getting 1 ml daily. He’s vomited 2-3 times each day. This happens about 3-5 hours after eating. I usually have him on Zantac 75, up to 1/2 pill daily which works well. I stopped it when I started this treatment.

    I’m going to try probiotics mixed with flaxseed to help boost fiber and overall vitamins. Any other recommendations? Thankfully he does not have diarrhea…just chronic vomiting. My gut tells me steroids aren’t the cure.

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