17 July 2022
Filed under Pets, Topaz   No Comments

So, back in April, I brought home the sweetest Maine Coon kitten that was, at that time, about 5 months old. His name is Topaz! He’s now 8,5 months old, and he started showing symptoms of a possible health issue 3 weeks after his arrival – his stool suddenly became soft and bloody, and it’s been happening for several weeks now.

We seem to have finally figured out that he might be sensitive to one (or more) ingredient that’s specific to kibble. I’ve been doing a lot of research lately about cat nutrition, IBD, IBS and lymphoma – some health concerns that could cause those symptoms he’s been having, and I’ve wanted to keep a diary for myself in order to keep track of the things I’ve tried, what has worked and what hasn’t. I realized I should do it publicly, as whatever I discover might be helpful for other pet parents out there.

Food log: April – July

April: Royal Canin Kitten (Sachet), Farmina N&D Chicken & Pomegranate (without grains), Farmina N&D Chicken & Pomenegrate (with grains)

Topaz was born in a cattery in Poland, and his breeder told me his diet consisted of Royal Canin Kitten (sachet) and Farmina N&D Chicken & Pomegranate (without grains). Naturally, I screwed it up by buying the wrong version of the kibble, which had grains. I only noticed this about two weeks after his arrival. According to her, he wasn’t a big fan of kibble, so he would mostly eat the sachet. I worked with him so that he slowly transitioned into eating more kibble instead, and eventually removed the sachet from his diet. That was also when I realized he was eating the wrong kibble, and I transitioned him back into the grain-free version of it. A few days after the transition was fully done and he was no longer eating the sachet, he started having soft stool with some blood on it.

We had been communicating with his Brazilian vet at that point, and, since the diarrhoea had’t started until a few weeks after his change of home, it was likely not stress related – it probably had something to do with the food.

May: Royal Canin Gastrointestinal

My previous kitten, Louie, benefited quite a bit from this kibble when I treated him for giardia – a treatment that lasted months and was very rough on his gut. So I decided to try this with Topaz, too, and it didn’t help at all.

June: Purina Pro Plan Hydrolyzed

Recommended by vets. I read a bit about how hydrolyzed kibble could be an ideal first step into figuring out if the issues Topaz was having were related to some type of food allergy, so I agreed to try it… it didn’t work.

Early July: Royal Canin Kitten (sachet), Purina Pro Plan Hydrolized, S. Boulardii + MOS

I’m embarrassed that it took me 3 months to realize Topaz was doing perfectly well when most of his diet consisted of wet food. I didn’t know enough then to understand that kibble often comes with a lot of additives that aren’t present in wet food, and its longer list of ingredients makes it more difficult to figure out what’s not agreeing with him. So I slowly transitioned him back into the sachet he was eating before, with the goal to completely eliminate kibble from his diet.

Alas, eliminating kibble proved to be quite difficult, because he was still hungry after eating 3 sachets a day. I continued to give him some kibble through the day, in between meal times, and started adding a tiny bit of S. Boulardii + MOS supplement to his wet food twice a day. It temporarily worked – for about 2 weeks, his stools firmed up and the blood was gone. It slowly came back, so we gave up on the kibble.

Late July: Royal Canin Kitten (sachet)

We have now entirely removed kibble from his diet, and he’s getting 4 sachets a day instead of 3, since he’s always hungry. He’s not getting any type of supplements, no treats, nothing besides the sachets. He’s doing grand – no soft stools anymore, no blood.

Next steps

I’ve been in Brazil since I adopted him, and I’m finally traveling back to France next week. I intend to try different kibbles until I narrow down the list of ingredients that he’s allergic to.

Upcoming food trials:
Edgard & Cooper – Their 2 canned recipes that don’t have any chicken;
Canagan – Their cat kibble that doesn’t have any chicken.

So we’re going for the novel protein now. I don’t know if chicken is an issue, since Royal Canin Kitten (sachet) has it and Topaz seems to do well on it. I’d rather change it, though, since it doesn’t seem to be the best nutrition wise. I hope it goes well! I’ll come back and share the results in a couple of months.

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