How I Cured My Cat’s Diarrhea (and Saved His Life)

When a cat begins vomiting more frequently, or having diarrhea, many cat owners become nervous; myself included. Often we begin internet search before a vet visit, or after one if the vet has no or few answers for us. Early in 2008, both my cats began vomiting a few times a week and, more upsetting, my 13 year old Persian cat started having chronic diarrhea. Here is my in-depth account about how I cured my cat of his chronic diarrhea. I made one change to his diet and the diarrhea never returned.

Oscar in January, before being switched to raw food. His fur, once fluffy, was now stringy and unhealthy looking.

Oscar in January, before being switched to raw food. His fur, once fluffy, was now stringy and unhealthy looking.

A vet prescribed antibiotic, but the diarrhea only went away for 2 days and returned midway through the antibiotic treatment. The vet said if the antibiotic didn’t help, he would need to start performing tests for more serious ailments and it could be anything, even cancer. But I thought before going that route, I’d start researching cat food to get a better idea of what I was feeding them.

I had been feeding them Nutro dry and canned for years, and although I knew it wasn’t the healthiest brand available, I was comfortable with it because it was more healthy than the grocery store brands and one of the best at PetSmart.

After some research, I tried to switch him to California Natural, which was marketed as being free of fillers and better for “sensitive systems.” I started learning that cats bodies can start to reject a food that is fed to them too long, and their bodies can become “allergic” to it. No vet had ever said anything like that to me. I would later learn about IBD (Irritable bowel disease).

My cat’s diarrhea and vomiting did not improve even after a very slow, very careful switch to California Natural. The more reading I did, the more I kept seeing the phrases “grain free” and “raw food.” At first, I scanned completely over any article that said “raw” because that seemed too far off the deep end to me. I also didn’t think you could feed RAW food to a cat that was having diarrhea…after all, the vet had prescribed antibiotics because of bacteria, so how could I give my cat bacteria laden raw food?!

Then one day I stumbled upon a post from a cat owner on a pet forum whose cat was having the same symptoms as mine – diarrhea every day, vomiting every few days. She gave her cat raw food one day, and the diarrhea stopped that very same day. She said one month later, the diarrhea had not returned. Wow. If the result was that immediate for her, maybe I could give it a try. If the seemingly best commercial cat food out there (California Natural) and raw food didn’t help, then I’d go back to the vet for those tests.

I researched and researched raw food for cats and found a site by a veterinarian that explained it fully. She explained how to make it at home and even recommended a couple of pre-made brands that she felt were the next best thing if you really didn’t want to make it yourself. So I thought I’d buy one of these brands just to see if there was any change in my cat.

Here's Oscar in summer, just 5 months after being switched to raw food (Nature's Variety). His fur is fluffy and healthy and blowing in the breeze!

Here’s Oscar in summer, just 5 months after being switched to raw food (Nature’s Variety). His fur is fluffy and healthy and blowing in the breeze!

The brand I bought was Nature’s Variety. Rest assured I don’t sell this food, I simply love the brand for saving my cat. They sell three pound bags of one-ounce medallions. My cat, being a small 8 pounds, would need about 3 medallions a day. I defrosted one and put it in his bowl. Much to my surprise, Oscar–who had always been an OK eater but not an enthusiastic one–wolfed this medallion down like it was his first meal in weeks, then stared at me waiting for more! He had NEVER been that excited to eat in his life, except maybe the day I found him in a cold alley in Chicago during the winter of 1997. He never wolfed down aroma filled canned food or even dry food that fast. I couldn’t believe it and quickly defrosted another medallion for him, which was again wolfed down. My other cat wanted nothing to do with this weird raw food but I didn’t care about that right now, he was more healthy than Oscar.

So I sat back and waited, and watched. At this point, about two months after Oscar’s diarrhea had begun, he was leaving me about 5 runny piles per day (all over the house!); so I didn’t have to wait long. For the rest of the day there was no diarrhea. The next morning, he used the litter box and left a mushy, but almost solid dropping. The next day, completely solid. And that’s it. I kept feeding him Nature’s Variety raw, and the diarrhea and vomiting NEVER returned!

I got another surprise, too. Being a Persian cat, Oscar at one time was very fluffy. He hadn’t been fluffy for years, and I attributed that to his age. I had told vets that he had lost his fluff, but none of them ever said anything about it or seemed worried about it. Two weeks after Oscar’s start on raw, I looked at him one day and said to my friend, “am I crazy or does Oscar look a little fuller in his coat?”

One month later there was no mistaking it – Oscar’s fluffy undercoat was growing back for the first time in years!!! He was also more energetic. He was playing again. He was singing songs and chasing “ghosts.” He was a kitten again, at the ripe age of 13! Here I had been crying, thinking he was so old his body was failing him…thinking the tests at the vet would be so expensive I’d have to put him to sleep because I wouldn’t be able to afford care. And all I needed to do, for now, was change his diet.

So what had happened? Oscar had either become allergic to the food I’d fed him for so long, or his body could no longer break down and process any nutrition from dry food or even processed canned…possibly due to age. But I am now convinced that I hadn’t been giving his body the proper source of nutrients. He is a cat and I was not feeding him like one. And the entire pet food industry made me feel like I was feeding him the best. My friends and I had sworn by Nutro canned and dry for years. My cat was simply one of those cats that could not handle processed foods.

There are many options in feeding cats raw food. Click here to learn about the different ways to feed raw to cats. Some cats do fine on dry and canned food. But some cats don’t, and I would recommend all owners of cats suffering from diarrhea, allergies, and IBD to try raw food. It is unprocessed and grain-free, and it might be just what your cat needs.

There are also some natural treatments for diarrhea in cats that can be given instead of, or in conjunction with, antibiotics. These include probiotics and slippery elm, safe treatments you can buy today at a vitamin store.

172 thoughts on “How I Cured My Cat’s Diarrhea (and Saved His Life)

  1. […] You might find, as I did with my cat, that even grain free kibble does not end the diarrhea. The only cure for him was raw food, and I hope you’ll consider looking into that option if nothing else helps. (You can also try […]

    • says:

      Hello I am hoping for a miracle!!
      Harley was found under a car with her eyes sealed shut from the mucus. She quite literally had three paws in the grave. The fellow who initially rescued her took her to the vet where she was given drops for her eyes and she was dewormed. Unfortunately the fellow gave her crème and I was told that was when the severe diarrhea started. He was going to put her down so I took her as I thought with my heart rather than my head.
      When I met Harley she was tiny and her back end was covered with her poop; she was a very stinky kitty! I took her to our vet who kept her for a couple of nights for some intensive treatment. Unfortunately while she was not as stinky the results were not what the vet had hoped for. Since then she has been on three antibiotics and resonantly something for IBS. Nothing seems to be working. I have also been giving her probiotics. The vet thought she was about six weeks old and that was at the end of October. She is also on a vet diet of Royal Canine for digestive issues
      I am getting close to the point of giving up. However she has a huge appetite and loves to eat she is growing and besides the stinky back end which I have to bath regularly she is a mystery. I just read your posts and I am really hoping that switching her to raw freeze dried food will be the answer or the next step will be to put her to sleep. I feel very badly about this and I honestly don’t know if I will be able to follow through.
      Hoping for miracle,

      • Good luck! I would just try raw if I were you, but freeze dried raw might work too. You could even just start with little bits of raw chicken, but you can’t feed that for long because it isn’t nutritionally balanced. Good luck!!!

        • says:

          The diarrhea has stopped since giving the freeze dried food, however she seems very hungry still. This might be because she was used to having dried kibble available to her all of the time.

          There is a lot less poop and it looks appears formed which it never has before.

          Is there anything else that I could give in between her feedings to satisfy her hunger?

          • Well, she’s eating less carbs so seeming hungry is to be expected. Can you get the actual raw? What about some grain-free cat food? Good news about the poopers!!!!

          • I tried her on grain free a while back. It seemed a little better then but not by much. I just noticed today that her poop looks like it is getting soft again. But there still is a lot less of it. I read some where that a little plain yogurt before meals might also help.

            Where did you get the food that you tried on your cat? I live in Canada so perhaps it not available here.

            Thank you for your suggestions!

          • Shauna, according to the website, Nature’s Variety is sold in Canadian stores. Good luck!

      • my cat same thing.. i fed her ground chicken mixed with pumpkin, yogurt and a bit of apple cider vinegar..the next day she was up back to normal clean.. the vet gave her pills which in turn made her not be able to walk.. shed take a step and fall.. so i stopped those. i thought she was gonna die so i tried this mix, and just like that.. so shes been eating it ever since.. oh rice to with the mix

    • Hello! I want to start by saying how grateful I am to people like yourself and others who give so selflessly of advice that can save lives and give hope to those who’s hearts are breaking. I hope you are blessed a thousand fold! The change is your beautiful Oscar is amazing! Thank you so much.

      My baby boy Marshall is 17 yrs. old and has had undiagnosable diarrhea and some vomiting for years. I have done everything imaginable and have been able to pull him through twice, but for the past 3 weeks he Is getting worse, diarrhea about 4 to 5 times per day, but as always thin and hungry as a horse. My question is I believe my baby has always been “hypertyroidish” and while high protein, low carb is the….cat’s meow for hypothyroid/diabetes, I am wondering if you know if this diet may be wrong for hyper kitties? I have never wanted to be more wrong about something than I am right now. My babies are my life, I can’t imagine loving anything more, they are the reason I get up everyday. I sit here in tears of hope and sadness. Right now I am feeding him Evolve with a small amount of canned mixed with probiotics, stomach comfort, and marshmallow. Nothing works past a day or so. Also I do have liquid slippery elm, would that be the same as the dry? Once again THANK YOU and to everyone who has continued to reply! I don’t know how I missed this forum in the past, I am so glad I found it. Huggs and Hope to everyone. Donna.

  2. What a great story. I’m so glad to hear that a change in diet fixed up your boy’s problems. The difference in his coat is truly amazing – he looks quite sickly in the before pictures and very healthy in the after pictures.

    It can be difficult to wrap ones head around the idea of feeding raw at first – the idea of bacteria seems kind of contrary to good health until you stop and think about what cats evolved eating (and ate regularly up until the pet food industry really took hold a few years back.)

    I know diet can’t cure everything, but I’m always amazed at how many chronic illnesses do get turned around by switching to a raw diet and dumping the commercial food.

    • Agreed, Anlina. I read just two days ago about an overweight cat who was diagnosed with diabetes. His owner put him on raw, and the cat is now FREE of diabetes! That shocked even me…I had always assumed feline diabetes could only be treated, not cured.

      You have a great blog; I think I will add it to my links here tonight :-)

  3. I had recently rescued 2 cats. One was experiencing diarrhea. Soon after the other one did as well. The rescue had given us antibiotics thinking they had Giardia, a common stomach bug in cats. It had no effect. After a few incidences of uncontrollable defecation we looked online for a solution and found this site. We were feeding them what the rescue had been feeding them which is Natural Balance. We switched to the Natures Variety raw food diet, as well as supplemental dry food and the response was incredible. After only a few days the diarrhea was getting better. Besides that, they absolutely love it. They eat like it’s their last meal. And after a week they had completely solid stools. Also, there is a remarkable improvement in their coats which is also amazing. They are silkier and softer than before, and no accidents around the house.

    Thank you Go Fetch Gifts. Your testimonials saved our cats. And our couch!

    • Jeff that is so great to hear! Just curious, why do you include dry food? Do you feed it separately from the raw? (Some raw feeders recommend feeding raw food in morning and dry at night if you wish to feed both, because raw food is digested within a few hours while dry food takes 8-12 hours to digest.)

      Another note, remember that variety is key. Recently, Oscar started refusing the pre-made raw after over a year of eating it. He liked all the flavors, but Rabbit was his favorite so he got that more often than the rest. In some cats, it can backfire to feed them just one food. He started to develop some dandruff and his coat again was less fluffy. So I am now feeding him variety every day of actual raw food – chicken, veal, turkey, gizzards, heart, liver, and soft chicken bones. After about a two weeks of getting him lots of variety, his coat is fluffy again!

      So don’t get stuck in a rut. Give them all the flavors, give them some real raw, some kibble if you want (I don’t recommend it, but if it doesn’t hurt them, the extra variety is good), and some grain free canned if they want.

      Thank you so much for letting me know this worked for you. Do you know anything about the cats history? I wonder if they have IBD (irritable bowel disease) and the previous owner couldn’t deal with it….or if they had been strays eating raw for a while and couldn’t handle going back to processed foods? Or…….?

  4. Thank you so much for the story about Oscar. We rescued Molly, a 4 year old Persian, from our local vet because the owner was going to put her down. She has been diagnosed with IBS. She is such a sweetheart but looks absolutely pitiful. She weighs only 4 lbs and the picture of Oscar before Natures Variety is pretty much what she looks like now. Her diarrhea is so severe that we are having to keep her locked up in the bathroom. The medicine the vet gave us helped for a day or two and we tried to bring her into the living room for long periods of time to acclimate her to the family. But then the diarrhea returned with a vengeance She is now once again holed up in the bathroom. I went to a local all natural pet food store and they gave me free samples of the Natures Variety raw food. By reading your testimonial and seeing the before and after pictures of Oscar- I am very encouraged. I will no longer be giving her the medicine from the vet and will start using the medallions tonight. I will keep you posted!

    • Oh my Cheryl, I wish you and poor Molly luck! In my research, I have found many articles that state tests that while not official or published yet, do suggest that raw food is the best therapy for cats with IBS. I have also come across many that claim the same about the possibility that non-domestic breeds such as Persians, Himalayans, Siamese etc are more prone to IBS. I certainly attract a lot of google searches regarding Persians with diarrhea!

      Chances are Molly’s body might tell her she needs this food. If she isn’t drawn to it however, please start mixing into her canned food (if she eats canned). If she only eats dry and doesn’t like canned, I would suggest buying Nature’s Variety Freeze Dried medallions. You can crumble them up in with her dry food and then gradually switch her over to raw (or canned and then raw) with the freeze dried in there. This is how I switched my other kibble-addicted cat over to raw, which he now loves without the freeze-dried mixed in. (But, it took MONTHS.)

      I will be thinking about you and hope to hear back from you!

  5. Hello there,
    I really enjoyed reading the wonderful story about Oscar and I’m so happy for him that he is a healthy beautiful playful looking fella!
    I recently took one of my cats to the vet, yes I will admit she is a tad overweight. They x-rayed her and told me she had arthritis in her back knees and hips – 7yrs old, then the vet prescribed a terrible diet of pallet food and two types of medicine I had to give her daily. After one week of this I would wake up at night hearing her vomit prefusely and it would be all over the house. I called the Vet and they said it must be something else not the medicine, anyway I didnt believe them so I stopped giving her the medicine and have been feeding her normal food again, vomit has now stopped. My other cat vomits on a regular basis -6 years (once or twice weekly) but never appears sick and I’ve always wondered why. Reading your story tonight has made me realise things for both of my cats, firstly that the medication given to me for my first cat is probably a bad thing for her and secondly that my other cat who vomits regurarly obviously has issues with commercial pet food in his belly. Being that I’m in Australia I have no idea where to try and get some raw cat food, would you suggest pet shops or the supermarket?
    Also exactly what is the raw food, what type of meet or vegetable?

    Thanks I appreciate any advice you can give me! I love my cats and I want them to love their food and not get sick, don’t you just wish they could talk! :)

    • Hi Karen,

      What type of medicine did the vet give you? Sometimes meds will make them sick, yes…were the meds to be used temporarily or forever?

      Did you do a search to see if any pet stores around you sell healthy pet food? You might have to buy it online if no stores do. The supermarket won’t sell commercial raw cat food, but if your cats take to raw you can buy raw meat from the supermarket to feed them. This would be called the Prey model of raw feeding. Most of the diet is just plain raw meat. Usually it’s best to start with chicken, but SOME rare cats are allergic to chicken. You can also feed them lamb, turkey, rabbit, or even beef, although one of my cats cannot stomach beef and that is common. You’d need to include some raw heart as well, and liver and bone. 80% of the food is meat, 10% is organs, and 10% is bone. (My cat took to chewing up small raw chicken breast bone nicely.)

      Cats do not need any fruits or vegetables.

      Please visit this site to learn more about this diet: Note that some people grind the meat like she does, but I never did. I just cut up the meat, organ, and bone and fed to my cats. Right now however, I feed the Nature’s Variety or another ground mix that I buy online from a shop called Hare Today.

  6. Thank you for sharing the great story about Oscar.

    I have a 1 1/2 year old kitty, Sarah, that I adopted from a shelter. She has always been such a joy – playful and loving with tons of personality, but a total fussy pants princess.

    When I first brought her home she would not eat more than a bite or two of anything, and that with a lot of coaxing. After trying everything on the market I found that she would eat best super premium/natural canned and packet foods that are either whole fish in jelly or nuggets in gravy. She ate this for a few months, and then switched to high-protein dry food like Orijen. Still, she often turned her nose up at the same food she gobbled down the day or week before. She always won these food stand offs, she was willing to go many more days without eating than I was willing to let her. I was constantly switching up her foods trying temp her appetite and to find something she would eat consistently.

    I thought that I was doing the best possible for her feeding her only varieties of all natural, no by product, no trash canned and dry foods.

    In the last few months she has been eating well but her personality began to be subtly different, she became increasingly less playful and spent more time alone. She got very bad fleas, and I originally thought she was uncomfortable and this caused her personality change. Then, I discovered an usual swollen condition in a few of her paw pads. A vet helped me diagnose the condition: a rare autoimmune/blood disorder called plasmacytic pododermatitis that there is no standard treatment for.

    I went into a flurry of research, and saw many miraculous stories like this about cats turning around from changing their diet to raw. I thought that it wouldn’t make a difference, I was already feeding her “the best” foods, but my research did not turn up any other good solutions and I had to do something.

    I bought some chicken thighs, chopped them and mixed in a bit of canned tuna (fish is still her favorite). She LOVED this. Ate it all, ran into the living room, and started playing. By the next day the difference in her energy level was so noticeable that even my boyfriend (very skeptical of all “natural” cures) agreed.

    Two weeks later, she eats well and more than ever. Her personality is back to normal, she follows us around the house looking for things to play with. I am absolutely amazed at the difference! I have not seen any change in her swollen paws yet, but I realize that the change may take some months and am hopeful that her condition will improve.

    Again, thank you for sharing and I hope that my story may also inspire someone. -Jane

  7. Thank you so much for this. I am going today after work to buy this food. My cat is about 13 yrs old and for the past month (maybe longer) he has had diarrhea multiple times a day and vomits almost every day. We took him to the vet multiple times. He has been given fluids 2 or 3 times and has had blood tests done. No vet can tell us what is wrong. We’ve tried 2 kinds of medicine (tetracycline & prednisone.) We have tried “special” food from our vet, but he didn’t like it. And if he did eat it, it didn’t help. He is strictly an indoor cat and this was a sudden change. He diet has always been the same. He was overweight, but over the past few months he has thinned. He now looks so thin and frail. The last vet we took him to said it might be cancer, so she recommended an x-ray. Until now I have left all his care with my parents, but this is taking such a toll on our family, that I just had to search extensively online. I am so glad I found this site. I hope this works; I don’t believe he has cancer, I think the vets just want to give us an answer so we can try something different. I will definitely be posting again. Keep your fingers crossed! I am wondering if we should stop giving him his medication and see if the food cures him. Anyone know?

    • Marlene, good luck with your cat. What breed is it? If you have trouble switching over to raw, switch to canned first. You can mix canned and dry; You can mix canned and raw; You cannot mix raw and dry. However, you can put freeze-dried raw into dry and that helped me switch over my kibble addict cat by mixing it into the raw. He thought he was getting kibble.

      • One more thing Marlene – in the very beginning stages of Oscar getting sick, my experience was the same as yours. Blood tests normal, cancer a possibility. He never had cancer, he just wasn’t digesting nutrition from processed foods. If you see a big change after the raw, then yes you should try to wean him off the meds. But talk to your vet just to be sure. Those meds can reduce appetite!!

  8. janet carter says:

    My male 9 year old cat was diagnosed with diabetes 17 months ago.
    He was eating Science Diet cat food. I searched the web for an alternative to insulin as he was not a good candidate for needles or regular visits(has an attitude)
    I changed his food to Arusha (raw diet) Turkey for cats. Harvey is thriving. He is still chubby but alive and kickin. Please consider raw diet to help your cat if he is diagnosed. I did and Harvey is here with me for me to tell the story.
    Just a little ditty for you :)
    Janet and Harv the happy kitty

    • Janet, I just wrote an article regarding raw food for diabetes and found that insulin can be eliminated when the carbs take off the weight. Did you reduce the amount of insulin when the amount of carbs went down? That is important. Congrats to finding a great cure for your young 9 year old!!! And be sure to give him other meats than just turkey. Variety is important or he may one day become intolerant to the turkey.

  9. Well he didn’t take to the food like I hoped. I tried feeding it to him tonight, but he really just licked it and maybe at a little bit. So I mixed some of his usual canned food in, and he ate a bit more. I think he may be expeirencing a reduce in his appetite. He looked very frail and dehydrated today, so tomorrow he’ll go to the vet for fluids. I am definately going to keep trying the raw food. I do believe it will help him. I guess we will just have to go at his pace. I’m going to continue to be hopeful!

    • Did you get Nature’s Variety? Yes just keep mixing it into canned food slowly to try to get him switched over. Raw food has a lesser smell than most canned foods, so some kitties need to get used to it. Good luck to you!!! Are you on Twitter or Catster? Have you had x-rays done?

  10. Yes I got Nature’s Variety. I really hope he gets use to a raw diet. He is actually at the vet right now getting fluids and xrays done. And I am on twitter: MScott1027. It is so nice to find a place where other people are going through similar situtations! And the fact that this is a current board and people are still posting is even better! Thanks for all the helpful advice!

  11. I am so sorry to read about Oscar. I just decided to read your other postings and was so suprised to come across that one. Oscar’s story is very similar to Abby’s, but he was found in our front yard on a summer afternoon starving. I remember keeping him in a small basket because he was so tiny. I must have been 10 yrs old at the time and begged to keep him. My family always joked that he never stopped eating once he made it into our home, hence why he was so overweight. But now over the past few months he has withered away to only 9 lbs. He is my last link to all my other pets that have come and gone over the past 14 years. It is very hard to see him like this. -So I just talked to the vet while writting this. Abby’s x-ray is done and the vet cannot find anything abnormal. So he suggested a stool sample first and then a possible digestion panel and he also mentioned something about Abby’s B12 levels maybe being low. And if none of that comes back with answers he said we mighy want to consider an ultrasound and/or surgery.I just hope we can figure out what is wrong before it gets that far…

    • Marlene, have they said that Diabetes isn’t a possibility? This is so sad to hear :-( Oscar lived a lovely last year of his life thanks to the raw food. I now believe that his problems started over a year ago, but the raw food put them on the shelf until just recently. He really was never healthier before the raw, but he was still a senior and they have to go sometime. Liver disease is common in seniors.

      Please check out There is a raw feeders board and a health board. Another helpful group is the Yahoo Whole Cat Heath group at Search for Whole Cat Health. Good luck!

  12. I have been fighting the same exact issue with my 14 year old siamese for 5 years! it was bad we thought we would have to put her down, she was going every and having litteraly projectile diahhrea. I read this article 3 days ago bought the food and I am happy to say all is well.

    Thank you!

  13. Well it worked for a few days now shes back to the normal very very discouraging, hopeully it will pass shortly, any ideas?

    • Dana, is she still eating the food? If so yes I have three ideas:
      1) Purchase some slippery elm bark powder. You may be able to find it at a vitamin shop or health food store in capsules or powder form. Sprinkle some into her food and mix it in.
      2) Purchase some probiotics and mix some of that into her food as well. I like the human probiotics with multiple strains because we don’t know what type of healthy bacteria a cat would need, so having multiple types is more promising. I give my kitten about 3 billion organisms a day, or half a capsule from the brand I currently have. Again, just purchase from a vitamin store or health food shop, but I prefer the refrigerated ones.
      3) My final suggestion would be to try another raw food, such as the ground raw from if you live on the East coast or if you live in the West. Their ground food is just the animal with no added fruits or vegetables. Nature’s Variety has about 5% fruits and vegetables, which some cats with IBD can handle but some cannot handle ANY.

  14. Thx for the Info. My lil cat around the age of 1 1/2 yrs has been having diarhea but my Bigger cat shows no signs of it. I will try the raw cat food fo my lil one. Thx again.

  15. My 6-month-old kitten has had diarrhea since I rescued her 2 months ago. Her sister doesn’t. I’ve had them on Hill’s i/d food for the past 3 weeks, and there is no improvement. I’ve actually noticed a little bit of fresh blood on her diarrhea when it is a little better formed and not completely liquid. The vet says she’s not worried about that unless it’s dried blood, which it never is. Both kittens have very frequent flatulence. The problem kitten has been dewormed (twice), put on antibiotics and now switched to the i/d food (she was previously on Royal Canin). Now very frustrated, I stumbled upon this website and decided to give this a try. Well Nature’s Variety had a recall on all chicken products with a sell date before Feb 2011. I went to my pet store and they had a couple chicken medallion packages, but the sell date was March 2011 and that’s just too close for comfort. So instead, I bought the rabbit medallions. My question is, should the rabbit medallions yield the same results you had with the chicken/turkey? Do you think it’ll stop the diarrhea as quickly or at all?

    • Justin,

      YES, if your cat will eat the rabbit, and it does the trick, it will get rid of the diarrhea just as well as the chicken will. Flavor has nothing to do with it UNLESS she is allergic to a particular meat. Rabbit is much more mild, and more cats from what I hear are allergic to chicken than to rabbit.

      Oscar’s absolute favorite was the rabbit. My new kitten will only eat the rabbit, and it’s my older cat’s favorite as well.

      I dont know if you were feeding i/d dry or canned, but if you were feeding the canned, you can mix the rabbit into the canned if she won’t eat it at first.

      The deworming and the antibiotics are both very hard on the immune system, so they were not helping. (Were worms confirmed before she was dewormed?) If I were you I would start giving probiotics and slippery elm immediately. For info on that, read my post on treating diarrhea in cats naturally.

      Good Luck!!

  16. Thanks for the quick reply! The Hills i/d is dry food. They’ve only had canned food a few times because I didn’t want them to get too picky. Ironic that I’m about to give them the best food they’ve ever tasted ;) Both were tested negative for worms and parasites, but the vet thought it would be a good idea to do it anyway. I’m definitely going to check out the slippery elm and probiotics, but I just want to get them started on this food asap. Do you generally defrost the medallions in the microwave or do as the package says and let them defrost in the fridge overnight? I’m assuming you cut them up until little pieces, but do you warm them at all? Like 5 seconds in the microwave or something?

    • I hope they like the food! As you might remember, my Oscar loved it, but my other cat wouldn’t touch it for a while. If your cats don’t like it, either mix it in with canned food, or go back to the store and ask for Nature’s Variety DEHYDRATED raw, and sprinkle some of that crumbled up with the medallions. I had to use the dehydrated version to get my other cat to eat the raw. It took months before he would eat the raw without the dehydrated on it. If your store doesn’t have it, they can order it from their supplier.

      It’s important to not microwave the food, or if you do, only for 3 seconds tops. The food has bones in it, and microwaving the bone bits will cook them and we don’t want that. It’s best to thaw in the fridge overnight, or in a bag immersed in luke warm water for ten minutes if you forget to thaw it out.

      PS in the future, don’t let vets de-worm a cat that has tested negative for worms. Unnecessary medicine can mess with their system, digestive tract, etc.

  17. My 15 year old cat, Buddy was diagnosed w/high blood sugar around 5 years ago and was put on a prescription died of D/M(diabetic management) dry and canned cat food. I bring in for a blood sugar test every 6 months and it remains about the normal, but in the safe range, sometimes higher, sometimes lower. When his can food runs out in around 6 weeks I am going to try the raw food diet. I will still have quite a bit of the dry food left. Can I safely combine the raw and the D/M dry food? I lost my 17 year old Ryan due to heart failure 3 weeks ago. He had been perfectly healthy, or so I thought. One morning my foodaholic, declined breakfast, a first, but I was running late and could I call my boss and say “I can’t come to work today because Ryan did not eat his breakfast”? But I did make an appointment for the following morning. When I came home that evening, Ryan was stretched out on the floor. At first I thought he was dead, he was completely unresponsive. I rushed him to the vet, but I knew he was already dying. After very much crying, the vet administered the shot. Ryan had heart failure, according to the vet. Ryan had labored breathing, he was cold, his mouth was blue, he was unresponsive. I stroked his beautiful coat, kissed his head, told him I loved him and I would miss him so much and then I cried some more, then left and went home – alone, without my friend

    • Hi Kay,

      Actually you are not supposed to feed dry with raw. You can do it IF you space the two apart by at least 8 hours, for example raw for breakfast and dry food for supper, but no kibble left out for grazing. Now, Nature’s Variety claims that it is ok to feed their dry and their raw together. So I don’t know if those of us who are concerned with feeding raw and dry together are over-complicating the issue, or Nature’s Variety’s food is different some how. I can tell you that raw food is VERY helpful for cats with diabetes, and has been known to put diabetes in remission. See: It is not just feeding raw that is so beneficial; it is replacing kibble and grains with raw completely. But any step towards more fresh food is a great step.

      If your cat will not eat the raw right away and you need to transition over, you could try slowly transitioning to grain-free canned first, then to raw. My 15 year old cat Charlie was a kibble ADDICT and it took MONTHS for me to get him off his dry kibble. He did like canned, but he would hold out for his darned kibble. I found that crumbling freeze dried raw on top of the raw helped a lot. I had to mix it in for a couple months, gradually decreasing the freeze dried and increasing the raw. I used Nature’s Variety Freeze Dried, which often is not carried in stores but any store than sells Nature’s Variety’s product can order any of their foods from their supplier. (PS it IS ok to feed raw and canned together, as well as freeze dried raw and canned together.)

      I completely understand how you feel about going to work when your cat won’t eat breakfast. I had to deal with that so often, and those days at work were a blur and extremely stressful. I’m sorry to hear about Ryan. Good luck with the raw food for Buddy. Is Buddy overweight?

  18. My husband got me a pursian cat for mothers day. I been wanting one for years and finally when he decide to please me. I find myself going crazy. My cat Kingston is 9 weeks old and has had diarrhea for 2 days and i dont know if i am over reacting at this time. but i cant sleep thinking if he is going to be okay. I was goin to put him on Pedialyte to make sure he dosent get dehydrate. Its been a weeks since i got him and now see him like one of my kids. The breeder gave my husband instructions about the food the cat should eat and i am following exactly what i was told. A friend suggested to take him to the vet and run some test on him. But i googling and find myself with artlicle that suggest RAW food. I am a little ify because he is so small.
    My husband was told strictly to feed him Royal Canin baby cat 34 mixed with canned food.
    Would i make it worst if i change his food to Raw?
    Or should i switch his food from Royal Canin to Nature’s Variety. Any suggestations?

    • Poor Kingston! Really, at 9 weeks old it could be ANYTHING. But you will NOT make it worse by giving raw food. Right now is the best time to give it to him! He could eat a very healthy meal for the rest of his life!

      But like I said, the diarrhea could be anything. A vet will help rule it out by checking over everything. But I will say that Persians are NOTORIOUS for having digestion problems like Irritable Bowel Disease (IBD), and for that raw food is really the best medicine. Many vets don’t follow that school of thought, but that is because they are paid commission by companies like Royal Canin to “prescribe” it to their clients. If I were you I would try a cold turkey switch to Nature’s Variety or any other raw food you can find near you in stores. Make sure not to vaccinate Kingston while he has diarrhea, and only worm him if indeed worms are detected. I am not a vet but I do love spreading the word about raw food when so many vets just want to give your cat shots and antibiotics and send you on your way. Good luck!

  19. Thanks for the response… I really appreaciate it. I will definately switch to RAW, and will watch him closely. If I don’t see no improvement I will take him to the vet to rule out the problem.

  20. Hello there. My 9 year old cat, Graycie, has been vomiting for close to a year now. She seems fine otherwise but it is breaking my heart. I have tried switching her food to the one the vet recommended, hypoallergenic. It does not help. She throws up daily now and we have a small apartment that just can’t take much more vomiting. The vets have said it is IBS but none of the medications have worked! They just mixed up another one, 50 dollars for a 2 week supply! I was wondering if you would suggest raw? Where can I buy it? Should I do the meds as well?

    Please help! My husband loves her dearly but thinks it might be time to put her down and I don’t want that!

    Thank you! Abby

  21. Hi there. My 9 year old cat has been vomiting for about a year. The vet says its IBS, but none of the meds they are trying are working AT ALL. I have her on hypoallergenic food as well…not working. I just bought the Nature’s Variety in chicken medallions and want to start on raw immediately. Do you recommend mixing in gradually with her hypoallergenic dry? Or since that seems to bother her, go to raw completely? If I gradually mix it in, how long should I do that?

    Desperate! Thank you!

  22. I am definitely going to try this starting tomorrow! I have tried everything! My cat is 16 years old and has exactly the same symptoms, I’ve tried everything else. Yogurt helped for a few months, but now she turns it away! Thank you I’ll let you know how we make out!

  23. I was really worried when my Chakku and Mikku were down with diarrhea and vomiting! The medicines gave only a temporary relief. And I found that a poisonous plant somewhere around the yard of my neighbor is a root cause. From my experience I can tell you one thing a little investigative work may be necessary to determine the reason, and a lot of TLC may be necessary to resolve the diarrhea. Food allergies, renal failure, cancer, poisoning, parasites, and infectious disease etc can result in diarrhea. Also check your neighbors aren’t feeding your cat, when they go out coz eating food they aren’t used to can also be a reason. And try to avoid antibiotics too!

  24. Hi, this is such a great blog. We have 3 kitties and a 4th showed up about 6 wks ago just skin and bones. We have saved and placed more cats and kittens than I can begin to tell you but this boy Paulie is an angel. Was no problem and fit right in and is just a love. After fattening him up for 2 weeks we got him neutered (think he’s around 1 yr) and ever since he’s had terrible diarrhea. It’s quite possible this was a problem before surgery but not sure. I know at one point he was using the litter box and he had formed stools, not puddles of poo like he does now. This problem has become an obsession. Have had him to more than one vet for antibiotics, testing, changed food, etc., and in a few days will be going for a fecal panel. We are at our wits end trying to help this poor boy and after reading all these comments I’m convinced I must try the Nature’s Variety raw diet. The writer of this blog as well as the follow-up comments have been so helpful and supportive. I pray I have the positive outcome that many of you have had.

    • Thank you so much Tina, I pray you have a positive outcome as well! If it works don’t be afraid to try other types of raw food. Our poor kitties just sometimes can’t handle all the over-processing and extra ingredients. GOOD LUCK! Maybe Paulie was meant to find you!

  25. Hi! I just wanted to post and thank you for your suggestions. My cat has had severe diarrhea on and off for about a year and a half. The vet tested him for everything and they found nothing wrong. They diagnosed irritable bowel and gave him prednisolone to take. After all that we took him off the steriods, came upon your blog via google and we tried the Nature’s Variety RAW in conjunction with the Slippery Elm and the diarrhea is GONE. GONE. Amazing. I think you’ve saved my cats life. Thank you so much!!!!

    • Oh my god Jacqui you have just made my day!!! I’m so happy for your kitty! Thank god he doesn’t have to be on steroids! Don’t be bashful about experimenting with other raw foods and flavors. Natures Variety is so convenient, I usually feed it, but sometimes I experiment too :-)

  26. If it’s okay, this is to Jacqui. Just wondering how long it took for your kitty’s poo to firm up, and did you ONLY feed raw. My problem kitty Paulie has been on the raw diet not quite 3 days and while it appears firmer it does not have the “tootsie roll” form I’m hoping for. He is a bottomless pit so I am givning him minimal good grade kibble along with raw (although several hours after feeding raw. I am so afraid that the small amount of kibble could still be messing him up, yet throughout the day he is hungry and if I feed him a medallion every time he is hungry he will get too fat.! I am ever hopeful but insight from others is very helpful. Thanks!

  27. Dear “Go Fetch,” thanks for your additional comments, I will definitely take a look at the book you mention! I do feed Paulie mostly raw, but on the days my boyfriend and I are both gone all day, I leave some kibble for him. I also wonder if he WILL ever feel full and stop eating. I think he was so starving when he first showed up he doesn’t know when to stop now that food is readily accessible. Anyway, for the next 10 days one of us will always be home and we can concentrate on ONLY feeding him raw, even throughout the day. Apologies for beating this to death, it’s just that, of all the forums I’ve been participating in about this subject, this one has been the most supportive and helpful (rather than some that have a condemnatory tone!), so thank you!

    • That is all wonderful to hear Tina, and I look forward to hearing if 10 days on all raw (or even 2 days on all raw) helps!!! I only feed my cats 2-3 times a day. You do not need to leave out kibble. I wonder how many medallions you feed per day? The calculator on the Nature’s Variety website is very helpful. And, my name is Leigh :-)

  28. Tina, you may also want to try the Slipper Elm Bark. Maybe mix it into this food once a week or so.

    Leigh, I cannot thank you enough. Really. :)

    Its been two weeks and my kitty’s coat looks shiny and smoother. :)

  29. Leigh (thank you for your name!) and Jacqui, I’ve been dealing with an holistic vet and we do have Paulie on SEB as well as probiotics. I am pleased to say that this morning my sweet Paulie had the most formed poo yet. It’s soft but definitely resembled what one should look like – I truly believe we are on our way to a happy kitty with a healthy digestive tract! To be continued :-) ……

  30. Good day!My cat named toby,a 6 month old persian cat has diarrhea for more than a month.I dont know what to do since it was the very first time i am having a cat.his stool is soft and sometimes jelly-like.I am feeding him dry cat food.When i am searching for the treatments for him,i have found this post and we have the same situation. He stars to loss his hair too and his anus is irritated and reddish in color.I am afraid that this could be fatal.I am from the Philippines and I cant find that raw food for toby. Can i feed him with the literally raw meat?I will just grind it.I wish somebody will have answer for my case. If there is somebody who could help me please send it to my Y.M. you and more power to all of you!
    have a god day!

    • Aljon, yes you can feed ground raw meat. You just have to follow the 80/10/10 rule. 80% raw meat, 10% bone and 10% organ, 5% of that being liver. When Oscar got really picky about food I would cut up raw chicken breasts for him, include some bone, and feed him some chicken liver and chicken hearts. He loved it and crunched the bone right up. But if you switch to raw food, you have to stop feeding the dry food completely. Here’s more info:

  31. Hi, I’ve a cat named Yuri (like Yuri Gagarin). He’s 1,5 years old & male. After castration operation, vet gave Yuri some antibiotics and changed his diet. This treatment caused diarrhea and it has been 5 months and his diarrhea and sometimes vomiting haven’t stopped. I’ve tried gave him a fast and boiled chicken meat and rice but we had no improvement. We changed his vet and the new one gave him Proplan Sensitive Skin and Stomach (dry) and told me not to gave him canned food. Than Yuri stopped eating kibbles and began to loose weight. Than again we changed our vet doctor, the very new one take some blood and stool sample and said that he’s so anaemic, fortunately no other disease. He took some x-rays and said that Yuri’s intestine has been dilated because of diarrhea and gas. We have start to feed him with Royal Canin Gastro Intestinal Dry and wet food. His diarrhea got normal and his stool had a shape for the first time but unfortunately he stopped eating Royal Canin Gastro Intestinal both wet and dry two days ago. Nowadays he’s just 2.1 kg and his diarrhea came back. He has bowel gas all the time and it’s so annoying for him. And my other cat is constipated unfortunately. Is raw diet suitable for them?

  32. I purchased Natures Variety for my cat Binx. Been suffering with dia. since Ja. 2011. First week dia stopped completely., however on the eighth day stools got softer and dia. returned. My cat is on prednisolone and another drug for IBD. I guess I need to know is your cat still on raw and doing well? I am keeping him on the raw and will not let him eat any dry. Any suggestions? You do seem to know a lot about this subject. By the way my VET told me not to do it. My cat is an 8 yr. old rescue, one step from being put down when we got him.

    Thank you.

    • Hi Bill! Raw food saved my cat’s life for well over a year. He did eventually pass away, but he never had diarrhea again a day in his life. I am wondering what the other drug is your cat is on? I’m also wondering how long he has been on the prednisolone? Are you going to wean him off of it? The problem *could* be those drugs or their combination. Another thing I would suggest is mixing some slippery elm into his food. If you get a bottle of capsules from the vitamin isle, just open one up and sprinkle about half of it in each bowl when there is diarrhea. But let me know about the drugs, too. Also I assume he has had blood work done? What about xrays or ultrasound?

  33. The other med he takes 2X a day is 60 metronidazole benz 400mg/5ml suspended medisc. Binx has had all of the blood work, but no Xrays or ultrasound that I know of. as of right now, he is setting here just looking at me. He has not had any dia. since 9-19. He has been on the prednisolone since march, but only since april in liquid form and is givin once a day. The vet wants to run more test, but they are very expensive and I wonder if it will show anything other than what we already know? A large test was done at a gastrintestinal lab at the Texas A&M Univ. 3/24/11. It noted that the cat could have pancreatitis. or small intestinal dease or EPI? Today there is no dia and Binx seems fine and eating well. Thank you for your concern and info.

    • Well, no diarhea for 2 days? That’s good. But why is he on an antibiotic? That would cause diarrhea in itself. If it comes back, get him some slippery elm and mix it into his food. Also mix in a probiotic. I also question what the metronidazole is for, and do any of these suspension formulas have alcohol in them? That’s not good, either. IBD can be difficult to diagnose, but giving him antibiotics and alcohol won’t help matters :-) I suggest you do some research on a good probiotic, ask if the antibiotics can be stopped, look into slippery elm, and check out the Whole Cat Health yahoo group. Lots of helpful people there. Good luck!!

  34. Thought I would let you know about Binx. No dia. Icalled my vet and she took him off of the antibiotic and started reducing the prdnisolone. He is in love with the canned Natures Variety and eats very well. Note no dry food anymore…..

    Thank you for answering my replys. It is nice to know that there are people who care and will give good advise.

  35. hi my neighbor gave me a cat last week and its around a year old and ever since i got it the cat has done nothing but have diarrhea at first i thought it was because i had probable given it different food then it was used to but now im thinking something else is wrong with him because its been a wk and i am really getting tired of the constant bathroom and the horrible smell that goes with it and even worse for some reason i found my cat going to the restroom in my shower instead of the litterbox im starting to think my neighbor gave it to me because she knew it was sick and i do not know how to fix him and definetly do not have the money for a vet he doesnt puke just lots of diarreah

    • Hi Tiffany, did your neighbor not tell you anything about the cat? You really need to take it to the vet, it could be anything. It could be worms, cancer, allergies, or anything. Why did you take the cat if you can’t afford to care for it if it gets sick? My cat used to use the bathtub as well before I figured out that he had allergies and/or IBD. If you are feeding it dry food that is the worst thing for it, sorry to say. I know it’s cheap but it will not help the cat.

  36. My cat Buddy turns 16 this Sunday (my new years baby girl). She has had diarrhea for the last few months. After reading your article I immediately went to the local pet store and purchased the trial size bag of raw food. I am hoping this will help. I will post again in a few days on her progress.

    • Poor Buddy! Don’t be surprised if he doesn’t like it right away. You can mix in some grain free cat food if you need to. I also wouldn’t be surprised if he ate it right up too. Has he been to the vet? Poor guy :-(

  37. Hi Leigh. I had the worst scare with my 4 year old cat, CoCo this week. I adopted her from a shelter when she was a kitten and has developed chronic diarrhea over the last year and began vomiting more frequently. She is incredibly finicky and I couldn’t seem to find a food that she could keep down.

    I took her to the vet over the summer and they ran tests and did x-rays and $500 later, they couldn’t find anything wrong with her. I continued to play with her diet and she was ok eating canned cat food, but still wasn’t 100%.

    This week her diarrhea became more severe and I found blood mixed in. She was also vomiting whatever she ate. She had been losing weight and couple w/ the other symptoms, I felt another vet visit was in order.

    The vet ran the same tests and did the same x-rays, told me that “things don’t look good for her” and found nothing. She suggested we do an ultrasound and do other test for cancer, but I told her I would have to think about that.

    After crying over the potential death of my cat and being a complete wreck, I began researching her symptoms and came across your website and read how your cat suffered from the same thing as CoCo and thought she might have IBS/IBD- something the vet did not even think of.

    I would always give her raw or boiled chicken if she would have a flare up so I rant to get Nature’s Variety raw chicken. I am happy to say that after two days, CoCo hasn’t vomited and her poop was solid!

    I will continue to monitor her, but I truly believe a raw food diet is best for her.

    She is happy and playful and I have you to thank for it.

    Thanks for saving her!

    • Oh my gosh Janis, I could cry. Your story sounds so much like Oscar’s. Many cats are put on steroids for IBD, which can help but is also pretty scary. I sure hope CoCo keeps eating the raw food. She is so young!!! Good luck to you guys, she is so lucky to have you!!

      • Hi Lee,
        Did you only give your cat the raw food? CoCo’s diarrhea is back. She seems to have good weeks and bad weeks. This week is a bad week.

  38. I took in a 14 yr old cat, Sylvester, from a friend who passed away. He is now 16 and has had chronic diarrhea since i got him! The vet put him on flagyl, dewormed him and put him in I/D. All of which helped a tiny little bit for a day or two. He has constant gas and squirts feces all over the house. Other than that, he is a happy cat. I am on the verge of having him euthanized or confining him to 1 room. The vet says this happens with some cats when they get old. I have another 18 year old cat who is fine but seems to be constantly hungry and never satisfied. I live in a small town in WV and cannot find the raw food locally. Ordering online is expensive! I would like to try making my own, what exactly should I use? Raw chicken, raw chicken liver, ground raw bone? What about the skin? Thank you for your help. Julie

  39. We have an 8 month old kitten who appears to be healthy except for constant diarrhea, dripping through the house at times. The vet has dewormed him and put him on antibiotics on and off for a few months. Nothing has helped. We have 3 other healthy cats and feed them all a bit of canned shredded cat food in the morning and evening. They also have Iams hard cat food available throughout the day. The vet just recommended switching to Royal Canin Gastrointestinal food suspecing maybe the kitten has a problem abosorbing nutrients, unfortunately, the kitten doesn’t like it, so I’ve been doing some research today trying to find some options. I’ve come across the raw diet option a few times and planning on going out to get Natures Variety Raw Frozen tonight. I plan to feed the raw in the morning and put out the kibble to nibble at the rest of theday. The cost of feeding four cats raw is a little overwhelming so I’d like to do it safely and as healthy as possible. How much raw does a cat eat in a day? What would be healthy to try in the evening? A different soft food? More raw food? I just need help figuring out how to make the switch!!

    • Dawn, I’m sorry I didn’t see your question until just now. I’m sure by now you know there is a feeding guide right on the Natures Variety website. To answer your question about what else to feed besides raw, you should definitely feed a grain-free canned. There are lots of options, from Wellness, Nature’s Variety, and many more. Good Luck!

  40. Thank you so much for this website! My little angel, Fiona, aged three, had horrible, violent diarrhea. During the course of six weeks, I took her to the vet four times. She was on five pills per day and prescription food. As soon as the medicine ended, the diarrhea returned. Before bringing her to the vet a fifth time, I thought I would try the raw diet. After 5 days, her stool is solid. It is not the right color, but we seem to be headed in the right direction! I originally tried another brand but the Nature’s Variety is wonderful to use because the medallions are already portioned out for me. Thank you so much for sharing your story and helping others! Now I just need to get my other baby to switch to the raw diet!

    • That’s great Johanna! Any by the way, the stool color does change on a raw diet. It is probably much lighter in color now, right? That’s normal.

  41. My Sarabi has had diarrhea now for a long time..over a year. Tried everything from meds, changing foods, vet appts. and tests. They can never find anything. She has diarrhea several times a day and also gas. Her tummy makes loud noises and she stretches like maybe she has gas pain. She is normal otherwise. Due to the diarrhea she has lost weight. We have had to confine her to a spare room that is basically empty. We had finally given up, when my husband started researching raw food diets as a last resort. We came across this website and we went immediately and bought the Natures Variety Medallions. We had to mix it with a small amount of canned food that we also got from this pet store that is basically grain free, etc. Overnight we saw improvement. After 2 weeks, the diarrhea has returned and I am so discouraged. I am going to the vet store today to see what else they have. Have your heard of the Primal raw foods?? Any suggestions??

    • Tammi, were you only feeding the Natures Variety or were you always mixing in canned food? “Basically” grain free isn’t grain free. Yes I’ve heard of Primal and it might help if you can get her to eat it. But she cannot have any grains. Even Natures Variety has a small amount of vegetables in it, and some cats can’t handle anything but a 100% carnivore diet. If you can’t get her to eat the raw plain on it’s own, either add in canned Nature’s Variety Instict or ask the pet store for some Nature’s Variety freeze dried raw and sprinkle some in. That worked for my one cat who was addicted to kibble and didn’t want plain raw.

  42. My cat Lilly has had chronic diarrhea for years. Been diagnosed with IBD. And, of course, I’ve tried every available hypoallergenic, limited ingredient food available. Some help for a while, but the runs return.
    Lilly is very finicky and won’t go near canned food. She used to eat some raw beef or cooked chicken, but lately doesn’t want it. So, Yes, I’ve read up and decided a raw diet was the way to go. I purchased the Natures Variety medallions on Sunday and removed the kibble. She won’t touch it. The store said not to give in. I’m now on day 5 and my cat has refused to eat anything. After 48 hours I tried raw ground lamb and steak, I’ve mixed it with chicken broth, but all to no avail. I’ve now relented to mixing a bit of the raw with her kibble, but if there’s one microscopic bit of raw food in it, she refuses. I know if I put her back on the kibble, the diarrhea will return. The vet has no suggestions other than steroids. I’m at a loss. Also, it’s impossible to get a pill or even liquid meds into my cat. Even a vet tech couldn’t do it. Any suggestions???

    • Wow Beverly, I’m so sorry about your finicky cat. I have one too and it is no fun. Have you tried Nature’s Variety freeze dried medallions? I once had a kibble addict cat and I had to s-l-o-w-l-y switch him to raw by adding freeze dried to his kibble, slowly changing the ratio over to more freeze dried, then making the freeze dried wetter and wetter, then adding in frozen raw, then changing the ratio over to more raw. The process took months – probably 8 months until she was finally on the frozen raw and off freeze dried.

  43. OMG, you totally saved my Persian cat’s life cuz i was ready to kill him (not really). But I was on my last nerve. Every time he would go into the litter-box which was like 50 times a day I would stop what i was doing and listen to hear if he had diarrhea and then wait outside the box to see that he didn’t get it all over himself and track it all over the house. I was chained to this cat, if he wasn’t such an amazing creature with such a great personality i probably would have returned him to the breeder. He is only 1.5 years old but 1.5 years of diarrhea is a nightmare, seriously. I came across this website and tried the raw food thing and it is the only thing that worked. I have tried everything else. I have three cats and he is the only one with a sensitive stomach so he gets raw and the others get their regular food. I have tried a few different types of food and nothing ever worked. He is so much better now, so much happier, fluffier etc. I really owe you thank you so much for posting this – I was so sceptical so am I ever happy that it worked, you changed my life you really did. oh and just for other people reading this, when you feed them raw food the feces does not have an odour! Bonus!
    All the best,


  44. I have an American Curl kitten who had chronic diarrhea for almost 3 months. It started after her second round of shots. She has been treated for parasites, worms, coccidiosis, the list goes on & on. We tried special diet food. I tried a probiotic & pectin. Nothing worked. Last medication was prednisone, thinking IBS – still no improvement. When vet suggested pancreatic enzyme, I said no more – let her system rest. I have always used grain free good canned food for her, but I read about the benefits of raw food so got coupon for Nature’s Variety and tried the chicken medallions. She loved it and a miracle – next day she had a hard poop. She has been on it for 5 days now. Am going to get the freeze dried and gradually add canned, but for now, only raw plus grain free dry. I wish I had tried this months ago!!

    • Wow, awesome, Susan! I applaud you for standing up for your kitty and looking into alternatives. All that medicine, while sometimes needed, can be really hard on them too. I have read that some IBS cats (or whatever was ailing yours) can clear up on raw to the point where they can eat canned and go back to raw only during flare-ups. Good luck to your kitty!!!

  45. Hi there,

    I came across your blog while researching the new food I bought for my cat Isabel (the raw rabbit one. Anyhow, I don’t want to jump for joy yet, because it’s only been about 3 days, but I want to TMI you all to death and tell you about our success so far.

    I’ve had my cat Isabel for about 6 year. She’s almost 7. Since I adopted her form the shelter, she has NEVER had solid poo that I can recall. About 3 years ago her soft stool became chronic diarrhea. Since then it has been messes all over the house. The poor cat has had a bloody butt and often leaks on the furniture… it’s terrible.

    I’ve fed her prescription kibble, limited ingredient diets, she’s takes steroids, antibiotics… nothing helped.

    Within 3 years Isabel has went from an 11 pound cat to a 6 pound cat. Recently she started having severe cramps, to the point that he would be hunched up and crying. At least twice an hour all day she would be having diarrhea or straining.

    Anyhow, this was incredibly hard on her and really hard for me to see her hurting so much. I finally cut all kibble out of her diet as of 3 days ago. I have been feeding her mainly the raw rabbit, but also a little of NV wet food as well. It’s day 3 and she has not had any diarrhea and 2 solid poos. I took her to the vet and they said it’s ok that she’s only pooed twice and she is not constipated.

    My cat has been much more playful and cuddly. She has been acting like her old self again. After he first solid poo, I was excited, but Isabel… She jumped out of the litter box and ran through the house like a maniac doing her chirpy purr noises. She was obviously more thrilled than I.

    So, far so good to this raw diet.I hope we don’t have any relapses and that we’ve found a cure!

    • Oh Heather that is amazing. I bet you’ve found your cure :-) I know how you feel, I’ve been there. My Oscar never relapsed after we cut out dry and switched to raw, ever :-) He even got to the point where I could give him grain free canned sometimes. He liked to eat raw chunks too. I’m so happy for you :-)

  46. Just another update on Isabel, it’s been 2 and half weeks since I put Isabel on the raw food diet. I haven’t weighed her yet, but she feels heavier and more solid. Her fur is incredible- before it was medium to long and very fine, now it’s thick and fluffy and she is starting to resemble the Main Coon mix that she is. Anyhow, she really seems happier than ever- we haven’t had any re-occurrence of her problems- in fact she wants to play 24-7 or cuddle. Very happy cat!

    This diet is costing me a small fortune, but seeing her so healthy and happy is worth it. Wish I could figure out how to make it more cost effective, but I did try to feed her some canned food one day as I forgot to defrost the rabbit, but she had runny poo after that- So, I stopped that idea. Raw may be the only viable option.

    To anyone dealing with this- give it a try. Serious, I’m amazed.

    • That’s great Heather! Was the canned food not grain free? The grains are usually the culprit. If the food was grain free, then maybe the over-processing was a culprit for Isabel.

      One was to make it cheaper would be to go the with the frankenprey model. It’s too complex for me, but what you do is buy whole chunks of meat in bulk. Then you have to make sure they get 80% meat, 10% organ (5% of that being liver) and 5% bone. There is a raw food co-op site for my area on Yahoo Groups, and everyone on there buys from farms or when grocery stores have specials. There are also a long of raw food suppliers in my area that deliver to a central spot and you meet them there to pick up your bulk order. I did feed Oscar frankenprey sometimes, but I didn’t go so far as to buy in bulk and I didn’t enjoy cutting up raw meat and bone every day.

      • Hi Leigh,

        The canned food was Nature’s Variety, but the only store nearby that carries it didn’t have the rabbit, so I went with duck. Maybe Isabel is sensitive to that, but I doubt it. The Frankenprey… I don’t know if that will work. I’ve tried to give Isabel little treats of raw meat before and she’s looked at me like I’m crazy, and of course refused to eat it. I feel overwhelmed with the idea, but I might try it… I also don’t really eat meat, so it’s super gross to me- LOL, but kitty is a carnivore!

        I just can’t believe that Isabel’s issue this whole time was the kibble- well, I can believe it now! My vet still insists that’s not the case, which has made me discredit her services. It’s obvious to me that the cat is allergic to whatever is i kibble- she’s eaten every kind of specialty dry food known to man and been on very expensive px food as well. I the vets get kick backs from the PX pet food companies. Who can you trust now days?

        • Yeah, Rabbit is often a life saver, especially when the problem is the meat (some pets can become allergic to chicken, for example, because it’s in everything and they eat it for so long). You fed the Instinct, right? (The Prairie and Homestyle are not grain free.)

          I guess the vets that don’t agree with raw are like that because everything they learned in school was based on research, and raw feeding is new and anecdotal. I’ve learned we can’t always agree with our vets on everything. But different vets have different opinions, so…. I wrote about it in my old pets column:

    • Heather, try making your own raw food. It’s more cost effective. Do your research because you’ll have to add supplements to the muscle and organ meat. A great resource is “Natural Nutrition for Cats” by Kymythy R. Schultze and she has a website I grind chicken thighs, heart and liver and add supplement (there are recipes for all of this in her book). I freeze them in patties and just make sure there are a couple thawing in the fridge. Brava (my 2 yr old orange tabby) loves his food!!

  47. I’m not sure if it’s the protein. My vet insists that it is. Isabel won’t eat the raw chicken Nature’s Variety, she doesn’t like it- so I don’t know if she would get sick from that. I really think it’s kibble. Even with wet, her poo is soft, but she’s not curled up in pain either. I really do think vets have some type of incentive to push the PX foods, then again I think regular doctors do to.

    Oh, the wet that I fed Isabel was Nature’s Variety, so it should have been ok… I think.

    • Yes but was the canned food Nature’s Variety Instinct or Prairie or Homestyle? If it was Instinct, which is the only Nature’s Variety grain-free canned, then it’s the dry food. Because your cat probably hasn’t eaten a lot of duck before.

      • It was the Instinct one. I was feeding her duck for awhile as recommended by the vet. I don’t know…

        • Well then it’s not the protein :-) It’s the dry. After the diarrhea has been under control for months and months or a year, THEN you might be able to get away with feeding grain-free canned. I did with Oscar. However I don’t think canned is cheaper than raw.

  48. Neither do I, which is why I figured I might as well buy the raw. I’ll figure something out. :)

  49. I just saw a picture of your cat on the Nature’s Variety website. So, just an update. Isabel is 100% cured, but she does seem to have an allergy to whatever process makes kibble, kibble. The vet insisted that was impossible and that it had to be the “protein”, but Isabel sneaked some NV rabbit kibble from my other cat and within an hour she has runny poop. So, given how well the raw rabbit is for her- I conclude that my vet is wrong and Isabel just can’t process the dry stuff.

    Anyhow, Isabel has gained 2.5 pounds since the switch. She’s getting big! She now drives me crazy because she literally acts like a kitten, running through the house attacking things. In fact she’s driving my other cat crazy (she’s a weird kitty and not very social). Isabel just thinks it’s play time 24/7.

    Her coat has gotten incredibly thick. So thick that she seems to have grown an ‘undercoat’. She’s an all black cat and now she has 1/4-1/2 layer of white fur close to her skin. She is a med-long hair mixed breed, and I’ve read that many tend to have 2 layers of fur. I guess she was just so sick all these years that I never saw it.

    I do have one issue, maybe you can help? I contacted Nature’s Variety about feeding information. Isabel acts like she is starving all the time and is very eager to eat. Nature’s Variety said to only give her about 3 oz. a day, but if I did that she would cry the entire day. I don’t know what to do, because I don’t want to overfeed her, but she really cries like she is hungry- once in the morning and once at night. It’s not like she’s just being demanding. She is suppose to be a bigger cat than she is as well- she used to weigh around 11 pounds when her IBS wasn’t as bad.

    How do you feed your kitty?

    • Great news! The same thing happened with Oscar’s fur, he grew a fluffy undercoat that was missing for years :-) Isn’t it beautiful!? Anyway, when kittens are growing, they need more food. The guideline is to feed them as much as they would need if they weighed what you expect them to weigh as an adult. So, maybe you could do that for Isabel. Feed her as if she weighed 11 pounds. Did you used to free-feed? Maybe she is protesting that she can’t eat all day now. Also, I don’t know about you but when I eat a healthy salad or veggies, it makes me hungry for more. That’s probably what it feels like to Isabel :-) She isn’t eating potato chips all day to fill her up anymore :-)

      One more thing – I just found a new raw frozen food called Darwin’s and they ship across the country. I haven’t done the math for kitty food, but the dog food is cheaper than NV so we are giving it a try for my dog. There is also Primal. You might want to give Isabel variety so that she doesn’t become allergic again.

      • I’ve been switching proteins a little. I started with rabbit, but switched to Lamb this last time. I buy the patties as they are a lot less expensive then the medallions and they are the same formula. Is the raw dog food you are getting specifically formulated for dogs only? I’ll check out their website.

        You may be right about the protest. I didn’t always free-feed her, but when she got so skinny I was concerned and always left food for her. She’s probably just acting spoiled, but in the beginning she didn’t do this. It’s recent, like over the past few weeks and she’s been on the raw, I think a month and a half. Even the guidelines for an 11 pound cat only make the portion size .8 oz bigger. Well… at least we know she’s not starving.

        The undercoat thing amazed me. It’s white as well, I think I mentioned that, and the cat’s black. Her fur is so thick now. I’m very happy she can now love a happy life!

  50. so happy to have found this thread. “Manny” showed up about 6 years ago at my door with no claws, neutered, skinny and full of fleas. I quickly realized why he was dumped. He has IBD and usually leaves his messes outside of the box. I have spent alot of money at the vet. They put him on ZD about a year and a half ago and I have fed him nothing but. Two weeks ago he was getting worse and beginning to yowl after eating. I took him back to vet and they xrayed him and did blood work and put him on Flagyl and Prednisone. It didn’t help. I began giving him 1/4 can of Fancy Feast with his ZD and for 5 days he had nice solid stools!!!!! Yesterday the mucousy liquid diarrhea is again back on my carpeting. Based on what I’ve read here, I want to try a raw diet. I went to Petco this afternoon and they don’t have the natures variety raw medallions. I bought the dry instinct limited ingredient and a couple of cans of chicken stuff. Where can I get the raw stuff on line? I am desperate to try this!

  51. You can make your own raw food. Check the book “Natural Nutrition for Cats” by Kymythy Schultze. She also has a website and there’s info about raw food diets for cats and several “recipes”, including the supplement you’ll need to add.

  52. Can this food be used for kittens, too? I have a 4 month old kitten who still has diarrhea, even though her stool tested negative for parasites and she was on medication for 5 days. This morning she had diarrhea again on the rug. I will try anything.

    • Sandy, how is the kitten doing otherwise? I had a kitten about that age with diarrhea and I took it to the vet, the vet gave us antibiotics and they didn’t help. The kitten was low energy so I took her back and asked for more tests. He did blood work and xrays and the xrays showed pneumonia! They told me she may not survive, but after a stronger antibiotic overnight in the hospital, she did :-) But to answer your question, yes you can feed raw to kittens. Momma cats bring home mice for their kittens to eat, and those are not cooked :-) However since the kitten is so young I wonder what could be causing this.

      • Thanks for answering so quickly, Leigh. She has tons of energy. She fights with her sister and my other kitten, who is a bit older. She eats well. I did see her do a solid stool while she was on the meds. I am going to Petco tomorrow to get some of the raw food and try that. I’m wondering if I should call the vet back. She has an appointment next Wednesday for her final kitten and rabies shot, so will see the vet then.

  53. I have good news and bad news. As posted above, Isabel is cured! However, I started giving my other cat Lily the same food- I recently adopted her from the shelter and she has an illness we haven’t been able to diagnose yet. Anyhow, this food is not good for all cats. Poor little Lily has been constipated for days. I took her to the vet and had an x-ray done. A bunch of bone fragments showed in the x-ray. I guess some cats have a hard time digesting too much bone. So, I probably won’t give the food to Lily anymore and I hope she goes soon or I have to take her in for an enema.

    • Hi Heather, My cat showed bone fragments on his xrays too, but he wasn’t constipated. You can add a small amount of raw liver to the food to help with constipation. (Very small, like less than fingernail size, and probably once a day or less.) Do a search on raw liver for constipation. It works.

  54. My almost three year old cat has had diarrhea for about 80% of her life, there would be times it would clear up but those wouldn’t last long (Maybe a week). As of lately though it seems to have gotten worse, no matter what she does she seems to always have the foul smell of her feces and her back end is wet due to the diarrhea. I’ve got her on some sensitive systems food by Purina One at the moment and it’s available all the time, but if I switch to raw food (I’m going to probably buy the Natures Variety Instinct Raw Chicken. I’m fairly sure she’ll eat it will passion) what could I feed her as a “snack” that will work with the raw to help keep the diarrhea away? Do the Nature’s Variety Instinct Grain-Free Kibble bags work the same as the raw, or would it just counteract the raw food and give her diarrhea again?

    • Hi Rachelle! Hopefully you should be able to feed any grain-free food along with the raw. To be safe, I would just switch to the raw to see if it fixes the issue. If so, stay on it for a month or so then start giving other grain free canned and/or dry food. Just know that if you’ve been feeding her chicken flavor Purina, you might want to try a different protein like lamb or rabbit or duck. Also, some people feel that free feeding is hard on their stomach as it has to process food all day. I fed Oscar twice a day and that was it. That way he could process each meal on its own, rather than work his sensitive system all day long. It can take a while to train them to eat all their food at one time, but it’s possible.

  55. I just adopted 2 Ragdolls, a 10 week old female and a 14 week old male. They were both being fed Iams kitten dry by each of their breeders, so I continued this food, although I add water to it. My vet informed me that canned food is better than dry, so I have given them small amounts of Iams kitten canned. Each time, they both end up with very loose stools, with a bit of blood. I’m not sure what to do. I have been considering a raw diet for them, although wondering if they are too young. Their poop smells terrible on the Iams, so I definately want to switch to something. Any suggestions?

    • If you don’t want to jump to raw right away you can try grain-free first, such as Wellness or Nature’s Variety. Since they came from breeders I assume they have been wormed? Also they should not be given any shots while they have diarrhea. Vaccines are hard on their immune system which is already working on diarrhea. But no, they are not too young for raw if you want to try that. Just make sure you omit all foods with grains.

  56. Cameron Shue says:

    I think the initial posting was terrific, with lots of great web sites and suggestions. Raw food rocks. Just remember where she talks about how your cat can get allergic to any longterm food they’ve been on. I alternated between raw ground beef ( grass-fed, Whole Foods) and Nature’s Variety Instinct medallions ( the chicken flavored). Two years ago my then 12 yr old cat started vomiting almost every morning. It’s two years later and we’re still struggling, though when I took him off N.V. 3 weeks ago, the vomiting stopped! He still has diarrhea, which pumpkin didn’t cure and has been going outside the litter box ( may have arthritis – trying Cosequin, which he was on in 2005 for urinary crystals, which never returned).
    I read online about the kind of clay used in Nat. Var. (montmorillante is the right spelling, I think) and it being the version of that that is bad for cats.
    Now we’re (two cats) just eating raw beef and raw ground chicken thigh meat. I added raw pureed chicken livers yesterday which he LOVES.
    Just my own personal experience…..

    • Yes cats (and dogs) really need variety just like humans to avoid allergies (the immune system just goes haywire after too long on just one thing). I saw a show once about a man who was addicted to eating pizza, that was all he ate all day every day for years, and he just got sick. His body was rejecting the pizza after having too much of it. It’s the same with our pets if they eat the same food for too long.

      Cosequin for urinary crystals is another great tip. It’s great stuff.

  57. Hi my 14 yr old cat sweetpea has had diarrhea for quite some time…went to vet did some bloodwork got antibiodic…still has it. I dont usually google things because it scares me what I might find. But I came across your march 15, 2009 article and you would have thought I wrote it. I just got back from petco…I bought a bag of natures variety grainfree chicken dry cat food and couple cans of the same. Is that what I was supposed to get?
    Thank you

    • Grain free might help (hopefully you got the Instinct rather than the Prairie). But I was talking about their raw food. It’s frozen. Good luck!

      • Hi thank you for reply…I went back to another store and I got the raw. Sweetpea eats Iams hard food right now….do you suggest she still eats that and then the raw?

        I have 2 other cats that I dont want to switch at this point….I can put sweetpea in the basement to eat the raw. I just didnt know if I should switch the iams hard to the natures hard and also raw.

        Thank you for your help and opinion on this. Im desperate

        • If you can just give her the raw, if she will eat the raw, then stop feeding the Iams now and just go to the raw. If she won’t eat the raw in a bowl, my cats sometimes will eat a whole medallion if I hand feed it to them, giving them small bite size pieces one at a time. Of course I wash my hands after :-) If she won’t eat the raw at all, try hiding some of it in the grain free canned food you bought.

  58. Thank you…I will try that :)

  59. Leigh
    Hi I started sweetpea a few days ago on nv instinct raw im trying to figure out which one she likes …duck is out…beef good…chicken ok but boring…going to try lamb because she LOVES the canned lamb which I have had to mix with raw to add flavor I guess for her to even eat.
    When I checked the litter box for the first time in a LONG time it wasnt a puddle of liquid or as a I call it chocolate pudding :(
    I was wondering what you thought of the instinct dry AND raw that comes in a bag ..instinct raw boost….would that be better in order to get the raw she needs or should I continue trying raw and some canned.
    Thank you

    • That’s awesome Ramona! I have the raw boost and there are barely any raw bits in there. Regardless, if I were you I’d keep her on the raw for a few weeks until her system has a chance to fully heal. If she doesn’t have any diarrhea for a few weeks you can slowly try introducing some canned and dry into the equasion. I would introduce dry carefully. It’s grain free but still processed, so their systems need to be healed in order to handle it.

  60. Ok thank you so much …I appreciate all your help
    I was so excited that she went IN the box and not OUT of the box and she has continued so I am SO happy about that and when I scooped the poo I was SO excited I took a picture lol
    It was a great day :) thank you again

  61. Recently my cat had a cyst removed from her abdomen. Since then she has been throwing up and not eating. I called the Vet and since there is no redness at the surgery site, they asked about change in diet. I had started her on Iams and a new cat litter (Fresh start in the big bag). This has been gong on–both throwing u and diarreha. Before I had her on Meow Mix and she seems to like that more than anything. I also tried Blue, which she didn’t like. I fed her about a half of can of Fancy Feast and then the dry food. Readers have recommended raw food, but wouldn’t there be a change of parasites, etc. Please give me soe advice for Cleo. Thanks. Eliz Culler

    • If there was a chance of parasites, etc, with raw food, we wouldn’t be having such success with it. The ph and acid balance of your pet’s stomach can handle raw much better than they can handle over processed dry food. But hopefully you are trying to switch foods slowly. Any cat presented with a brand new food in one day might act like they don’t like it.

      However I will say if this is a new thing after the surgery, it could just be due to the stress of that or another complication.

      The biggest danger in feeding pets raw is to you and your children. It’s raw food, so you have to wash up after handling it.

  62. Hi
    I wonder if anyone can please offer me any advice for my darling boy who is not well and needs to be made well again.

    I have a 12 yr old Chinchilla Persian, rescued from the first 7 years of his life living in a hut in the garden and used as a stud cat. He is not very traumatized and is such a house cat I cannot ever imagine him having had to live in a hut for so long.
    He has been on a James Well Beloved Kibble diet all this time with the odd bit of white cooked fish. I kept this the same so as not to disrupt him. However I started noticed some red blood in his stools and after two years back and forward to the vet there are still no answers.
    He now sits hunched in a crouching position in his bed most of the day and makes hmphh sounds like he is uncomfortable or in some pain. He also looks depressed and miserable and tends to stare off into space for long periods of time like he is deep in thought.
    He has been put onto Royal Canin Sensitivity diet (kibble) and also the wet Royal Canin chicken and rice. Nothing has changed. He was then given Tramadol as pain relief and he went crazy on this. Started hallucinating, looking up at the roof and all around with huge saucer like dazed eyes. If I went to stroke him he looked terrified which was unheard of before. He also developed strange ticking movements with his head and couldn’t rest.
    So he was taken off and replaced with Prednisolone, a steroid. This seems to have helped after a week.
    Along with the hpmphing and sitting crouched his eyes also fill up with tears a lot, again not usual.

    So I thought I would try him on Barf food. I have now tried twice, once a couple of months ago and now yesterday. Both times he vomited and had terrible stinking diarrhea.
    Can I say that unlike some cats above my cat didn’t have sickness or diarrhea prior to eating the Barf food. After he second time trying, he is now sitting hunched worse than ever and had vomited badly at 4am and had terrible diarrhea.
    Is it just coincidence that he got so ill after eating the raw food? I defrosted them properly, washed my hands and washed all utensils and dishes in boiling water all during handling. He loved eating the raw food but about 5 hours afterwards he vomited terribly and had really bad diarrhea, with a sort of strange gluey consistency.

    Has anyone else had this kind of experience at all? I am really loath to put him back on the Barf diet as I don’t want him to have this terrible sickness, yet hearing the success some people are having makes me want to.

    Please help with your thoughts?
    Many thanks

    • Marisa, I’m sorry but this doesn’t sound like an irritable bowel or sensitive stomach issue that raw food would cure. This sounds more like cancer or some other feline disease. What has your vet tested for? Prednisone isn’t a cure for anything, all it does is mask things. Also, if you did the barf food yourself are you sure you got all the measurements correct? I’m sorry your kitty is so sick :-(

      • Hi Leigh, thank you for your reply. The vet has ruled out cancer as he this ha been going on for nearly 3 years now and he said he would be dead by now if it was. Also, the Barf food is not self made, it is bought in from BarfpetFoods in the UK. I have also given him the little cube of Taurinatire with it. I did however give him some of his dry kibble the same day so I wonder if that caused a reaction?
        He has so far been through over £3000 of vet treatment and all that is ever done is urine, faeces, and bloods samples, no invasive surgery. The next step is an endoscope which I wanted to try and avoid. He is very traumatised by each vet visit and is stressed for a couple of weeks every time we come home. He is also a very private boy and hates anyone touching his paws, tail and especially his back end and he screams. Yet they ned to take his temperature from there. It breaks my heart. But I want him to be helped. I just don’t know how. Along with what I said he also has appears to have an ongoing mouth problem. A couple of years ago he had six teeth out. A few months later he couldn’t yawn very well and he always enjoyed big wide yawns. But he was stopping halfway and unable to open his jaw fully and closed his eys as if in a bit of pain. Vets again, and they saw a lesion on his gum. He had antibiotics. A mnth later he was still doing it. The girl vet said it was prob just old age and normal as joins stiffen up. It went on another month and I jus knew he was in pan when he was trying to yawn. I took him back and asked for a 2nd opinion. A male vet agreed lesions were still there and he had 2 more lots of antib’s until it finally cleared and now he happily enjoys his big wide yawns again. However that was a year ago. The other day at the vet, when he hecked him over he looked in his mouth and saw another red area on his gum again. He said the Prednisolone would cover that as well. But I am wondering if the gum is causing him the pain, is it linked? Am I assuming the painful noises he is making is his stomach causing the pain? But then the vet seems to be working on that premise. Certainly since he ha been on the Amlodipine for high blood pressure for the past year he has had no more blood in his faeces. He gets one a day. The other thing he does regularly throughout the day is flick his paw, either paw, very hard as is he is trying to shake something off. He even does it involuntary in his sleep. The vet has checked his paws, I check his paws regularly, I trim his nails (no-where near the quick) as he doesn’t go out and his nails have a tendency to curl under so I need to stop them going into his paw. I have a strange feeling this flicking is all linked. He never did it before he had all these problems. Yet I can’t find a single reference to this kind of flicking on life in google anywhere, and the vet doesn’t have any answers. The vet thinks he prob had IBS and that is why he has tried different diets, but nothing is making the slight bit of difference, that is why I thought the raw food diet would maybe make the difference. My hygeine is spotless around the diet, utensils boiled and hands are washed with hot water and soap. So why did he throw up the whole lot both times? Should I try it once more without giving him any kibble? Yet risk him being so very sick and with diarhea again for another couple of days? I don’t want him to suffer any more than he is yet I need to try and find answers.

    • My little Duchess lasted 4 yrs eating baby food. Gerbers beef, chicken and ham and she was down to one heart beat, try it,mom… Linxpoint

  63. I meant to sy as well Leigh, he is not eating much at all, the past couple of weeks, and is really starting to look bony, his ribs and shoulders can be felt uite easily, so time is crucial here as I don’t want him to get so thin he is too weak and goes downhill. I can get him to eat prawns or chicken breast and different things if I offer them but then the vet is saying try not to mix his food and keep him on the one food so we can rule out which food casues the problems, but thi is getting to be an impossible task when he isn’t eating that one particular food and is starting to lose so much weight. My feeling at this time is to feed him whatever he can eat to get more weight back on yet at the detriment to him feeling good as he seems in pain later. Decisions, decisions. It’s not easy.

  64. I have a kitten who is a little older than 4 months old and a few weeks ago we noticed he had diarrhea and a leaky butt. I had just switched the foods and thought maybe that had upset his stomach, so I took away that food and went back to the old food. A week later there was still no change so I took him to the vet. Other than the diarrhea and leaky butt, he seemed fine. He was eating, drinking, and still pouncing on my other three cats. It really concerned me when he was the only one with this problem as my other cats are perfectly healthy. So the vet told me to take his food for the day, give his digestive system time to slow down, and told me to make sure to feed him in meals so he wasn’t over eating (he is a bit fat, even for a kitten). She said that even just over eating could upset his stomach. He also got wormed with a general dewormer while we were there. We also go medicine to help firm up his poop. Well, while he was on the medicine the diarrhea went away and no more leaky butt so I thought he was getting better but as soon as the medicine ran out, he went right back to leaky butt, and now even when he farts he leaks all over the place. I collected a sample in a bottle the vet gave us and I intend on taking it ASAP but I am really concerned about his health. I came across your post and I feel like it might help his stomach since raw meat, especially since chicken is recommended for them with diarrhea, is supposed to be much easier on his stomach. This kitten is also half bangle (his mother was a purebred and I guess got out and got pregnant I assume) and I feel like since he technically has 1/4 asian leopard in him his stomach might be extra sensitive to all of the corn and carbs found in most kibbles. I also was curious if you have tried the Nature’s Variety canned or even the kibble? I am definitely planning on trying to get him back on track with the raw but I also have 3 other cats and I feel like feeding strictly frozen raw will be expensive and hard to manage with 4 cats and would love to use a mixture if the other products work just as well.

    • I agree with you that the breed can determine how sensitive the stomach is, although 4 months old seems a bit young to already have stomach issues. Make sure kitten is x-rayed and tested for all cat diseases if not already. I had a 4 month old kitten once with diarrhea and the reason turned out to be pneumonia! Yes I have fed every version of Natures Variety and I love it all. But if you look up the cost of feeding raw vs canned vs dry, you will find that canned is the most expensive. There are charts out there that break it all down. Kibble is cheapest and also the worst for them, even if it is grain free or raw dusted. There are less expensive brands than Nature’s Variety, I’ve been researching them recently. It’s all about what you can get where you live. Darwin’s is a little bit cheaper even with shipping to your home, but there are cheaper brands too :-) Good luck!

      • You could also prepare the raw food yourself by grinding boneless chicken thighs with chicken liver and adding a powder supplement like tcfeline. Cats don’t need the added vegetables that are in even frozen raw food pellets.
        Check out and that will direct you to where you can find the product in the USA.

        • I did consider doing some raw diet myself but I simply dont have the time to prepare it, or even have things to grind up a raw meal, since I am a full time student taking a full load of classes plus extra credits that I had to have approved by the dean of my department, and trying to get some work done online as I work off of my computer.

      • Thanks for your recommendation. I ended up going all over town and finding a specialty pet food place that has a bunch of healthier cat and dog food brands and they had both the kibble of Nature’s Instinct and the frozen Raw bits. I also managed to find the canned version of Nature’s Instinct at Petco. I put a little bit of the kibble down and all four of my cats, including the kitten with the diarrhea loved it. I also tried feeding them a bit of the raw but they really weren’t too interested, except for my kitten who ate a bit of it. Later on at night for dinner I let them try the canned, which they really liked a lot too. Right now I plan on feeding a mix of the kibble and canned while trying to give the kitten some of the raw since he will actually eat it and he is the one who is having the diarrhea problem. I know the kibble is the worst of the three options but it is a huge step up from the kibble I was feeding them originally (meow mix)and I do plan on supplementing their kibble with canned food, and maybe trying different flavors of the raw and see if I can actually get them to eat that since it by far sounds the best for them.

        As far as the kitten goes right now, I sent in a poop sample and should get the results on Monday and the diet change seems (though it has only been a day) to have started to firm up his poop. He doesn’t leak anymore but has just residue after he uses the bathroom and the residue already looked a lot firmer, so it seems like the food is definitely helping. Even if it does turn out that something else is causing the diarrhea when we get the results back I plan on continuing with this food since it really is so much healthier for them.

        • Thats great Andy good luck! You can always mix the raw into the canned to help them eat it. And while Nature’s Variety is a petty expensive kibble, there are a lot of good grain free kibbles out there that should help. Any grain free kibble is a much better choice for those who must feed kibble. Even I feed it sometimes to save money (but only to young healthy cats, not old or sicker ones). Other good grain free kibbles include Wellness CORE, Blue, and Taste of the Wild.

          Another trick is to get some freeze dried raw (Primal makes it, as does Natures Variety) and sprinkle some of that into the raw, for some reason kitties love it. If your store doesn’t carry the freeze dried, as long as they source Natures Variety you can order it through them.

  65. The same thing has just happened to me today…The same scenario as you describe, but it began as what looked like grain allergy and IBS. Then it looked like an EPI. He has been wanting to eat my dog’s raw food, but I was sure it would upset his stomach (I had previously tried raw turkey with him and it did not work well). Today, I decided to give it a go because I don’t have much more to lose–he’s about 19 or 20 now and doesn’t have much longer, I’m sure. He has eaten raw today (Bravo! raw chicken) and loved it. And no diarrhea! I am crossing my fingers this is the answer. Today I have been searching to see if switching to raw helped anyone else’s cat…and your article gives me confidence that I am not crazy!! Thanks so much!

  66. Leigh, You saved my cats life & i can’t thank you enough!! I could cry. My baby became so sick puking & diarrhea after eating & drinking. He absolutely could not keep anything down & was also choking a lot. It all happened out of nowhere & the weight was just falling off of him. He was so miserable & nothing was working so we were ready to put him out of his misery this weekend. I didn’t want to give up on him & searched online for 2 hours on Friday & came across your blog. I couldn’t believe how similar your story was to mine. First think Saturday i went out & found Nature’s Variety & got him a little bit of everything. I basically let him choose & he took to the Instinct Rabbit hard food right away. I was in shock because it was the first thing he showed interest in all week. He had one episode of diarrhea after his first meal but i know that was normal. Then he drank lots of water & kept coming back for more food..He couldn’t get enough. Then 24 hours passed & he hasn’t thrown up or had diarrhea!!He is purring & bathing everything is like normal! Its amazing. So we have been waiting & a few hours ago he had a solid poop..Me & my mom were almost in tears. If i wouldn’t have came across your blog i would have never found this food because they only sell it at Pet co & i usually go to Pet Smart or a small local shop. We even got some for my dog who is very picky..She will starve herself for days & she eats it right up! It is so crazy. Now we have all of them on it & i am seeing little changes in everyone. Thank you soooo much!!!!

    • I’m so glad you found something that gave you hope and it worked!!! Did you buy canned and raw too or just dry? Good luck!!! I’m so happy for your kitty!

      • Thank you but like i said you are to thank because without you he might not be laying here with me right now! I got the dry rabbit, canned rabbit & frozen patties. He really enjoys the dry food & a little of the canned food as a snack. I also switched the rest of my little ones to the instinct dry. I’m already seeing changes in them as well..Running around playing after every meal instead of feeling lazy & crashing. I will never buy any other brand :)

  67. My 14 year old part siamese cat, Storm has had months of diarrhea and vomiting and has been to the vet several times for fluids. The vet says she has IBD and none of the meds work, she gets so sick at night! She goes to the litterbox and it is awful and then immediately vomits too! I am going to switch her to raw foodthanks to this site! I just wanted to share a tip that has helped my kitty stop vomiting, and it also stops her diarrhea half the time. I give her 8cc of bentonite clay in a 1ml oral syringe a few times a day. Normally once she starts vomiting she does it several times and looks miserable but the clay stops it right away! I et the kind that is liquid and comes in an amber bottle at the local supplement store. I hope this helps! This clay has helped my cat to not be dehydrated anymore and she is getting better too!

    • Libby Cameron says:

      Can you share the name of the clay? I was just today reading all about bentonite clay for humans, for digestive help. Redmond Clay was that one. I’m confused about liquid vs clay. What you got was total liquid in a bottle? i can’t wait to find out the brand. Thank you so much for posting this….

  68. I am so hopeful after reading this blog, that I am practically in tears. Freckles and I have been battling chronic diarrhea for almost 4 years. I have done all the tests at the vet except for the scope which they want $1500 for. I have already spent close to that over the years with all the blood work, parasite testing, ultrasounds, special food, etc. I just cannot justify the $1500 on one test. I am pretty sure the answer would be IBD anyway. Currently she is on a regimen of 10mg of Prednisone daily and vet prescribed W/D wet and dry food. It has never cleared up, but did go from being completely liquid to a bit more firm. In no way is it solid though and hasn’t been for years. Luckily the Prednisone has not caused any side affects. However, lately the diarrhea and vomiting are getting worse. She has also lost a couple pounds. At times she seems like she is passing gas and the next thing you know there is a small pile of diarrhea on my bed or on the floor in the hallway. It is becoming harder and harder to deal with, especially with my desire to become pregnant in the future, since it isn’t healthy to be around cat feces and not sanitary with a baby crawling around. I know I don’t get every speck of her feces cleaned up as she tracks it everywhere and I am constantly cutting dried up poo out of her long hair. Lately I have really been pondering Freckles and my future together. The thought of putting her to sleep makes me sick to my stomach though, I just love her too much and she is such a sweet cat and only 6 years old. I am SOOOO excited to go buy this food tomorrow and feed this to her. I will let you know what happens! Thank you so much for posting this blog.

    • Good luck, I so hope it helps!!!

    • Hi Angela,
      I have a friend whose cat was similar – constant runs. I showed him how to make his own cat food using raw meat and liver and a premix supplement. Within a couple of days, the cat was producing firm stool and has been healthy ever since. Raw meat is what cats need (not kibble, not drugs). If you are in the US, look at or for premix powder. Make your own raw cat food! It costs about the same as a small can of cat food a day, just over $2.00/day.

      • I just wanted to come back and report the good news. The raw diet has been our miracle. I have been feeding her the Instinct frozen raw medallions along with the Instinct canned food. No dry food and I am happy to say no more steroids. It has almost been 3 months and the results have been remarkable. Her diarrhea is gone and she has normal bowel movements that are less frequent. She also has more energy and just seems happier. I am so thankful to have found this post and this wonderful information. Thank you, thank you.
        Angela and Freckles

  69. Thank you for posting this, I was ready to have to put my cat down. She had the runs for 2 months, vet tried everything including anti biotics and steroids. They put her on vet clinical food which made it worse. She didn’t eat bad food to start with, she was on very good food by Instinct, however after two months we thought it was cancer. I came across your post, changed her to raw food and within four days she was having solid healthy poops. Thank you!!!

  70. hello, i have 2 cats. 1 has constant diarrhea for a long time. she was on dry food and visits to the vet didn’t help. i finally switch her over to a can food diet only and the diarrhea stopped. recently, she has developed diarrhea again. vet recommended to switch her over prescription z/d hypo allergy food. the diarrhea didn’t stop. i put her on raw (nature variety-lamb) and she refused to eat it. i had to mix it real slow with the can food before she finally takes it. her diarrhea stopped. then a few days ago, she has massive diarrhea (a puddle outside litter box). i stop all commercial food and cook her boiled chicken. her diarrhea for now but i have to switch her back to cat food since she can’t be on boiled chicken long term. i don’t know what else to try, but i would really worry that she can’t take raw food? by the way, she was never completely on raw 100%. the last diarrhea explosion really freaked me out.

    my second cat didn’t have any health issues but since raw is better anyway, i decided to put him on raw. i switch him on gradually as well. he was on 1/4 medallion for a week. then i increase it to 1/2 medallion, then i ran into problems. he would threw up within 1/2 hr after having his meal. so now he is also on boiled chicken only. any ideas?

    they are both senior cats of 15years. thanks in advance for your input!

  71. Sean O'Brien says:

    I just want to thank you for this info. Our cat Pooter has always had issues with her stomach, projectile vomiting and bad diarrhea. we blamed it on a very popular food so we tried a different one that the some vets recommend for sensitive stomachs, well I read the ingredients and found out that I was giving our cat Tums and gluten , well enough about that.(We have had her checked at the vet no real good answer ) Well Pooter was having a bad attack this month so bad we were getting ready to go to the vet and I happened to be looking for these symptoms online and saw your blog and I checked out Natures variety Instinct Raw chicken and their Turkey dry food,purchased both ,well she ate a few pieces of the raw,she is not all to crazy about that. But the dry food she loves. The next 2 days she was a changed cat, stool got back to normal and vomiting stopped she is now back to her obnoxious lovable self. I also tried some of the canned because she likes eating a little of it every couple of hours. Thank you again for this blog. I also do not work for any pet food company.

  72. my cat didnt do motion from two days…. can any one help how to cure her…plz…

  73. Put me down as the latest person who is going to try this. 14-year-old tortie was chubby four years ago, but slowly lost all the weight, is now much underweight, and was diagnosed with hyperthyroid. She’s on meds for that, but has persistent diarrhea, and the highfalutin foods have not helped. So starting tonight she gets the raw chicken medallions, though I may have to start out mixing it with canned food.

    Can anyone tell me if the Instinct canned food is available for cats, or do you just get the dog food? Petco had canned dog food but not cat food.

    • Good luck! You can feed the canned dog food to cats. Its the same ingredients, including the taurine cats need, so if you buy the larger dog food can you save money vs buying the smaller cat food cans.

  74. Had cat on drontal, panacur, and flagyl / metro. She tests clean (done several fecals, she did have giardia some months ago but has had many fecals since, at least once shoulda caught it by now i should think even though its hard to catch with fecals because I am paranoid and I’ve taken in like 6 samples) but taking flagyl immediately alleviates her symptoms that day until about 48 hours after stopping dose. Her stool is a not water, it’s formed enough to look formed coming out but soft enough to settle into a pancake after hitting the litter. It smells worse than it should and somewhat weird, but not like unbearable sulfur as people describe with giardia. Just… worse.

    Switched to grain free food for a couple months nothin, and made some raw food this weekend. Made some raw to the exact formula floating around, although i used half the supplement amounts (fish oil, e, b-50 complex, taurine) that people keep tossing around… Not entirely comfortable adding a lot of supplements especially since the food seems to hit most of the nutritional needs already except maybe the chicken not hitting the omega 3 levels right. I do give her a sardine packed in water every few weeks and so I think she’s fine on that front. been feeding it for about 4 days with fortiflora mixed in. Unfortunately no change for her but I am going to stick with it, both because I made a lot and because she is VERY enthusiastic about eating it. She just loves it so I don’t feel put out about making it. Maybe it will work over time though we’ll see.

    Just a note, I bought 10 pounds of chicken thighs because they were on sale. I deboned all of them and found that by removing exactly half of the boned I ended up with 8 pounds of meat and 1 pound of bones. All I needed to do was ad a half pound of heart and a half pound of liver, so the formula worked out pretty easy in that way. The hearts and livers were $2 at the asian market so overall the meat for 10 pounds of food only cost me about $10. I justified the meat grinder because I always wanted one anyway so grinder aside, whoever has ever called raw expensive is crazy. The grinder was an investment but I’m sure over a few years it will pay off and now I can make my own ground meats which is kinda cool.

  75. Oh the reason I did ground was because her jaw is really weak and she can’t seem to get through even small bones. She does try though! It’s cute to see her gnawing on a chicken wing tip haha.

  76. Hi, my cat is also going through the same as your cat did. She became very dehydrated even though she was drinking lots. I tried different probiotics but she that wasn’t really working. Most vets in the UK do not understand IBD or the diet well. The option I was given was PTS , she is ancient cat & so on… I decided to change her diet to raw & add S bourlardii + mos. In 24 hours for the first times in ages she produced a firm stool. But then she started to go down again. I noticed her drinking more, urinating more & eventually her legs getting wobbly. We took her to a new vet & suggested if I can put her on fluids & get new bloods done. Most of the tests were ok for a cat of her age. There was one big concern & that was her white cells were extremely high -60% the vet explained this was from UTI. So they have put her on antibiotics- gentle type that won’t upset the gut. She is still dehydrated, she had one bout of diarrhoea last night but not a lot. This morning her diarrhoea is more a paste form. Her Heart rate is high, this may confirm what I was thinking hyperthyroidism. They will do a T4 test for that. But I am so worried her stool will need to firm up soon for the vet to see progress. He is treating her with hills aid ATM. She is eating fine. Please give me some advice please

  77. Sorry- The vet is feeding her Hills ID ATM

  78. Maybe try some colloidal silver to fight any infection that might be raising her white count. Also, check out L-Glutamine powder. I wish I’d been consistent with both of those. My cat died of IBS.

  79. My 15 year old Maine Coon, Tupper, had been plagued with chronic diarrhea for at least two years. When control also became an issue I looked into the problem further because I wanted another five years with him and he was otherwise healthy. We have restored his solid constitution via the use of a fecal (microbiota) transplant.

    The procedure involved an enema using stool from a healthy animal. We started Tupper with an injection of Cefovecin (a 2 week-long-acting anti-biotic) and a two week series of Metronidazole given concurrently. 48 hours after the last Metronidazole dose I took both cats to the vet and we waited for the healthy animal to provide a good sample. He did so into torn paper and the sample was mixed with saline and provided in an enema to the older cat. Tupper was also given another injection of the Cefovecin at the time of the enema. My vet said this was ok as this drug would not kill the good microbiota. It worked.

    This was a new procedure for my vet when I came to her with it. Our first attempt was done with out the anti-biotics and was unsuccessful. It has been only a week now but we have had no loose stools in the boxes at my home and no accidents or loss of control. I paid about $210 dollars for the procedure and had of course done everything else first including a full blood work up to eliminate other possible causes.

  80. Thank you for your story! My Persian has been vomiting daily and the vet does not know why. They did discuss IBS with me however want to try other options before attempting surgery. They currently have her eating a special high protein diet made by Canine. During the vet visit about a week ago she was given a shot and is now on an anti inflammatory given to her twice daily. I thought Milie was doing fine however as of two days ago my baby is vomiting again. Your story along with the post of others has given me hope. I am going to start my girl on raw food today! Thank you so much for giving me another option to try than surgery as the thought and risk with that route frightens me. If all goes well I will put my French bulldog on raw also!

  81. I have a 12 year old female tabby that has had diarrhea for the past 9 months or so. I was at my wits end until I came upon your blog. I have been feeding her raw for a week now and she is doing much better. She weighs about 8 pounds now but was a much larger cat before the diarrhea. She has taken to the raw with no problem and gobbles it up. I have been giving her 1/4 cup 3 times a day yet she seems to be hungry all the time. I fear overloading her system so soon after having trouble keeping anything in for so long. She seems to like the freeze dried mixed with a little water. Would this be a good idea to supplement her straight raw in between feedings? I have established she is allergic to chicken and grain and do not want to get her back on any kibbles. Thanks in advance for your help.

    • Yes, however if you are feeding the proper amount (3-4% of body weight if you want her to gain weight), there is no need to supplement. It is common for them to feel hungry as they are no longer getting the filling carbs they used to get. But yes the freeze dried WITH water is a good treat. Sometimes I feed that to my cats if we run out of raw or its still defrosting :-)

  82. I have a 17 year old kitty who is diabetic and recently too had kidney issues. She was very ill for awhile. We managed to get her numbers right and then she had several seizures and is now on anti-seizure meds. With everything we have to be very careful about what she eats. Muffin was on canned Natural Balance but stopped wanting it and the vet told me to try her on Tilapia which she loved and was doing great. She ate both the canned and the Tilapia. However the last three weeks she has had chronic diarrhea. She already gets subQ’s every other day and she was started on Flagyl and probiotics. Nothing has helped. I am at my wits end. She has had pancreatitis in the past so this is a complicated situation. One of her vets (we see a specialist as well) has recommended an endoscopy but quite honestly I feel so reluctant to put her through this all. She is so sick of going to the vet, it breaks my heart. I have a vet tech who comes to the house to do her subQ’s. The only food she wants now is tuna (in water). She eats heartily at the time but then has the worst and smelliest diarrhea and has now gone on the floor by the litter boxes three different times. I am so worried about her. I am truly heartbroken as it has taken so much to get her blood glucose levels and kidney levels at a good place and now my poor baby is dealing with this. I am going to try the raw diet (she has such a sensitive tummy so I am nervous) and see how she does. Thank you very much for sharing your story.

    • You are dealing with a lot of issues I have not, poor kitty. However, raw food is the best food for cats with sensitive stomachs, so don’t worry about that. They cannot handle highly processed foods, and raw is not processed. I can also tell you that giving sub q fluids is very easy. I have had owners teach me how to do it and I did it for them while they were out of town. Fish and tuna is not good to feed cats daily or long term, but obviously if it’s the only food they will eat, it’s better than nothing. Good luck!!!

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