IBD Guidelines
One of the most important things in regard to treating IBD is changing your cat’s diet. Dry food isn't good for their
digestive tract because it’s already extremely irritated and they need all the moisture they can get out of canned
food. Especially if your cat has diarrhea with their IBD, they can easily get dehydrated. Also, dry food is notorious
for the way it's over-processed leaving little left for nutrients, which is something your cat will need every last bit
of. Even if your cat doesn't currently have any digestive problems, staying away from any and all of the following
ingredients, if it can be helped, will benefit you and your cat in the long run. But as I've stated, if this is all they'll
eat, or all they do well on, it's imperative to stick with it if you've tried other things and they can't maintain.

Look for high quality protein, low carb, grain free foods. Cats are natural carnivores and domestication hasn't
changed that. Corn is one of the worst things that can be added to cat food, as it's highly indigestible even for
humans. I happen to love corn, but I don't eat it every day and neither should your cat. In fact, they shouldn't eat
it at all. When an outdoor or feral cat gets hungry, does it run for a corn or wheat field for dinner? Absolutely not!
It goes hunting for birds, rodents, frogs…MEAT.

Wheat, wheat germ, wheat gluten, barley, corn, corn gluten, etc. for an IBD kitty, are ingredients that are known
to irritate the GI tract. In fact, those very ingredients are causing a long list of health problems such as food
intolerance, food allergies, IBD, diabetes, obesity, megacolon, acid reflux. Gluten allergies in humans cause high
increases of celiac disease every year. Celiac disease is an extreme allergic autoimmune response to gluten and
it can also be life threatening. Gluten is a protein that's commonly found in rye, wheat and barley. People can
easily change their diet and lifestyle once diagnosed. Diet change with IBD is a must for their survival and if you
can do it without any fuss, that's nothing short of a miracle with cats. But it can be done and must be done slowly
and methodically. But make no mistake...IBD is just as serious as celiac disease and MUST be treated. Do not
ignore the signs. If you ignore the problem and let your cat continue to have these issues, you'll have a much
tougher time giving it the help it needs to heal. If you notice weight loss, vomiting, nausea, lethargy, any one f
those symptoms, please get them to a vet immediately before it gets more difficult to treat.

Just like a person with IBD, colitis, diverticulitis, etc., cats need to stop eating an entire can in one meal. Your cat
will probably have to eat several to many small meals per day. This is the best way to ensure that your cat doesn’
t gorge itself in one sitting and then vomit the half digested food shortly to several hours afterwards. It’s a
common problem with IBD kitties and even though you must keep them eating, many small meals is the best way
to go. This gives your cat time to digest each small meal and hopefully not regurgitate it. Each time an IBD kitty
vomits it irritates the GI tract and esophagus with acid reflux usually occurring as well. Vomit sometimes contains
white foam or bile that’s backing up from the liver and pancreas excretions. A person with a bleeding ulcer can
tell you how much that hurts. So now you know why you’re kitty stops eating. Because when they get nauseas
and vomit, it hurts. If you ever see vomit with a pinkish/reddish tinge to it, that's blood. That means the GI tract
has been very strained and it's painful for them.

You'll want to feed a novel protein like rabbit, lamb, duck or venison; something that your cat isn’t usually
exposed to in their diet. These are specially processed to break down the structure of the protein into multiple,
tiny particles that the immune system will not recognize as an allergen. This is one way of “tricking” the immune
response in your cat’s body. Sometimes it’s a specific allergy they have to chicken, beef, egg, etc. It’s a process
of elimination. Stick with low/healthy fats and carbohydrates as these are converted into energy and the unused
portion stored away for future use. This will give the liver and the GI tract a chance to rest. But if the cat’s GI
tract is already compromised, the rest of the organs are working harder to break these down, including the liver.
If too much fat and carbohydrates gets stored in the liver things can quickly escalate to hepatic lipidosis, (fatty
liver disease). Even healthy cats should only be allowed to ingest 3-5% of carbohydrates per meal, because cats
don't have the natural biological enzymes and enzyme pathways to process carbohydrates. Please see my foods
page for a list of grain free wet and dry foods:

If your cat has diarrhea, sometimes a low residue, low fiber diet can greatly improve their stools. A low residue
diet contains limited amounts of undigested or only partially digested ingredients and limits the amount of food
waste that has to move through the large intestine. This diet may help control diarrhea and abdominal cramping.
Adding a teaspoon a day of 100% pure, canned pumpkin to their food also does wonders to help improve
symptoms of diarrhea. Don’t get the pumpkin pie filling, The pie filling has a lot of sugar in it. Get the 100% pure
pumpkin, preferably organic. It should look like squash when you open the can. If your kitty has severe diarrhea
due to antibiotics you can add a teaspoon per meal instead of one teaspoon a day. Both my cats were on
antibiotics when they were kittens for upper respiratory infections and the pumpkin took care of the diarrhea, but
I had to put it in every meal.

Treats are great but only if they’re free of any of the ingredients I’ve mentioned and are all natural and/or
organic. Treats are just as capable of making your kitty vomit or get diarrhea, it really doesn’t take much at all.
Healthy treats should consist of very few ingredients and mainly MEAT. Pet food companies have come a long
way in making great treats and there's no reason to feed the with a million ingredients in them. My healthy cats
don't get anything with grains in them, not even treats. They get freeze-dried treats with one ingredient and that's
meat. I have a comprehensive list of grain free treats on this page:

Think about elevating your cat’s food dish as well. When a cat eats as quickly as they tend to do with their heads
facing in a downward direction, they don’t usually pick their heads up to swallow, they just inhale. Keeping their
heads slightly elevated or even with their neck while eating helps to ensure the food goes in one direction, down.
Some people have asked me about water filters and I myself have a filter hooked up to my kitchen sink and only
give filtered water to my cats, no tap at all. I feel it’s best for my own health as well and this way none of us get
the chemicals, contaminates and/or unhealthy bacteria that are in city water. If you can't do a water filter, at least
give only bottle water, preferably something from a health food store that's free of BPAs, arsenic, etc. There are
several brands out there. Read more about water here:

IBD kitties are notorious for suddenly changing its preference of food. Their systems seem to become used to a
protein very quickly. It’s good to keep at least two or three difference foods in the house at all times for this
reason. Even if your cat doesn’t have IBD, veterinarians are now recommending you rotate their food choices
very often. This will discourage their bodies from getting used to one set of ingredients and developing an allergy
to it. Would you want to eat the same thing for the rest of your life? I highly doubt it, and they shouldn't either.
The old school way of thinking it's okay to force the same food day after to day on your cat is gone. This is a
sure fire way to cause food allergies and intolerance. Please go to the food page for more information on specific
foods for IBD kitties and for giving healthy cats better feeding options:

On the premise of switching things around, the same may have to be done with medications, supplements, etc.
As with anything else there comes a point when the body gets too used to it and it may not work that well
anymore. If you notice this happening with their medication, don't get discouraged. Talk with your vet about other
meds you can try and the same goes for any natural treatments. It comes with the territory and having
forewarning that this will in all most likelihood happen several times, can give you a better way to be prepared for
it. This can be a very discouraging and exhausting disease. Please remember to take time for yourself because
you are a caregiver.

Fore more on this disease please see my guest blog:
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