My cat Emily has been having more and more problems with diarrhea and occasional vomiting of her food as the years go on, especially this past year. She's fourteen now. I've had her to three vets. The only food I've found so far she can eat is Fancy Feast trout feast. I've unsuccessfully tried about ten other Fancy Feast flavors. What I do is feed her the food I'm testing exclusively for two days, one food a week, watching her BMs up to two days afterwards.

Usually the diarrhea shows up the second or third day after introducing it. The problem is, I'm not sure of whether it's the new food or change in diet. Very frustrating. I'm pretty sure it's the food as reactions vary. Maybe I should try another brand but I trust Purina - they didn't have to recall like most of the other pet food makers when the Chinese wheat gluten(?) caused so many problems some years ago, IIRC. The seafood feast in gravy seemed to be ok, but a week or two later I tried plain seafood feast and she very quickly had diarrhea the first day.

I'm reluctant to try the gravy type again - ingredients seem to be much the same.
I've tried probiotics from the vet but she won't eat food it is sprinkled on.
FWIW, I feed her three times a day - when I eat
The most recent vet suggested Nature's Best dry food. I tried a quarter cup of the ocean fish and brown rice one morning. She threw it up a few minutes after trying it and was sick, would eat very little, and had problems with every food then for three or four days. Maybe coincidence? I've not dared to try it again.
The dry Iams probiotic started giving her diarrhea, only fed quarter cup once a day. A whole bag previously it didn't bother her.

She is strictly an inside cat and I no longer give her table scraps - just the cat food.
I'm afraid Purina will stop making trout feast and I'll have nothing to feed her so am trying my best to find alternatives she can eat.

I've had six or so cats previously and never had feeding problems, even in their old age.
Several vets suggested staying away from lamb and beef. She seems to also react badly to turkey. I've not tried shellfish yet.

Suggestions? Brands? I've heard good things about Wellness but have not tried it.
TIA
Ken

"When you choose the lesser of two evils, always
remember that it is still an evil." - Max Lerner
25 Apr 2010 17:06:51 GMT from KenK (Email Removed):

Wow - this is a tricky problem, and I won't pretend to have "the answer".
She is strictly an inside cat and I no longer give her table scraps - just the cat food.

Is there a reason you don't give her table scraps? I'd think a little poached salmon or other gently cooked fish would work for her. Again, I'm just guessing here.
Does she eat that cat grass?
Suggestions? Brands? I've heard good things about Wellness but have not tried it.

My vet recommended Wellness - the wet, not the dry. Milo loves it. There are a few little bits of what looks like cooked carrot, but it's grain free. They make different flavors, so you could try small cans of different ones and see if she'll eat it and how her tummy responds.
EVO was also recommended by my vet, and it's also grain free. Milo eats it, though it's not his favorite.
Good luck. It's hard with an older cat, and I think you're right that when you change food it might be the change itself that is the problem.

Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Tompkins County, New York, USA http://oakroadsystems.com
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Stan has some good suggestions.
First, NO dry food. If your cat has food allergies, there are too many questionable ingredients in any dry food.
You need to try a grain-free, fish free wet food (fish can be a common allergen). Wellness has chicken, turkey, and chicken and beef wet that is grain free. Innova Evo has chicken, turkey, duck, and venison that are grain free. Nature's Variety has some grain-free wet also.

You can also try a commercially-prepared raw diet. A number of varieties are available. Do your homework and check the ingredients and instructions on their web site.
Also, I would suggest feeding 2 x/day about 12 hours apart. Warm the food a bit before feeding (cats eat based on smell, and since your girl is older, her sense of smell might be diminished).

You can buy probiotics at a health-food store and mix them into her food. She shouldn't even know they are in there. Make sure to buy ones that don't have dairy (another possible allergen).
KenK I would suggest getting Emily on a good quality canned food and don't change it. My cats eat Wellness chicken. Constant changing of food can cause all sorts of problems. Some companies keep changing their formulas (Nutro for example) so avoid these. The use of canned food can help prevent URIs.
MIKE
(Email Removed):
You need to try a grain-free, fish free wet food (fish can be a common allergen). Wellness has chicken, turkey, ... free. Innova Evo has chicken, turkey, duck, and venison that are grain free. Nature's Variety has some grain-free wet also.

Can't find any of these where I live. We only have Petsmart and Walmart, Target, etc. with much cat food. I called Wellness but their only store here only has dry cat food. They will order for me but I have no idea what flavor to order - I only wanted a few cans to try out.

Ken

"When you choose the lesser of two evils, always
remember that it is still an evil." - Max Lerner
Does she eat that cat grass?

Nope.
My vet recommended Wellness - the wet, not the dry. Milo loves it. There are a few little bits of ... EVO was also recommended by my vet, and it's also grain free. Milo eats it, though it's not his favorite.

None of these are available here. The only place that sells Wellness only has dry. They'll order canned but I don't know what flavor to order to try out.
Ken

"When you choose the lesser of two evils, always
remember that it is still an evil." - Max Lerner
26 Apr 2010 17:52:40 GMT from KenK (Email Removed):
You need to try a grain-free, fish free wet food ... are grain free. Nature's Variety has some grain-free wet also.

Can't find any of these where I live. We only have Petsmart and Walmart, Target, etc. with much cat food. ... me but I have no idea what flavor to order - I only wanted a few cans to try out.

Ken,
Go to froogle.google.com there are LOTS of online retailers. Unfortunately buying just a few cans is not very economical, but it is possible.
Cans come in two sizes: about 5 oz (tuna-fish-can size) and about 13 oz (Campbell-Chunky-Soup size). As you might expect, the latter are more expensive in absolute terms but cheaper by the ounce.

I found good case prices around $27 for twelve of the large cans. But a case is $30 at the local Agway, and I figured by the time I paid shipping it would be pretty much a push.

Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Tompkins County, New York, USA http://oakroadsystems.com
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26 Apr 2010 17:54:59 GMT from KenK (Email Removed):
None of these are available here. The only place that sells Wellness only has dry. They'll order canned but I don't know what flavor to order to try out.

DON'T buy the dry. I tried it, but Milo gained a couple of pounds on it in a couple of weeks. It's the old (problem: too much carbohydrate per protein.
Salmon/shrimp/crab and Salmon/beef are two flavors of the wet food that Milo likes. But I doubt your retailer will order individual cans for you. You might ask about a case price if it's more than $30 you can definitely do better on the Internet.
If you buy a case and your little buddy doesn't thrive on it after a few days, you can always donate the unopened cans to a shelter or a vet they'll be gratefully received because Wellness cans are good stuff.

Stan Brown, Oak Road Systems, Tompkins County, New York, USA http://oakroadsystems.com
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@storefull-3173.bay.webtv.net:
KenK I would suggest getting Emily on a good quality canned food and don't change it. My cats eat Wellness ... keep changing their formulas (Nutro for example) so avoid these. The use of canned food can help prevent URIs. MIKE

As I've related in other messages, good canned cat food is hard to come by in my small city (~100K).
I try to feed her only Fancy Feast trout feast; the other foods I try weekly or so are to try to find another food she can eat in case I can't get the trout. Seems I was right, Walmart hasn't had the trout in a week - maybe they dropped it. Petsmart doesn't carry that flavor. Nor Target. The Fancy Feast tuna feast in gravy seems to only give her soft BMs (about halfway between diarrhea and normal) so I may have to switch to it if the trout doesn't turn up by this weekend when I will run out.

Ken

"When you choose the lesser of two evils, always
remember that it is still an evil." - Max Lerner