|Purred: Thu Mar 3, '11 11:41am PST |
|Both of my cats (brother and sister) had severe IBS from around six months of age, and Trooper, the white boy kitty, would get horrible ulcers on his lips, which would then get infected from rubbing his teeth. Even working with a very supportive vet and trying every traditional food on the market (including the LIDs and prescriptions), we were not able to get their issues under control. Both cats took metranidazole regularly for severe diarrhea, and Trooper even had IVs a few times when the diarrhea made him dehydrated. He was also getting steroid shots every three weeks, and we experimented with giving him oral steroids and tapering them down- no luck. Both cats were miserable and had to be bathed regularly because of the diarrhea, and Trooper's anal glands even got painfully infected.
They were miserable. We tried both the low allergen and gastro prescriptions foods, and this made things even worse, giving them stools the color and consistency of molasses. We tried Feliway diffusers for stress, but Trooper still became withdrawn and fearful because I was always trying to give him medicine. I tried a number of brands of novel protein, limited ingredient foods, including limiting them to only wet food at my vet's suggestion. Nothing worked, and both cats were on medications constantly. Trooper's lips would become horribly distorted and scabbed, and he was miserable, spending most of the day hiding under my recliner.
After a lot of research, I tried a frozen raw food from Nature's Variety. My vet was leery of the raw idea, fearing contamination problems (never mind the horrible things found in traditional foods), but I gave her a ton of research and documentation on their foods, and she agreed that it was worth a try, as the constant medication posed significant health problems.
The difference was nothing short of miraculous. Within two days of switching them over to the raw-only food, both cat's stools spontaneously cleared up and became firm and dry- with NO ODOR! Trooper still needed another round of antibiotics to clear up a secondary infection, but from the day we started about three months ago, neither cat has required steroids or any additional medication.
Both cat's coats became soft and shiny, and they quickly returned to their happy, healthy selves. Their weights have stabilized at a very healthy level (Trooper had gained weight from the steroids).
We buy the Nature's Variety medallions in beef, lamb and venison. We also do Bison every once in a while, which they love, but is not approved as the sole diet for cats (the food is for cats or dogs). They didn't like the chicken or rabbit. It can be hard to find (and shipping it is prohibitively expensive because it must be kept frozen. I live in a rural area, but I found a garden store that stocked alternative pet foods that carried it about an hour from my house, and the owner their orders for me every six weeks or so. Between the two cats they get 8 oz. (8 medallions) a day, 4 in the evening and four in the morning. Each night I take 8 more out of the freezer and put them in a covered glass bowl in the fridge for the next day. The price works out to about $1.50 per day per cat- $90/month for two cat's food is expensive, but compares to the vet's prescription food, and we haven't spent a penny on vet bills since we started- compared to the $2700 I spent at the vet last year.
I can't recommend this food enough- it has literally saved my cat's lives. My vet was pleasantly stunned at their recovery, and is now considering using the food with other patients. Look for a place with enough turnover that it's fresh- some chain stores only had expired food. Best of all is if you can find a locally owned place that will work with you to get what you need!
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