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Tattling on Tuffy

UGH.  There is nothing worse in this world than a cat with diarrhea.   Well, there probably is, truth be told, but….when you have a long-haired cat with the runs that literally clears a room after he uses the litter box, you begin to wonder!

I did a lot of research into what caused diarrhea, what the cures were, what I could do about it without dragging poor Tuffy to the Vet.  He’s not really a people cat and I didn’t want to stress him anymore than he already was, but……sometimes you just need to bite the bullet.

My own thoughts drifted from kidney failure (dealing with that for a different cat), fatty liver disease, cancer, IBD, parasites and food allergies.  I started keeping a journal of everything he ate, what meds I was giving him (homepaths) and his litter box habits.  I stopped giving him chicken and started buying very expensive cat food.  He never gained weight, but didn’t lose much more than his 9 pounds.  At 9 pounds, he was too thin.  When he stopped eating a whole can of food and finishing off the other 3 cats’ bowls, I knew something was wrong.  The next morning, he ate very little, but threw that up.  Panic mode set in and I called the Vet.

Don’t get me wrong – I think everyone needs a good Veterinarian.  I just prefer not subjecting my animals to anymore poking and prodding than necessary.   Dr. Howarth at Spencer Springs Animal Hospital in Henderson, NV was wonderful!  He checked Tuffy all over, took blood, gave him fluids and gave me a bottle of antibiotics to give Tuff for 10 days.  Then we had to take a stool sample back the next day.

The blood tests came back negative, AND the stool sample came back negative.  Thank goodness!  Dr. Howarth told me that chicken was the #1 food allergen for cats.  So, I decided to do a little research on what exactly I was feeding the kids.

Blue Buffalo Wilderness with Red Meat…..has chicken in it.  Since when is chicken a red meat????  Don’t get me wrong….I love Blue Buffalo food for my cats….just not with chicken.  Buy Blue Buffalo Basics if you want to stick with the brand.  It’s chicken-free!

Blue BuffaloBlue Buffalo 2



The more I looked, the more I found chicken.  Chicken, chicken everywhere!  ARRRRRGH!  It’s in Temptations treats (Tuffy’s favorite!), it’s in cheap cat food AND expensive cat food.  I was getting really depressed at PetsMart yesterday, until I started looking at Fancy Feast.  I’ve fed them Fancy Feast for years, but usually mixed it up between the Poultry and the Seafood.   And now that the Poultry was out, I needed to do something to keep my cats from all out mutiny.  And purchasing ridiculously expensive cat food for 4 cats is out of the question.  I don’t make enough money for that!

The 5 Fancy Feast cans below have no chicken in them.  Against the Grain and Avoderm Crab & Shrimp also have no chicken.  The Simply Nourish Tuna and Salmon both have chicken liver.  I’m going to give it a try anyway.  I gave the Blue Buffalo dry food away and purchased Simply Nourish Salmon.  I’ll probably go back to Blue Buffalo Basics next month.


They say it takes 6-12 weeks for the allergens to leave the body.   I’m hoping it takes less time.  My Scentsy burners are hoping it takes less time and my husband is hoping it takes less time as well!




Food Allergies in Cats


PinMao lovin’ up on his brother Smudge

I’ve always tended to believe that dogs can and will eat anything.  Take my dog Bosco, for instance.  When he was little, he ate my husbands leather glove.  Even though my husband was yelling at him to stop, he just got a little gleam in his eye, chewed it up and swallowed it.  My Dad wanted to know if the dog was going to poop out mittens.  A leather glove, a $20 bill, various pieces of paper, twigs, bugs….he truly is a garbage pail.

Cats, on the other hand, tend to be very picky about what they eat.  Food they’ve eaten for months suddenly turns their stomachs and they walk away with their noses in the air.  Sometimes the only thing I can do is sprinkle a little dried liver treat on their food to get them to eat.  It’s either that or open a new can of food and start over again.  My Grandmother, God rest her soul, fed her cat tuna, steak, chicken….cooked every day and if he didn’t like one, another treat would be forthcoming.

Me?  I feed my cats Fancy Feast and….until yesterday, Blue Buffalo Dry Food.  Which brings me to my subject.  Food allergies.   Rolla, our “bedroom” cat has lived upstairs for years and years.  She doesn’t like other cats, so we indulge her by letting her be the queen of the bedroom.  She developed scabs all over her body – her ears, her face, her neck….it was ghastly enough that I finally took her to the Vet.  They did all the standard things and couldn’t find anything wrong.  I was advised to bathe her in special soap twice a week.  Has anyone ever bathed a cat even once?  I almost lost an arm!  I thought I was doing her a favor, feeding her Science Diet dry food.  She LOVED it!  After the unsuccessful trip to the Vet and losing blood in the sink from one bathing session, I decided to change her food.  I started her on Blue Buffalo.  Now, granted, it took almost a month for all the scabs to disappear, but they did.  She’s back to being her gorgeous self.

Rolla 4 2006

Rolla, in all her glory!

Which brings me to another point.  A couple of my Cat House cats have scabs on their necks and back.  Not horrible like Rolla, but enough to make me think about food allergies.  They also eat Blue Buffalo.  I’ve decided to change their diet and purchased some “Wellness” food instead.  I’ll let you know in a month how it’s working!

As for the Fancy Feast, they all still love it – twice a day.  However, I’ve stopped feeding PinMao any fish because of his diarrhea.  I’m hoping it will at least slow it down enough so that he can develop his insides a little better.  I don’t think he’ll ever be a perfect pooper, but I’m going to do what I can to help!

Bosco, the glove eating dog!

Bosco, the glove eating dog!

Meet PinMao

PinMao, Pin, MaoMao Bean, Pinhead, Pin Stripe… name it, I’ve called him it.  His original name at the Shelter where he lived for the first 3 years of his life was Pinhead.  When I volunteered there, I called him MaoMao Bean because I thought he looked Egyptian.  (The Bean?  Don’t know why I added that!  LOL!)  I combined the names and call him PinMao now to try and keep it as simple as possible.

When I moved to Nevada, I left PinMao behind, hoping someone would come along and see him for who he was and adopt him.  After 2 years, and no chance of adoption seeming likely, I told the woman in charge of the Shelter that the next time they came to Vegas, bring PinMao with them and I’d take him.  The thought of him living his whole life in a Shelter was depressing.

I didn’t worry too much when he arrived with a runny/snotty nose.  I opened the door to his kennel and let him get acclimated.  Within days, my whole cat population was sick.  Runny noses, sneezing, boogers everywhere.  And Pin?  O.M.G. – he had diarrhea – never before had I seen such a bad case.  He would drip poop everywhere.  EVERYWHERE.  It was on the couch, the blankets, the towels, the floor, and yes, even the litter boxes.  I was beside myself.  I felt guilty exposing my other 8 cats to this horrendous mess.  Henry, God bless her, got a nose infection.  That’s what finally prompted me to take her to the Vet.


She got antibiotics and steroids.  This cat had NEVER been sick her entire life.  I was beside myself with worry and anxiety.  And I felt sorry for PinMao too because it really wasn’t his fault.   I obtained antibiotics for everyone and put it in the water supply.  Henry was back to her old self in about 3 weeks, as was everyone else. 


PinMao of course, continued pooping everywhere and the antibiotics didn’t improve his situation.  I used Arsenicum Album for days, I tried pet fiber and Lysine.  The Lysine did help the sneezing and general illness of the group, but it didn’t do much for Pin’s little red bottom.

In the book Cats Homeopathic Remedies by George Macleod, I finally found a last ditch effort for homeopathic remedies for diarrhea.  Podophyllum 1m, given 1 dose daily for 6 days.  Well, I only have the pill form (30c) which I gave him twice a day.  It was a miracle.  I finally saw improvement!  Now, granted, a couple months ago, Pin’s penchant for leaving little brown dots everywhere had pretty much dissipated.  He DID use the litterbox, but it was still a ghastly site, hence the move towards a new remedy.

I haven’t seen any spots, I have seen very little diarrhea in the litter boxes and he seems a lot happier.  He’s a very shy cat, teeny, teeny, teeny.  He was a failure to thrive cat, like Ralphie (who has his own blog!) but he really never came out of his shell like Ralphie did.  However, he’s learning.