Irritable Bowel Disease (IBS) is a condition that affects the cats’ digestive system. It is usually characterized by regular vomiting, diarrhea, loss of appetite, and loss of weight to your kitty. Usually, IBS may be caused by allergies, parasites, or bacteria.
However, according to the Cat Health Guide, about 50% of IBD cases in cats is caused by diet. Thus, dietary intolerance or disruption of the gut’s chemical function may cause this condition to your cat. Mostly, milk protein lactose and carbohydrates and the major causes of food intolerances in cats.
Usually, Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) is confused with Inflammatory Bowel Disease (IBD). Inflammatory Bowel Disease is an inflammation of the intestinal lining that is caused by other underlying diseases. On the other hand, Irritable Bowel Syndrome is caused by stress and food intolerance.
Irritable bowel syndrome has no cure. However, the symptoms can be controlled with treatment or dietary change. Giving your cat the best cat food for irritable bowel disease will help control the symptoms. Therefore, it is paramount to maintain the recommended diet and ensure that your kitty is not subjected to stress. Also, regular checkups are important to ensure a long term recovery.
Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Natural Adult Dry Cat Food
Hill’s Science Sensitive Stomach and Skin Adult Cat Food
Review of the Best Cat Food for Irritable Bowel Disease
1. Lucy Pet Formula for Sensitive Stomach and Skin Dry Cat Food (Editor’s Pick)
The main ingredients in this cat food are salmon, Pumpkin, and Quinoa. The Wild Alaskan Salmon is a rich source of protein to promote healthy muscles for your kitty. Moreover, the delicious pumpkin in this diet is a rich source of fiber that eases digestion. Quinoa is a high-quality digestible seed that is a rich source of essential amino acids.
Additionally, this cat food is blended with taurine to promote vision and heart health and antioxidants for a strong immune system. Also, this cat food is very beneficial for cats struggling with IBD and IBS since it has Prebiotics Balanced Fiber to promote gut health. For healthy skin and coat for your furry baby, this dry cat food has Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids.
Therefore, this diet is carefully formulated to promote digestive tract health and help with sensitive stomachs. Besides, this cat food is suitable for all cat breeds of all ages. It is very delicious and extremely palatable for even the pickiest eaters.
Moreover, this cat food has exceptional customer reviews. Many customers have reported change after introducing this diet to their kitties who struggled with smelly watery poop and frequent vomiting. Also, this diet helps alleviate IBS and IBD symptoms as soon as a few days after the introduction. Additionally, it is very beneficial for cats who struggle with hairballs and vomiting.
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2. Blue Buffalo Sensitive Stomach Natural Adult Dry Cat Food (Best Budget)
The first ingredient in this diet is Real Deboned Chicken. Other ingredients include brown rice, sweet potatoes, cranberries, peas, and carrots. The high-quality protein is essential in maintaining healthy muscles.
Also, this dry cat food has prebiotics to promote a healthy digestive system and to promote nutrients absorption. The prebiotics in this diet increases the amount of healthy bacteria/probiotic organisms in your kitty’s intestines to help promote a healthy gut. Additionally, it is fortified with essential vitamins, vital minerals, and has antioxidants rich ingredients for a healthy immune system. Plus, it contains Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids to promote a shiny coat and healthy skin for your kitty.
Also, this formula contains Blue’s Exclusive LifeSource Bits which are a precise blend of antioxidants, minerals and vitamins. These are carefully selected by veterinarians and animal nutritionists to support a healthy immune system and oxidative balance. Moreover, all the ingredients are natural with no chicken by-product meals, corn, wheat, soy, artificial preservatives, colors, or flavors.
3. Hill’s Science Sensitive Stomach and Skin Adult Cat Food (Best Rated)
This cat food provides optimal digestive health while promoting healthy skin and coat for your cat. The main ingredients in this diet are chicken and rice. Also, it has prebiotic fiber that helps promote a healthy gut bacteria and supports an adult cat’s microbiome.
Moreover, this cat food is highly digestible hence optimum nutrients absorption and easy stool pick up. Also, it is enhanced with Omega 6 fatty acids and Vitamin E to nourish your cat’s skin. All the ingredients are natural with no artificial additives.
Choosing the best cat food for irritable bowel disease
Dietary change plays a major role in irritable bowel syndrome management in cats. Therefore, it is vital to find cat food that does not have the ingredient that your cat is reacting to hence leading to IBS. Mostly, some cats react to the protein source, artificial additives and grains in the food.
Thus, start a food trial by introducing a new commercial cat food with a novel protein to your cat. For instance, if your kitty has been on cat food with chicken as the first ingredient, switch to another protein such as rabbit, venison, duck or turkey. Also, ensure that the food has no by-products, artificial preservatives, flavors, or colors added.
Here are important things to look out for when choosing the best cat food for irritable bowel disease
1. High quality ingredients
Cat food prepared with high-quality natural ingredients is vital in managing IBS. Natural ingredients are easier to digest than highly processed cat food. Therefore, look for raw or fresh food for wet cat food and freeze-dried and dehydrated food for dry cat food. Easily digestible food is easily absorbed by your cat hence beneficial for your cat’s health.
2. Single source of animal protein
Cats are obligate carnivores. Therefore, they need a high protein diet. For cats with IBS or IBD, choose cat food that has a single source of novel (one that your cat has not tried before) protein. Thus, the food will be easy to digest and will reduce the chances of food allergies to your furry baby.
3. Easy to digest carbohydrates
When choosing the best cat food for irritable bowel disease, look for a diet that has a limited amount of carbohydrates. Thus, it will be highly digestible. However, most cats with IBS and IBD have difficulty digesting carbohydrates. Therefore, you may need to go for a grain-free diet with options like sweet potatoes, lentils, and peas for your cat.
4. Limited number of ingredients
Cat food with a lot of ingredients is likely to trigger allergies and digestive problems. Therefore, to help prevent this, look for a limited ingredients diet for your cat with IBS or IBD. Few ingredients food for your cat will help in alleviating and managing IBS.
5. No artificial additives
If your cat has irritable bowel, avoid buying him food with artificial preservatives, flavor, and color. Also, avoid by-product meat products since they are known to cause digestive problems. Therefore, food with no artificial additives are the best for cats with an irritable bowel.
6. Beneficial supplements
Supplements such as vitamins, chelated minerals, probiotics, and healthy fats are important in cats’ overall health. Vitamins help in promoting a healthy immune system while probiotics promote a healthy digestive system. Also, Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids are for maintaining a healthy skin and coat for your cat.
7. Moisture content
Most cats with IBS respond very well to canned foods since they have a high moisture content. Moisture content is very beneficial not only to cats with IBS but also to healthy cats. Usually, canned cat food has fewer carbohydrates contents and higher protein content than dry cat food hence easily digestible for cats.
8. Fiber content
Cats with IBS need moderate fiber in their diet. Presence of fiber in cat’s food helps the food to move through your cat’s gut. Also, it helps prevent constipation and buildup of hair in the digestive tract that forms hairballs. Therefore, a combination of fiber and probiotics in your cat’s diet will help in digestion and alleviate IBS symptoms.
Symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) in Cats
Symptoms of IBS in cats may range from mild to severe. Here are the common signs that your cat has IBS.
- Blood and mucus in feces
- Abdominal pain
- Loss of appetite
- Weight loss
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Mostly, your veterinarian will ask for your kitty’s health history and the onset of the IBS symptoms. Then, he will; perform a thorough physical examination on your furry baby and identify the incidents that would have triggered the condition. Thus, he will rule out the causes of the IBS
Usually, outpatient medical management is the most common treatment method for IBS. After diagnosis, your vet will advise that you feed your cat with a special diet that is easily digestible to help restore the normal functioning of the digestive tract.
The best cat food for irritable bowel disease is highly digestible and has the right amount of fiber. Also, if your cat is exposed to stressors in her environment, your vet will recommend that you eliminate these elements.
How to treat Irritable Bowel Syndrome in cats
Treating IBS involves a combination of dietary changes, medication, and long-term lifestyle changes. Here are options for treating IBS in cats
1. Diet Change
Changing your cat's diet to a hypoallergenic diet can help in alleviating the symptoms associated with IBS. Hypoallergenic cat food helps in reducing food allergies which is a major contributing factor to IBS. Veterinarians and animal nutritionists will recommend that you feed your cat with food with limited ingredients. Food with one protein and carbohydrate source would be a good starting point.
Also, look for highly digestible food to help reduce bowel problems related to IBS. Low residue diets are easy to digest and absorb. Ask your veterinarian on the best option for your kitty if you are introducing a new diet. These diets are made specifically for cats with intestinal problems
Moreover, give your cat food rich in fiber content. Fiber-rich food promotes a regular and smooth bowel movement for your cat. Therefore, introducing food rich in fiber to your cat’s diet could help in reducing stomach discomfort related to IBS.
2. Probiotics and supplements
The presence of probiotics in your cat’s diet will help greatly in treating IBS. Generally, probiotics are the good bacteria that are naturally found it cat’s digestive system. Therefore, the good bacteria helps in fighting the bad bacteria that causes IBS and other infections.
Thus, look for food that has probiotics and prebiotics to promote your furry baby’s digestive health. Also, supplements such as Omega 3 and Omega 6 fatty acids, Sulphur, and plantain helps in reducing symptoms associated with IBS.
3. Prescription treatments
If your kitty is not responding to diet change and is still experiencing frequent vomiting and diarrhea, your vet may prescribe medicine to him. Also, your vet may recommend a prescription diet that is designed for cats with irritable bowels.
IBS diagnosis in cats can be a bit tricky since it is a group of conditions rather than one problem. Usually, a fecal examination is done but for additional testing blood, tissue biopsy, and imaging is needed.
4. Deworming treatment
If your kitty’s IBS is related to intestinal parasites, a deworming treatment may be recommended. A fecal test is done to confirm the presence of worms and parasites and a broad spectrum treatment administered to get rid of the parasites in your cat’s digestive system.
5. Seek Veterinarian Care
The first step to treating IBS is visiting your vet to determine the best course of treatment for your kitty. They will do multiple tests to diagnose your kitty. Your vet may suggest medical treatment and lifestyle changes for your cat.
Usually, IBS treatment involves many approaches. Follow your vet’s recommendations closely and seek advice every time you are in doubt about your cat’s progress. They may prescribe medication for your cat which may include antibiotics and immune-suppressive drugs. These medicine have side effects. Therefore, speak to your vet on what your cat is likely to experience when taking the medicines.
In most cases, IBS comes and goes with time. Your kitty may go for weeks even months without the symptoms then they reoccur again. Therefore, it is important to notify your vet every time the symptoms reoccur.
However, it is easy to manage this disease over time. Ensure that your cat gets regular vet checkups. Thus, your vet can monitor the symptom and adjust the treatment and prescriptions as need be. Every cat is unique. Thus every case of IBS and IBD is not identical and varies from one cat to another.