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Doctor 4 Cats
Doctor 4 Cats, Cat Veterinarian
Category: Cat Veterinary
Satisfied Customers: 952
Experience:  Board certified feline specialist. 22 years specializing in the medical needs of cats.
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Siamese: 12 year old..MIX..pound..constipated and poops..DIARRHEA

Customer Question

MY 12 year old Siamese (MIX?) is very overweight due to being on prednisalone for itching (she is bald over her stomach and we do not know why she is chewing her hair off - tests do not tell).

I put her on Royal Canin calorie Control HIGH protein from the calorie control HIGH fiber to get her to lose weight and she lost about 1/2 a pound in about a months time, BUT suddenly she is constipated and poops once in 4 days.

My one vet says put her on the purina EN that I put my other cat on for DIARRHEA but I think she should go back to the high fiber diet she did well on before.

WHAT DO YOU SUGGEST? She has NEVER had any bowel or health problems in all the 10 or 11 years I have owned her (except the itching) till I swithed foods?
Submitted: 6 years ago.
Category: Cat Veterinary
Expert:  Doctor 4 Cats replied 6 years ago.

She should be on canned food = more water, less waste to pass, less calories by volume, easier to meal feed.

She should be off all the fiber. The laxatives only work with sufficient water intake, otherwise they just make things worse. In a 12 year old cat I doubt she is taking in enough water.

Start with 6-8 ounces daily of any canned food she will eat that doesn't cause any GI upset. Add to the canned food 1/4-1/2 cup water to make gravy. Divide this amount in to 2-3 feedings. Weigh her every week. It is more detrimental to her to lose weight rapidly than it is to be fat. Your goal should be to reach her ideal weight in 6-12 months. Adjust quantities up or down to do that.

As for her hair loss:

Think food allergy...

When cats itch it is caused by fleas 50% of the time, food 40% of
the time, and all other allergies and problems ( inhalant allergy, mites,
bacterial infection, etc) 10% of the time.

Fleas and food must be eliminated before thinking of tests for
everything else.

Purchase a flea comb and comb ALL cats daily for 5 days looking
for live fleas or the black flecks of flea dirt that looks like ground pepper.
You cannot rule out fleas in cats by just looking under the hair. You must comb
them. If you see any evidence of fleas on anybody....treat everyone.

Any of the prescription once-a -month products (Frontline,
Advantage, Revolution) are effective. Remember though that they all work great for 3
weeks, well for four weeks, they do not work for 5 weeks. Treat all cats once
every three weeks for at least 2 treatments. Do not waste your money on over
the counter products, they do not work.
Comb regularly after that and treat as indicated.

In the case of flea allergy, it is not the individual flea bite
that they are scratching. When a flea
allergic cat is bitten by a flea, they have a reaction that causes them to react

To eliminate food as a possible source of the itching, the cat must go off all the things it
now eats or has ever eaten.
cat foods, canned and dry, all table foods, and all treats. Read all the
ingredients on the labels. Anything that is in any of those foods the cat cannot
have during the trial. If there is chicken or poultry meal, it cannot have
chicken. If there is corn, it cannot have corn. If there is fish, it cannot
have fish.

For the 3-4 weeks the cat is going to be on the food trial, it is
often easiest to use cooked meats, lunch meat, or strained meat baby foods. You
can use whatever meat is NOT in your cat's current diet. Feed that exclusively
for 3-4 weeks. If all signs resolve, we will need to find a more balanced
maintenance diet.

To be effective you must be religious about this so that food as a
source of the allergy is eliminated.

While you're doing the above you can explore the house and
environment for anything your cat could be breathing in that it could be
allergic to: XXXXX XXXXX the litter, potpourri, cleaners, carpet fresheners,
plants in the house, fireplace or cigarette smoke, etc, These should be
eliminated also.

Just a rule of thumb....flea allergy and inhalant allergies are
very responsive to steroids (cortisone), food allergy is not.

Take her off the prednisolone before she becomes diabetic too.

Customer: replied 6 years ago.
I cannot just give her cat food - she DOES get 2/3 of a can WITH extra water each day but she is a kibble head as are her brothers and needs her kibble (few morseles ONLY) a few times per day.

AS for the itching I have done all that and dermatologist has seen her and nobody knows why she itches.

Do you say to put her on low residue dry food then?
Expert:  Doctor 4 Cats replied 6 years ago.
If she never had any problems on your original food in 10-11 years put her back on it. If you have multiple cats with various health problems there is no convenient or easy way to feed each cat to address each problem unless you separate them.
Doctor 4 Cats and other Cat Veterinary Specialists are ready to help you
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
Since I paid $38.00 shouldn't I get the whole bunch of free questions I can ask?

I am going to try to get her to eat canned twice a day - I do mix a lot of water in it.
Expert:  Doctor 4 Cats replied 6 years ago.
Do you have other questions?
Customer: replied 6 years ago.
So do you think switching her from the high fiber to the high protein caused her to get the constipation and why would I be told to put her on a LOW RESDIDUE diet when my boy with the DIARRHEA is on it?
Expert:  Doctor 4 Cats replied 6 years ago.

I don't think it's that simple. If her bowels adjusted to the increased fiber and you changed her to the high protein low fiber, it stands to reason that she would stool less because there is less waste (fiber). There is no advantage to using the low residue (EN) except that your other cat is on it and that might be more convenient. They are also two different manufacturers so maybe your vet thought she may handle that diet better.

Her issue is she needs to be on fewer calories. You can accomplish that by feeding less quantity of her regular food or by feeding the same quantity of a lower calorie food (high fiber or high water). Most important though is that these new foods do not create other GI upsets. That's why it is good to have a variety to try is she has problems.

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