Cats are well-known for their ability to adjust to almost any new circumstance. When it comes to various cat foods, you’ll find that your little friend is willing to try several cat foods until it gets used to only one type. However, if your cat has been diagnosed with the notoriously irritable Inflammatory Bowel Syndrome (IBS), the options available for your cat will, unfortunately, thin out into a couple of dietary meals. Although your little friend may not be happy about this, it would be in their best interest to manage their diet. Doing this can take a bit of work, but if you want some pointers on how you can do this, here are a few options.
A Hypoallergenic Diet
Allergies are one of the major factors that can instigate IBS in cats. Thus, choosing foods that are hypoallergenic may be one solution to mitigate the IBS symptoms. Vets usually recommend protein-based and carbohydrate-based foods for cats with IBS. Thus, you can feed your cat venison, rabbit, or duck-based foods. Most cat foods won’t include these ingredients, so make sure that you examine the labels carefully before buying them. Some cat food brands manufacture cat foods for cats with allergies. Royal Canin Limited Ingredients, for example, manufactures only hypoallergenic products. Therefore, switching to this brand might prove useful for your cat.
Try Low-Residue Food
You can also manage the symptoms of IBS by feeding your little furry friend a highly digestible, low residue diet. As mentioned earlier, vets recommend foods with high protein levels, low fats, and low carb content. All of this will make the cat food highly digestible, which will alleviate the symptoms of IBS. Although feeding a cat with irritable bowel syndrome can get a bit tricky at times, a low-residue diet will make things much easier for you. A general rule of thumb to figure out whether or not your cat’s food is low residue is by checking the moisture, plant, and meat content. Moisture food with high meat content and little to no plant material is an ideal low-residue meal.
A Novel Protein Diet
Researchers explain that foods that contain common types of protein, like fish, chicken, or beef, are the ones causing the IBS symptoms to appear in cats. Immune systems of cats are primed to react to common types of protein, so when you feed them uncommon types of meat, such as duck, venison, or even kangaroo, there barely will be any allergic reactions. However, you must experiment with different types of meats first before adopting this type of diet for your cat. There is really no way of telling what types of proteins will flare up allergic symptoms of IBS. For that reason, you must be careful with the different types of meat you feed to your cat.
Try out Foods with Minimal Additives
Sometimes, it can be hard to identify which ingredients are causing the symptoms of IBS to occur. It might even take an experienced veterinary nutritionist a bit of time to determine that. Since every cat will react differently to different food, you must monitor your cat at all times when you give it a new type of food. Another way of avoiding this all together is through choosing foods with a minimal number of additives. This will minimize your cat’s immune reactions and limit the number of ingredients you’re suspecting of causing IBS. For precaution’s sake, be sure to research the food you provide to see whether or not it may cause an allergic reaction to cats.
High Fiber Foods
For many animal species, fiber is a key ingredient to ease up the bowel movement. Fibers have also proven effective in reducing diarrhea and stomach discomfort caused by IBS, so if your cat suffers from these symptoms, make sure to increase its fiber intake. Luckily, you can find a lot of cat foods that contain high fiber content. Simply look for cat food that is labeled with high fiber. Some people may not find it in regular department stores. In that case, you can ask your vet for recommendations. You may also buy it online if you run out of options. Either way, make sure to consult the vet first before feeding your cat any type of food.
IBS symptoms can be quite troublesome for cat owners, as they can be hard to manage sometimes. That’s why you’ll need to couple your cat’s new diet with the right dietary supplements as well as the medical treatment provided by the vet. To be extra careful, make sure that you do regular vet check-ups to ensure that the IBS symptoms are well managed.