The inflammatory bowel diseases refer to a group of chronic conditions affecting the gastrointestinal tract (stomach, intestines, and colon). The symptoms of nonspecific inflammation of the intestines in cats are:
- Weight loss
- Pain in the abdomen
- The passivity of the animal
- Rumbling in stomach, gases
- Weight loss
Among cats, inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) appears when large amounts of inflammatory cells invade the gastrointestinal (GI) tract. These cells produce damaging toxins, bringing destructions. Although the true reason of feline IBD is unknown, the most realistic reason is food allergies. It is important to choose the best diet for the cat. A healthy diet is one of the most important aspects of successfully curing a cat’s IBD. For choosing the correct diet, firstly you have to know what food causes the disease. The first and best remedy for a food allergy is a food trial with a “hypoallergenic” or “novel protein” diet.
A food trial will identify the bad ingredient and help your vet find the best long-term diet for your cat.
As a rule, the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease involves a combination of diet and use of various medicines. You should strictly follow the recommendations of a veterinarian about the diet of the cat. For example, you may be asked not to feed the cat for 24 hours to rest the digestive system. To quickly eliminate the symptoms of the disease, besides the change of the diet can be prescribed anti-inflammatory medication.
Many veterinarians believe that most cases of feline IBD are caused by food allergies or intolerances to proteins. This is why changing the protein food is the first step in choosing the correct diet for a cat with IBD.
Choose a good protein diet. Cats are carnivores they need animal protein sources in their diet. But anyway, some of these animal proteins, like beef or fish, may become reason of food allergies that can inflame the GI tract and bring IBD. A good vet will offer putting your cat on a diet with a new protein your cat has never eaten before (like novel protein).
Best examples of novel proteins are duck or rabbit.
During the food trial, your cat can eat only the new type of diet – no treats, human food, or flavored medication or things like that. It can take several months or more to improve IBD symptoms, so you will be able to give your cat the new diet after at least 5‒7 weeks.
Of course cats do not like switching to new diets, so you should do it gradually. Mix a small amount of the new diet into the old one. After at least a week, elevate the amount of ingredients from the new diet until your cat eats only the new diet. It is very important.
Wait for good signs. Using the novel protein diet, your cat with IBD symptoms should start to improve and symptoms must gradually disappear. After it, you will have to repeat your cat’s old diet to see if the symptoms appear again. This process is necessary to understand which ingredient is damaging your cat’s GI tract.
Choose animal protein for feeding your cat. If the food trial identified the damaging ingredient like protein, take a diet that does not include the harmful protein. For instance, if chicken was the reason of damaging, give your cat a diet with a novel protein like kangaroo.
The most commonly used anti-inflammatory drug used in feline IBD is prednisolone, the preferred form of prednisone for cats This anti-inflammatory steroid can provide a great deal of relief to the kitties. Other anti-inflammatory or immune – suppressive drugs, such as azothiaprine, are also available. On the plus side, the cat will feel much better, and the symptoms will be diminished or eliminated. Eliminating dry food from the diet is sometimes the only necessary step in milder cases of IBD.