Diet for a Cat with Inflammatory Bowel Disease

Updated 2.14.13 He is doing really well so far.

This article follows my original on Dealing with a Cat with Inflammatory Bowel Disease you can find here:

I've come across a few things that are helping my cat with IBD and wanted to share in the hopes that it may help your cat, also. I can't promise, but my cat was close to the end. Not eating, having to have Mirtazipine, (PTSD drug), as an appetite stimulant, up to 15mg of Prednisolone, Flagyl. All kinds of things that may have done him more harm in the long run. Except for the MethylCobalamin B-12 shots, they're the least harmful of everything else I was given. His levels were very low, so he needs 1 a week for 6 weeks, then one a month thereafter. The B-12 shots were advised by his veterinarian. I wouldn't give a cat this amount unless his blood levels were checked first.

I put the following protocol together from holistic pet books and online vet sites. I never thought in a million years he would eat this stuff, but he loves it. Here goes:

One thing to try is make a solution of Slippery Elm. This is a wonderful herb for calming inflammation in the stomach and intestines. We still do this at least once or twice a day.

1 tsp (or more) of Slippery Elm in 1/2 Cup of filtered water. Simmer for 1-2 minutes (some say to simmer for 10 - 15 mins and use a full cup of water. The point is that it should be thicker than water when cool. If it isn't, add more slippery elm, you can't over do it. It is harmless). Don't full boil. Let cool and store in a glass jar in the refrigerator. This will last a week in the refrigerator. You will see a clear substance on the sides of the pan and in the jar. This is what soothes the whole digestive tract.
IMPORTANT; Give 3 to 5cc's by mouth about a half an hour before every meal. Use a syringe without the needle. Put the cat on your lap facing you and stick the syringe under his lip. Only give him a wee bit at a time. Pet him and keep him calm. Don't go fast and make it a bad experience.  Slippery Elm can deplete iron if given too close to feeding time. If he has a passion for liver, he might be iron deficient.

I did the slippery elm all the time in the beginning, but as of 2-1-13, I've been able to stop or only give it to him if he seems distressed.

Also we're putting L-Glutamine and TMG in his food. It doesn't taste or smell.

Only let  him eat food for 30 minutes, then take it away. Don't give in to him if he wants to eat in-between. If he has diarrhea, solid food will make it worse, feed him homemade chicken broth, not store bought. There is a vast difference. I'll give the recipe below. We all know we have to let them eat if they haven't eaten, this is if you're cat is doing OK and eating well.

(I do not do this any longer, but left it in in case it might work for you) I take (organic only) a sweet potato and a white potato. Boil then mash them well. I mix 50/50 food with them. The GI doc at the Animal Hospital said try raw as did many of the books.

Many vets say to stay away from the common foods like chicken, use venison, turkey, lamb or duck instead. NO dry food. Raw foods have enzymes in them that help with digestion. Once cooked, the enzymes are dead. Same with human food. I do give him raw at times, but he seems to do better with cooked.

Call me crazy, but I put my hand on him in desperation and asked St Francis of Assisi to help with him. That's when the HCL came into my head. I've used it for myself and decided it would be good to try on him.

I now give him a small capsule taken in part from a 650mg HCL with Pepsin before every feeding. It seems to be working. Since they eat meat, and protein is digested by acid, this made sense. I tried Pepsid and it didn't work for him. But the HCL seemed to work. I only gave it to him for a week b/c I noticed he started burping. Stop when you see that if you try it. Monitor them closely. You don't want the acid to burn his stomach.

He now likes the Duck and Pea & Venison from Natural Balance with raw, organic veal or chicken liver. That's been working very well with the Royal Canin Hypo Allergenic Duck and Venison.

Do NOT buy the cheap supermarket brand food. They are loaded with salt and chemicals. Some of the animals in them come from rendering plants which accept euthanized animals. More poisons in your pet. NO FISH! Oh how my cat loves fish and I do give it to him if he totally stops eating.

Don't mix foods together. Change their food often. They seem to want to keep different foods in their systems so their bodies won't get used to them and get inflamed thinking it's a foreign invader.

Then I take chlorophyl (chlorella) tablets or green powder and mix with enough water to make a paste and I put a little of that in, too. If you can get your cat to eat a little garlic, not enough to be harmful, more power to you. (I've since stopped this, but you can keep it up if you like)

I ALWAYS give pro and Pre Biotics from Dr. Mercola and Digestive Enzymes with each feeding.

I ALWAYS give him a little bit of organic raw chicken  or veal liver, whether I give him canned or raw food. Only about a half teaspoon or less.

I give a little squirt of human Omega 3 fish oil from a capsule. One time a day mixed with the food.

Remember, they're immune systems are already compromised, so we want to put the purest form of food we can get not to cause further irritation.

When I'm giving him raw, I add a sprinkle of a combination of: Taurine, COQ 10 400mg, Quercitin, LGlutamine. If he's having the canned food, I won't use as much as Taurine is already in them.

I've ordered my Prednisolone from Wedgewood Pharmacy, a compounding pharmacy. They have a tiny pill that is chicken flavored and melts as soon as it hits the tongue so you don't have to shove it down his throat. Thank you for this! Your vet will have to order it and it will be delivered to your house. Another nice perk.

(healthy for humans, too. So is the slippery elm!)

There's lots of collagen in this soup which doesn't make it into canned or boxed brands.

Start with a whole chicken, either take the meat off or leave it on. Cut up all the bones into smaller pieces. You want the marrow to be in the soup. Leave the ligaments and tendons. Cook in a crock pot for 12 to 48 hours. I go 48. Drain the broth off, refrigerate or freeze the extra. I have to add a wee bit of salt to mine or he won't eat it. The commercial foods are loaded with salt and unfortunately, he's used to that. I will try to wean him off of it. It's still an ongoing process.

I might have forgotten something, if I do, I'll be sure to update.
The books I like are 'The New Natural Cat' by Norma Eckroate. She called it Irritable Bowel Disease in her book, but it's the treatment for Inflammatory Bowel Disease. A site with good information is 

Take away the scoopable litter and use a more natural form. They lick their feet and that clumping action takes place in their digestive tract. 

I hope this helps someone with their cat.

Check back to see if anything changes. So far so good.

I am sorry to say that I finally had to put my precious friend down. We both made a valiant effort and we're both not suffering anymore. I'm exhausted, too exhausted to think about another cat at this time.

If your cat has this disease, I wish you the strength to deal with it and the best of outcomes. <3 br="">


  1. Thank you for this! Bookmarking it. Have tried a number of things you've mentioned and may try a few more. This has been a real battle with my cat for the last few years. I'm glad yours is doing well! :)

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  2. Any update on your cat? I know this is an old entry and I haven't seen any newer posts. I am dealing with pancreatitis and possible IBD in one of my cats and I am right where you were in the beginning. Eating, not eating, vomiting, solid stools then diarrhea, meatloaf position, back and forth, over and over. ::sighs:: :(

    1. Hi Anon, I had to put my angel down a few weeks ago and I am heartbroken. I am so very sorry that you are having to deal with this insidious disease, too. If there is anything I can do, please let me know. When the drugs stopped working, that was it, I asked the vet what he would do. I still wish he were here. It was a 2 year battle and IBD won in the end. I've been meaning to update, but haven't much felt like dealing with it. Mine never got pancreatitis, so you're dealing with a double whammy. I wish I could come thru the computer and give you and your cat a big hug. Double Sigh.

    2.'s me again, the one that posted on 10/30/13. This is very sad for me to read, and it seems my inquiry couldn't have come at a worse time. I am so very sorry for your loss. :( You went above and beyond for your Angel and extended his life as comfortably as you could with your determination. ::hugs:: They say that IBD can morph into intestinal lymphoma, and I fear this the most. We're off to see a holistic vet in a couple of weeks, so we'll see if they have something different to offer. He's currently on prednisolone, metronidazole, Cerenia, Pepcid, probiotics, omega-3s, novel protein rabbit diet (not raw). Digestive enzymes are next. I tried slippery elm when he was not feeling well one week, but it didn't seem to help. I haven't tried any other supplements, so I'm hoping the holistic vet can steer me in a direction. Again, I'm very sorry for your loss. I'll check back in case you reply.

    3. Anon, it's OK, it is what it is. Sounds like you are right where I was and I'm deeply sorry this has touched your life as well as your precious. I went to Dr Mary Goldstein, Smith Ridge Holistic vet in Smith Ridge, NY for the cat before this one (kidney failure). Their practice is wonderful and they help, but in the end, there's only so much one can do, and this disease doesn't reverse, try as we might. I'm still exhausted from all the work. I think mine turned into lymphoma as he started to lose weight. Big Cyber {{{HUGS}}} to you. Know I think about you...Anytime you want to talk.....

    4. Thank you for the support. I see that Smith Ridge does phone consultations, so I will take a look.

  3. Anon, Let me know how you make out. They're probably going to want to do their own labs. They are the most extensive labs I've ever seen. Try not to deplete yourself of energy. Good Luck!

    1. Thank you, again. I know you're still recovering from the loss of your boy, but if you ever feel up to it, you may following my kitty's journey here:

      It's long, and overwhelming for most. I still think about your situation, and it makes me sad to think that in 1-2 years I could be without my furry guy. :( ::Hugs::

  4. I am just in the beginning stages of trying to find out what wrong with my Dear Gizzette..she is a Long Haired Calico. ..with the sweetest personality. ..she seemed to be doing better on the vet recommendation of vension and pea prescription science diet and this weekend she actually has blood in her stool now...If you could give me any advice for the 1st stages of diagnosing this disease what advice can you give me?

    1. Hi Anon, I'm so sorry that your cat has IBD. Is that a solid diagnosis? Blood in the stools can be caused by many things. I so hope it isn't IBD. Too many kittehs are getting this disease and I can only think it's from the food. Rabbit is usually the last resort for food. My vet noticed a thickening of the intestinal walls with his hands. The only true way to tell is a biopsy, otherwise you notice a steady decline. They temporarily get better with drugs and decline in-between. Google 'feline IBD' and you'll find a wealth of information. Here is Cornell's link:

      Again, I'm so sorry you're going to have to go thru this. Make sure you take care of yourself. It takes a tremendous amount of energy out of you over time. I'm still not fully recovered.

      Here is a new article I just received on GMO's which I think is a major reason for IBD:

      “The promoter gene used in genetically engineered crops, the cauliflower mosaic virus, is a powerful promoter of inter-species gene exchange. Scientists thought it would be denatured in our digestive system, but it’s not. It has been shown to promote the transfer of transgenes from GM foods to the bacteria within our digestive system, which are responsible for 80% of our immune system function. ” (Emphasis added)

      The link to the article everyone should read:

  5. Hi! Not sure if you are still checking this, but just in case you are thought i would reach out.
    Firstly, I am so sorry for your loss. I have read too many stories and blogs of similar outcomes and it breaks my heart.
    They suspected IBD in my boy, a long haired mix, as a baby. He used to have mucous and blood in his stool and had some digestion problem. We put him on a high quality kibble with occasional wet food and he didn't have any issues for 4 years.
    Recently he got sick and was hospitalized for gastroenteritis. It was very sudden, he was dehydrated and could not keep anything down. He recovered quickly and was on metronidazole and flagyl temporarily. He seemed fine after that but has now started throwing up every few days. He will throw up some hair, undigested food and some brown liquids. His stool is soft on occasion, but mostly normal. Otherwise he is totally normal, super playful, great appetite etc.

    I am wondering if he is becoming resistant to his food as you mentioned in this article. Any thoughts?

    Thanks so much

    1. Hi Meagan, Thank you. Years and I still miss the little guy. I don't know what to tell you. Make what you can or buy very high quality food. If he got any any BT corn, the pesticide could be duplicating in his digestive tract. The GMO's are terribly toxic. If he got any Roundup resistant corn, then that could prohibit uptake of minerals and vitamins. What a world we are making for profit. Recently, the AMA came out against GMO's. Money, it's all about the money. You might want to watch 'Seeds of Death'. A great documentary on GMO's. I wish you the best with your little guy. Keep trying, as I know you will. Hugz.


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