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Old 05-05-2012, 02:18 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,502 posts, read 50,409,432 times
Reputation: 47734

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Oscar had a bad illness about 2 months ago and was diagnosed with IBD. Now he has to eat Hills RX zz which is very --processed--is the best way I can explain it. It's kind of like jello consistency. He really wants to eat the Before Grain he used to eat and which his bubba Langley still eats. I have to watch over him to make sure he doesn't go get bubba's food.

Now when he eats he takes a bite and then stops to groom his side. Then he takes another bite and licks his leg. I've not watched him eat a full meal without some kind of interim grooming. Since I never had to watch him eat before we changed foods, I can't be 100% sure he didn't do this before but I think I would have noticed since they eat on the bathroom counter where I fix my hair, brush my teeth, etc.

I've convinced myself he is adding some texture to his meal. Is that crazy/ Why is he doing this? Have you ever seen a cat stop to groom while eating?
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Old 05-05-2012, 02:29 PM
 
Location: Penn Hills
1,326 posts, read 1,879,503 times
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Sorry that this doesn't directly answer your question. Are you sure you necessarily need to feed him the nasty prescription food? Is a canned food with a novel protein and limited ingredients not possible to try, like Natural Balance's Venison and Green Pea? Or a canned food with rabbit, like Nature's Variety? For research, if you go to petfooddirect.com and click the link for "cat > food", along the left hand side you'll see a bunch of links for "protein source," and so you can see what's all available for different proteins and research ingredients (and there are others out there not stocked by that site).

Hill's isn't a great company, and vets (who earn money by stocking and selling the stuff) are sometimes too quick to recommend the prescription food when there's a lot of commercial food varieties these days that will work for some cats with this kind of condition.
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Old 05-05-2012, 05:17 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,502 posts, read 50,409,432 times
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Thank you for your reply. I spent more than $2,000 having him checked out and tested with endoscopy, ultrasound etc at NC State Vet School and this is what they recommended. He has not barfed and is gaining weight after becoming skin and bones. Why would I go to all that trouble and expense and not follow their suggestions? Especially since it is working. After he gains more weight I will look into other foods but right now I'm sticking with this RX food.
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Old 05-05-2012, 05:20 PM
 
8,977 posts, read 16,554,290 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
Oscar had a bad illness about 2 months ago and was diagnosed with IBD. Now he has to eat Hills RX zz which is very --processed--is the best way I can explain it. It's kind of like jello consistency. He really wants to eat the Before Grain he used to eat and which his bubba Langley still eats. I have to watch over him to make sure he doesn't go get bubba's food.

Now when he eats he takes a bite and then stops to groom his side. Then he takes another bite and licks his leg. I've not watched him eat a full meal without some kind of interim grooming. Since I never had to watch him eat before we changed foods, I can't be 100% sure he didn't do this before but I think I would have noticed since they eat on the bathroom counter where I fix my hair, brush my teeth, etc.

I've convinced myself he is adding some texture to his meal. Is that crazy/ Why is he doing this? Have you ever seen a cat stop to groom while eating?
Crazy, no.

Perhaps one time as he was eating the food, he had an itch, and stopped to lick. Something about the experience appealed to him, and it has become habit. Maybe it's a comforting behavior, maybe it helps wash the taste away....or maybe, as you say, a lick in between bites helps with the texture in his mouth.

Cats are such creatures of habit, and they love little rituals....they discover something that works for them, it gets reinforced somehow, they keep doing it that way.

I have seen cats stop to groom while eating, but just as a sudden quick lick or two, not in the habitual way you describe of Oscar.

How's he doing on the special food? No more health problems, either from his urinary tract or the IBD, I hope?
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Old 05-05-2012, 05:56 PM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,502 posts, read 50,409,432 times
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Thank you catsmom. I haven't officially weighed him at the vet but I can feel his backbone and hips are not as pronounced as they were when I took him to NC State. He has a great appetite even if he would prefer his brother's food. He has coughed up 2 hairballs in the past month which is a big difference from almost daily barfing up food. I love him dearly and I'm so happy he is getting better. It's just a hassle to have to stand there and watch 2 cats eat about 4-5 times a day. They really do have me trained don't they.

Regarding his UTI problems he had last year, I'm convinced it was either/or Wellness and eating dog food. I was so afraid we were in for a long haul of constant UTI problems but nothing in many months. Thanks for asking.
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Old 05-05-2012, 09:44 PM
 
Location: Monadnock region
3,712 posts, read 10,483,993 times
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huh. maybe he doesn't really care for the taste, so he eats a bit.. does something else, then eats a bit more.. does something else... or he's trying to slow down his eating so it sits better in his tummy? mine usually just chow down as fast as they can!
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Old 05-06-2012, 12:53 AM
 
Location: Penn Hills
1,326 posts, read 1,879,503 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by no kudzu View Post
Thank you for your reply. I spent more than $2,000 having him checked out and tested with endoscopy, ultrasound etc at NC State Vet School and this is what they recommended. He has not barfed and is gaining weight after becoming skin and bones. Why would I go to all that trouble and expense and not follow their suggestions? Especially since it is working. After he gains more weight I will look into other foods but right now I'm sticking with this RX food.
Well, for one thing, I have no idea what particular trouble and expense you went through, your post didn't state it. When my cat was diagnosed with IBD, my vet merely recommended a novel protein for her, and didn't push any overprocessed prescription food from a not-so-great producer. My cat, too, gained weight quite quickly and the symptoms disappeared, while loving her food at the same time. Anyway, good luck to your kitty, I hope he keeps improving.
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Old 05-06-2012, 05:04 AM
 
Location: Chapel Hill, N.C.
36,502 posts, read 50,409,432 times
Reputation: 47734
Sparrowmint. I see you are a relatively new poster here. Welcome. I'm sure you will have a lot to add. i've been documenting Oscar's illness here for some time
and many posters have been quite helpful.

I'm very much aware of the markup of vet carried food and believe me I would prefer to try something else. After he has regained at least 3 more lbs I will venture out to other foods. He is a Ragdoll who went from 17 lbs to 9 over more than a year but it got really bad just the last few months. Sorry if I came across as a bit grumpy.

Wanna--you might be on to something about his trying to slow down his eating. When he was really sick I thought that was the problem as sometimes he would even barf his food right back up in the dish or on the counter. That is when I started feeding less food but more frequently.

When I find a different but healthy substitute for this expensive rx I will watch to see if he continues grooming himself during his meals. Thanks.
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Old 05-07-2012, 05:08 PM
 
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The gooey wet slurry catfood is soooo sloppy to eat...he just has to do a little cleaning now and then.
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Old 05-07-2012, 06:51 PM
 
Location: Monadnock region
3,712 posts, read 10,483,993 times
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You know, Magnus had colitis and we needed to put him on the z/D. My vet siad there were 2 that worked fairly well: w/d and z/d. We tried the w/d first as it was slightly cheaper - but didn't make any difference. With the z/d he cleared up within days! I think we went through 1 bag of kibble and started slowly mixing in other foods (and avoiding anything with fish, which always made him flare) and now he's off it and able to eat many others. Course, he also turned diabetic briefly so we had to find something that didn't flare the colitis. So basically now that his system calmed down, we feed him grain-free/fish free and he's fine.

Hopefully it won't take too long for Oscar to level off and calm his system down so you can try other gentle foods.
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