Itchmo Forums for Cats & Dogs

Pet Food Info (Menu Foods, Iams, Purina, Hills, Ol'Roy, etc.) => Your Problems with Pet Food => Topic started by: amsong on November 23, 2012, 08:06:28 PM

Title: Three Strikes for NV Instinct Dry Chicken Meal Cat Food... any ideas?
Post by: amsong on November 23, 2012, 08:06:28 PM

I am new here, and poked around a bit but didn't see information (yet) that answers my question.  Sorry if this is redundant.

I have three cats, and all three are struggling with my recent choice to offer NV Instinct Dry Chicken Meal cat food.  Their ages range from 4 months (persephone) to 2 years (tigo), so *young* individuals without any known diseases, and negative fecal tests this summer after treatment for coccidia.

Two of the three cats have historically been well on a few different food options.  The last bag of food I bought was NV Instinct Dry Chicken Meal formula, and the baby (Persephone) has cowpie diarrhea ever since, and the oldest cat (Tigo) has vomited several times since starting this food.  He also is discontent and begging for extra meals constantly on this food, and I am not sure if this is due to a delicious taste (very possible) or for some more negative reason.  Giving Persephone time to adjust to a different food has not changed the situation, nor has adding OptiGest, a fairly good pre-, probiotic and enzyme powder that has no additional ingredient.  Tigo has a proven reaction to the OptiGest... he vomits from it.

The third cat is not eating the NV Instinct right now... the first time since he joined us in March that Minnow (1.5 years old) hasn't had bloody, mucus-covered stool has been over the last two weeks... as an experiment and on the advice of a vet (of course, of course), I tried giving him dry w/d.  It is helping significantly.  In fact, his stool is sometimes completely free of blood.  He has a form of colitis that seems to require fiber content of more than 10% in the food.  On all sorts of grain free and raw foods (commercial preps) he has had trouble... the only food that suits him is w/d so far.  So he would not tolerate the Instinct either, and was eating Instinct last spring when he first arrived.  And it makes me wonder if the other two are also having a reaction to this very-low-fiber, grain free food. 

I know it doesn't make any sense at all... happy to hear thoughts, advice or ideas.

The most important question at the moment is... what food should I try for Minnow that is premium, safe and has sufficient fiber content to calm his system down?  I have bought a separate fiber source and a digestive healing aid from vitalityscience. com but those items have not arrived yet.  I suspect they will help alot, but would like to start with a higher-fiber food and gradually move him back to a more ancient diet format.

Any thoughts about a different grain free dry food to try with Persephone and Tigo... they were all eating Precise Holistic Grain free chicken recently, and I am considering going back to that for P and T.  I moved away from it to buy locally, after moving out of a major city where I could buy anything locally... but I may just have to order the Precise online so the babies have what they need.  I just figured since everyone is unhappy at the moment, I would throw them into this post and into the whole decision.

Oh, one other thing, they have all been exposed to dry, chicken-meal or chicken based food for quite some time... I am seeing that one consideration for me is to start rotating protein sources in my feeding program.

I hope to transition to 100% frozen raw food if possible, at some point,  I simply must stick with dry food *for now* due to financial constraints.

Thank you in advance for anything you have to say!


Title: Re: Three Strikes for NV Instinct Dry Chicken Meal Cat Food... any ideas?
Post by: catbird on November 24, 2012, 09:49:00 AM
Hi Anne-Marie and welcome,

Have you tried plain canned pumpkin (not the pie mix, but the 100% pumpkin) for fiber for the cat who needs it?  Most cats love the pumpkin.  It also, strangely enough, helps some who have chronic loose stools, so might be a good option all around. You can mix it with the food or feed it separately.  Start with a tiny bit per day and work up. Cats vary in how much they need. You could use the pumpkin and then go back to the food that was successful in the past.

Many people report that the NV dry foods made their cats constipated; this was definitely the case with mine. Constipation can cause vomiting.  It is also possible that the cats who don't seem to be doing well with this food have some kind of intolerance to one of the ingredients.

It's hard to make a specific recommendation for a food, since cats are so different in what they will accept or what "works" with their individual digestion, but it sounds like you have a good plan. If you look at the Food Experience threads here, you may get some ideas for foods that you haven't tried. Sometimes it is just a matter of experimentation and what is available.

I've heard of many, many cats with digestive issues who do best on a raw diet, so I think your plan for that is well-thought-out. If cost is a factor in buying a commercial raw, there are some recipes here for home-made raw diets that would be cheaper.  Maybe you could try starting raw sooner by making your own.  Others who have used these will hopefully chime in to give you some hints.

Finally, was the move recent? Some cats react to stress by developing digestive issues, which are usually temporary and resolve once the stress goes away.

Good luck to you and your cats.

Title: Re: Three Strikes for NV Instinct Dry Chicken Meal Cat Food... any ideas?
Post by: amsong on November 24, 2012, 11:09:14 AM

Thank you for the suggestions.  I will try some canned plain pumpkin.  That is easy enough.

I do believe Minnow's condition is one called "fiber responsive large bowel diarrhea" and that is known to be related to stress.  Not only did much trouble coincide with the move, but the three weeks before our move, we rescued 6 feral kittens and of course, that rocked our world.  Minnow is very, very sensitive, a real polite, mild mannered, super fussy cat, so I do believe that stress has been a part of this worsening of condition.  Sadly, the Tigo big brother is a bully (I like to refer to him as a thug) so there is some ongoing, random stress in the home based on this dude already.

I ordered some Royal Canin Gastrointestinal HF prescription food, made for exactly the condition I believe Minnow has... so we will begin with that.  I am forced to finish feeding the Instinct until it is gone due to money.  I will add pumpkin and hope that helps with that until it is gone.

When I puruse the experiences of others, it is overwhelming in total.  I guess you are right... just like humans, these kitties are so individual, and what worked for one family may not work for my guys.  It is stressful, but I am sure I am not the only one dealing with that.

I am definitely interested in the process of feeding a home-made raw diet.  I don't want to do it, I won't lie, but I am willing to consider it.  I did it once before with a dog who had cancer and wouldn't eat.  It took up a huge amount of time and trouble, and I won't pretend that I want to spend my time in this way.  But I also want my kitties to be healthy and happy.  It might be a year before I can afford 100% commercially prepared raw diet (assuming Minnow can migrate over to that).

Thanks again!

Ann-Marie and the gang

Title: Re: Three Strikes for NV Instinct Dry Chicken Meal Cat Food... any ideas?
Post by: petslave on November 24, 2012, 12:52:28 PM
Welcome, amsong - sorry to hear your kitties are having so much trouble with the NV dry food.  I would take them off the food right away with those symptoms.  Most stores will take back food if it's causing problems - if you still have the receipt, call and see if the store you bought it from will trade to another brand for you.  That way you don't lose any money on the food.

I'll let others recommend dry foods.  I haven't fed dry in a long time, and other than Wellness CORE, and Champion's Orijen & Acana brands, I'm not up on what's out there.  The grainless foods do tend to be fairly rich and high calorie, but that shouldn't be a problem for your youngsters.

Title: Re: Three Strikes for NV Instinct Dry Chicken Meal Cat Food... any ideas?
Post by: lesliek on November 24, 2012, 05:39:07 PM
I 2nd the pumpkin idea , it really helps ! My dog Trooper was on W/D for years & did well with it. I know you don't want to feed Hill's, but if it works then stick with it. NV is 1 of the foods with montmillarite clay which can cause constipation or diarrhea. Nature's Logic also has it. Also some animals don't do well with grain free. Feeding home cooked or home prepped raw doesn't have to be expensive or time consuming. If you do large basic batches, you can freeze them & make small additions when defrosted to vary the diet. There are lots of good foods out there, maybe visit an independent pet food store & ask for recommendations ?

Title: Re: Three Strikes for NV Instinct Dry Chicken Meal Cat Food... any ideas?
Post by: amsong on November 24, 2012, 08:11:00 PM
HI... I was just at the only independent pet store in my area, and saw that they have frozen NV raw for sale!!!!  I am very excited to see that!  I will see if it works for Tigo and Persephone, and then Minnow after he has one bag of the high fiber food.  In the past, all of them eagerly ate Stella and Chewy's frozen raw, but I always combined it with some grain free dry, about half of each meal of each type of food.  To help Minnow, I would try to give him full meals of raw and skimp the portions for the others, but it didn't help.  Even with the raw component, Minnow's system was extremely irritated.

I haven't seen as many concerns about NV raw foods as I have for the dry in forums like this or just with general internet searches.  Hopeful !

I guess I can call to see if they will accept the dry food as a return.  I should have asked while I was there!!!  If I can trade it for the raw food, I will do so immediately.  Sometimes (sic) I am just too passive, too "nice" about things like this.

When I lived in Chicago, I had great support and access to a variety of wonderful food and advice.  Now... I am afraid my local options are very very limited.  I was thrilled to see the frozen raw offered, because this place only has two (other) grain free options!  The good news was that the price for frozen raw is significantly lower here in this small town.  Hurray for that!

So I think I have a bit of a plan.  I will still offer the pumpkin for Persephone until her diarrhea settles down, if it seems to help her.  I am excited, after months of struggle with these issues, to have some decisions that hold promise!

Ann-Marie and the fuzzy faces!!!

Title: Re: Three Strikes for NV Instinct Dry Chicken Meal Cat Food... any ideas?
Post by: lesliek on November 25, 2012, 06:31:49 AM
Don't forget most independent stores will order in any brands you want to try. Hope they are all continuing to improve !

Title: Re: Three Strikes for NV Instinct Dry Chicken Meal Cat Food... any ideas?
Post by: catwoods on November 25, 2012, 02:29:33 PM
Welcome, amsong. Best wishes for you to find the foods that agree with your kitties.

Title: Re: Three Strikes for NV Instinct Dry Chicken Meal Cat Food... any ideas?
Post by: amsong on November 26, 2012, 05:26:46 AM
Happy to say that I exchanged the Instinct dry yesterday for  6# of NV frozen raw duck at my one independent pet store!  No receipt needed, as long as the bag was half full or more.  Awesome folks.  The only question mark hanging out there is whether the clay component (in both of these NV products) might continue to cause an issue at all.

Baby cat had diarrhea after her first meal (but nothing new there)... of course, I didn't do the 7 day slow exchange to a new food.  She has had Stella & Chewy's chicken raw before, but it has been about a month since we ran out.  I am not too worried... she feels great. Today I can get her the pumpkin.  If her stinky cow pies clear up in another couple of days, I will be one happy happy cat mama.  I can't wait to find the right answers and hopefully be able to stick with a single plan for awhile, like back in the good old days when I only had one tough street cat to feed!   ::)

Minnow, the one who needs high fiber, at least for now, of course found me out and discovered there was raw in the house again... so I am giving him a generous bite on top of the horrible w/d dry food... I am very, very curious to see if the blood and mucus returns in his stool or not.  If not, I am hopeful that over time, he can also go to a low fiber raw diet!!!!

Am I imagining that after only one meal, their coats feel softer and look more glossy?  Surely not!   ;D

Thanks for the kick in the butt I needed to return that bag of food.  It helps to publicly discuss something, because it helped me follow through.  I am a little overwhelmed with non-kitty stuff and discussing this with others helped me keep it higher on my list of tasks over the last week. 

Finances are looking far better for the month of December, so I should be able to stock up on frozen for any tight period beyond that.

It feels so good to feed my cats a food that I believe in.


Title: Re: Three Strikes for NV Instinct Dry Chicken Meal Cat Food... any ideas?
Post by: lesliek on November 26, 2012, 05:50:04 AM
That is very good news ! Hopefully the diarrhea will clear up & this food will work for everyone  :).