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My cat has Crohn's disease, which basically means he throws up from almost anything. The only treatment we currently have is giving him daily doses of steroids and antiallergenic food, but this just reduces the frequency of him being sick. Can anyone advise of anything else I can give him to reduce the symptoms? Perhaps a different diet or different treatment?

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    Are you seeing a general vet or a specialist?
    – Zaralynda
    Apr 25 '14 at 14:25
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Inflammatory Bowel Disease, the animal variant of Crohn's disease, is diet managed for much of the management of it and you may need to try several different food options before you latch on to one that really helps keep it controlled. In particular, what you want to look at is:

  • High protein/meat content in the food as many foods for cats have fillers and the fillers could be exacerbating the problem.
  • Foods designed for gastro problems, a good example would be to look at the Medi-cal Gastro formulas as they're designed to help reduce inflammation and irritation. Their hypoallergenic formula is also very good for this as well.
  • Fish oils can help reduce inflammation (should be noted that the Medi-cal foods use fish oil for this reason).

Trial and error is a bit key to all this, unfortunately. Client education recommendations in my books suggest that you'll need to be patient with some food trials.

In all cases, however, it's really important to consult with your vet on some of these choices. The Medi-cal foods are supposed to be only available through Vets and so it's a good opportunity to consult and get some recommendations on that front. Be patient, relapse is common and expected.

Once you have a food that works, all other food options need to be removed, including treats.

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My cat also has IBS. I have found (through 2 years of trial and error) that she does very well on Wellness Signature Selects (Petco) mixed with ground up pig pancreas (from VetDepot, to help digest the food).

She's finally gained back all the weight she once lost, she doesn't excrete everything she eats, and she is happy as a clam and back to her sassy self. Good luck!

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John's points are good ones. Not to get on the wet food soapbox, but:

  • dry food tends to have more fillers such as grains and veggies. These are fine for humans but "unnatural" to cats and the proteins in them may trigger an immune response (as with your cat).

  • dry food has more preservatives. Unlikely, but this could also impact your cat's condition.

  • dry food requires more digestive effort (the plant-based stuff is harder for them to break down). This could add stress to the GI tract.

I'd pick a wet food with little or no fillers, or make your own cat food. Try to make the food as much meat as possible. Vitamin type additives (taurine, etc) are good, but avoid plant based stuff. Good luck!

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