The raw deal and Indy’s update after 4 months

Here’s a recap of Indy’s chronic loose stool problem:

I discovered it in August 2019. He had blood-tinged loose stools. At that time, Indy was still the kibble-king. But he did eat canned and raw too. However, all our cats were on the rojak diet of canned-raw-kibble (“semua mau”). Little did I know at that time that this rojak diet was bad for digestion, even if you don’t mix them in one meal but give them individually at different times – it’s still upsetting for the stomach.

I thought for convenience, I should give them all three types. What if I wasn’t around and someone else had to feed them – wouldn’t kibble be easier?

But I was wrong, as evidenced by the few times recently when I was away – Jia-Wen and Sihui handled the feeding perfectly – 100% raw, with a list of who needs what extras (NaturVet for Heidi, Primal toppings for Cow and Tabs) and the raw food weighed to the precision of plus-minus 2g (more accurate than me!).

When Indy had that problem, the first thing I did was to put him on 100% raw for a few days. The stools firmed up. But this did not last. The loose/soft stools came back with a vengeance and thereafter, we went on the quest to find a solution for his problem.

On 27th September 2019, I finally made the decision to convert ALL our cats to 100% raw food. I had a choice of Cubgrub, Primal and Coco&Joe’s – all with a good track record. Our cats were already on Cubgrub and the occasional Primal, so I opted for 100% Cubgrub first with Primal as toppings (if needed).

It wasn’t easy taking away his favourite kibble away from him, but I had to. The first thing I did was to remove the kibble entirely, from everyone. I thought there would be a massive protest and hunger strike, but surprisingly, that did not happen. It wasn’t exactly a walk in the park either, but it wasn’t as difficult I was thought it would be. Our oldest were already 13 years old (with Heidi – age unknown, but “old”).

However, despite the conversion to 100% raw, Indy’s loose stool problem persisted.

We tried (in no particular order), with the vet’s agreement, the following:

1. Steamed pumpkin
2. Probiotics (Mercola’s)
3. Digestive enzymes with prebiotics and probiotics (NaturVet’s)
4. Slippery Elm Bark
5. Clavamox (it helps, but he cannot be on it for the long term) – vet’s prescription
6. Metronidazole (it does not help) – vet’s prescription
7. Febendazole (anti-protozoa) – vet’s prescription
8. Toltrazuril (anti-protozoa) – vet’s prescription
9. Saccharomyces Boulardii (yeast probiotics)
10. Alpteses (pancreatic digestive enzymes) – vet’s prescription

None of it worked. My raw-feeding friend told me right from the start that I should not worry. “It’s just detoxification,” he said. After 11 years of kibble, Indy needs time to detox. Perhaps he just needed more time than the rest, especially when Indy had been the kibble-king. My friend said he had seen severe detoxification in dogs, but not in cats. Still, it could happen and remember, it’s Indy. Indy is…..non-textbook. Detoxification could take up to one year too. Even Dr Karen Becker said the same.

The vet palpated and checked Indy’s gut – there was no growth. Blood tests were done – the readings were not indicative of cancer either.

The problem persisted. On his own, Indy only wanted to eat chicken fillet. So I gave him this (raw, of course). I added 5% organ meats, bone meal, Vit E and taurine, but left out the fish oil and egg yolk in case this was causing the soft stools. This helped a little but not completely.

After all the medication, I finally resorted to keeping only the Saccharomyces Boulardii (yeast probiotics), NaturVet’s digestive enzymes and Mercola’s probiotics (not all together, but one or two of them each day).

I also joined a raw feeding FB group and there, someone suggested bone broth. So I made this and now, Indy is on it every day. Bone broth is touted to be very gut-healing (for humans, too).

My last ditch effort was protein rotation. But Indy is a very, very fussy and picky eater, so it took a lot of patience to coax him to eat a different protein.

A long story cut short, Indy is now finally on four different proteins: Chicken, Duck, Rabbit (all from Cubgrub) and Primal Turkey. He still drinks his bone broth daily.

He is STILL a very choosy eater, though, so I have to “read” his mind to determine what he wants for every meal.

But during the period of Ming-Yi’s wedding, I was busy so I didn’t have as much time to “worry” about Indy. On hindsight now, I think that was a blessing in disguise. Worry is negative, albeit with good intentions. Cats perceive positivity and negativity in their own way. My raw-feeding friend had already told me, “Stop worrying. As long as there is no weight loss, no fever and he is still eating, leave him be. It’s just detoxification.” And he did tell me that the more I worry, the more stressed my cat would be. I think he was right. During that time, I was obsessed with checking the sandpit for loose stools. I would go out to scrutinise the sand to look for stools every half an hour if I was home. I was even hold an umbrella with a torch to look for loose stools if it rained or was too dark. I would wait until past midnight and wake up at 3.30am just to check for loose stools so that I could record the time, take photos of the stools and send it to the vet.

Those were crazy times and I was one crazy cat woman!

So, it was from the time when I was too busy to “worry excessively” that Indy began to heal….I think?  I’ve stopped giving him the S.Boulardii now, but I still sneak in either Naturvet’s and Mercola’s probiotics into his food.

I don’t see loose stools in the sandpit these days. All the stools that I scoop up are firm. At Indy’s spot, there is the occasional not-so-firm stools, but it’s not blood-tinged anymore. So I guess this is good enough.

I’m now weaning Indy off chicken fillet. He’s now eating Cubgrub with Primal toppings, both of which are balanced recipes. Sometimes, he still demands for fillet toppings, though.

So, was it the bone broth or protein rotation? Or, was it just as my raw-feeding friend had said: Give him time, stop worrying and wait it out – it’s just detoxification.

I don’t know what worked or, will the loose stools come back again, but Indy is as active as any cat could be, so that’s good.

I tried to tell you there was nothing wrong with me in the first place, but you just wouldn’t listen. Now, stop taking my photos and let me take a nap, will you? 

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