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is this something serious or just stress?

post #1 of 12
Thread Starter 
Hi everyone!
My 4.5 yr old orange tabby, Whiskers, has been having loose stools ever since I got my new ragdoll kitten, Teddy, which was over 2 months ago. About 2 weeks ago, I started to notice some blood in Whiskers' stool. I took a sample to the vet's office for a fecal and it came back negative. The vet said that the loose stools could be causing the blood. But since she had been having the this problem for awhile, he said to bring her in. So I took her in today and they tested for giardia, which was negative, and also did a blood test. The vet prescribed Science Diet i/d to try to get her stools back to normal. He said that she could have irritable bowels and if the bland food doesn't fix the problem, he would do a biopsy of her colon. When I checked out, the receipt said the blood test was a Feline Viral Plus...which I thought was weird because that was they did on her last fall when she got sick. This time she has no URI symptoms. Anyway, I should get the results of the blood test tomorrow so I will ask him for clarification.

My gut tells me that Whiskers is stressed with having Teddy in the house. They aren't exactly best buddies yet. She will tolerate him but the second he tries to pounce and play with her, she will hiss and scream as if she is being murdered. However, things are getting better because she was hissing and growling at him non-stop in the beginning. Now, the hissing occurs just when Teddy's bothering her. I think her loose stools are from switching their food but the food has been constant for a month now. Whiskers mostly eats Felidae dry food and Teddy eats wet Chicken Soup Kitten but they will also eat a little bit of each others.

So, do you think Whiskers has some serious problem or is it just stress? I just hate it when the kitties are not normal. It's not fun worrying about them. Thanks for reading this, I know it was long.
post #2 of 12
I think that you should provide more cuddletime for the baby.
post #3 of 12
It's very possible it could be from stress. I'm sorry your vet is having a hard time diagnosing it. I wouldnt think the food could still be causing it after a whole month. Yeah maybe try to spend some extra time with him away from the other kitty like at least an hour a day or something.
post #4 of 12
it may be time for a second opnion...
post #5 of 12
I agree, I would get a 2nd opinion.

It could be stress.

Maybe she's getting more of that kitten food than you think - and she can't tolerate it?? Just a thought.

Those fecal tests aren't 100%, from what I know. Has she been dewormed in the recent past?

I would say check w/another vet.
post #6 of 12
Thread Starter 
My vet left me a message saying that the blood test results were normal. Now we just wait about a week and see how she does on the I/D food. He said that it could be inflammatory bowel disease (is that the same as irritable bowel?) caused by stress.

Her poop today had a little bit of blood on the tip but I could tell that the new food is making it's way through her. Hopefully it will become normal in a couple of days. I guess we'll just have to wait and see. I think I will call another vet and get a second opinion if her stools are not normal after a week. I really don't want to put her through a procedure that may not be necessary. Do most vets take calls from non-patients or can you make an appointment for a consultation without the cat? I haven't been to another vet before so I'm not sure what the norm is. I have been going to this same vet for over 4 years now. I was on the verge of changing vets last summer when Whiskers got herpes and didn't eat for 7 days (we'd been to the vets office 4 times during that) but on the last visit, he was able to make her eat so I stayed with him.

Sicycat - I spend most of my evenings with her. She sits in my lap as I am on the computer (she's with me now )and the kitten doesn't usually jump on the bed.

beandip - She has not been dewormed since she was a kitten. She always has negative fecals at her annual vet visits and is strictly indoors. She probably ate like 1/10th of a 5.5 oz can of the kitten food on a daily basis. I have been watching her the last two days and taking the kitten food away before she can get a chance to have a taste.
post #7 of 12
If you think it's stress, have you tried anything to reduce the anxiety in your house, like getting some Comfort Zone w/ Feliway diffusers and/or giving Whiskers something like Rescue Remedy?

My cat freaked out last year when we got a new kitty. It took her several MONTHS to accept the new kitty. I still give my older kitty RR and I keep the diffusers going all the time. It's helped tremendously!

post #8 of 12
Thread Starter 
That is a good suggestion. I used the Feliway diffuser when I first got the kitten but once it ran out, I never replaced it. I'm not sure that it was noticeably helpful with the transition but I guess it doesn't hurt. I will order some tonight and I have a spare bottle of the spray left over that I can use until the refill gets here.

I haven't used Rescue Remedy and will check into that. Thanks for the ideas!

By the way, I have been reading about IBD and the biopsy procedure sounds really drastic and expensive. I really hope it does not come to that.

Thanks to everyone for all the helpful suggestions. I'm reallying thinking about changing vets because the one I am going to never suggests any homeopathic or alternative remedies and previously when I mentioned that I was trying the Feliway, he dismissed it and said it doesn't work. I can't imagine that all the people here who have used it with success could be wrong. My only hesitation with switching vets is that all of our records are here and I would hate to lose the history.
post #9 of 12
You vet should be willing and able to transfer records, maybe he'll charge you for it. I can't imagine that he can just keep all the records though and not give you access to them.

Good luck finding a new vet. We did that a couple of years ago and I'm pleased we did. You've got to go with your instincts, and change if you feel you'll get better service elsewhere.
post #10 of 12
It very well could be stress related. When Jake got so sick back in October, it all started with stress and then an inflamed bowel. But because he also has autoimmune problems he got really sick.
post #11 of 12
Thread Starter 
Just wanted to give a quick update. Whiskers has been on the i/d food for a week now and I have not seen any blood in herstool in the last four days. Yay!

What is a good quality "bland" food to try once the i/d is done? She ate Science Diet Indoor for about 4 years and then a few months ago when I got the kitten, switched to EVO for a month and then Felidae. She had no problems on Science Diet but from reading on TCS, that is not a good quality food with by-products. I have noticed that her fur is nicer on the Felidae but I think that might be causing her loose stools.
post #12 of 12
That's great!
Honestly if it were me, I'd keep giving her what's working for her, i.e. the i/d. Sadly Zoey and Saki are both on RX food from the vet for urinary issues and while its not the best quality food, i.e. by-products, they have not had any problems since being on it and that's most important to me.
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