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PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 3:10 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:07 am
Posts: 14
Have a kitten born late December, got her around the beginning of July. So she is around 7 months now. I tried to do my research and get from a reliable breeder (which I still think I did). She was already spayed with her shots and de-wormed, came with a contract, parents checked by a cardiologist for heart issues, ect. However, I think she may have some sort of digestion issue and I am trying to figure out what to do or what tests to ask the vet for (she has been to two different vets).

The breeder feeds raw to his cats normally and told me she was the exception and didn't tolerate raw at all and advised me not to feed her raw. He had been feeding her baked chicken and Alamo chicken with pumpkin. She sometimes (rarely) ate royal canin mother and baby cat.

In very fine print on Alamo it states it is not a complete diet, doh. So I tried to switch her off that first with Tiki cat chicken thinking that would be the easiest switch since it would be close to her diet. That did not go well at all, horrible liquid stools and vomiting, even with only mixing a little into baked chicken. We stopped that after 2 days of getting nowhere.

Next I tried mixing the royal canin with baked chicken (I know its not great food but was trying for something she had some exposure too). It was better but still she was getting upset tummy and loose stools (not pure liquid this time).

We tried that for a bit but it really was still making her too sick for my comfort.

Now we are trying limited ingredient instinct turkey which has worked the best but still random times she gets nauseated, not even close to as bad as before and her stools are normal.

Symptoms: Nausea, lip licking, vomiting (much less often now), reflux (where little food/acid seems to come up to back of her throat/teeth almost passively), LOUD gurgling stomach, sounds like it is full of liquid sloshing around at times, sometimes her belly appears round/firm and uncomfortable a few hours after eating, her back teeth are BAD for her age with deposits and looks like the start of gingivitis to me (probably from the reflux? I am brushing them atm which has helped), used to be gassy but that has been better.

We have been to two vets: Right now she is getting probiotics (which may explain the better stools). She was de-wormed by the breeder months ago so we de-wormed her again at the vet and the next week brought in stool sample to test for worms/giardia which was negative (this was after the de-worming).

I plan to get her teeth cleaned but was hoping to get her feeling better first (I lost a cat who vomited and aspirated into her lungs after waking up from anesthesia due to excess stomach acid even though she wasn't eating/drinking prior so I am uneasy to put her under when she's having reflux issues). She also came down with a mild viral respiratory infection after bringing her home (from stress?) but that is pretty much cleared up now.

I guess what should I do now? She has improved at least, should I just keep trying to get her diet completely switched? She has NO gastric issues on just baked chicken. She had some days where she had no gastric distress at all so I thought we were in the clear and stopped giving her chicken (was mixing 50/50 at that point). She stole and chewed on a sponge that day (doesn't appear she ate any unless it was teeny tiny pieces) and we had to start from square one as it gave her an upset tummy. She is pooping.

The vet advise was to try to get her on normal food first and if that didn't work, go from there. I have kept in contact with the breeder if there is anything I should ask.

IBD? Food sensitivity? Sensitive stomach?


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 5:10 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8005
I can sympathize with you. My bengal has a sensitive digestive tract and has had tests run (came back normal) and has seen the vet several times. In May, we did an ultrasound of the abdomen to see if there were any issues. Outside of a slightly thicken intestinal wall, everything was normal -- no masses. The vet thinks it is IBD. However, without a special diet that my cat will NOT touch, there isn't much we can do. Raiden does not vomit much -- usually it is dry food that comes back up in full pieces. He had his teeth cleaned in June and the vet discovered he has no teeth (which would explain why he can not chew dry food). He had his teeth cleaned two years ago and the vet made no comment. He has his four fangs and two other teeth (as the vet had to pull one that was diseased), but nobody knows why he has no teeth. The roots have turned to calcium. And I've asked the previous owner and we went back through 10 years of vet records and nothing can be found.

My boy will occasionally have a perfect stool. Then it looks like mustard being poured onto a hot dog. I give him a probiotic daily. It just is what it is. But ... delving into the insides to see what may or may not be there is something you might try. The ultrasound cost $320 at my vet, but at least it eased my mind that there was nothing else going on down there. And I spent $150 on other tests including checking the thyroid as my bengal was losing weight.

All you can do is rely on the recommendations by your vet and try to find the right combination of food that is easy on the digestive system. My vet mentioned everything you have: IBD, food sensitivity, sensitive stomach, but he also mentioned food allergies, although that doesn't seem to be the issue with mine.

I hope you hit on something that works. Vomiting is not enjoyable to a cat and can be painful.


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PostPosted: Sat Jul 22, 2017 10:03 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sat Oct 31, 2015 9:44 pm
Posts: 673
It sounds so much like my previous boy, he had stomach issues right from the start, he had terrible diarrhoea and vomited.

This was around 9 years ago and nobody seemed to know about changing his diet so he was put on probiotic tablets which helped at first.

A while later it just got worse so the vet did a gut biopsy and it was IBD so once his biopsy was healed he was put on steroids and chemotherapy tablets, this did him well for around 2 years.

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Clare
Magic (brown spotted boy born 31 March 2012)
Pearl (seal Lynx Point girl born 1 October 2015)
Bristol, UK


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PostPosted: Sun Jul 23, 2017 8:08 am 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Sun Feb 02, 2014 8:11 pm
Posts: 1165
Hi there,

I also have a Bengal with a sensitive tummy, loose stools, blood and mucus in it etc. He's been back and forth to the vet for it as well. Have you tried Royal Canin Sensible dry food? That made a difference for Hendrix and fortunately he really likes it too. With wet, I feed mine really good quality wet that is pretty much just the main protein, ie chicken or fish with no fillers or junk in it. Just protein and the necessary additives, minerals, vitamins and taurine they need. Took me ages to find food that they were both enthusiastic about and Jagger has a different dry food as he won't touch what Hendrix has.

If you have more than one cat, and your Bengal needs a different diet it may be worth looking at sure feeders which are activated by their microchips so your Bengal with a sensitive tummy can't steal the others food which potentially will make her tummy bad again! Which I found Hendrix was doing!!

Remember her tummy is sensitive anyway right now as she is still a kitten. I think you said you got her at the beginning of July and you've changed her food quite a bit in that time, and that in itself can upset her tummy.

I also give Hendrix probiotics and also add fibre to his dry food to keep his tummy working properly. This happened after he was incredibly poorly last year and was hospitalised. I've also had IBD mentioned to me and that if it happened again they would do more invasive tests, but since then he's been fine (touch wood!). Following tests he was diagnosed with clostridium which was a bacteria in his gut, he literally had watery mucus pouring out of his bottom the diarrhoea was so bad and his vomit was watery too. Apparently it is a natural bacteria in the environment and he was given antibiotics for it. She'd never seen symptoms so severe though which is why she is suspicious of IBD.

I wouldn't worry about her teeth right now. The vet will advise you if they think they need cleaning and also I think my two were teething at about seven months so she might be about to get her adult teeth anyway.

Keep working with the vet and hopefully you'll find a food that suits her. Like I said, Hendrix is fine now, has perfect stools which is not something I thought would ever happen! But he had symptoms for three years and I think it's only because I've got his diet right for him now, which I add probiotics and fibre to.

Good luck!

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Clare
Hendrix and Jagger, Brown Marble Boys (born 18 August 2013)
Hampshire, UK


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 5:19 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:07 am
Posts: 14
I wanted to thank you all for sharing, I read it awhile ago but didn't get around to responding.

My last bengal also struggled with dietary intolerance (eventually leading to cancer in the GI tract at 12 years even though we had it pretty controlled with diet) so this is just very stressful to go through again. My male bengal can literally eat anything at least (he steals dog food if I don't pick it up fast enough!).

Akira is doing good as of right now, we started all over again with just chicken for a few days to let her tummy settle down and reset and we started mixing wet food in again very slowly, she is at 50/50 chicken and wet right now so fingers crossed. No issues so far.

Tabitha, thanks for sharing that about the teeth. I am hopeful that these molar teeth are still baby teeth, I did read they can lose them in late kittenhood and even early adulthood so fingers crossed. I am brushing them for now as it does seem to help her gums, probably something I will need to do her whole life. I wish I could brush my boy's teeth, they don't look bad but he is 7 or 8 now so they can't be perfect. Unfortunately he was a rescue and previously abused so getting that up close and personal is extremely stressful and scary for him. Akira dislikes it but shes not terrified, more just "ugh, this is annoying".

I am very blessed to have a truly caring vet who answers all my questions on facebook whether it is work hours or not.

This is a picture my vet took of her when she decided he was a good nap spot and he posted it on his facebook. He sits on the floor and lets the animals come and check him out.
Imageakira-vet by Tana Jahangier, on Flickr


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PostPosted: Mon Jul 31, 2017 4:17 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8005
What a beautiful baby and what a handsome vet!!!


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PostPosted: Fri Sep 22, 2017 5:59 am 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:07 am
Posts: 14
Wanted to update the progress so far with this mystery...

The good news is her gastric symptoms are gone (cross fingers)... she doesn't get nauseated anymore or have a loud gurgly tummy. I think part of it is the diet we have her on has helped but she also doesn't chew and try to eat every random thing as much as she did when she was a bit younger. She has gained a lot of weight and muscle so I think some of the chewing was hunger and some was kitten behavior. She was 4 lbs at 6 months. I am unsure of her weight right now but she has filled out a lot.

However, we are still dealing with poo issues. She continues to have mostly soft stool, once and awhile a formed stool, and sometimes pudding stools, sometimes a mix of different consistency! She also started to go outside the box, probably due to pain as chronic diarrhea is not a comfortable thing. I can tell her bottom is a little sore. I started scooping it extra and I took the top off the box today to see if I can encourage her to try the box again. Luckily the box is a basement on painted concrete so clean-up isn't too big a hassle and nothing is getting ruined while we work out this issue.

She is still on the limited ingredient instinct turkey with shreds of chicken I boil and mix in. Also, about 2 days ago I started mixing in some dry that I soak in water for a short time before. The dry is the same brand/flavor as the wet and she hasn't gotten an upset tummy from it yet. Why the dry? I don't know really, everything I read about IBD seems to point that each cat is different and some were helped with raw, some limited ingredient, some dry, some low protein, some "junk brands". So just seeing what it does for her, if anything. She won't eat dry if its not mixed with wet, she never had dry before and doesn't know what to do with kibble.

I also ordered some slippery elm and a better brand of probiotic. I had to stop her old one as I think the "animal digest" in it was giving her tummy troubles. I only had that brand because I have used it to get sick cats to eat.

Another thing is now that her tummy is better, I am going to schedule her teeth cleaning. Unfortunately they were her adult teeth and they are very bad, I brush them but I can not get the old buildup off. I have never seen a young cat have such dirty teeth! I think when she was nauseated the food would come up and then just sit on her teeth with all that acid too, not good but hopefully everything will go okay with her cleaning.

Anywho, the search for a cure or perfect diet continues. She is otherwise much happier now that she isn't vomiting and is no longer lethargic and full of energy so trying to stay positive! Making baby steps towards are goals.


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PostPosted: Mon Oct 09, 2017 7:17 pm 
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Bengal Kitten

Joined: Mon Apr 28, 2008 11:07 am
Posts: 14
The probiotics seem to be helping, she has normal stools sometimes but still some loose ones at times. She has only had 2 accidents since I changed up the litterbox routine. I noticed today there was a line for the box, my male was using it and he takes forever, he likes to just dig and dig and scratch for ages and she was outside waiting to use it. I figure if you have loose stools, sometimes you have to go NOW so maybe a cause of going on the floor sometimes. Going to set up a second litter box.

Have not tried slippery elm yet, giving the probiotics some time first.


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PostPosted: Tue Oct 10, 2017 2:21 pm 
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Asian Leopard Cat

Joined: Thu May 23, 2013 2:21 pm
Posts: 8005
My bengal can have a perfect stool one day and a runny one the next. My vet says it is a symptom of Irritable Bowl Disease and wanted Raiden on a special diet that he won't eat. I am happy to hear things have improved except for the loose stools. I am sure it is uncomfortable for your kitty and hate to hear she is going outside of the letterbox. I give mine a probiotic as well, but it doesn't seem to help all the time. Every cat is different and a sensitive digestive tract is not uncommon. Runny poo means the food went through the digestive tract too quickly.

I thank you for this topic as it may help other bengal/cat owners down the line. While it is always nice to get things under control, sometimes there is a chronic problem that just can't be.

I so appreciate all your updates.


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