When you read about feline IBD it almost seems like an enigma wrapped in a riddle for its complexity. It is often idiopathic – the cause is unknown. If the cause is unknown the cause can’t be removed. The cat has to receive immune-suppressive drugs with side effects. This is a second best solution.
IBD is an allergic reaction. It is an “allergic gastrointestinal disease”. A feline disease caused by an allergic reaction in the cat’s gut. The allergic reaction causes inflammation in the gut.
Having ticked all the boxes that might be the cause such as parasites and having dealt with them, the purist’s treatment is to go back to basics. It is to make sure that the food in the gut is natural enough not to cause an allergic reaction. Going back to basics means a raw diet. Dr Hodgkins DVM has seen changes in cats with IBD fed with lightly cooked ground rabbit that are “almost beyond imagining”.
She describes cats being brought to her that are so bad that euthanasia has been considered. And yet many times at her veterinary practice she reports that cats have been retuned to “normalcy” within a few days on a raw diet. She has avoid drugs and hypoallergenic cat food and relied on ground rabbit or switched to ground chicken.
As for hypoallergenic cat foods she suggests that there may be cross-contamination at the processing plants which prevents the product from being genuinely hypoallergenic (less likely to produce an allergic reaction). Also the process of manufacture is part of the problem. These commercial diets she describes as “retrofits” rather than going back to basics.
I like her approach. I trust her conclusions. Above all it is worth a try and the first step in treating a cat with IBD should be to test a raw diet and go from there. In general vets don’t like cat owners preparing raw diets. However, in this instance they can consult on the process and provide guidance on it, the supplements needed and storage to avoid cross-contamination.
Ground rabbit with supplement
Here is one of Hodgkins’ diets for feline IBD. It is for US residents. I am not sure if you can get her recommend supplement elsewhere. It is raw rabbit with Platinum Performance Feline Wellness. She describes it as “an excellent, well balanced, and very palatable amino acid/vitamin/mineral supplement that I use with all of my own cats”. She is also a breeder of Ocicats, a rare purebred cat designed to look like a wild cat.
The breakdown of her raw diet is: protein 66%, fat 4.5%, fibre 0.7%, carbohydrates 3.8% and taurine 0.64%.
She also has used a frozen raw food from Omas Pride for feeding her cats. It is human grade raw meats. Finally, raw chicken with the same supplement has the following breakdown: protein 55%, fat 27%, fibre 2%, carbohydrates less than 1% and taurine 1.1%.
Conclusion: it is hard to deny that going back to basics with a well prepared raw diet is an excellent starting point. Try it please. I have also discussed faecal transplant as a possible cure. Check it out.
P.S. I am not a vet. I am taking a common sense viewpoint after careful research. See your own vet please.