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The scoop on poop: Managing Chronic Diarrhea in Cats Through Diet

Posted 2019-05-23

Frisco, this handsome 17-year-old kitty, was suffering from chronic diarrhea and weight loss for a long time, with no identified cause.

Chronic diarrhea in cats can also lead to weight, loss, dehydration, vomiting, and lethargy. As a cat deals with it, there can be changes in frequency and consistency of the poop. Not only is it a nightmare to cleanup, but it can be unpleasant for your furry friend. Pinpointing the source can be very helpful in understanding it is a disease itself, or a symptom of an underlying cause.

It can be frustrating to watch your beloved pet, go through this – doing everything you can, researching, back and forth veterinary visits. And still not getting answers. Frisco’s mom Amy, came to us earlier this year when she noticed Frisco was losing weight over the last couple of years, despite having ravenous hunger.

She had done the necessary bloodwork – his kidney function was normal, he did not test positive for hyperthyroidism. Yet he was gradually losing weight and now starting to lose interest in eating.

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Due to Frisco’s history of gastrointestinal issues, NHV’s in-house veterinarian Dr. Amanda slowly transitioned Frisco from the raw diet Amy had him on, to a home cooked meal plan. Adverse reactions to food can develop at any time throughout your kitty’s life. A cat may have been eating the same food for years or recently been switched to something new. Many cats with food intolerances or allergies will experience these over time.

Diarrhea in cats can be caused by a number of factors, including dietary intolerance or allergies. Frisco’s diet was formulated taking into account his condition – chronic diarrhea with an uncertain cause. 

This diet was given in three phases, starting with very few ingredients. This was to help determine what may be the cause of Frisco’s dietary sensitivity, by slowly introducing ingredients over time. Phases 1 and 2 of Frisco’s diet were given for 3 weeks each. Once phase 2 was complete, Frisco’s maintenance diet was included in Phase 3. Here’s Frisco’s progress after the first few weeks.

My 17 year old cat has been suffering from chronic diarrhea for the last couple of years. He was eating well, but constantly hungry, and losing weight. We spent over $1000 on bloodwork looking for possible hyperthyroid issues, kidney problems, diabetes, etc. All lab results were normal. The next step recommended by a vet was to do exploratory surgery.

Not only is my cat an old cat in poor health, he is also very skinny and I was concerned that he would not make it through surgery. I began doing research on my own and modified his diet to a commercial raw food diet and also added probiotics and digestive enzymes for cats. This actually improved things for a short term. However, in the last 6 months, my cat´s health started declining rapidly. The vet wanted to run the same blood-work again and was still recommending exploratory surgery.

In desperation, I began researching other ways I might help my cat and also talking to other trusted cat owners. It was actually our pet sitter who told me about NHV natural pet products and how much they had helped her cat. I went online and researched some of the supplements offered by NHV, but found it difficult to determine which supplements might be the best to start with given my cat´s chronic history with diarrhea.

When I contacted NHV, they recommended some supplements and Dr. Amanda also offered to do a balanced nutritional plan for my cat. Initially, I was going to start with giving my cat Plantaeris with his meals to help with the diarrhea. However, after asking Dr. Amanda some questions and reading more about the nutritional plans I started to reconsider.

Dr. Amanda was concerned that the raw diet may not be the correct diet for my cat given his history of digestive problems. I hesitated to make the change, but then decided I didn’t have anything to lose. Frisco´s health was declining rapidly and the food and supplements that were helping him, were no longer working. He was in a critical place. So I decided to purchase the nutritional plan in addition to purchasing the Plantaeris supplement.

Dr. Amanda´s nutritional plan was sent by email and it is so thorough! Because of his chronic issues, Frisco´s plan was broken down into phases starting with just a few ingredients as this might help us to identify foods that might be causing his digestive problems. We are just finishing the first 3 week phase of this nutritional plan, so I can only comment on that portion. However, we are already seeing amazing results.

It took us a week to transition him over to the new diet and during that week we did not notice much change in out cat. Once he was completely transitioned, the improvement became more apparent. This is a cat who had multiple explosive or wet puddles of diarrhea every day, who had to stay in our basement because he was leaving diarrhea puddles everywhere. After a full week of doing Phase 1 of the diet, we saw our first formed poop!

After week 2, his poops are continuing to improve and he only poops a couple of times during the night (as compared to multiple poop puddles outside of the litter-box each night and throughout the day. And there is more form to the poop….still softer than ¨normal¨ but amazing to see a tubular poop instead of a puddle! So definitely noticeable that something is working for him. We start easing into Phase 2 later this week and will add the option of a couple more proteins and starches (still limited) and adding a few more supplements.

So hoping things continue to improve for our furry boy. Aside from the improved bowel movements, Friso has more energy and is now able to be upstairs with the rest of us since he is no longer soiling throughout the house. He is not meowing all time and constantly seeking food. Crossing my fingers that his health will continue to improve as we move on through the diet plan over the next several weeks.

I have also been impressed with how helpful the staff at NHV have been through this transition as well as with making the decision for what to purchase. They respond within a day at the most to email questions and have answered all my questions or helped me to problem solve or make changes if there was something in the diet my cat did not want to eat.

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I have not done a phone consult with Dr. Amanda yet as the diet has been fairly straightforward up to this point. But they have been very responsive to all questions that I have sent by email. I am very pleased and continue to cross my fingers that Frisco´s health will continue to improve even more with the addition of the next recommended supplements and additions to his diet.

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Very happy so far to have found NHV! I was beginning to think that we were reaching the end, but now I feel we have turned a new corner and have hope. I encourage anyone to give NHV a try!

Since making the switch, Frisco’s stools have firmed up and he is having less accidents in the house. We are happy that Frisco’s mom entrusted us with Frisco’s special dietary needs, and we hope he enjoys many many happy and healthy days ahead, snuggled up on the couch.


Each pet is different – special and unique as their own individual personality. Whether they are young and healthy, ageing gracefully or suffering from a range of medical conditions, your pet’s nutritional needs will vary.

Different life stages and medical conditions may require that you alter certain minerals or nutrients in your pets diet. There is a lot of information surrounding these topics, and navigating this information can be tiresome and confusing.


Dr. Amanda can develop a customized, home cooked nutrition plan for your pet. You will be asked to provide information on your pet including age, breed, basic medical history and current medications. Dr. Amanda will use this information to compound a customized home cooked recipe that best suits your pet’s current condition.

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If you have any questions about your furry friend’s nutrition, reach out to an NHV Pet Expert.

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