The following IBD cat diet aims to improve the cat’s quality of life.
The natural foods below support the gut and immune system.
You should take this information to your cat’s doctor. And figure out a plan that works for your individual cat.
Every cat is an individual and should be treated as such.
Note: There are no dry foods on this page.
The important point that seems to have been missed is that it is actually the feeding of a species-inappropriate diet that has led to the rise in inflammatory bowel disease in cats and loss of integrity of the gut wall.
By feeding cats inappropriately and not recognising them as obligate carnivores, we have damaged their intestinal tracts.Lyn Thomson, BVSc DipHom, “Feline Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Nature and Treatment” Feline Nutrition Foundation.
I’d suggest reading through this entire page multiple times before taking action.
IBD cat diets included on this page:
- Introductory IBD Cat Diet
- Homemade Raw Food for IBD
- Commercial Raw Food for IBD
- Wet Cat Food for IBD
- Test Your Water Quality
- Veterinary Resources on IBD
Important: Do not use this information to treat your cat by yourself at home.
I’m only writing this article because people email me about IBD cat diets very frequently.
Please remember to transition cat food SLOWLY.
Work with your cat’s doctor to come up with a transition plan.
Disclaimer: I earn a commission if you make a purchase through affiliate links below. No additional cost to you.
Also, nothing I say is medical advice!!!!
1. Introductory IBD Cat Diet
Feline Nutrition Foundation: Homemade meat or fish stock.
It is my professional experience that a healthy balance of gut bacteria and a species-appropriate raw food for cats will protect and nourish the body.
From my clinical experience, it is best to concentrate on healing the gut with an introductory diet. Once the gut wall is healed, foods will be properly digested before being absorbed, which will remove most food intolerances and allergies.Lyn Thomson, BVSc DipHom, “Feline Inflammatory Bowel Disease: Nature and Treatment” Feline Nutrition Foundation.
Homemade meat broth is the first step in an IBD cat diet:
- Provides necessary building blocks for the gut lining
- Soothing effect on inflammation
- Rich in minerals
- Easy to absorb
- Improves immune function
- Supports healthy digestion
Do not use store-bought broth or cubes. Remember, we need to avoid highly processed foods.
Homemade meat broth ingredient options:
- Meaty bones
- A whole chicken
*Essential ingredients for healing minerals and collagen. It is ideal to use pasture-raised meats that eat a high-quality, appropriate diet.
Where to buy ingredients:
- Local butcher
- Farmers market
- White Oak Pastures – $20 off $150+ purchase with that link. Do not use their ready-made broth because it includes veggies and other ingredients. Also note, their raw pet mixes are not complete and balanced.
- Hare Today – They have whole pheasants, semi-boneless dressed quail, raw meaty bones, and marrow bones. Create an account and earn discount points.
- Put ingredients into a large pan
- Fill the pan with water
- Bring to a boil
- Cover and simmer on low heat for 2.5-3 hours
- Once done, remove ingredients and set aside
- Sieve the stock to remove any small bones
- Strip off the soft tissue from the bones and save
- Extract the bone marrow and save
Serve warm meat stock with meals and between meals. Include the meat and marrow from the stock as well. It’s important for your cat to eat the meat and marrow too.
Probiotics are essential in the IBD intro diet.
I do not have personal experience with that brand. However, it is vet-formulated, USDA-organic, and has a National Animal Supplement Council (nasc) safety seal.
Plus they include prebiotics in the mix. Prebiotics are important because they feed the probiotics and keep them alive.
2. Homemade Raw Food for IBD
- Human-grade quality meats
- FDA- and USDA-inspected
- Single-protein meat, bones, and organs
- No additives
- Made it on Susan Thixton’s 2023 list
Dr. Thomson suggests starting with rabbit fillets and then progressing to ground meat, bones, and organs. Then eventually graduate to raw meaty bones.
Rabbit is extremely high in protein and low in fat. The low fat may help relieve symptoms.
You can buy boneless rabbit chunks from Hare Today and start with that. Then transition to a meat, bones, and organ grind.
Where to buy M/B/O grind:
Hare Today and Viva Raw also have chicken, turkey, duck, and beef options if you don’t want to feed rabbit. Hare Today has even more protein options.
Important: Viva Raw Pure Blends and Hare Today’s M/B/O grinds are not complete and balanced as is. However, you can continue to feed homemade meat broth with the meals for additional nutrients.
Keep in mind that rabbit is much lower in taurine compared to other proteins. Do not feed unsupplemented rabbit long-term.
Alternatively, you can use Dr. Lisa Pierson’s homemade cat food recipe.
3. Commercial Raw Food for IBD
Note: homemade raw is my top recommendation because you control the ingredients and how it’s made. Therefore, the food will have fewer unnecessary ingredients that can cause IBD symptoms.
However, many people ask me for other options.
- Complete and balanced as is
- Single-protein options
- Premade and shipped to your door
- Made it on Susan Thixton’s 2023 list
AllProvide does not contain synthetic supplements.
Viva Raw complete only contains 3 added supplements. All other ingredients are whole food sources of nutrients.
Note: Complete is complete as is. Pure is for homemade cat food and requires supplements. Use code JESSCATICLES to save 20% on your first order.
There are synthetic supplements in Darwin’s. However, the ingredients and the supplements are all human-grade quality.
Again, homemade is my top choice. But you can try 10 lbs of Darwin’s for just $14.95 with this link.
4. Wet Cat Food for IBD
Raw is ideal because it is minimally processed and easier to digest.
But, again, people ask me for options. So here’s the best I can offer.
- Human-grade quality ingredients
- Lightly cooked and shipped frozen
- Single protein options
- Closest you’ll get to a home-cooked meal
- Made it on Susan Thixton’s 2023 list
Raised Right has very minimal synthetic supplements, but they also have fewer protein options.
Smalls has a handful of synthetic supplements, but they have more protein options.
Both options are low in carbohydrates.
And these foods are the closest you’ll get to a home-cooked meal without making it yourself. Far superior quality to any canned cat food out there.
5. Test Your Water Quality
Water is the most essential nutrient, and it’s essential for life.
Water quality (just like food quality) matters a lot. I tested my water quality with Tap Score (use code CATICLES for $10 off $100+ purchase).
My water quality was above the US average but still contains a bunch of chloroform and other chemicals that negatively affect immune function.
I found the best water treatment: AquaTru reversis osmosis. Read my AquaTru review here.
6. Veterinary Resources on IBD
Find an integrative vet in your local area on AHVMA.
Or book a virtual consultation with Dr. Monique Lewison on FirstVet. She is an integrative vet and raw feeds her cat.
Get labs done in your home with Affordable Pet Labs. Their urine and feces are mail-in kits that you collect and mail in. They will come to you to do bloodwork if you are in their service area. Get 10% off with code JESSCATICLES.
Please read the following:
Too often these cats are treated with a high level of steroids and a prescription grain-laden dry food diet. I feel very strongly that this common therapeutic regimen dismisses the very significant role that a proper diet plays in our IBD patients. There are an impressive number of anecdotal reports of cats that were terribly ill with IBD that exhibit dramatic improvement when all dry food was removed from their diet and a grain-free/low-carb canned food was fed instead.
Taking it even one step further, there are many reports of cats with IBD that improved tremendously on a balanced homemade diet.Dr. Lisa Pierson, Catinfo.org.
After a period of time on the novel protein regimen (I recommend three months), under the guidance of your holistic vet, you should be able to gradually transition your kitty to a balanced, species-appropriate diet, preferably raw.Dr. Karen Becker.
Final thoughts on IBD cat diet
Holistic vets say natural, fresh raw foods are best for cats with IBD.
These natural foods along with probiotics and prebiotics can help support and heal the gut.
Take these options and resources to your cat’s doctor to discuss what will work best for your cat.
If your cat’s doctor is not open to these suggestions, find a holistic vet.
I am not a medical doctor. I cannot tell you how much of what and what mixture to use for your cat.
Please do not email me with questions about this.
I understand you need help. But I cannot advise any more than I have in this article.
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