Felix Wet Food Giving My Cat the Squitter-Squirts - Can Anyone Think Why?

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Vietislav
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Felix Wet Food Giving My Cat the Squitter-Squirts - Can Anyone Think Why?

Post by Vietislav » Wed Jan 22, 2020 11:06 am

Hi. I live in the UK and my cat Mouse has been a wet food cat for nine years now. Although he's tried all kinds of wet food over the years, he's always got on best with Felix (though obviously I've had to vary the flavours a lot, to keep him interested). Now, I realise that a lot of snooty cat owners think Purina products are garbage, but the fact is that Mouse is a very healthy cat indeed who's done very well on Felix over the years, so I'm not inclined to knock it. However, after nine years it's suddenly started giving him the squits - and Purina tell me there's been no recent change in either the recipes or in the manufacturing process, so I'm flummoxed.

In desperation, I've been trying various other wet foods, but to my appalled astonishment the only ones he's been reluctantly prepared to eat so far have been Whiskas and Pets' Pantry, both of which are cheap for a good reason: they consist largely of fillers. Not that Felix doesn't, but at least its protein content is higher. Hardly surprisingly, I don't fancy my cat eating Whiskas and Pets' Pantry for the rest of his life, but at the same time (a) I'm aware that a lot of the costlier and supposedly more up-market wet foods you can buy at Pets At Home are actually just garbage too, dressed up in nice-looking packaging to trick us into buying them, and (b) before I can choose something better for him, I first need to know precisely what it is about Felix that's now giving poor old Mouse the squits.

I set up a spreadsheet listing the ingredients of Felix, Whiskas and Pets' Pantry side by side, and on the surface the only immediately observable difference is that Whiskas and Pets' Pantry contain Vitamin B but not Vitamin A, whilst Felix contains Vitamin A but not Vitamin B. I'm aware that Vitamin A is funny stuff which can easily cause the body major problems if too much of it is ingested, but I don't see why it should suddenly be causing the squits when it hasn't for the past nine years. I suppose the diarrhoea could be being caused by, for instance, a larger amount of a specific vegetable oil being present in Felix than in the other two brands, but there's no actual way of telling, because that type of thing is only listed as an ingredient rather than as a specific amount, so I can't make a comparison.

All I can do, then, is ask you all for advice drawn from your own experience, and hope that you can perhaps recommend me a brand or two of wet food which won't set off my cat's bowels. He's never taken to dry food or to moist food, and frankly I don't blame him because he's not designed to eat grain products any more than other cats are.

He won't eat some of Sainsbury's own brand wet food; he won't eat the type of IAMS which comes in an orange box; he won't eat cheapo stuff like Wilko own-brand wet food or the junk they sell at Aldi and Lidl; anything in sauce rather than jelly gives him the squits anyway, especially if it's Gourmet brand; and I'm not going to consider novelty nonsense like 'soup', because there's hardly anything in each pouch, let alone a meal.

I tried giving him raw minced lean beef and finely chopped raw chicken, but after a couple of meals of either of those, he lost interest. Likewise cooked chicken or beef mince. And he'll only eat poached or grilled fish if I give it to him infrequently.

So I'm getting pretty desperate here, because he's still as hungry as he's always been (five pouches a day in winter, normally) and I know he'll soon start refusing even Whiskas and Pets' Pantry due to being fed up with them. And before any cat-bully out there says that if a cat is hungry enough it'll eat whatever's on offer, so just feed it anything, I need to point out that that attitude is completely ignorant. The cat would be more likely to find itself another home altogether - a home where, by a complete fluke, they happen to offer him something which he wants to eat and which doesn't give him diarrhoea. If only I knew what that mysterious something was.

Can anyone advise? Thanks.

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Re: Felix Wet Food Giving My Cat the Squitter-Squirts - Can Anyone Think Why?

Post by Ruth B » Wed Jan 22, 2020 12:46 pm

Welcome to the forum, and rather than damning you for feeding Felix, you will find that a lot of do as well. Just of note, Purina isn't a bad cat food manufacturer, however this is partly because the UK has very strict rules regarding the quality of pet foods and some other countries don't. Once when I was chatting with some people over in the States on another cat site, I was surprised to learn that Purina over there has a very bad reputation and that the ingredients in it are far more inferior than we get over here.

My first suggestion, assuming you haven't already done this, is to get him vet checked and make sure there is no medical reason for his digestive issues.

While he may have been fine on Felix before and they say they haven't changed the recipe it could be they have changed the quantities of certain ingredients or that he has developed an intolerance to something over time. If he will eat Whiskars and Pet's Pantry with out problems then let him, they might not be quite as good quality ingredient wise, but at least he won't be starving, or becoming dehydrated. The other problem might be that a lot of cat foods will list things like 'cereal', 'vegetable' or 'meat or fish derivatives' without saying just what that includes.

Another thing you can try is mixing a bit of pureed pumpkin in with his food, this is supposed to be very good for cats with dodgy stomachs, either buy a pumpkin and do it yourself if you are up to that type of cooking, or you can buy jars of it, but as it is aimed at human consumption you do have to check that it is just pumpkin and doesn't have things like sugar added. I know a couple of cat food manufacturers do do a chicken and pumpkin option, Applaws being one.

If you are around for home delivery options, then Zooplus do a good range of catfoods some of which do come in trial packs so you can see if he will eat them. I recently started using them to try and provide my old girl with a more concentrated source of protein. So far i've tried Applaws, Thrive Complete and Almo Nature, Applaws and Almo Nature aren't 'complete' cat foods so may be missing some vitamins and minerals, but as long as they are fed as a supplement to normal cat foods like Felix they are fine. All of them look far more like what they are labelled as being, the tuna looks the same as I would put in a sandwich for myself.

Finally there are special prescription diets to help with things like IBS in cats, some places will sell them to you with out a prescription from your vets, but some will request one, while your vet would no doubt sell you it, buying it online is a lot cheaper. The only problem is that there tends to be a very limited range of flavours, but they are aimed at cats with sensitive stomachs.

I do hope you can get poor Mouse sorted, it can't be nice for him, or for you having to clean up after him.

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Re: Felix Wet Food Giving My Cat the Squitter-Squirts - Can Anyone Think Why?

Post by booktigger » Wed Jan 22, 2020 1:31 pm

my first thought is a vet check, one of my old cats suddenly stopped being able to tolerate the food she'd eaten for ages, and it turned out to be IBD. Also, have you had him from a kitten, as you don't mention his age? Things like hyper-thyroidism can start as diarrhea. As he isn't keen on fresh meat, something like wet food for sensitive cats might settle him enough (I've never known anywhere require a prescription for prescription food ironically) to be able to start introducing things. I do wonder if Felix have changed things, my girls have stopped eating the gravy and fish flavours the past few months.

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Re: Felix Wet Food Giving My Cat the Squitter-Squirts - Can Anyone Think Why?

Post by lilynmitz » Wed Jan 22, 2020 11:11 pm

I agree, rather than just blaming what he’s eating, it might be worth finding out if there’s a medical reason why he’s suddenly not tolerating food that he’s thrived on for years. My two have a diet of RoyalCanin dried and Felix AGAIL, and I haven’t noticed any dodgy tums lately, or at all, on this diet. I would think if it’s a quality control issue, more people would be having the same problem as you. So the issue might not be with the food, and is more to do with a possible medical condition. Trying to find food they will actually eat is such a nightmare, I’ve been through this so many times in the past, but in nearly all cases the change in appetite and apparently “fussy” eating was brought on by ill health.

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Re: Felix Wet Food Giving My Cat the Squitter-Squirts - Can Anyone Think Why?

Post by Mollycat » Thu Jan 23, 2020 6:25 am

I wonder if you've come to this forum as I did fed up of a certain other forum where members regularly ganged up to tell people they were killing their cats if they fed anything less expensive than Animonda or more complicated than a home made carefully balanced raw diet. We're not like that here, anyway. Think of the millions of African and Mediterranean stray cat colonies who thrive on restaurant scraps and suddenly the formula supermarket foods look like 4 star gourmet dinners. Cat food has been around for barely a human generation.

Firstly you should rule out a medical issue, if that's possible. "If that's possible" because I've just been round that track with two cats and have no answers, but I'll share the experience with you if it helps, especially the vitamins B and A about it.

Firstly Bobby, no longer with us. 9 year old retired pedigree stud, always a delicate eater with occasional squits. At 12 he was diagnosed with very mild renal failure and was put on a renal support diet. At 14 the wet started to make him sick so we stuck with the dry but the squits got progressively worse. Vitamin B injections would sort him out at first, then they stopped working so we went to steroid injections as needed. He got worse and even lost 800g in 6 days, he went on to permanent steroids. In the end at age 15 we couldn't reasonably do any more and had to say goodbye or put him through tests that probably wouldn't have told us anything of value.

Secondly Molly, 6 year old rescue. Utterly food obsessed, traumatised and nervous, made worse by any attempt to cut down her food. Eventually put her on a special calorie restricted diet and at last after 4 years her weight began to drop to something acceptable. 18 months of this and she crashed, she was suddenly very poorly with yellow v&d and sudden dramatic weight loss, more than a kilo in 4 days. Blood test revealed possible liver issues and hyperthyroidism. Her food was changed to the ultra low iodine, the ounces piled on, the had her treatment and i expected the battle against the pounds to escalate but it didn't, she is now on Felix and a healthy slightly overweight. I suspected the diet food may have caused a problem and found sky high levels of vitamin A, which overdosed over long periods can cause liver problems, bone overgrowth and metabolic disorders. She continued to have a squitty bum for more than a year after her crash and then it gradually eased though we still get some loose incredibly stinky ones.

So I would get a blood panel done just to make sure everything is within the normal range and after that if Felix gives him the squits just avoid or give occasionally in a rotation with other foods including Whiskas and Pets Pantry. Human research says diet variety is more important for gut health than any particular foods, maybe a variety of brands helps support cat gut health too.

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Re: Felix Wet Food Giving My Cat the Squitter-Squirts - Can Anyone Think Why?

Post by Vietislav » Thu Jan 23, 2020 8:05 pm

Thanks so much to everyone who's so far aired their thoughts. Much appreciated.

Interesting to hear the explanation of why Americans have such a low opinion of Purina, Ruth. What you say definitely makes sense, bearing in mind how unregulated the US still is in so many ways. Getting old Mouse vet-checked is definitely on my to-do list, you'll be glad to hear. In fact, I'd have done it already if I weren't grappling with ankle-disintegration issues myself right now. But it will be done. Thanks so much for the dietary recommendations, especially the pumpkin aspect. Thanks also for the warm welcome.

Mollycat,I'm very sorry to learn of your having had to watch Bobby gradually deteriorate right in front of your face. I have no doubt that you did right in deciding to say farewell to him when he reached 15. But very glad to hear that your Molly bounced right back to Felix after having her issues sorted out over time. I have indeed encountered cat-fancying web communities where unwarranted criticism is rife regarding food; I can only assume the regulars in those communities are fabulously wealthy and have convinced themselves that only the best (whatever that is) is good enough for their diamond-collared cats to eat.

Lilynmitz, I agree totally that the specific cause of Mouse's internal disruption needs identifying. Fussy eating brought on by ill health? That's definitely worth contemplating as a concept, since Mouse has been getting superfussy over the last month or so about his food but no really clear pattern has yet been discernible, so an investigation is certainly called for.

Booktigger, you mention IBD, which has set me worrying. You did right to mention it. As for old Mouse, no, I haven't had him since he was a kitten; I took him in when he was about 1 year old. I sincerely hope he isn't developing hyperthyroidism. Incidentally, he too started refusing fish Felix within the last few months, like your own catmonsters. Just what are Purina playing at, do we suppose?

I had a look on another cat-related website and found people recommending Butcher's Classic or similar 'natural ingredients only' products, but when I read the small print I found that both Butcher's Classic and Sainsbury's own equivalent contain Vitamin A. It turned out that the Webbox version didn't contain it though, so I've bought some of that and am now waiting to see what comes out of my cat's rear end in due course. I've never had much of an opinion a Webbox, but beggars can't be choosers in this context. I'll just have to give it a punt.

Thanks again - and if anyone else is considering airing an opinion on this topic, please do go ahead.

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