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Old May 12th, 2008, 02:15 PM
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Fiber Question

I'm a little confused. Food with grains are considered bad cuz cats dont eat grains, at the same time though I find with no grain food my cats dont have firm poop/have anal gland issues so I have to supplement with fiber from pumpkin/baby squash. So isn't it kind of the same as just feeding food with grain in the first place? Unless they dont use whole grains..?
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Old May 12th, 2008, 02:25 PM
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btw i realize this question might be really stupid..so sorry in advance
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Old May 12th, 2008, 02:26 PM
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Fiber is the non digestible part of a grain, or any vegetable etc. There are two different types of fiber, soluble and insoluble. The insoluble is the part that would not dissolve in water (ie the husk portion etc) In the case of grain free diets, they ARE lower in fiber, and in some case adding fiber is neccesary to get a good stool. Pumpkin contains both soluble and insoluble fiber to absorb excess water on the intestinal tract, and create bulk (and movement in the tract) to put pressure on the anal glands.
Cats can digest grains once they are ground and processed as in kibble, however they are not neccesary, and a food without grains is much more appropriate. Whole grains are not digestible, however when they are used in kibble, they are ground before processing. Having said that, if you are tiring of adding pumpkin using a grain free kibble/canned may work for you.
Overall some cats do do better on a diet using grains (due to the fiber)
You may want to check out raw too.
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Old May 12th, 2008, 03:06 PM
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with raw fed cats, the stool softener is fat/skin. the reason grain is so unhealthy for cats is the work it creates for its digestive tract. it has to work much harder, and in some cases just not hard enough, to extract protein from plant sources. when our cats have pooping problems (which are rare) we just add a little extra chicken skin to their diet.

you could try adding a little chicken fat (start with 1/2 teaspoon) to see if that gets things going.

-ashley
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Old May 12th, 2008, 03:22 PM
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Thanks for the input guys. Right now I'm trying to create more bulk in their stool, less loose stool while feeding them grain free kibble. I was just perplexed cuz it seems the way to do that is to add fiber...which I assume would be present in a huge amount in the kibble with grain...if that makes any sense, lol.

I was under the impression pumpkin would add more bulk to their stools? I am currently using grain free wellness. I tried grain free Orijen but their poop stank horribly and Onnie started getting anal gland issues.

I then had to use prescription vet food to get the anal gland/weight issue a bit under control. However, with the deterioration of their fur I wanted to switch to wellness. Onnie's fur is beautiful now but i noticed looser stools and I'm afraid the anal gland issue will start again. I wanted to firm it up by adding the baby squash (which I am doing) but then wondered if baby squash has fiber and thus firms the poop that way, what was wrong with traditional kibble that had grains that added to the bulk of the stool? I just dont think that cats in the wild would eat pumpkin/squash either, u know?

I really want to to try raw and will one day. For the next few years it isn't possible as I live at home and it wouldnt fly with the parents. Under the house, live by their rules . It seems raw really is best for them and like I said I will go down that route one day

For now im just trying the best I can to understand kibble, grain free kibble, supplements and the like

Last edited by onster; May 12th, 2008 at 03:24 PM.
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Old May 12th, 2008, 03:46 PM
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There are a number of kibbles with grain, that have over 80% of the proteins coming from meat, and still have fiber to deal with these issues.
Cats would not eat pumpkin on the wild, but would eat some grass to get fiber.
Increasing the fat content I wouldn;t try, as you are already having an issue creating a good stool, and often times when you are having these issues, the intestinal tract will be irrated by increasing the fat content.
You can always check the fiber content on the food that you are choosing, and look up what type of fibers are in the food, and whether they are soluble/insoluble.
The easy way though is to do what you are currently doing, provided you ARE getting a firm stool, otherwise you may be dealing with other issues.
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Old May 12th, 2008, 06:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onster View Post
what was wrong with traditional kibble that had grains that added to the bulk of the stool? I just dont think that cats in the wild would eat pumpkin/squash either, u know?

One of the problems with grains in kibble form is that they are basically sugar, and cats, having no evolutionary need for carbohydrates, can become overwhelmed by the relentless glucose load created by these starchy dry foods. Cats have very minimal ability to store all this extra glucose as glycogen in the liver (like dogs and people do) and instead it gets converted into fat. Then we end with an obese or diabetic cat.

Another big problem with grains, again because they're not a natural part of the feline diet, is their tendency to be hyperallergenic. These plant proteins are treated as a foreign substance and an inflammatory response is mounted. So then you end up with an itchy cat or one with constant diarrhea or vomiting. It probably won't happen the first or second or third time the grains are consumed, but continued long-term exposure in the amounts typcially found in kibble could eventually send the cat's immune system into hyper-drive.

The "fiber" cat's would eat naturally consist of small amounts of plant foliage like grass, the teensy amount of vegetation in the stomach contents of their prey, and fibrous material like feathers and fur. A normal fiber range is 0.1 to 0.2g per 100 calories, about what you'd find in decent canned food. It's possible that your Onnie needs more than that because his digestive tract has already adapted to higher fiber amounts, or perhaps he's just quirky like that, or maybe it's another issue entirely (maybe his intestinal flora is out of whack?) Adding low-glycemic soluble fiber like pumpkin or squash or zucchini or green beans or lettuce is way preferable to getting his fiber needs met with grains. Does he have any pots of grass around that he can munch on as needed? That might be another good option.
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Old May 12th, 2008, 07:15 PM
Jim Hall Jim Hall is offline
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my big siamise had issues like that I have been told one of the things is . in the wild cats usually are somewhat dehydrted and that firms up thier feces

I am a gret beliver in pumkin and squash and my missser blockhead loved cat grass that relly seemed to help and the pumkin seems to take some of the excess water out of thier digestive systems
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Old May 12th, 2008, 09:12 PM
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ahh.... you want the OTHER end of fibers magical work... fat wont help that at all. it will just make stools more loose. i guess from the raw feeders perspective, adding a touch more calcium (bone) to their diet or work on some actual whole prey like mice (with the skin and all that good stuff still on) or rats (unsuccessful so far!!).

we also keep 'spring mix' lettuce on hand for both the two leggers and the four leggers. probably twice a week we toss a handful of it on the floor in the mornings. almost all the 4 leggers partake. we had grass growing in the house at one point but they kept knocking it down and getting dirt everywhere. finally i nailed it down to a board and Hunter chewed the side off of it.

-ashley
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  #10  
Old May 12th, 2008, 11:28 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gypsy_girl View Post
There are a number of kibbles with grain, that have over 80% of the proteins coming from meat, and still have fiber to deal with these issues.
Cats would not eat pumpkin on the wild, but would eat some grass to get fiber.
Increasing the fat content I wouldn;t try, as you are already having an issue creating a good stool, and often times when you are having these issues, the intestinal tract will be irrated by increasing the fat content.
You can always check the fiber content on the food that you are choosing, and look up what type of fibers are in the food, and whether they are soluble/insoluble.
The easy way though is to do what you are currently doing, provided you ARE getting a firm stool, otherwise you may be dealing with other issues.
Thanks gypsy girl, they do have cat grass all the time and chomp on it every day Maybe I will try increasing the squash I give them. Does anyone know how much I should give per day? I mix it in with wellness wet food.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sugarcatmom View Post
One of the problems with grains in kibble form is that they are basically sugar, and cats, having no evolutionary need for carbohydrates, can become overwhelmed by the relentless glucose load created by these starchy dry foods. Cats have very minimal ability to store all this extra glucose as glycogen in the liver (like dogs and people do) and instead it gets converted into fat. Then we end with an obese or diabetic cat.

Another big problem with grains, again because they're not a natural part of the feline diet, is their tendency to be hyperallergenic. These plant proteins are treated as a foreign substance and an inflammatory response is mounted. So then you end up with an itchy cat or one with constant diarrhea or vomiting. It probably won't happen the first or second or third time the grains are consumed, but continued long-term exposure in the amounts typcially found in kibble could eventually send the cat's immune system into hyper-drive.

The "fiber" cat's would eat naturally consist of small amounts of plant foliage like grass, the teensy amount of vegetation in the stomach contents of their prey, and fibrous material like feathers and fur. A normal fiber range is 0.1 to 0.2g per 100 calories, about what you'd find in decent canned food. It's possible that your Onnie needs more than that because his digestive tract has already adapted to higher fiber amounts, or perhaps he's just quirky like that, or maybe it's another issue entirely (maybe his intestinal flora is out of whack?) Adding low-glycemic soluble fiber like pumpkin or squash or zucchini or green beans or lettuce is way preferable to getting his fiber needs met with grains. Does he have any pots of grass around that he can munch on as needed? That might be another good option.
Thanks so much sugarcatmom! Your explanation made perfect of sense to me When I got Onnie from the shelter he was already obese and eating (and reccomended to continue with) Royal Canin . Ive managed to cut down his weight a bit, which is good but the anal gland issue is quite annoying. I think he needs to get them expressed again now *sigh* must watch out for scooting. They do have cat grass and Onnie loves eating it. He won't however eat any other greens/veggies. He wont eat squash unless in canned food (they get 1/2 can each per day) so maybe I'll just up that amount I had them both taking fortiflora packets for a week or two a few months ago because Bunduk's kitten diarrhea never went away (vet said he would grow out of it ), fixed bunduk right up. So i imagine his intestinal flora should be ok as he shared the packets with Bunduk.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim Hall View Post
my big siamise had issues like that I have been told one of the things is . in the wild cats usually are somewhat dehydrted and that firms up thier feces

I am a gret beliver in pumkin and squash and my missser blockhead loved cat grass that relly seemed to help and the pumkin seems to take some of the excess water out of thier digestive systems
Thanks jim! that makes sense, the dehdration thing, Onnie is a big drinker too, both my cats are. They don't seem to realize that cat's shouldnt have much of a thirst drive

Quote:
Originally Posted by want4rain View Post
ahh.... you want the OTHER end of fibers magical work... fat wont help that at all. it will just make stools more loose. i guess from the raw feeders perspective, adding a touch more calcium (bone) to their diet or work on some actual whole prey like mice (with the skin and all that good stuff still on) or rats (unsuccessful so far!!).

we also keep 'spring mix' lettuce on hand for both the two leggers and the four leggers. probably twice a week we toss a handful of it on the floor in the mornings. almost all the 4 leggers partake. we had grass growing in the house at one point but they kept knocking it down and getting dirt everywhere. finally i nailed it down to a board and Hunter chewed the side off of it.

-ashley
lol @ hunter chewing the side of it! hahah did u try bitter apple on that?

Unfortunately, like I said Onnie only goes for cat grass. Turns his nose up to anything else "human food" unless its cream cheese . I can't do whole prey now (and to be honest I dont think I ever will...would give me the heebie jeebies, lol) but adding calcium thru bone is a suggestion I never got before, definately worth a try!


all, such a wealth of information. You guys are the best.

Last edited by onster; May 12th, 2008 at 11:53 PM.
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Old May 12th, 2008, 11:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by onster View Post
Maybe I will try increasing the squash I give them. Does anyone know how much I should give per day? I mix it in with wellness wet food.
How much are they getting per day now?

Duffy gets 1/2 tsp butternut squash per day, she's about 12 lbs
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Old May 12th, 2008, 11:55 PM
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right now I dont really measure it. I freeze it after the first day and then shave the frozen squash into their wet food before I add hot water. I put I would say teaspoon each, maybe I should portion in out tho before I freeze as I may be grossly overestimating.

I actually have no idea what my kitties weigh either. Theyre in to the vet's soon so Ill have them weigh them

Last edited by onster; May 13th, 2008 at 12:03 AM.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 12:01 AM
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Easy way to measure is put 1/2 teaspoon in each section of an ice cube tray & freeze it, then dump into freezer bag, repeat until the jar is finished. That's what I do, then Duffy gets 1/2 teaspoon (1 frozen piece) twice per day.
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Old May 13th, 2008, 12:04 AM
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Thanks growler, will try that!

Would save me time in the long run too
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Old May 13th, 2008, 12:37 AM
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I should mention that Duffy was having the opposite issue - constipation, however the squash/pumpkin works excellent for both problems.

A measured 1/2 teaspoon per meal is a good starting point & you can easily increase or decrease from there & still know how much they are getting
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Old May 13th, 2008, 12:38 AM
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Oh the trouble I go thru for good kitty poopies
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Old May 13th, 2008, 01:11 AM
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Let us know how you make out!!!!
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Old May 13th, 2008, 01:17 AM
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Will do!

thanks again!
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