A Floppycats' reader alerted me to IBDKitties.net, a website dedicated to kitties with IBD. I wanted to share it more in depth with Floppycats' readers - so I reached out to the website's founder, Lisa, for an interview. Thank you to Lisa for taking the time to do an interview with us.
What is ibdkitties.net?
IBDkitties.net was created in honor of my sweet girl Alex who passed away in 2008 from triaditis (pancreatitis, IBD and fatty liver disease). We believe she developed sepsis from a pancreatic infection and passed away in the car on the way to the ER. Since then I’ve dedicated my life to helping cats with these horrible and painful conditions. I’ve also cared for two of my sister’s cats who had IBD and have since passed away.
What are some of the warning signs of IBD?
Warning signs consist of frequent vomiting, consistent and in some cases, explosive diarrhea, inappetance, anorexia, nausea, lethargy just to name a few.
If my kitty has been diagnosed with IBD, can I cure s/he of it?
Unfortunately there is no cure for IBD. It can be stabilized but it can be very difficult to get under control and relapse can happen at any point. Inflammation spreads and can cause many other health issues as well.
What are my options if my kitty has been diagnosed with IBD?
There are many options. In fact, many more now than there was when my Alex was alive. Diet change to a high quality protein, no grains or soy, with very low carbohydrates. Many of them do well on a raw food diet and supplements but sometimes that isn’t enough and they need steroids to get the inflammation down, anti-nausea medications to stop the vomiting and acid reflux, and even appetite stimulants to keep them eating as the vomiting can scar their esophagus and cause irritation.
Do you have a forum or a community where I can talk to other cat owners with IBD?
Absolutely! IBD Kitties has a Facebook support group that is filled with very knowledgeable, kind and loving people.
What is the number one cause of IBD?
It used to be food (food intolerance, allergies, improper ingredients, grains, etc) and that’s still most likely at the top. But other factors come into play pretty frequently now. Environmental toxins (especially if you have an outdoor kitty), over-vaccination, genetics, parasites, infections, etc.
Is ibdkitties.net active on social media? Yes. What social media sites can I find you on?
Have you found that a certain breed of cat is more prone to IBD than others?
I have not found one breed to be more prone. Siamese, Bengals are genetically disposed to it for some reason but I see every breed there is with this. Shelter kitties that are domestics can get it due to the fact that shelters have no way financially to feed them the same food or a quality food over another one. they have to feed what they can. Many shelters contact me and now try hard to take the donated quality food first and keep the rest of the stuff for when they need it. But we all know how strapped they are for funds so they do the best they can. But unfortunately giving kittens high quality food for a couple of days or a week is not enough. Give them food with junk in it, and it’s like feeding a baby potato chips. Very bad for their growing bodies.
How can we support your site?
People can share the site, the group, etc. and help spread the word as much and as often as possible and they can join the Facebook group if they have experience with an IBD kitty and help support others.
I have products on my site in the foods section and supplements that I recommend and get small commissions for if they go through my site. They are ALL researched intensely and if there are any ingredients I feel are not good for them or toxic, etc. I will never include that on my site. Also, I have a donations button on my site in case anyone wants to help me pay for the web-hosting and my research time as it gets expensive. But that’s of course if they want to. I never say much about that at all as I don’t want anyone to feel that’s why I do this. For many, many years I didn’t have that there. But my readers kept telling me I should and asked me to so they could help me out. I want people to know it’s not something they have to do. My goal it always and foremost to HELP anyone who needs it. Kitties and pet parents come first. Always.