We recently adopted a kitten that is approx 9 weeks old. I have started feeding him and our other two cats (both approx 1 yo) diatomaceous earth mixed in with some tuna as part of their daily diet to help eliminate any worms. I thought the kitten might have worms cuz his belly was swollen but now I think that might've just been from feeding only twice a day and I probably had only noticed his belly shortly after gorging. I am going to start free feeding the dry food (was reluctant to do this since our 1 yo female cat turned into a piggy after we got her spayed and is getting a bit fat) but the kitten just came from the cat box and scooted his butt across the floor. I think maybe it is his anal glands, especially since I noticed his stools are soft. Is there anything that I can add to his food or something so that I don't have to manually express? We are feeding a wheat and soy free kibble right now, but are planning on switching to a grain free cat food after we run out of this kind. If I have to manually express his anal glands, is it ok if nothing comes out or does that mean it didn't work?
cat anal glands
My cat had anal gland troubles. He was 10yo at the time though, and his stools were rock hard. I'm not sure how easy it is to express unless you have tiny fingers and a lot of experience, like our vet at the time.
I would continue with the food/parasites possibilities before assuming that this is due to the anal gland. A 9-week old kitten is still fresh off mama's milk (a kitten raised with mama would still be nursing for most of his diet) so I would assume soft stools are due to his diet.
I checked his butt a couple times last night and he didn't appear to have any feces stuck to his behind and no feces on the carpet. His anus looked really...bulgy though, and I figured since I've seen similar butt dragging behavior with dogs when it was an anal gland issue that it might be the same for the kitten. I'll keep up with the DE for parasites for all of our cats. I thought about getting him some of that kitten formula after we got him but was a little grossed out when I read the ingredients list. Maybe I should feed him more wet food.
ETA: He didn't start the butt dragging until day 3 of feeding the DE. So maybe from worm die-off? Idk.
Edited by desertpenguin - 5/23/12 at 8:28am
Our cat stool experience stories:
One of our cats did the scooting when we first had him, did end up having ringworms, and had unusually messy/soft stools until all that was taken care of. He'd been on a sensitive stomach dry food formula at the shelter and we continued that (because he seemed to get unusually bothered by food switches, even after clearing up the worms & living with us after several months). Could be an issue like that - worms and/or dietary sensitivity.
Constipation (possible with dry foods) has had our cats scooting like you describe too - and in lieu of giving the hairball formula stuff which is just mineral oil, canned pumpkin puree will work if you can get your cat to eat it (usually mixed with wet food). Wetting the dry food with warm water (like from your kettle) can help your cat get more moisture too, but our cats will rarely eat their food that way.
Our other cat - and this wasn't until she was several years old - had chronic issues with scooting and inappropriate elimination over a year or two (always leaving stool outside of the litter box). Eventually our vet suggested that she was showing early signs of megacolon, and that we switch to a wet food that was low-grain (under 2%) to help alleviate that. It helped immensely. We fed her wet food exclusively until she got better, and now feed her wet food for one meal and dry food for another each day.
We've been told that it's not common for cats to have anal gland problems, so I wouldn't jump to that conclusion until you've spent more time dealing with diet/worm issues.
I would be very careful with the amount of tuna you feed the cats, without the proper balance of vitamin E, it can be dangerous. I also do not know if you had the kitten checked out by the vet and been told he has worms?
Ultimately, I would go to a local pet food store that sells good quality cat food - one that has been properly balanced for a cat's diet. Barring that, I would make a holistic cat food following a strict recipe that includes the right ratio of vitamins, fats, proteins and such.
We feed the cats Evolve cat food which is wheat, corn, and soy free. But like I said, we are planning on switching to a grain free cat food soon. I was only feeding the three of them one can of tuna split up between the three of them per day, because it's easier to get the DE into them that way. However yesterday I just made a paste with the DE and water and mixed it in with their dry food for the adult cats and a paste with DE, water, and some cooked sweet potato to mix in with the kitten's dry food. The water/DE paste didn't adhere to the food as well as I had hoped after it dried out, but even with using only one can per day it would be costing us approx $30/mo for the tuna so I will have to figure out something else to get the DE in them effectively every day. Does no one here know about using diatomaceous earth for worming? No, we haven't taken him to the vet, but food grade diatomaceous earth is a good natural supplement that provides several minerals and is also safe and effective for worming and fine to give on a regular basis even if there is no indication of parasites. Here is a link talking about using DE as a wormer. http://wolfcreekranch1.tripod.com/diatomaceous_earth.html
I would lay off the wormer/DE and just feed him regular cat food: some canned/ dry grain-free food.
At 9 weeks his belly is still adjusting to regular foods over his mother's milk. Let him lick a bit of yogurt off a spoon daily (my cat likes my leftover bowl-- he doesn't like blobs.) The round belly could just be his system getting used to cat food.
I wouldn't run the risk of stressing his system too much over "possible worms". I would have him tested. Tests are not perfect, but it could be helpful. Often the test just misses tapeworm-- which is *really* hard to miss on their butts-- no test required!