Aww! Yes, that face gets kissed on a regular basis...
The dry food they have already is a hypoallergenic, single protein kind. It's not cheap. I spoke to someone the other day that controlled her cat's inflammatory bowel by switching to the food I already use. So I figured, in my own muddled way, that the cause of Theo's woes is far likely to be the more readily available Whiskas, or the treats they sometimes have, rather than the kibble. I know the cause of every cat's IBD is different, but stick with me for a bit here, anyway I cut the treats and the Whiskas two weeks ago... and *drum roll* so far, Theo has not had any issues.
Two weeks is a short period of time, but it had got to the point where several times a week he'd be poorly. And it's obvious when he's not feeling right. These past few weeks he's gone back to his bouncy, kittenish self, much to the annoyance of poor Ava, who is generally on the receiving end of his bounce. So while it's not long, it feels significant.
I just feel like if I switch to the prescription now, and Theo continues well, I won't know if it is the new dry food, or the fact he's no longer on the Whiskas/treats that has helped. Also there's the fact that the prescription food is Royal Canin, which Indigo was allergic to. Yes, it's a different variety, but could switching food be opening up a whole new can of (poultry flavoured!!) worms for my cats? Inds has had two pregnancies now blighted by health issues- the allergy with the REM's that wreaked such havoc on her skin, that was only solved by switching food, and the mystery no-idea-what-this-is virus that plagued her with the Von Trapps. I'm eager for her to have an issue free pregnancy this time!!!
Feeding them all separately would be really tricky, because of course they are going to get into each other's food at some point, so I'd rather not go down that route, and Ava needs to be free fed anyway. And I have a lot of cats, I buy kibble 20kg at a time, the largest sack of the prescription food is 4kg.
It's not a good solution for us, is what I am saying. And then there is the cost. I wouldn't begrudge Theo the special food should he prove to need it, but if he doesn't.... well it really is a LOT more expensive than even a good quality kibble such as I buy.
So that's what I am trying. Of course if Theo does now get sick again I shall feel super guilty... but at least I have a big bag of the prescription food at the ready, just in case!
As for the Whiskas... alas, poor Theo, the first day I didn't give him his beloved Whiskas!!! Oh, he was miserable! He stared at me all mournfully with his big blue eyes, meowed pointedly at the kitchen door, and was generally Not A Happy Puss. I've had to rethink that one too, because I am soft and sappy and couldn't bear to see my boy all disappointed. Total pushover. So now, every evening I boil a whole chicken leg, or a couple of thighs or drumsticks, and they all get a treat of shredded chicken come bedtime, after all plain boiled chicken is recommended for poorly tummies as a non-demanding, easily digestible food! Nutritionally- meh, the Whiskas would be better. Raw meat would be far better, but OF COURSE none of my darlings will touch that. So chicken it is. But it keeps my Theo happy, and it's only once a day, and not a lot, per cat, so as a compromise I'm happy with it.
It's keeping the Teenager pretty happy too. Lots of boiled chicken means lots of chicken stock for use in noodles, soups, gravies, risottos... I hate waste... and because I don't eat meat he gets to have the lot!
Damn, but it's complicated having all these cats *grin*
You just keep the chicken coming, lady...