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Tanisha’s Story: Acid Reflux In Cats

Help for cats with acid reflux

Updated 6/1/19

Can cats get acid reflux?

Look at this cute face!  This is Tanisha, a Himalayan Persian who was diagnosed with acid reflux disease sometime after she turned ten years old.  Is acid reflux in cats a real thing?  Apparently so!

I got an email from Debbie, Tanisha’s cat mom, a couple of weeks ago asking for my help:

My name is Debbie.  I have a Himalayan cat named Tanisha.  After she turned 10 she developed issues with acid reflux.  After seeing vet she’s been eating Royal Canine Gastrointestinal Moderate Calorie.  For awhile Pepcid AC helped but now it makes her vomit.  Tried Ranidine but that makes her throw up as well.  I was thinking about trying her on probiotics but I don’t know what to choose.  And I’m not convinced vet prescribed food is doing her any good either.  I am at my wit’s end here.  Her condition seems to have worsened and I can’t help her besides give her Cerenia for nausea.

Please help!
Thanks a bunch!

Acid reflux in cats

I can’t imagine being at your wits end and feeling so desperate.  This type of issue was a first for me, so I did a little research.

Evidently, Himalayan/Persian breeds have a tendency to develop this condition.  However, it can also result from anesthesia or improper placement of the surgical tube during surgery. I’m not sure if she had a medical procedure prior to this or not.

When dealing with any type of health condition it’s always my goal (and should be very veterinarian’s goal) to determine and treat the CAUSE, not just the symptoms.  Using a couple of excellent holistic veterinarians’ websites that discuss this specific condition I found recommendations for treatments.  

Muscle Testing Results

Using her photo I energetically muscle tested her for every single suggested therapy/treatment, supplements, and food.  I also tested the cat food ingredients for both canned and dry formulas of Royal Canin Gastrointestinal Moderate Calorie Cat food.  (Debbie’s email didn’t specify which formula Tanisha eats.)  I found the results VERY interesting, and I think you will too!

In the canned food, here are all the ingredients that were NOT testing in her highest and best good:

Pork by-product, corn flour, corn starch modified, powdered cellulose, gelatin by-products, natural flavors, carob gum, fish oil, hydrolyzed yeast, sodium silico aluminate, marigold extract (Tagetes erectL)

Results for the dry food version:

Chicken meal, brewers rice, corn gluten meal, wheat gluten, powdered cellulose, natural flavors, chicken fat, dried egg product, dried beet pulp, fish oil, calcium sulfate, vegetable oil, potassium chloride, sodium silicoa luminate, brewers dried yeast, sodium bisulfate, psyllium seed husk, DL-methionine, hydrolyzed yeast, marigold extract (Tagetes erectaL.)

Regardless of which product she was using with Tanisha, Debbie’s intuition about the food was right on!

Recommendations for Tanisha’s acid reflux

One premise I have learned over the years is this:  when you give the body the correct tools it can heal itself!  Fortunately, I found several things that would be highly beneficial for Tanisha:

  • Grain Free diet, including no starches or legumes (peas)
  • Foods with squash and pumpkin
  • Chiropractic adjustments
  • Raw kefir
  • Bone broth
  • 1/2 tsp of Apple Cider Vinegar  mixed into her food 
  • Digestive enzymes
  • A multi-strain probiotic
  • Fluoride-Free water
  • ECR for fish and beef 

Interestingly, muscle testing also revealed that she has a food sensitivity to fish and beef products.  When the body has a food sensitivity or intolerance there is a physical reaction often in the digestive tract.  An energy medicine technique called ECR (Energetic Cellular Release) removes the stressor down to the cellular level.  As a result, future exposure to the stressor will no longer cause a negative reaction. I’ve used it myself on myself, my cats, and many clients with great success.  

Chiropractic adjustments help release any blockages (subluxations) in the spine that affect the communication of the nervous system to all the areas of the body.  Think of it like a “kinked garden hose.”  If the hose is kinked, the amount of water pressure is affected.  The brain sends signals to all areas of the body via the nerves in the spinal cord which then connect to nerves running to all the organs and systems.  When there is a “kink” and the nerve signal is not getting through at 100% everything is affected.  In Tanisha’s case, making sure her nervous system is functioning optimally will ensure her digestive system works properly.

Digestive support for cats with acid reflux

Providing the best digestive support for cats with acid reflux is paramount to her recovery and long-term health.  The first thing Tanisha would benefit from is apple cider vinegar.  Muscle testing shows that the GERD in her case is resonating with insufficient stomach acid vs. producing too much.  Adding the apple cider vinegar will help her stomach produce more acid to help her digestion.  Thankfully, it’s easy to mix into wet cat food.

Secondly, Tanisha needs to rebuild her microbiome.  Kefir is a great way to build her good gut flora and put natural probiotics into her diet.  Debbie can also add a small amount to her food if Tanisha develops a liking to it.

Another beneficial product to add for digestive support is bone broth which helps to heal the esophageal lining heal and soothe the stomach.  In addition, t’s a great source of glutamine which helps the intestinal cells heal the lining of the gut.  Fortunately you can now find bone broth pet products in case making it from scratch is too time consuming.  Tanisha may enjoy drinking this in between meals as a snack or mixed into her food.

 Enzymes, probiotics, food and water

Digestive enzymes, prebiotics and probiotics are other supplements that are ideal for cats with acid reflux.  In order to give her body the extra digestive support and build her good gut flora, Tanisha tested well for the following two products.

Digestive enzymes can help cats with acid reflux1.  In Clover OptaGest Digestive Aid:

“OptaGest works with the body’s natural processes.  It contains organic prebiotics which serve as food for friendly bacteria.  This targeted feeding promotes a healthy intestinal balance, allowing your pet’s unique, native bacterial strain to thrive.

The natural, plant-based digestive enzymes found in OptaGest work from tongue to tail to aid the body in the absorption of nutrients, helping your cat get the most from daily meals.”


Cats with acid reflux need probiotics to help heal their gut

2.  Pet Kelp Probiotic Formula  

“Designed to promote intestinal health, Pet Kelp Probiotic features prebiotic inulin combined with four strains of probiotics (at 20 billion CFUs/ gram).  Our specially developed prebiotic/ probiotic formula is then blended with our nutrient-rich kelp blend to create a daily supplement that tastes good and is good for them.” 

Finally, cats with acid reflux often need a change of diet.  Because of her condition, a raw or freeze-dried diet is not recommended.  Therefore, feeding Tanisha a high quality wet diet with super premium ingredients with little to no carbohydrates is a good alternative.  Fluoride-free water will also help reduce the toxic load in her body.  Fluoride negatively affects the endocrine system, so avoid tap water and offer spring water or reverse osmosis water instead.  

Final thoughts

Debbie wrote me back that she bought some goats milk to try, which is loaded with probiotics and is very nutritious.  Turns out, Tanisha loves it!  She also bought some kibble for sensitive stomachs and asked me what I thought of canned vs kibble.  I always advise to ditch the kibble!  The cooking process produces acrylamides, which are carcinogenic chemical compounds.  In addition, kibble promotes inflammation in the body due to the starches and grains it contains.  As a result, it does nothing to promote long-term health and often exacerbates health conditions.  Therefore, despite what the label claims, I would avoid it completely. 

In conclusion, there are many ways to provide cats with acid reflux ways to heal and promote optimal health.  In order to provide the best possible recommendations that work with each cat’s body muscle testing is the key  This way the outcome is what is in the cat’s highest and best good and not simply guess work.  I wish Tanisha a healthy, acid reflux free future and look forward to updates from Debbie!

If you’d like to read more about this type of condition and see what holistic vets have to say about it, check out the articles here and here.

*Information in this post is not meant to diagnose, treat or cure disease.













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