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Cat constantly itching (allergy)

MyCatPaulie
March 12th, 2010, 04:54 PM
Hi everybody, my name is Kelly and I recently adopted my first cat from the SPCA and I had a couple of questions. Paulie is such a good cat and seems healthy expect for the fact that he itches constantly. I took him to the vet and he said it's probably an allergy to his food or dust. I did notice that on his papers from the SPCA it says he has thinning hair on his tail probably due to an old flea allergy but the vet said that it's not fleas this time. Just last week we started him on a new food called Natural Balance Limited ingredient green pea and duck, my vet said it could take 6 weeks for us to tell if his allergy was from his old food. Here is a list of everything else that I have tried to help him so far. Any advise on what i should do would be greatly appreciated. Thank you very much!

Prednisolone 5mg 30 pills (half a pill every other day)

Revolution Flea and Tick Control 3 mouth supply

Anti Itch shot in December (did help but only for a month)

Pet Relief anti itch spray

Switched her off Nutro Salmon dry food (thinking she might have a fish allergy)

Switched her off Nutro Chicken dry food (thinking she might have a corn allergy)

Switched her off Natural Balance Chicken dry and canned(thinking she might have a chicken allergy)

She is now on Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Green Pea & Duck Dry and Canned Food

sugarcatmom
March 12th, 2010, 05:17 PM
Hi Kelly, welcome to pets.ca! Sorry to hear about Paulie's itchiness, that can be a very frustrating issue to deal with. I think you're on the right track with his diet, although I'd suggest getting rid of the dry completely and feeding only canned, or even better, a raw diet. The highly processed nature of kibble can itself be an allergy trigger because the cat's finely tuned system doesn't recognize the denatured proteins as food. Many people have had their cats make a dramatic turn-around when fed a simple diet (little to no plant matter) with a raw novel protein source like rabbit. Some good commercial canned foods to try would be Innova Evo 95% (comes in duck, venison, lamb) and Nature's Variety Instinct (also has rabbit, if you can find it).

It's also important to look at environmental issues, such as laundry detergents and cleaning products. Make sure everything is unscented and as chemical-free as possible. It can be harder to figure out what it is in the environment that is a potential trigger (dust and dust mites are a biggy) so starting with diet is a good plan. Hopefully you'll see some results sooner rather that later with a food change. Here is some more info on why dry food is a bad idea for cats: www.catinfo.org

Winston
March 12th, 2010, 06:13 PM
Awesome advise as usual SCM!!! :thumbs up I just wanted to add that I do know some kitties that have an allergy to the flea control and it does present itself in the tail area! Good Luck! Keep us posted! :thumbs up

MyCatPaulie
March 13th, 2010, 12:09 PM
Thank you so much to you both! Your information was very helpful, I never knew that dry food wasn't good for cats. Right now Paulie eats Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Green Pea & Duck, I can stop giving him his dry food and just feed him canned if this brand is good enough. Here is the list of ingredients..

Duck, Duck Broth, Duck Liver, Pea Flour, Pea Protein, Salmon Oil, Dicalcium Phosphate, Guar Gum, Potassium Chloride, Taurine, Sodium Chloride, Flaxseed, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Cranberries, Carrageenan, Zinc Sulfate, Ferrous Sulfate, Vitamin E Supplement, Copper Sulfate, Manganese Sulfate, Niacin Supplement, Sodium Selenite, Thiamine Mononitrate, Calcium Pantothenate, Calcium Iodate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Vitamin B6), Riboflavin, Vitamin A Supplement, Folic Acid, Biotin, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Vitamin B12 Supplement

Does that sounds like a good choice of food for him? I did notice that Salmon Oil is listed as an ingredient, I'm not sure if he does but if he did have an allergy to fish would this be a problem? Even if his allergy turns out to be not from his food I would still rather feed him good food.

I have one more question if that is ok. Paulie was given Prednisolone and has been on it for over a month but I want to take him off of it because it's not helping. he was on half a 5mg pill everyother day to ween him off of it should I give him half a pill every thrid day for 5 doses that is what I heard but I want to make sure I'm doing it right.

I can't believe how much infomation I have learned just by your two posts. I really appreciate it :angel2:.

sugarcatmom
March 13th, 2010, 07:21 PM
Does that sounds like a good choice of food for him?

It's not a bad food, although I'm not a big fan of the pea content (but since it isn't typically an allergen, I wouldn't worry about it for now). In comparison, here are the first 4 ingredients for Innova Evo 95% duck:

Duck
Duck Broth
Natural Flavors
Carrageenan

Can't get much simpler than that!

I did notice that Salmon Oil is listed as an ingredient, I'm not sure if he does but if he did have an allergy to fish would this be a problem?

Fish is definitely one of the more common allergens for cats, but it's usually the protein, not the fat, that's the problem. In fact a good quality fish oil (I prefer sardine/anchovy or krill) is high in omega3 essential fatty acids, which are known to be anti-inflammatory and can be beneficial in allergy situations.

he was on half a 5mg pill everyother day to ween him off of it should I give him half a pill every thrid day for 5 doses that is what I heard but I want to make sure I'm doing it right.

You know, I'm not really sure. I think your vet will have to answer that one.

If you're interested in trying a supplement that could help rebalance Paulie's immune system, do some research on Transfer Factor Classic (http://wellnesscafe.my4life.com/shopping/productdetail.aspx?mode=0&iid=206&cid=70). It's derived from colostrum, which is the substance in mother's milk that passes her immunity "memory" onto her offspring. Here is more info: http://www.shirleys-wellness-cafe.com/tf.htm

MyCatPaulie
March 14th, 2010, 06:56 PM
Thanks so much again for your help!!! I'm really hoping that his itching is due to a food allergy and this will clear it up. I feel so bad for him, he's always itching but I really don't want him on a lot of medication. I've read stories where cats pull out there hair from itching so much, thankfully he isn't doing that yet so I'm hoping this helps him before that happens.

If for some reason this food doesn't help him do you think it could be a dust allergy, I wouldn't know what to do about that, maybe a HEPA filter? Also I've heard about nervous grooming, I'm wondering if this could be the problem, he does seem nervous around other people.

Sorry for so many questions but you seem to know so much on this topic!

Thanks so much again for your help!!! :angel:

sugarcatmom
March 14th, 2010, 07:35 PM
If for some reason this food doesn't help him do you think it could be a dust allergy, I wouldn't know what to do about that, maybe a HEPA filter?

HEPA filters can be useful. The allergy is usually to dust mites and their frass, which can be a b**ch to deal with. Religious vacuuming of carpets and upholstery and frequent washing of bedding in hot water will also help minimize them.

Also I've heard about nervous grooming, I'm wondering if this could be the problem, he does seem nervous around other people.

Stress can for sure be a source of over-grooming for some cats. When you say he's itchy, does he scratch himself with his claws, or mostly just lick? If he's scratching, I'd be less likely to think it's stress related. Fur-pulling also tends to be more common with stress. You could always try a Feliway diffuser to see if that helps. It emits "happy" pheromones that only cats can smell and may make Paulie feel more at ease.


Thanks so much again for your help!!! :angel:

No problemo! Hopefully you can get to the bottom of this soon. :fingerscr

MyCatPaulie
March 15th, 2010, 08:29 PM
sugarcatmom, thanks so much for your help again. He does lick a lot but also itched his skin with his nails, he makes little scabs all around his chest. The one reason why I didn't think it would be nervous grooming is because the steroid shot that he got did help his for a while, would that help only if it was allergies or nervous grooming too?

MyCatPaulie
March 17th, 2010, 10:21 AM
GinaCat, I'm so glad your kitty is doing better!!! And I'm glad I found someone who went through the same problem as Paulie is. How long did it take for you to notice any improvment in his intching? I heard it can take up to 10 weeks. We're not sure if his itching is from a food or dust allergy but Paulie has a lot of scabs from itching on his neck and the vet said this is a sign of a food allergy did your cat have this problem. We just stopped using his malt flavored toothpaste so maybe that will help too. Thanks so much for your reply, if you have any other advise for me I would greatly appreciate it!! :thumbs up

zrock
March 23rd, 2010, 01:33 AM
well this definately looks helpfull... Im in about the same situation. I have a long haired cat and about 2 years ago he got fleas and we found out he was alergic to them. He pulled out all his hair on his back and part of his tail... nothing on his belly though? we got the flees taken care of but as soon as the hair starts growing back he starts pulling it out again. he has no flee's anymore i think now its just dry skin as he has no hair for protection? he does not seem to be uncompfortable at all and is still the goofy cat i got 10 years ago... anything i could do to help him out and get his hair back? shortly after the flee problem he got a bladder infection so the vet got us using a diffrent hard food... he is a verry fussy cat with his food... will not eat any type of table food or soft food...