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Cats with allergy issues/hygiene issues

post #1 of 15
Thread Starter 
Hi folks!

Really smelly problem here: Two out of my five indoor cats have considerable allergy issues. I've tried steroids, and changing their food to Iams Lamb & Rice at my vet's suggestion, but nothing seems to help. Both are overweight, mama cat (about 4 yrs old) is 20 lbs. and youngest son (about 3 years old) is 22 lbs and both have a tendency to have raw, red rear ends with sometimes fecal matter stuck in the fur around it. (Real fun to clean up!) Nothing seems to help the younger cat, but for a while the mama cat was doing better. Hoever, during in the last week the mama cat has gotten a really raw, red behind and smells really badly of urine. We just gave her a bath (oh what fun!) and I hope that helps. I know I will probably have to take her to the vet in the next couple of days, but I was wondering if any one knows of anything that has helped their cats with the same issue. I haven't tried making my own food for them, but I think that's my next step. I'd of course like to put both on a diet, but my other cats are not overweight, so short of locking up these two away from the other's food I don't know what to do.

Any instructions or recipes for home made cat food are welcome. My vet suggested switching to Lamb & Rice because cats are less likely to be allergic to them, accrding to him. Iams brand is the only brand I could find in my area that comes in a large enough bag for my house full of cats. I have to say that all of the cats had nicer fur after making the switch.

I am really worried about the urine smell with the older cat. She came to us as a stray and never seemed to have full motor control of her back legs, etc. She is quite possibly the world's clumiest cat. I don't know if she was hit by a car as a stray and somehow survived or was born that way, but the end of her spine is slightly 'hump-backed'. I really don't know how to describe that better, but the end of her spine has a pronounced downward slump. My vet never could give me an answer to that one. So, anyway, I'm not sure if she is loosing bladder control due to possible (neurological?) damage in that area or if she could have a UTI. Any ideas any one? We have two more of her kittens, and they don't have these problems. Her son with the allergy issues doesn't have to curved spine and seems to have good motor control.

Any suggestions that could help these two are welcome!
post #2 of 15
Well, my first thought is that it's highly unlikely both cats are allergic to the same thing. Which makes your quest all the more difficult. I know you metioned a houseful of cats, but this may require feeding different foods to certain cats.

Do you have any specialty pet shops near you? They tend to have some higher quality foods...

I'd look for something low in grain, with an alternative protein source (even lamb has become so common in pet food that it's much more of an allergen than it used to be). Something like Natural Balance Venison and Green Pea might be something to try, and there are a few others.

Your other option is making food yourself at home. Sharky has some great tips and recipies that she'll probably be along with in not too long.

My other thought...
How are their poops? To be completley honest, their symptoms don't really sound like a typical food allergy. Are they experiencing any other digestive issues?
post #3 of 15
Thread Starter 
The only pet 'specialty shop' I know of around here is Petsmart. I'll have to check what other options they have. Everything seems to have a lot of grain products and other junky sounding additives.

I'm beginning to think it might be best if I start making my own food for these guys, that way I can control what they get. (More protiene?!) It would be hard to keep these two from the other cats' food in this house, so I will probably have to feed them all the same thing.

Their stools are usually fairly loose, and at times almost soupy. And definitely nasty smelling, compared to what the healthy cats produce.

Thanks for the input. I so want to end what has to be an uncomfortable situation for my babies.
post #4 of 15
Has the vet tested stool samples to see if there's something going on internally? Or did they just assume allergies and put your poor kitties on steroids? (I have to ask, because I've know vets to just jump to conclusions without exploring the options).
post #5 of 15
Thread Starter 
You guessed it. No testing, just a physical exam.
post #6 of 15
Ooookay So we might be dealing with a completley different issue here!

If you can, I'd reccomend a second opinion from another vet (perhaps, if you're at a mulit-vet practice, another vet in the same office will tell you soemthing else). INSIST that they do testing on stool samples (from both cats) and be prepared (bring stool samples with you! lol). I'd put money on this not being an allergy at all! Which means it could be much easier for you to deal with.
post #7 of 15
Quote:
Originally Posted by vanillasugar View Post
Ooookay So we might be dealing with a completley different issue here!

If you can, I'd reccomend a second opinion from another vet (perhaps, if you're at a mulit-vet practice, another vet in the same office will tell you soemthing else). INSIST that they do testing on stool samples (from both cats) and be prepared (bring stool samples with you! lol). I'd put money on this not being an allergy at all! Which means it could be much easier for you to deal with.
My thought exactly....

You may have allergies ... my Zoey gets anal gland issues from wheat ( unusual but)... I think it is like anal glands....

Iams lamb and rice is not just lamb and rice thus wouldnt be a allergy food ...
read the label and give me the first 6 ingrediants if you could
post #8 of 15
I agree with vanillasugar that a second opinion is in order. I switched vets several times over the last few years until we found one we were happy with and would do what we thought necessary.

It doesn't sound like allergies, especially if the vet did prescrive steroids that are not working?

I would definitely have her checked for the UTI also, it can sause other problems in them that may be masking (or making worse) other symptoms of whatever their problems are.

As far as allergies:

Most of the common food allergies in cats are to byproducts, fillers or colouring for food. You could, if you still think it is allergies after the full work up, have the vet do allergy tests, one of mine is allergic to the red colouring and light brown colouring so any food we buy has to be the dark brown type.

Someone already mentioned the Venison and Pea which is usually good if they do have allergies, you can also try some lesser used meat type foods, we used one that was rabbit and rice that he did quite well on.

If you only have big store type pet stores rather than the smaller ones that tend to carry the premium foods, can you order online (I am not sure where you are) and feed your cats separately?

To be honest, Iams (with) Lamb and Rice probably has more ingredients than the regular kind, as Stormy said, it isn't just Lamb & Rice, I am not sure if you are feeding the wet or dry also?

As you can see from the ingredients (from their website) there is more chicken than lamb and rice in it and lots of things they could be allergic to.

Quote:
Chicken By-Product Meal, Corn Grits, Corn Meal, Chicken Fat (Preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Brewers Rice, Lamb, Natural Chicken Flavor, Dried Beet Pulp (Sugar Removed), Dried Egg Product, Sodium Bisulfate, Fish Oil (Preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Potassium Chloride, DL-Methionine, Brewers Dried Yeast, Choline Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (Source of Vitamin B1), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Source of Vitamin B2), Inositol, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Minerals (Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Carbonate), Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Rosemary Extract
post #9 of 15
Hope ya dont mind if I spotlight a few things


Chicken By-Product Mealthis is head s ft intestines undeveloped eggs concetrated , Corn Grits, Corn MealCorn is a allergen and this has double the same kind under different names, Chicken Fat (Preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Brewers Ricelow quality rice, Lambmostly water so in reality it is after potassium, Natural Chicken Flavor, Dried Beet Pulp (Sugar Removed), Dried Egg Product, Sodium Bisulfate, Fish Oil (Preserved with mixed Tocopherols, a source of Vitamin E), Potassium Chloride, DL-Methionine, Brewers Dried Yeast, Choline Chloride, Vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Ascorbic Acid, Vitamin A Acetate, Calcium Pantothenate, Biotin, Thiamine Mononitrate (Source of Vitamin B1), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride (Source of Vitamin B6), Vitamin B12 Supplement, Riboflavin Supplement (Source of Vitamin B2), Inositol, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Folic Acid), Minerals (Zinc Oxide, Manganese Sulfate, Copper Sulfate, Potassium Iodide, Cobalt Carbonate), Calcium Carbonate, Salt, Rosemary Extract can cause tummy upset in many cats
post #10 of 15
Thread Starter 
Thanks everyone for the input. (I'm in NE TN, by the way. Very little in the way of any specialty shops for anything...) I was indeed concerned about the byproducts in this cat food even though they were doing slightly better initially. I have been feeding them only dry cat food, one to help keep down tartar build up and two I wasn't sure if I'd be making matters worse by giving them wet cat food with perhaps other 'junk' ingredients. I had been giving all of them canned tuna as an ocassional treat before all the problems started but stopped it because I wasn't sure if that was an allergen or not.

I am assuming that it wouldn't hurt the other cats if I started making my own cat food and these two did better on it. I'm guessing it would be healthier all around. Personally I wouldn't be surprised if the corn byproducts are an issue, though maybe not the only one.

I will be making an appointment with another vet ASAP and gathering stool samples. I think I'll stop by Petsmart today to see if they have something in stock with less byproducts. Any additional suggestions are welcome.
post #11 of 15
As far as 'better' foods at Petsmart, they usually have

Nutro Natural Choice Complete Care (the regular chicken not the lamb favoured kind) or Max Cat

Blue Spa Select

or Royal Canin

There are not many 'premium foods' there as far as I know (it may be different in the US)

Also if you have been switching their foods a bit that may cause the loose stools etc
post #12 of 15
Thread Starter 
I'll have to try one of those others brands to see if they help any. They have been on Iams Lamb & Rice formula for long enough now that they should be used to it.

I'm still going to find another vet to take these guys to. Even though my craxy calico smells a lot better after her bath, she still has a strong urine smell and I would not be surprised if she has a UTI. Any one have any ideas what else it could be?

Thanks again everyone!
post #13 of 15
I would find a NO chn no rice no corn no lamb formula...

Nautral balence avail at little stores and Petco makes a venison and pea ... that way if by some chance it is allergies you wipe out the most common( fish wheat corn soy and some of the less likely chicken and lamb).. it is not for uti issues

if uti issues are present and vet okay OTC look at Max cat adult or lite both are certified for that .... the catch wheat chicken and lamb in the formula
post #14 of 15
I am thinking it couls be guirdia or clamidia could be the culprits. They cause loose smelly stools and the reddness could be from stomach acid that is passed with the stool.

Add a little pumpkin to help solidify the stool and let us know what the vet has to say!

Teresa
post #15 of 15
I would still guess at a UTI but only a vet could tell you for sure.

Please let us know how they are doing
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