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I'm convinced "food allergy" but to which ingredient?

post #1 of 18
Thread Starter 
So I'd posted here a few days ago, fearing that for some strange reason my cats had ear mite....due to the fact that Fuzzy had been scratching her ears, face, neck for 1.5 weeks, then my cat Spookie had started, then Tigger. They're all strictly indoor cats (I have 5 cats) I went to the Vet a couple of days ago and he checked her ears; said they were clean and healthy, no signs of infection, definitely no ear mites. He figured her itching was caused by something environmental. so I stopped with the scented candles in my home.

Spookie is no longer scratching, I saw Tigger scratch at her ears once yesterday, that's all.

A few days ago I feared that maybe the change in dry food was the cause? I'd added Go Natural Dry Food to their diet, so I'd gone back to the Eagle Pack Hairball dry. Well since being at the Vet, I've rarely seen Fuzzy scratch at all. I became convinced that their issues were all of the many scented candles I've been burning more lately (they're Gold Canyon and Partylite, pretty strong ones)....so I stopped burning this and I also stopped the strong fragrance oil that I burn with a little tealight. Was convinced that these were the culprits.

So last night I decided the Go Natural food should be fine (it's a very high quality food and I like it because it's "grain free". Having one diabetic cat already, I'm trying to reduce the risk of my other cats developing it and I think that grains = high carbs and this can lead to diabetes in time.

Well this morning, Fuzzy is scratching a lot more.............so it would seem that it's the food?

Here's a comparison of the ingredients. I can't for the life of me figure out "what" ingredient could be causing this. The ingredients don't differ a lot from what's in the Eagle Pack....if anything, I think Go Natural is probably a better food (corn is the second ingredient in the Eagle Pack). Can someone have a peek and compare the 2 and give me your feedback on what the offending ingredient could be? I'm disappointed that I'll have to stop feeding this good food.

Go Natural Dry Food:

Ingredients:
Chicken Meal, Chicken Meat, Whole Brown Rice, Whole White Rice, Oatmeal, Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols [Vit E], Citric Acid [Vit C] and Rosemary extract), Natural Chicken Flavour, Salmon Meal, Sunflower Oil, Rice Bran, Ground Flax, Dried Whole Potatoes, Dried Whole Carrots, Dried Whole Apples, Dried Whole Cranberries, Dried Whole Eggs, Alfalfa, Bee Pollen, Amaranth, Potassium Chloride, Phosphoric Acid, Choline Chloride, Potassium Sorbate, Kelp, Yucca Schidigera, Taurine, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol (Vit. D), Vitamin E 9 d alhpa tocopherol acetate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Niacin, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Biotin, Menadione Sodium Bisulphate Complex (source of Vitamin K), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12, Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid.

Eagle Pack Adult

Ingredients:

Chicken Meal, Ground Yellow Corn, Ground Brown Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Natural Mixed Tocopherols), Oat Fiber, Anchovy & Sardine Meals, Dried Beet Pulp, Flaxseed, Brewers Dried Yeast, Natural Chicken Flavor, Tomato Pomace, Wheat Germ Meal, Dried Egg Product, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Inulin, Taurine, DL-Methionine, Polysaccharide Complexes of Zinc, Iron, Manganese and Copper, Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamin A Supplement, Sodium Selenite, Ascorbic Acid, Biotin, Lecithin, Rosemary Extract, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Vitamin B 12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Phylloquinone and Cobalt Sulfate, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Enterococcus faecium, B. Subtillus, Bacillus licheniformis, Bacillus coagulins, Aspergillus oryzae and Aspergillus niger.
post #2 of 18
Go Natural Dry Food:

Ingredients:
Chicken Meal, Chicken Meat, Whole Brown Rice, Whole White Rice, Oatmeal, these are 3 grains is this the food you have??Chicken Fat (preserved with Mixed Tocopherols [Vit E], Citric Acid [Vit C] and Rosemary extract), Natural Chicken Flavour, Salmon Meal, Sunflower Oil, Rice Bran, Ground Flax, Dried Whole Potatoes, Dried Whole Carrots, Dried Whole Apples, Dried Whole Cranberries, Dried Whole Eggs, Alfalfa, Bee Pollen, Amaranth, Potassium Chloride, Phosphoric Acid, Choline Chloride, Potassium Sorbate, Kelp, Yucca Schidigera, Taurine, Vitamin A Acetate, Vitamin D3 (Cholecalciferol (Vit. D), Vitamin E 9 d alhpa tocopherol acetate, Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Niacin, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Pantothenate, Sodium Selenite, Thiamine Mononitrate, Riboflavin, Biotin, Menadione Sodium Bisulphate Complex (source of Vitamin K), Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Vitamin B12, Calcium Iodate, Folic Acid.

Eagle Pack Adult

Ingredients:

Chicken Meal, Ground Yellow Corn, Ground Brown Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Natural Mixed Tocopherols), Oat Fiber, Anchovy & Sardine Meals, Dried Beet Pulp, Flaxseed, Brewers Dried Yeast, Natural Chicken Flavor, Tomato Pomace, Wheat Germ Meal, Dried Egg Product, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Inulin, Taurine, DL-Methionine, Polysaccharide Complexes of Zinc, Iron, Manganese and Copper, Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamin A Supplement, Sodium Selenite, Ascorbic Acid, Biotin, Lecithin, Rosemary Extract, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Vitamin B 12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Phylloquinone and Cobalt Sulfate, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Enterococcus faecium, B. Subtillus, Bacillus licheniformis, Bacillus coagulins, Aspergillus oryzae and Aspergillus niger.[/quote]

I would likely say white rice ( very rare that brown would not react but in some this is the way it is ) or the oatmeal

I see both being VERY grainy .... but the issue most of us have with corn is the allergy and digestibility... I dont like corn and corn gluten in the same formula ... corn does aid in UTI health in a chicken based dry food but both IMHO is overkill

will they eat wet food?>??
post #3 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks Sharky,

So it could be the white rice...interesting.

I'm wondering how they can call the Go Natural, "grain-free" when it really isn't? Wouldn't the rice (oatmeal too?) be considered a grain or what is considered a grain?

Was just curious why you highlighted some of the ingredients in the Go Natural in pink....did you have concerns w/ these?

I'm thinking now, after reading a bit here, of trying the Wellness Core --- but am concerned about the high protein content. My cats are all older, 2 have borderline kidneys (Tigger, my oldest, 16 yrs old, her Creat has been over the high end of the normal range for a couple of years)......would the high protein content be harder on the kidneys or is protein more of a concern if it's not a good quality protein?

What do you think about Wellness Core in terms of quality?

As for canned, they do eat canned as well. They have the dry to nibble on but are all fed canned twice a day. Unfortunately they all turn their noses up at the good quality canned food (Go Natural, Nature's Balance, Eagle Pack, etc etc)......they just pick at it so I have to unfortunately resort to Friskies, Fancy Feast and SophistiCat. I think canned is important, for the fluid content if nothing else so it's important to me that they actually eat their canned food. I've tried almost every premium canned food out there. They don't mind Merrick.......Cowboy Cookout in particular (the names are hilarious!), the Thanksgiving one, not too bad.....but they're all still so fussy. I'd be willing to go back to Wellness canned.........I was just concerned about it, as I posted elsewhere today -- the usual place I bought it from in the past (a higher end pet food boutique) stopped carrying it after the food recall and basically said they didn't feel comfortable bringing it back........that made me a little nervous about continuing to buy it elsewhere.
post #4 of 18
Are you sure they are having an allergic reaction? Are they scratching themselves raw? Pulling out fur? A couple of mine scratch more than I think they should but not a lot and it's minor, comes and goes and the vet has never found anything. I think they might just be a little more sensitive to some minor irritant (dry skin, a bit of dirt in the ears, etc) and don't worry about it.

Just a thought...
post #5 of 18
My Fang has mushy poo with anyting but sensitive system food, it is purina one. The foods that say sensitive system have eliminated or minimized the common cat food allergens, one of which I think is corn. If you just try one of those, it should help if it is an allergy.
post #6 of 18
Dry food protein is going to be harder on the kidneys even if it is better quality and easier for a younger cat to digest...

I wonder if they have a grain free dry as well ??? I do know they have some grain free wets in the Go natural line...

menu foods at the time of the recall I beleive made some of wellness but if memory serves they are no longer making it ... Wellness itself was NOT part of the recall

Core is a very good food ... IMHO just not for your fur kids

the pink .. citric acid is often a Chemically based preservative ( it is like 6 $ an oz for the truly natural stuff)... rosemary has been known to cause digestive upset in cat s
post #7 of 18
I can't tell you good ingredients from bad, but will share that I had a vet that swore that most yeast infections in ears were caused by the improper diet. I had a dog plagued by them and when I switched him to higher quality food, they went away.

Sorry I can't offer more information, but there does appear to be a correlation.
post #8 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hello!

No, definitely not scratching themselves raw, no fur pulled out.....no scratches on ears from scratching -- but it just breaks my heart to see Fuzzy go at it. She doesn't do it constantly (obviously not when sleeping and she sleeps mostly in the day, as do all of them) but when she does, it's a real aggressive scratching. I guess I just hate to see my cats uncomfortable. It was a lot worse when I originally posted about it a few days ago. You'd see her violently scratching, then Spookie, then Tigger.

I've been giving her a couple cc's of the Veterolx each day for the 2 days, maybe that will help her skin. I'm not sure if it's dry skin because her fur is so absolutely thick (she's a long haired cat, too) that you truly can't part it down at the skin and see anything -- but man, it's the softest fur ever :-)

It could be dry air? I am often cold and do keep the house a lot warmer than most people, and I do have the gas fireplace on a lot and she loves to lie right in front of it.


Quote:
Originally Posted by mschauer View Post
Are you sure they are having an allergic reaction? Are they scratching themselves raw? Pulling out fur? A couple of mine scratch more than I think they should but not a lot and it's minor, comes and goes and the vet has never found anything. I think they might just be a little more sensitive to some minor irritant (dry skin, a bit of dirt in the ears, etc) and don't worry about it.

Just a thought...
post #9 of 18
Thread Starter 
Sharky,

OOPS!!! I posted the ingredients of the WRONG type of Go Natural Food. I just had to go and look at the bag because it was bugging me why the bag stated "grain free" yet the list I copied here this morning showed white rice and oatmeal. HERE is the ingredient list of the one I've been feeding (and wow, it's high in protein; states it's "minimum 50%". I think why it caught my eye in the store was the "grain free" and "low carbs." I'm convinced that Taco developed diabetes because I listened to stupid Vets that didn't know anything about feline nutrition - and because he was always a large cat, they talked me into keeping him on Science Diet Lite -- and that stuff is sooooooooo high in carbs. So here's what I've been feeding. See any ingredients that cause concern or would raise flags as a possible allergen? (this is the first grain-free dry food we've tried. I did try EVO before, for Taco, but other than him, nobody liked it):

http://petcurean.com/index.php?page_id=153

Chicken, Turkey and Duck

Chicken Meal, Chicken, Turkey,Turkey Meal, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols (vit. E), potatoes, peas, natural fish flavour, natural chicken flavour, salmon, duck, salmon meal, duck meal, salmon oil, dried whole egg, Phosphoric Acid, Potassium Chloride, Taurine,choline chloride, prebiotics - (chicory root extract, mannanoligosaccharides), pumpkin, apples, carrots, bananas, blueberries, cranberries, lentil Beans, broccoli, spinach, cottage cheese, alfalfa sprouts, garlic, probiotics ( Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Casei, Enterococcus Faecium, Bifido-bacterium Thermophilum), Vitamins (vit. E, vit. C, niacin, inositol, vit. A, thiamine mononitrate, d-calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, vit. K, beta-carotene, vit. D3, folic acid, biotin, vit. B12), Minerals (zinc proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, iron proteinate, copper sulfate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), Ascorbyl-polyphosphate, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Rosemary

Garlic? Is that okay? I know that onion and garlic powder aren't good for cats or is it just onion powder? (can cause anemia).....but what about garlic?

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky View Post
Dry food protein is going to be harder on the kidneys even if it is better quality and easier for a younger cat to digest...

I wonder if they have a grain free dry as well ??? I do know they have some grain free wets in the Go natural line...

menu foods at the time of the recall I beleive made some of wellness but if memory serves they are no longer making it ... Wellness itself was NOT part of the recall

Core is a very good food ... IMHO just not for your fur kids

the pink .. citric acid is often a Chemically based preservative ( it is like 6 $ an oz for the truly natural stuff)... rosemary has been known to cause digestive upset in cat s
post #10 of 18
I have had one animal with a turkey allergy .. and many not handle duck well


Likely food culprits in no order :
turkey, duck , flax , peas , potato, salmon( it is not like the white fishes they are used to )


Food they itch less on :

Ingredients:

Chicken Meal, Ground Yellow Corn, Ground Brown Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken Fat (Preserved With Natural Mixed Tocopherols), Oat Fiber, Anchovy & Sardine Meals, Dried Beet Pulp, Flaxseed, Brewers Dried Yeast, Natural Chicken Flavor, Tomato Pomace, Wheat Germ Meal, Dried Egg Product, Salt, Potassium Chloride, Choline Chloride, Inulin, Taurine, DL-Methionine, Polysaccharide Complexes of Zinc, Iron, Manganese and Copper, Calcium Carbonate, Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin Supplement, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Vitamin A Supplement, Sodium Selenite, Ascorbic Acid, Biotin, Lecithin, Rosemary Extract, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin Supplement, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Thiamine Mononitrate, Folic Acid, Vitamin B 12 Supplement, Vitamin D3 Supplement, Potassium Iodide, Phylloquinone and Cobalt Sulfate, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei, Enterococcus faecium, B. Subtillus, Bacillus licheniformis, Bacillus coagulins, Aspergillus oryzae and Aspergillus niger.[/quote]

food itching seems worse on :

Chicken, Turkey and Duck

Chicken Meal, Chicken, Turkey,Turkey Meal, Chicken Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols (vit. E), potatoes, peas, natural fish flavour, natural chicken flavour natural flavor = could be anything ... true story of a real food ... asked what natural garlic flavor was ... IT WAS FROM BEETS.. this can also be enzymatically treated meats or chemically treated parts of the meat , salmon, duck, salmon meal, duck meal, salmon oil, dried whole egg, Phosphoric Acid, Potassium Chloride, Taurine,choline chloride, prebiotics - (chicory root extract, mannanoligosaccharides), pumpkin, apples, carrots, bananas, blueberries, cranberries, lentil Beans, broccoli, spinach, cottage cheese, alfalfa sprouts, garlic, probiotics ( Lactobacillus Acidophilus, Lactobacillus Casei, Enterococcus Faecium, Bifido-bacterium Thermophilum), Vitamins (vit. E, vit. C, niacin, inositol, vit. A, thiamine mononitrate, d-calcium pantothenate, pyridoxine hydrochloride, riboflavin, vit. K, beta-carotene, vit. D3, folic acid, biotin, vit. B12), Minerals (zinc proteinate, ferrous sulfate, zinc oxide, iron proteinate, copper sulfate, copper proteinate, manganese proteinate, manganous oxide, calcium iodate, sodium selenite), Ascorbyl-polyphosphate, Yucca Schidigera Extract, Dried Rosemary

I highlighted in orange the likely allergens ... compare it to the EP and youll see a few differences ...

YES dry air can cause this issue ... Do you own a humidifier??
post #11 of 18
Thread Starter 
Thanks a million for your input, Sharky, bless your heart :-)

Well I'll definitely not be feeding the Go Natural again. I'm surprised they put "garlic" in it?

I do have a humidifier on my furnace (didn't even realize I had it until living here for 4 yrs LOL)...I've never used it, the house was new when I bought it but though there was a booklet that came w/ furnace, there was never one for the humidifier........I'll go downstairs and see if there's a brand name on it and then maybe look up info on it, online. I guess I should be using it.
post #12 of 18
There are two things you may try:

1. raw diet
2. limited ingredient diet

If your cats are allergic to a specific protein source, introducing that protein raw rather than cooked might be a solution. When you add heat to a protein chemical changes occur. A dog or cat that may be allergic to turkey in a dry kibble or in a can, may not suffer when offered turkey raw.

To find out what the particular allergen might be, you can try a limited ingredient diet. Natural Balance offers two different formulas. Venison and Green Pea (canned), and Duck and Green Pea (dry, canned).

Hope this helps!
post #13 of 18
Humidifying the air will also save the kitties from a lot of those shocks when you pet them.
post #14 of 18
Thread Starter 
I've decided I don't think it's a food allergy afterall (though will not take a chance and put them back on the Go Natural).....because I've seen Taco scratch a few times lately and he doesn't even eat dry food, period.

I really am convinced now that it's something in my home. I haven't been burning any of my candles lately (insert huge sad face here LOL) but I had company yesterday and burned a little of my room fragrance oil and Fuzzy itched a few times today. I did air out my house for several hours this morning. She's scratching less but is grooming a heck of a lot, all over.

I have changed my laundry soap, about 2-3 weeks ago -- from Tide to Sunlight and that's what I've used for their cat beds and blankets.......

I do have an expensive wool rug (area rug) in my living room that she sometimes lays on, God i hope I don't have to get rid of that.

The only thing she really lies on is my carpet, that area rug and her cat bed...........oh, and the leather couch all snuggled up with me.

Maybe I'll rewash everything with Tide soap and see if that helps.

She's going to be horking up some major furballs soon, due to all the major grooming she's doing, wow.
post #15 of 18
Dumb ??? are you getting you first blast of winter??? if so likely it is a seasonal change and loose hair = itchy hair a humidifier will help ... was the Tide for sensitive skin or the new soap a totally different scent??
post #16 of 18
Thread Starter 
Hi Sharky,

Well it did snow a few days ago, a couple of inches........and the snow stayed....but it's not really all that cold (today will go up to 48F). But this itching stuff started a good 3 weeks ago now, when the weather was really unusually nice.

I can't seem to figure out how to get the humidifier on the furnace working. I can't find the user manual for it. I even had my Dad look at it but something is screwy.

I think the Sunlight I've been using was some kind of lemon scent........the Tide I'd always used, well...........whatever was on sale! LOL...........but usually the nice scented ones (Mountain Fresh, etc).

I haven't seen Fuzzy scratch at all today so whatever this is, it seems to fade..........so maybe it WAS the oil I burned?
post #17 of 18
Not sure about your cats, but I would be ill in your house with all those chemicals. You might want to reconsider fragranced products for your own health. Go natural. There are natural fragrances too.
post #18 of 18
Thread Starter 
Well Fuzzy is still scratching, poor dear. Not constantly but 3-4 times a day she'll frantically scratch -- and she grooms herself sooooooooo much.

Well today I got all of my carpets steam-cleaned so if the itching was due to the carpet-fresh powder (arm & hammer) stuff I lightly sprinkled in/vacuumed out several weeks ago, hopefully this will rectify that.

Of all the cats, she's the one who prefers to lie on the carpet (the others mostly all have their own "spots" - either a cat bed, my bed, the couch, etc).......so I'm keeping my fingers crossed that cleaning the carpets will fix the problem. This company only uses steam to clean, no chemicals.......which is great. As I type this, she's lying all curled up on her side, smack dab in the middle of the living room. Here's a pic I just took...............now you can see why I named her Fuzzy haha. She looks huge and overweight but it's just her long soft fur, she's actually only 10.5 lbs :-)

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