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Cats allergic to 'something' in my Living room?

post #1 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi all,

So I'd posted a couple of weeks ago, about 3 of my cats noted to be scratching a lot......Fuzzy scratched the most, by far. That started about 3.5 weeks ago. Before taking her to the Vet (she'd done this a couple of years ago and I took her to the Vet, no cause found, it just went away), I tried some Benadryl but no lessening of scratching. Mostly scratching head and neck, grooming a lot more. No missing fur, no sores on her.

I took her to the Vet 2 weeks ago, just to definitely rule out ear mites and get his opinion. As all of my 5 cats are strictly indoor, I didn't see how it could be but I had read that sometimes indoor cats can still get them. No ear mites. He said that maybe it was 'metabolic' (she's about 12-13 yrs old) but this made no sense; what were the odds that 2 of the other cats were also scratching more? (in all honesty, he wasn't very helpful).

I thought it might be all of the new scented candles I'd recently purchased, or home fragrance oils (bought a new batch a week before the itching started)....so considered it might be an inhalant allergy.

Had also started them on Go Natural Dry food (from Eagle Pack) and concerned maybe it was a food allergy to switched back to Eagle Pack (I no longer think it's food but considering Go Natural, this version of it (grain-free) has Garlic in it, I'm not going to be feeding it anymore, what a waste of money!). I've since switched them to Instinct and Orijen.......just because I prefer grain-free.

I had my carpets all professionally steam-cleaned (steam, no chemicals) 3 days ago and was hopeful this would make a difference. It didn't. I've washed all cat beds and blankets she sleeps on down here in the living room, used no laundry softener or anything. No improvement.

Decided to take her back to the Vet 2 days ago; wondered if she maybe had some kind of 'mites' that was causing this. The other 2 cats scratch periodically and the 4th cat I've seen her scratch a little lately, here and there. Taco, my 5th cat (has cancer), he's on Prednisone so even that would probably prevent him from itching anyway?

This new vet I saw, what a waste of time. His first thought was to give her a Depo-Medrol injection. I told him NO WAY! That's the last resort, that's not going to fix the 'cause', that's only a temporary symptomatic solution........and there is a high risk of cats developing Diabetes from steroid injections.....and I already have a diabetic cat, no thanks - don't want another one. He seemed to think I was nuts for believing there was a correlation between steroid injections and diabetes. What a moron, IMO.

He did a good check over (much better than the other/regular vet).....looked at her belly, had a good look down into her fur.......no signs of sores or rash. He said he couldn't see any sign of anything. He did agree, mostly to appease me, to give her some Revolution (to the back of the head)....in the event that it's some kind of mite.

He suggested we do allergy testing (at the cost of $700+), I said I can't afford that right now. He said maybe it's thyroid issues......I said it makes no sense that 2 of my other cats scratch, too.........I'm sure they all haven't developed thyroid problems.

He then suggested maybe a hypo-allergenic diet............Hill's d/d. Ugh. I wouldn't feed that crap to my cats if my life depended on it. I hate when Vets push that crap...........it's garbage food, IMO. I stupidly bought into it for years when I first had cats...........and the Science Diet Lite I had Taco on for so many years, at a Vet's suggestion, is a lot of why he developed diabetes - so I'm still a bit sore there.

If I do opt for hypo-allergenic, I'll surely try a premium high quality food (I've read lots about it on these forums, the different ones ; venison, duck and green pea, etc)....but I don't think we're there yet.

Last night I noticed Fuzzy had a little spot of blood above her lip....it felt like a little bump. I suspect one of the other cats gave her a swat and it's from a claw. I put a little Panalog on it. The area isn't swollen. Looks fine today. I don't think it's related to any of this.

I have noticed that when she's NOT in my living room, she doesn't scratch........but down here is where she spends 90% of her time....lying on the carpet. When she's snuggled on the couch or sitting up on the leather sofa, she's fine........but it seems that when she's down on the carpet, on the floor, that's when she scratches. So I think it's something downstairs here.

I do smoke (bad, I know) and I have for years.......but wonder if maybe she's developed an allergy to the smoke? Though what are the odds that 2-3 of my other cats have as well?

I don't know what on earth I can do to my living room to remove any allergens. Carpets and wool area rug all steam-cleaned, couch and sofa are leather. All cat blankets and such have been washed. I do have a few candles on my mantel but I don't light them.

I have considered getting some kind of an Air Purifier..............one that's supposed to reduce dander, allergens and crap in the air. They're about $50-$70.

I should say........even though I freeze my arse off, I've tried to keep the living room windows open a lot more the past 2 days............to air things out.......and that might have helped a little. So maybe this air purifier will help? If it doesn't, I don't know what else to do.

Do you think a few candles sitting up on the mantel, unlit, could be bothersome? I know a cat's sense of smell is much more sharp than ours. Maybe totally remove them from the room?

I'm trying to encourage her to spend more time upstairs........so she and the other cats hang out on my bed and sleep...........she's fine upstairs.

Do you think an air purifier might help? I've never used one, I have no idea if they really do what they claim to do.................

I'd considered a couple of days ago, getting a humidifier but it didn't make sense...........the humidity downstairs should be no different than upstairs so if the issue is 'dry air', the dry air would be consistent throughout the house.....and if she's better in rooms other than the living room/downstairs, that rules out 'dry air' to me.

I have noticed her poops are very stinky, wow........but that could be due to the change in food?

post #2 of 13
have you recently added any furniture??

Lots of different "allergy" diets... D/D if memory serves is egg based and "decent" if memory serves/// See alot of "allergy" diets rely on potato and peas for carbs both of which cats are turning up allergic to ... may I suggest a one meat one starch...

how long have you had your carpet??
post #3 of 13
Thread Starter 
My carpet is 6.5 yrs old.

The only new furniture is new coffee table and end tables; bought those about 2 months ago? Don't know how to describe what they're made of. Made to look like wood but really, just press-board with a wood laminate on the exterior (which isn't even real wood laminate). Here's a picture.


Maybe there is something in the finish?

When I first wanted to rule out the scratching being due to Go Natural, I put them back onto the Eagle Pack - which they've eaten for years.........and it made no difference so I don't think it's a food allergy -- unless there was something in that bag that was funky? Certainly wasn't even close to the expiry date.

I really think it's something in the living room.

Or maybe even something I wash my kitchen floors with? I had been using the Swiffer wet mop thingy...the one with the bottle of cleaner attached to the mop and you just squirt it and mop. I guess I could just buy a new mop and use just some hot vinegar water? (it's lino). The kitchen/dining area is just next to the living room - it's all an open area......so rooms are connected.

Of all the cats, Fuzzy is the one to lie most on the carpet...........the rest seem to have their preferred spots on couches, beds, cat beds..........so maybe the culprit is the carpet and that's why she scratches the most. But there's no way I can afford to replace my carpet! - would have to do so in the entire house.
post #4 of 13
Try getting rid of the candles. If it doesn't make any difference, at least you've eliminated one possible cause.

I don't know about cats, but when even walk by a candle store my eyes start burning and I can't breathe. They definitely aren't burning any candles in the store.
post #5 of 13
I try to rule out simple ideas before I start to overthink things. Sorry if you've thought of this already.

Hows the indoor relative humidity in your home? My skin gets dry and scratchy in the winter. You are hitting the point where indoors gets very dry over winter. Perhaps you need some humidifiers. Get more liquids in them this time of year. It's odd that all 3 are itchy. It's extremely unlikely that all 3 developed allergies to the same thing at the same time, unless you put something really harmful into their environment.
post #6 of 13
it could be a chemical in press board or the laminate...

not exactly what I was looking for but

post #7 of 13
That Vet that said Depo Medrol dosent cause Diabetes is a idiot.
My Coco used to get that shot for her Allergies and Asthma.
It would help her ears and her Asthma and allergies but caused her to get some bladder problems.
The vet told me the shot can cause Diabetes.
post #8 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well I was going to buy a humidifier but what stopped me is the fact that she's just fine (no scratching) when upstairs.....so to me, if the air was that dry and that was the cause of her itching, she should be itching everywhere in the house. Also, when I got her home from the Vet a couple days ago, I put the carrier on the carpet in the living room and the minute she came out, she started scratching (neck, head)....quite a lot........so I can't see that dry air would "hit her" that quickly......to me it suggests it's something she's breathing in, that's why I decided to try the air cleaner/purifier.

I will also take all of the candles out of the living room, what a bummer LOL

Originally Posted by Momofmany View Post
I try to rule out simple ideas before I start to overthink things. Sorry if you've thought of this already.

Hows the indoor relative humidity in your home? My skin gets dry and scratchy in the winter. You are hitting the point where indoors gets very dry over winter. Perhaps you need some humidifiers. Get more liquids in them this time of year. It's odd that all 3 are itchy. It's extremely unlikely that all 3 developed allergies to the same thing at the same time, unless you put something really harmful into their environment.
post #9 of 13
it could be the candles.
post #10 of 13
Thread Starter 
So I went out this afternoon to buy the Air Cleaner, and I left my living room window opened about 2 inches. I was gone for about 3 hours. I've been home for a good hour now and I've yet to see Fuzzy scratch, though I have seen her groom herself (not unusual, she's always been a big groomer).

After doing some research on Air Cleaner/Purifiers, I decided not to go for a cheap one, and I got this one instead. Has UV and Ionic filtration, too, including a Hepa Filter. Keeping my fingers crossed that this works.

post #11 of 13
Thread Starter 
Well I'm pleased to say, Fuzzy is scratching A LOT less since I bought the Air Purifier thingy. I've maybe seen her scratch twice today. I've been keeping the living room window open while I'm out (otherwise I get too cold LOL), I've refrained from lighting any candles (which has been hard because my favorite one is "Hot Cocoa" by Gold Canyon and it makes the room smell so yummy). I'm so relieved!
post #12 of 13
Same thing happened with my dog. She had been scratching non-stop for a year and no one could really "diagnose" her properly. Finally, we did a blood allergy test and she tested positive for allergies to dust mites and cat dander...

I bought an Austin Air Healthmate purifier and her itching has been reduced about 50%. Some days, it gets worse again though, depends. Makes sense since the allergens are not only in the air, but everywhere, too.

Glad that you've been seeing a difference. The scratching drives me insane, seriously.
post #13 of 13
Thread Starter 
Hi Kat Goddess,

Well, I may have spoken too soon. She barely scratched yesterday but moreso today. I really think it's something in my living room because again, she seems just fine in other rooms in the house. Like you, it drives me nuts when she scratches, I feel so bad for her, I feel frustrated that I can't just 'fix' the problem.

That's interesting about the allergy testing your dog had done, and the results of same.

I recently changed my furnace filter, I keep things dusted, because I have 5 cats I've always been one to vacuum every 1-2 days..and this summer I got central vac put into my house and it's awesome, so much suction........

Now just one of my other cats is scratching (Spookie). Spookie started scratching a bit around the time Fuzzy did but not nearly as much.

I'm keeping this air cleaner/purifier thingy on almost all day.

I have taken ALL of the candles out of my living room (this sucks; I'm expecting an order of new ones to arrive any day).

I am trying to make myself open the living room window more but it's soooooooooooooo cold. If it was summer it wouldn't be so bad. I think it helps to have an air purifier but I still think it's important to circulate 'fresh' air.

Maybe something spilled on the carpet that I'm not aware of? There's definitely SOMETHING in this living room because like I said, no problems anywhere else in the house.............for any of the cats. Fuzzy can spend hours up on my bed and no scratching at all. The minute she's on the carpet in the living room, she's grooming herself or scratching.....only time she doesn't is if she's sleeping....then she'll go several hours without scratching.

It's frustrating. This all just started so suddenly about 4 weeks ago.
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