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Help with Allergies

post #1 of 7
Thread Starter 
Poor Tofu definitely has allergies to something. I can't figure out what to do. His symptoms are constant itching/scratching in his face area, especially above the eyes and neck. He has wounded himself a lot these past few months, so he is collared on and off...he's not a very happy cat right now.

Now, I only want to change one thing at a time because if I do too much all at once, I will never find out the real cause of his itchies. I want to figure this out once and for all.

Right now, I can think of two things to change: litter and food.

I was going to do the litter change first, seeing how that's much easier, but then my boyfriend brought up the point that if he was indeed allergic to the litter, wouldn't he be chewing his paws or something? Since his paws come in contact with the litter a few times per day? He is currently using Good Mews, which is a cheaper version of Yesterday's News. I contacted the company to ask if they add in anything to their litter and they said no, it's 100% newspaper fiber. However, in my research, I've read that newsprint CAN be an allergen for cats, although rare, I suppose.

Food-wise...is complicated. He eats a rotation of many, many brands with different proteins, too. Narrowing that down is going to be difficult, but of course I will try.

Which one should I try to change first? Like I said, I thought litter first since that's so much easier, but if his symptoms seem more likely that it's food allergies, then I should jump straight to it and tackle that first.

Thoughts?

(FYI, he has seen a couple of vets about his itching recently and they have ruled out fleas, parasites, etc. We are definitely dealing with allergies.)
post #2 of 7
You'll find several very good, important suggestions here
http://www.vetinfo4cats.com/cpruritis.html

I think you'll want to try them before you make any changes in the diet. You seem to be struggling with diet related problems already. (Under the circumstances I would leave touching the diet for last.)

But I would definitely try other cat litters. If you do that, set up two or three brand new litter boxes and put a new kind of cat litter in each. Leave the box he is using now where it is, with the litter he is using. You'll have to find out if he's happy with one or more of the other litters before you remove it.

This article has good, detailed info, worth looking at
http://www.peteducation.com/article....1+2141&aid=203

In this one you'll find some info about fatty acids
http://www.peteducation.com/article....0+1448&aid=665

Are you clipping his nails to keep them short? (Very important when a cat is scratching all the time.)

Do you have plants in your home?

Does he go outside?
post #3 of 7
Thread Starter 
Thanks for the links! I'll go read them after I post this.

No, he does not go outside and I don't have a single plant in my house. And yes, I am clipping his nails regularly to keep them short.

He does get supplemented fatty acids in his diet, which hasn't made a difference as far as I can see.
post #4 of 7
I would definitely go to single protein diet--probably not chicken, maybe the Natural Balance Venison or duck.

what brands are you using currently?

Leslie
post #5 of 7
How long has he been on the current cat litter? Does the itching change when you change one of his foods?

My cat has severe food allergies. When he is given a food that he's allergic to he scratches his chin/face and his ears. I would go on a novel protein diet, like a duck & pea, Venison & Pea, or Rabbit and Pea, just to see if switching to a single protein diet makes a change in the scratching.
post #6 of 7
Quote:
Originally posted by KatGoddess:
No, he does not go outside and I don't have a single plant in my house. And yes, I am clipping his nails regularly to keep them short.

He does get supplemented fatty acids in his diet, which hasn't made a difference as far as I can see.
Quote:
No, he does not go outside and I don't have a single plant in my house.
That helps.

Quote:
And yes, I am clipping his nails regularly to keep them short.
You're really doing everything you possibly can to help him.

Quote:
He does get supplemented fatty acids in his diet, which hasn't made a difference as far as I can see.
This is discouraging. All I can think of, you might try a different brand/kind to see if that makes any difference.

I have to agree with Leslie (Jack 31), with all this in mind, a single protein diet might be worth a try.

I'd like to ask you, did any of the vets who saw Tofu do a skin scraping, and did any one of them give Tofu a cortisone injection as a test to see what happens?
Also, did they do a CBC and chem profile to look for clues in blood work results?

(A few years ago I had a very difficult time with one of my cats because of severe allergies. I'm trying to think back of what I've learned hoping I can think of something that might be helpful to you. Hence the questions.)
post #7 of 7
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Jack31 View Post
what brands are you using currently?
He is eating dry Fromm Duck and for canned, Wellness turkey and chicken.

His recent itching episode started last week. During that time, we ran out of Go Natural dry, so I started switching him over to Fromm, which had half a bag left (he ate it a few months ago). The two brands both contain multiple proteins and a long list of ingredients. Also, last week, I opened up a new bag of the same litter he's been using.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Plebayo View Post
How long has he been on the current cat litter? Does the itching change when you change one of his foods?
He's been on the current cat litter for about 6 months. His itching and scratching started about then, but I can't say for sure it's the litter because like I mentioned, his food changes periodically as well. I wish I kept a daily log of everything.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Violet View Post
I'd like to ask you, did any of the vets who saw Tofu do a skin scraping, and did any one of them give Tofu a cortisone injection as a test to see what happens?
Also, did they do a CBC and chem profile to look for clues in blood work results?
Yes, a skin scraping was done. When hsi itching got really bad, a feline vet we saw did a fungal culture and said he had ringworm. I was given 6 weeks of oral antifungals and he lost his appetite after a few days on it. I stopped that and without treatment, the "ringworm" went away in 2-3 weeks. When he wounded his face again weeks later, I brought him to the vet I bring my dog to see because they're more holistic-minded. They did a fungal culture on him and that tested negative for ringworm. The vet also said that they don't look like normal ringworm lesions and he highly suspects allergies. Well, I brought him home, applied some of the derma gel the vet gave me, kept him collared, and his skin healed in a few weeks time again.

It's now about 2 months later and the itching has returned. Ugh, what a nightmare.

I will try the diet change then.
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