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Itchy cat after change of diet

post #1 of 25
Thread Starter 
Hi all. This is my first question to the board. Our cat, Bodi, just turned 17. We adopted her from a good friend who had to give her up two and half years ago. She's an indoor cat and healthy.

A little over a month ago, I was searching around the net for why she's so vocal -- the most vocal cat I've ever met! I stumbled across this board and started reading about food. Bodi was raised on Wellness dry and canned. She was an outdoor cat at that time, and she'd come in periodically to munch her dry; she got 1 can every night for dinner.

When I first brought her home -- we had to fly from LA to Boston -- she wouldn't eat. Well, who could blame her! I got her Fancy Feast to feed in addition to her Wellness dry to tempt her and it worked. So, for the past couple of years she'd been on Fancy Feast with Wellness dry and Science Diet Hair Ball formula mixed in her dry bowl. After reading the links posted here, we switched her to premium foods, letting her tell us what she likes. She's very finicky with it, so she eats only a few flavors. We alternate Wellness dry and Chicken Soup for the Catlover's Soul dry. She likes Wellness canned Turkey and Turkey & Salmon, and some of the Nutro Natural Choice pouch flavors. She gets 3 ounces of wet a day.

It's been a little over a month and we've noticed several things. First, she often doesn't finish her canned food, but I've read here that cats require lower amounts of more nutritious food, so I figure she knows what she needs. Second, her coat is softer -- YAY!

Third -- the reason for this post. For the last week and a half or so, she's been scratching herself alot, and she sometimes gives herself scabs. As I said, she's an indoor cat, but we Frontlined her the nite before last anyhow. She's still scratching, and I want to add some canola oil to her canned food because now I think maybe she's not getting enough fat -- especially because she's not finishing her canned food -- and maybe her skin is dry.

Absent an emergency, we'd rather not have a vet bill right now.

Thoughts?
post #2 of 25
One she needs a senior forumla.

she likely needs more omegas, zinc

I dont like canola oil for many reasons....which since I am yet fully awake I wont go into ...


It very well could be a climate change issue... but with going from a reasonable omega source to not so high and not eating much canned read the ideas below


try olive oil( balenced 3 6 9 fatty acids) Sunflower oil the highest in 6 with some flax for 3 , a senior food with more omegas , a simplier food ( itching is often allegies)



Goood luck
post #3 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky
One she needs a senior forumla.

she likely needs more omegas, zinc

I dont like canola oil for many reasons....which since I am yet fully awake I wont go into ...


It very well could be a climate change issue... but with going from a reasonable omega source to not so high and not eating much canned read the ideas below


try olive oil( balenced 3 6 9 fatty acids) Sunflower oil the highest in 6 with some flax for 3 , a senior food with more omegas , a simplier food ( itching is often allegies)



Goood luck
Grizzly Salmon Oil works absolutely great on their skin and coats and you can get it wherever you get the top-brand pet foods. I like it because it does its job and the cats love the taste.

One of the foods that I like (though I have a personal vendetta against the company, though that's a different story) for allergies is California Natural, which makes canned. I'd give that a try...the ingredients list is very small and simple.
post #4 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by lionessrampant
Grizzly Salmon Oil works absolutely great on their skin and coats and you can get it wherever you get the top-brand pet foods. I like it because it does its job and the cats love the taste.

One of the foods that I like (though I have a personal vendetta against the company, though that's a different story) for allergies is California Natural, which makes canned. I'd give that a try...the ingredients list is very small and simple.

grizzley correct me if I am wrong is omega 3 ??? you need 6 to balence three the ideal ration is 5 to one 6 to three ( i am not fully awake )

Yes cal natural makes a great simple food
post #5 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky
One she needs a senior forumla.

she likely needs more omegas, zinc

I dont like canola oil for many reasons....which since I am yet fully awake I wont go into ...


It very well could be a climate change issue... but with going from a reasonable omega source to not so high and not eating much canned read the ideas below


try olive oil( balenced 3 6 9 fatty acids) Sunflower oil the highest in 6 with some flax for 3 , a senior food with more omegas , a simplier food ( itching is often allegies)



Goood luck

Well, since she's so picky, there's not much in the way of senior formulas that she'll eat. Our store stocks a lot of stuff and will order just about anything, so I'll look around. Currently, the only senior she'll eat is Natural Choice Complete Care Chicken & Turkey Chunks in Gravy pouch food.

I'll make sure to give her olive oil and not canola. I'm unclear about the Grizzly recommedation.

Her Wellness dry is Adult Super5. I just hopped over to their website, and the Senior dry has less fat and more fiber -- I'm guessing that means more carbs? I know from reading here that more carbs is not a good idea.

The local store that I DISLIKE doing business with is listed at the Cal Nat website as carrying their products. I'll see if they have cat, but most probably they have only dog. I'll talk to the store I LIKE about it and see what they can do.

Anyone have senior formula brands/flavors of wet that we could try?
post #6 of 25
Having nothing further to add on the food issue I will move on to other things ...

Is she at all dehydrated? When was the last time she was seen by a vet? Did they do a senior exam including blood and urine labs? What were the results of those labs? The increased vocalization could indicate several health issues and the dry skin/itching could also be attributed to health issues. She may have mites (different from fleas and from what I understand, the treatment is different as well).

While I can completely understand and certainly appreciate not wanting to see a vet unless you absolutely must, the truth is that if she is having these problems, the BEST thing you can do is to have her evaluated. If she has not been seen in 6 months or more, it is time to get her in. Ask them to pull blood for an organ profile, take in stool and urine samples for eval, have them do a skin-scraping and a thorough senior exam.

In the long run, trying all sorts of different foods and/or treatments and going to the sometimes large expense of finding things she will tolerate well can be more expensive time and money-wise than just breaking down and having the vet evaluate her - s/he may be able to give you much less expensive alternatives, both in terms of money AND time.

My continued best to you,

~gf~
post #7 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by gayef
Having nothing further to add on the food issue I will move on to other things ...

Is she at all dehydrated? When was the last time she was seen by a vet? Did they do a senior exam including blood and urine labs? What were the results of those labs? The increased vocalization could indicate several health issues and the dry skin/itching could also be attributed to health issues. She may have mites (different from fleas and from what I understand, the treatment is different as well).

While I can completely understand and certainly appreciate not wanting to see a vet unless you absolutely must, the truth is that if she is having these problems, the BEST thing you can do is to have her evaluated. If she has not been seen in 6 months or more, it is time to get her in. Ask them to pull blood for an organ profile, take in stool and urine samples for eval, have them do a skin-scraping and a thorough senior exam.

In the long run, trying all sorts of different foods and/or treatments and going to the sometimes large expense of finding things she will tolerate well can be more expensive time and money-wise than just breaking down and having the vet evaluate her - s/he may be able to give you much less expensive alternatives, both in terms of money AND time.

My continued best to you,

~gf~
Very good thinking ...
post #8 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky
grizzley correct me if I am wrong is omega 3 ??? you need 6 to balence three the ideal ration is 5 to one 6 to three ( i am not fully awake )

Yes cal natural makes a great simple food
It says "omega 3" on the front of the bottle, but if you read the product info on the back it says it has both 3 and 6
post #9 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by lionessrampant
It says "omega 3" on the front of the bottle, but if you read the product info on the back it says it has both 3 and 6
TY .. I didnt know
post #10 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gayef
Having nothing further to add on the food issue I will move on to other things ...

Is she at all dehydrated? When was the last time she was seen by a vet? Did they do a senior exam including blood and urine labs? What were the results of those labs? The increased vocalization could indicate several health issues and the dry skin/itching could also be attributed to health issues. She may have mites (different from fleas and from what I understand, the treatment is different as well).

While I can completely understand and certainly appreciate not wanting to see a vet unless you absolutely must, the truth is that if she is having these problems, the BEST thing you can do is to have her evaluated. If she has not been seen in 6 months or more, it is time to get her in. Ask them to pull blood for an organ profile, take in stool and urine samples for eval, have them do a skin-scraping and a thorough senior exam.

In the long run, trying all sorts of different foods and/or treatments and going to the sometimes large expense of finding things she will tolerate well can be more expensive time and money-wise than just breaking down and having the vet evaluate her - s/he may be able to give you much less expensive alternatives, both in terms of money AND time.

My continued best to you,

~gf~

Please re-read my original post. You're dialing 911 waaaaay too fast here.

She's not dehydrated, she's fine. Her vocalizations aren't an increase, and I never said they were. She's always meowed a lot, and I was looking for info about why she might be that way. We reinforce the behavior, it turns out, by paying attention to her when she meows. She has us wrapped around her little paw, and we love it!

I don't understand your comment about trying different foods and treatments for her. Perhaps you misread last post, but I asked for suggestions about brands of senior formulas because it was suggested that's what we should be feeding her, and I need to know what to ask the store to order for me because I'm not familiar with all the brands of premium cat food. It's not a question of what she'll tolerate, but what she prefers to eat. I don't see how taking her to the vet will help us find foods that she likes. We've just switched her to premium and we're still trying different flavors and brands to find her favorites. As far as we're concerned, she's entitled to like what she likes and we don't feel it a burden, either in time or money, to keep trying different foods for her.

You seem to be making a mountain out of a mole hill here, especially with "if she is having these problems, the BEST thing you can do is to have her evaluated." What problems? She's scratching alot. I just came here looking for a suggestion for dry skin. I'm trying to find the source of her scratching, and I wanted to check about what kind of oil is best to add to her food. If it doesn't work, then of course she'll go to the vet.

As far as having another senior panel drawn, my vet was very clear that they wanted one as a baseline in case she gets sick. I'm not going to have her drawn if she's fine, and my vet never suggested that we do constant blood work on her.

If there are suggestions about premium senior canned formulas, I'm still interested in trying some other brands for her.


my best back at ya
post #11 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by capecodcatmom
I'm unclear about the Grizzly recommedation.

It's done wonders for my cats' coats and skin during the dry spell/with radiator heat. They like it, it's good for them and they don't itch as much.

I'd err on the side of having a senior panel and/or allergy panel the next time you go to the vet, just to be safe. You never know what kinds of issue the skin thing could or could not be signalling.
post #12 of 25
Quote:
Please re-read my original post. You're dialing 911 waaaaay too fast here.
Wow. No, I really wasn't saying that you have an emergency on your hands, I merely suggested that if she hasn't had a senior panel drawn recently, it might be a good time to do so - but ok, I have now reread ... and won't be making any more mountains for you. I'll bow out of this thread now, sincerely wishing you the best.
post #13 of 25
As far as oils, stick to a fish oil. Cats do not have the metabolism to utilize plant-based oils correctly. And cod liver oil contains too much vitamin A, so use fish body oils with omega-3 fatty acids.
post #14 of 25
Oh yeah, ment to add, the itchiness can also be an allergy
post #15 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ForTheFurballs
As far as oils, stick to a fish oil. Cats do not have the metabolism to utilize plant-based oils correctly. And cod liver oil contains too much vitamin A, so use fish body oils with omega-3 fatty acids.
Fish oil is not balenced ... for omega profile and yes they can utilize plant oils...
post #16 of 25
KICKS self //// what is the humidity leavel in your house>??? Is it drier than a few weeks ago??
post #17 of 25
Sharky, what do you mean, what type of balance are you looking for? Different fish oil products have different formulations, some include n-3 and n-6 a well as vitamin E, some change the EPA/DHA ratios a bit and include only small amounts of n-6. So whether it's balanced is going to depend on the partucular product you're talking about and I haven't yet seen anything truly definitive on what the balance of nutrients really should be for cats. (I haven't even seen anything I trust as the final word for correct EFA ratios in humans either, there just hasn't been enough research done yet.)

The vets usually seem to sell one called 3V which has vitamin supplements as well. I'm thinking that might be the safest choice for cats.

Cats may be able to use some plant oils, but they can't create the needed EPA and DHA from plant sources, (some people can't either) they must have animal sources to get those.
post #18 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ForTheFurballs
Sharky, what do you mean, what type of balance are you looking for? Different fish oil products have different formulations, some include n-3 and n-6 a well as vitamin E, some change the EPA/DHA ratios a bit and include only small amounts of n-6. So whether it's balanced is going to depend on the partucular product you're talking about and I haven't yet seen anything truly definitive on what the balance of nutrients really should be for cats. (I haven't even seen anything I trust as the final word for correct EFA ratios in humans either, there just hasn't been enough research done yet.)

The vets usually seem to sell one called 3V which has vitamin supplements as well. I'm thinking that might be the safest choice for cats. HUMMMM not much knowledge on vet ed do you...

Cats may be able to use some plant oils, but they can't create the needed EPA and DHA from plant sources, (some people can't either) they must have animal sources to get those.
ummm that isnt quite right ... it is a weird ratio thing of the plant to dha and epa... I do give some fish oil ( some since I just cant find the right one) and I give olive oil and flaxseed(flax to the cat who eats only canned homemade and raw) alll of them have no itching and some of the best coats...
omega 6 needs to be in a higher ratio to the 3 in cats
post #19 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky
omega 6 needs to be in a higher ratio to the 3 in cats
What's your source for that? I'm really trying to seriously research this issue and I find lots of opinions, but nothing very authoritative yet.

And what's your source for recommending flax seed oil? My bet is that your cats would do just as well without it.

Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky
not much knowledge on vet ed do you...
what's that supposed to mean? If you want to take a shot at vets in general, leave me out of it. I will still suggest to the OP to take advice from a vet before taking anything any of us here say too seriously.
post #20 of 25
Here's a site that explains what I'm talking about better than I can. http://www.felinecrf.org/nutritional...ments.htm#EFAs
They talk about 5:1 n-6 to n-3 (I don't know where they got those numbers) but commonly used diet ingredients already contain a large amount of omega-6 so there's going to be a decreased need for n-6 in a supplement.

And about Flax Seed Oil http://www.felinecrf.org/holistic_tr...#flax_seed_oil
In particular, "Cats can only obtain arachidonic acid from animal products, so if you want to give your cat an essential fatty acids oil, consider a fish-based oil instead. "
post #21 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by lionessrampant
It's done wonders for my cats' coats and skin during the dry spell/with radiator heat. They like it, it's good for them and they don't itch as much.

I'd err on the side of having a senior panel and/or allergy panel the next time you go to the vet, just to be safe. You never know what kinds of issue the skin thing could or could not be signalling.

I'll ask my favorite store about the Grizzley. If kitties love it, then maybe my little finick-head will too!

I'll talk to the vet next time she's in about the itchy skin, and if the scratching doesn't stop, the next visit will be very soon!
post #22 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by sharky
KICKS self //// what is the humidity leavel in your house>??? Is it drier than a few weeks ago??

Yep, less humid. Now I'm kicking self over here, too, for Frontlining my indoor kitty after a thorough inspection that turned up no evidence of fleas.
post #23 of 25
Thread Starter 
Quote:
Originally Posted by gayef
Wow. No, I really wasn't saying that you have an emergency on your hands, I merely suggested that if she hasn't had a senior panel drawn recently, it might be a good time to do so - but ok, I have now reread ... and won't be making any more mountains for you. I'll bow out of this thread now, sincerely wishing you the best.
I just re-read my response, Gayef, and sorry. I didn't mean too come on so strong. I was tired and it didn't read that way to me when I previewed it. I appreciate your input.

best regards back to you
post #24 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by ForTheFurballs
Here's a site that explains what I'm talking about better than I can. http://www.felinecrf.org/nutritional...ments.htm#EFAs
They talk about 5:1 n-6 to n-3 (I don't know where they got those numbers) but commonly used diet ingredients already contain a large amount of omega-6 so there's going to be a decreased need for n-6 in a supplement.

And about Flax Seed Oil http://www.felinecrf.org/holistic_tr...#flax_seed_oil
In particular, "Cats can only obtain arachidonic acid from animal products, so if you want to give your cat an essential fatty acids oil, consider a fish-based oil instead. "
I do know where they got those numbers give a while to remember( no tea yet) ..... those numbers vary by researcher I have seen them as high as 10 to 1 and as low as 2 to 1
post #25 of 25
Quote:
Originally Posted by capecodcatmom
Yep, less humid. Now I'm kicking self over here, too, for Frontlining my indoor kitty after a thorough inspection that turned up no evidence of fleas.
I thought about it when I got my humidifier out
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