I have a neutered 1 year old male cat that appears to be suffering from allergies. I’ve had him checked for infection/ear mites; negative results. I’ve also completed the elimination of provocative factors – now using metal bowl, WBC litter (tried Dr. Elsey’s with no change noted), RC Vet diet of Duck/Grn Pea. No change in detergents; don’t use carpet soaps/deodorants. Live in GA (allergy capital of the South) but windows rarely open due to heat. Strictly an indoor only cat. No change in demeanor/appetite/voiding habits. But is VERY miserable. Always flicking his ears or scratching at them. Occasionally given him Chlorpheniramine when really bad. No other meds.
Can you PLEASE help us?
Thank you for you inquiry to Holistic Pet Info. I initially would like to know what the clinical signs are for the allergies. Does he have thinning hair on his belly or back, irritable bowel with loose stools, scabs around his neck and tail base? Determining whether the allergens are food borne or air borne may help with the treatment suggestions.
My first recommendation would be to offer a more natural diet. I would recommend The Honest Kitchen, Primal or Instinct diets. They are raw diets either frozen or dehydrated. Cats do much better with a good quality higher protein diet when the immune system is compromised.
Secondly, at the very least have his ears cleaned. Even if they’ve been looked at, if it’s something in the environment, removing contact allergens may help.
As far as supplements, you may offer Allergy Itch ease by Pet Alive. It is a homeopathic that supports skin health. You may also offer the Ultimate Skin and Coat formula that is fortified with fatty acids and minerals just for skin barrier strength. Best of luck.
Colleen Smith DVM, CVC, CVCP
Thank you so much for your reply. Initial clinical signs were what appeared to be mange-like sx. He was so itchy that he scratched his face/head raw. Additionally, there was also one spot on his forearm that he continued to pick at. His DVM gave tx him with a steroid injection, which allowed his face to heal, but he continued to itch so much to the point that he kept ripping the scabs off and exacerbating the problem.
Ultimately, I ended up concocting a steroid cream (human creams) that I applied to him that cleared it up and allowed the hair to grow back. This, of course, was being done during all of the elimination process for the food, litter, bowls, etc. No loose stools. Never had issues with thinning hair on belly/torso or scabs around the tail base. His sx were limited to the head/face and R-forearm.
We’re now down to flicking/scratching of the ears only. To the point that he gets so miserable that I give him the Chlor tab. But he’s not on a regular regimine or anything. Our DVM recommended that he continue with the RC Duck/Grn Pea food. Additional consumption includes commercial canned food as a treat (small bowl) and treats. This includes Whiskas, Fancy Feast, Greenies, Friskies. I have 6 other cats who eat other dry cat food, like GoodLife, Kitten Chow that he might indulge in as the bowls are in the same area. Fluid intake hopefully has increased as I’m now using the Petmate 360 fountain.
His ears are clean and continue to be clear. No mites, no wax/debris, etc.
Of the foods that you’ve recommended, which have you had personal experience with and/or fed to your pets? Is one “better” than the other? I thought bone meal wasn’t good for animals (Instinct)? And should my other cats ($$$) be started on this as well since they all eat at one time (bowls of dry food normally kept down at all times)?
Again, thank you so much for your assistance. This has been quite frustrating but I want to do what’s best for the cat(s). Hopefully without going broke (grin) in the process.
I have used and recommended all 3 diets but primarily feed my dogs The Honest Kitchen formulas because of the ease of feeding and storage. It is an AAFCO approved balanced diet and it is very easy to mix other whole foods with it.
One of the main reasons your veterinarian has recommended the Royal Canin Duck and green pea diet is that it is a limited ingredient diet to minimize exposure to allergenic foods. Since you are also feeding your cat the other commercial diets the Royal Canin diet is completely ineffectual and therefore waste of your money. The goal of feeding therapeutic diets is to eliminate all other allergenic factors in the diet. You may absolutely continue to feed the Royal Canin but discontinuing the other diets should help you figure out which allergenic food may be the problem.
If all cats share the same food you really ought to change it for all of them. The commercial foods are of poor quality and they will all benefit from a better quality protein and carbohydrate. For example the first 4 ingredients of Goodlife cat food is ground corn, chicken by-product meal, corn gluten meal and animal fat. For obligate carnivores such as cats this is a very poor protein diet (please read a definition of by-product meal) and too high in carbohydrates. Additionally, corn and wheat are both very allergenic to cats.
Bone meal that is properly prepared is often used in premium and high quality pet food diets. Many of my clients also use it for home cooked diets to add the proper ratio of calcium and phosphorus to the diet. There is also a bone meal product used in agriculture that is absolutely not supposed to be used for pets.
Hope this helps,