Welcome to PetForums

Join thousands of other pet owners and pet lovers on the UK's most popular and friendly pet community and discussion forum.

Sign Up

Elimination diets

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by chillminx, Dec 29, 2018.


  1. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    23,230
    Likes Received:
    19,542
    Chronic itching, particularly on the head, face, or neck, (but elsewhere too, such as the lower part of the spine) can be a sign of a food allergy in a cat, especially when other possible causes (such as a flea allergy or ear mites) have been ruled out by the vet.

    Food allergies can also be a cause of chronic diarrhoea, or frequent episodes of vomiting in some cases.

    The only scientific way to get reliable results from an allergy test is to put the cat on an elimination diet for 8 to 10 weeks. Most food allergies in cats are to grains, dairy products or specific meat proteins.

    Stage 1 of the diet is to feed the cat a grain-free "novel" protein. i.e. either kangaroo, or goat or reindeer, or horse, or venison. (suitable foods are available on line). This is done for 8 - 10 weeks, & nothing else given except water.

    Stage 2 of the diet is reintroducing the usual meat proteins one at a time, as a challenge to the immune system, every 3 weeks.e.g. lamb, turkey, pork, chicken, beef, fish. These must be guaranteed single proteins and grain free. (suitable foods are available on line, but not in UK stores) A daily log is kept of symptoms.

    Stage 3 is to exclude the identified allergens from the diet permanently and feed a rotated diet of the remaining proteins (and any of the novel proteins).

    Combined with the special diet as outlined above, Omega 3 is definitely helpful with cases of allergies. I use Aniforte Omega 3 extract for my cats, as it is extracted from white fish and does not smell as strongly as the stuff extracted from salmon. It comes as a loose powder and is easy to add to food. Only a little is needed, and it should be introduced gradually to avoid a loose stool.

    https://www.aniforte.co.uk/collections/cats/products/aniforte-omega-3-extract-100g
     
    #1 chillminx, Dec 29, 2018
    Last edited: Jun 18, 2019
  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    23,230
    Likes Received:
    19,542
    The only way to get reliable results is to use a novel protein. The diet must also be dairy free and grain free (which includes no rice).

    I think it is useful to rule out other possible environmental allergens in the home that could affect skin and ears. e.g.

    1/ use only non-bio unscented laundry liquid for your own bedding and the cat's bedding. (Tesco sells Surcare, Boots and Waitrose sell their own makes).

    2/ do not use fabric softener

    3/ use no chemical cleaners on worktops and hard floors. Instead use a weak solution of white vinegar, cooled boiled water and lemon juice or strips of lemon peel soaked in the vinegar.

    4/ use no plug-in scent diffusers, scented candles, room spray or hair spray.

    The choice of novel protein foods is as follows:-

    1/ Kangaroo - by Catz Finefood Purrr either from Zooplus UK or from Pets Menu UK

    https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/cats/canned_cat_food_pouches/catz_finefood/catz_finefood_cans/525027

    https://www.pets-menu.co.uk/shop/cat/wet-food-for-cats/catz-finefood/p-72196.htm


    2/ Reindeer, goat or horse - from Vet Concept

    https://www.vet-concept.com/für-die-katze/nassnahrung/katzenmenü-rentier

    https://www.vet-concept.com/für-die-katze/nassnahrung/katzenmenü-ziege

    https://www.vet-concept.com/für-die-katze/nassnahrung/katzenmenünbsp;sana-pferd


    3/ Ropocat, kangaroo, venison or horse - from Fuettern-mit-spass in Germany

    https://www.fuettern-mit-spass.de/katzenfutter/nassfutter/ropocat/

    (please note minimum delivery charge to the UK).


    4/ Mjamjam, horse or kangaroo - from Fuettern-mit-spass

    https://www.fuettern-mit-spass.de/katzenfutter/nassfutter/mjamjam/

    (please note minimum delivery charge to the UK)


    5/ Mjamjam, horse with pumpkin - from Zoo-bio UK

    https://www.zoo-bio.co.uk/mjamjam/61387-tasty-horse-with-steamed-pumpkin


    Choose just one of these novel protein foods (kangaroo is often well liked by cats ) and feed her that and water for 8 to 10 weeks. Nothing else.



    For stage 2 of the diet, you'll need single protein grain free foods as follows:

    1/Single protein Lamb - Caz Finefood Purrr from Pets Menu UK or Mac's Sensitive Lamb from Zooplus UK

    https://www.pets-menu.co.uk/shop/cat/wet-food-for-cats/catz-finefood/p-72206.htm

    https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/cats/canned_cat_food_pouches/macs/cans/680988



    2/ Single protein Chicken - Catz Finefood Purrr - from Pets Menu UK, or Granatapet pure chicken from Zooplus UK or Tundra pure chicken from Alltails UK

    https://www.pets-menu.co.uk/shop/cat/wet-food-for-cats/catz-finefood/p-72186.htm

    https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/cats/canned_cat_food_pouches/granatapet/wet/507806

    https://alltails.co.uk/cat/cat-food/Wet-Cat-Food/Tundra-Cat-Chicken-Pure-6-200g



    3/ Single protein fish (salmon) - Catz Finefood Purrr - Pets Menu UK

    https://www.pets-menu.co.uk/shop/cat/wet-food-for-cats/catz-finefood/p-72191.htm


    4/ Single Protein Pork - Catz Finefood Purrr - Pets Menu UK

    https://www.pets-menu.co.uk/shop/cat/wet-food-for-cats/catz-finefood/p-72201.htm



    5/ Single protein Turkey - Mac's Sensitive pure turkey from Zooplus UK or Tundra pure turkey from Alltails UK

    https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/cats/canned_cat_food_pouches/macs/cans/680988

    https://alltails.co.uk/cat/cat-food/Wet-Cat-Food/Tundra-Cat-Turkey-Pure-6-200g



    6/ Single protein beef (veal) - Granatapet Pure Veal from Zooplus UK

    https://www.zooplus.co.uk/shop/cats/canned_cat_food_pouches/granatapet/wet/507806


    7/Single protein foods also by Ropocat and Mjamjam - from Fuettern-mit-spass

    https://www.fuettern-mit-spass.de/katzenfutter/nassfutter/ropocat/

    https://www.fuettern-mit-spass.de/katzenfutter/nassfutter/mjamjam/


    Each food is reintroduced to challenge the immune system, one at a time every 3 weeks. A daily detailed log of symptoms is kept.

    As beef, chicken and fish are statistically the most common feline food allergens I would leave those 3 last to reintroduce.
     
    #2 chillminx, Dec 30, 2018
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
  3. moggie14

    moggie14 PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Sep 11, 2013
    Messages:
    10,086
    Likes Received:
    8,449
    chillminx likes this.
  4. Daphne_de

    Daphne_de PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2019
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hello! I'm a new member and I found this forum while I was searching useful information about my cats allergies. My one year old cat has been diagnosed with food allergies and is taking medication at the moment. I've be reading about the elimination diet, but I have a question. How do you introduce the new food? My cat usually has soft stools, I don't want to cause any more problems.
     
  5. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    23,230
    Likes Received:
    19,542
    Hi there. :)

    It is best to introduce all new foods slowly over a period of several days. This applies to novel protein foods as well as to recipes containing the meat proteins she is used to.

    I put a teaspoonful of the new food on a separate saucer alongside the cat's normal dish of food. If the new food is eaten within a couple of hours and there is no adverse reaction later in the litter tray, increase to a tablespoon of the new food the next day, on a separate dish to the normal food.

    if the food is eaten and there is no adverse reaction then continue to increase the new food gradually and decrease the old food until she is eating just the new food.

    If she refuses to eat the new food at all after several days of offering her fresh samples as above, then give up and try another new food, same method as above.

    Is your cat on steroids ? Are they long acting steroids, or a course of oral steroids? Just to mention you will not get reliable results from an elimination diet while the steroids are still effective. This doesn't mean you have to wait to change her diet, you can do that straight away, but you will not know for sure if the new diet is helping her until the effects of the steroids have worn off. (with long acting steroids this could be a month or more from her last injection).

    Are you planning to put her on a novel protein diet as the first stage of the elimination diet?
     
    Daphne_de likes this.
  6. Hobbs2004!

    Hobbs2004! PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 24, 2015
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    15
    Hey @chillminx , I love your food list. That's really immensely helpful.

    There are a few more single protein foods I am aware off (including horse), such as from Ropocat (they do kangaroo too) and MjamMjam. Would you like me to pm you those so that you can update your original post?

    No worries if not :)
     
    #6 Hobbs2004!, Mar 17, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 17, 2019
    chillminx likes this.
  7. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    23,230
    Likes Received:
    19,542
    Hi @Hobbs2004! Nice to see you! :)

    Ropocat makes a kangaroo single protein recipe, a venison one, and a horse one, and yes, they should really be listed on this pinned thread as you say.

    Really the reason I haven't listed them is that since The Happy Kitty Co closed the only place folk from the UK can buy the novel protein Ropocat flavours is from Fuettern-mit-spass. While I am happy to buy from F-M-S (great store with excellent customer service) the fact is their minimum delivery charges are high in comparison e.g. with Zooplus (with its free delivery over a certain spend.)

    The prospect for a worried cat owner with an unwell cat, of buying a batch of unknown cat foods for their cat to try is a bit daunting, and high delivery costs may be off-putting. I don't want to discourage anyone from trying the elimination diet for their cat..

    But you're right, the Ropocat single novel proteins should be listed so people are aware there is this option. I will add to my original thread.

    Mjamjam is a good food. There is a Horse and Pumpkin single protein recipe available from Zoo-bio UK (where one can also buy the Catz Finefood Purrr range of single protein foods listed earlier in this thread):

    Mjamjam Horse and Pumpkin can also be bought from Fuettern-mit-spass, as can the Mjamjam kangaroo recipe:

    Thank your for your input, it is appreciated. :)

    p.s. if I missed anything else please let me know :)
     
    #7 chillminx, Mar 17, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
  8. Daphne_de

    Daphne_de PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2019
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thank you so much for you reply, It is really helpful.

    He's on prednicare and piriton at the moment. We are planning with the vet to lower the dose to half a tablet any other day and leave piriton long term. I bought some dry food with hydrolyzed protein. From what I read should act like a "novel" protein for the immune system and I'm planning to buy some wet food with horse or kangaroo and see if he likes them. He really loves dry food more than wet. I'm planning to use the hypoallergenic dry food and wet food (kangaroo and horse) for 8/10 weeks and then try with one protein at time. He's having GI problem also, so I'm hoping that despite the medications I would be able to see an improvement in his stools.

    I noticed the mjamjam wet food on Amazon.co.uk. They are also available on prime if this could help.
     
    #8 Daphne_de, Mar 19, 2019
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2019
  9. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    23,230
    Likes Received:
    19,542
    @Daphne_de - the problem using dry food for an elimination diet is there are so many ingredients in it that could make it unsuitable for the purpose..

    Hydrolized protein is usually a protein such as chicken, and chicken is not a novel protein, even in its hydrolized form.The immune system is not fooled by it no matter what the manufacturers like to say. I tried one of my cats on hydrolized protein food some years ago when I was trying to find out the cause of his dermatitis, and his skin reacted badly to it.

    You are much better feeding him just the horse or kangaroo wet food for the 8/10 weeks of Stage 1 and leaving all dry food out of his diet. Even for stage 2 when you will be introducing challenges I would leave the dry food until last and introduce it as a challenge on its own. That way you will be able to tell more accurately if the dry food is a problem for him.
     
  10. Daphne_de

    Daphne_de PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2019
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1
    This is the composition
    Hydrolyzate fish protein, rice starch, fish oil, calcium carbonate, fructoligosaccharides (0.6%), potassium chloride, calcium sulfate dihydrate, mono-dicalcium phosphate, sodium chloride, Marigold extract (source of lutein). Protein sources: hydrolyzate fish protein. Sources of carbohydrates: rice starch.

    I chose them just because is fish and I suspect he's allergic to chicken. Anyway I think you are right, I'll try and feed him just with novel protein, at least for 6/8 weeks.
     
  11. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    23,230
    Likes Received:
    19,542

    Mmm! hydrolized fish protein (fish is a common food allergen for cats), rice starch and fish oil (both common food allergens in sensitive cats). I definitely would avoid this food for him until you have completed the 8 to 10 week diet (it needs to be longer than usual because he is still having an effect from the steroids) using a novel protein. :)
     
    sandy-cat likes this.
  12. Daphne_de

    Daphne_de PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2019
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1
    Ok! Will do! Thank you so much for that!
     
    chillminx likes this.
  13. Daphne_de

    Daphne_de PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2019
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1
    Hello everyone!
    I've been feeding Matisse with novel protein for a week now, I used kangaroo, horse and sheep. I noticed yesterday dandfruff at the base of the tale.. He's black and white so I can noticed more where the fur is black. I have Salmon oil at home that I use for my senior cat to help him with his joints, would it be ok if I start using it for him too? I don't want to ruin his diet, but I want also help him with the dandruff. Could you advice me with something?
     
  14. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    23,230
    Likes Received:
    19,542

    You need to pick one novel protein only. Sheep is not a novel protein, so you should choose either kangaroo or horse. Feeding more than one novel protein at a time will prevent the diet working as it should.

    I would not give him salmon oil. An allergy to fish is not uncommon, and this includes an allergy to fish oil.

    The diet needs to be plain and simple - one novel protein and nothing else except water for the whole 8 to 10 weeks.

    Fur can become dandruffy sometimes in the moulting season (which is now). When the skin is dry (due to low humidity levels in the home if there is CH) brushing and combing the cat daily to remove loose fur is useful. It stimulates production of natural oils and can improve coat condition.
     
    sandy-cat likes this.
  15. Daphne_de

    Daphne_de PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2019
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1
    I'm really sorry I thought I could rotate between the proteins, my mistake. I bought kangaroo, horse and one can of sheep wet food but I actually been feeding him just horse and he really likes it. About the dandruff I'll try and brush him more, I tried in the past but he gets really annoyed. Thank you so much for your advice.
     
  16. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    23,230
    Likes Received:
    19,542
    I am glad he likes the horse recipe. :) Hopefully he should be willing to tolerate it as his only food for the 8 to 10 weeks for the first part of the diet.

    Is he off steroids now? Were they long-acting steroid injections? If so it will take a while for them to leave his system.

    He might react better to a a comb than a brush - one of my cats does. I use a fine toothed comb with rounded ends, because it is non-scratching for the skin.

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/Kent-Brush...&s=gateway&sprefix=kent+combs+,aps,129&sr=8-7

    Treats are useful for distraction when grooming a reluctant cat, but giving treats is not possible while he is on the elimination diet. Not sure what to suggest other than perhaps giving him a very short comb while he is relaxed. Start off with just one comb through and then gradually increase the number of times you pass the comb through. Always stop as soon as he gets annoyed.
     
  17. Daphne_de

    Daphne_de PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Mar 16, 2019
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    1
    Thank you so much for your reply.

    He is on prednicare tablet. We're reducing gradually the dose and now he's taking half a tablet every other day. I'm going away for 5 days and I'm giving him a dexafort injection today for the week as my friend is not able to give him tablet while I'm away. I asked the vet to try and reduce the medication, so that I can see any reaction that he might have. I noticed that he's been scratching his head sometimes and I'm wondering why. His stools are good so I don't think is the food, but I would't know for sure.

    The brush that I use is the FURminator Short Hair for Small Cats (sorry I couldn't post the link from amazon)
    I brushed him yesterday and today and he does't seem too bothered now. I tried and distract him with a toy and today he was relaxed so was the perfect moment. I was wondering, could it be helpful start to use Aniforte Omega 3 extract or should I wait till I complete the elimination diet?
     
  18. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    23,230
    Likes Received:
    19,542
    Aniforte Omega 3 extract is made from fish (which is a protein), so if you give it to him while he is on the novel protein elimination diet it might affect the results.

    However, as he is still on steroids you won't be getting a reliable result from the elimination diet anyway. So for that reason you might as well give him the Aniforte Omega 3 for a couple of weeks. But when he is off the steroids completely then you would have to stop giving him the Aniforte so that nothing interferes with the results of the elimination diet.

    But an alternative to consider would be:

    1/ Put the elimination diet on hold for the time being.

    2/ Feed him the horse protein diet, plus either krill oil or Aniforte Omega 3.

    3/ Gradually reduce the steroids and then stop them.

    4/ Once he is off steroids, start the elimination diet again, but this time you'd have to use a new novel protein e.g. kangaroo and feed him just that and water for 8 weeks. (Horse would no longer be a novel protein)


    Dandruffy skin in cats can be due to dry skin. If he is scratching his head it might be itchy due to dry skin. Omega 3 is a good way to treat dry skin.

    Running a humidifier in the home will increase the humidity levels. Or dry wet laundry on radiators. Opening the windows every day can help if the weather is damp.

    Furminator brushes take out a lot of fur. I wouldn't use it unless he has a very thick coat and sheds a lot. I would use a Slicker brush on a short haired cat. My shorthaired cats dislike brushes because all brushes scratch to some degree. That's why I use a comb only for my shorthaired cats. The comb is effective.

    This is the slicker brush (I gave you the link for the comb in a previous reply)

    https://www.amazon.co.uk/KW-SMART-S...rt+hair+brush&qid=1554119122&s=gateway&sr=8-5
     
  19. Harvandme

    Harvandme PetForums Newbie

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2018
    Messages:
    4
    Likes Received:
    8
    Hi, this is a bit of an update on my lovely three legged house cat Harvey,adopted last Nov from rspca. He gets flead reg as clockwork on the first of the mont and I’ve changed my wash powder.. He visited the vet in jan 2019 due to a sore on his back where he’d knawed himself raw. After discussing things with the vet it was thought he might have an allergy to something within the environment or possible a flea allergy. He was given a depo medrone steroid injection and some antibiotics and the sore on his back healed up nicely . Meanwhile I changed his wet and dry food to something that stated it was hypoallergenic and free from the nasties that might cause allergies like wheat,dairy.soy etc. The injection I was told would lastaround 5 weeks and everything seemed fine. Unfortunately at the end of this period another sore developed on the site of his amputated leg, on the end of his stump. Harvey went back to the vet who said it may be down to an allergy as before or that it could be that Harvey was suffering from neuralgia pain on the amputation site.He had another steroid injection as before and again things healed up nicely. Now 6 wks later Harvey has scabs on his head , around his neck and under his chin and possibly there’s a sore there too.Previously the vet had suggested putting Harvey on a medication called Atopica if we found ourselves in the same situation again. Off to the vet goes Harvey only this time he sees someone different to my reg vet who’s away. I was told Harvey has flea allergy and we should just see how it goes as it can take up to 4 months for everything to clear,cat home etc from fleas or there larvae . She also said she expected to see Harvey in a worse state than he was as his notes said he was / had been pretty bad. To cut a long story short I came away with prednisolone tabs as I insisted on having something as I didn’t want to be returning to the vet in couple of days time with Harvey having taken a turn for the worse. The dosage would decrease gradually over the month to see what the lowest dose would be that Harvey could take to stop itching re accuring and also by the end of this time I could make the decision as to weather or not to try elimination diet or not, something I had brought up with vet ,not her with me. When we got home I found a nasty raw patch on Harvey’s belly so am so glad I had something off the vet to ease his symptoms and raw spots whitch are healing and drying up now that a few days have past. After reading info on pet forum reg elimination diet I think it’s something I have to try for Harvey as the alternatives are to keep giving him steroids or trying atopica. Being concerned over medication and it’s side effects, that’s not something I wish to do unless absolutly necessary and I’ve explored alternatives. Any advise appreciated as I know it’s gonna be hard . It would be also be nice to here from anyone whose actually completed an elimination trial with thei moggie and could let me know what it was like and what the end results were ,good or bad . Again ,many thanks .
     
    TriTri likes this.
  20. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

    Joined:
    Nov 22, 2010
    Messages:
    23,230
    Likes Received:
    19,542
    Hello @Harvandme - thank you for the update. I am sorry to hear poor Harvey is still having skin problems and possible allergies.

    Yes, I have successfully completed eliminations diets for 3 of my cats in recent years. One cat had chronic feline dermatitis, (now fully controlled with diet). The other 2 have IBD. Several of my friends have also completed the elimination diets for their cats successfully, as have some forum members.

    Itching and scratching around the head and neck can often be a sign of food allergies if other diagnoses have been ruled out by the vet.

    I am interested in your vet's comment that it could be a flea allergy. Have you always treated Harvey protectively against fleas once a month, with a reliable treatment? Have you ever seen a sign of fleas on him when you comb him? I understand H is an indoor cat, but do you have other pets who go out (e.g. a dog?) who could have brought fleas into the house?

    Atopica is a 'heavy duty' medicine with potential side effects that can be unpleasant for the cat. It can be very successful in some cases (I have known of some). But it should be prescribed as a last resort, when all other possibilities have been ruled out first. This includes conducting an elimination diet.

    In case I didn't already give you this link to Icat Care's article on feline itching I will include it here :

    https://icatcare.org/advice/cat-health/pruritic-itchy-cat-–-when-it-not-fleas

    Please let me know if you have any other questions I can help with. :)
     
  1. This site uses cookies to help personalise content, tailor your experience and to keep you logged in if you register.
    By continuing to use this site, you are consenting to our use of cookies.
    Dismiss Notice