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My cat called Bunny has skin irritation, allergies?

Discussion in 'Cat Health and Nutrition' started by RainbowRachael80, Sep 19, 2018.

  1. RainbowRachael80

    RainbowRachael80 PetForums Newbie

    Sep 30, 2017
    Likes Received:
    Hi everyone,

    My 8 year old female is my little cutie. I have gone down a very confusing road with her last summer she started over grooming, shaking her head, after an annoying amount of expensive vet visits they confirmed fleas and ear mites, the first appointment should of been enough. As she was on preventative treatment l was surprised, so prinovox was prescribed as she had built up an ammunity to advocate, the new stuff had extra ear mite stuff in it too, win win, problem solved, not!. It turns out it was the same ingrediance as advocate, scream! So l took her elsewhere and got stronghold which is prescribed flea treatment and ear mite stuff.

    Even after the ear mites had cleared up she still shook her head and had an inner ear swelling not infection, after 3 more visits the last vet said no more steroids there's no swelling anymore, but she continued to shack her head but didn't scratch the ear so it was scratched/bleeding inside and it hasn't since, just shakes her head a lot, and scratches at them a lot, even more in the last month, but no scratch marks or scabs inside the ear like last time etc...

    I noticed again recently (same time of year) the biteING at her cost, over grooming, but did flea checks and found no flea debris or flea blood on paper towel, scabs etc...took her to the vet no fleas at all, got more monthly topical treatment for both parasites, she's treated for worms too. But I feel she's irritated there's no scabs or sores, her coat is shiny and glossy, and I know the last vet just said keep her on the hypoallergenic diet and felt no need for steroids, but I just don't like it. Then I wonder am over thinking it! Am I going crazy, lol, but I know my cat, l know her habits but I can't seem to find a long term solution.

    I've ordered an cat allergy shampoo, as it was deemed a "general allergy" possibly, great, this is off my own back, im worried about using it, I just read bathing their coats can sooth and get rid of the irratants, pollen, the stuff on the coat causing the allergy bascially. The food works slightly but I have recently been giving her extra wet food, as the hypoallergenic food was making her hungry so maybe I'll have to cut this out there is nature's wet food l can try, the dry food is James wellbeing, but I got over confident and was feeding her normal gravy cat food, my bad.
  2. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

    Nov 22, 2010
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    @RainbowRachael80 - what is the hypoallergenic diet your cat is on?

    If you suspect your cat has a food allergy it is best to put her on an elimination diet as this is the only reliable and scientific method of identifying any food allergies.

    An elimination diet involves feeding her a meat protein she has never eaten in her life before, for 8 weeks, strictly nothing else except water. This is referred to as a "novel protein diet". Such novel proteins are : kangaroo, goat, horse, reindeer. All of which can be bought as canned food online.

    An itchy face, itchy head or itchy ears can be a sign of a food allergy in a cat, assuming other possibilities such as ear mites have been ruled out. One of my cats had a flea allergy (before I adopted him) and although I have always treated him prophylactically every month against fleas, he developed a food allergy and feline dermatitis. . It was triggered by his immune system being over active from the flea allergy. Luckily it is now controlled by a diet that excludes his allergens, (which I identified through the elimination diet). He does not have steroids.

    Once you have had your cat on 8 weeks of 'novel protein', you then start reintroducing meat proteins, one at a time every 3 weeks and keeping a daily log of symptoms. Meats must be single protein foods only, to give accurate results. Again these can be bought online.

    I can give you the links to where to buy the foods if you intend to go ahead with the elim diet. ;)
    sandy-cat and BethanyKate like this.
  3. RainbowRachael80

    RainbowRachael80 PetForums Newbie

    Sep 30, 2017
    Likes Received:
    Hi Chilliminx,

    Thankyou for your response,

    Yes ear mites and fleas have been ruled out, I took her to the vets, she's on preventative topical treatment for ear mites, fleas and worms, always has been, but in the UK we have been having issues with cats becoming ammune, so I got her checked out again 2 weeks ago . I still needed to double check.

    I'm not sure it's food as I've researched this is only 6-10% of allergens on cats.

    Yes I would like the links though still, that would be most helpful.

    She was on a pure protein diet called taste of the wild, it wasn't an isolated protein though it was the usual suspects ; chicken or turkey. She was starving, kept getting into the bins. I had never seen her react to a diet like that, she was checked at the vets and it was presummed to be the food. I'm weary of trying new diets as she lost so much weight on protein only and was very unhappy (it was not worms or anything more sinister as I've said she's on preventative treatment and I had her checked by a vet). l put her back on a diet with a small amount of grain in it, still hypoallergenic, and she stopped that behaviour, so maybe she's a carb addict, lol. But I'll give anything a go, i'm on a budget so if it's extremely expensive then I won't be able to.

    I want the scratching to go, the baths have helped, the vet visits have not. They do not think it's 'bad enough' for continuous steroids.

    Anyway cheers again, Rachael
  4. chillminx

    chillminx PetForums VIP

    Nov 22, 2010
    Likes Received:
    Hi Rachael, you don't want Bunny on continuous steroids if it can be avoided because of the risk of her developing Diabetes type 2.

    There is plenty of anecdotal evidence of a link between itching face, ears or head, and food allergies. My boy had terrible itchy ears before I sorted out his diet.

    A "pure protein" diet is not the way to go for identifying food allergens.. A cat needs a balanced diet of meat protein, fat, fibre, vitamins and minerals in their diet.

    Taste of the Wild is not a special dietary food. It contains several common meat proteins, (chicken, turkey, salmon, as you said), and fats, carbs, and vitamins and minerals. It contains within the normal range of crude protein at 8% but is low in crude fat at only 3%.

    If Bunny was hungry on Taste of Wild and lost weight then I suggest it was probably due to the portion size she was fed, and due to the low fat content. Cats need fat for energy, and 3% fat is not enough fat in the diet for an active 8 yr old cat. She would feel hungry probably.

    As I mentioned T of the Wild does contain carbs :- potato starch, pea flour and sweet potatoes. But cats do not need carbs in their diets anyway.

    On a novel protein "elimination diet" your cat must eat a meat protein she has never eaten before in her life. This would be either kangaroo, reindeer, goat, or horse.

    Cans of kangaroo can be bought from Zooplus. It is a balanced food with one meat protein (kangaroo).


    Reindeer, horse, goat and kangaroo can be bought from Vet Concept in Germany:


    Whichever novel protein you choose, you feed it for 8 weeks. Just that and water, nothing else.

    If she is less itchy after 8 weeks, you can re-introduce the usual proteins, one at a time every 3 weeks. Keep a log of symptoms.

    I would reintroduce the proteins in this order:


    NOTE: Chicken, fish and beef are the most common feline food allergens which is why I advise leaving them to last to re-introduce.

    All the proteins reintroduced must be single proteins in order to get an accurate result.

    These are the makes of single proteins:

    Turkey : Animonda Vom Feinsten for neutered cats - from Zooplus


    Lamb : Catz Fine Food Purrrr range : Zoo-bio UK


    Pork: Catz Fine Food Purrrr range from Zoo-bio UK


    Rabbit : from Vet Concept (as above)

    Chicken : Granatapet from Zooplus


    Veal : Granatapet from Zooplus


    Fish (salmon) : Catz Fine Food Purrrr from Zoop-bio UK


    Also, ensure you have removed any potential environmental allergens in the home e.g. use only non-bio laundry liquid for laundering your bedding and Bunny's bedding. Do not use fabric softener.

    No plug-in scent diffusers, no scented candles, no cut flowers, no house plants, no cleaning chemicals (make your own cleaning fluid from white vinegar and water), use bleach only in the lavatory and keep lid closed.

    This article from Icat Care is worth a read, if you have not yet seen it :

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