Can a cat develop food allergy after years on the same food?

ziggy'smom

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The vet tech at my vet said that it's unlikely that a cat I'm baby sitting has a food allergy because, according to her, cats don't develop a allergies over time like dogs and humans can. If the cat would be allergic to something in her food, she said, she would have reacted when she first started eating the food. The vet tech's explanation for the cat's scabs all over her body and sensitivity to touch is that she has fleas even though they couldn't find any fleas or flea dirt on her. I have checked this cat and her siblings for fleas several times, thoroughly, and have not found as much as one little flea dropping. The first thing I did when the cats came here was to go through them looking for flea droppings. They don't have fleas! I'm going to treat them anyway just so I can say that I have to put the issue to rest and get an answer why this cat is scratching and licking herself raw.

I wonder if the vet tech is correct that cats don't develop allergies over time. Knowing the basics of how allergies work it doesn't make any sense that a cat can't develop allergies when dogs and humans can. Does anyone know if cats can develop allergies, or other intolerance, to their food after having eaten the same food for years?

Can anyone think of another reason why the cat, Ooguly, has scabs all over, licks her stomach raw, is sensitive to touch and is somewhat lethargic? She had blood work done that all came back normal.

Any ideas and insight would be greatly appreciated. I'm sick of seeing this poor cat feeling so bad. (I just started her on Taste of the Wild to see if that helps.)
 

aeevr

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I can't tell u if the cat is allergic to its food. Could be an allergy to any number of things (food, detergent, household cleanser, soap, shampoo, yard chemicals, ??). Could also be behavioral - some cats do this in reaction to stress.

I think the tech's theory is BS, btw - I'm pretty sure a cat can suddenly have an allergic to something that it was previously fine with just like a human.
 

aeevr

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I don't think you should give the cat the flea treatment since it could quite possibly aggravate its skin problem. 
 

sugarcatmom

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I wonder if the vet tech is correct that cats don't develop allergies over time.
She's not. Cats absolutely can develop allergies after repeat exposure to the same thing. In fact, that's how most food allergies in cats manifest, and also one reason why I'm a fan of rotating through several different brands and flavours rather than feeding one thing all the time.

What was Ooguly eating before the TOTW?
 
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ziggy'smom

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She's not. Cats absolutely can develop allergies after repeat exposure to the same thing. In fact, that's how most food allergies in cats manifest, and also one reason why I'm a fan of rotating through several different brands and flavours rather than feeding one thing all the time.

What was Ooguly eating before the TOTW?
She was eating Purina Cat Chow, which, I'm sure, is full of stuff that can cause problems.

I called the vet back today to try to get an answer on what I should do now and she suggested I bring Ooguly in for a steroid shot. It turns out that although her blood work was all normal one thing, that I can't remember the name of, was a bit raised and that can indicate that she has allergies or possibly external parasites so I'm thinking that it has to be an allergy. According to the vet just one steroid shot can put the cat into remission so I'm hoping that that's what will happen. Please keep your fingers crossed that Ooguly will finally feel better soon. She's so unhappy.
 

carolina

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Alright, my experience - IMHO vet techs are not vets :lol3: and yep, she is wrong - way wrong.
Cats can develop allergies just like that - one day they don't have it, next day they do. I am going on with Bugsy right now..... Although his is seasonal allergies - started right after the season turned, and he eats a very pure raw diet.
Now - two things: My vet explained to me this just last week: With allergies, both airborne/dust/pollen and food, the wounds/scabs tend to be around the face, neck and ears - not all over the body.

Now, other types of allergies, contact allergies, such as insect bites, soaps, cleaners, or things like stress, thyroid issues, flea bites, etc., will give out wounds all over the place..... so I would pay attention to that.....

Another thing to consider: You are pet-sitting..... I would be VERY careful with steroid shots if this is someone else's pet. It can have nasty side effects, and you don't want to have that responsibility..... They are long-acting, and once you inject them, you can not take it off. IMHO, you are way better off with pills.
Just my 2-cents for what is worth..... My Bugsy is a cat who has nasty, nasty side effects with it, and it is not unheard of. He was a zombi for almost a month - and gained I don't know how many pounds. I would be major pissed if my pet-sitter gave him a depo shot on my absence.
With that in mind...... Bugsy is on a low dose of prednisolone for the duration of the season (he is 18lbs, and he is on 5mg every other day), and it is helping him a whole lot.
Pred has the same benefits, works amazingly well for allergies, is well tolerated, but the advantage is, if there are side effects, you can stop. A shot.... well, too late.

Just things to consider...... You are coming from a great place.... you care :heart3: :vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes: For the baby :vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes::vibes:
 
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kegantess

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I know you posted this over a year ago but I hope your cat is doing better.  Its really frustrating cause I know my cat has developed an allergy after 2 yrs being on a food but of course the vets dont believe it.  Well after several months of diarrhea and thousands of dollars on ultrasound, blood work etc ( which I dont mind if I got good advise)  I am changing her food and you know this morning was the first normal poopie I have seen in a while.  It hit me I went on vacation beginning of May and I have a babysitter stay at the house but she works all day so my Koala (kitty 11 yrs old tomm)  only get her soft food 2 times a day rest of time eats kibble.  So she had normal poops while mommie was gone.  I come back start giving her fancy feast through the day (very spoiled) and diarrhea back.  So If I  had not have left I never would of figured this out.  Meanwhile she has been on numerous medications poor baby.  
 
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