I could use some input from people who have lots of experience with cats' allergies

danteshuman

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I lost my last cat to severe allergy induced asthma & pancreatitis. (Dante, the greatest bud.) So I’m extra nervous about those two things with my “new” cat (Jackie male, 2 years old.) Jackie is half siamese & apparently Siamese cats are more prone to allergies. In the grief forum they recommended I get the vet to test Jackie, to see if he is likely to develop allergies.

Are they talking about the RAST blood test or the traditional allergy test done by a dermatologist with the cat under anesthesia? Would it work? I would save up and pay it for piece of mind with Jackie. Meanwhile I’m trying to not overdo the chicken and I was in a food war trying to get him to eat non-tuna wet food. I was told to look at the fat content, so I will do that, and try to steer him to lower fat foods. I’m also going to start him on water additives for his teeth.

He is showing no signs of having allergies, I just worry. I’m working on being less neurotic about his health, it is difficult. Like I said though, if there is a test to see if he is prone to allergies or what he might develop an allergy to, then I could avoid those things in his dirt/life.
 

di and bob

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I would research the signs/symptoms of allergies in cats. You could have a test done now, but just like the flu antibody test, allergies could develop further down the road making it a moot point. Unless Jackie is displaying any symptoms, I would wait on the test. Careful monitoring to catch symptoms early is always a good thing, my little girl develops scabby sores on her back and abdomen when she eats something she is allergic to, mostly fish products. She will vomit occasionally too. I then eliminate that food. My other cats can have the occasional milk product too, a piece of cheese, a little ice cream, she throws up immediately. Severe scratching, excessive grooming, any small open wounds, vomiting, and sneezing are all signs of an allergy. Instead of spending a lot of money on tests for something Jackie has not displayed symptoms of, spend it on a good quality food. In my experiences, Cats with the Siamese breed in them are tough. The chances of Jackie developing severe allergies are very low if he has not shown any symptoms. If there is a test out there that shows potential for allergies, and you would gain a lot of peace of mind, go for it, but keep monitoring for developing problems.
 

mrw5641

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For my cat, my regular vet did the blood allergy test, and I never did anything with it. Back in September he scratched himself hard where fur came off and he had to wear a cone, so I brought him to a vet derm and it was said he has mild atopic, since it was nothing serious, he didn't think it was necessary to do test where they put the cat under sedation.

Since he did to the blood test back with my regular vet, and he did scratch a cut, I am going to start him on the allergy drops after my appointment this week.

I would have never brought my cat to the dermatologist unless he had some sort of issues. It can be quite expensive.

Allergy signs for my cat are he was chewing his fur on his paw, scratching where fur would come out.
 

sivyaleah

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We're dealing with this situation right now with our Maine Coon. I have an appointment with a dermatologist specialist in January (couldn't get one earlier).

Our vet, who is excellent and always honest with us, said the blood test isn't really a way to tell for sure what the cat may be allergic to and similar to humans, the patch test is the correct way to find out exactly what the issue is.

Having said that, the patch test will not, most likely, give you foods the cat may have an allergy to. If a vet suspects that it's food related a novel diet is the first step to access this. We had to do this with our old man cat some years ago and it turned out he was allergic to chicken and turkey. We fed him only alligator for 2 months and added back less suspect proteins one at a time until we got to the poultry and he started to vomit right away. So bingo.

With Luna it's more difficult since she's much younger and has been getting recurrent yeast infections in her ears for months now along with fairly chronic scratching at her ears and neck. I even noticed just this past week her mane is nearly gone. Thankfully she hasn't clawed enough to pull hair off her head - yet. Since she's only 1-1/2 and we know her entire health history since kittenhood - the vet is leaning towards other types of allergies than food hence going to the specialist first instead of diving into a novel diet. Plus, she's always been a sort of poor/picky eater and I finally found a rotation of foods she's enthusiastic over so if I don't have to change that, it's preferable. We'll cross that bridge if it turns out it's a food allergy.

I don't yet know what the dermatogist will be doing at the exam but she mentioned we'd be there for 1-1/2 hours so it does sound like she'll do the patch test if needed. Not thrilled about having to sit in the car for that timeframe in the winter, but so be it!
 
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danteshuman

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Yeah I was considering the blood test, not the dermatologist test. I hate putting my kitties under!

Thank you for the info! I did the novel protein food elimination with Dante and wow was it a pain! Of course the poor guy’s lip swelled up at the slightest hint of all poultry. I misread Dante’s first signs (throwing up & loosing some of his belly fur.) I thought he had a sensitive stomach and was getting fatter so more pink on his belly showed..... he was around 7 years old & had started to get some extra fluff. So by the time I found out he had allergies, he had been throwing up for years. 😢

Here is a happy picture of Dante & one of his pink jiggly belly showing through.
886E5812-E365-498C-A58E-FA60803EF354.jpeg
C9CA2CAA-9C0F-463C-A844-F8EA8E000900.jpeg
& you can see his swollen lip if you look at it.... I just hate remembering him being sick.


Jackie gets fancy feast wet (3 meals 1/2 a can each) & eats 1/2-13 cup of blue buffalo wellness duck..... he eats more dry when I feed him a wet food he doesn’t like. I feed him duck to try to avoid chicken & fish. (He doesn’t eat all his wet food, I’m in the process of weaning him down to one can a day with unlimited dry.) He is a picky, picky that is addicted to fancy feast tuna. 🤦🏻‍♀️ In order to get him on mostly wet, I had to feed him tuna & fancy feast. Now I know fat levels not fish is part of the cause of pancreatitis I’m going to look at the fat levels of his food & slowly make changes.

I spent over a year trying to get that twerp to eat healthier &/or non tuna wet food that I finally decided to give up. So I’m working on transitioning him to 1/2 dry & 1/2 wet. I have considered the “high” protein dry food but it was 40% protein. His current dry food is 36%.

Dante is the only cat I have ever known that had allergies. Though I believe a healthy wet food diet is ideal, I have known quite a few cats that lived very long off of mainly dry food, like science diet. (They lived 18, 20, & 21 years.)
 

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sivyaleah

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Yeah I was considering the blood test, not the dermatologist test. I hate putting my kitties under!

Thank you for the info! I did the novel protein food elimination with Dante and wow was it a pain! Of course the poor guy’s lip swelled up at the slightest hint of all poultry. I misread Dante’s first signs (throwing up & loosing some of his belly fur.) I thought he had a sensitive stomach and was getting fatter so more pink on his belly showed..... he was around 7 years old & had started to get some extra fluff. So by the time I found out he had allergies, he had been throwing up for years. 😢

Here is a happy picture of Dante & one of his pink jiggly belly showing through.
View attachment 360664
View attachment 360663
& you can see his swollen lip if you look at it.... I just hate remembering him being sick.


Jackie gets fancy feast wet (3 meals 1/2 a can each) & eats 1/2-13 cup of blue buffalo wellness duck..... he eats more dry when I feed him a wet food he doesn’t like. I feed him duck to try to avoid chicken & fish. (He doesn’t eat all his wet food, I’m in the process of weaning him down to one can a day with unlimited dry.) He is a picky, picky that is addicted to fancy feast tuna. 🤦🏻‍♀️ In order to get him on mostly wet, I had to feed him tuna & fancy feast. Now I know fat levels not fish is part of the cause of pancreatitis I’m going to look at the fat levels of his food & slowly make changes.

I spent over a year trying to get that twerp to eat healthier &/or non tuna wet food that I finally decided to give up. So I’m working on transitioning him to 1/2 dry & 1/2 wet. I have considered the “high” protein dry food but it was 40% protein. His current dry food is 36%.

Dante is the only cat I have ever known that had allergies. Though I believe a healthy wet food diet is ideal, I have known quite a few cats that lived very long off of mainly dry food, like science diet. (They lived 18, 20, & 21 years.)
danteshuman danteshuman We got our boy when he was already quite an adult (8-1/2) and he'd been eating really low quality food that whole time. We started him on better food but he started throwing up, like yours, like, ALL the time but nothing was really wrong with him. Vet finally decided to have us do the food trial and once he stopped eating everything the vomiting totally disappeared. It was so wonderful to wake up in the morning not having to worry about where the pile of barf was that we'd have to side step (or, step in which happened all too frequently). As mentioned his was most poultry, however, quail and duck are known to be low allergen and he never had a reaction to either of those.

He lived to be nearly 18 and in those last years never threw up from food again. We did have issues with bile coming up because he developed kidney disease later on but the bile spit up was SO much easier to deal with.

To this day, however, we don't use any rugs over our wood floors. Too many times having to clean them. Both of our current cats don't have any issues with throwing up (not even the one we're taking to the dermatologist) other than a very rare fur ball.
 
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danteshuman

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Jackie has only almost through up every time it is shedding season. I give him some hairball medicine & he is fine within a day.

Dante used to throw up 3-4 times a week. I switched him to sensitive stomach and it went down to once a week or week and a half. I switched him to chicken poultry free everything (taste of the wild, the trout & salmon one) and he stopped barfing completely. I guess maybe I should have had the vet take a closer look at him when he was slowing down at 13, but then he was a senior. I figured he had finally calmed down. (He was crazy hyper until he was 7.5 years old!) He died way to soon at 13.5 years old ....... which is why I’m so nervous about the new guy’s health. If it had just been the pancreatitis I would have pushed for more time. He was eating again & seemed at least ok with pain meds and antinausea meds. However his asthma was so bad, that even sedated to put him to sleep a week later, he was still panting. (With his diet being strictly monitored.)

Jackie just turned two and was a foster fail. After he was returned (after a couple of weeks! 😡) I adopted him because I knew he was hyper (& easily stressed & clingy .... all leading to him likely being returned.) I like to think of it as his Uncle Dante passing the torch. So I know what he has been fed. Though I wouldn’t call fancy feast melodies healthy! 🤦🏻‍♀️
 

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mrw5641

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With regards to the sivyaleah sivyaleah comment on the blood test, it is considered accurate , however the patch test is considered the GOLD Standard for allergies, both of which I don't believe tell you about food allergies as there really is no way to tell (there is a test but not accurate). I trust my vet with all my heart and believe him when he says the blood allergy test is good.

Since my cat didn't have severe allergies the vet dermatologist wouldn't do the patch test and waste our money.
 

sivyaleah

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With regards to the sivyaleah sivyaleah comment on the blood test, it is considered accurate , however the patch test is considered the GOLD Standard for allergies, both of which I don't believe tell you about food allergies as there really is no way to tell (there is a test but not accurate). I trust my vet with all my heart and believe him when he says the blood allergy test is good.

Since my cat didn't have severe allergies the vet dermatologist wouldn't do the patch test and waste our money.
I believe I said the patch test was the more reliable of the two. The blood test (RAST) is more prone to false positives and you need to wait longer for results whereas the patch is immediate.

I assume it depends on the severity of the suspected allergy, how long it's been present and or reoccuring. And pricing is substantially different also. I can see the use of the RAST, but for us personally being as our cat keeps getting the same yeast infections over and over, our vet feels there's no point in doing the blood test since it may not point to a definitive conclusion and we'd have to do the patch anyway. Since money isn't an issue for us we opted to go straight to the more reliable method.

If nothing shows up then it's clearly a food allergy and a novel diet will ensue.
 
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