I think my food is causing itchy cat

Lotusflwr79

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Looking for insight... my 1 yr old long haired kitty named Romeo has gone through phases of itching then stopped and recently back at it. I gave both he and my other one yr old cat 3 consecutive doses of Revolution starting in June at the vet recommendation even though both are indoor cats. I feel like Romeo started itching after that. (We’ve also never had fleas— EVER.). I’ve stopped the Revolution bc I though it was the culprit. I also changed dry food to a limited ingredient grain free kibble, (and they only get one scoop per day to share) but give them fancy feast morning and night with a scoop of powdered lysine also per vet recommendation. This past week, Romeo has been itching more and now pulling fur off his body in clumps!!! 😩 I’m so frustrated by this!! I can’t make him stop. I’ve ordered calmkeen, tried CBD oil and I’m dabbling in trying to feed them homemade bc... could his itching be caused by fancy feast??? It’s the only thing left I can think of that could cause this. He’s itching around his face, overgrooming and pulling fur from legs and belly. He also had a traumatic vet visit in the spring and I just can’t handle bringing him in for them to tell me he’s stressed and give me a medication. I don’t want a band aid— I want to figure out what is going on. I just ordered a bag of EZComplete after I saw people talking about it on this site. Nothing in our routine has really changed as the vet asked me could be his issue for possible anxiety. Has anyone experienced this from fancy feast? They wouldn’t eat the expensive wet food I used to feed them and they devour the fancy feast. Any feedback would be greatly appreciated!!
 

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Lots of things in food can cause reactions in cats. One TCS member has a cat who is super sensitive to multiple things in food, even minor ingredients like veggies and herbs and certain oils. If you think Fancy Feast might be the cause, stop feeding it for a couple of weeks to see if the itching goes away. Any diet change needs to be done for at least 13 weeks or so for any effect to be seen. If you decide to do home cooked with the EZComplete, I suggest not using chicken as that is often a culprit for food sensitivities with symptoms such as itching.
 

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Hi. Indoor cats can and do get fleas, so I wouldn't rule that out entirely even if your other cat is not scratching. Romeo could actually be allergic to flea bites and your other cat is not. So, a good flea combing to check for fleas and flea dirt wouldn't hurt just to rule that out. A cup of water with a good amount of dish soap, a flea comb, and some paper towels is all you need. Long stroke from head to tail, dip the comb in the soapy water to see if any fleas fall off (soap drowns the fleas), wipe the comb of with the paper towel and look for red-tinged water to come off on the towel (sign of blood from the flea bites), repeat the process, and then also do Romeo's legs and tail.

As far as a food allergy, it could also be the LID grain free dry food you are feeding, instead of the Fancy Feast. So, keep that in mind, and take a good look at the ingredients in it for oils or the non-protein items, which could be the culprit - as one of the possibilities mentioned above. I don't know about other types of Fancy Feast besides the pates, as that is all I have ever used, but when discussed on this site I have yet to come across any member who said their cat had an allergy to them.

Since Romeo has had previous phases of itchiness, it might be a good idea to look back to see if they coincided with any particular changes - be that food, cleaning products, litter, etc. - even seasonal changes can cause allergies.
 

gilmargl

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Unfortunately, the symptoms of food allergies do not disappear as soon as you stop feeding the substance which causes the allergy. It can be 6 weeks before things improve, making it exceedingly difficult to find the culprit. In the case of one of my foster cats, the problem solved itself - but not before trying horse, kangaroo and goodness knows what meat in her cat food - as mother to 4 kittens she was probably simply stressed.

I hope it goes away again - just like that!
 

PushPurrCatPaws

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He’s itching around his face, overgrooming and pulling fur from legs and belly. He also had a traumatic vet visit in the spring and I just can’t handle bringing him in for them to tell me he’s stressed and give me a medication. I don’t want a band aid— I want to figure out what is going on.
Poor Romeo!

Have you considered getting a referral from your vet for a feline dermatologist? There are a variety of external parasites, not just fleas, that could be the culprit(s). Even your regular vet could do some testing to try to find out more of what could be going on. Perhaps then the vet, or a specialist, could recommend another type of flea or mite product that could help.
 
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Lotusflwr79

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Hi. Indoor cats can and do get fleas, so I wouldn't rule that out entirely even if your other cat is not scratching. Romeo could actually be allergic to flea bites and your other cat is not. So, a good flea combing to check for fleas and flea dirt wouldn't hurt just to rule that out. A cup of water with a good amount of dish soap, a flea comb, and some paper towels is all you need. Long stroke from head to tail, dip the comb in the soapy water to see if any fleas fall off (soap drowns the fleas), wipe the comb of with the paper towel and look for red-tinged water to come off on the towel (sign of blood from the flea bites), repeat the process, and then also do Romeo's legs and tail.

As far as a food allergy, it could also be the LID grain free dry food you are feeding, instead of the Fancy Feast. So, keep that in mind, and take a good look at the ingredients in it for oils or the non-protein items, which could be the culprit - as one of the possibilities mentioned above. I don't know about other types of Fancy Feast besides the pates, as that is all I have ever used, but when discussed on this site I have yet to come across any member who said their cat had an allergy to them.

Since Romeo has had previous phases of itchiness, it might be a good idea to look back to see if they coincided with any particular changes - be that food, cleaning products, litter, etc. - even seasonal changes can cause allergies.
Im hesitant to think it’s fleas bc he was on Revolution and we just stopped in recently. I actually thought the Revolution was the cause of his issues. We are going to forward pics of his legs to our vet and see what they say. He will need to be given a Xanax or something bc he cannot handle the ride to the vet or a visit with me not present.(our vet has a hand off bc of Covid). I did use pine litter one week after reading that it was all natural and no chemicals... the pulling out of fur started a little less than 1 week ago— about two weeks after the pine litter. We have since gone back to the old litter which is fragrance and dust free. Also, there are no bites on his belly, just the fur is off near his groin area.
 

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Also, there are no bites on his belly, just the fur is off near his groin area.
If his groin area is his main area of 'focus', perhaps this could be urinary related? And, while I doubt it is likely, you might ask the vet if getting too much lysine could play a role in his itchiness. Lysine is typically used to help reduce herpes flare ups, by reducing the level of arginine a cat's body processes. Arginine is used to detoxify ammonia in the urine, so maybe that could have something to do with him focusing on his groin area? I have no idea how common it is, but some cats can have allergic reactions to lysine. Just something else to discuss with the vet, especially if the lysine is a relatively new supplement, or the dosage/formulation has been recently increased.
 
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Lotusflwr79

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If his groin area is his main area of 'focus', perhaps this could be urinary related? And, while I doubt it is likely, you might ask the vet if getting too much lysine could play a role in his itchiness. Lysine is typically used to help reduce herpes flare ups, by reducing the level of arginine a cat's body processes. Arginine is used to detoxify ammonia in the urine, so maybe that could have something to do with him focusing on his groin area? I have no idea how common it is, but some cats can have allergic reactions to lysine. Just something else to discuss with the vet, especially if the lysine is a relatively new supplement, or the dosage/formulation has been recently increased.
The lysine isn’t new. Both my cats had URIs when I got them at 7 and 12 wks old. They’ve been taking it since for immune Health.
 
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Lotusflwr79

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Hi. Indoor cats can and do get fleas, so I wouldn't rule that out entirely even if your other cat is not scratching. Romeo could actually be allergic to flea bites and your other cat is not. So, a good flea combing to check for fleas and flea dirt wouldn't hurt just to rule that out. A cup of water with a good amount of dish soap, a flea comb, and some paper towels is all you need. Long stroke from head to tail, dip the comb in the soapy water to see if any fleas fall off (soap drowns the fleas), wipe the comb of with the paper towel and look for red-tinged water to come off on the towel (sign of blood from the flea bites), repeat the process, and then also do Romeo's legs and tail.

As far as a food allergy, it could also be the LID grain free dry food you are feeding, instead of the Fancy Feast. So, keep that in mind, and take a good look at the ingredients in it for oils or the non-protein items, which could be the culprit - as one of the possibilities mentioned above. I don't know about other types of Fancy Feast besides the pates, as that is all I have ever used, but when discussed on this site I have yet to come across any member who said their cat had an allergy to them.

Since Romeo has had previous phases of itchiness, it might be a good idea to look back to see if they coincided with any particular changes - be that food, cleaning products, litter, etc. - even seasonal changes can cause allergies.
We did try pine litter recently but switched back last week when he started the itching again. What’s crazy is my other cat is having zero issues with anything. Tonight I gave them beef wet food from whole hearted but I have to transition slowly bc they’re both addicted to fancy feast like crack!! They want nothing to do with anything else. 🤦‍♀️ Very frustrating process. My hubby has off tomorrow so we are calling the vet and hoping to get in or at least have them review photos and get in some time in the next few days. I can’t bear to see him like this. It must be so uncomfortable. 😕 My mom also told me my dryer sheets could be causing this too... 🤷‍♀️🤷‍♀️
 

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Tonight I gave them beef wet food from whole hearted but I have to transition slowly bc they’re both addicted to fancy feast like crack!! They want nothing to do with anything else.
Compare ingredients between the Whole Hearted and the Fancy Feast - and whatever else you try - to see the ingredient differences, just to build your 'information-base' on what could be behind this. Food allergies - ruling out and/or identifying them is a long arduous process. The more information you collect and document, the better your chances are of getting to a resolution.

Cleaning products, including dryer sheets, could have an impact. But, this is pretty much the same as anything else - even if there hasn't been a recent change doesn't mean that Romeo hasn't developed an allergy over time.
 

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Compare ingredients between the Whole Hearted and the Fancy Feast - and whatever else you try - to see the ingredient differences, just to build your 'information-base' on what could be behind this. Food allergies - ruling out and/or identifying them is a long arduous process. The more information you collect and document, the better your chances are of getting to a resolution.

Cleaning products, including dryer sheets, could have an impact. But, this is pretty much the same as anything else - even if there hasn't been a recent change doesn't mean that Romeo hasn't developed an allergy over time.
There's lots of good advice on this thread but this post really sums things up! Keeping that information is really key -- I used a food and incident log to figure out what was causing our cats to vomit. That was a two-step process: one ingredient (agar-agar) was bothering both of them but another (green-lipped mussels) was bothering just one cat. It was quick to figure out the agar-agar (one cat stopped vomiting, the other vomited less) because it was one of the first things I suspected, but it took me months to definitively say the mussels were the other problem. That same cat has a potato problem; I figured that out through dumb luck. Pretty much anything can cause food allergies and sensitivities so dumb luck was very helpful.

I might suspect the fish in Fancy Feast since fish is a common problem.

Dryer sheets could definitely be a problem. We've been using as many scent-free cleaning products ever since one of our cats was diagnosed with asthma -- I have to say I don't miss many of the smells!
 
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Lotusflwr79

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Romeo update— vet gave Romeo an antibiotic injection for the sores in his legs from pulling his fur out and a steroid injection in case he’s doing this due to an environmental allergy. We ruled out the dryer sheets and fleas (which we knew already but had her check anyway.). But, my vet thinks this is food related. We had taken him off all dry food for the time being until we saw vet, and my vet requested removing fancy feast from his diet. She has decided to start removing corn, soy, and wheat from his diet. I don’t feed them them the fancy feast pate— they like the medleys. And she strongly suggested to just remove fancy feast products completely at this point. I got a sample packet of EZ Complete and will start to transition. We go back in 2 weeks for a follow up. She said we can go back to a limited ingredient kibble bc my cats are now ravenous bc we removed from their diet. If he still is itchy in 2 weeks, we will look at protein allergies. In the meantime, I need a hairball treat without soy, wheat or gluten... does anyone know of a good one?
 

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Rather than treats for hairball prevents, how about egg yolks! They aid motility. You can read all about it here on the EZ Complete site. EZ does include some egg yolk in the mix. I don't use EZ any longer because one of our cats had a problem with it (I'm pretty certain it was the mussels, something I mentioned above in another context) but I add extra egg yolk to our cats' food that I make with Alnutrin. Each cat gets about 1.25 egg yolks a week.

As far as dry food goes, Dr. Elsey's Clean Protein (chicken) is good stuff with no fillers. We feed it to our cats as treats and a very small nighttime snack. They love it. Dr. Elsey's will send samples if you ask.
 

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I use this hairball gel: Richard's Organics Tuna Flavor Hairball Remedy, 4.25-oz tube - Chewy.com It comes in a chicken flavor as well.

Egg yolk and egg yolk lecitin are a more natural way to help with hairballs.

She said we can go back to a limited ingredient kibble bc my cats are now ravenous bc we removed from their diet. I

Dry foods are super calorie dense so it's no wonder that removing it from the diet cold turkey has resulted in hungry cats. Canned foods are pretty low in calories. The FF Medleys are under 100 calories per can. The exact number for each variety can be found on the can as kcal or use this chart: https://catinfo.org/docs/CatFoodProteinFatCarbPhosphorusChart.pdf How many cans per cat are you feeding daily? You may need to fed 3 or 4 of the 3 oz size cans per cat daily depending on their body weight. It's generally suggested to feed 2o to 25 calories per pound of body weight daily.

Have you tried LID canned foods? Or a brand with few fillers like Rawz? Stick with any new diet for at least 13 weeks or so to see if it is helping or not. Don't feed anything else during a food trial in order to keep variables limited.

You can use this to help find a food that is free of the stuff that your cat might be sensitive to: Check This Out.... Chart For Cat Food Ingredients
 
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Lotusflwr79

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I use this hairball gel: Richard's Organics Tuna Flavor Hairball Remedy, 4.25-oz tube - Chewy.com It comes in a chicken flavor as well.

Egg yolk and egg yolk lecitin are a more natural way to help with hairballs.




Dry foods are super calorie dense so it's no wonder that removing it from the diet cold turkey has resulted in hungry cats. Canned foods are pretty low in calories. The FF Medleys are under 100 calories per can. The exact number for each variety can be found on the can as kcal or use this chart: https://catinfo.org/docs/CatFoodProteinFatCarbPhosphorusChart.pdf How many cans per cat are you feeding daily? You may need to fed 3 or 4 of the 3 oz size cans per cat daily depending on their body weight. It's generally suggested to feed 2o to 25 calories per pound of body weight daily.

Have you tried LID canned foods? Or a brand with few fillers like Rawz? Stick with any new diet for at least 13 weeks or so to see if it is helping or not. Don't feed anything else during a food trial in order to keep variables limited.

You can use this to help find a food that is free of the stuff that your cat might be sensitive to: Check This Out.... Chart For Cat Food Ingredients
Thank you!!
She said we can reintroduce dry food. They don’t get a lot. I give 1 cup per day for both cats. I have gone back to feeding them the easy digestion chicken and egg dry food from whole hearted. They really love it and it’s what they’d been eating for months before i did transition to the limited ingredient chicken from whole hearted thinking it may have been the dry food causing Romeo’s issues. Romeo hasn’t had the fancy feast in a few days and today he’s barely itched at all and he hasn’t been pulling at his fur. Bc I didn’t have a chance to order food since his vet visit yesterday, I grabbed them the whole hearted wet food chicken and liver at Petco last night. Whole hearted has no corn, soy or wheat in any of their products and they devoured the wet food. I tried and boiled them a chicken thigh and shredded it and neither would touch it yesterday. 🤦‍♀️ They’re very picky eaters!! So I’m staying with this diet until his follow up. I’m not going to add in any new treats at this point and I want to see how Romeo does. thanks for all the info!
 

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Chicken is a common culprit of itchy skin and other issues in cats. Maybe try a different protein once you're done with the current food trial. Rabbit is usually recommended.
 

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Minish gets hyperestahsia when she eats regular cat food with chicken in it. Also some dry food without chicken listed in it. Maybe it's the carb source even if it's grain free (potato etc) Raw chicken never causes this reaction. Neither does medical food. If it's food allergy be patient and try different regimens until you find the source. It's best to remove chicken ingredients first. Like LTS3 LTS3 said it's the most common culprit
 
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