Reasons for hair pulling

kittymama18

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Cat initially diagnosed with IBD but no longer showing any symptoms. Before vomiting started she lost a lot of hair. I thought it must be a flea allergy and brought her inside to recover. She started growing hair back but for the past month or so will still pull it out in clumps. Along her flanks, legs, and base of tail. She's in my flea-free home, with no fleas so it can't be fleas. I'm wondering if there's anything I'm missing. Theories are:
Pain - she doesn't flinch or anything when i handle her all over - she loves it. But cats are stoic, so ??
Food allergy - would explain the IBD symptoms I think. If it's chicken - and I've been feeding her chicken food. (She eats triumph and tiki cat with no problems)
Environmental allergy - wouldn't explain why she had symptoms both indoors and out. Unless she's allergic to me, lol.
Stress - she's very chill and spends 90% of her time on my lap purring and cuddling and nibbling my fingers.
I'm going to switch her to the beef formula and see what happens, but if anyone has any suggestions or ideas, I'd appreciate it.
 

LTS3

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I suggest a food change first. Chicken is a culprit of IBD flare ups and general food allergy symptoms (hair loss, itching, etc). Give beef a try for 13 weeks or so. If no change, try a different protein such as rabbit and repeat. Sometimes it's not even the protein in the food that is causing the skin issue. I discovered that goat milk causes bald spots on my IBD cat. Who knew goat milk could be an allergen since it's hyped up to be healthy and all that?

Cat litter, laundry detergent, etc can all be irritants to some sensitive cats. There are threads here on TCS on low dust / low allergen cat litters to try such as grass based or paper based. Laundry detergent can be easily switched for a sensitive skin / allergen free type. same with dish soap and other houseshold cleaners.

Is there anything outside the home that could trigger stress? Or maybe something like a high pitched noise that occasionally turns on and bothers the cat to the point of fur pulling? Cats and other animals can hear high frequency noises that people can't hear. I used to have a gerbil who would always have a seizure at a certain time in my dorm room but would never have one when I had him at home. I figured there was some high frequency noise in the dorm that caused the seizures.
 
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kittymama18

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13 weeks, good gravy, that's a long time! When I'm doing food allergy/sensitivity testing on myself I only have to trial for a few days to see a change. (I'm allergic to pretty much everything under the sun, lol)
She was outside before, so wouldn't have been affected by laundry soap, or kitty litter, etc. which is why I didn't think it's environmental. Unless she's like me and allergic to everything, lol. Except she was fine before all this started...

I forgot to mention that she got a depo-medrol injection at the vet around a month ago - which should have stopped it for just about anything, I think. Confusing!

Nothing I'm aware of to cause her stress. Although she's terrified of the TV - it only comes on once a week for me to watch a nature show, during which time I put her in the bathroom where she feels safe, so I'm pretty sure that's not it. I have a lot of other critters, including many rescue cats, a dog, chickens, and a parrot, and none of them have shown any concerns. We've lived in the same place for a few years now, and nothing has changed except one neighbor has moved away, but if anything that'd be less stress bc no more little yappy dogs barking through the fence!
 

LTS3

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Yup, at least 13 weeks. Per My Vet: How Long For Food Allergies Test You can't feed anything else during a food trial. Treats are ok but stick with single protein freeze dried treats of the same protein you're doing the food trial on. So beef treats during a beef food trial.
 
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