Wondering what could be causing skin problems with my two indoor cats

linkworshiper

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I'd always buy the best I can afford for cats, because not only do I love my cats and want the best for them, it pays off in the long run in good health, so fewer vet visits. But I don't consider Science Diet quality food. At all.
Thank you for your input. I obviously feel the same and Reginald went through a patch where he dropped significantly in weight. A vet visit and the RX food seemed to help, but he seems less interested in it now that he's plumped up a bit. I just dont want to risk him suddenly losing weight again. Though for the record, I fed him plain Soulistic last night and for breakfast, and he mopped it up. That's good!
 

tarasgirl06

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Thank you for your input. I obviously feel the same and Reginald went through a patch where he dropped significantly in weight. A vet visit and the RX food seemed to help, but he seems less interested in it now that he's plumped up a bit. I just dont want to risk him suddenly losing weight again. Though for the record, I fed him plain Soulistic last night and for breakfast, and he mopped it up. That's good!
Good on Reginald and on you!
 

Khrad

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For probably a year now, one of my cats, Tesla, has had some bald spots and scabs come and go on and around his ears. He's been to the vet various times, given sterrhoids and it's cleared up, but again he has a little bald patch and definitely scratching the area fairly often. My other cat Leia hasn't seemed to have skin problems until a few weeks ago I noticed a bad looking scab on her shoulder/lower neck area. It seems like it might have been caused either by Tesla or by getting scratched by something, because it doesn't look like she can quite reach that spot with her claws. I took her to the vet after noticing it and they gave me an antibiotic ointment to apply once a day. Over the next couple weeks, she lost quite a bit of hair around the scab area, and it wasn't seeming to clear up at all.

Last weekend she must have scratched just below it (as far as she could reach) to the point where it was bleeding, and made the whole area look a lot worse again... So another vet trip later, she's had an antibiotic injection, we're told to continue applying the ointment now 3 times a day, and have been given sterrhoids to give both of our cats.

The vet has apparently ruled out any type of mites, they say their skin looks good otherwise and no other signs of concern, and don't like the idea of assuming the cats could be having irritation from the food they're on because it's a metabolic urinary one (specifically for Tesla). I asked about changing their litter since we use a scented one - one vet said he wouldn't bother, and the other vet said it's worth switching to unscented and seeing if that makes any difference (this was just today so haven't gotten to try that yet). other than that, we have a dog who seems to be having no issues, and we generally keep the house pretty free of dust as I'm an asmatic and have allergies too.

I'm hoping someone will read this who might have gone through something similar with their cats and was able to get it sorted out. Any suggestions would be appreciated! Thanks!
When I first got Hemingway, he had almost no fur because he obsessively licked himself. (He also took really gross poops.) After a vet visit, she suggested we start giving him half a Zyrtec every day and to also remove chicken from his diet. Apparently, chicken allergies are more common than you'd expect, especially considering so much cat food has it. Since doing it, he started getting fluffy. Obviously don't give your cat anything without the consent of the vet, but you might try eliminating chicken. As you can tell from the photos below, it made a HUGE difference. I feed him a combination of Tiki Cat and Soulistic Cat Food. Both have non-chicken options.

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When I first got Hemingway, he had almost no fur because he obsessively licked himself. (He also took really gross poops.) After a vet visit, she suggested we start giving him half a Zyrtec every day and to also remove chicken from his diet. Apparently, chicken allergies are more common than you'd expect, especially considering so much cat food has it. Since doing it, he started getting fluffy. Obviously don't give your cat anything without the consent of the vet, but you might try eliminating chicken. As you can tell from the photos below, it made a HUGE difference. I feed him a combination of Tiki Cat and Soulistic Cat Food. Both have non-chicken options.

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Does Zyrtec work? Yours was due to the chicken? My cat is over grooming and has bald spots and raw eczema like scabs. Maybe I should try the same. I wonder if mine is also allergic to chicken. Is it normal for the cat to develop an allergy to something they've always eaten?
 

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Does Zyrtec work? Yours was due to the chicken? My cat is over grooming and has bald spots and raw eczema like scabs. Maybe I should try the same. I wonder if mine is also allergic to chicken. Is it normal for the cat to develop an allergy to something they've always eaten?
Hello Khrad Khrad -- has your cat's vet done a skin scraping and culture? Sometimes that can be helpful in determining what the problem is.
 

Khrad

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Hello Khrad Khrad -- has your cat's vet done a skin scraping and culture? Sometimes that can be helpful in determining what the problem is.
Yes, she has. It was positive for bacteria but negative for ringworm. I'm thinking it's seasonal as it's happening around fall and spring. But the vet wants to rule out food allergies before even considering seasonal, even after I've told her that there seems to be a pattern. She keeps insisting on feeding my cat their Royal Canin and/or Science limited protein diet. I looked at the labels for that food and what I'm feeding my cat is much more healthier/cleaner. I do 60% home cooked w/Alnutrin Eggshell, 20% Primal freeze dried and 20% Rawz wet can food. So I thought maybe I can try an antihistamine and see if it works for her itching. But if her scabs/itching continues then I will discontinue chicken in her diet and see if that helps. What do you think?
 

daftcat75

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Yes, she has. It was positive for bacteria but negative for ringworm. I'm thinking it's seasonal as it's happening around fall and spring. But the vet wants to rule out food allergies before even considering seasonal, even after I've told her that there seems to be a pattern. She keeps insisting on feeding my cat their Royal Canin and/or Science limited protein diet. I looked at the labels for that food and what I'm feeding my cat is much more healthier/cleaner. I do 60% home cooked w/Alnutrin Eggshell, 20% Primal freeze dried and 20% Rawz wet can food. So I thought maybe I can try an antihistamine and see if it works for her itching. But if her scabs/itching continues then I will discontinue chicken in her diet and see if that helps. What do you think?
I would try diet first. Do you really want to rely on medication if the problem can be fixed with diet? Drugs aren't without side effects. Although if you suspect it is only seasonal, I suppose you could try the antihistamine now to get her through this season. Then you could try the food trials in between seasons to see if she'll need the antihistamine at all for the next season.

You are already on a great track to do food trials as you can pick your protein for the home cooked and Primal and Rawz come in a variety of single protein recipes. You should also be mindful of treats. Choose freeze dried meat treats over franken-treats like Temptations--too many ingredients in those to know what might be a trigger or not. I would avoid chicken and fish. Start with turkey first because it's cheapest. Alternatively, you can get ground venison or boar in the burger alternatives freezer section and beef or calf liver as well for your home cooked. Maybe you'll luck out and she will like red meat. My Krista never did. We ended up on rabbit. It was fantastic for settling her IBD. But it was super expensive on the home made side as she wanted leg meat from whole fryers rather than mystery grind from raw food co-ops. Finally, consider that the egg in Alnutrin may also be an allergen if she's still symptomatic after changing her over to a new protein. It wasn't until I made my own food with supplements rather than relying on a kit that I was finally able to determine that my Krista did indeed have an allergy or intolerance to egg.
 

tarasgirl06

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Khrad Khrad , daftcat75 daftcat75 should be regarded as the excellent source of suggestions as he has gone through so much with his beloved Krista. I agree that diet is a much safer first step. And I would NEVER feed anything Science Diet. Though vets push it, it's because SD pushes it on THEM, like pharmaceutical salesmen push their pills on doctors -- look at the ingredients in SD and you might agree with me that they are not highest quality by a long shot. I've fed the https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000YKD1JS/?tag=thecatsite but as you see, chicken is the first ingredient (and the second) so it may not be great for your cat. These skin problems can have one (or more) of many origins and isolating it/them is often very difficult. But it can't hurt to try to see if it's diet-related first of all.
 

linkworshiper

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Khrad Khrad , daftcat75 daftcat75 should be regarded as the excellent source of suggestions as he has gone through so much with his beloved Krista. I agree that diet is a much safer first step. And I would NEVER feed anything Science Diet. Though vets push it, it's because SD pushes it on THEM, like pharmaceutical salesmen push their pills on doctors -- look at the ingredients in SD and you might agree with me that they are not highest quality by a long shot. I've fed the https://www.amazon.com/dp/B000YKD1JS/?tag=thecatsite but as you see, chicken is the first ingredient (and the second) so it may not be great for your cat. These skin problems can have one (or more) of many origins and isolating it/them is often very difficult. But it can't hurt to try to see if it's diet-related first of all.
Khrad Khrad , definitely don’t give your at anything without the blessing of your vet, but it seems to help my cat. I feed Soulistic and Tiki wet food which both have non chicken options and both my cats like. I would see if the food helps and if not, that’s something to tell the vet.
 

Khrad

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I would try diet first. Do you really want to rely on medication if the problem can be fixed with diet? Drugs aren't without side effects. Although if you suspect it is only seasonal, I suppose you could try the antihistamine now to get her through this season. Then you could try the food trials in between seasons to see if she'll need the antihistamine at all for the next season.

You are already on a great track to do food trials as you can pick your protein for the home cooked and Primal and Rawz come in a variety of single protein recipes. You should also be mindful of treats. Choose freeze dried meat treats over franken-treats like Temptations--too many ingredients in those to know what might be a trigger or not. I would avoid chicken and fish. Start with turkey first because it's cheapest. Alternatively, you can get ground venison or boar in the burger alternatives freezer section and beef or calf liver as well for your home cooked. Maybe you'll luck out and she will like red meat. My Krista never did. We ended up on rabbit. It was fantastic for settling her IBD. But it was super expensive on the home made side as she wanted leg meat from whole fryers rather than mystery grind from raw food co-ops. Finally, consider that the egg in Alnutrin may also be an allergen if she's still symptomatic after changing her over to a new protein. It wasn't until I made my own food with supplements rather than relying on a kit that I was finally able to determine that my Krista did indeed have an allergy or intolerance to egg.
Thank you so much for your advice, I really appreciate it! I agree, I think I'll go the antihistamine route first as my gut is nudging me in that direction. And yes the treats I give her are all freeze dried as well. I buy Vital Essentials as they have the most variety and are also the most cost effective and second to them will be PureBites. But it's funny you mention egg intolerance as I had my suspicions about that as well. I think I'll eliminate the chicken in between like you said and if that doesn't work then I'll have to look into the Alnutrin. I went with the Alnutrin Egg as I thought it seemed more like a natural substitute for calcium than the Alnutrin Limestone. Have you ever used the limestone? Also I noticed that when people on here advise on eliminating chicken, they tend to recommended turkey, duck and quail, are these not considered poultry as well? Sorry if I sound dumb. Please let me know as it will be very difficult if I was only left with beef, venison and rabbit as protein choices because they are expensive and pork is not an option because I will not feed them that. Thanks again for all your help!
 

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To clarify, it’s not the egg shell but the egg yolk in Alnutrin that can be problematic. Unfortunately, egg yolk is in all the kit powders. You’ll have to buy your own supplements and make a yolk-less food. You might need to add extra supplements to make up for what the egg yolk was contributing.

It is possible to be allergic to chicken and not other poultry. Krista did well on turkey for awhile. We eventually had to go to rabbit though. Long story short, her IBD progressed to lymphoma and rabbit was a reset for her. Expensive as it was, the homemade raw I made for her from fryer rabbit legs and organs and my own supplements (no egg yolk) was probably her favorite food since Rad Cat had gone out of business.
 

linkworshiper

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Thank you so much for your advice, I really appreciate it! I agree, I think I'll go the antihistamine route first as my gut is nudging me in that direction. And yes the treats I give her are all freeze dried as well. I buy Vital Essentials as they have the most variety and are also the most cost effective and second to them will be PureBites. But it's funny you mention egg intolerance as I had my suspicions about that as well. I think I'll eliminate the chicken in between like you said and if that doesn't work then I'll have to look into the Alnutrin. I went with the Alnutrin Egg as I thought it seemed more like a natural substitute for calcium than the Alnutrin Limestone. Have you ever used the limestone? Also I noticed that when people on here advise on eliminating chicken, they tend to recommended turkey, duck and quail, are these not considered poultry as well? Sorry if I sound dumb. Please let me know as it will be very difficult if I was only left with beef, venison and rabbit as protein choices because they are expensive and pork is not an option because I will not feed them that. Thanks again for all your help!
It was a little experimental with my guy, but I started feeding soulistic because they have a lot of options that are chicken free and not poultry. Having said that, Hemingway LOVES duck and it doesn’t seem to bug him. Turkey, however, does. Same with beef for some reason.
 

tarasgirl06

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To clarify, it’s not the egg shell but the egg yolk in Alnutrin that can be problematic. Unfortunately, egg yolk is in all the kit powders. You’ll have to buy your own supplements and make a yolk-less food. You might need to add extra supplements to make up for what the egg yolk was contributing.

It is possible to be allergic to chicken and not other poultry. Krista did well on turkey for awhile. We eventually had to go to rabbit though. Long story short, her IBD progressed to lymphoma and rabbit was a reset for her. Expensive as it was, the homemade raw I made for her from fryer rabbit legs and organs and my own supplements (no egg yolk) was probably her favorite food since Rad Cat had gone out of business.
I love this video!
 
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