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My Cat's Allergy
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My Cat's Allergy

my cat has been to the vet and I've been told she has a flea bite and flea dirt allergy. I use Advocate on her which is supposed to last 4 weeks, after 2 weeks she starts to get sores around her neck (she cant wear a collar because of this) she itches and nibbles alot. If left alone at this point the sores on her neck become large raw and need antibiotics, she'll get little sores on her back above her tail, which she bites so her fur gets shortened and turns straw like. Those are prone to infection, and need antibiotics also.
(Her previous owner let her get to the point where she had a mohecan she'd pulled out all the fure she could reach.)
She usually gets a steroid jab that lasts a few days to help reduce the itching to allow things to heal.
If I put advocate on at the point where I notice neck sores - roughly 2 weeks, they heal up well, but she cant have the advocate every 2 weeks
Does anyone have any ideas, as I hate to see her like this, and I'm desperate to find something to ease it for her.

Cat
7 years old
female
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874521_tn?1375890587
Hi, this is becoming a very common problem, I see many posts with the same or similar issues. I also have a kitty with what has been described as a 'flea bite allergy'
I will give you more reading sites and my OWN opinion on some of the advice.

first of all the conditions your kitty exhibits are caused by only 3 things..1. inhaled allergy 2.contact allergy 3. ingested allergy(food)
they all give the same symptoms. when WE are in contact with something we are allergic to we usually get runny eyes, noses...sneezing. when a cat is in contact with an allergen it effects their SKIN...so you are on the right track.

I will also tell you from my experience and reading the MOST common culprit is the FOOD...their are so many ingredients and additives(preservatives) in pet foods and many are allergy causing....by FAR the most common is GRAINS in the food(carbohydrates). Or mites if you are feeding dry food.
I will first recommend you change what you are feeding kitty, go to a grain free best brand CAN food and I think this will fix the problem.

you'll have to do your homework if you truly want to help your kitty. read all this article

http://www.catinfo.org/

follow the link on the right hand side......COMMERCIAL CAT FOODS
that will list all the BEST grain free brands on the market, always change the diet slowly so as not to cause digestion upsets..

I will also include another site by Marvista that explains what 'eosinophilic granduloma complex' is....you can read that article than click on the bottom of the page where it says 'more info on food allergies'
Again I say diet/grain is the most common culprit I have found and its by far the easiest place to start from.
I DO NOT AGREE with the use of steroids ever...they will lead to diabetes.
I also DO NOT agree with the Vet prescription diets, (particularly HILL'S) they are expensive and full of grains.
but the site does have alot of other good information...good luck and please come back and keep us posted. this is possible to correct, as I have with my Sami.

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/eosinophilic_granuloma.html

Related Discussions
13 Comments Post a Comment
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874521_tn?1375890587
Hi, this is becoming a very common problem, I see many posts with the same or similar issues. I also have a kitty with what has been described as a 'flea bite allergy'
I will give you more reading sites and my OWN opinion on some of the advice.

first of all the conditions your kitty exhibits are caused by only 3 things..1. inhaled allergy 2.contact allergy 3. ingested allergy(food)
they all give the same symptoms. when WE are in contact with something we are allergic to we usually get runny eyes, noses...sneezing. when a cat is in contact with an allergen it effects their SKIN...so you are on the right track.

I will also tell you from my experience and reading the MOST common culprit is the FOOD...their are so many ingredients and additives(preservatives) in pet foods and many are allergy causing....by FAR the most common is GRAINS in the food(carbohydrates). Or mites if you are feeding dry food.
I will first recommend you change what you are feeding kitty, go to a grain free best brand CAN food and I think this will fix the problem.

you'll have to do your homework if you truly want to help your kitty. read all this article

http://www.catinfo.org/

follow the link on the right hand side......COMMERCIAL CAT FOODS
that will list all the BEST grain free brands on the market, always change the diet slowly so as not to cause digestion upsets..

I will also include another site by Marvista that explains what 'eosinophilic granduloma complex' is....you can read that article than click on the bottom of the page where it says 'more info on food allergies'
Again I say diet/grain is the most common culprit I have found and its by far the easiest place to start from.
I DO NOT AGREE with the use of steroids ever...they will lead to diabetes.
I also DO NOT agree with the Vet prescription diets, (particularly HILL'S) they are expensive and full of grains.
but the site does have alot of other good information...good luck and please come back and keep us posted. this is possible to correct, as I have with my Sami.

http://www.marvistavet.com/html/eosinophilic_granuloma.html

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Avatar_f_tn
thank you for all the info. with a food allergy, would it come and go in a pattern?
I will certainly be looking at changing her diet to see if that helps. I'll keep you posted. Thanks again :)
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874521_tn?1375890587
yes it can come and go....their immune systems are trying hard to combat the attacking allergen and sometimes the defense system is stronger than at other times....my kitty suffered on and off with this for over a 2 years.....chicken is also one of the worst for allergies, if you can find something he'll eat in a good grainless brand that is NON chicken.....I think you will see a huge change(I hope) good luck....lots to read on this topic..♥
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Avatar_f_tn
i feed her 30g wiskas fish, and 12g gocat teeth biscuits, at the moment cos she is on a diet.the whiskas website says about grains so I'm going to look at getting her grainless.
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Avatar_f_tn
i have just ordered some arden grange Sensitive - Ocean White Fish and Potato . its grain free. concerned about cutting her wet food out entirely, but cant find a grain free wet food.
She is obsesed with food because her previous owner didnt feed her on regular intervals, and sometimes not for long periods of time . so its hard to change her feeding routine in any way(I've had her for 2 years now). i think she'll go onto the biscuits fine just not sure she'll do well with no wet food.
P.S  i cant thank you enough for taking the time to help me, we've tried loads of things so far that havent worked. my fingers are crossed for this helping her.
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Avatar_f_tn
I really think it is the flea medications she is allergic to.  She may have other allergies as well, but since the sores seem to occur in a consistent pattern/time frame after application, this seems to be the obvious culprit.  Those 30 day topical flea meds are pretty harsh, especially for cats.  And they don't prevent fleas, they only kill fleas after they have bitten, so if she is allergic to fleas, they don't help in that regard at all.  I would recommend a different solution.  You might try capstar, which is an oral flea medication, as well as trying to keep her in a flea free environment.  If you have fleas in your home, you may need to use a flea bomb to get rid of them.  You will probably need to do this at least twice to be sure you have gotten any eggs.  And then she needs to be kept indoors.
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Avatar_f_tn
she gets the same reactions wether its collars, frontline or advocate

i talked over keeping her indoors with the vet (where i live they suck at looking after pets, no-one else flea treats their pets) she said it would be too distressing for her now, as shes been an outdoor cat for 7 years.
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Avatar_f_tn
the fleas arent in my home, my vets said the trouble is that cos noone else flea treats their cats in my area that the flea population is not kept down and left to run wild.

I am trying to move flats at the moment, so i have my fingers crossed for moving to a better area for penny as well as me
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681148_tn?1285160820
One thing that you can do, and it is a major change and inconvenience when changing over is to change your kitty to be an indoor only kitty.  Kitty may protest big time, because outdoor kitties hate being confined to inside.

The other thing is to treat the inside of the home to ensure there are no more fleas inside of the home.  Diatomaceous earth (DE) is very useful for this.  You buy it at a nursery.  Just be sure to follow the instructions carefully and ensure kitty doesn't go near it while it is on the carpeting before vacuumming.  Clean under the refrigerator and stove and sprinkle a bit of the DE under the units.  Fleas like crevices, but so do cockroaches, so it's a two-for-one type of deal if you do this.  You don't have to vacuum the stuff up that goes under the stove and refrigerator.  It's non-toxic, but neither we nor our pets should be breathing the stuff into our lungs.  DE will desocate all stages of the fleas' lives.  So, any eggs you can't see will essentially just dry up.

I did this in my current apartment, because the first year we were here, as soon as we had the first heat wave--and it was earlier in the year than usual, we had fleas.  I knew where they had come from because I know some of the history of the previous two tenants.  Long story there.  Anyway, I did my research and a friend gave me some information about the DE.  It worked wonders.  I got rid of the fleas and my cat and I haven't had fleas in here ever since.  And, we've been in this same place for several years now.

Out in the wild, for home owners, there are natural non-toxic things you can do in your lawn that will keep the critters off of all of your pets.  There are some nematodes you can get for the moist shady areas of your lawn and your garden.  Fleas like the same areas our pets like in the hot part of summer.  The DE can be used according to directions, too, in other parts of your lawn and garden.  You might have to reapply the DE, but the nematodes will reproduce.  These nematodes eat fleas, eggs and larvae.  Especially, the eggs and larvae.

I recommend doing further research by Googling "non toxic flea removal".  That's how I learned this stuff.

I so totally understand kitty being allergic to that toxic flea remedy.  Both my cat and I are, too.  Changing her food made a difference.  She still scratches some, because she is like me and just still has allergies, but 1/4 tablet of adult dose of Zyrtec (Cetirizine) helps her with her allergies.  I give it to her when her allergies bother her the most and nothing else.  I agree about not using the steroids.  Long-term use of steroids isn't good for people, so how could it possibly be good for our pets.  Thyroid damage, kidney damage and diabetes have been linked to long-term steroid use.  That's the short list.

Actually, this is a lot of work to get rid of the fleas, but in the long run, it's actually cost effective.  Even the more expensive food and the Zyrtec is more cost effective for helping the cat.
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875426_tn?1325532016
Our cat was biting herself open in a number of places, but with answered prayer and the use of a pinch of flax seed meal on her food every day for quite some time, while she still itches, it's been quite a while since I've spotted any places she's broken open.  I take flax seed oil capsules myself... the omega fatty acids found in them are supposed to help with inflammation.  I started the flax seed meal on her food for our cat after I saw it was an ingredient in certain pet products.  There are certain varieties of Whiska wet cat food pouches that don't have gluten at least, though other ones do have gluten- I called and asked about which ones don't & they also sent me some coupons.
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Avatar_f_tn
First I would suggest getting a different vet.  Whether or not you or your neighbors treat your cats for fleas has nothing to do with controlling the flea population outdoors. That is strictly a function of climate.  For every flea on a cat, there are 100 more not on a cat, so whether or not outdoor cats are treated for fleas will make no difference in terms of the outdoor environmental flea population.   If your vet is telling you differently, then that is a total crock.

Second, flea products contain one or both of two categories of chemicals.  They are either insecticides or they are nerve inhibitors.  Either way, they can be quite irritating when they are applied to cats, either as a topical that is absorbed through the skin, or embedded in a collar that is in constant contact with the skin.  For cats that are sensitive to these chemicals, it generally makes no difference which brand or type you use, they will have the same reaction to all of them.

Thirdly, if you have fleas outside, and your cat goes in and out, then you have fleas in your house.  If you cat is allergic to fleas and is getting sores from flea bites, then she has fleas and is bringing them into the house.  If she doesn't have fleas, then the sores are not from flea bites and are most likely from the flea treatments.  Either way the solution is to get rid of the fleas in your house, keep you cat indoors, and stop using flea treatments on her.
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681148_tn?1285160820
Yep, keeping a kitty indoors will ensure not getting reinfested.  Mine is an indoor kitty.  Ever since I treated this apartment the way I already described, the apartment has been free of fleas.  Cats definitely will get reinfested if they go outside, since they usually roam outside of their yards.  The outdoor treatment I mentioned, though, will help for people who have dogs in addition to their cats.  I learned about where the fleas live and their life cycle when I did my research.  Treating the outside is a lot trickier than treating the inside and is no guarantee, especially with cats.  I've never had to worry about actually trying the outdoor treatment of yards and such, but I read about how effective the nematodes would be in certain areas where the fleas hang out in your yard.  Healthy yards have fleas, and it's the females that jump on our pets from the grass the first time the pet is infested.  Then, as soon as the pet comes inside with those fleas on her, that's all it takes for the house to be infested with fleas.

What happened in this apartment made sense after I did research.  The person who lived here before me also had a cat, but she also didn't speak very good English.  She swore up and down the insects that were biting weren't fleas.  Don't ask me why she was like that.  It's a long and weird story with that woman.  The first few months my cat and I lived here, we had no experience with fleas.  And, my cat had always been an indoor kitty.  Then, as soon as we had the first heat wave, which was early that year, I noticed fleas jumping on me whenever my cat was in my lap.  I knew I had to do something to take care of this problem right away and I had to do it myself.  I have chemical sensitivities, so I needed to get rid of these things without the use of poison.  A friend of mine who also had chemical sensitivities sent a link to me about Flea Busters, which does non-toxic flea removal.  I read their information, but I couldn't afford to have them come out to my place.  I did further information about the Diatomaceous Earth and found out where it comes from and why it works.  Armed with knowledge, I bought a box of the stuff at the local nursery for only about $10.00.  After carefully applying it according to directions and after cleaning my cat's bedding, as well as my own bedding, I conquered the problem and haven't had any since.  And, we've lived here for several years now.

I couldn't depend on the management to take care of this problem, because they would've wanted to apply poisonous products, if they were to even consider taking care of this problem.  I took care of it myself, and for very little money.  It was more effort than money.
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Avatar_m_tn
diatomaceous earth (make sure its food grade, not the type used in pool filters) is a good natural flea treatment. It's basically a powder that can be applied directly to the cat, and also can be left in bedding and carpets. It basically kills fleas by dehydration. I would be careful when applying if she has sore areas, go around these. It can be bought online from any number of retailers, I found it on Amazon, just type it into google. I've also heard it can be added to food to expel worms and so forth, but i don't have experience of this as yet. It's worth mentioning again that there are two types, make sure you get the food grade one, as the other type is bulked out with something else which is not safe for contact/consumption. As this stuff is natural, you can apply and leave down year round. Hope this helps!
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