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Old 11-24-2009, 07:20 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default Bald spot on cat?

Hello, I just joined this forum today because my mom called me to ask my "online people" if anyone has had a cat that developed a bald spot for no apparent reason? I only belong to a few Dog forums, and, well, nobody there seems to know.

Tofer is a 13 year old male tabby. He's -very- overweight.. about 17 pounds I believe. They got him as a kitten from the humane society when I was younger. Anyway, he's recently developed a bald patch about 1-2" around on his side, a little way behind his front leg. My mom said the skin under the area looks fine and healthy, but that he licks at it a lot. (Compulsive disorder maybe?) He's an indoor cat, the only time he ever goes outside is in the summer on his leash into the back yard. My parents are feeding him Science Diet (Yea.. I know..) C/D? For urine crystals and have been for quite a few years now. It's been working well at keeping the crystals away... though I think maybe the bald spot is a sign of him having developed an allergy to it? What are some other allergy symptoms in cats?

I have asked my mom to just call the vet and see if they have any ideas, but she says they will just want her to bring him in and she would like to try and solve it on her own first. My dad has been sick on and off for the last six years, and we never knew what it was until a month ago.. They finally diagnosed him with Hodgkins disease, so they have a -lot- of medical bills to pay and money is extra tight since he hasn't been able to work.

I don't have a picture of the spot yet, but we're going there for Thanksgiving so I should be able to get one then.

So, If it is the food.. is there something we could switch him to, or something else we could do to keep the urine crystals away?? Thanks for any help.

Here's a pic of him:

It's a few years old, but it's the most recent one I have on this computer.
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:26 PM   #2 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bald spot on cat?

Oh my! He is a beautiful cat! I want to pet his fur, he looks so soft. Um, could you send him to me?

If he has ringworm, that can cause round patches, but I think they are usually small round patches, like between the size of an eraser head and a dime. I think the skin is sometimes red/raised in a ring around the edges of the spot.
If he is over-grooming that area, my first thought would be a food allergy. I am *not* very knowledgeable about foods, not enough to guide you, anyway. I know just enough to know cats can develop allergies to cat food ingredients, do not need "grains" or "carbs" in their food and that canned food is better than dry food.

If you do a search here in the H&N forum, you should find several threads that discuss allergies and foods. Or, be patient and someone else who *is* knowledgeable will chime in.
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:34 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bald spot on cat?

All of my kitties are indoor cats and somehow they got ringworm which I got from them. It can be a small patch of missing fur and can be dry and itchy. If your cat is licking it, it may be an itchy spot and could be ring worm. There are fungus creams out there for people but I'm not sure you can use the people stuff on kitties. Maybe try looking up ringworm on cats and try 1800petmeds.com to see if there's a cheap cream you can put on. I don't think there's any harm to using an anti fungus cream on something that isn't a fungus but you can call the vet and ask them that. That answer should be free. From what I've read kittens and older cats are more likely to catch ringworm. People can get it from their cats too so wash your hands. Also from what I read, it can go away by itself without treatment. It went away so far on the first kitty who got it but is still lingering on two of my kitties.

This may not be the issue but something similar happened to me very recently.
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:41 PM   #4 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bald spot on cat?

Thanks

I will look at the spot myself on Thursday, maybe it is a ring worm.. Until then though I think I will do a little research into food allergies in cats.. just in case.. I know in dogs an allergy to a specific ingredient will develop over time, and since he's been on the same food forever, it's probably that. I checked out the ingredients in SD C/D and here's what I found:

Brewers Rice, Corn Gluten Meal, Chicken By-Product Meal, Pork Fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols and citric acid), Chicken Liver Flavor, Fish Oil, Potassium Chloride, Calcium Sulfate, Choline Chloride, Vitamin E Supplement, Iodized Salt, Potassium Citrate, vitamins (Vitamin E Supplement, Niacin, Thiamine Mononitrate, Pyridoxine Hydrochloride, Calcium Pantothenate, Riboflavin, Vitamin A Supplement, Biotin, Vitamin B12 Supplement, Folic Acid, Vitamin D3 Supplement), Taurine, minerals (Ferrous Sulfate, Zinc Oxide, Copper Sulfate, Manganous Oxide, Calcium Iodate, Sodium Selenite), preserved with Mixed Tocopherols and Citric Acid, Beta-Carotene, Rosemary Extract.

Grain, Grain, By product.. mmhmm. I haven't looked very thoroughly, but I know the feed store where I buy my dogs food has a few cat foods too. Chicken Soup I know I have seen for sure.

Chicken, chicken meal, cracked pearled barley, chicken fat (preserved with mixed tocopherols), ocean fish meal, white rice, potatoes, oatmeal, millet, natural chicken flavor, salmon, turkey, duck, flaxseed, sodium bisulfate, egg product, methionine, potassium chloride, choline chloride, dried chicory root, taurine, kelp, carrots, peas, apples, tomatoes, blueberries, spinach, dried skim milk, cranberry powder, rosemary extract, parsley flake, yucca schidigera extract, L-carnitine, dried fermentation products of Enterococcus faecium, Lactobacillus acidophilus, Lactobacillus casei and Lactobacillus plantarum, dried Trichoderma longibrachiatum fermentation extract, zinc proteinate, vitamin E supplement, niacin, manganese proteinate, copper proteinate, zinc sulfate, manganese sulfate, copper sulfate, thiamine mononitrate, vitamin A supplement, biotin, potassium iodide, calcium pantothenate, riboflavin, pyridoxine hydrochloride (vitamin B6), vitamin B12 supplement, manganous oxide, sodium selenite, vitamin D supplement, folic acid.


I don't see a whole lot of the same ingredients in that.. That is the dry food btw.. My mom tells me that wet food makes his poop bad.. Would it be okay to just add water to the dry food to get it's water content up? In my research of bladder crystals I found that they need to get enough water to flush the crystals out.. But would that be enough to keep the crystals at bay?

I'm sorry if my posts are long... I just want to get this figured out for them so Tofer can be healthy and happy again. :-/ Once again, thanks for any help.
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Old 11-24-2009, 07:53 PM   #5 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bald spot on cat?

I just talked to my mom again.. I asked about Ringworm and described how it looks, but she said no, it doesn't look dry or red or anything.. it looks completely normal. So, I mentioned food allergies and a compulsive disorder (someone on another forum mentioned that).. She wants to try a different food to see if it might be a food allergy before we do anything else.. Tomorrow I am taking her down to the feed store I get my dogs food at and we're going to look at some different foods for him.
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Old 11-24-2009, 08:02 PM   #6 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bald spot on cat?

If it is something the cat is doing to itself by over licking the spot, you could try to stop the cat from licking it every time you see it licking that area. Perhaps that may help.
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Old 11-24-2009, 09:10 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bald spot on cat?

It could very well be a food allergy, cats can develop them over time, especially to ingredients like corn gluten meal. I would not put him on any dry food, you'll be playing russian roulette with the crystals. Wet food should not make his poop runny, there was probably some ingredient in it that he's sensitive to. I would get him on a high quality grain free wet food...Wellness, EVO, Merrick, Natural Balance. If that doesn't do it, there is always the Natural Balance limited ingredient diets (LID)...duck and green pea would be my recommendation so that he has a novel protein that he hasn't normally been exposed to in the past. You could skip right to the LID food if you choose, but definitely go with wet. You should add some water and make a "soup".

Dry food contains a lot of bacteria on the surface, adding water gives it a really nice place to grow and flourish and cause problems. You would have to add 1.25 cups of water to every cup of dry food to give it the same moisture level as wet food, that's going to make a yucky mess. And since he really needs even more water than regular wet, it makes it even worse.
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:02 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bald spot on cat?

What do you guys think of Taste of the Wild?? Would this be okay for urine crystals? It's grain free and I really like the rest of the ingredients too..

dry: http://www.tasteofthewildpetfood.com/pr ... e_formula/

wet: http://www.tasteofthewildpetfood.com/pr ... _in_gravy/

I'm not sure if I will be able to find it here in town though, I'm going to ask tomorrow if they can order it.. I would get TOTW for my dogs too if they would.

Also, is canned food similar in price to the dry food per feeding? That I think would be my moms biggest problem with canned if I did get her to try it again. The canned food we fed him before was... erm.. Fancy Feast. so maybe that's why it made his poop so bad.
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Old 11-24-2009, 11:32 PM   #9 (permalink)
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Default Re: Bald spot on cat?

Again....no non prescription dry food for a cat who has a history of crystals. (Not too thrilled with prescription dry, it's completely counterintuitive, but it is formulated to prevent them...non prescription is not).

One other thing I forgot to mention, avoid fish for his situation as well. The phosphorus and magnesium levels in fish make it a bad choice for a crystal prone cat. So that would eliminate TOTW. Fish is also an allergen for many cats.

Honestly...go for the NB duck and pea wet, it will give you the quickest answer about the allergies.

No, wet food doesn't cost the same as dry, it's definitely more expensive. But the brands I've mentioned are no more expensive than FF, which is way overpriced for the quality of the food...they have to pay for all that advertising and crystal dishes.
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