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post #1 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-30-2006, 12:43 PM Thread Starter
 
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Allergy

One of my 5 cats has an allergy. She's a mess with runny eyes, dirty ears, anal sack problem. He doesn't want to give her any medications for it, because he says the meds can cause other problems and she might become lethargic. He says he believes it is an allergy -- and suspects it might be a food allergy. Said she should eat venison canned food and rabbit/pea dry food. The venison food is about $1.68 for a small can and the rabbit/pea is about $31 for an 8 pound bag. Yikes. Well, I did find the venison -- which no one wants to eat -- I throw most of it away. Can't find a cheaper dry rabbit/pea food but did find an organic dry for 1/2 the price. The cats won't eat that either. They've all gone on a hunger strike. It's hard to feed one cat by herself. She's a nibbler. Worst of all, we won't know if it's a food allergy for 3-4 months. The cats will be skin and bones by then. They want their Fancy Feast and Friskees back. Any suggestions? By the way, I've tried about 4 - 5 different cat foods that are "good for them." They refuse to eat any of them.
mollyannietaffychester is offline  
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post #2 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 09:52 AM
Cool Cat
 
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Location: Minnesota
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You probally need to post your question in Health and Nutrition section,

Natural Balance dry has an Allergy formula that is under $15 a bag if I remember right,

but do a search on this sight too, it may reveal several more postings,

read the last responce here, it may help, https://www.catforum.com,

Good luck, and be strong, your kitten needs you!

And you may even wish to get another Vet to see or just talk to about it.
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post #3 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 10:26 AM
 
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You didn't mention it in your post. Did you try changing to the new food/s gradually? Most cats need you to put a little of the new food mixed in with old and then gradually increase the new food. Changing over often takes time especially if their favorites are Fancy Feast and Friskies.
Good luck to you.
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post #4 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 11:40 AM
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Both Fancy Feast and Friskies are loaded with all kinds of artificial flavours/colours and preservatives. Not to mention other yucky things that aren't too good for cats
It's like offering a child a McDonalds hamburger and something homemade that's very good for them. Most children will pick the MickyD's!
Try a gradual change from one over to the other. Please don't let your cats starve themselves as this can cause other health problems within a few days.
I know the better foods tend to be more expensive (especially when compared to grocery brands), but keep in mind that because they're more bio-available your cats won't need to eat nearly as much, meaning bags of the same size will last a lot longer. And isn't it worth it really, if it makes your one kitty healthy again? I promise your other cats will improve on a better diet as well. Things you didn't even realise were "wrong" will change for the better!

<--Julia

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post #5 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 11:47 AM
 
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My cats hate the canned Venizon and Pea, but love Natural Balance Venizon and Pea dry food. They also have enjoyed the IVD Rabbit and Pea canned food. Spotty was once suspected of having IBD but it turns out he doesn't have that or food allergies but my cats are now so used to eating the Natural Balance Venizon and Pea diet and just love it that I just keep them on that dry food and feed a variety of canned foods. You will probably find it easier to switch your cats to a hypo-allergenic dry food than the canned food. Simply start mixing the new food in with the old, slowly and gradually increase the new food. In time your cat will accept the new food. Canned food, that's trickier. You'll have to experiment with different kinds. IVD(Innovative Veterinary Diets) by Royal Canin makes a variety of prescription hypoallergenic diets. In addition to Venizon and Pea they also make Rabbit and Pea and Duck and Pea. Not all vets carry it and you might have to order it on line if you can't find it in your area. Yes, it's a bummer how expensive these foods can be. But the dry Natural Balance Venizon and Pea can be found at your local Petco.

Also if I were in your situation I would rather temporarily feed that Fancy Feast than let my cat go hungry. Cats that don't eat for more than 48 hours are in danger of getting fatty liver disease. You don't want to have to deal with that. That's a much more serious and life threatening condition. Ideally they should never be allowed to skip more than 2 meals. With patience and persistence you will be able to find a solution and a diet that works for your cat. If you're not sure if the allergy diagnosis is accurate you might consult another vet for a second opinion.

Also, here's a tip for dealing with finicky cats. It was in a book by Christine Church, called, How to keep your indoor cat sane and sound, one of my favorite cat care books. You can do this with canned food as well as dry. Add a little bit of a different food and put it on the same plate next to your cat's favorite food to get your cat used to eating something else. It's a good idea to discourage finickiness because one day your cat may have to go on a special diet and a finicky cat will probably turn up his/her nose at whatever you feed him/her.
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post #6 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 12:05 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vanillasugar
Both Fancy Feast and Friskies are loaded with all kinds of artificial flavours/colours and preservatives. Not to mention other yucky things that aren't too good for cats
It's like offering a child a McDonalds hamburger and something homemade that's very good for them. Most children will pick the MickyD's!
Try a gradual change from one over to the other. Please don't let your cats starve themselves as this can cause other health problems within a few days.
I know the better foods tend to be more expensive (especially when compared to grocery brands), but keep in mind that because they're more bio-available your cats won't need to eat nearly as much, meaning bags of the same size will last a lot longer. And isn't it worth it really, if it makes your one kitty healthy again? I promise your other cats will improve on a better diet as well. Things you didn't even realise were "wrong" will change for the better!
And if you don't want to go with the hypo-allergenic diets, I'm wondering if maybe your cat is just allergic to cheaper quality foods like Friskies and Fancy Feast. Would simply switching to a higher quality cat food solve the problem? Try something like California Natural. It's a food with a short ingredient list, simply chicken and brown rice and some sunflower oil for a healthy coat. For canned you could simply start choosing the higher quality canned foods like California Natural(that's the best choice for food allergies as long as the cat is not allergic to chicken), Innova, Merrick, Wellness. I would also reccommend Natural Balance canned food but it seems many cats that are used to stuff like Fancy Feast won't eat it. If they reject the above foods you might try Nutro canned foods which may or may not work for your cat but are better than Fancy Feast.
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post #7 of 8 (permalink) Old 01-31-2006, 12:36 PM
Cool Cat
 
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Quote:
Cats that don't eat for more than 48 hours are in danger of getting fatty liver disease. You don't want to have to deal with that.

That's a much more serious and life threatening condition. Ideally they should never be allowed to skip more than 2 meals.
thanks for that, I seen a few post where their cat is not eating, and that is probally a great guideline to go by.
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post #8 of 8 (permalink) Old 02-02-2006, 10:14 PM Thread Starter
 
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Allergies

Thanks to everyone for the information. I did not gradually introduce the new food, which I should have done. They are eating a little of it now, but aren't crazy about it. I get "the look" when they "sit down at the dinner table". I called the pet store near me, and they have hypo-allergenic foods, including California Natural (which I hadn't heard of before -- I had tried Wellness but they hated that more than the one they're eating now.)

The pet store owner seemed to be very knowledgeable about cat allergies. So, will go there this weekend and see what she has in stock. She said most allergies are from corn & wheat with soy, beat pulp, and chicken coming in 3rd, 4th, & 5th. I think she said she has Wellness and Natural Balance also, and suggested I try the lamb & rice or beef & rice.

Moggiegirl, you commented that maybe my cat is just allergic to the lower quality foods, and I think you may be right. The food I bought them, that they don't like, is organic with no preservatives, and her eyes are not running as badly and her ears aren't as dirty.

I suspect that they will get used to it eventually, but will try some of the other quality brands such as California Natural & Natural Balance to see if they like them better.

Thanks again.
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