I'm having an issue with my two cats which I believe relates to food
allergies. I have a 2.5 year old female (spayed) named Sabrina and a 4
year old male (neutered) named Beavis. Both are DSH.
Over the past 9 months or so, Sabrina has been exhibiting problems of
excessive grooming and resulting hair loss. This has been primarily on
her front legs and abdomen. It comes and goes and never gets extremely
bad. This has led to several different attempts of treatments by vets
including amitryptaline (sp?) for trying to fix anxiety and steroids
(both injections and pills). These attempts have met with limited
success. About 2 months ago, Sabrina started having problems with
regurgitating meals. She was vomiting within 5-10 minutes after eating
fairly regularly. This led to the vet suggesting using a limited
ingredient diet. We purchased a bag of Innovative Veterinary Diets:
Green Peas & Rabbit Formula.
Sabrina's vomitting went away within 3 days of the food switch. The vet
indicated that if it was a food allergy related problem it should have
taken longer to go away, so it may have been caused by something else.
In any case, I kept the cats on the prescription food for a couple
Then my older cat, Beavis, began to have problems. He started having
extreme problems with vomitting. He was vomitting about every 4-6 hours
regularly. Often it was just dry heaving and/or just stomach acid that
came up. I got him to the vet and they were concerned about a blockage.
Radiology (with barium) showed no blockages and an overactive bowel.
The barium got from his mouth to large intestine in about 4-5 hours.
The vet decided to give him a shot of steroids followed by ***steroids
under the assumption that the condition was irritable bowel syndrome.
His best guess was that it was caused by the new food, although he
hadn't heard of a limited ingredient diet causing such a problem. He
then advised we switch back to our original food.
It is now a month later, and Sabrina has begun vomitting again. It
isn't after every meal, but has been every couple days lately. Usually
she vomits right after a meal. However, this time around, she often has
some partially-digested food from a previous meal come up in her vomit
as well. Some food is still staying down since she is still having
At this point, I don't know what to do. I am worried that switching to
the prescription food will introduce the more severe vomitting problems
in my older cat, yet I don't want my younger cat to have problems
either. It is also a possibility that some of this is hairball related,
although I have been giving Sabrina hairball-gel every day for the past
week and she still vomitted again today.
I'm going to call my vet tomorrow, but I would like advice from anyone
who has run into something similar to my situation. Outwardly, it would
seem that I have two cats that can't readily take each others food.
There's really no reasonable way to feed them seperately, and I still
would like to know for sure if this is allergy related or not.
Any advice would be greatly appreciated!
P.S. - Their normal food is Purina One (Salmon & Tuna flavor) which has
a poultry/fish base for proteins. The cats are free-fed.