Last September I posted about being a “naked” kitty because I had been chewing the fur off my belly, legs, and tail. I went to the vet and he was pretty sure it’s an allergy of some sort. He gave me a shot of a steroid and we hoped that whatever I was allergic to would go away when winter came.
Winter came and went and I’m still trying to make the back half of my body into a short-haired kitty. Basically, any fur from my belly-button down my back legs, to the tip of my tail is a target of chewing & licking. Mom took me to the vet on Friday and asked if my fur removal could be a response to abdominal pain. Our former kitty Felix had small cell lymphoma and the first sign he was sick is that he developed a bowel obstruction due to severe constipation. I need a laxative twice a day to help prevent constipation, and Mom wondered if I could have early bowel disease, which could cause discomfort and be the real cause of my fur removal. The vet said it’s possible I have some degree of bowel disease because it’s very common in adult cats but he doesn’t think pain is involved in whatever is going on.
There’s no easy way to figure out why I’m biting my fur off. The vet suggested we move from our current home in the valley to our mountain or coastal home so that I could be in a different environment and get away from environmental allergens. That was kind-of a joke….we don’t have another home!
Since we can’t move to our nonexistant other home, he also suggested we could try different foods like venison, rabbit, or duck for a month at a time to see if that helps. I’ve already had all fish eliminated from my diet. I’m not the most adventurous eater, so changing my food is not going to be easy. And since we don’t know what I might be allergic to, it’s just a guess as to which food might be better for me.
After a long discussion, we decided another steroid injection was the best way to go for now. It should give me relief from both allergies and any bowel inflammation. Being on steroids comes with risks, so it’s not the ideal long-term solution. But I also don’t want to be miserable and keep chewing all my fur off.
Here I am sniffing my first new food, rabbit (sorry to all you pet bunnies out there). It smells funny and I gave it a little taste but spit it out. Beef & buffalo smelled awful and I wouldn’t even taste it. Maybe the lamb will tempt me, but I doubt it. I love my chicken food!
While at the store buying me some new types of food, Dad knew I wouldn’t be happy having my mealtime routine changed, so he bought me a new “hat”. Dad and I have a game where he puts things on my head and calls it a hat. I’ll let it sit there until I turn over or get up. It’s one of the silly games we play.