Cat - Eating inappropriate items, pulling out hair

mazer415June 28, 2013

My friend has a cat that has a condition, it eats things it shouldnt and pulls out its own hair. It was on meds but the meds have created other issues, so Im looking for a homeopathic or less intesive medication in order to help this cat. If your cat has had these issues and they were succeddfully solved or you are a vet,I would love to hear from you.
NOTE this is not a treatable condition with behavior modification, it is a disease. Thanks

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Has your friend tried switching the cat's food?

We have ours on one of Royal Canin's LID's (Limited Ingredient Diets)--specifically, Pea and Duck food (bot the dry form and the canned). We also squirt salmon oil on their wet food (it's a good source of Omega-3, and supposedly contains anti-inflammatory properties as well).

Hair pulling isn't completely eradicated, and it does wax and wane at different times, but is much better than it was.

    Bookmark   June 29, 2013 at 12:08AM
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the cat may have pica. I had a cat with pica once. It ate rubber bands, paper clips, litter, styrofoam, and you had to guard your food. It once took an entire burrito from my plate. Google Pica and see if it fits.

    Bookmark   July 1, 2013 at 7:01PM
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The two behaviors might stem from two different problems. I have a cat who eats things she shouldn't. I don't know if it's a textural thing, or what. Has your friend's cat been tested for allergies or skin mites? The hair pulling could be due to allergies.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 12:51PM
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Yes it is PICA. She was on meds but the meds proved to create other issues. She is on a diet without corns, grains, sugars, by products or meals. We are hoping to find someone with experience in treating homeopathically since the meds are having such a nasty side effect. Thanks

    Bookmark   July 2, 2013 at 4:17PM
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I too suspect there are two problems... a behavior issue of a cat eating things it shouldn't (not unusual for some cats) and I am unaware of any medication or treatment that will stop this behavior... .just keeping kitty in an environment which is 'cat proof' in which there are no toys, ribbons, string, plants etc. it can get access to.

As for pulling out its fur, this is another common problem with some cats- allergies are by far the most common conditions that cause this behavior. If you have ruled out fleas as a complicating factor, many cats will respond to fatty acid supplements and antihistamines (eg Chlorpheneramine is an appropriate cat antihistamine though attempts to compound this one into a good tasting liquid have usually failed, so owners usually end up just giving the halved tablets). This combination of an antihistamine and fatty acid supplement work on many felines... but sadly not all.

I am assuming the drug you have been given to start with is pred, a potent steroid which is also a good anti-itch drug. Most cats tolerate steroids quite well with few side effects... but sadly, not all. Old, sick and super sensitive cats have to try alternative medications... sometime reduced dose steroid/antihistamine combinations are tolerated- eg. Temaril P is a common medication with less potent side effects... but still not tolerated by all.

Other immunosuppressive options include cyclosporine.. . a very potent drug but sometimes much better tolerated that steroids. And a lot more expensive.

And sometimes fur-pulling is more a mental/emotional issue (usually anxiety-based) and all the steroids in the world may not help. For these cats, anti-anxiety meds can sometimes help and there are probably close to a dozen different medications that people have tried in cats, all with mixed results. One medication that seems pretty safe and void of serious side effects is fluoxetine (prozac) but it of course does not work in all cats for all behavior problems. Still, it is a good one to start with.

As far as homeopathics, I am completely ignorant. But maybe someone else will respond. Just a warning- not all homeopathics are safe for cats, and someone who knows a 'little' about them, or knows how they work in dogs, may give you some suggestions that might have some extreme consequences, so research your homeopathics carefully. I do emergency medicine and have some disaster homeopathy on cats... sometimes fatal.

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 12:44PM
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Mazer, below is the link for a holistic vet search. You might have tried that already but if not it might help.

Here is a link that might be useful: Holistic Veterinarians in your area

    Bookmark   July 3, 2013 at 4:38PM
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Excellent, I will relay the 411 to my friend. It is difficult to remove everything from where the cat is, as cloth is one of her number one issues. I will post when we find something that works. Thanks

    Bookmark   July 4, 2013 at 12:18AM
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