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| Cat Itching and Losing Fur |
Answered by: Kerry Hackett
Question from: Jessie Showers
Posted on: February 26, 2007
I have a 6 year old cat who has just within the last 3 or 4 months developed a skin allergy. He is continually licking and nibbling at himself to the extent that he has lost large patches of hair on his belly and hind legs and also on the backs of his front legs. I have taken him to my local vet and he determined that it was indeed an allergy which he had a name for and I am sorry I don’t recall what it was. I moved into my house the first of November and it is the first place I have lived that has had carpeting and I have a feeling that could be the cause. Nothing else has changed, even his diet is the same. The vet gave him a series of three steroid shots which did help but only temporarily which my vet then recommended a dermatologist.
I have been a grower of herbs since I was a child and have a great respect and love for them. I feel that there must be something growing out there that could help Jeeves!
Whenever an allergy is involved, it is often useful to think of the load on the immune system as if it was an old fashioned set of balance scales. On one side, there is the animal’s general health made up of diet, exercise, a stress-free environment, lots of love, access to clean water, etc. On the other side there is the external environment: pollen, pollutants and in this case, possibly a synthetic carpet and all the dust trapped within (impossible to make a carpet dust-free, no matter how much you vaccuum!). If the general health on the one side of the scales is suffering for one reason or other (low nutrition, stress from a recent move or change in the houshold, new territory, etc), any external stressor will put her immune system over the edge and an allergy will appear. Herbalists tend to reduce the load on the general health (immune system) so as to mitigate allergic attacks whilst at the same time reduce external stressors. Therefore, your first consideration might be to change your cat’s food over to a good homemade diet. Please see the work of Richard Pitcairn, "Natural Health for Dogs and Cats", "The Complete Herbal Handbook for the Dog and Cat" by Juliette de Bairacli Levy and "The Barf Diet" by Ian Billinghurst for further information and recipes. Second, you may also want to look at the use of flower remedies to help your cat deal with the stress of her recent move (cats do not like change). Try Walnut, Elm and Crab Apple. These should be available at your local health food shop and are prepared as follows: in a 50ml amber dropper bottle add two drops of each of the above essences. Add 50 ml spring water and put one dropperful of the mixture into your cat’s food twice a day. In addition, you may also want to look at the possibility of removing the carpets or purchasing an air purifier to remove a portion of the dust or other odours out of your new home. Remember, your cat’s nose is right above the new carpet and has 1000 times the ability to smell odours than you do.