My cat has an allergic reaction – help please

by Chelsea

My cat had miliary dermatitis for a long time before I was finally able to get her to a vet and get it diagnosed and treated.

Recently we moved from the west coast to Missouri. She got fleas again this summer and she is loosing fur, I have been giving her flea baths with cat shampoo and today I first soaked her in Skin so soft before using shampoo, this is only her second time.

She is loosing fur, but the “sores” haven’t appeared and fur loss is around her neck which I know is common because of excess scratching, so I am not sure if this is miliary dermatitis again or a lesser reaction.

She also seems to be eating less, her bowl has had a shallow amount (just enough to cover the bottom and it’s a medium size bowl) for at least two weeks, I think; one for sure and I think she is losing weight. Her back thighs seem to have lost muscle and she did eat some tuna from a can today.

She also has low abscesses between her back legs. It causes her skin to hang low, much like a mother cat after giving birth, but she is a spayed virgin.

I know the vet gave her a shot that removed the abscess once, but it was a series. This would not be a problem, except the vet was on the coast and they will not send me her files, though I requested them many times and she does not have a dr here yet.

Is the appetite loss associated with one of these visible shown symptoms?


Hi Chelsea.. thanks for visiting and asking. It looks like your cat is suffering from a feline allergy or allergies.

Feline miliary dermatitis is an allergic reaction. An allergic reaction to fleas is perhaps the most common cause. It would seem that it has come back.

Do you flea comb? Just shampooing is not enough. I would flea comb and check and kill fleas that way. A physical removal of fleas is safer than a chemical treatment.

There are other causes of miliary dermatitis though. You can read about feline allergies on this page (opens new tab/window).

It is very likely that her loss of appetite is due to her discomfort. She is feeling unwell.

Initially I would explore all possible reasons for the allergic reaction, starting with fleas (complete removal on her and in the house required) and go from there. Even certain foods can cause allergic reactions. Check for other parasites too.

Always, a good veterinarian, is the best course of action. But I realize that not all are good.

Good luck.


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My cat has an allergic reaction – help please

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Sep 26, 2011 on fleas
by: Kathy W

We too have a cat with some sort of cat allergies. We have tried everything and here are some of the results. We tried different foods but none helped. Then we treated for dust mites. One way is to put a dryer sheet and wrap it around the flap inside of your heater vent. This seemed to help because she had a habit of sitting on the heater vent in the winter. I also kept one inside my vacum to kill any that were sucked up. Washing and drying her bed good also helped. This worked for a little while and she also got fleas this summer and the proiblem returned. She had scratches and sores and a lot of hair loss. We kept the spot on treatment on her, flea combed her, and treated the house. Now that its fall and the leaves are coming in we are having an outbreak of fleas again. So more spot on. One thing that has helped her trmemdously and helps with the fleas is to keep the carpet extrememly clean. Vacum every day and get rid of the dirt or change the bag alot because this can harbor those dust mites and fleas. I recently purchased a little Bissel carpet cleaner. jThis has worked miracles. I shampoo at least once a week. It gets rid of the dust and dirt in the carpet and also sucks up those feas. Since I started with the carpet cleaner her fur has grown back mostly. She still scratches alot but the sores are going away and her fur is coming back. Its hard to pin point exactly what the cause of the allergy can be. You just have to experiment with alot of solutions. Dust mites, fleas, or food can be some of the main sorces. I hope you find a solution because its not good for a cat not to eat. Good idea giving her the tuna but that can be addicting for a cat and also can cause cats some problems if you give it too much. Just thought id share some ideas for you. I have also heard that keeping a piece of flea collar in your vacum can help. I purchased a bagless vacum so I can throw the dust and dirt away everyday. Good luck, KW

Sep 24, 2011 Urgent P.S.
by: Grahame

I forgot to advise you in my previous post that when your cat has gone off feed and loses weight in the flanks, he or she is in danger of hepatic lipidosis. This can be fatal. The feline liver cannot handle large amounts of fat at one time. In effect, it gets clogged. Inflammation and jaundice set in; sometimes even heroic measures do not avail and the cat dies.

I urge you to see a competent vet, both for your cat’s presumed allergies, and for a check on liver function as well as restoration of appetite. In far-advanced cases, tube feeding is necessary.

Plump cats especially are at considerable danger of hepatic lipidosis if they go off feed for long. One of the very best things cat keepers can do to prolong the lifespan of their cats is to control their cats’weight.

Sep 24, 2011 You have an absolute right to your cats’ medical records
by: Grahame

You must insist that your former vet provide you your cat’s (or cats’) medical records. You own these records. The vet may charge a modest copying fee and postage. In any case these records are yours, you paid for them, and the vet must provide them upon your request.

Upon the evidence here, you are well shut of that vet.

Sep 23, 2011 itching and inflamation
by: Jo Singer

Sounds like your kitty is very uncomfortable. Michael’s advice is right on target.

Best to get your kitty to a vet ASAP. If she is feeling lousy she won’t want to eat. Cats need to eat and have cool fresh water available. Cats living on a diet primarily of kibble need a lot of water.

Food allergies can also spring up suddenly. Bathing a cat can dry out the skin which leads to more irritation and itching.

Your vet can give her a shot of an anti-inflamatory medication which will relieve the symptoms making her far more comfy. If it were my kitty a vet visit would be my immediate step.

Hope she feels better soon and gains that weight back.

Sep 23, 2011 A P.S.
by: Michael

I forgot to add a link to a page on cat hair loss on this site that covers more causes – it may help too.

Hair Loss in Cats.

There are some treatments on the above page too.

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