The Failure of Puck’s Special Diet

Puck has had a problem with his skin since not long after we moved to our new home at the end of May. The first vet said he was having a reaction to flea bites, even though she could see no fleas and gave him a flea treatment as well as steroids and antibiotics.

That didn’t work and I didn’t want to subject him to more drugs so I put off doing anything for a while and finally brought him to another vet who said he thought it was a combination of nervousness and an allergy, possibly a food allergy. The only way to know was to put him on a 90 day limited ingredient diet that did not contain the proteins that he was already eating, such as chicken, beef and salmon.

I bought a Feliway diffuser to help with the stress and changed his food. The vet wanted me to give the diet 90 days to work because it could take that long for the old proteins to leave his system but after about five weeks Puck was making no progress and actually seemed like he might be getting worse.


I decided to abandon the diet early and try something else. Of course, I didn’t know what to try and thought very hard about what could be different about our new home. The only thing I could think of was the water.

We had bottled water in our other house and I gave the cats spring water in two of their three water bowls. The third was a larger bowl in the back room that was mostly in case something unforeseen kept us from coming home for a night or two. When we moved, I decided to not keep the water delivery service and instead I would buy a Big Berkey Water Filter. They are close to $300 with the Fluoride filter, which we couldn’t afford at the time since the cost of moving was so great.

Since then, something was always more important to spend our money on, so I am still buying water by the gallon at the supermarket. Since that is such a hassle, I have been filling the cat bowls with tap water. I know, that sounds selfish to be drinking spring water while the cats have tap water but most of it gets dumped out every morning and I always thought it was temporary. So a week or so ago I started filing their bowls with spring water.

Another thing I wanted to try was to eliminate cleaning chemicals, at least for a while, after learning that some cats are allergic to them. I tried this before and even have a spray bottle filled with vinegar and water under the sink but Rose is one of those people who thinks the smell of chemicals is a sign that the house is clean.

To my surprise, she was willing to go along with the chemical free cleaning so last week I cleaned the floors with vinegar and water. When she came home she immediately commented on how the floors didn’t feel right. They felt like floors to me. I don’t know what she was talking about but the next day she re-moped the floors with a nice, comforting, harsh chemical. So much for that idea.

It has been over a week that the cats are off the tap water and I sometimes look at Puck and think he is looking better and sometimes I’m not sure. I guess I will know in a few weeks. Wish us luck.

12 thoughts on “The Failure of Puck’s Special Diet

  1. The Island Cats

    That’s the hardest thing about allergies…trying to figure out what the allergy is. Ernie has allergies…probably a combination of food and environmental. We have yet to figure out exactly what he is allergic to but fortunately, his allergies rarely get really bad and we’re able to keep them under control.

  2. pilch92

    Allergies are tough. Prancie is always pulling out her fur on her belly and back legs. We tried to change her food, but she is very sneaky about getting into the other cats’ food. I am glad you changed the water, I am sure it will be healthier for all.

  3. Summer

    Paws crossed that the better water helps Puck! The water here in southern California is very hard and unpleasant so everyone drinks bottled water, human and kitty, and we don’t even consider it a luxury.

  4. Mary McNeil

    I have one kitty – Alexander – who is allergic to everything. He eats Z/D and likes it, but he also eats anything else and HATES to be treated for fleas so we just try to reach a comfortable compromise with him. We have well water and everybody drinks it, including me. But I notice that my outside cats will drink out of puddles if they have the chance. And not necessarily very clean puddles, either. You might be having a problem with chemicals introduced into your water, but I think you are closer to the problem being a food or environmental allergy. Keep trying and give Pucky some extra hugs !


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