FIV positive - allergies

IMPORTANT: If your cat is in any distress or discomfort, please consult your own vet as your first priority.
Post Reply
New Cat Chatter
Posts: 1
Joined: Mon May 04, 2020 5:39 pm

FIV positive - allergies

Post by smarcellus89 »


My cat recently tested positive for FIV. She get bad skin allergies dermatitis twice a year (start of fall/spring) and has significant scratches/lesions on her head. She is extremely picky with food and I've tried to mix in a small amount of benedryl which was suggested by my vet, but she will not eat the food even if I put in half of what was suggested...She will not take liquids or pills by mouth. I put a few drops of a homeopathic anti itch medicine in her food, which I can't tell helps or not.

I know most anti-allergy medications suppress the immune I can't give those to her bc of her FIV.

Any suggestions for allergy medication for FIV positive cats. I feel like I've done so much research and can't find anything that's been effective...I've tried fish oils and lysine too..the only thing that worked was steroids which I had tried with her before knowing its not good for FIV positive cats

Experienced Cat Chatter
Posts: 49
Joined: Sat Mar 12, 2016 1:03 am

Re: FIV positive - allergies

Post by Ducky »

I'm currently feeding an FIV+ ex-stray on bovine colostrum powder to treat his stomatitis. Whilst researching it, I came across a number of references to it helping with the symptoms of allergies... be they food or environmental allergens. I've only just (this week) started my food-allergy kitty on it to see if it helps with her symptoms (as an alternative to steroids) so it's too early to report back yet but it might be something you want to look into. It's supposed to work by supressing an overactive / oversensitive immune response.

I got mine from Anibase. It's a fine powder that can be mixed into wet food, water or cat milk. It has a very slightly sweet smell and taste. Unfortunately itchy cat it a fussy madam so we're syringing it for now.

I'm also feeding my FIV+ stomatitis kitty on half a Zyrtec (cetirizine hydrochloride) tablet once every two days to help with his drooling, crushed up into a fine powder and added to his colostrum (and also because in some circles, stomatitis is believed to be a result of an allergic reaction). It's a second generation antihistamine but I've not been made aware of any immunosuppressive effects significant enough for concern.
User avatar
VIP Cat Chatter!
Posts: 1438
Joined: Mon Feb 25, 2019 10:58 am
No. of cats in household: 1
Location: UK

Re: FIV positive - allergies

Post by Mollycat »

I don't know anything much about FIV but I do know a lot about histamine, as I suffer from so-called histamine intolerance, or as doctors like to call it idiopathic urticaria. I say so-called because we do know what causes it and it's not an intolerance it's an excess of histamine relative to the body's ability to process it. This can be in the form of trigger-happy mast cells or not enough DAO and/or other enzymes that process the excess, or commonly a combination of the two.

Firstly antihistamines are blockers, they stop the histamine molecules binding to histamine receptors. They leave the excess histamine free floating and do not help to eliminate it. So they help short term but long term the body detects that not enough histamine is reaching receptors and produces more, needing higher and higher doses to prevent symptoms.

Secondly histamine develops in aged food and is not destroyed by cooking, it's an extremely resilient molecule. For humans a low histamine diet is all fresh with no canned, dried, preserved, pickled or otherwise treated foods. Frozen is fine, as freezing suspends the development of histamine but does not destroy it. Not relevant to cats is that certain foods themselves contain histamine or trigger histamine production, things like tomatoes, strawberries, alcohol, chocolate - things a cat would never eat. But fish develops histamine extremely quickly and for humans should be eaten within a couple of hours of being caught before histamine levels get too high.

This is very likely relevant to cats and although I'm not a raw-feeding fan myself I would expect a real food diet to make a big difference for a cat, compared to a diet of canned and/or dried food. Certainly worth a shot before keeping a cat on high dose antihistamines long term.

For more details on histamine intolerance and diet:
Post Reply