Sponsored guest post by Rowyn Rose, Science Communications Specialist at Basepaws

Do you have an itchy cat, or know someone else who does? Many itchy cats suffer from the increasingly common feline skin condition called dermatitis.

Basepaws is a pet genetics company that collaborates with cat parents like you on research that helps cats live happier and healthier lives. They are currently researching two types of feline dermatitis: atopic dermatitis and food allergic dermatitis. If your cat suffers from either of these skin problems, their DNA could help improve the lives of many other cats who may suffer from these conditions.

Dermatitis and Food Allergies in Cats

Dermatitis is a general term for any type of skin inflammation. Feline atopic dermatitis, also known as non-flea/non-food allergic dermatitis, is the second most common allergy in cats after flea allergy dermatitis. It’s an uncomfortable and painful condition that affects 12.5% of all cats.

Feline food allergies follow closely in third. They can develop at any age, and it is still not fully known why some cats develop food allergies while others do not.

Signs of Dermatitis in Cats

Cats affected by dermatitis typically present with the following:

  • Abnormal itchiness (pruritus)
  • Over-grooming
  • Hair loss, scabbing, sores, lesions

The problem is that these signs are linked to both atopic dermatitis and food allergic dermatitis. This makes it very difficult to make an accurate diagnosis and implement targeted treatments that get cats the relief that they need. Basepaws wants to change this, and needs you and your kitty’s help!


A New Future for Dermatitis Diagnosis in Cats

Currently, no test exists that can reliably diagnose these two conditions. Basepaws is working to create a new oral swab test that could reliably distinguish between atopic or food allergic dermatitis, and they have already done preliminary research that shows how the state of the feline oral microbiome can be a powerful indicator of whether a cat has either.

The feline oral microbiome is a community of microbial organisms, or microbes, that reside in the mouth. These microbes include bacteria, viruses, fungi, archaea, and likely more microorganisms that have yet to be categorized. It turns out that the types and quantities of certain microbes provide valuable information about a cat’s risk for actually having a disease.

How you and your cat can help

You and your cat can be a part of this groundbreaking research. If your kitty has a veterinarian-confirmed diagnosis of atopic or food allergic dermatitis, please click on the applicable link(s) below to be considered for their research programs:

You can help advance scientific discoveries that could improve the lives of cats affected by dermatitis and many other common feline health conditions—all with just a 5 second swab of your cat’s mouth!  You can also learn more about other Basepaws citizen scientist research programs that aim to unlock the mysteries of the feline oral microbiome and better understand the genetics associated with common feline diseases.

Your cat can make a difference in the lives of many other cats and their humans!

*FTC Disclosure: This is a sponsored post, which means that I was compensated to feature this content. The Conscious Cat is an affiliate partner of Basepaws. This means that if you decide to purchase through any of our links, we get a small commission. Regardless of payment received, you will only see products or services featured on this site that we’ve either used or would use ourselves.

Photos: Shutterstock, provided by Basepaws

6 Comments on Help Improve the Lives of Itchy Cats

  1. I am an Australian veterinarian [Graduated 1971]. This is my second consecutive Devon Rex with atopy, they were both rescues, The first from our local RSPCA, the current one via a Vet Nurse. Tests show the same allergic reactions – high sensitivity to dust mite/clothes moth/fleas. No fleas in their environment [totally inside]
    I moved 2 years ago, cannot find paperwork! But I could get from Vet Dermatologist……
    I live in Australia, so may not be eligible for your program? But I can’t get past the uploading, so unable to tell….b

    • Hi Robyn,

      Thanks so much for your comment and for your interest in the program. Basepaws is happy to connect with you to see about your cat’s eligibility and getting your veterinarian records directly. You can contact me at rowyn@basepaws.com and I will put you in touch with my colleague who coordinates our dermatitis research programs. The main limitation is that at this time we are only able to provide free shipping (of the DNA kits) for U.S.- based participants, as we cannot yet accommodate international shipping for our research programs. I look forward to hearing from you and answering any other questions that you may have.

      Rowyn (Basepaws Science Communications Specialist)

  2. I started feeding my cats Solid Gold Sea Meal, when they were constantly scratching. It worked wonders and it quit the fur loss. I give it to them twice a day 1/8 tsp. The vet never heard of it, but it is for cats and they have a formula for dogs.

  3. None of my cats seem to be itchy, but every once in a while, I see a lot of dandruff on Lu. I have never noticed dandruff on a cat before.

    • It’s actually not that unusual – and also a lot more noticeable on a cat with dark fur 🙂 Are you giving her an Omega-3 supplement? If the dandruff is caused by dry skin, that may help.

      • I have not tried Omega-3. I will try that. I haven’t had a dark colored cat in a long time, so it probably is just that I am seeing it more on Lu.

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