Friday, August 17, 2018

Finally...A Use For All That Fur - Pet Tolerance Test

Truffle and Brulee were pretty healthy cats the first four years of their life. Beginning in 2015, Brulee was rushed to both Cherokee Trail Veterinary Hospital and the South Carolina Veterinary Specialist and Emergency Care with respiratory issues several times and it's occurred 1-2 times a year since then. Persians tend to have respiratory issues because of their brachycephalic faces and small nostrils. Brulee and Truffle are both considered "doll-faced" Persians and not "extreme-faced" but Brulee has much smaller nostrils and a flatter face. After Brulee's respiratory issues, Truffle began having some problems with her eyes. The vets think it could be either the herpes virus or allergies. 

Brulee's sample of fur that was submitted for the Pet Intolerance Test

Traditional Allergy Tests

Mom Paula went through allergy tests last year where she was pricked with needles all over her arms. She discovered she was allergic to some environmental things such as grass, weeds, and dust. The testing process she went through was a couple of hours, was uncomfortable, and caused some allergic reactions. According to, there are two common types of allergy tests used for pets: intradermal skin testing (allergens injected under skin) and serum allergy testing (blood sample). The Animal Allergy & Dermatology Clinic (AADC) in Gaithersburg, MD states the best way to determine actual allergies is through intradermal skin testing. This type of testing would require sedation for cats which is always scary and the expense may be discourage pet owners from having the test done. 

Truffle thinks it's important to use this test if your pet has shown symptoms of allergies
or intolerance to food or the environment.

Affordable Pet Testing

Affordable Pet Testing recently introduced the Pet Tolerance Test which uses your cat's fur to test for an intolerance to over 300 items in the environment and types of food. This test offers a simple and affordable way to test pets for potential intolerances which can help pet owners reduce their pets' exposure to the identified items and as a result, can make their pets more comfortable. According to the representatives from Affordable Pet Testing, using fur or hair samples is more stable than the traditional blood test. Hair stores more information for a longer period of time and is not affected by food, stress or medications which can affect blood tests. Additionally, using hair for testing for intolerance can be applied to 300 different items whereas blood testing is limited to a small range of items. Your cats will appreciate the less invasive method of testing! The Pet Tolerance Test only tests for non-IgE mediated reactions or "intolerances." This type of reaction usually has a delayed onset with symptoms appearing several hours or days after ingestion or exposure and tends to last a longer period of time. The IgE (Immunoglobulin E) allergies, which are caused by the body's immune system, are NOT measured through the 5 Strands® Affordable Pet Testing. These reactions usually occur within minutes of ingestion or exposure and must be diagnosed through a blood test or skin prick test which is performed by veterinarians. The Affordable Pet Test allows an owner to make dietary and environmental lifestyle changes to help improve their quality of life.

Mom Paula was able to collect fur from Brulee and from her parents' dog, Bandit, to test for intolerances. Brulee has the respiratory issues and Bandit has terrible skin issues. Testing is very simple. All you need to do is collect 10-15 strands of hair or fur. Collecting the fur was easy! She combed through the fur one time and collected enough fur for a sample to send in. Once the fur is collected, you place it in the envelopes provided along with the completed test submission form. The results are sent to you through an email within seven to ten days.

Bandit's fur sample in the provided envelope


We received the results within a week for both Brulee and Bandit. The email included three attachments: food reactions, environmental reactions, and how to interpret the results. For the food/ environmental items test, each item has level 1, 2, or 3. (Just like a stoplight). Remember intolerance reactions are not immediate and can take 24 to 48 hours.

  • Level 3 (stop) items your pet’s body is rejecting. These can be very noticeable. (i.e. swelling, rashes, diarrhea, etc.)
  • Level 2 (slow down) items your pet’s body is more aware of and sensitive too. They are mild and can be uncomfortable. (i.e. heartburn, bloating, joint pain, etc.)
  • Level 1 (proceed but be aware) items your pet doesn’t like, and/or their body doesn’t like. These are low reactive and can be unnoticeable. (i.e. sneezing, runny nose, etc.)

If the same food/ environmental item shows up on multiple levels it is very significant and most important. These are the items you should consider eliminating as soon as possible.

One thing we want to stress is that many of the food items listed should NEVER be fed to dogs or cats!


Brulee's results showed some reactions to both environmental and food

As we stated earlier, Brulee's biggest problem is respiratory. She does sneeze in the house, especially in the home office.

Based on the results we received for Brulee, she has an intolerance to several food items. We haven't had the opportunity to check all of her food for the ingredients yet, but that is our next step. We do know some of the food she will eat contains pumpkin and peas (Level 3). We're not sure about the additives yet. Some of the food she's eaten contains lamb and carrots and we'll not feed her much of this food. A lot of the foods listed are never fed to us, but it's nice to have the list. We found it very interesting that she has a Level 2 reaction to house dust, which is the same thing Mom Paula is allergic to. Sometimes, when we are in the home office where there is a lot of dust because of the papers and boxes, both Brulee and Mom Paula will sneeze. This is definitely an incentive for Mom Paula to purge the home office so it's more health friendly for all of us.

Brulee's Results


Bandit has intolerance to several environment and food items

Bandit has terrible skin problems. Bandit is a Shih Tzu mix (based on DNA testing) and they are known to have skin issues. The vets have never recommended allergy testing for Bandit despite constantly going to them for outbreaks, especially on his paws. Bandit scratches and bites so much at times, that he gets an infections. We were very interested to see what environmental and food items caused a reaction in his body.

Some of the items listed as Level 3 that Bandit eats are turkey, potatoes, beef, and beans. The vet recently told my parents that Bandit needed to go on a diet, so my parents are reluctantly discontinuing feeding him their table scraps. He also had a intolerance at Level 2 with pumpkin and egg yolk. Bandit is on a prescription diet because of his digestive issues. We definitely need to check the labels on his food to see if any of these ingredients are included. Bandit definitely has an intolerance to several environmental items that are located in my parents' yard, especially the trees. We need to investigate ways to help him have less of a reaction when he's been outside. We've read where many of our dog blogging friends will wipe down their dog's feet after they've been outside.

Bandit's Results

About Affordable Pet Testing

Affordable Pet Testing is one of the nation’s leading hair analysis companies. They are leading the field on consumer driven health and lifestyle choices by empowering pet parents as they search for answers for their pets who are suffering. Their labs are located in the U.S., which allows them to provide quick and affordable findings to food and environmental intolerances. We encourage you to visit their website to find out more information about the Pet Intolerance Tests available. They currently have tests for dogs, cats, and horses. You can follow Affordable Pet Testing on Facebook, Twitterand Instagram.

We are very pleased with the ease of testing, the quick response, and the valuable information provided with the Pet Intolerance Test. This gives us a starting point to begin removing certain food items from our diet and also helps provide information on what environmental items cause problems. 


We're excited to announce that one of our readers has the opportunity to win the Pet Intolerance Test for their pet (dog or cat).  No purchase necessary. The giveaway is open to residents of the United States 18+ years, except where prohibited by law. The giveaway will run from August 17 - 24, ending at 11:59pm ET. One winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter (powered by and notified via email. Winner will have 48 hours to claim her prize; failure to do so will result in forfeiture of the prize and a new winner will be randomly chosen. To qualify for the giveaway, a comment must be left on our blog post.  Other entry options are available after a comment is left.  Please check your email and be sure to add to your address book!  Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Together on Tuesday

Mom Paula loves waking up to this view in the morning. No matter how bad she feels or what is happening, seeing Truffle and Brulee first thing always brings a smile to her face and warmth in her heart.
Truffle and Brulee resting with Mom Paula

There's been a lot of sadness in the Cat Blogosphere this month. We've lost a lot of our feline friends to the Bridge and others are ill. 

Saturday, August 11, 2018

Caturday Art

It's Caturday and time to celebrate and have a little fun. It's also time to get creative with your photos and produce some Caturday Art.

Brulee and Truffle using the Picasso effect in LunaPic

For our Caturday Art creation, we used the Picasso effect found in LunaPic. The photo above is of Brulee and Truffle behind their Sleepypod® Air carrier which is located in the living room. 

Friday, August 10, 2018

Eating with Jackson Galaxy

Everyone knows we are pampered Persian cats and have grown accustomed to being catered to. This doesn't stop when we are eating.

We've talked a lot about the challenge of feeding Truffle and Brulee because of their flatter faces. We've reviewed several bowls that successfully helped with whisker stress, especially for Brulee. 

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

International Cat Day

Today is International Cat Day (aka World Cat Day) and is a celebration which takes place on August 8, every year. It was created in 2002 by the International Fund for Animal Welfare.  World Cat Day is celebrated on February 17th in much of Europe and on March 1st in Russia.
Truffle and Brulee reminding everyone that every day is cat day!

Of course, Truffle and Brulee want to remind everyone that every day should be Cat Day!