Wednesday, August 19, 2020

5Strands© Pet Intolerance Test Results

On the whole, Truffle and Brulee are very healthy cats. Once in a while, they will scratch more than usual or one of them may have a little upset stomach. Any time I've taken one of them to the vet, he always asks "have they eaten anything different lately?" and I'm not always sure of the answer because I rotate proteins and brands of food with the girls on a regular basis. I've always wondered if there was an easier way to narrow down the culprit to their temporary discomfort.

Recently we shared information about a Pet Intolerance Test developed from 5Strands® Affordable Testing. By combing a few strands of fur from my cats, I was able to obtain results of items in the environment and their food that may cause some temporary issues. The results were very informative and interesting.

5Strands® Affordable Testing: Pet Intolerance Test

silver Persian cat with 5 Strands boxq
Two tests included in the 5Strands Affordable Testing Kit

Affordable Pet Testing recently introduced the Pet Intolerance Test: Pet Standard Package which uses your cat's fur to test for an intolerance to 355 items in the environment and 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. 5Strands® utilizes bioresonance technology to identify temporary imbalances in your pet's body that may be causing symptoms such as upset stomach, constant scratching, hair loss, paw biting, hot spots, constipation, or diarrhea. 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. It's important to remember that intolerances do not involve the immune system. This test is appropriate for both cats and dogs.

Description of Tests

Test results in the Pet Standard Package are based on intolerances to the following:
  • Pet Food Intolerance Test. Covers proteins, grains, vegetables, fruits, fats, seafood, additives, and preservatives. There are 255 items tested, but only those your pet showed an intolerance to will be reported. There are three levels, based on the response of the exposure: Green, Yellow, and Red. It's recommended that items that are identified as a Level 3 response should be eliminated for 6-8 weeks. After the 6-8 week period, items can be introduced one at a time in small quantities to see if symptoms return. Level 2 items may affect the body and cause noticeable symptoms and Level 1 items are just beginning to affect their body on a cellular level. 5Strands recommends you only feed level 1 and 2 items 2-3 times a week.
  • Pet Environmental Intolerance Test. Covers fabrics, cleaning materials, grasses, trees, mold, dust mites, and other animal dander. Even though 100 items are tested, results will only register items that indicated an intolerance from your pet. There are also three levels for this test.
5Strands stresses that in order to see any positive transformations, the test requires 100% interaction. It's not always just a change from one protein to a different one or switching to a different bag of kibble. Sometimes, the results may indicate you should stop feeding your pet processed food. There may be a need for homemade or raw. This test helps the owner to get to the "root" of what is causing unwanted symptoms.

5Strands includes this disclaimer:
Disclaimer: 5Strands®  Affordable Testing does not make medical diagnosis nor is it intended to be a substitute for professional medical  advice, diagnosis or treatment. Always seek the advice of your veterinarian or other qualified health providers regarding medical conditions, symptoms or questions. Never disregard professional  medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have  read in 5Strands® Affordable Testing materials. If you think you may have an emergency, call your veterinarian or seek emergency services  immediately. Our method of testing does not test for type IgE allergies. Since these reactions can be serious, you should seek the help of an allergy specialist.  


We received the results for both Truffle and Brulee within 1-2 weeks in an email. There were detailed instructions to help understand the results, the Pet 300 test which includes a report for the food and environmental intolerances, and a Master List of all the items that were tested. In addition, 5Strands provided YouTube Videos explaining the testing process. The results are arranged by Level 3, 2, and 1 and are color-coded like a stoplight.

5Strands also has a free mobile app (Apple and Google Play) that will include a copy of the test results. You'll receive a link to activate the app account with a code that is specific to your pet. You can use the results as a screening tool and an elimination guide to alter your pet's dietary and lifestyle choices. As always, it's recommended you share the results with your veterinarian.


silver shaded Persian cat with 5Strands box
Brulee and her 5Strands test kit

Environmental Intolerance. I was surprised and interested to see Brulee's results. She does scratch at times, but I've always assumed she had dry skin. It turns out she has a Level 3 reaction to Mold, leather, wasps, and cats! Brulee doesn't go outside, so I wasn't too worried about the outdoor environment items. Her major Level 2 items were ammonia, glycerin, house dust mite, nylon, white vinegar, and wool. I don't use ammonia too often because I have asthma, but I do clean their pet fountains with white vinegar. Of course, I do wash and rinse completely, but I need to make sure I don't spill any where she may be exposed. I'm ashamed to admit that there is a lot of dust in my home, especially in my home office where there are a lot of papers from the decade I was a college professor. Since I am also allergic to dust mites, it's important this room is cleaned out for the health of both of us. Her Level 1 Environmental items were ants, apple cider vinegar, and malt vinegar. I've only listed the items that I'm sure are in my home. Here is the list of the Level 3 Environmental items.

Food Intolerance. Brulee's results for Food Intolerance were a little more confusing to me because she eats a lot of the protein that is mentioned. I haven't had the opportunity to really research the ingredients in all of her food to see if any of the ingredients are included in addition to the proteins, but that is the next step. Some of the Level 3 items were beef, chicken liver, duck, lamb, turkey broth, herring meal, tuna, and pumpkin. The only thing from this item that Brulee has had a reaction to was the herring meal. She doesn't like beef and I rarely feed her tuna. She eats duck and lamb quite often. I need to watch her more closely when she eats these two proteins to see what type of reaction she has. Some of her Level 2 items are rice (brown and white), chicken broth, chicken meal, pheasant, pork, turkey liver, carrageenan, and taurine. I haven't fed her anything with rice, pheasant, or pork. I stopped feeding her anything that included carrageenan because of the possibility of cancer. Taurine is something that surprised me because it is an essential amino acid for cats! This is something I need to discuss with my vet because I don't plan on eliminating taurine. Some of the Level 1 items are catnip, chicken by product, duck liver, rabbit, and salmon. Brulee eats all of these, but not everyday. The key thing to remember is that 5Strands recommends feeding Level 1 and Level 2 items two to three times a week. Here is the list of Level 3 Food Items with paws by the items I knowingly feed Brulee.


silver shaded Persian cat with 5Strands box
Truffle beside her test kit

Food Intolerance. On the whole, Truffle doesn't have too many issues with scratching and digestion. Occasionally, she will scratch or have some loose stools. Based on her results, she has very little in our environment or the food she's fed where there is an intolerance. As with Brûlée, I need to really research the ingredients in all of her food to determine if any of the items are included. Truffle only had one Level 3 items that indicated an intolerance and it’s  something I know I feed her, which is herring. Like Brulee, Truffle didn't do well on herring, so I don't feed her that anymore. The Level 2 items listed are chicken bi-product, chicken broth, duck, rabbit, turkey liver, salmon, and shrimp. Truffle has eaten all of these, but not everyday. Level 1 items that are fed to her are rice (white, brown), catnip, beef, chicken meal, and venison. As with Brulee, I tend to only feed the Level 1 and 2 items only 2-3 times a week. Here is the list of Level 3 Food Items with paws by the items I knowingly feed Truffle.

Environmental Intolerance. Similar results were shown for Truffle in the environmental intolerance items as the food intolerance items. There were only 2 items at a Level 3: leather and white vinegar. Truffle also scratches at times, which may be a result of her Level 3 items identified. I do have a few leather pieces of furniture and clean the pet fountains with white vinegar. Truffle is also an indoor only cat, so I'm not as concerned with trees and grasses that are outside. Her major Level 2 items were aloe vera, ammonia, bee, Bermuda grass, pine, ragweed, and ticks. I careful to ensure Truffle doesn't lick my arms or legs if I've put on lotion that may include aloe vera. Truffle is treated with a monthly application of Revolution Plus to avoid any ticks that may attach to my clothing when I'm outside. I need to be more aware of any grass, pine needles and ragweed I may bring indoors. Her Level 1 environmental items were cats, cockroaches, goose feathers, hydrogen peroxide, isopropyl alcohol, and wool. I've only listed the items that I'm sure are have been or are currently in my home. We live in the South, so there will be cockroaches inside at times. Interestingly, I'm allergic to cockroaches and am currently receiving allergy shots. I've included the list of the Level 3 Environmental items below.

Personal Reactions

Two silver Persian cats with clothing
Truffle and Brulee resting among Mom Paula's clothing (no wool)

Overall reaction. The information obtained from the tests for both Brulee and Truffle were informative and interesting. I was quite surprised with all of the food items in Level 3 for Brulee. She eats chicken and duck all of the time and is fed lamb occasionally. The most interesting Level 3 Environmental Intolerance was cats! I wonder if this is cat dander or their saliva...The only cat Brulee is exposed to is Truffle. Our vet is very responsible in wiping down the examination table if a cat was seen prior to Brulee being examined. The Level 3 items listed for Brulee make me wonder if she actually has some allergies. She does sneeze and times and does get upper respiratory infections. Both Truffle and Brulee had some commonalities with intolerances to cats, white vinegar, leather, and herring in one of the levels. Another interesting thought is how different the two are when it comes to their Level 3 intolerances. Truffle and Brulee are half sisters and share the same father. I wonder if their commonalities are related to him. It would be interesting to have this test done on all of their parents to see if there are similar results.

Next steps. I am going to share these lists with their veterinarian when they go for their six-month wellness checkup this fall and ask for his input. Truffle and Brulee only leave the house to go to the veterinarian, so there is no concern about being exposed to cats. I need to make sure I rinse their pet fountains completely to ensure their is no white vinegar residue. I will keep the lists of food intolerances handy and watch for any reactions when they've eaten one of the foods. Truffle's only Level 3 food intolerance was herring, which she doesn't get anymore. There are some concerns with the Level 3 food intolerances to chicken liver, duck, lamb, and tuna because Brulee is fed this food. She doesn't get lamb or tuna very frequently, but there is chicken liver in some of her chicken recipes and she is fed duck more frequently. 

Neither Truffle nor Brulee have many issues with diarrhea or scratching. I need to begin keeping a record of what they are fed each day and record beside it if there are any reactions.


We're excited to announce that 5Strands® Affordable Testing is allowing us to host a giveaway for one of our readers to have the opportunity to win a Intolerance Test kit for her pet (cat or dog).

The giveaway is open to residents of the US, 18+ years of age, except where prohibited by law. The winners will be randomly selected randomly by Rafflecopter and contacted by email and will have 48 hours to claim their prize. Failure to do so will result in forfeiture of the prize and a new winner will be randomly selected by Rafflecopter. 
Please note that to qualify for a prize a comment must be left on this blog post. Giveaway closes August 31, 2020 at 11:59 pm Eastern Time.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Would you like to comment?

  1. Wow, this is really interesting!

  2. I had no idea such tests were available for pets.

  3. This looks interesting! Our mom would love to know what environmental factors bother me.

  4. They sure do give a lot of detail and lots of things to take into consideration!

  5. That is so cool!! One of our brothers has allergies! we'll have mom look into this

  6. Great giveaway! I would love to see why my Sammy keeps pulling out his tummy fur, it could be a food allergy or environmental.

  7. Interesting test results and I too am wondering what the vet will say.

  8. This is so interesting! My neighbor's cat, also a Persian, has frequent struggles with allergens causing serious scratching issues. She has had a hard time narrowing down the triggers. I'll have to bring this to her attention!

  9. That is such a wonderful thing to have, I had no idea they had these tests, thanks for the info! Brulee and Truffle, you are beautiful as ever today.

  10. I'm curious to see if one of my cats has an intolerance to chicken...

  11. i have been told since my dog has liver disease from someone giving her bad raw venison, that she cant have any fruits because of the sugar, carbs, dairy. i would like to know if this is true or not. she is on a specialized diet now, no kibble, no grains,

  12. This is going to be such a useful test for so many pet lovers isn't it? Finding out what are risk factors can make a huge difference to future health and wellbeing.

  13. Thanks for the giveaway, we entered. If we won, I'd love to see what results we'd get for Kit. We've known since he was a puppy that he has food and environmental allergies. We had an allergy test done by the vet when he was very young but he's almost 12 now and we've never tested him again. Thankfully, for the most part, we've been able to keep his reactions well under control.

  14. It seems like the test pointed out some strange things, do you agree? What do you with a cat that is sensitive to cats? And vinegar?

    We did similar testing for Jasmine and some of the items on there were rather strange too. Which doesn't meant they're not correct, I suppose. But certainly strange.

  15. This seems interesting to me given Bella's current health issues. Would love to know if anything else is going on inside her. Fingers crossed to win!

  16. We’ve done a tolerance test for our French Bulldogs too! We were also surprised to see house dust and mold on the list for one. We’ve been using a custom allergy serum created from our results for about a year and it’s helped so much!

  17. these tests always amaze me as they make our lives so much easier in the long run

  18. This sounds really interesting. I know that my girl Daviana is allergic to a large number of things, but it took us years to work through all of that and figure out what we needed to cut from her diet. I love the idea of doing a test like this and fast-tracking the process!

  19. This is so interesting! As my Huskies age, they are developing some issues with their ears and I wonder if they have developed an intolerance to something. This would be so helpful! It seems overall you are pleased and does it seem appropriate to your cats? It's interesting that cats are on the list for them!

  20. Wowy, that test told you a lot! Mom says the V-E-T she takes me to gave me a couple of different tests for allergies. That's why Mom doesn't let me eat certain foods like simon fishes, duck, venison, sweet potato and a few others. I think I need the 5Strands test, 'cause maybe my allergies have changed since the last time I was tested. Winks.

  21. I'm pretty sure that Nelly has some environmental intolerances including pollen and probably dust, she's also highly sensitive to flea bites. I thought it was interesting that Brulee is sensitive to cats. That would be tough!

  22. I would love to try this on my Katie - I’m quite sure she has a lot of allergies because she has chronic sinusitis and no medication has ever helped her. I would have tried Shadow. He had the worst IBS that eventually took his life.

    I find it funny that cats are allergic to cats!

  23. I would like to see what proteins might be an issue.

  24. I'm working on a post on cat food ingredients borne out of me trying to reduce Bear's IBD symptoms. I've pored over just about every dry food available from Chewy - and from what I've seen, it would be nearly impossible to eliminate all the girls' level 3 intolerances with processed foods. Potatoes, tapioca, pumpkin, tomato pomace, rosemary, chicory root are all rather common ingredients in what I'd call top shelf foods. My research was skewed (I paid more attention) toward foods with a rather high protein content (>40%) that didn't load their foods with plant proteins. So there might be some I disregarded without a full examination. The whole process was discouraging - for every "bad" ingredient (as determined by vet nutrition experts online) these brands don't have, they have three more "bad ingredients" that they do. We've had disastrous results (in terms of diarrhea and his blood sugar shooting through the roof even in a super slow transition) trying to switch Bear off a prescription diet for diabetic cats where the SECOND ingredient is corn gluten meal!!! I swear, I am so incredibly frustrated! I've even considered trying raw - but if I'm going to spend that kind of money, I want to be sure whatever food I get isn't going to make Bear's issues worse. At this point, I've pretty much given up trying him with different foods - this test might be the next best step.

  25. If it showed a pork intolerance for Tommy Gargoyle, I would not be surprised. Everytime he eats it he'll throw up in about 4 hours. That time he got into 2 tablespoons of bacon AFTER we had a hunch you bet it was like watching water boil waiting to soothe that cat.

  26. This would be great to find out if our Theo has any intolerances. We went through a few foods that his digestive system didn't like but not sure what in them was the issue.

  27. This is great to know there is a test for cats... Wish I could have gotten in on the giveaway... I have a cat that sneezes all the time, sometimes runny nose. Be great to find out what she is having trouble with.


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