Food allergies can wreak havoc on our cats. A concerning health hazard for many pet parents, allergies are triggered due to various toxins or allergens in the food. So, today, we’ll uncover different cat food allergies and the signs, solutions, and special diets to curb the issue. From symptoms of itching, loss of fur, vomiting, diarrhea, weight loss, and irritability to treatments like using antibiotics prescribed by a vet, avoiding allergenic food, providing clean water, cleaning and cooking the food thoroughly, and following particular dietary recommendations, we will tell you everything for quick diagnosis and cure of food allergies in your kitty.
Symptoms of a Food Allergy in Cats
Your kitty probably likes to nibble on everything it lays its eyes upon. They are not aware of the right food and may consume something alarming. There might also be a case when you mistakenly feed them improper food without having sufficient knowledge about their dietary needs. As a result, they may develop an allergic reaction.
So, below, we have listed the common signs of a food allergy in a cat that can help you identify and intervene early.
If you notice your cat severely scratching its skin and overly grooming itself, it may be due to a potential food allergy. Before your cat starts itching, you may also see lumps on their skin, which are caused by a response to the allergen in the food. These fluid-filled lumps make the skin irritated, and the cat starts itching. Rashes and skin lesions can also come up, which can trigger itching.
- Loss of Fur
Due to itching and over-grooming, your furry friend may start to lose the hair on its body. While cats shed a small amount of hair daily, too much hair loss can indicate a food allergy. You may also see bald patches on its entire body.
- Vomiting and Diarrhea
Gastrointestinal problems are one of the most common symptoms that indicate a food allergy in your cat. After the food is ingested and there is a sudden onset of vomiting and diarrhea, it is most likely an allergic flare due to toxins in the food.
- Food Avoidance and Weight Loss
If you observe a healthy cat starting to avoid food, they may have developed a food allergy. It is because once they are sick, they will restrict eating so as not to cause further flare-ups. Due to avoidance of eating, your feline friend can experience rapid weight loss and look thin.
- Irritability and Isolation
While many cats prefer some alone time, it can be a sign of worry if your pet has stopped interacting with you. On trying to interact, they may also become irritable and show signs of aggression, especially after eating some food. It hints that something is wrong with your cat; it may have developed an allergy.
Solutions to Relieve and Prevent Further Spread of Your Cat’s Food Allergy
It is understandable for pet owners to become frantic if their cat develops a food allergy. However, the wise thing to do in such situations is to be calm and stop the allergy from spreading further. You must remember that no cures for cat food allergies exist, but they can help relieve the symptoms. Below, we have mentioned a few things that you can do to help your cat feel better.
- Avoid Giving food that has Triggered the Allergy
First, you should know that if your cat gets a food allergy, you should not repeat the food given before the allergy, which was the most probable trigger for the reaction. A total elimination of that particular meal can prevent your cat from having any symptoms in the future.
So, here are some common allergenic foods for cats that you should eliminate from their diet.
|Food Category||Allergenic Foods|
|Proteins||Uncooked chicken, beef, lamb, and fish|
|Dairy products||Milk, cheese|
|Grain products||Wheat gluten|
|Vegetarian products||Cornmeal, corn gluten, raisins, grapes, onions, garlic|
|Additives||Rendered fat, BHA, BHT, PG|
- Provide Clean Water Frequently
Since allergies can cause vomiting and diarrhea, your cat risks getting dehydrated. Dehydration can lead to further complications. So try giving them small amounts of fresh water at regular intervals.
- Clean and Cook the Food Thoroughly Before Serving
If your cat food has traces of harmful substances or bacteria such as Salmonella, they can cause allergies. The immune system can respond to these toxins and cause flare-ups. So, after you buy or before you cook any food, make sure they are adequately cleaned. In the case of meats, you can boil them to kill any remaining bacteria. Even while cooking, don’t hurry and cook the food thoroughly before giving it to your cat.
- Use Antibiotics and Medications as Prescribed By Vet
Do not hesitate to take your cat to their vet if the allergy symptoms worsen over time. The doctor can give some injections and prescribe medicines, which you should diligently follow and give to your pet.
- Use a Special Diet for a Cat with a Food Allergy
Diet is essential to keep your kitty healthy, especially after an allergy. Vets may recommend a special hydrolyzed protein diet, where the protein gets broken down into very fine molecules. As a result, your cat’s immune system will fail to identify any allergenic substance.
Doctors also recommend a novel protein-based diet to replace allergenic food. It refers to an animal protein, such as duck or rabbit, which the pet hasn’t taken before.
The next option that works very effectively is to provide a hypoallergenic diet, meaning food that has low proportions of common allergens and is made up of minimum ingredients. One of the best readymade hypoallergenic foods you can give is the Purina ONE +Plus Sensitive Skin and Stomach Formula. It is specially curated for adult cats susceptible to allergies.
So, be careful if your cat has got a food allergy. Identify the signs and step in early to restore the cat’s health. In addition, follow the special diet plan mentioned above and eliminate all allergen-containing food.