5 Common Cat Food Allergy Symptoms

Much like humans, cats can get allergies, too. An allergy is any reaction that’s discomforting and induced by the immune system over-reacting to food, something the cat inhaled or something in the environment.

cat food allergy symptoms

The immune system, of course, is needed to protect against bacteria, foreign proteins, viruses, and other troublesome substances that enter the cat’s system. Of course, it doesn’t mean it only reacts to dangerous stuff. The immune system response can sometimes be triggered by things not usually considered harmful.

That’s how you can end up allergic to house dust, insect bites, pollen, wool, powder, even feathers too. Triggered, this usually results in a bout of itching, sneezing, coughing, vomiting or diarrhea in humans. The same symptoms can occur in felines, too.

For cats to become allergic to anything, they must be exposed to whatever it is that induces the reaction a couple times minimum. Hypersensitivity reactions can occur and there are two different types. The first one takes place post exposure and almost instantaneously which often leads to itches and hives. The other is a more delayed reaction that can produce the same itchiness but hours and in some cases, days after being exposed.

One of the more common allergies concerns for pet owners is to food. While true food allergies are not very common in cats (food allergy accounts for just 10% of all pet allergies), it can still happen. Cat food allergies can strike the cat at any age.

Corn, wheat, soy, fish, and chicken are common allergens apparently. And that’s not all. Allergies to pork, beef and even dairy products and eggs may emerge as well. If you noticed, these are practically all the ingredients in cat food. That means your cat is likely exposed to them every day.

Some of the more common cat food allergy symptoms include:

  1. intensely itch rash on the head, neck, back, sides of the body, legs and anal area

  2. swollen eyelids

  3. hair loss

  4. oozing sores

  5. diarrhea

  6. vomiting

In some cases, the food allergy symptom may be isolated to just the ears. They will then become inflamed followed by a nasty discharge that’s moist.

If you see your pet showing any of these cat food allergy symptoms, it’s best to contact your vet. Unfortunately, the only way to see if the allergy is caused by his diet is to perform a food trial. This means taking out the suspected allergen from the diet for around one to one and a half months.

We then proceed to the next step which is to expose your cat to the allergen again. This may seem a bit cruel but it’s something that must be done to be able to identify that the suspected allergen is in fact the cause of the symptoms.

After determining the exact cause of the allergy, it’s time to switch your cat to a hypoallergenic diet. Note however, that some pets may develop food allergies in 1 to 3 years. That means a flare-up of itchiness can occur again and another food trial must again be done.

When this happens, you can try feeding the cat home-cooked meals. Or, as always, just contact the professionals (that would be the vet) and work out a new natural diet that would work better with your cat.

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Jul 2014

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