True allergies in cats are rare. In fact, allergies are often confused or misunderstood with more common and easier to tolerate food intolerances. Learn how to spot a cat who has an allergy and what you can to make it as happy and healthy as ever.
What is a cat food allergy and what are the symptoms?
A cat’s food allergy is a reaction to the ingredients in a particular food, sometimes to tiny particles such as beef, dairy or fish. Although allergies are most commonly diagnosed in young cats they can also develop at any age so it is worth checking for unusual symptoms at any age.
Cat food allergy can be difficult to diagnose as there are not specific tests. The symptoms are not always specific and the same foods may not cause an allergy.
The symptoms of cat food allergies are often confused with the symptoms of other diseases, so it is very important to seek the advice of your veterinarian before making any changes to your cat’s diet to make sure you know you need to treat an allergy rather than any other disease.
What are the symptoms and signs of cat allergy?
The most common signs of cat food allergy include:
• Skin problems – itching and redness, scaly areas or torn skin, usually due to the cat scratching.
• Recurrent ear infections.
• Problems with hair follicles caused by swallowing shaved hair or washing too much.
• Stomach and intestinal problems as well as vomiting and diarrhea.
• Breathing problems (rare).
Frequent scratching can be caused by an allergic reaction or too frequent washing. Cats can also scratch often due to flea skin irritation (which is a reaction to flea saliva). Do not attempt to treat allergies yourself if you suspect them. It is possible to test your cat’s dietary food tolerance and allergies if your veterinarian has ruled out other conditions. To ensure that your cat receives all of the necessary nutrients, your veterinarian will closely monitor these tests.
How can veterinarians determine if a cat has an allergy?
If your veterinarian suspects that you may be suffering from cancer, cat is allergicIt will recommend that you give your cat a special diet. The hypoallergenic food will be temporarily fed to your cat and is so low in protein that it can’t cause an allergic reaction (unless it’s very rare).
The rejection diet is applied for a set period of time, depending on the cat’s symptoms. A cat suffering from skin problems might be prescribed a restricted diet. This can last for up to 12 weeks. Most stomach and intestinal problems resolve in a shorter time.
As long as you cat is on a rejection diet, she can’t eat anything else – so no one in the family can treat her to any delicious bites or delicacies, however she wants to! If your cat is unable to walk outside for the trial period, you should keep her at home. It takes patience and perseverance to follow a diet, but sometimes you don’t suffer. Tell your veterinarian straight away if this happens. He needs to know all facts and that the cat isn’t eating a bland diet.
After the trial period
At the end of the trial period, the veterinarian will check the cat’s health and assess how well she is doing and how she is feeling after the new diet. He will also want to see if any of the same symptoms have improved, changed, or remained. If your pet’s symptoms have not improved, it is likely she does not have a cat food allergy. The vet will investigate the cause.
This is good news for both you and your cat if your health has improved. Your veterinarian will discuss with you what to do next, but you may need to slowly return the protein to your diet and monitor your cat’s reaction closely, depending on the specific problem you are suffering from. You will most likely find the cause if your cat’s symptoms recur after eating a certain food.
You will need to find another balanced nutritional diet that does not include that ingredient.
Sometimes it can be difficult and cats can be allergic to multiple foods. Therefore, it is very important that the veterinarian helps with the diagnosis – do not try to find the cause yourself. The process can be complicated, but it will pay off in the end – your pet will be happy to cross dinner and not have to worry about any bad consequences!
Your veterinarian can help you determine if your cat is allergic to cat food.