Allergies and intolerances are often associated with stressful symptoms for cats. Itching , nausea, diarrhea and abdominal pain are the result.
The main trigger is poor nutrition, and problematic proteins in particular can lead to gastrointestinal problems in cats. Hypoallergenic cat food can help and restore the animal’s wellbeing.
How does an allergy develop in cats?
There are several triggers that can lead to a food allergy in cats. In addition to genes, there are also some environmental factors that can lead to an allergy.
The most common food allergies in cats are caused by:
- Wrong feed
- Genetic predisposition to allergies
- Illnesses and injuries
How is a feed allergy manifested in cats?
If a cat has developed an allergy to certain food components, various symptoms can be observed when the relevant substance is ingested.
Only in the rarest of cases can an allergy be recognized by the symptoms. Tests must be ordered from the veterinarian for a final diagnosis.
Cats with a food allergy often suffer from:
- skin rash
- Bald spots
- Hair loss
- stomach pain
- Gastrointestinal problems
It also becomes problematic when the cat no longer eats . If in doubt, you should always consult a veterinarian.
With a food allergy, diarrhea is not uncommon in cats. Loss of appetite, strong or absent thirst, nausea and vomiting: all problems with food intake can be due to a food allergy.
Which food contains allergens?
Allergenic substances can be found in almost every cat food . Dairy products, eggs and wheat in particular are unsuitable for cats and can cause food allergies.
The administration of cow’s milk at a young age is also not advisable. Many animals are lactose intolerant and what feeds a growing calf is only conditionally suitable for cats anyway.
Another food allergy trigger in cats is sugar. Unfortunately, many products available contain a lot of sugar.
What is hypoallergenic cat food?
If the cause of the food allergy in a cat is known, then food can be given that does not contain any allergenic substances. There is food that tends to avoid all kinds of allergenic substances. This is called hypoallergenic food.
In general, whether you are allergic or not, you should always eat a balanced and healthy diet . The range of hypoallergenic cat food has also increased significantly in recent years and there are many products on the market that can be fed without any problems.
Since every cat reacts differently to cat food and the allergenic substances can vary, it is highly recommended that you consult a veterinarian.
What else can you do about a feed allergy?
Unfortunately, food intolerances and allergies in cats cannot really be treated . However, if there are signs of allergy, cat owners should definitely contact a veterinarian to identify the allergenic substances.
The so-called elimination diet is usually used for diagnosis. Here the cat is given food that it has not eaten before, e.g. based on other types of meat. After a few weeks the symptoms will subside.
In addition to the elimination diet, there is also the provocation diet to prove an allergy in cats. In the provocation diet, various ingredients are initially omitted from the feeding.
As soon as the symptoms subside, the substance classified as problematic is fed in a targeted manner in order to be able to confirm or reject it as a trigger for the allergy (and the symptoms).
If the problematic substances are known, it is of course important not to feed them any more. In most cases, the vet will provide tips and advice on how to properly feed the cat.
In particularly severe cases, cortisone must also be used in order to at least contain the symptoms such as skin irritation or itching and to alleviate the associated pain in the animal.
What are the dangers of a food allergy for a cat?
A food allergy in cats should not be underestimated. In contrast to an intolerance, which brings similar symptoms with it, an allergy can be fatal if the animal continues to be improperly fed.
The cat can develop allergic asthma or even suffer from anaphylactic shock. Both of these lead to a life-threatening situation for the cat.
Therefore, make sure to always eat the cat balanced and healthy and contact a veterinarian as soon as possible if there are signs of an allergy.