Cat food allergies represent roughly 10% of all the allergies in cats and 57% of the causes for itching and scratching. Though there are many unanswered questions about cat food allergies we do know the symptoms and treatment.
It is important to note, that there is a difference between a food allergy and intolerance to food. Food allergies are actual allergic reactions to food and can include itching and skin irritation. Food intolerance will result in vomiting and diarrhea.
The most common allergies to food are:
The symptoms of cat food allergies include itchy skin and hair loss. You may not always associate the symptoms with a food allergy so it is important to know what to look for.
Typically the diagnosis will include ruling out all other conditions that result in the same symptoms. After all other forms are ruled out your vet will like start a food trial. The purpose of a food trial is to determine what is causing the allergy.
During the food trial you will need to follow the veterinarian’s instructions carefully and make sure your cat does not ingest anything else. This means no treats, toys, etc. You want to be very diligent during the food study so you can identify the allergen and help your cat overcome it.
If you have multiple cats you will also want to make sure you have a separate litter box used by the cat being tested. Keep an eye out to make sure none of the other cats use this.
Once you have gone through the food trial your vet should be able to identify what your cat is allergic to so you can start to find the right cat food for your cat’s allergy.