How To Address Food Allergies In Cats

How To Address Food Allergies In Cats?

Animals are prone to minor diseases and allergies due to various reasons. Researchers and vets often predict that allergies are not common in cats; however, it is also not feasible to take an effortless note of a change in their behavior. Pets possess some standard and common characteristics and traits, and you can often see a change in their behavior at any time. While pet owners do spend quality and considerable time with their pets, it is usually difficult to predict this. For this, your understanding of your pet and their behavior is critical. Your pet’s vet may also come to your rescue. As for the medication or change in food, you can always refer to Petco. pk as a perfect option. 

What are Food Allergies in Cats?

Allergies are of different types, and they do not quickly develop or profoundly in cats. However, some allergies may develop due to various reasons, such as food that are known as food allergies. Food allergies are visible in cats and enter their bodies through a minor change in any of the food ingredients, such as beef, dairy products, and fish. A shift in ingredients is often expected when you switch to another brand of the same product or when you look for a change in food depending on your cat’s age or specific health condition. In short, the most common reason for food allergies developing in your cat is due to changes in food products and ingredients. 

Difference of Opinion

Food allergies have different meanings for different researchers, and there are always other viewpoints to this. A food allergy in cats is also considered an adverse reaction that your cat’s immune system causes against a specific protein ingredient found in the food. In essence, while we know of the mechanism and the system of how allergies develop in cats, the difficult part is not realizing and understanding why they occur. Also, it remains a mystery why even some cats of the same breed exhibit allergies and others do not. Judging the allergies is a tedious task. 

Judging Food Allergies

But how do you judge if your cat is allergic to a particular food? Allergies may get into your cat primarily due to you changing their nutrition and ingredients. Combating such a situation can be difficult. This is because allergies often become visible in humans, and treating them is easy. In the case of cats, it is not visible and may usually go unnoticed until you have an examination with your vet. In essence, vets cannot also predict a change in your cat’s behavior since allergies in your cats are not easily detectable. There are no medical tests available that can screen for your cats. 

Common Foods Associated with Allergies

Typically, food allergies in cats are due to common food ingredients that they consume. These include beef, chicken, fish, and dairy products. These are the ingredients that commonly constitute a cat food your cat consumes. Almost all different cat food products and types include these ingredients. Hence, they are prone to these foods. In essence, it is also common or basic to note that a cat will not develop allergic symptoms against a food that it is not exposed to. Hence, one way to deal with cat food allergies is by analyzing the food type you have been giving to them. It is also possible that a cat may show an allergy to a food that it has been consuming for longer. That is why dealing with food allergies in cats is highly difficult.  

Signs and Symptoms of Cat Food Allergies

Food and other allergies in cats are complicated to predict, analyze, and understand. It is challenging for vets to identify them since there are no medical tests dedicated to them. However, what pet owners and vets take help from are some common symptoms and signs that help judge or explain why a cat may be subject to some undergoing allergies. So, let’s understand what different symptoms tell us about food allergies. 

Hairball Problems

Allergies may also develop when your cat over-grooms itself or while it is you that perform such an action and the cat swallows its fur. This ingestion causes fur to create the shape of a ball in the stomach, blocking the digestive system. Cats may also accidentally swallow fur while they are scratching themselves due to any skin irritation. 

Ear Infections

Another common allergic symptom that is found in cats is ear infections. Ear infections may develop in cats for many reasons, but there are some ways you can predict that your cat is suffering from an allergy. This is evident from different ear infections that continue to reoccur even after you treat them. 

Skin Problems

One of the most common ways to check if there is something wrong with your cat’s behavior is their skin irritations. Skin problems are one of the most common ways to understand there is something wrong with your cat. Common skin problems that may predict an allergy include itching, redness, and abrasion of skin, such as bald areas, all resulting from scratching by cats. 

Gastrointestinal Problems

Gastrointestinal problems do not always depict a food allergy, but they may predict any allergy or problem in a cat’s digestive system. Hence, if you find issues such as vomiting, constipation, and diarrhea in your cat, it may be evident that they are suffering gastrointestinal problems. In essence, this can be the time to suggest that your cat needs a trip to the vet to examine allergies. 

Respiratory Problems

This may be a symptom of allergies developing in your cat, but respiratory problems are not considered adequate or even something that may occur in your cat. In other words, it is rare for your cat to exhibit allergies through respiratory symptoms. However, respiratory problems may occur as a symptom of allergy. 

How can Vets Treat Food Allergies in Cats?

The most challenging part of a vet’s job is their ability to identify allergies in cats. Cats do not exhibit apparent traits of any allergy that may be or has developed in them. While symptoms and signs do provide some pictures to work on, vets have no dedicated medical tests actually to judge and look for allergies in cats. For this, they take the primary observations from any symptoms that are recorded and presented by pet owners and then their standard trial method of altering the food types. Vets use a series of food trials with cats based on protein intake, size, and type to give the cat a change of plans. This leads them to identify the cause and then finally treat them. So here’s how they do it in three different phases. 

Veterinary Hydrolyzed Protein Diet

In scientific or chemical terminology, hydrolyzing refers to the breaking down of chemical bonds with the use of water. In simpler terms, while referring to a hydrolyzed protein diet, proteins, when broken down into smaller forms and shapes, refer to a hydrolyzed protein diet. The purpose of providing the cat with such a diet is to ensure that proteins are broken into tiny sizes that become unrecognizable by the cat’s immune system. This way, it becomes easier for them to get into the immune system and perform the cleansing action needed to treat the allergic germs. 

Home-Prepared Novel Protein Diet

A home-prepared novel protein diet is almost similar and identical to a veterinary novel protein diet, except that one particular ingredient was added to the former. The thing with a home-prepared novel protein diet is the same: it does not involve previous ingredients that were present in your cat food prior to developing allergic symptoms. However, the difference is that there is always an addition of a balancing supplement to do the trick. Also, the home-prepared diet must be formulated and constituted by your veterinary professional so that you can prepare it at home with ease. 

Veterinary Novel Protein Diet

Once you are finished with the hydrolyzed protein diet, the next phase or test is offering your cat the actual change. A veterinary novel protein diet is a diet that is free from products present in your cat’s previous foods. This is an attempt to alter the diet entirely to judge how it affects your cat’s digestive and immune systems. The veterinary novel protein diet is also an efficient sign. It is directed at distinguishing the food that is actually responsible for your cat’s food allergies. 

Response to the Trial Period

The trial period of altering the food types for your cat carries on for 4 to 12 weeks. Within this period, your vet looks for reasons that your cat developed allergies or potential allergies. By altering the food types, ingredients, and products, they change your cat’s diet completely while offering the maximum respite to them. However, it is the trials that are conducted that lead your vet to consider the next move or the next step in healing your cat. 

Some of the expected results that vets experience include either your cat showing no change in symptoms or no improvement or your cat showing mild enhancements. In either case, there are different ways to continue and move forward. Considering that your cat does not show any signs of positivity and improvement, it is evident that your cat is not suffering from a food allergy and that you need to look for other options as a record, such as examining further for any other potential issue of illness. 

However, there is also the chance that your cat shows signs of positivity that reflect that your cat is suffering from a food allergy and that you need to change the tactics a bit. This involves slowly releasing the proteins in their diet to check for sustainability. This also means you can add the former ingredients to their food slowly and gradually while keeping a keen eye over them. This is to ensure and check for any recurring symptoms that help you catch the culprit ingredient or product. 


Food allergies in cats may not develop quickly, and there are not many cases of common food allergies developing in your cat. It is also possible that most food allergies are nothing but your assumptions that can be taken away quickly. In essence, food allergies develop from basic and standard food products such as beef, chicken, fish, and dairy items. Treating food allergies depends upon the symptoms that develop in your cats and the variations in protein diets during the trial period. has a wide range of authentic cat foods and a list of products available typically for the trial period that your vet is conducting over your cat’s food. 

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Frequently Asked Questions

How do you treat a cat with a food allergy?

While it is difficult to identify food allergies in cats, vets use a series of food trials with cats based on protein intake, size, and type. This leads them to determine the cause and then finally treat them.

How do I tell if my cat is allergic to food?

Cats exhibit food allergies through common signs and symptoms such as skin problems, gastrointestinal problems, ear infections recurring, hairball problems, and respiratory problems. 

What foods help with cat food allergies?

Three common food types are offered to a cat suffering from food allergies. These include the Veterinary Hydrolyzed Protein Diet, the Veterinary Novel Protein Diet, and the Home-Prepared Novel Protein Diet.

Can cats be allergic to rice?

It is rare for a cat to show signs of allergy to rice, but some felines may have problems digesting grains such as rice. 

For how long does the trial period for food allergy diet alteration take place?

The trial period for food allergy diet alteration takes place over 4 to 12 weeks.

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