Best Cat Food For Cats with Allergies - KittyCatter
Unfortunately, the symptoms of food and inhalant allergies are often identical; though inhalant symptoms are a little more likely to show up in skin than in the gut. I still use an elimination diet, because simplifying the diet will often help with inhalant allergies as well. As I mentioned, blood tests and skin tests are not very helpful in cats.
Food intolerance is not uncommon in cats. Just because your cat has been eating the same food for years doesn't mean that they could not still develop a reaction to it out of the blue and experience digestive issues or skin irritation. Learning the difference between intolerance and allergy, as well as the corresponding symptoms, will help you identify the source of the problem and seek out the appropriate care for your cat.
According to Wendy Brooks, DVM, beef, dairy and seafood are responsible for 8 out of 10 allergies in cats. Often switching to a cat food containing duck and peas or venison and potato are good options. Many inexpensive cat foods add artificial food coloring to their foods. The food coloring serves no purpose other than for visual appeal to humans and cause allergies in cats sensitive to the ingredients used in the artificial dyes. Brands like Friskies and Fancy Feast use food coloring. To be sure, however, use an elimination diet to rule out one food over another until you can pinpoint the foods causing allergies in cats. During this food trial, feed your cat specific food for 12 weeks, keeping the cat indoors the entire time and not allowing treats or snacks. If the new food does not alleviate the feline allergies during this time, try another formula. Usually, if improvements are seen, they start to appear after four weeks. Cats are frequently allergic to the lactose found in cow's milk. Some pet foods add dairy products like milk powder or cheese for the calcium. Even quality brands like Innova add milk, so be sure to read labels carefully if cat food allergies are suspected. Cornmeal and corn gluten meal are used as inexpensive fillers in cat foods. Many cats simply are allergic to any form of corn and will develop itchy, dry skin. In addition, some veterinarians believe there is a link between fillers and cat diabetes. Soy is added to cat food for the protein benefit, but it's a plant and really unnecessary to a cat's health. The possible allergic reaction to soy makes it an ingredient to avoid. Cat food companies use egg for added protein, but some cats will have allergies to the egg yolks or whites. Watch canned food especially because many include egg. Food trials are lengthy and the cat is fed one type of food for a long period of time (i.e. 12 weeks). The cat's reactions are monitored and after 12 weeks a new food is introduced, until the allergen is detected.