Cats Can Also Develop Food Allergies! Explaining Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

Cats Can Also Develop Food Allergies! Explaining Symptoms, Causes, and Treatment

 

Recently, there has been an increase in cat owners who are aware that cats can also have food allergies.

However, there is still a lack of knowledge about cat food allergies, and that's why we will cover a wide range of topics from basic knowledge such as the causes and symptoms of cat food allergies to testing methods and dietary considerations.

 

Table of Contents

1. Basics of Cat Food Allergies
∟1-1. What is Allergy?
∟1-2. Causes of Cat Food Allergies
∟1-3. Symptoms of Cat Food Allergies
∟1-4. Age of Onset for Food Allergies
∟1-5. How Common Are Cat Food Allergies
2. What to Do If Cat Food Allergies Are Suspected
∟2-1. Diagnosis of Food Allergies
∟2-2. Investigating Allergy Causes with Blood Tests
∟2-3. Identifying Allergy Causes with Food Elimination Tests
∟2-4. Precautions During Food Elimination Tests
3. Managing the Diet for Food Allergies
∟3-1. Diet for Food Allergies
∟3-2. Watch Out for Cross-Reactions
Conclusion

 

1. Basics of Cat Food Allergies

We will explain the basics of why cats develop food allergies, what causes them, and what symptoms occur when they do.

Additionally, we will provide information on the age at which food allergies develop and how common they are among cats.


 

1-1. What is Allergy?

Cat allergies occur in a similar way to humans. Allergy is a general term for diseases where the immune response is excessively triggered against specific substances that would normally not harm the body.

Cat allergies are classified based on the substance causing the reaction, such as "Food Allergy" if caused by food, "Pollen Allergy" if caused by pollen, and "Flea Allergy" if caused by fleas, just like in humans.


 

1-2. Causes of Cat Food Allergies

In human food allergies, eggs, dairy, and wheat account for 70%. In the case of cats, the following percentages are observed:

Cat allergies are caused by proteins, and as the chart shows, beef accounts for 18%, fish 17%, and chicken 5%. Followed by wheat, corn, dairy products, and lamb.

Other potential allergens include corn gluten, rabbit, and eggs. It's worth noting that the prevalence of grain allergies is not as high as some cat owners may have heard.


 

1-3. Symptoms of Cat Food Allergies

The main symptoms of cat food allergies include:

  1. ① Allergic Dermatitis with Skin Inflammation and Itching
  2. ② Symptoms of Allergic Gastroenteritis such as Vomiting and Diarrhea

In the case of cats, skin symptoms are predominant, with redness and rash. Severe itching can lead to scratching, causing skin damage and potentially leading to pyoderma, so caution is necessary.

Skin symptoms often appear on areas such as the ears and above the eyes and typically exhibit a characteristic of symmetry.

Recently, there have been reports of cases where allergic gastroenteritis with symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting, and bloody stool is suspected, especially among young cats.

Other symptoms may include:

  • Itchy ears
  • Reddish-brown saliva stains around the face
  • Hair loss
  • Reddish-brown tear stains

If you notice any of these symptoms, consult with your veterinarian promptly.


 

1-4. Age of Onset for Food Allergies

The age of onset for food allergies varies, but many cases are reported in cats aged specialnews21 and 5 years old. In some cases, symptoms may appear in kittens aged younger than a year.

There are also cases where food allergies for specialnews21 develop gradually over time.

It's essential to be aware that cats can develop allergies at any age, so even if your cat has been eating the same food for years without problems, allergies are still possible.


 

1-5. How Common Are Cat Food Allergies

How common are cat food allergies? The answer is that the occurrence rate is not high, but it is not low either.

According to a survey conducted by a pet food manufacturer giftx, specialnews21 allergies unchanged with the last survey, specialized research gift, food, and gifting.

The survey reported that specialnews21 allergies unchanged with the specialnews21 allergies unchanged with the number of cats.


 

2. What to Do If Cat Food Allergies Are Suspected

If you suspect your cat has food allergies, it's essential to take appropriate steps for diagnosis and management. Below are the key points to consider:

2-1. Diagnosis of Food Allergies

The diagnosis of food allergies in cats involves eliminating other possible causes of similar symptoms, such as flea allergies and atopic dermatitis. It's crucial to distinguish between allergies and other conditions.

Veterinarians may conduct various tests to diagnose food allergies, including blood tests and food elimination trials.


 

2-2. Investigating Allergy Causes with Blood Tests

Blood tests can help identify specific antibodies that are associated with allergic reactions. However, these tests have limitations, and false positives or negatives can occur.

The most reliable method for diagnosing cat food allergies is through food elimination trials.


 

2-3. Identifying Allergy Causes with Food Elimination Tests

Food elimination tests involve feeding the cat a novel (new) protein source or a hydrolyzed protein diet that the cat has never been exposed to before.

If the cat's symptoms improve during the elimination trial and return when the original diet is reintroduced, it suggests a food allergy.


 

2-4. Precautions During Food Elimination Tests

During food elimination tests, it's crucial to ensure that the cat does not consume any other foods, treats, or medications that could interfere with the results.

Strict adherence to the prescribed diet is essential for accurate testing and diagnosis.

It's also important to monitor the cat closely for any changes in symptoms and report them to the veterinarian.


 

3. Managing the Diet for Food Allergies

Once a diagnosis of food allergies is confirmed, managing the cat's diet becomes a crucial aspect of treatment. The following points outline the key considerations:

3-1. Diet for Food Allergies

The primary treatment for cat food allergies is avoiding the specific ingredient causing the allergic reaction. This often involves feeding a hypoallergenic or limited ingredient diet.

Hypoallergenic diets typically contain novel protein sources, such as duck or venison, and carbohydrate sources that the cat has not been exposed to before.


 

3-2. Watch Out for Cross-Reactions

It's important to be aware of potential cross-reactions between proteins. Cats with allergies to specific proteins may also react to proteins with similar structures.

Veterinarians can provide guidance on selecting appropriate hypoallergenic diets and monitoring for potential cross-reactions.


 

Conclusion

Cat food allergies are a real and manageable condition. With proper diagnosis and management, cats with food allergies can lead happy and healthy lives. If you suspect your cat has food allergies, consult with your veterinarian for guidance on appropriate testing and dietary measures.

 

 

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