Friday 1 June 2012

Are People Less Allergic To Raw Fed Cats?

by Elisa Black-Taylor (USA)

Are people less allergic to raw fed cats? I'm not an expert on the subject of raw fed cats, but the question has come up a few times on the raw fed cat forums I subscribe to. I hope at the end of this article those of you who have more experience with this will comment.

Let's look at what causes people to be allergic to cats. Usually it's cat dander. Dander is dead skin or bits of dead hair. This dander can remain in the air for hours after being shed by a cat. Cat dander has even been found in office buildings and schools where no cats are present. This is because it may remain on a person's clothes after they pet their cat, then go about their day without changing clothes.

Making raw cat food
Making raw cat food. Photo in the public domain.

Raw fed cats tend to have more moisture in their skin. Their coats are shinier and their hide (for lack of a better word) isn't as dry. So it's understandable that more moisture means less dander, which means less shedding. This could mean less allergies for those who suffer.

These cats not only shed fewer allergens, their flea problems are also dramatically reduced. Perhaps the skin toughens up to the extent the fleas don't find it a favorable environment. Or do fleas tend to prefer shedding dander and once this has been eliminated, they move on or die from lack of 'nourishment?'

These are all things to consider for those who want a cat but are allergic or who may be thinking of turning their cat into the shelter system because of cat allergies.

Although no official studies have been done showing raw fed cats cause less allergies, it has been shown these cats shed 75% less than cats fed a traditional commercial diet.

I've used raw chicken as treats for my cats and my vet has been very surprised at how white their teeth are. Our Furby has a movie star smile! Their fur is also extremely soft. This goes away after awhile if I don't continue to offer the raw chicken as a treat.

Have any of you experienced a reduction in cat allergies when feeding raw? We may not have an official study going on here, but I'm curious. I'd like your opinion on the subject.

Associated: Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds and Hypoallergenic Cat Food (this is food for a cat that is allergic to some types of food).


  1. Hi Elisa. This is an interesting article. I have not read about this anywhere and I read a lot about cats!

    However, I have a page on a raw cat food diet and in writing it (some time ago) I learned that the few people who do make their own raw cat food report improvements in their cat's health and well being. I remember one person (a Bengal cat breeder as I remember) saying that her cats' poo was less smelly! Bengal cats are known for smelly poo....:)

    But as for skin condition being improved, I have not heard that. One simplistic thought is that a lot of people feed their cats dry cat food only. This leaves the cat slightly dehydrated it is thought. Raw cat food has about 78% moisture levels I would have thought so the skin would be re-hydrated. This may be a factor but you would get the same thing with wet cat food.

    Thanks for telling us about this. Personally, I believe that raw cat food should be available on the shelves of supermarkets as an alternative. I don't know why it isn't. I can only conclude, skeptically and cynically, that it is not commercial but also perhaps the vets have a say in this. Raw cat food may improve the health of cats and that would hurt the vets financially wouldn't it?

  2. We have had our cat for a year and a half now. When we first got her, dry food did not agree with her and she was put on raw. I will say, I have always had allergies to cats, but its has been easily managed, but I have never ever reacted to our current cat. Now that it is summer and we travel to our family cabin on weekends, we switched her to dry food. Since putting our cat on a dry food diet her shedding is out of control and my allergies are THROUGH THE ROOF. We have switched her back to raw and will be staying on a raw fed diet from now on. When we go away in the summer next year, we will give her dehydrated raw food.

    1. Thanks a lot for this. This is an old article, I'd forgotten about. Your comment reminded me of it. I might do a follow up page as it is an interesting topic. I am pleased that you found a solution to your allergy to cats.

  3. Please do a follow up because I am allergic to cats and have a dog on raw and am very curious to know more about this.

    1. Have you tried Purina Live Clear for cats? It works okay and I feel that it will help. I'll do a follow up article anyway.


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