Tuesday 13 February 2024

Veterinarian approved notes on cat food allergies which may help

I was reading a Miami Herald article by Sheah Rarback who is a registered dietician and nutritionist in private practice in Miami, Florida, USA. She's written an article about her cat being allergic to 'something'. She provides a couple of useful pointers - thank you - but no detail.

She was told by her veterinarian I believe that she should try different sorts of meat protein for her cat such as ostrich, rabbit, venison and kangaroo because perhaps the starting point for identifying food allergies and intolerance is that most food allergies in both cats and humans are proteins which produce an immune response.

Hydrolysed protein

And she adds that she was instructed to consider a hydrolysed protein formula. She gives these formulas to her human clients. It is a formula in which the protein is broken down to basic peptides and doesn't cause an allergic reaction and it is easier to digest. The product is expensive.

So in round terms that is what she is advising and I would like to add a little bit extra having dipped into the best book one can have on the topic of delivering good cat health.

Some more

The book I have is written by four veterinarians and therefore this advice is veterinarian approved. We know that cats can become allergic to certain foods or substances in foods. They can also become allergic to things in the air and the environment.

Regarding food, the most common food allergens are chicken, fish, corn, wheat and soy but cats may also develop a food allergy to beef, pork, dairy products or eggs.

Gluten and lactose

At this juncture I would like to say that I am semi-vegan and I eat gluten-free breads and cakes and I drink oat milk to avoid cows' milk as I am lactose intolerant to a certain extent.

Gluten is inflammatory as is lactose or they both can be in some people.

I'm digressing but perhaps these might be compounding factors as the veterinarians mention wheat and milk as sources of an allergy to foods.


A food allergy produces symptoms including an intensely itchy rash on the head, neck and back. It might be accompanied by swollen eyelids. There could be hair loss and oozing sores because the cat scratches themselves.

Sometimes the ears are inflamed and cats scratch them, injuring themselves. I can remember many years ago my mother having a Siamese cat with this exact problem and we had no idea what it was. My mother did nothing about it and looking back I still feel guilty about that.

Sometimes a food allergy results in diarrhoea or vomiting.


So what's the treatment? Perhaps the hard part is diagnosis. It is feeding your cat a diet without the suspected food for at least 4 to 6 weeks. The next step is to expose the cat to a suspected food and watch to see if there is a reaction. And there are numerous hypoallergenic diet available.

My veterinary book tells me that there are special diets be limited protein sources always contain treated proteins and which can be prescribed by your veterinarian. Prescription diets for this problem include Eukanuba Response LB Feline, Royal Canin Hypoallergenic HP Feline, Royal Canin Neutral Formula Feline, Royal Canin's Ltd Ingredients with duck, lamb, rabbit or venison as the meat protein. Science Diet Feline d/d with duck, rabbit or venison as the meat protein, and Science Diet z/d ULTRA Allergen Free Feline.

Perhaps you might take your cat off all the foods that she is currently eating and buy for her a hypoallergenic diet and put her on that. If it clears up the symptoms of a food allergy you can then try different foods that she was on previously at different times to see whether any produces an allergic reaction.

A food allergy is in effect food intolerance and you have to get to the bottom of this by trial and error. My book also tells me that "grains, especially wheat and corn, are common culprits". Often cat food has grains in it to pad it out. They confirm that "cats may also develop an intolerance to a specific protein source such as chicken or fish".

The diarrhoea may be watery, mucus-like or even bloody.  Of course, you would be advised to see a veterinarian who might carry out some tests in the clinic to test for an allergic reaction in order to isolate the allergen.

Prompt action

Bearing in mind what I said about my mother's Siamese cat, if there are any signs of an allergic reaction to food or an environmental allergen, the owner should take prompt steps because these are very distressing to a cat. 

It's no good just looking at your cat and thinking what's going on. That's exactly what my mother and I did all those years ago. You've got to take your cat to a vet or at least immediately put your cat on a high quality hypoallergenic diet to see whether that improves things.

Environmental or food?

You may have to take into consideration whether the allergen is in the environment or in the food. This is why I think isolating the allergen can be difficult.

P.S. please forgive the occasional typo. These articles are written at breakneck speed using Dragon Dictate. I have to prepare them in around 20 mins.

No comments:

Post a Comment

Your comments are always welcome.

Featured Post

i hate cats

i hate cats, no i hate f**k**g cats is what some people say when they dislike cats. But they nearly always don't explain why. It appe...

Popular posts