Addressing Your Cat’s Food Sensitivities

November 11, 2020 11:17 pm Published by

It’s good to know the link between cats and allergies. Cats can develop food sensitivities, and treatment for feline food sensitivity is often time consuming, but very necessary. The best way to assess your feline and their food sensitivities is to watch your cat for changes in eating behavior and know the symptoms of an allergy or sensitivity. Here is an overview of feline food sensitivities and how to recognize and treat them in Alexandria, VA.

Common allergies and sensitivities

No one knows for certain why cats develop food allergies. Allergic reactions are basically an overreaction of the immune system to something that is normally harmless. Cats may be allergic to specific proteins found in beef or lamb. However, they often have allergies to additives in commercial cat foods, like rice, gluten, potatoes, soy and dairy. This also includes chemical additives like artificial colors or flavors and preservatives.

Your cat likely has a food allergy if she suffers from skin irritation, weight or hair loss, dull coat, ear infections, reduced appetite, diarrhea or vomiting. Cats will not always avoid the food that causes distress, so don’t assume there’s no problem just because your cat continues to eat the problematic food.

Sometimes cats grow out of food allergies, but often the allergies persist and your cat faces discomfort and a higher chance of developing longer-term health problems. If that is the case, you need to see your vet to treat these issues.

Treating allergies and sensitivities

Your vet will start with a physical examination to rule out other causes. This includes asking for details regarding your cat’s diet and any recent food changes. If the allergy tends to come and go, bring pictures of any skin irritations and other reactions so you can give a full history.

The most common and effective treatment in Alexandria, VA for cats with food sensitivities is the elimination diet. This involves switching your cat’s diet so the allergy’s cause can be determined by elimination. However, be aware that when it comes to cats and the elimination diet, this is a time-consuming process. Remain patient even though your cat’s allergy cause is a mystery, and do not switch to a store-bought food without guidance.

Also, while you are going through this elimination stage, do not feed your cat treats or people food off your plate, as that will complicate the results. Also, if your cat is actually allergic to your food, removing these treats will make the process of elimination go much more quickly.

For bad symptoms, antihistamines are an effective treatment for felines with food sensitivities. This will get symptoms under control so your friend is not suffering, and you will still be able to assess which foods cause the reaction.

At the end of this process, your cat may be limited to prescription foods or grain-free items. Unless they meet your cat’s new dietary parameters, avoid feeding treats. However, catnip or fresh cat grass may remain acceptable and help your cat still feel spoiled. Ask your vet to know for certain.

When it comes to cats and allergies in Alexandria, VA, your local cat specialist is your best bet. Kingstowne Cat Clinic is a cats-only veterinarian. Contact us today if you suspect your cat requires treatment for a feline food sensitivity.

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