Did you know that cat food allergies represent roughly 10% of all the allergies in cats and 57% of the causes for itching and scratching? Food allergies are actually quite common among cats. They can sometimes manifest as young as five months old; other times they can take years to develop. Odds are your kitty won’t purr her way up to you at the dinner table and let you know what you are feeding him or her is making them sick.
- Dairy products
- Wheat gluten
You may not always associate the symptoms with an allergy so it is important to know what to look for. If your cat is allergic to her food, the signs will be pretty clear to tell. You will notice any or all of the following:
- Scabs around her face and neck
- Flaky or dry skin
- Excessive scratching
- Chewing on her limbs
- Hair loss (oozing bald patches)
- Changed toilet habits
Typically the diagnosis will include ruling out all other conditions that result in the same symptoms. After all other forms are ruled out your vet will like start a food trial. The purpose of a food trial is to determine what is causing the allergy.
During the food trial you will need to follow the veterinarian’s instructions carefully and make sure your cat does not ingest anything else. This means no treats, toys, etc. You want to be very diligent during the food study so you can identify the allergen and help your cat overcome it.
If you have multiple cats you will also want to make sure you have a separate litter box used by the cat being tested. Keep an eye out to make sure none of the other cats use this. Once you have gone through the food trial your vet should be able to identify what your cat is allergic to so you can start to find the right cat food for your cat’s allergy.