Hypoallergenic Diet for Cats with Food Allergies
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You must be wondering what a hypoallergenic diet for cats is, or under what circumstances your cat may need this. Like humans, other mammals can suffer from all kinds of allergies. From some relating to environmental elements - like dust and pollen - to those triggered by eating certain foods.
On this occasion, AnimalWised wants you to know all about this hypoallergenic cat diet. We know that proper nutrition is the most important element to keep your cat happy and healthy.
Is my cat allergic to their food?
Some animals, like humans, can develop allergic reactions to certain foods, and the cat is one of them. When a cat suffers from a food allergy, after ingesting certain food, their organism generates antibodies to protect them-self from the pathogen. This results in the typical symptoms of allergy.
Food allergies can manifest themselves from two years of age, even with foods that your cat has habitually consumed. If you notice your cat is scratching, has diarrea and vomiting, or begins to lose fur and develop dermatitis, this may be due to a case of food allergy. About 30% of the cat population can suffer from it. When this happens, and to ensure that the problem is due to food and not something else, it is necessary to put in place a hypoallergenic diet for cats.
What is the hypoallergenic diet?
It takes this name as it is a diet that reduces the chances of the cat suffering from an allergic reaction. The diet eliminates all foods known to be histamines, or specific foods that are proven to set off problems in the feline.
The idea is that you provide the cat with food with a very low probability of causing allergy. This requires the cat to undergo an elimination diet through which it is possible to detect foods that cause allergic reactions.
It is common for food used for the manufacture of processed food - such as wheat, soy beans, corn, milk and even some kind of animal protein such as beef - to provoke allergies in cats. So, these are the first to be removed.
What is the elimination diet?
This is the only way to make the diagnosis of a possible food allergy. After this you can determine whether the problem lies in the cat food. Then you can decide whether you should opt for a hypoallergenic diet or whether to continue searching for the cause of the problem.
The elimination diet consists of stopping the supply of food the cat has been eating until then. And, subsequently feeding the cat different foods, to determine which ingredient is causing the allergy. To do this you must follow the following tips:
- To rule out any reaction, the test of each ingredient should last a week. Though, if it is the sought allergen it is likely to manifest the symptoms in just a few hours.
- While this trial and error testing is done, avoid vitamin supplements and do not allow your cat to go outdoors. This is so you can be sure what the root of the problem is.
- To get to the root of the problem faster, we recommend starting with lamb. Then vary the ingredients according to those listed on the ingredients table of the processed food the cat usually eats.
- To confirm that the symptoms are caused by this food it is recommended to return to the usual food after performing the elimination diet for seven days. If the same allergy symptoms are manifested, then we can confirm that the problem is the food. Its consumption should be discontinued immediately, and then return to the elimination diet.
An improvement should be noted between the first and third week (a period of eight weeks is recommended to completely detoxify the body of the cat). If during this time no progress is observed, then it is not a food allergy and we should go to the vet.
Once you have determined what ingredient or ingredients your cat is allergic to, you can choose between two options. Either find a processed food that does not contain them or make your own hypoallergenic menu at home.
Options for a hypoallergenic diet available on the market
Many processed food brands offer hypo-allergenic options for cat made from hydrolyzed proteins. These help reduce the risk of an allergic reaction appearing.
You must simply investigate what options are available in your country and make sure that the food does not contain the allergen. However, about 30% of cats do not get good results with processed hypo-allergenic foods and so you must use the second option.
Home made hypoallergenic food for cats
Feeding your cat with home made food may seem complicated but in really it is just a matter of you knowing what food groups they need. Of course you must completely remove the ingredients that you have discovered cause allergies in your cat.
We recommend that you use lamb, chicken, fish and turkey to prepare a home made hypoallergenic diet for your cat. Most of the food should consist of protein as cats are carnivores. To this you will add rice in small portions and some vegetables, salmon oil and taurine. If you still do not know about the best vegetables for cats then do not miss out on our article!
When cooking these foods to make the home made hypoallergenic diet for cats you should keep in mind that you can only offer them boiled in water. The cat's metabolism is different from ours and thus, they do not digest food in the same way that we do. We should avoid cooking meat with oil, spices and other products typical of our kitchen. The more natural the food the better.
You can look for alternatives to develop different diets. Remember to vary the ingredients to achieve a balanced and complete diet. Check with your veterinarian about the best thing for your cat with a food allergy.
If you want to read similar articles to Hypoallergenic Diet for Cats with Food Allergies, we recommend you visit our Diet problems category.