When To Contact Your Vet
Contact your vet if your cat is showing any of the symptoms above especially if they are itchy all the time with no obvious explanation . Skin problems left without treatment often get worse quickly.
You know your cat best. If they dont have the symptoms listed above but you are still concerned always contact your vet.
The Best Hypoallergenic Diet For Your Cat
If your cat has an allergy to one of these foods, you should give him a hypoallergenic diet to reduce the risk of an allergic reaction. Because there are many good options, such as wet and canned foods, it is critical to read the ingredients carefully to ensure that the food contains no beef, fish, or chicken.
How Do Cats Get Food Allergies
Cats become allergic to food when their immune system misidentifies a foodborne protein as a hostile invader and attacks it. Meats like fish, beef or dairy products are common sources of protein in cat food. Most feline foods also contain proteins present in grains and vegetables, any of which can cause a food allergy. There are several other common allergens in food that your cat can have a bad reaction to.
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Treatment Of Food Allergy In Cats
The time honored and proven method for treating allergies of your cat remains the elimination diet where the usual everyday diet is replaced by new and never before tried foods and ingredients. This is accomplished by removing the offending food, and then once your cats condition improves you start adding back a food at a time to see which foods react with your cat. It is a long process, and requires patience and veterinary consultation throughout but the results that have been received using this process have been well and truly worth it.
Your cat at first may be a little wary of the new diet, but will soon adjust and adapt to new tastes and sensations. It does take a while for your cat to adjust to a new diet and it will take a while for the allergy to slowly withdraw, but after a couple of weeks you should see the improvements starting to happen. Your cats fur will fill out and gain condition and his skin will recover with the skin irritations receding and clearing. The elimination diet can be continued indefinitely as long as it is a balanced diet and provides all the nutrients your cat requires. Allergies can be overcome or controlled using a lot of observation, veterinary support and of course, patience.
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Causes Of Food Allergies In Cats
Any food ingredient can provoke an allergy. The most common food allergens are beef , fish , chicken , with wheat and corn.
This is an immune-mediated disease , with affected cats having a genetic predisposition to developing food intolerance or hypersensitivity to allergens in their food.
Any food ingredient can provoke an allergy. The most common food allergens are beef , fish , chicken , with wheat, corn, dairy products and lamb .
Other less commonly reported culprits include eggs, pork, rabbit, whale meat, and barley. Carbohydrates are less likely to provoke allergies than proteins. Cats can have an allergy to more than one food ingredient at a time.
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What Causes Food Allergies Or Food Intolerance
It may take months or years before your cat develops an allergic response to a particular food. However, once she’s allergic, she will almost always have a negative reaction to that food. Allergic reactions are most commonly associated with protein sources usually the meat in your cats food.
Food: The most common causes of food allergies and food intolerance in cats are beef, milk products and fish.
Damage: Inflammation, infection, surgery and some medications can damage the digestive system and may lead to food allergies or food intolerance.
Age: Food allergies and food intolerance can occur at any age.
Breed: Some cat breeds appear more likely to develop food allergies or food intolerance, including Siamese cats.
Treatment Of Dry Food Allergy In Cats
The short term treatment for food allergies may include antihistamines and corticosteroids. Patients with skin infection or otitis may be prescribed antibiotics. Topical antibiotics may also be recommended. The cat may need to wear a cone to prevent him from licking or biting at his skin.
The long term treatment of food allergy is to identify the allergen. Research has proven that serology testing and/or skin testing are not accurate in identifying the allergen causing the allergic reaction. The most common way to identify the allergen is by an elimination diet. A protein and a carbohydrate are fed to the cat for 8-12 weeks, such as duck and sweet potato. At the end of the 8-12 weeks a new protein and carbohydrate are introduced . The veterinarian may recommend adding only one new item at a time. The food trial should continue for a few months. If the cat shows a reaction to one of the ingredients it should be discontinued from his diet. It is a good idea to write down the foods you are feeding your cat and any reactions in a log.
During this time the cat should not be fed treats or flavored vitamins. All members of the household must be asked to comply with the trial .A homemade diet is the better route but there are commercial diets the veterinarian may recommend. A homemade diet is not as difficult as you may think. The use of a crock pot can be a convenient way to easily prepare meals for your cat. Unused portions can be refrigerated or frozen for future use.
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Other Things That Cause Skin Problems
Itching and skin infections most often come from:
- Allergies to fleas
- Allergies to things in the air or in the petâs surroundings, like dust mites, pollen, or grasses
When fleas or a flea allergy are behind your petâs skin condition, thatâs usually the easiest thing to figure out. If you see fleas, your vet will fix you up with a product that kills them, and possibly also a medication to stop the allergic reaction to fleas. If the symptoms clear up, thatâs it.
Itâs harder to nail down if your dog or cat is allergic to things like pollen. Your vet will examine your pet, ask you about its health history, and do skin tests.
Once you know what your pet is allergic to, your vet can work out how to handle it. You may have to:
- Keep your pet away from whatever itâs allergic to, if thatâs possible.
- Help your pet keep its coat clean.
- See that your pet gets regular allergy shots or whatever medicine your vet prescribes.
Whatever the solution is, youâll have to make a long-term commitment to stick with it. Your pet will depend on you.
How To Treat Cat Allergy
While the easiest way to treat the symptoms of cat allergy is to get rid of the allergic pet at home, many people are reluctant to part with their pet. An effective method of fighting cat allergy is then frequent cleaning of the apartment, especially those rooms where the cat is most often present. A pet should not be allowed into a bedroom or a childs room, as long as the child is allergic to the cat. Rugs, carpets and bedspreads should be replaced with materials that are easy to clean it is recommended to wash them as often as possible.
Cat allergens also settle on cushions and curtains, so its important that they are made of easy-to-clean materials. You should wash your hands after each contact with your cat, and it is also good to ventilate the rooms where the cat is to get rid of allergen particles. The cat should be bathed and brushed frequently the latter care treatment should not of course be performed by a person allergic to a cat. If these methods do not help, serious consideration must be given to donating your pet to someone who is not allergic to it, or opting for desensitization.
Na Allergie Panaseus dietary supplement, which you can find at an attractive price on Medonet Market, will be helpful in alleviating allergy-related ailments.
At the beginning, the allergy sufferer is injected with a large dose of the allergen 1-2 times a week, then the dose and frequency of injections are reduced.
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Symptoms Of Food Allergies In Cats
As the third most common type of feline allergies behind flea bites and inhaled substances, food allergies in cats are nothing to sneeze at.
Unlike allergies to flea bites, food allergies do not develop overnight rather, they tend to intensify over longer periods of time.
Read on for symptoms of food allergies in cats, and more, below.
Is It A Food Allergy
A food allergy happens because of a petâs immune system. Thatâs what normally fights off germs and other things that could cause disease.
When a dog or cat has a food allergy, their immune system mistakes food for something harmful, then goes on the attack. That causes a reaction.
Common symptoms in cats and dogs
If your pet has a food allergy, you may notice:
Itchy skin: Also known as allergic dermatitis, this is the most common type of allergy in pets. Irritated, itchy skin can happen anywhere on your petâs body. In cats, it often happens on the head and neck.
In dogs, it often happens near the:
Skin issues: Hives, also known as urticaria, may pop up 6 to 24 hours after your dog eats the food they are allergic to. If your dog has short hair, these itchy red bumps are easier to see. Otherwise, you may have to feel for them.
In cats, skin irritation may take longer to see. Small lumps filled with fluid may develop over a few months, but they usually donât pop up overnight.
With itchy skin and hives, there are two side effects of the irritation:
Tummy trouble: Allergies may cause gastrointestinal issues, such as gas, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Swollen face: You may see swelling in your dogâs lips, eyelids, or ear flaps.
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Living With An Allergic Cat
Have you been asking yourself the question what if my cat has food allergies? what is a hypoallergenic diet for cats? how do I find food for allergic cats? questions, we will try answering in a short and simple way. The topic of what is the best food for cats with allergies is not simple and the science is not perfect or maybe our pets are perfect and we simply need to learn how to feed our cats better.
The term food allergy is used to describe an abnormal reaction to an antigen within consumed food. If your cat is allergic or has an allergic reaction in simple terms its immune system is reacting to a specific protein found in the food it ate. The problem is that the cats immune system thinks that certain protein in a food is an invader, not a food item and starts an immune response. Science knows the mechanism of food allergies but it doesnt know why these allergies occur and why some cats have them and others dont.
Cat food allergies are very common and they mostly present as skin problems but can also show other symptoms the list is long from gastrointestinal signs like vomiting, flatulence or diarrhoea to behavioural changes. The symptoms can appear alone or together, sometimes all symptoms at once. A terrible experience for the owner and the cat, which is not only scratching itself but also suffering from have gastric problems.
Whats Involved With An Elimination Diet Trial
For 6-8 weeks you will need to feed a new diet. We prefer you use home prepared foods, though there are commercially prepared alternatives in biscuit and tinned forms. It is essential that you feed nothing other than the trial diet. Feeding even a small amount of other foods will result in a continuation of allergy symptoms.
Food items that need to be avoided during the trial:
- Toothpastes or flavoured medications
Food items ok to be fed during the trial:
- Unflavoured heartworm medications
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What Are Allergies In Cats
Food allergies are built up over time- a cat can have eaten chicken-based food his whole life and still develop an allergy to chicken!
Allergies are an abnormal immune response to a harmless stimulus. When your cats body contacts an allergen through their skin or after breathing it in, a chain reaction starts thats out of proportion to the danger your cat is ina hypersensitivity reaction.
Immune system sentinel cells release cell signals that cause itching, swelling, and redness.
Cats are not usually born with allergies- they develop as your cat ages. Cats are usually diagnosed between six months and three years, but as diagnosis is often difficult, cats have been diagnosed as old as 14 years!
Hair Loss And Itching Of The Skin Between The Eyes And The Ears Aretypical Of Food Allergy Symptoms In Cats
Diagnosis of food allergies in cats:There is no blood test to diagnose food allergies!!! We will need to rule out other commondisorders which have similar symptoms . Once this has been done, we will place your cat on a food elimination trial.This usually lasts between 8-12 weeks. During this time, you must not give your cat any otherfoods, vitamins, minerals or chewable medications apart from the prescribed diet. If any otherfoods or vitamins are given during this trial it will invalidate the results. If the allergy clears upafter the specified time then a food allergy is the likely cause. The diet given to your cat during the trial will be a food the cat has never had before such as rabbit, duck or venison. The diet may also be home made or a special ‘prescription’ diet.
Recent advances have lead to the creation of hypoallergenic diets containing “hydrolyzed protein” which involves breaking down the protein into individual clumps of amino acids, called polypeptides, which are too small for the immune system to detect . The nutritional value of the protein is the same as the whole protein. At Animal Hospital of Montgomery we recommend Hills z/d diet, a complete and balanced diet used to help diagnose food allergy. Cat’s love the flavor so it is easy for you to do an elimination diet food allergy test at home.
Treatment of food allergies:
Occasionally new food allergies develop over time, if this happens then it will be necessary to reevaluate the new diet.
Recovery And Management For Allergies In Cats
With time, the commitment of loving pet parents, and a close relationship with a veterinarian, allergies can be managed, and your cat can enjoy a good quality of life. Allergies cannot typically be cured, but with monitoring and early intervention if flare-ups do occur, cats can quickly return to normal.
Risk factors, especially with cats with atopy, include environments with long allergy seasons and high pollen levels. Cats with multiple types of allergies are more difficult to diagnose, treat, and manage.
In addition, some allergies like flea allergies and contact dermatitis, become more severe and chronic as cats age. Work with your vet to determine the best treatments to manage your cats allergies, given the specific diagnosis and its personality.
What Is A Food Allergy
Some cats develop allergies to certain ingredients in their food. Food allergies develop when the immune system mistakenly sees a food type as dangerous and overreacts to it. Symptoms include skin and tummy problems, and will develop every time your cat eats something they are allergic to. Food allergies usually develop by 4-5 years of age.
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Theyre Not One And The Same Understanding The Difference Between A Food Allergy And Food Intolerance Is The First Step To Helping Your Cat Back To Health
If your cat has a problem with a particular food, you probably assume hes allergic to it. But thats not necessarily the case. True food allergies are relatively uncommon. In fact, your cat may actually have whats termed a food intolerance. Lets take a look at food allergies and intolerances in cats, and the differences between their causes, symptoms, and treatments.
The 6 Most Common Food Allergies In Cats
Does your cat startle you with a sudden onset of relentless sneezes, multiple times a day? Have you noticed him scratch his sides bald, chew on his paws, or snore? If you answered yes, your cat may be experiencing a food allergy.
Cats, much like humans and dogs, are susceptible to dozens of different allergies. Environmental allergies, like pollen or mildew, are much more common in cats than allergies caused by food. Only 10-15 percent of all cat allergic reactions are caused by food. However, unlike seasonal or environmental allergies, cat food allergies are much more difficult for a veterinarian to diagnose and treat because there is no accurate, fast diagnostic test.
As a pet owner, your first step should be recognizing common cat food allergy symptoms and determining if the attack is life threatening.
- Snoring caused by an inflamed throat
- Dull, brittle, or coarse fur
After youve determined which allergy symptoms your cat is experiencing, talk with your veterinarian and narrow down the possible types to figure out if your kitty is allergic to his or her food. Once your vet eliminates the common environmental culprits, shell likely ask you to put your cat on an elimination diet to determine what ingredients are causing the bad reaction.
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