Humans have food allergies and that is common knowledge. A lot of people don’t know that animals such as cats can have food allergies too. Before we get into cat allergies the difference between allergies and intolerance should be explained. An intolerance is a food that will cause diarrhea or vomiting but it does not cause an allergic reaction and does not have any other similar symptoms. A food allergy is caused by the cat’s body being overly sensitive to a food item and the body trying to fight it.
There is no way to tell whether a cat will be more likely to develop an allergy or not. So far scientists have yet to find any factors that will make a cat more likely to be allergic to a food. Cats of both genders, different breeds, and different neutered statuses all have experienced allergy issues. What can be determined though is when your cat is most likely to develop allergies. The Most common time for cats to develop allergies is between the ages of two and six years. Cats can develop allergies at five months all the way up to 12 years of age.
When cats develop food allergies there is a selection of common culprits. The most common allergies are beef, corn, lamb, seafood, soy, and wheat gluten. It may come as a surprise to many people but another common allergy that cats can develop is dairy products such as milk. It is not uncommon for cats to become allergic to milk despite the stereotype that milk is loved by cats.
The most common sign that a cat is suffering from an allergy is itchy skin. The cat will be scratching itself often if not constantly. Other common symptoms include hair loss, excessive scratching, and military dermatitis. Some symptoms that may be less common include sneezing, runny eyes, vomiting or diarrhea.
Symptoms for food allergies may be similar to those of other allergies that cats experience. To help differentiate food allergies from other allergies you need to consider how often your cat is having problems. If a cat has the symptoms of allergies yearlong or in the winter it is likely that your cat is allergic to its food. Luckily, the treatment of allergies in cats is easy. You just need to remove the offending food from the cat’s diet.
Once you have determined that the allergy is caused by food you need to figure out what food is causing the allergy. The easiest way to do this is to eliminate foods from your cat’s diet. When your cat starts to show less symptoms chances are you have found the offending food. Remember that cat foods often use similar ingredients and you should attempt to insure that if you replace your regular cat food that it has different ingredients.
Good luck and may your cat live a healthy life!