Most household cats struggle with allergies. The most common allergies in cats are flea bite allergies, inhalant allergies, and food allergies. However, cats can develop food allergies at any stage of their life. Usually, cats develop allergies to the foods they feed regularly.
Additionally, food allergies affect both male and female cats equally. However, some cat’s breeds are more susceptible to develop food allergies than others. Furthermore, cat parents need to differentiate between food intolerance and food allergies.
Food allergies mostly affect the coat and the skin, while food intolerance affects the gastrointestinal system. This, therefore, may cause diarrhea and vomiting after eating a certain food.
Food allergies, on the other hand, may trigger an allergic response in the cat. This includes excessive scratching, hair loss in patches, and itchy skin. Besides, food allergies happen throughout the year while food intolerance happens only when a cat eats certain foods.
Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food Green Pea and Salmon
Blue Basics Limited Ingredient Duck and Potato Pate
Purina Cat Chow Naturals Dry Cat Food
Review of what food is good for cats with allergies
1. Natural Balance Limited Ingredient Dry Cat Food Green Pea and Salmon
The benefit of feeding your cat with food allergies a limited ingredient diet is that you minimize the exposure of your cat to allergy-causing ingredients. This limited ingredient of cat food is prepared with salmon and peas.
Thus, it has a single source of protein and a single source of carbohydrates. Also, it is grain-free. Corn and wheat are some of the most common causes of allergies in cats. The main ingredient, salmon, is an excellent source of proteins and Omega 3 and 6 fatty acids.
Therefore, despite having limited ingredients, your cat will benefit from the nutrients in this food. Thus, this diet promotes a healthy and shiny coat for your feline friend and also minimizes the chances of your cat developing gastrointestinal issues. It has a delicious taste that will entice even the picky eaters.
2. Blue Basics Limited Ingredient Duck and Potato Pate
Blue Basics Limited Ingredient Duck & Potato Pate is prepared with duck as the source of protein. Duck meat is healthy meat for cats and helps promote healthy muscles. Additionally, since it is rarely used in many cat foods, it will help you in eliminating the causes of food allergy to your cat.
This limited ingredients diet is filler-free and contains no by-products. Also, this food has no wheat or corn, which is known to cause food allergies to cats. Instead, it has potatoes and peas as the source of carbohydrates. Additionally, this food is fortified with fish oil to promote healthy skin and a shiny coat for your furry baby.
Since it is a wet food diet, it ensures proper hydration to cats that do not drink water often. Furthermore, it has an enticing flavor that even the pickiest eaters will love.
3. Instinct Grain-Free Salmon Wet Food
This is one of the best-wet cat food for cats with allergies. Even though not a limited ingredient diet, this cat food has no corn, soy, or wheat, which are known to trigger allergies. Additionally, it comes in salmon and pork liver flavor, which is a perfect choice for cats allergic to chicken or beef. Also, it is a rich source of proteins which cats need to grow strong and healthy muscles.
It is wet cat food hence provides cats with adequate moisture. Additionally, it is soft to the palate, thus, recommended for senior cats with teeth problems. Also, it is easy to digest hence, unlikely to cause digestive issues in cats.
4. Halo Natural Dry Cat Food Sensitive Stomach Seafood Medley
Halo Spot’s Stew Dry Cat Food is prepared from high-quality whole proteins and whole grains. The protein sources include whitefish, salmon, and eggs. This cat food does not have starchy fillers such as corn and potatoes. Additionally, it does not have by-product meals or fillers that are likely to cause allergies to your cat.
Moreover, this food is completely balanced to meet your cat’s nutritional needs. Also, it is easy to digest hence an excellent choice for cats with a sensitive stomach.
5. Purina Cat Chow Dry Cat Food
This dry cat food is made with real chicken and salmon as the source of protein for your furry baby. Therefore, it is a rich source of high-quality proteins that help your kitty develop and maintain healthy muscles.
Additionally, this food has no artificial flavors and preservatives that would cause unpleasant allergic reactions in your cat. It also has no peas or grains. Therefore, it is a perfect food choice for cats with pea allergies and food sensitivities caused by peas.
Also, it is fortified with Vitamin E to promote healthy skin and coat, and taurine, which is essential in maintaining a healthy heart and eyes for your cat.
How to treat food allergies in cats
Food allergies diagnosis will require a visit to the veterinarian. You will need to report any symptoms your cat is exhibiting. Then, the veterinarian may do some tests on your cat to rule out other health problems. If the veterinarian rules out other health issues, then you may start treating the allergies.
The main option of treating allergies is eliminating the allergen from your cat’s diet. For instance, if your cat is getting allergies after feeding them a diet with fish meat, switch their diet to a fish-free diet. Other common ingredients that are likely to cause food allergies in cats include soy, corn, eggs, pork, wheat, beef, and dairy. When choosing what food is good for cats with allergies, ensure that they do not have any of the ingredients that are likely to cause an allergic reaction to your cat.
How to choose the best food for a cat with allergies
1. Protein source
Most cats’ food allergies are associated with the protein source in their diet. Switching to a novel protein source such as whitefish, duck, and a rabbit is critical in managing your kitty’s food allergies. During the elimination phase, feed your cat food made with a novel protein that they have not tried before. Additionally, ensure that the diet has minimum amounts of animal fats and small amounts of easily digestible carbohydrates.
2. Limited ingredients diets
Limited ingredients diets (LID) limit the number of ingredients used in the food. Therefore, they are a perfect choice when you are unsure of what could be triggering the allergic reactions in your cat. This way, with the few ingredients in the diet, you can easily point out to what ingredient your cat is allergic to.
Additionally, LID is a perfect choice if your cat has gastrointestinal problems, and they are frequently experiencing diarrhea and vomiting. Thus, these diets help relieve digestive problems since they are easy for the cat to digest.
3. Hydrolyzed proteins
Hydrolyzed proteins are proteins that have been broken down into constituent amino acids. Thus, cat food with hydrolyzed proteins is easy for cats to digest. Therefore, these foods would be the perfect choice for cats with digestive issues which could be easily mistaken for allergic reactions.
4. Hypoallergenic diets
Hypoallergenic food is cat foods that have ingredients that are less likely to cause allergic reactions to your cat. Therefore, they reduce the chances of your cat having an allergic reaction. In most cases, hypoallergenic diets contain hydrolyzed proteins. Hence, they are easy to digest and less likely to trigger an allergic response.
Common allergies in cats
Cats can develop allergies to many things, most of which are common in our households. Therefore, it can be daunting to eliminate what is causing allergic reactions to your furry baby. Each cat, just like a human, may develop a different allergic reaction to a specific allergen. However, the following are the most common allergies in cats.
1. Flea allergies
Flea allergies are common in both indoor and outdoor cats. They occur when a cat gets flea bites. Although not easy to identify, you can tell that your cat has fleas by observing their grooming patterns. Cats with flea allergies will aggressively scratch, lick, and bite their coat. Mostly, it will be around the neck, flanks, thighs, and the base of their tail.
To protect your cat from the agony of dealing with flea allergies, ensure that you use the appropriate flea and tick control treatment. The best flea treatment for cats should have a long-lasting effect on your kitty’s coat.
Additionally, it should kill the adult fleas and inhibit the growth of immature fleas. Speak to your veterinarian on which is the best flea treatment for cats depending on your cat’s specific needs and age.
2. Pollen allergies
Many cats are allergic to pollen from flowers, trees, and weed. Cats with pollen allergies chew and lick their coats. However, in severe cases, some cats may experience skin damage. If you notice that your cat has pollen allergies, consult your veterinarian to conduct skin or blood test for allergies. This will help in identifying what is causing the allergic reactions.
Furthermore, to reduce exposure to pollen allergens, you can use an air purifier or conditioner. Also, you can keep your cat indoors with the doors and windows open to reduce their exposure to pollen. Wiping their coat with a damp cloth to remove pollen grains also helps to get rid of the allergens.
Your veterinarian may prescribe antihistamines, immunosuppressive drugs, and other treatments. These will help keep your cat comfortable if they are allergic to pollen. However, pollen allergens are seasonal, and cats with pollen allergies get relief when the season is over.
3. Household allergens
Household allergens, unlike pollen allergens, occur throughout the year. However, the symptoms are similar except that for the household allergens, they occur year-round. These allergens include mold, dust, and mites.
However, you can help your cat with household allergies but installing an air purifier that removes dust, mites, and mold. Additionally, you can reduce their exposure by cleaning your house thoroughly and regularly. This will help in reducing the allergens from the cat’s environment hence offer relief.
4. Food allergies
Food allergies are the most common allergies in cats. However, each cat may react differently from each ingredient. For instance, some cats may get itchy skin while others may develop stomach problems such as diarrhea, vomiting, and excessive gas from food allergies.
It is important to note that cats can develop food allergies at any life stage and from the food they have been eating for years. To identify if your cat has food allergies, you must feed him a novel ingredient or a hydrolyzed protein for at least 6 weeks. If your kitty does not experience any allergic reaction during that period, then he has food allergies.
5. Allergies from plastic food and water bowls
Some cats are allergic to plastic bowls. Feeding your kitty from a plastic bowl can cause a condition known as feline chin acne. Cats with plastic allergy develop pimples around the chin that has a solid or pus-filled.
Therefore, if you suspect that your furry baby is allergic to plastic bowl, switch to steel or glass bowls. Despite reducing the allergic reaction, steel and glass bowls are easy to clean and do not absorb odors. However, ensure that you clean them daily with warm water and mild soap to get rid of the bacteria that could cause chin acne.
Some cats have allergic reactions to perfumes that are added to cat litter, air spray, carpet cleaners, and cleaning products. Therefore, if you notice your cat sneezing or itching their skin after coming into contact with these products, it is most likely they are experiencing an allergic reaction. Hence, ensure that you use non-perfumed or mildly perfumed cleaning detergents to prevent this.
7. Drug allergies
Although rare, some cats develop adverse reactions to some prescription drugs. The symptoms may include severe itching, fever, vomiting, hair loss, and diarrhea. If you notice that your cat has any of these symptoms after taking a certain medication, contact your veterinarian immediately. Drug allergies can be fatal in severe cases.
How to tell that your cat has an allergic reaction
Cats can react to different allergens differently. However, these are the most common symptoms of allergies in cats
- Sneezing, wheezing, and coughing
- Itchy skin and increased scratching, licking, and biting
- Runny eyes and nose
- Itching on the back and the tail base
- Vomiting and diarrhea
- Swollen paws
- Itchy ears and ear infections
How to help a cat with allergies
- For flea allergies, ensure that your cat is on a flea control program. This should apply to indoor cats too since they also get exposed to fleas. Consult your veterinarian on the best flea products to use on your cat. Therefore, you will get rid of the fleas on your cat and their environment thus, preventing flea allergies.
- Use dust-free and unscented cat litter. Cat litter that produces dust is likely to irritate your cat's eyes and nose and cause itchiness and tearing. Also, dust in the surroundings can irritate your cat. Therefore, use an air purifier to remove dust and vacuum the carpets, rugs, and curtains regularly to prevent dust accumulation. Additionally, the chemicals used in scented cat litter can trigger an allergic reaction in your cat.
- You can bathe your cat at least once a week to get rid of pollen if your cat is allergic to pollen. Moreover, this will help in relieving the itching and scratching. Use warm water and shampoo for cats to bathe your cat. Avoid regular baths as they could dry out their skin. If your cat hates bathing, wipe their coat with a clean damp towel to remove the allergens and relieve the itching.
- If your cat has food allergies, consider switching to hypoallergenic cat food. In severe cases, your veterinarian can recommend a prescription or hydrolyzed protein diet. Consider switching to a diet that will not trigger their allergies.