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Food allergy in cats – Symptoms and treatment

Allergies appear when the immune system develops an adverse or exaggerated response to an allergen, leading to the release of high amounts of histamine. In food allergies, this immunological hypersensitivity It results from the ingestion of certain foods or certain compounds of industrial feed.

In felines, food allergy is diagnosed with a certain frequency and causes symptoms such as diarrhea, vomiting and reddening of the skin. If your kitten has these symptoms or shows any change in their appearance or behavior, it is of course essential to go to the veterinary clinic to carry out a professional diagnosis and establish an appropriate treatment for their needs. However, in this article, we present the main symptoms of food allergy in cats so you can recognize this condition early. We also tell you the forms of treatment and if there are viable possibilities to prevent this hypersensitive reaction in your pussycat.

Differences between intolerance and food allergy

There is still some confusion between allergies and food intolerances, but these are quite different clinical pictures that require specific treatments to preserve the good health of our pigs. And it is important that the tutors know how to identify and differentiate them to provide optimal nutrition to their cats and easily identify the symptoms of any eating disorder.

The first key difference is that a food intolerance does not generate a hypersensitive response by the immune system. The digestive discomfort associated with intolerance is generated by the inability (or great difficulty) of the body to digest certain molecules or nutrients. In many pigs, this condition may be associated with some underlying disease.

In India there is Food Allergy, the immune system identifies some component of the cat’s diet as a foreign body that needs to be fought to preserve the balance of the organism. Therefore, it reacts in an exaggerated (or hypersensitive) way, activating a Defense mechanism which comprises a high release of histamine in the bloodstream.

In general, food allergy symptoms tend to be more complex and delicate to treat than an intolerance. When an animal is intolerant to certain foods, the simple act of removing this component from their diet is usually effective to avoid any digestive discomfort. However, allergies require a detailed analysis to recognize pathogens and establish a hypoallergenic diet adequate to the needs of each patient.

The symptoms of allergies and intolerances They also make an important difference. In general, intolerances usually cause digestive ailments and metabolic failures, and may also involve a certain degree of toxicity. Food allergies, in addition to gastrointestinal discomfort, also tend to cause dermatological, respiratory and neurological symptoms (in more advanced cases).

How to know if my cat has a food allergy?

Food allergies are characterized by having a complex symptomatology, which includes gastrointestinal, dermatological, neurological, behavioral alterations, etc. Therefore, we reaffirm the importance of quickly taking your cat to the veterinary clinic after observing any anomaly in its appearance, behavior or routine habits.

Next, we summarize the main symptoms of food allergy in cats to help you be attentive and identify them quickly in your feline. Notice!

  • Dermatological symptoms: the dermatological alterations associated with food allergy are concentrated in the region of the neck and face of the cat. Your skin may have redness, peeling, hair loss, scabs and ulcers. Many piglets also develop otitis externa as a result of a food allergy picture.
  • Excessive itching and scratching: cats with food allergy feel an intense itch and often scratch constantly to alleviate the discomfort caused. In some cases, the pussycat can also lick itself excessively, making the skin even more reddish.
  • Gastrointestinal symptoms: the most frequent symptoms in felines are vomiting, diarrhea, colitis and irritable bowel syndrome.
  • Respiratory symptoms: breathing difficulties and asthma.
  • Neurological symptoms: Seizures may occur in more advanced cases of food allergy.
  • Alterations in behavior: many pussycat can present hyperactivity and hyperesthesia as a consequence of a food allergy. This can cause an increase in their aggressiveness and cause alterations in their usual behavior, such as a tendency to isolate or hide, to be less sociable than usual, lose interest in their food or for their toys, etc.

Diagnosis and food allergy tests in cats

By identifying any food allergy symptoms in your cat, it will be essential go quickly to the veterinary clinic. We must bear in mind that, as long as we do not identify the allergen agent hidden in their diet, the symptoms will continue to advance and harming their health. Therefore, early diagnosis is essential to minimize possible damage and offer a healthy routine to our pigs.

In principle, many foods can trigger an allergic reaction, such as eggs, dairy, soy, wheat, corn, chicken, fish, etc. Therefore, the elimination diet It will be essential to find out what components may be generating the hypersensitive response in your cat’s body. These diets are specially designed to verify (by elimination) the sources of proteins that can be allergenic to each pussycat.

In the veterinary clinic, the professional will also carry out a detailed physical examination and you can make some allergy tests to verify the different immunological responses of your pussycat against possible allergen agents. In addition, to arrive at a specific diagnosis, the veterinarian will need to have a detailed history of the feeding of each patient. In this way, the tutors should inform the veterinarian of the complete diet composition of their kitten. If the cat eats a dry feed, it is interesting to take the product to the clinic so that the veterinarian can analyze its ingredients. And if you usually change the feed periodically, it is also important to inform about the products that you already offered to your pussycat. On the other hand, if you usually provide homemade food to your cat, it will be important to detail all the products used in its preparation.

Treatment of food allergy in cats

After completing the diagnosis, the veterinarian may establish a hypoallergenic diet according to the needs of each feline. For the kittens with mild allergies, the veterinarian can recommend hypoallergenic feed elaborated with proteins of low molecular weight, that facilitate the digestion and the assimilation of said nutrients. There are some options already available in the market that are designed especially for minis with intolerances or food allergies of low complexity.

However, these products are not usually effective in the treatment of more severe allergies. If your pussycat presents a more complex allergic picture, you must be patient and follow the recommendations of your veterinarian. Little by little, the professional will design a food compatible with your feline organism, which will offer you the essential nutrients without harming your health. In many cases, it may be more advisable to administer a homemade and natural food, that allows to control the sources of protein and eliminate the harmful components to your organism. In this way, when establishing food for cats with food allergy is to base knowing the food, or food, allergen to be able to eliminate it directly from their diet, for which the elimination diet and specific tests are carried out of allergy.

Is it possible to prevent a food allergy in cats?

Actually, it is a little complicated to talk about a specific prevention for food allergies. Each cat is a unique individual and its organism has its own peculiarities, for which it is difficult to foresee which elements can trigger an allergic reaction in each pussycat. However, we can follow some guidelines to promote your digestive process and avoid exposing it to pathogens. Below, we summarize these guidelines:

  • Offer an adequate preventive medicine to conserve your good health and strengthen your immune system, making periodic visits to the veterinarian and respecting your letter of vaccination and periodic deworming. You can also check with the vet about allergy tests for cats.
  • Provide a balanced diet of excellent quality. If you choose to give dry feed as the basis of your diet, remember to choose products of optimum quality, which contain high quality protein and easy digestion. And if you choose a BARF or homemade diet, do not stop requiring the guidance of your trusted veterinarian to establish an adequate diet to the nutritional needs of your kitten.
  • Avoid thedifficult to digest foods and the ingredients of risk allergen: some foods are difficult to digest for our pussycat and can generate adverse reactions, such as cereals and their derivatives (soy, corn, wheat). On the other hand, eggs and dairy are among the main allergens, so we should avoid offering them to our cats.

If you notice any alteration in the appearance or behavior of your pussycat, do not hesitate to go quickly to the veterinary clinic.

This article is merely informative, in .com we do not have the faculty to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case of any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Food allergy in cats – Symptoms and treatment, we recommend that you enter in our section of Other health problems.

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