If you have a cat who’s sensitive to certain ingredients you may be asking “what is the best food for cats with allergies?” Whether your cat has itchy skin or a chronic infection, it’s not uncommon for food to be the culprit.
In this post you’ll discover what causes allergies, signs to look for and some of the best food you can give your cat. In addition, how to ensure your cat is getting all the vital nutrients she needs.
I don’t have any medical training, and advice I share here is from research or my own experience. If your cat develops any unusual symptoms it’s important to see your vet first before assuming it’s an allergy.
What causes food allergies in cats?
Just as people develop food allergies, so can our pets. Similarly, adverse reactions to certain foods can either be an allergic reaction which is more serious, or an intolerance which is less serious.
It doesn’t matter how old your cat is, the sex or breed, an allergy can develop at any time. Causes are often low quality proteins found in some cat foods.
For example, these can be found in foods containing beef, fish, and some dairy ingredients. As cats don’t normally eat flavorings, dyes, or preservatives, these could trigger an allergic reaction.
However, it takes a few exposures to such allergens before symptoms start to show. Typically, your cat would need to eat foods containing these ingredients at least several times before any reactions start to develop.
How food allergies in cats are diagnosed
If you suspect your cat has a food allergy it’s a good idea to consult your vet, especially if changing food hasn’t worked. After giving your cat a physical examination to rule out any infections your vet will begin the process of elimination.
This involves introducing new foods into your cat’s diet that she hasn’t had before. During this time you mustn’t give any of the original food your cat was eating.
You’re normally advised to continue this for at least eight weeks. This is to allow plenty of time for any symptoms to start appearing.
The type of food recommended will be very bland, and you will be asked not to offer any treats no matter how much your cat pesters you! In addition, if your kitty enjoys a wander outside you must be very mindful of neighbors giving her the odd titbit.
As cat parents, we know just how cunning felines are! My previous cat used to knock on a neighbors front door knowing she’d give her biscuits!!
Anyway, if your cat is fine on the new diet, your vet will start to gradually introduce proteins. This won’t be a quick process and will require patience.
If your cat responds badly to a certain food, chances are the culprit has been found! Once you know exactly what triggers your cat’s symptoms you must eliminate it from her diet.
Can boosting your cat’s immune system help alleviate food allergy symptoms?
Many health problems including food allergies can often be the result of an imbalance of good and bad gut bacteria. This doesn’t only apply to humans but our pets as well.
Maintaining healthy gut bacteria is essential for your cat’s health and wellbeing, just as it is for you. Boosting the immune system with foods containing prebiotics and probiotics may help lower the risk of developing food allergies.
Some cat foods contain a mix of probiotics and antioxidants to help boost immunity and support health. In addition you can also get supplements especially designed for cats and dogs.
However, you may want to ask your vet’s advice before giving your cat a supplement. This especially applies if she has any allergy symptoms such as itchy skin or diarrhea.
What are the signs of food allergies in cats?
One of the most common signs is vomiting. Though cats do throw up the occasional hairball, or regurgitate food, frequent vomiting may be the result of a food allergy. However, you MUST get your cat checked out by a vet to rule out anything more serious.
Itchy, inflamed skin can be another sign your cat has a food allergy. However, it could also indicate a flea infestation! Fleas and ticks are common and can easily be treated.
Poor coat, and hair loss may be yet another sign your cat has an allergy to her food. Although, this could also be caused by obsessive grooming, or even stress.
Lastly, wheezing or coughing, though rare, could possibly indicate an allergy. NEVER let any respiratory problems continue as they require urgent medical attention.
Some of the best food for cats with allergies
The following cat foods are what I consider the best for allergies based on my own opinions. I may receive a small commission for any sales made, but this in no way reflects the price you pay.
Rachael Ray Nutrish Super Premium Dry Cat Food, SuperFood Blends
Rachael Ray is a TV celebrity cook and author. Her passion for healthy foods lead her to create a range of pet foods.
Nutrish Super premium dry cat food contains no artificial ingredients. This is great if your cat is sensitive to certain foods. Many popular brands contain artificial colorings or preservatives some cats become sensitive to.
Nutrish contains real meat and is advertised as being high in protein. As cats require high levels of protein in their diet this is a big plus.
In addition there are no fillers to bulk out the food which could be another trigger for sensitivities. Plus, the addition of essential vitamins and minerals boosts antioxidant levels.
It’s been found that a build up of oxidants in the body can result in food allergies. While there’s no evidence to support a cure, animal studies have shown a reduction in allergic responses.
The products is advertised as being easy to chew and swallow as well as having a crunchy texture. As most cats enjoy crunching kibble, this is another plus point.
Average rating 4.7 out of 5
CRAVE Grain Free High Protein Dry Cat Food
Grain is a common ingredient in cat food and can cause sensitivities over time. This is because it’s not a natural food or biologically appropriate.
Crave grain free cat food could be a good choice if your cat has a food sensitivity to grain. However, check with your vet first if you’re unsure. As mentioned previously, it’s important to get the right diagnosis.
Added minerals and vitamins boost your cat’s antioxidant levels, and in addition there are no additives. Artificial colorings and flavorings can often trigger allergic responses.
Average rating 4.7 out of 5
Taste of the Wild High Protein Real Meat Recipes Premium Dry Cat Food with Superfoods and Nutrients Like Probiotics, Vitamins and Antioxidants for Adult Cats and Kittens
Taste of the wild cat foods are free from grain or other fillers which is great for sensitive felines. As made with only real meat or fish there is less chance of an allergic reaction.
In addition, Taste of the wild is advertised as being supplemented with fruits and vegetables. This ensures your cat gets plenty of essential vitamins and minerals needed for optimum health.
Also, Taste of the wild have added species specific probiotics to help maintain a healthy gut flora. This is great as it may help boost your cat’s immune system.
Average rating 4.6 out of 5
Wysong Uretic – Dry Natural Food for Cats
Wysong uretic natural cat foods are specially formulated for urinary health. In addition, as they’re free from artificial flavorings and preservatives this makes them ideal for cats with food allergies.
Also, Wysong is advertised as having a wide range of nutrients including prebiotics, probiotics, and antioxidants. These may help strengthen your cat’s immune system and maintain good health.
You’re advised to gradually add this dry food to your cat’s diet. This is to make sure your cat doesn’t have any bad reaction to it. The same goes for any new food you introduce to your cat unless otherwise advised by your vet.
Average rating 4.3 out of 5
Your cat’s recovery from a food allergy
It can take a while for food allergy symptoms to disappear, even after your cat has started a new diet. Always avoid low quality, cheap cat food, and monitor for any changes or improvements.
Though I’ve shared what I believe to some of the best food for cats with allergies, it’s important to consult your vet if your cat shows any symptoms. Allergies can occur for a variety of reasons and may not always be caused by food.
In addition, some symptoms may not be allergy related and could possibly be a sign of something else. If you’ve enjoyed this post and found it useful please share. Also, feel free to share this pin on your “pets” board.
In addition, if you have any questions or would like to share experiences please comment below.
Wishing you a purrfect day:)