The cat must be tested and as soon as the allergen is determined, it
must be eliminated from the cat's diet. In some cases, the cat may be
allergic to 2 or several ingredients.
Food allergies in cats may occur in young cats of 5 to 6 months old, but
may also occur later, even when the cat is 12 years old. Typically,
food allergies occur in felines between 3 and 6 years old. Sensitive
cats are more prone to food allergies and many cats with food allergies
suffer from other types of allergies also.
One way of distinguishing between food allergies and inhalant allergies
is to observe your cat's negative reactions. Inhalant allergy symptoms
are typically seasonal, while the food allergy symptoms are permanent.
You must also make a distinction between food allergies and food
intolerances. Food intolerances cause diarrhea and vomiting without
causing any other symptoms.
The best way to diagnose food allergies and to pinpoint the exact allergen is by food testing.
A food trial is a period of up to 12 weeks, during which the cat is fed a
single type of food (proteins combined with carbs). The cat is
thoroughly monitored and if there are negative reactions, the allergen
Food testing may be a lengthy analysis; however, blood testing and skin
testing are not accurate methods of detecting food allergies.
Treatment for Cat Food Allergies
The first step in treating food allergies is to eliminate the allergen
The cat's diet must be free of any allergy causing agents. Your vet may
prescribe a special diet that you may prepare at home or you may get
prescription pet food. If you decide for homemade food, make sure that
your pet's diet will include all the necessary nutrients, vitamins and