Signs Your Cat Might Have a Food Allergy

Does your cat scratch his cheeks bald? Chew on his paws? Sneeze relentlessly, multiple times a day? Does he snore? Vomit frequently? If you answered yes, your cat may be dealing with a food allergy.

Cats, just like humans, are susceptible to a host of different allergies. Some, like allergies to mildew or pollen, appear seasonally, while others are connected to specific foods.

As a cat owner, it is important that you be on the lookout for the most common cat food allergy symptoms. No one wants to suffer through an allergy needlessly — cats included!

Common Cat Food Allergy Symptoms

Cats experience food allergies when their immune system misidentifies a protein as a hostile invader. This protein may be from any number of sources: seafood, beef, dairy products, and even grains and vegetables.

Additionally, some cats may develop allergies to artificial food coloring, fillers and preservatives. This is all the more reason to buy a high-quality, all-natural food for your pet.

Suspect a food allergy in your cat? Keep on the lookout for the following symptoms:

  • Sneezing, coughing or wheezing
  • Runny eyes and nose
  • Itchy or inflamed ears
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Snoring (caused by an inflamed throat)
  • Increased body scratching
  • Swollen paws
  • Paw chewing
  • Brittle, coarse, dull fur

Vet With Cute Cat

What to Do if You Suspect Your Cat Has Allergies

Once you’ve narrowed down which symptoms your cat is experiencing, you’ll want to talk to your veterinarian. Your vet can help you determine whether or not the allergic reaction is being caused by a food or something else by putting your cat on an elimination diet to determine which ingredients are the culprit. Blood tests and intradermal skin tests may also be ordered in certain cases.

Food not the problem? Cats have also been known to experience allergic reactions to the following substances:

  • Mold and mildew
  • Dust pollen
  • Trees, grass, weeds
  • Fleas and flea-control products
  • Prescription drugs
  • Cleaning products
  • Cigarette smoke
  • Certain types of fabrics
  • Rubber
  • Plastics
  • Perfume

Keep track of which new substances you introduce to your household and observe your pets carefully. This will aid you in the event that a new allergy presents itself!

How Cat Allergies are Treated

Typically, the best way to treat an allergy in your cat is to remove the allergen from their environment entirely. This might mean switching to a new cat food, choosing a different fragrance-free litter or bathing your cat semi-frequently to remove allergens from the skin.

Still unsure of the way forward? Ask your veterinarian for advice; they’ll be glad to give it!

45 comments

danii p
danii pyesterday

Thank you

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danii p
danii pyesterday

Thank you

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danii p
danii pyesterday

Thank you

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Val P
Val P4 days ago

Fascinating

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Thomas M
Thomas M4 days ago

thank you for posting

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Dr. Jan Hill
Dr. Jan Hill5 days ago

thanks

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Louise A
Louise A6 days ago

thanks very much

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hELEN h
hELEN hEARFIELD6 days ago

TYFS

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Danuta W
Danuta W6 days ago

thanks for sharing

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Pearl W
Pearl W6 days ago

Hi All - My first cat, Kaipha, had a grass flea allergy - The onset was so quick and unexpected - One day the gardeners mowed the lawns for the block of units as usual - Kaipha loved playing in the clumps of cut grass after they'd gone - He came back inside for a nap - The only thing different was his persistent scratching and biting of his tail but basically all was fine - We had to go out for just 2 hours and left him shut him inside sound asleep - When we got home his tail was bald and looked like a cabanossi (a long thin, pale red, mild salami) - I felt so guilty - We rang the emergency Vet and took him straight there - The Vet gave us a cream that had a numbing agent (among other things) - The side effect made his mouth numb and he couldn't meow properly - To discourage him from licking it off straight away he got lots of pats and pampering for an hour or two after application - Two weeks later the Vet was very happy with his progress - The hair all grew back, he was never let outside to play in the cut grass again and consequently never had the same extreme reaction - He lived to the ripe old age of 20 leaving behind many happy memories - Please remember allergies have to be actively managed for the best results - Thanks for the story and warnings - smiles

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