What foods give cats allergy?


Although we are aware of the health of our pets, we cannot always prevent them from getting sick. Through these tips you can detect if your cat has a food allergy.

When we buy a pet there are many things that we must consider. First, we must think about whether we can give you the home you need and the time and attention you need to to be part of our family immediately. Once we are clear that we can fulfill all these premises and that the animal will feel healthy and happy in our home, we can start our new life with them.

In the event that your new pet is a cat, there will be several important things that you should keep in mind, especially your health, visiting the veterinarian regularly and watching that his good behavior helps him maintain a good state of health, in addition to controlling if something unusual happens to you regarding your usual state of health. In addition, we must ensure that the cat is in normal hygienic conditions, that it eats properly, h>

Although we are always aware of your health, we can not always prevent our cat from getting sick or suffering some ailments. One of these can become a food allergy, just like humans or other animals such as dogs, you should know that cats can also be affected by this medical condition and we need to know how to act in case it happens to them.

Find out how you can tell if your cat has a food allergy and how to react so she can feel good again as soon as possible.

Does my cat have a food allergy?

Although it is not very common for cats to have a food allergy, you should be alert and know what their symptoms are in case one happens. The easiest way to realize it will be that, by giving you a new food or just after eating, your cat will be more apathetic than usual or with a different attitude than usual.

This may be, that it scratches itself more often, that the fur is licked, that it does not seem to find a comfortable position or that has sudden vomiting or diarrhea. Since allergies can affect not only the stomach, but also to the skin, red layers are likely to appear or the nose swells. In the event that your cat has any of these symptoms, it is best to take it to the veterinarian as soon as possible.

The feline health professional is the one who will best know if your pet has suffered a food allergy. In the case that it does, I will surely recommend you exclude this food from your diet so that it does not happen again, but it is also likely that you are not sure what exactly the food that caused this reaction has been.

Therefore, in addition to treating your cat for the food allergy that just happened, with medication or an injectionMost likely, he will prescribe a medicine for you to have at home, since if your cat has had an allergic reaction before, it is likely to happen again.

So, if you think it can happen again, since you do not know the food which may have caused your cat's food allergy, it is essential that your veterinarian teach you everything you should know in how to react to an allergy by your pet Remember that most of them usually only affect the skin, but those that are more complicated could affect your cat's health more or less.

Learning to detect allergy symptoms and knowing how to medicate your cat or when to go to the veterinarian with your pet will be essential so that, little by little, you can discover what is the food that causes your pet's food allergy and what do not happen again, as much as possible, for the sake of your health and your peace of mind, because you want the best for your cat. Although cats do not show their affection in the same way as dogs, you will be sure that you appreciate everything you are doing for their welfare and will know how to show it to you in other ways. Remember that cats cannot express how they feel through language, as we humans do, so you must be the one who is aware that everything is fine at home and in your general health, so as soon as it begins to show a different behavior from the usual you should analyze if it is that you are having a food allergy or you may be suffering from other ailments or diseases that may improve before you detect it and put it in the hands of a professional .

Cats with food allergy

Food is the third cause of allergy among cats

When a cat vomits after eating, he suffers from diarrhea after ingesting his food or other skin problems and hives, extreme vigilance on the food dish offered is necessary: ​​any of these signs can hide an allergy to a certain food .

"Adverse reactions to food are quite common in cats. In fact, food is the third cause of allergy among cats, only followed by allergy to fleas and certain air substances, "concludes a study by Cornell University.

How to recognize a cat with food allergy?

Cats allergic to food or food intolerant usually develop skin problems, such as irritations, alopecia (bald) and itching, which can begin in the area of ​​the head and face. But they also suffer from diarrhea or vomiting. "Between 10% and 20% of skin problems in cats are caused by an undetected food allergy", explains veterinarian Amanda Friedeck, feline feeding specialist.

Food allergy reactions in cats do not usually take long, since it is normal for them to manifest themselves few minutes after eating the food. However, this rule does not always work. "Some adverse reactions to food in cats can manifest hours, even days, after eating it," adds this veterinarian, whose research on food allergies and intolerances in cats has been published in the scientific journal 'Vet Learn'. Any of these signs is reason enough to go to the vet.

What foods cause allergy in the cat?

Among the foods that cause the most allergy to cats are some meats, including that of cow or veal. A food study conducted by veterinarian Phil Roudebush, concludes that beef is among the ingredients that causes more intolerance in cats.

However, the list of foods susceptible to allergy to hairy diners does not end here. The relationship of these foods includes fish proteins, milk and other dairy products offered to cats, as well as certain additives.

The problem is not small: food allergies in cats are even more frequent than in dogs. In addition, there are some breeds of cats more vulnerable than others in the face of food intolerance. "This is the case of Siamese cats, cats very predisposed to suffer from food allergy," adds veterinarian Stephen White.

My cat is allergic to food: what do I do?

The first step when signs of a possible food allergy are detected in the cat is go to the vet, so that I can advise you, make a diet modification and follow a strict control of the cat's diet.

Veterinarians may recommend us to follow a elimination diet for the cat allergic to food. The goal is to detect what protein or additive is behind the cat's intolerance.

The first thing is choose a food for allergic cats. These meals contain a single type of protein, as well as a single source of carbohydrates, so eating them reduces the chances that the hairy diner feels bad. The key is to gradually add another type of food, until you find the problematic food. This process should be performed under the guidelines of a veterinarian.

Homemade cat food allows us to choose the ingredients that we include in the cat's food. But nevertheless, a homemade cat food should be balanced And this is not easy to achieve without professional advice: you need the supervision of your veterinarian or feline nutritionist.

Is your cat allergic to any food? You can share your experience in the comments section. Thank you!

Differences between intolerance and food allergy

There is still some confusion between allergies and food intolerances, but these are quite different clinical conditions that require specific treatments to preserve the good health of our cats. And it is important that 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 cats, this condition may be associated with some underlying disease.

In the Food Allergy, the immune system identifies some component of the cat's food as a foreign body that needs to be fought to preserve the body's balance. 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 are usually more complex and delicate to treat than intolerance. When an animal is intolerant of certain foods, the simple act of removing this component from its diet is usually effective in preventing 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 discomforts and metabolic failures, and may also involve a certain degree of toxicity. Food allergies, in addition to gastrointestinal discomfort, also often 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, in its behavior or in its routine habits.

Below, we summarize the main food allergy symptoms in cats to help you stay tuned and quickly identify them in your cat. Notice!

    Dermatological symptoms: dermatological alterations associated with food allergy are concentrated in the region of cat's neck and face. Your skin may show redness, peeling, loss>

Diagnosis and testing of food allergy in cats

When 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 progress and impair their state of health. Therefore, early diagnosis is essential to minimize possible damage and offer a healthy routine to our cats.

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 verify what components may be generating the hypersensitive response in your cat's organism. These diets are specially designed to verify (by elimination) the sources of proteins that may be allergic to each pussycat.

In the veterinary clinic, the professional will also carry out a detailed physical exam and you can make some allergy tests to verify the different immune responses of your pussy against possible allergens. In addition, to reach a specific diagnosis, the veterinarian will need to have a detailed history of each patient's diet. Thus, tutors must inform the veterinarian of the complete diet composition of their pussy. 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 your feed periodically, it is also important to inform about the products you already offered to your pussy. 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 cat. For cats with mild allergies, the veterinarian may recommend hypoallergenic feed made with low molecular weight proteins, which facilitate digestion and assimilation of these nutrients. There are some options already available in the market that are specially designed for cats with intolerances or food allergies of low complexity.

However, these products are not usually effective in the treatment of more severe allergies. If your pussy shows a more complex allergic picture, you must be patient and follow the recommendations of your veterinarian. Gradually, the professional will design a diet compatible with your feline's organism, which offers essential nutrients without harming your health. In many cases, it may be more advisable to administer a homemade and natural food, which allows to control protein sources and eliminate harmful components to your body. In this way, when establishing cat food with food allergy, it is essential to know the food, or food, allergen to be able to eliminate it directly from your 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 bit complicated to talk about a specific prevention for food allergies. Each cat is a unique individual and its organism has its own peculiarities, so it is difficult to predict which elements can trigger an allergic reaction in each pussy. However, we can follow some guidelines to favor your digestive process and avoid exposing it to pathogens. We summarize these guidelines below:

  • Offer adequate preventive medicine to maintain their good health and strengthen their immune system, making regular visits to the veterinarian and respecting their vaccination letter and periodic deworming. You can also consult the veterinarian about allergy testing 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 optimal quality, which contain high quality protein and easy digestion. And if you choose a BARF or homemade diet, do not forget to require the guidance of your trusted veterinarian to establish a diet appropriate to the nutritional needs of your pussy.
  • Avoid thedifficult digestion foods and allergen risk ingredients: some foods are difficult for our cats to digest and can cause 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 felines.

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

This article is purely informative, at we have no power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case he presents any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Food Allergy in Cats - Symptoms and Treatment, we recommend you go to our Other health problems section.


If your dog or cat scratches itself more often than you consider acceptable, I'm sorry, it's almost certain it has a food allergy. Every week we receive clients with doubts about this issue, and especially because they think it is only due to fleas or scabies. And no, itching or itching in our animals is a sign that is present in various skin diseases. Today I detail this pathology that appears more and more frequently in our clinic. Keep in mind that dogs and cats can have allergies of various types: flea saliva allergy (very frequent but also the most benign, since using a good antiparasitic method is usually enough), food allergy and another allergy called atopy (environmental allergy: pollen, air fresheners, mites ...), even combinations between several of them. All types of allergies are characterized by very similar symptoms, especially itching, although it occurs differently depending on the case. The biggest problem caused by itching in our animal is that they self-injure and can cause serious injuries and / or secondary infections that are associated with it, which perpetuates and worsens the problem.


As they are quite complex issues today I am going to detail food allergy as it represents up to 15% of allergic diseases in small animals. Food allergy manifests itself as a dermatological problem with quite itching non-seasonal type (present all year), which is produced by an exacerbated immune response after ingestion of any of the components of the diet, usually proteins. There seems to be no predisposition of race or sex, however in relation to age, it is found that most cases occur in young animals, even before the year of age. Apart from itching, more or less severe secondary lesions usually appear. In 10-20% of the animals with this pathology there are also associated gastrointestinal symptoms, such as vomiting, diarrhea, flatulence.

So that you understand me better, food allergy is the set of clinical reactions caused by the ingestion of a food. But it is not about any type of reaction, they are hypersensitivity responses, that is, the immune system reacts "abnormally" and very aggressively, in the presence of some component (usually proteins) of the food, called an allergen. This intervention of the immune system differentiates the allergy from other conditions of very similar or even identical symptoms. The body detects the food protein or allergen as a "foreign agent" and generates specific antibodies.
These antibodies bind to cells called mast cells, which synthesize and release histamine, chemical mediator responsible for the allergic reaction. In the next contact with the protein, it is "captured" by the antibody and the release of histamine, contained in the mast cells, is initiated.

According to recent studies, the proteins that most problems usually give in our pets are cereal proteins such as rice, soy, wheat and corn, and animal proteins such as those present in beef, lamb and chicken.

If food allergy is not detected and treated in time, the symptoms can be very cumbersome and shocking, with injuries throughout the body. The animal, due to itching, can cause wounds to the skin due to autotraumatisms (erosions, hair loss ...), by chronicity of the disease (increased pigmentation or thickening of the skin of the area) or associated secondary processes such as seborrhea, infections by bacteria and / or yeasts. Occasionally more or less constant gastrointestinal abnormalities coexist (especially diarrhea) but in most cases the only noticeable sign is the skin problem.

With all this, I do not mean that because your little one scratches a few days already has an allergy, but unfortunately, it is an increasingly frequent problem. In these cases you have to consult a specialist to rule out other processes that may be causing that itching and if in the end the veterinarian finds that your animal has a food allergy or intolerance, establish a specific treatment as soon as possible, since treatments vary Depending on the animal, its type of allergy and the conditions that may be associated. The most important thing when dealing with animals that have allergic problems is to let us lead to the best nutrition to follow as there are special diets that will help us control our animal's food allergy, but if the instructions of the animal are strictly followed vet. These are diets where the source of protein (usually chicken or soy) is degraded by a process called enzymatic hydrolysis, resulting in smaller proteins that make it less allergic and more digestible. Being smaller reduces the release of histamine, responsible for the itching of the animal and on the other hand by increasing its digestibility helps reduce allergenicity since it stays less time in the intestine. And another option is to use diets called elimination, which are composed of nutrients that are not normally used in the production of feed, such as potatoes, deer meat, horse, etc.

If you have questions about those itches that your dog or cat presents, do not hesitate to consult us and follow our instructions step by step. This way your animal will be less stressed by so much itching and you will make it happier.