Cat lovers with a capital G certainly know that cats are not only the cause of allergies, but can also be the victims of them: just as we suffer from the passage of time, and however incredible it may seem, there is also feline allergy to humans. It will not come as a great surprise at this point to learn that food allergies in cats are a phenomenon that is certainly not frequent, but nevertheless real.
Food allergies in cats usually occur as a reaction of the body to a specific protein contained in a particular food, which causes an inflammatory allergic response. Among the foods that can lead to allergy in cats are beef, dairy products and fish. The risk of developing food allergies is higher in Siamese cats.
Where in human beings allergy and intolerance sometimes manifest themselves with similar symptoms, although different in intensity, in cats food intolerance, in addition to being more frequent, leads the body to respond in a very different way. Ergo, care must be taken not to confuse these two clinical conditions.
Food allergies in cats can occur at any age, but are generally diagnosed between four and five years of age.
The symptoms of a food allergy in cats are as follows.
- skin problems such as itching and redness, hairless areas or even skin abrasions;
- ear infections;
- significant presence of hair boluses;
Only in rare cases have respiratory problems been found.
As is evident, these are rather general symptoms, which can easily be indicators of other types. Precisely for this reason it is good to avoid attempts at self-diagnosis and to consult the vet.
Tests and therapy
Unfortunately, there are no specific tests for food allergies in cats.
First of all, vets usually prescribe a diet based on hypoallergenic food with hydrolysed proteins, in which these proteins are present in such a small dose that allergic reactions are prevented. If at the end of the diet period your cat has improved, you can start to reintroduce the proteins, one at a time; this can sometimes lead to finding the culprit food.
The route described here is just one example, and is in no way standard or valid for every case of allergy.
It is necessary, for Pussycat’s sake, to arm oneself with good patience. But then again, this is also included in love, isn’t it?