Not only you can be allergic to cat, but also cats or any other pet can possibly get allergies. One way how to deal with cat’s allergy is to try to feed it with hypoallergenic cat food. In other words, put your cat on a hypoallergenic diet.
Hypoallergenic Cat Food
There are many things that your dog or cat can be allergic to including inhalant, environmental allergies and of course food allergies. They can actually be allergic to the food they are eating. The most common result is skin issues such as rashes, excessive itching, scratching or licking, and hot spots.
There are many different theories and many different things you can do to help control the allergies. Some include medication like steroids or even allergy shots in extreme cases. If your animal is experiencing allergies, one thing that you can do is to try to change a different food to see if that helps control the problem. Luckily in today’s market, there are many different foods available.
Hypoallergenic Cat Diet
Hypoallergenic diet for cats, but also for dogs and other pets, is gaining popularity nowadays. They do offer some health benefits, however, keep in mind there is no universal food that would work for every breed in the world, at least for now.
It is the same just like in the case of hypoallergenic cat breeds. There is no breed that would be hundred percent hypoallergenic or non-allergenic. You can find the reason in our previous article What Causes Allergies to Cats. You always need to test different breeds and your reactions to them. The same logic applies in the case of hypoallergenic cat food.
Since different pets are allergic to different ingredients, there is obviously no food that would be one hundred percent hypoallergenic for every animal out there. You need to test more different food types to see what’s working best for your little-beloved pet. The reason behind this is that allergy is specific to the individual animals. So whereas some food may work as hypoallergenic for one cat, it does not have necessarily work the same way for the other one.
The key is to find the ingredients your cat cannot tolerate and avoid them in cat’s diet afterwards. It is known that certain ingredients have a much higher incidence of causing allergic reactions than other ones. The most common allergy-causing ingredients include wheat, soy, rice, corn, sugar beet pulp and various preservatives.
What’s the cause of cat allergy
There are many different theories about cat’s allergies. Scientists or veterinarians search after how and why do they occur. The majority of practitioners agree the allergic reactions are the result of underlying pet’s health problem or system imbalance.
Every cat encounters allergens on a daily basis. Just like us. And still, they do not develop any allergies. Therefore the problem is not in exposure to allergens, but rather in organism weakening. The pet just becomes susceptible or vulnerable in some way.
One of the causes may be poor quality food as it may decrease the level of immunity system over time. Poor quality food may contain toxins or other substances that unnecessarily burden pet’s body. Another reason would be a lack of important nutrients, antioxidants, enzymes etc. Excessive use of antibiotics, vaccines, medications or other chemicals may also lead to predisposing a cat to food allergies. That said you should care for the food you give your cat.
Hypoallergenic Food Types
But how do you know which food to choose for your cat? What’s available? What are the food options when it comes down to the allergies? That’s what we will discuss now.
So basically overall, there are two main categories of limited allergen or hypoallergenic cat food. One category is the novel protein category. That means this categorical food contains so-called novel protein and carbohydrate which are unique to your cat. Novel proteins consist of animal proteins that your cat has not yet eaten before. The example of the novel protein is duck, rabbit, kangaroo, fish and venison. The same counts with the carbohydrate, it is a type of food your cat was not exposed to before. In most cases, this includes green pea or potato.
The other category of food is the hydrolyzed protein foods. What these actually do is take the protein and break it down into so small units that the body actually does not recognize it as an allergen. This is also another approach to dealing with food allergies. Most of this type of the hydrolyzed protein food is available mostly on prescription by your veterinarian whereas in the case of the first category you will most likely not need any type of prescription.
How to start with hypoallergenic cat diet
When it comes to doing either of these food changes, you are going to do it very, very slowly. The other thing you want to keep in mind is that it’s going to take a lot of patience to see if it’s working. It’s going to be a minimum of 8 to 12 weeks to even see if the food change will make the differences for keeping your pet more comfortable when it comes to their allergy problems.
The other thing you should keep in mind is that during this period of time you can never give your cat anything else while it is on a specific food diet. They are not allowed to have table scraps or similar as it can contradict the diet your cat is on and the results may not be as desired.
Once you have found the food that works for your cat, you can either keep them on that food or some people even choose to put them on the regular food they used to eat once the allergy is under control. Whether or not you are going to switch back to the old, regular food again, you should consult this with your veterinarian as he will be the best person to make recommendations which food will be best for your cat’s allergy problem. He is also able to advise whether or not you should be continuing down that road or try to reintroduce some old food as the problem becomes more under control.
Hypoallergenic cat food does not necessarily mean it will cure your pet straight away or with one hundred percent effectivity if you start giving your cat hypoallergenic food.
The reason behind is that different animals are allergic to different ingredients and you need to test many various foods to see what’s working the best. Sure it can happen your cat will get better soon with hypoallergenic diet if you are lucky enough to choose the most suitable food for the first time, but sometimes it may take the time to find the most appropriate food.
Also please keep in mind that while your cat is on the hypoallergenic diet, it is also going to take some time to see the results. You may not see them immediately as the cat’s body needs some time to adapt the change. Thus it will require some patience from you as the cat owner.
Of course, not all skin issues are caused by food allergies. Your veterinarian can help you determine the cause of your pet’s skin issues and develop a treatment plan. Therefore you should always consult the problem with him. Hypoallergenic cat food may be one of the ways how to make your cat feel better and giving it a try is definitely worth it in our opinion and according to our personal experience.