What Is The Best Cat Food For Allergies?

Allergies are, unfortunately, more common in cats than people might think. In many cases, the cause of these allergies is the cat's food itself. Common cat food allergies include "beef, fish, chicken, and dairy products." Since most commercial cat foods contain one or more of these ingredients, the first step that veterinarians typically recommend is switching out the cat food. It's a great, low-cost way to check whether or not that's the root cause of your cat's discomfort.

Let's look at two of the best cat food for skin allergies (and others, too), as well as other information on cat allergies themselves!

What Are The Common Cat Food Allergy Symptoms?

Cat food allergy symptoms can manifest themselves in unexpected ways. Many times, these allergies present themselves on the skin. You'll frequently notice irritation and scratching that doesn't seem to go away. If you see your cat has a patch of fur missing or has redness on their skin, there's a chance that they might have a food allergy.

Sometimes these food allergies will show up as gastrointestinal issues. You may notice vomiting, diarrhea, or constipation.

The symptoms can vary dramatically. If you're noticing these symptoms and don't have reason to believe that it could be something more serious, swapping out cat food is worth trying to see if it could be an allergy!

Best Cat Food For Skin Allergies: Natural Balance Limited Ingredients Dry 

This cat food is arguably the best out there for allergies. What makes this food so powerful is that it has a single protein source. There are four different flavors: salmon, duck, venison, and chicken. While chicken can be an allergen, there aren't many known allergies to the other three ingredients. Regardless, if you're finding that the salmon formula doesn't work, you can always try the duck one to see if that makes a difference, for example. There are no potatoes, wheat, corn, or soy, so you don't need to worry about those potential causes of allergies. 

This food has quite a bit of protein and fat, which will keep your cat happy, healthy, and active. If you only feed your cat dry food, this cat food is nutritionally complete on its own. However, if you like to supplement your cat's dry cat food with wet food (or if you like to feed your cat wet food alone), please see the recommendation below. There are hypoallergenic wet foods as well!

Best Wet Cat Food For Allergies: Blue Buffalo Freedom Grain Free Natural Adult Pate

If your cat likes wet food, you'd be hard-pressed to find anything better than Blue Buffalo's Freedom line of grain-free cat foods. These cat foods are hypoallergenic as they have a single protein source, which can be either duck, fish, or turkey. There's no wheat, poultry (or by-product meals), corn, soy, dairy, or eggs within this cat food. Additionally, there are no preservatives or artificial flavors.

The result, of course, is a pate-style food with as few ingredients as possible. These canned foods promote digestive health and provide your pet with all the nutrients they need to thrive!

Even though this food has a single protein source, it still has a very high protein content, which will provide your pet with the nutrition they need to keep a healthy and robust muscle mass. 

How Long Will It Take To See Results?

Changing your cat's food is a gradual process. First, you should change your pet's food slowly to avoid causing your cat's stomach to feel upset. Experts typically recommend starting with 80% old food and 20% new food. Then, you should gradually add in more of the hypoallergenic food over a week or two.

After you have completely replaced the old food with the new hypoallergenic food, you won't see results immediately. There are likely still residual allergens floating around your cat's body. And, of course, skin irritation doesn't heal up overnight! Your pet will likely continue scratching merely because of the skin irritation, even if the food itself is no longer provoking it.

Therefore, experts recommend waiting another couple of weeks before seeing if the food has any positive effects. This advice gives the previous allergen food time to work its way out of the cat's body and for the skin lesions to heal enough that the cat no longer feels the need to scratch them. Once both of these things happen, you should start to notice an improvement with your cat.

Common Cat Food Allergies Will Interfere With Your Pet's Quality Of Life

Ultimately, you want your pet to live a long, happy life. Skin allergies and gastrointestinal issues will cause problems with your pet's quality of life. To avoid that, you'll need to feed your cat hypoallergenic food. Since this food has one protein source and none of the other common allergens, you'll find a formula that solves your cat's allergies and enables them to live a long, happy, and healthy life!

What can I give my cat for food allergies?

Most cats are allergic to one or more of the following food types: grains, chicken, beef, fish, or dairy. Anything else should be fair game. When buying a hypoallergenic food, look at the ingredients list. It should have a single source of protein and not have any grains or other fillers that could cause allergic issues.

Can cats be tested for food allergies?

No. There's no magic test that can diagnose food allergies in cats. However, you and your vet can conduct analyses of allergies through trial and error. By replacing your cat's old food with other hypoallergenic foods, you can isolate which ingredients make your cat sick.

Is mackerel good for cats with food allergies?

No. Mackerel is high in histamines. Other high-histamine food includes tuna, salmon, and herring. Sometimes, cats are allergic to histamines, so, if you give mackerel to your cat, you will only aggravate that allergy as opposed to suppressing it. Only provide this fish for your cat if your vet explicitly suggested doing so.

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Written by Leo Roux

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