So you suspect your feline might have a cat food allergy. Most food allergies in pets are actually a food intolerance. The vast majority of cat foods offer only two sources of protein, chicken and fish. Some brands of cat food also use cheap fillers which can make allergies worse. Cats can have a hard time digesting grains such as corn or wheat, causing them to have allergy-like symptoms.
Cats who are fed the same food every day have a higher chance of developing an allergic reaction or an intolerance to the ingredients in their food. Eventually the body begins to reject ingredients that once were okay for your cat. Rotating your cat’s food often is the best defense against this. Switching up your cat’s food also helps keep their digestive system healthy.
What To Look For In Your Cat’s Food
The first thing to look for is foods that do not use chemical preservatives, artificial flavors or colors. You also want to find foods that do not use by-products of any kind since by –products are not always the digestible part of the meat.
Next, pick out a food that has a protein source different from what your cat is currently eating. If your cat has been eating lots of fish and chicken, consider a venison or duck based diet. Foods with limited ingredients will make it easier to rotate proteins and figure out which proteins work best for your cat.
Making the Switch
When giving your cat new foods, you want to go slow. Mix their old food in with their new food for about two weeks, starting with mostly old food and a little new food. By the end of two weeks, your cat should be eating mostly new food with a little bit of the old food mixed in. If your cat starts to show signs of an upset stomach, cut back on the new food until they adjust. Take as much time as you think your cat needs.
You should notice improvement in your cat’s itching relatively quickly once you are feeding only the new food. If the itching gets worse, or you don’t notice improvement in the first month you may want to consider trying a different protein source with your cat.
We have a variety of foods with limited ingredients and novel proteins that provide a good starting point for your cat’s nutrition, so be sure check out Addiction’s entire line of pet foods to select the right product for your cat’s needs.