A Handbook for Cat Owners: FAQs About Cat Food

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Have you ever seen your feline friend snoring, vomiting, chewing on his paws, or scratching unceasingly? If so, he may be experiencing an allergy. Cats are prone to various allergies, of which bad reactions to food constitute a small percentage.

However, food allergies are much more difficult to diagnose and treat. Therefore, a comprehensive understanding of cat food is necessary for pet owners.

Cat Food FAQs

Can cat food allergies cause hair loss?

Yes. Allergies are listed among the top causes of hair loss. Food allergies are no exception. Adverse reactions occur when the immune system of cats mistakes a foodborne protein for a hostile invader, thereby attacking it. Afterward, they tend to lick their coat to ease the itch, leaving bald spots.

In this case, the most possible culprit is cornmeal. Several cat food producers often add such an inexpensive filler to their recipe while a majority of feline species, unfortunately, develop an allergic reaction to corn.

Since it’s rather difficult to diagnose food allergies among cats given no specific tests are available, the triggers may be inconsistent. Therefore, to prevent the symptom from becoming worse, you’d better take him to a vet’s help.

If the vet’s suspicion matches your worry, an exclusion diet trial is unavoidable. This diet, which may last up to 12 weeks, is confined to hypoallergenic and blend ingredients. During this trial, treats or titbits are completely forbidden.

If you witness any improvement, proteins can be gradually introduced to their diet again. In case they start licking their fur continuously after being fed on a specific food, it is the root of the problem.

At the same time, apply an effective flea prevention method to eliminate any potential parasites. Keep your furry friend mentally stimulated with toys so that he will forget about scratching. Try not to let nervous disorder worsen hair loss.

Can cat food allergies cause diarrhea?

Like dogs, cats’ stomach can easily get irritated by food. The symptoms of food allergies, especially to dairy products, normally include diarrhea.

cat and food

Since they don’t have proper enzymes to break down sugars in such products, notably cow’s milk, they will run a higher risk of catching secondary gastrointestinal problems upon being fed on the milk of other animals.

Since the intake of the same protein for a long period can cause the GI tract to inflame, thereby resulting in food allergies, you can try changing your pet’s diet regularly to prevent diarrhea.

Before your feline companion can get professional support, it is important to keep him hydrated by, for example, using canned foods to increase the moisture consumption.

Moreover, probiotic supplements are available to boost the number of useful bacteria in the intestinal tract, hence facilitating digestion. Canned pumpkin is rich in fiber, which will be suitable for cats with sensitive stomachs.

Read More: Best Cat Carrier for Nervous Cats.

Can cat food allergies cause seizures?

The answer is yes. Food allergens like beef, seafood, lamb, soy, corn, and wheat gluten are likely to provoke allergic shock among cats.

Depending on each breed, they will experience different shocks. Therefore, you should take your pet to a veterinarian right after detecting any signs of allergic shock. Otherwise, the condition will become more dangerous.

After the cat takes necessary medication to stop seizures, you need to store some EpiPens at home in case of allergic reactions. Containing epinephrine, EpiPens causes the veins to constrict while easing the muscles, allowing cats to breathe and circulate blood normally within just a few minutes.

Don’t forget to keep a close watch on them and maximize their contact with potential allergens. 

Read More: Air Travel Approved Cat Carriers.

Can cat food allergies cause breathing problems?

Yes, sometimes. Several cats may have negative reactions to food via respiratory signs, including asthma, wheezing, coughing, and trouble breathing.

The symptoms may become life-threatening without professional support. The vet will conduct standard tests like urine analysis, abdominal examination or blood count to determine exactly which leads to breathing difficulty.

The treatment varies depending on the cause of dyspnea, ranging from antibiotic prescription to surgery.

If food is the main culprit, home-cooked meals or a prescription diet are highly recommended. Keep your little friend away from active children or other pets, otherwise, they may disturb his recovery process.

Also, provide him with dietary supplements to make sure he receives all vital desirable nutrients and vitamins.  

Can cat food allergies cause blood in stool?

cat allergy food

Obviously yes. The presence of blood in cat feces stems from a variety of factors such as stress, environmental changes, absurd switching of diets, overconsumption of food, and intake of unfamiliar food.

If your cat is suffering from diarrhea, the chance is that there is blood in his stool.

The blood tends to have a black or brown color if the problem stems from the small intestine. Meanwhile, the hurt lower intestinal tract may cause smears of bright red blood. With sensitive stomachs, cats can develop allergies to any ingredient at any time.

Therefore, to reduce symptoms, changing their diet makes a lot of sense. This is the most simple and feasible method.

However, there are many other causes of bloody stool. Among them, the most serious one is inflammatory bowel disease, a potential source of cancer – lymphoma.

Thus, upon repeated episodes of blood in feces, you’d better take the little friend to the vet for a thorough check-up so that he can determine the exact root of the problem. Things would become easier and less worrying if food is the main culprit.

Depending on the cause, a specific treatment plan will be applied to your cat. Generally speaking, such medications focus on normalizing the bowel movements, reducing diarrhea, and easing colon inflammation.  

Final thought

It is sad to witness your little pet suffering the pain brought about food allergies. Digestive problems are rather common among animals, especially cats.

Therefore, don’t be panic if you spot blood in his feces, hair loss, seizures, trouble breathing or diarrhea. Be alert for these symptoms and seek instant professional help.

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