Using Limited Ingredient Cat Food for Allergic Cats

Cat food provides the building blocks for your cat's health. At best, it provides necessary energy and nutrients. At worse, it creates health problems and allergies or exacerbates health problems occurring from allergens the cat has been exposed to. Special cat food, such as Royal Canin IVD limited ingredient cat food can help your cat heal from allergies and inflammatory bowel disease.

Common Feline Allergens

Cats can become allergic to a number of things in the environment and in food. Cats can be allergic to fleas, household, or pet sprays and cleaners. A cat's allergies are often caused by food. Cats with food allergies or intolerances may experience hair loss, diarrhea or vomiting. Food allergy symptoms more often include itchy or scaly skin. Common feline food allergies include lamb, beef, soy, dairy, corn, wheat and soy. These are some of the most common ingredients in cat food, and it's the exposure that can often cause an allergic response.

Inflammatory Bowel Disease

One of the most common feline problems that can be addressed through limited ingredient cat food is inflammatory bowel disease or IBD. In this disease, the intestine and/or stomach is invaded by inflammatory cells and affect the body's immune response. The direct causes are unknown but nutrition, genetics and immune system issues may be the culprit.

Symptoms of IBD

Symptoms of feline IBD can vary from cat to cat. The most common symptoms include vomiting if the stomach and upper part of the small intestine are involved. Diarrhea is most common when the colon or large intestine is involved. Cats with IBD often go to the box to defecate more often but less stool is produced. Some cats only exhibit weight loss, blood in the stool, and eating changes. If dietary changes do not alleviate the symptoms, several feline medications are effective.

Limited Ingredient Food Helps with Allergies or IBD

For cats with allergies or IBD, limited ingredient cat food helps with healing in several ways. When a cat has an allergy to a specific food, removing that food from her diet will alleviate the symptoms associated with the allergy. For cats with other allergies, limiting ingredients so that the digestive system is not overly taxed can help strengthen the immune system. This improves the cat's overall health and can help the cat to be less sensitive to allergens in the air.

For cats with IBD, limiting the food to a protein source that is brand new to the cat can help improve the condition. Cats with IBD also tolerate diets that are low in fat, carbohydrates and gluten. A diet that is highly digestible and low in fiber may be the diet of choice for some cats with IBD as it gives the intestines a break allowing for healing. Sometimes adding healthy fatty acids into the diet can help alleviate IBD. You as a cat owner need to be patient and try several different dietary changes to see what's the most helpful for your cat.

A limited ingredient cat food often only contains two ingredients such as duck and potato. The best cat food is one your cat will like and also one with high quality, whole ingredients.