Cat Food Intolerance Symptoms

Cat food intolerance develops in pets of all age ranges and occurs due to an adverse reaction by the body to certain ingredients present in food. Food intolerance is often confused with cat food allergies. However, the symptoms of food intolerance vary from cat food allergies and pet owners should watch for any unusual symptoms and seek prompt medical help.

Distinguishing Food Intolerance from Food Allergy

Food allergy is generally caused by the cat's hypersensitivity to specific ingredients present in food. The pet will develop dermatitis and localized alopecia due to the immune system's response to food allergens. Food allergies develop after prolonged consumption of the ingredient that the pet is allergic to while food intolerance develops due to consumption of new food or spicy food that is not well digested by the cat's gastrointestinal system. Although most pets suffering from food intolerance don't develop allergic reactions, pet owners should be aware of the most common symptoms of food intolerance.

Symptoms of Cat Food Intolerance Include:

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Loss of appetite
  • Pain in the abdomen
  • Lethargy

Causes of Food Intolerance

Certain ingredients that the cat hasn't consumed before may cause food intolerance. Overeating or consumption of human food or treats may also cause food intolerance. In addition, cats develop food intolerance to new cat food or certain ingredients present in medications. Most pet's suffering from food intolerance will be tested for food allergies in order to rule out the condition. Pet owners should prevent the use of over the counter products to treat vomiting or diarrhea as it's best to determine the underlying cause of the symptoms and administer prescribed medication, that's suited to the cat.

Treatment of Cat Food Intolerance

In order to determine if the cat is exclusively suffering from food intolerance, the vet will perform a blood test to detect any food allergy. However blood tests don't provide a definite diagnosis of food allergies and the vet may perform a food trial to confirm the diagnosis. Pets suffering from food intolerance will be fasted for a few hours in order to let the gastrointestinal tract resume normal functioning. Pets that are suffering from dehydration due to the vomiting and diarrhea may require IV fluids to prevent electrolyte imbalance. The vet will then introduce diet food or bland food that's easily digestible. It's important to avoid giving the pet any leftover table scraps and inform the vet of all new medications given to the cat.

Cat Food

In order to prevent the recurrence of cat food intolerance, pet owners should avoid giving the pet any ingredients or food items that trigger the intolerance. There are several commercially available diet foods that are recommended for use in pets with gastrointestinal trouble or intolerance. Few care takers may also prefer to feed the pets homemade meals. Regardless of the brand of cat food, it's necessary to feed the cat, food that's nutritious and high in quality.

If the symptoms of food intolerance persist despite treatment or recur along with dermatitis it's important to seek prompt medical help.