Protein Allergy in Cats

A protein allergy develops when the cat’s body becomes highly sensitized to sources of protein present in food. Regardless of whether you feed your pet commercial cat food or home cooked meals, all cats are at risk of developing food allergies or protein allergies. Since proteins form a major component of cat food, any pet can develop allergic reactions to proteins that have been consumed for a long period of time.

Food Allergies in Cats

Protein allergy is a type of food allergy that needs to be diagnosed promptly in order to identify the sources of proteins that cause allergies in your pet. The symptoms of food allergies are often common to other allergies in felines. Due to this reason, it’s important to find out the real cause of the allergic reaction in your cat.

Although cats develop rash, hives and skin infections when they develop atopy or inhalant allergies, cats suffering from protein allergies may also show signs of gastrointestinal disorders.

Diagnosis of Protein Allergies in Cats

The vet will conduct a thorough physical examination and evaluate the cat’s medical history. Although research suggests that allergies are genetically inherited, these findings haven’t yet been proved. The vet will also perform blood tests to rule out other skin conditions.

Once the diagnosis is confirmed the vet will perform a food trial to identify the ingredients or foods that trigger the allergic reactions.

Proteins that Cause Allergies in Cats

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Lamb
  • Eggs
  • Dairy Products
  • Soy

Conducting Food Trails

It’s important to identify food culprits that cause allergies in cats so that these ingredients or sources of food can be eliminated from the cat’s diet. Since the cat’s immune system reacts to certain proteins that have been fed to the cat for a long time, the pet will be placed on a hypoallergenic diet during the entire duration of the food trial. Most food trials last for nearly 12 weeks, during which, the cat is fed a source of protein that he has never consumed before.

Dos and Don’ts of Food Trials

The cat shouldn’t be fed anything other than the hypoallergenic diet. Treats, table scraps and leftovers shouldn’t be given to the pet. You should also prevent your pet from eating crumbs that are found on the floor. Apart from this, avoid giving you cat any flavored toys to play with.

After a few weeks of feeding your pet the hypoallergenic diet, the vet will ask you to reintroduce certain ingredients that were formerly fed to the cat. If the cat develops hives or skin reactions after ingesting any of these ingredients you will have identified the cause of the allergy in your pet. Since food testing is based on trial and error, you need to have patience while identifying the allergens.

If you wish to feed your cat home cooked meals instead of using commercially available hypoallergenic diets, you have to follow vet instructions to prepare an appropriate meal. Although it’s difficult to resolve all types of allergies in cats, a protein allergy can be controlled if the food trial is successful.