Wheat Allergies in Cats

Wheat allergies in cats can happen at any time. Cats can develop an allergy to foods that they have eaten for long periods of time. They may be on the same food for 2 years and then one day develop allergy symptoms.

Why Wheat?

Wheat is often one of the top listed ingredients in many commercial grade cat foods on the market. It may be called wheat, wheat gluten or wheat flour.

Studies have shown that cats develop wheat allergies after being exposed to the same food ingredients repeatedly. Some cats also cultivate allergies to:

  • corn
  • chicken
  • fish
  • beef
  • dairy products

Again, the longer cats are exposed to the same food or protein, the more probability of developing an allergic reaction to that specific food, no matter what it is.

Symptoms of a Wheat Allergy Reaction

Common symptoms of wheat allergies in cats are constant scratching, sometimes frantically, to relieve an itch and a persistent licking of paws, tummy, or legs. Your cat may develop a rash, typically around the ears or face, and have seemingly itchy red ears. Other symptoms may be hair loss, vomiting or diarrhea.

Your cat may be seen viciously biting his tail to the extent that open wounds will appear. Biting the paws may also be another symptom of wheat allergies in cats.

Treatment of Wheat Allergies

Typical treatment of wheat allergies can contain steroids. To differentiate these steroids from anabolic steroids that athletes or muscle builders at times use, the steroids used for your cat may be called corticosteroids or glucocorticoids. 

These steroids may be given in the form of an injection or a tablet to take by mouth. Prednisolone is one of the more common steroids that cats are given as it is easier for them to metabolize into their system.

Many pet owners find that natural remedies can give relief to their pets and go that route. Allergies in cats can often be minimized or eliminated by natural methods like apple cider vinegar, probiotics and a specific vitamin regimen.

Being proactive in changing your cat's food to a high quality dry food that lists a meat as a main source ingredient will also assist in minimizing or eliminating your cat's wheat allergies. A quality food that does not list a wheat ingredient would be an optimal choice for your cat's health.

How Can I Know with Certainty It Is a Wheat Allergy?

Your veterinarian may have your cat placed on a food trial that will last approximately 8 to 12 weeks long. During this period of time, your cat will not be allowed to eat other food of any kind except for what is specifically prescribed. No vitamins, medications, treats, table scraps, or flavored chew toys should be allowed. Eating anything other than what your vet has prescribed will invalidate the food trial.

If your cat is exhibiting no allergic reactions to the new food after the period of time has  ended, your cat will be placed back on the food he may have been allergic to. If new allergic symptoms reappear, the determination will be that your cat definitely has a wheat allergy.

Knowing for certain what your pet is allergic to is a good thing. Checking an ingredient list when buying new foods is much easier when you know what your cat cannot tolerate.