Best Hypoallergenic Cat Food: 5 Choices to Help With Allergies
Everyone has allergies, cats included. Allergies in cats can be caused by food, as well as the chemicals or pollen in the air. Different studies have been conducted to help determine how common food sensitivities and allergies are among cats. One study unveiled that between 1% and 11% of cats may experience some type of allergic reaction to food. By choosing the best hypoallergenic cat food specific to their allergies, you can help reduce their risk of experiencing allergic reactions.
To be able to help your cat against allergies you have to determine what they are allergic to. Allergies can occur at any age. Cats can get allergies from food or airborne substances, fleas that bite them, pollen from flowers, and from other sources. .
What Cats Are Allergic To
Cats can be allergic to multiple things. These things can be found in a household or in the outdoor nature they roam.
- Dust pollens, trees, weed, grass, mildew, and mold
- Certain ingredients in a food
- Fleas and anti-flea products
- Prescribed medication
- Different types of cologne
- Household cleaning chemicals
- Smoke from cigarettes
- Types of fabrics
- Plastics and rubber items
When a cat is allergic to any of these substances, they will have an allergic reaction when exposed to the allergen.
Symptoms Of Cats Allergies
Cats show symptoms to an allergic reaction similar to how humans do. There are, however, some differences as well. Knowing about the symptoms can help you identify allergic reactions in your cat, and also help you implement a plan to reduce their allergies.
The symptoms that a cat may experience when they suffer an allergic reaction include:
- Itchy and teary eyes
- Itchy back, tail base, ears, and skin
- Ear infections
- Coughing, wheezing and sneezing
- They may vomit occasionally
- They tend to get diarrhea
- They snore due to inflammation in the throat
- Their paws are swollen, and they constantly chew them
When these symptoms occur on a regular basis, you should know your cat is most likely allergic to something they frequently eat or an allergen they encounter in the outside world.
How To Diagnose Cat Allergies
Once you notice recurring itching or any other symptom in your cat the best way to determine which allergy your cat has would be to take him/her to see the vet. The test performed will be determined by the symptoms. If the skin is itchy or red, an intradermal skin test will be done to see what the causes might be. Blood test is not deemed reliable.
If the symptoms of your cat are vomiting and diarrhea, a long and exclusive 12-week diet may be implemented to determine if the cat might be allergic to certain ingredients in their food. This diet will contain food sources unknown to your cat’s digestive tracks. This will allow for the allergy to slowly leave the body. When this happens, start giving old foods to try and determine which foods cause the allergies.
If cats are allergic to food, they will have to receive a new diet that consists of homemade meals or special types of cat food. The new diet for your cat should be pre-determined by a vet to ensure the needed proteins, and other nutrients are included to keep your cat healthy.
How Hypoallergenic Cat Food Helps Against Allergies
The term “hypoallergenic food” can be misleading. Many products on the market contain such a label, but this does not necessarily mean there is no content in the food that could cause an allergic reaction. Instead, such a label is often used to describe the absence of common allergens.
Allergies are cat-specific. One cat may be allergic to chicken products while another cat is allergic to fish products.
Once it is determined what food allergy your cat has, then only can the correct type of hypoallergenic food be chosen according to the allergy.
Hypoallergenic cat foods are free from ingredients that are considered to be the main causes of cat allergies. These ingredients will often include corn, wheat, rice, and dairy. When a cat is placed on a hypoallergenic diet after they have been diagnosed with food-related allergies, their symptoms can be reduced significantly.
In addition to avoiding the inclusion of common allergens that are found to cause reactions in cats, many hypoallergenic cat foods will provide varieties to choose from. These varieties usually include some unique ingredients. This does not only allow you to choose the best flavor for your cat, but also ensure you can avoid buying a food product that may contain more specific allergens. This may include fish, beef, or chicken, for example.
If Unsure, Consult a Vet
It is always a good idea to consult a vet when you are not fully aware of what ingredients in a food may be causing your cat to experience allergic reactions. Vets can conduct the appropriate tests, as described earlier, and then provide you with prescription cat food that will exclude the allergens your cat is allergic to. These foods will still contain enough vitamins, proteins, minerals, and fatty acids to support your cat’s well-being.
Tips For Choosing The Best Hypoallergenic Cat Food
It can be quite tricky to ensure you buy the right hypoallergenic food for your cat. They are usually made with different ingredients. Different brands also tend to avoid the use of specific ingredients. Thus, you need to first determine the ingredients your cat is allergic to and then go out to find the right hypoallergenic cat food that does not contain these ingredients.
Always take a close look at the ingredient list of cat food and avoid only focusing on what it promises on the front of the pack.
You may also consult your vet for advice on the best foods before you go out to buy your cat a bag of either dry or wet food.
The 5 Best Hypoallergenic Cat Food Choices
While certain limited ingredient cat food may be considered as unsatisfying to cats, the Natural Balance dry cat food maintains a taste that cats tend to love. It is made to equal only one carb and one protein. The formula has been developed to reduce the risk of allergies towards this food.
The food is available in many different flavors – always take a close look at the flavor you will be buying and ensure your cat is not allergic to the specific type of meat that has been added to the food.
Halo Spot’s natural cat food can be considered the best dry cat food for allergies since it is only made from refined whole grains and whole proteins such as salmon, whitefish, peas, and eggs. This food gives your cat a balanced diet by focusing on whole foods and not starchy fillers, such as potatoes and corn, which are often considered allergens for cats.
If your cat suffers from allergies caused by meat products or certain carbs, then Halo Spot’s is considered to be invaluable to help with these allergies. By switching your cat to natural balance hypoallergenic cat food, you will help maintain a healthy stomach as well, since the food has been designed to be easily digested.
By giving your cat a wet food diet, you help them ingest moisture if they are not fond of drinking water. Instinct might not be a limited ingredient-based food, but it contains no soy, wheat, corn, gluten, and fillers. Most cat allergies are caused by corn-based ingredients.
When choosing Instinct, you have a wide variety of flavors you can choose from for your cat. This will ultimately ensure you can please their taste buds, while helping them stay healthy and allergy free at the same time.
While “I And Love And You” is still a fairly new and small brand, they are highly recommended by vets and cat owners. It contains no fillers or grain. Its main ingredient is cod, which is less likely to be found in other non-hypoallergenic cat foods. Also, it contains omega-3 & 6 fatty acids which help maintain a healthy coat.
The formula has not only been designed with cat allergies in mind, but also to provide numerous benefits to your cat – including an improvement in digestive well-being, a boost in immune function, and more.
Skin allergies on cats can also be from foods. The Hill’s d/d diet was designed to specifically help reduce skin allergies from foods and can be considered the best cat food for cats with skin allergies. The formula contains clinically-proven ingredients to help provide your cat with numerous benefits. Omega-3 fatty acids have also been added to the formula, which possesses potent anti-inflammatory properties.
The formula will help to reduce itchiness and may also be helpful in reducing redness and general irritation.
At the same time, this cat food has been designed to deliver a great-tasting food to your cat. You can choose between a dry or wet food option when opting for this product. You will, however, require a prescription from your vet before you will be able to purchase this food.
Hypoallergenic foods have become a popular option for people who own cats with allergies. Allergies can occur when the cat is exposed to numerous allergens, and the cause is often tracked down to the ingredients found in their food.
Even though hypoallergenic foods will not be the perfect solution for every single cat owner, a lot of cats will be able to benefit from the right option. It is, however, important that you select the best hypoallergenic cat food. This will ensure the right ingredients have been removed to avoid allergies, and the perfect combination of protein and vitamins have been added to support your cat.