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Hypoallergenic Cat Food

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Food allergy or food intolerance

Food allergies or food intolerances can occur in cats. Both are a form of food hypersensitivity, which means that a cat reacts abnormally to ingredients in the cat food. A food allergy means a reaction to the food due to an overactive immune system, i.e. with antibodies. The main issue in this case is itching. In this case, you often see your cat scratching in the head and neck area. In all other cases there is a food intolerance, for example an intolerance to lactose or gluten. A cat with food intolerance often has complaints of the gastrointestinal tract, such as vomiting and diarrhea.

In case of food hypersensitivity, a hypoallergenic diet can offer support. There are different types of hypoallergenic food for cats:

  • Food that uses 1 (unknown) protein source and 1 carbohydrate source. The disadvantage of these foods is that you do not always know in advance which proteins are a problem for your cat.
  • Food with hydrolysed proteins. Hydrolysed proteins are proteins cut into pieces, so that these protein fragments no longer trigger a hypersensitivity reaction in your cat. Not all hydrolysed hypoallergenic foods are created equal. There is often a difference in the degree of hydrolysis, i.e. how small the protein pieces are cut. Diets with highly hydrolysed proteins are Royal Canin Anallergenic or Vetality Hypoallergenic.

Hypoallergenic foods are easily digestible and also grain-free. If you are feeding a hypoallergenic diet to support food intolerances, it can take up to 2-4 weeks before you can assess the effect on your cat. As an elimination diet, i.e. to diagnose a food allergy in your cat, a hypoallergenic diet should be given for 6-8 weeks.

In our article Food allergy in dogs and cats you can read more about food hypersensitivity in dogs and cats.

Below you will find our complete overview of hypoallergenic foods for cats. Consult with a vet beforehand which food you should choose for your cat.