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What to Do if My Cat Has a Food Sensitivity or Allergy?


9 April 2021



What are the symptoms of a cat food allergy or sensitivity?

Dietary allergies and sensitivities can present themselves in several ways. Dermatoses are common in dogs and cats suffering from allergies and can be itchy and uncomfortable. Clinical dermatological signs will typically be observed between 4-24 hours after ingestion of the allergen in question. Scratching and biting at itchy areas can commonly lead to secondary lesions. While dogs are most affected in their paw pads, underarms, and belly area, cats tend to show more symptoms around the head, neck, and ears.

How can I tell if my cat has a food-related allergy?

The best way to find out exactly what your pet is allergic to is through an elimination diet to diagnose a food allergy or sensitivity. Whether the allergy is known or unknown, one of the first steps in catering to your pet’s needs is to provide them with a hypoallergenic diet. Allergens are sometimes hard to pinpoint which is why it is best to switch your pet to a formula that is free of the most common allergens. 

If your pet no longer has symptoms such as itchy skin or tummy troubles once you’ve begun feeding them a hypoallergic food, it is likely that your pet had an allergy or sensitivity to one of the ingredients in their previous diet. 

How can I tell if my cat has gastrointestinal problems?

Dogs and cats with skin sensitivities often suffer of gastrointestinal sensitivities as well. Common symptoms of gastrointestinal problems include:

  • Diarrhea
  • Loose stool
  • Constipation
  • Regurgitation or vomiting
  • Loss of appetite
  • Excess gas or flatulence
  • Abdominal pain and bloating
  • Excessive drooling
  • Straining to defecate
  • Weight loss

Dermatological issues and gastrointestinal issues share a common solution: hydrolyzed protein.

Hydrolyzed protein concentrate is a hypoallergenic option that is also easily digested and absorbed. Hydrolysis makes proteins easier to digest by breaking them into smaller pieces, just like the body needs to before it can digest it. These smaller pieces are also often unrecognizable to the immune system as the original allergen, making them much less likely to cause an allergic reaction.

How does the Nutrience Care Sensitive Skin & Stomach formula work?

Nutrience Care Sensitive Skin & Stomach for dogs or cats is made without common allergens including chicken, beef, lamb, dairy products, eggs, gluten, and grains (including soy, and wheat). In fact, we use a mix of fresh salmon – a less common protein, and hydrolyzed fish protein concentrate (in other words, hydrolyzed fish meal containing 70% or more protein) to reduce the risks of allergies and aid digestion for both dogs and cats. Compared to poultry, beef, and lamb, fish is the most easily digested animal protein and is the least likely to trigger an allergic reaction. Going the extra step of hydrolyzing the protein will ensure that this formula is hypoallergenic and caters to the gastrointestinal sensitivities your pet may have. It is one of the only hydrolyzed protein diets available through your local pet food retailer!

Naturally, fish is extremely rich in omega-3s, which are known to help maintain a healthy skin and coat. The omega-3 fatty acids from the fresh salmon, and salmon and menhaden oils will help reduce inflammation of itchy skin! Nutrience adds many gut-soothing ingredients to this formula as well, including probiotics, ginger, and prebiotics like pumpkin and turmeric. Many of these ingredients can be found in the Digestiboost cubes, an inclusion added for optimal gut health.

It’s important to note that while most pets can transition from one food to another in five to seven days, some tummies may require a longer transition period to gradually adapt. Therefore, for this very fishy formula, we recommend a 10 to 14-day transition period to be sure your sensitive friend adapts smoothly.

Happy Feeding!

You may also be interested in our article: What is the difference between an environmental and a food-related allergy in cats and dogs?


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