Food allergies in cats can start at any age. A change in diet is not necessary for development of a food allergy. About 70 percent of affected pets develop allergies to food ingredients that they have been fed for a long time, usually more than two years. In fact, if your cat has an immediate adverse reaction to a new food, it is probably not an allergic reaction, because it can take more than one exposure to produce an allergic reaction. Food ingredients most commonly responsible for allergies are beef, chicken, fish, eggs and milk. The tendency to develop allergies is genetically determined. For more information on pet food, see our article on common pet food ingredients and their benefits.


Common Symptoms:

  • Itchy skin, especially around the face, paws and ears
  • Bad skin odor, excessive scaling, red bumps or papules
  • Ear infections
  • Self-inflicted skin trauma resulting from severe itching
  • Diarrhea and vomiting, although the majority of cats with food allergy primarily show skin related symptoms


Next Steps:

  • Elimination Diet: This test consists of identifying a diet that contains ingredients to which the pet has never been exposed and strict feeding of this food alone for 8 to 12 weeks. A food allergy can be considered as a cause if the itching and scratching improve and your cat does not develop relapsing skin irritation or ear infections during the food trial.
  • Feed Ultra Premium Foods: Muttropolis only carries foods considered ultra-premium. Ultra premium Foods are distinct mainly by the high standards placed on their ingredients. All ultra premium foods are made from 100% Human Grade ingredients and contain absolutely no “Bi-products”. “Bi-products” is a loose label that can include many undesirable meat sources that can change between bags of the same type of food. Please ask a Muttropolis associate for more information on the importance of Ultra Premium Foods.


Additional Note:  Not all skin irritations and itching symptoms are caused by food allergens. There are many seasonal and environmental allergens that can cause similar symptoms. Often switching to the previously recommended diets can aid in these cases as well and food can often worsen symptoms caused by environmental allergens. We always recommend speaking to a qualified Veterinarian to ensure there are no other underlying causes which may need more immediate medical care.