The Gentle Giants

How to Select Hypoallergenic Cat Food

The right food can dramatically improve your cat’s overall health. Whether your feline has allergies, or a more serious gastrointestinal condition, hypoallergenic cat food can provide your furry companion with relief from painful symptoms and itchy skin. By eliminating common allergens such as wheat, corn, soy, dairy and other animal proteins, these foods can help to reduce the severity of allergic reactions in cats. Hypoallergenic cat foods are also often formulated with fewer carbohydrates and additives, which can further reduce a pet’s risk of allergy-related symptoms.

When selecting the right hypoallergenic diet for your cat, it’s important to consult with a veterinarian. Your veterinarian can make recommendations based on your pet’s individual needs and health conditions, as well as their allergies or sensitivities. They will be able to assist you in determining the best allergy-friendly food for your cat, including a detailed transition plan.

The first step in finding a good hypoallergenic cat food is to identify your cat’s allergies or sensitivities. Allergies may manifest in a variety of ways, from itchy skin to digestive issues or ear infections. Allergy triggers vary from pet to pet, and can include grains (wheat and corn), meats (chicken and beef) and other ingredients like artificial additives.

A good hypoallergenic food should contain a novel protein source that is not the most common of these allergens (like duck, rabbit or venison) and should be free from grain fillers, processed carbohydrates and additives. Some hypoallergenic pet foods may be made from hydrolyzed protein, which can further minimize the severity of allergic reactions.

When preparing to transition your cat to a new hypoallergenic diet, it’s recommended that you begin the process gradually. Mix a small amount of the new food with your pet’s current diet and increase the ratio over the course of several days. Observe your cat’s behavior, appetite and digestion throughout this time to ensure that they are adapting well to the new diet.

Some allergy-friendly cat foods also feature added benefits such as urinary support or kidney-friendly nutrients. This can be a useful option for those cats with concurrent health concerns, as these foods will be tailored to their specific nutritional requirements.