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Need A Quick Refresher Re: Possible Food Allergy Triggers :-)

Discussion in 'Cat Nutrition' started by cheeser, Feb 11, 2019 at 8:44 AM.

  1. cheeser

    cheeser Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    We need to fine tune Buddy's allergy diet a bit more, and I just want to make sure we're not overlooking anything obvious. Besides the following, what are some other common ingredient categories that could trigger a food allergy or sensitivity?
    • Fish/Seafood
    • Chicken
    • Beef
    • Meat By-Products (if the source isn't specified)
    • Dairy
    • Eggs
    • Peas
    • Corn
    • Wheat
    • Soy
    • Gums
    • Artificial Flavors
    • Artificial Colors
    • Preservatives
     

  2. daftcat75

    daftcat75 TCS Member Top Cat

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    Dry food.

    Dry food has the largest collection of irritants, insufficient moisture, and it comes out of the stomach at the wrong pH for digestion to be effective. Dry food can lead to the leaky gut condition that can make even the most novel protein into an allergen if it's leaking into the bloodstream and the immune system mobilizes against it.

    If you absolutely cannot get rid of dry food, make sure you are feeding your cat(s) bone broth to at least try to repair the damage the dry food does.

    I like this article on bone broth. But I don't like that particular brand. It has a lot of questionable ingredients. Either make your own or buy a store brand with no onions, garlic, salt, or seasonings. The kind I buy (Butcher's brand/Otto's) is made specifically for pets but still has carrots in the ingredients but not in the final broth. I'm okay with that.

    Bone Broth for Senior Cats: How Bone Broth Can Help Your Aging Cat - Wildernesscat
     
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  3. cheeser

    cheeser Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    Thanks bunches!

    Fortunately, we had already eliminated dry food from Buddy's diet several years ago when he developed some urinary tract problems. So that's one less issue to get sorted out. :)

    We've been making our own bone broth with just bones and water for quite a while now. But we're a bit torn as to whether or not to give it to Buddy more often than we do. We've heard that it's wonderful for cats with food allergies and/or sensitivities, and possibly might help to strengthen his immune system a bit. Buddy is FIV+, and is always pretty sickly. So we can use all the help we can get. :wink:

    But we're still unclear as to whether or not it could be an issue due to Buddy's history of urinary tract problems, and alas, so is our vet. Buddy has never had any crystals or blockages, thank God, and he's been completely symptom free since we started him on a wet food only, low carb, no fish diet. We're just afraid of tempting fate. Thus far, we've just been giving him bone broth whenever he's more run down than usual, and having trouble eating and/or bouncing back from yet another health setback So far, so good. *knocks wood*
     
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  4. kittyluv387

    kittyluv387 TCS Member Top Cat

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    Carageenan, menadione. Have you tried home made raw? I know not everyone can do it but just a suggestion if nothing else seems to work.
     
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  5. cheeser

    cheeser Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    Cool. Thanks!

    Unfortunately, raw isn't an option for us since Buddy's immune system is compromised. But it sure does seem to help a lot of other kitties, so I'm glad that's an option for them! :)
     

  6. kittyluv387

    kittyluv387 TCS Member Top Cat

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    True. But there's always cooked home made!
     
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  7. cheeser

    cheeser Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    We're still working on that! :)

    Thus far, Buddy hasn't been terribly impressed with our efforts. But after the cost of his beloved Lotus Just Juicy Pork Stew went up again (not to mention that they recently added salmon oil to it), he may just have to lower his standards a bit. :wink:
     
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  8. lisamarie12

    lisamarie12 TCS Member Super Cat

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    Lamb, according to Dr. Jean Hofve, DVM, is included among her list of proteins that could cause allergies.

    "Natural flavor" may, in some cases, be the same as artificial flavor (msg) although some companies will say natural flavor is just e.g., "chicken broth" but I would still be cautious and at least contact the company for specifics on what natural flavor consists of. (Tell the company you have a highly allergic cat, they may be less likely to lie about what natural flavor is if they think the cat might have an allergic reaction.)

    I wouldn't rule out potential environmental allergens as well. Our vet said that more often than not, the cats he's tested / treated for food allergies invariably have environmental allergies also. Our cat tested high and low positive for both.
     
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  9. cheeser

    cheeser Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    Lamb?! O noes! That's one of the few proteins that Buddy likes. *sobs* But thanks oodles for the heads up! Forewarned is forearmed, or something like that. :wink:

    Good point about natural flavors. Fortunately, I have artificial and natural flavors lumped together on my spreadsheet, so that will make it easier to sort.

    Buddy does have a flea allergy, for which the vet prescribed Revolution for flea control. The rest is still a work in progress, and sometimes it's hard to tell whether Buddy has a real honest-to-goodness allergy or sensitivity to certain food ingredients or anything environmental, or if his immune system has just gone a bit haywire again from his FIV. So we're just trying to cover all of our bases. :)
     

  10. LTS3

    LTS3 TCS Member Staff Member Forum Helper

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    I saw on another thread where the person mentioned the cat not tolerating tomatoes. I guess veggies and fruit in general could potentially cause intolerances in some cats.
     

  11. cheeser

    cheeser Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    Eep. I hadn't even thought about veggies...well, besides corn, peas, and potatoes. Or fruits, for that matter. Thanks much for the heads up! *hugs*

    Okay, I haven't split all of the fruits and veggies out into separate columns yet, but of the 779 canned foods I currently have spreadsheeted, there are 68 tomato products, and some form of kelp appears 103 times. I had no idea those particular products were in so many canned foods! And cranberries seems to be a very popular ingredient, appearing 205 times.

    Oh, well. Looks like just about every canned food product has some potential issues. I guess it's just a matter of trying to figure out the lesser of the evils until Buddy fully embraces homemade foods. :biggrin:

    Thanks again!
     

  12. daftcat75

    daftcat75 TCS Member Top Cat

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    This sounds nuts!

    If you can do homemade, I recommend starting there. You don't even need to balance it at first. You're already feeding him something so keep going with that for now. But carve out one meal a day for Buddy Test Kitchen. Find a protein, cook it up, and serve. If he likes it (and I consider any food Krista tries more than one bite as something to keep offering) and it treats him well on the transit, put that protein in the plus category. Once you have a protein, you can either stop there and buy a supplement mix or I would look for one or two more. Ideally, you should have at least three proteins to weather out supply issues, preferences, and sick grudges. Krista won't eat a food that's made her sick recently. Thankfully these grudges don't last more than a day or two. But she'd be starving if I didn't have backup proteins in her rotation.

    If Buddy likes red meat, that's going to open up your choices so much. At Sprouts, a Whole Foods competitor, I can find 1 lbs boneless frozen ground meat of lamb, bison, venison, wild boar, and elk. It would be so much easier to do homemade or raw with Krista if she would eat any of those.

    For canned food, the basic formula to look for, preferably in this order (I'm looking at you, Friskies, with your organ-heavy recipe):

    1. meat
    2. moisture
    3. organs
    4. supplements

    Anything else is a potential irritant. But some are less irritating than others. I don't sweat kelp (an iodine source), but I won't buy a food with kale or cranberries. It demonstrates a cat food maker who doesn't understand cats and just wants to sell to the guardians.
     
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  13. cheeser

    cheeser Thread Starter TCS Member Top Cat

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    Thus far, we can't tell if Buddy just absolutely hates the taste of the various premixes for homemade food, if the recipes just suck, or if the whole concept is taking some getting used to. So for now, we're trying to offer him homemade stuff as treats to try to get him used to the idea. Once we can clear that hurdle, then the plan is to gradually increase the amount of homemade he's getting, and decrease the amount of commercially available canned food.

    But until then, we gotta make do as best we can, especially with everything else that's going on here these days. :)
     

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