New food allergies in cat

alysker

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Hi hi
So my cat is struggling with a food allergy causing her to scratch open spots on her head. We are now back on the food she got at the shelter but I was wondering if anyone knows the following. Can a cat be allergic to a specific brand of food? We got her iams chicken at home and at the shelter she had hills chicken. They have almost the same ingredients with just a few small differences.
Also does anyone know how long it takes for an allergy to show up?
They said she didn't have any spots or itching at the shelter. At ours she showed signs about a week after she got new food. I know I can never know for sure if she's allergic to the food she has now, at least not for another month. I'm just so afraid if her scabs heal and we take of her cone that she will just continue to open up new wounds. She seems so depressed with the cone so I don't want her to have to use it again.
 

Kris107

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There can be small (or even large off-label) differences between cats foods even if they appear to be quite similar. I'd get some of the shelter's food and see if her issues resolve. Sometimes the reactions can be quite immediate. I had a cat who had allergic wounds and when we finally found the right food, they just immediately stopped getting worse and started to heal.
 

lisahe

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Completely agreeing with what K Kris107 says about going back to the food the cat was eating at the shelter. Don't feed anything at all (including treats) that she wasn't getting there. Just one seemingly small ingredient (particularly thickeners and carby stuff) can make a huge difference.
 

Alldara

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Allergies can develop over time as well so there will be no way to confirm if the allergy developed, the symptoms just built over time and collided with you bringing her home or if it was the change in food.

Another thing to consider is that a home, might have more environmental allergies. The shelter has to be sanitized a lot and she was in a small pen, no carpet or couches or other things that can collect dust or hold on to allergens between cleanings.

So it could be the combination of increase in environmental allergens PLUS the allergy to something in the food that caused it.
 
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alysker

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Allergies can develop over time as well so there will be no way to confirm if the allergy developed, the symptoms just built over time and collided with you bringing her home or if it was the change in food.

Another thing to consider is that a home, might have more environmental allergies. The shelter has to be sanitized a lot and she was in a small pen, no carpet or couches or other things that can collect dust or hold on to allergens between cleanings.

So it could be the combination of increase in environmental allergens PLUS the allergy to something in the food that caused it.
She was in a foster situation so she is used to couches and stuff. We did change the litter to the litter she had there! Maybe that helps.
 
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alysker

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There can be small (or even large off-label) differences between cats foods even if they appear to be quite similar. I'd get some of the shelter's food and see if her issues resolve. Sometimes the reactions can be quite immediate. I had a cat who had allergic wounds and when we finally found the right food, they just immediately stopped getting worse and started to heal.
How long did it take before you noticed a difference in the skin irritation when you got the right food? They told us it takes about a month for the old food to leave her system. I keep wondering if we're going to see a difference soon or if we'll have to wait out the full month
 

Kris107

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Just depends on the cat, the sensitivity/cause, etc. The cat that I had, the sores were getting worse every day. We never really witnessed her scratching or making the sores, but they would get worse. They were in a spot where a cone wouldn't help. Anyways, the day after we switched food, the sores stopped getting worse. Same size as day before. So she stopped scratching or licking or whatever she was doing that was making them worse. After that, they started to heal.
 
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