Cat food intolerance occurs when the food simply doesn't agree with them. The condition is similar in many ways to lactose intolerance in people.
"Sometimes cats simply lack the ability to properly process key components of the food they eat," says Dr. Simon Starkey, PetSmart vet expert.
Gastrointestinal symptoms are most common and can include loose stool, vomiting and diarrhea. Unlike food allergies, which typically take time to develop, food intolerance can occur after the first feeding, and does not typically involve a reaction of the immune system or dermatologic symptoms. Cat food intolerance can be caused by a wider array of ingredients than those that cause allergies. To determine whether your cat has a food allergy or intolerance, consult your veterinarian.
How can Sensitive Stomach cat food help?
Feeding a premium pet food with a limited number of high-quality protein and carbohydrate sources may be beneficial. Limited ingredient, grain free cat foods and those specially formulated for sensitive stomach are ideal because they are less likely to contain some of the ingredients that may be causing the issue. Alternatively, your vet may suggest a prescription cat food. Mix a small amount of the new food with the current food and increase the new food over the course of 10 days.
Avoid foods with proteins known to cause allergies and intolerance including beef, dairy, lamb or certain fish (tuna, mackerel, skipjack).
Avoid treats and people food.
Feed the new diet exclusively for six to 12 weeks and document the type and amount of food eaten and any reactions you observe. Review your notes with your vet, noting any changes in your pet's symptoms.
The information used in this report is approved by PetSmart nutritionists and vet experts.
Information from "Small Animal Clinical Nutrition," 5th Edition, Hand, Thatcher, Remillard, Roudebush, Novotny, Copyright 2010 by Mark Morris Institute was used in this report.
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