One day your cat is minding her own business, sleeping peacefully atop the laundry basket or terrorizing the dog. The next, it’s scratching like mad. Fleas are an obvious suspect, but not the only one. Food allergy is “quite common in cats,” Christine Bellezza, a veterinarian and the co-director of the Feline Health Center at Cornell University,
Itching is the number-one symptom of food allergies, especially around the face, paws and ears, according to PetPlace.com. Other signs include ear infections, hair loss, and small bumps on the skin. Less commonly, food allergies can also upset a cat’s stomach, causing diarrhea or vomiting, says Bellezza.A food allergy can strike cats of any age, though they’re rare in very young kittens, according to Bellezza. “Usually they develop an allergy to a food that they’ve been eating for a long period of time,” she says.
And that food can be just about anything. “What we see most commonly are allergies to fish, beef, dairy products, wheat, corn, and soy,” Bellezza tells Paw Nation. According to PetPlace.com, beef, dairy products and wheat account for two-thirds of all cat food allergies.