How Do I Tell If My Cat Has Food Intolerance? 

How Do I Tell If My Cat Has Food Intolerance? 

June 3, 2021 0 By Patrick Fletcher

In humans, food intolerance is when your stomach rejects a specific food source, and the condition is similar to cats. Food intolerance in cats is a condition where their stomach and immune system discard a food source entirely. Vets believe that it is a stomach-related problem.

This condition is common in most cats. However, how it affects them varies from one case to another. You can see many symptoms and tell if your cat is food intolerant, but it might be that you confuse it with food allergies. Therefore, it is essential to know whether your cat is intolerant or allergic.

As a result, to understand the distinction, here is a comparative difference between the two.

Food Allergy vs. Food Intolerance


To know whether your cat is food intolerant or allergic, knowing the difference between the two will help. Both of the conditions are food-related but have different effects on cats.

Food Allergy


The term food allergy is used to depict an abnormal immune reaction to an antigen in food. As a result, food allergy alludes to a response brought about by the immune system to a particular protein found in food items.

Therefore, for a cat to contract a food allergy, the food item should primarily be protein-based. The food sources that can result in food allergies include meat, fish, chicken, dairy items, or any other food type containing proteins.

Food Intolerance


Food intolerance in cats is generally discovered to be a stomach-related problem. Food intolerance can occur as a side-effect of your cat’s weak immune system.

Here are the most common reasons for food intolerance among cats:

  • Eating a food source excessively, particularly protein-based
  • Unfavorable response to medication
  • Diseases
  • Siamese cats have been discovered to be bound to experience the ill effects of food intolerance.

How To Tell If Your Cat Has Food Intolerance?


After knowing the difference between an allergy and intolerance, let’s move ahead with how you can detect food intolerance in your cat.

Check For Stomach Related Problems


Stomach-related problems can be a consequence of a food allergy. If your cat has been sick for quite a long time, has loose bowels, behaves pretentiously, or has a bloated stomach, this could be because of food intolerance.

Powerful gut sounds, passing of gas, and frequent bowel discharges are, for the most part, indications of food intolerance. There may likewise be vomiting alongside diarrhea.

Check If There’s Any Skin Irritation


If your cat seems to be scratching more than expected, this might be a symptom of a food allergy. A cat with allergies can frequently scratch or rub themselves so much that they develop bare patches. Therefore, you need to pay attention if your feline is developing patches or losing fur.

You may see skin redness and expansion around the head, face, and ears. Search for fur losses due to unnecessary itching.

Symptoms related to a common cold, like sniffling, coughing, or wheezy breathing, can likewise show an allergy reaction. Cats with food intolerance frequently find that their skin is irritating, particularly around the ears.

Ensure to check for ticks or insects, which is likewise a typical reason for irritation or excessive scratching.

Check Their Dietary Pattern And Weight


Most felines should eat routinely every day except if they have a prior condition or are on a specific kind of prescription. If your cat’s food is causing them stomach-related problems, they may avoid their food, prompting weight loss.

Check its food regularly and gauge your cat’s weight and stature every other day if you are dubious it may have a food allergy or intolerance.

Weight reduction and food avoidance can indicate different conditions, including diabetes, kidney illness, and pancreatitis. It might likewise demonstrate mental pressure. Watch for other signs and indications that may highlight a hidden cause.

Visit to know about the best cat food for cats with sensitive stomachs.

How To Use Elimination Diet Trial To Detect Food Intolerance In Cats?


Food intolerances are pretty tough to be tested, unlike food allergies. It is a challenging process. Your veterinarian will put your cat on a food trial which, as a rule, follows a schedule of 8-12 weeks. You should not give your cat food from any ambiguous sources or food items containing nutrients, minerals, or chewable prescriptions other than the suggested diet during this time.

If some different food varieties or nutrients are provided during this trial, it will refute the outcomes. If the symptoms recede, your feline might be suffering from allergies. The eating routine might be custom-made or a solution diet. It is known as the ‘elimination diet trial,’ and the vet will give your cat all the food it has never had, like rabbit or duck.

Once the trial is over, you need to feed your cat with the ingredient that caused the symptoms in the first place. If your feline does not exhibit any negative indications, proceed by feeding that ingredient more. However, if you witness any relapse, your cat is definitely intolerant of that specific food item.

Go To A Vet Immediately If The Symptoms Are Persistent


Extreme symptoms, such as persistent vomiting, loose bowels, or an avoidance of food and water, can regularly indicate more significant or genuine ailments that may require intravenous fluid treatment, anti-microbial medicines, and regular care.

Call your vet promptly if you speculate your cat might be experiencing a more extensive medical problem that requires immediate consideration.


If your cat has a sensitive stomach, it’s imperative to take care of it. Use food with high-quality ingredients produced using whole meats or novel proteins, coupled with the correct balance of nutrients and minerals through food items like vegetables or whole grains. Likewise,  make sure to pick a brand that doesn’t add useless fillers or additives to their cat food sources as those can trigger allergies.