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Answers: Raw Cat Food for My Cat's Mystery Allergy?
- Updated: Sunday, June 02, 2019 02:39 PM
- Published: Sunday, May 31, 2015 12:22 PM
- Written by Lyn Thomson, BVSc DipHom
My vet told me that my cat is showing allergic symptoms, but he can't tell me what she is allergic to. We don't know if it is environmental or a food allergy. A friend told me that feeding raw cat food could help. How would raw food for cats be beneficial if we haven't figured out what is causing the allergy?
Our aim is to rebalance the immune system by switching off the cat's tendency to "overreact." Cats should be able to tolerate pollens, grasses, fleas and dust mites. So why is it that so many of them are diagnosed as being allergic to these common, everyday environmental triggers? A healthy and normal immune system reacts to harmful threats by producing antibodies. These antibodies bind to the threat and are cleared from the body by a specialised system called the reticuloendothelial system. When this system is overloaded, the clearance no longer occurs. The antibodies are bound up with the threatening substance and continue to circulate in the blood stream. These circulating immune complexes start to cause trouble. They are deposited in the skin, gut, kidneys and joints. They then trigger local and generalised inflammation – heat, redness, swelling and itchiness – the typical signs of an allergic reaction.
Rebalancing the immune system, by feeding your obligate carnivore biologically-appropriate food, takes a lot of pressure off a very overloaded immune system. Allergy panels commonly show cats as being allergic to corn, soy and wheat. Rather than getting caught up in the specifics and expense of allergy testing, our suggestion is to remove grains and starches from the cat's diet. These are foods they are not evolved to eat. Feed a protein source that the cat has not eaten before, for a period of six weeks. This allows the gut a chance to readjust. As 70 percent of the immune system is in the gut, it is the best place to start to fix an allergic animal.
It is incredible how much impact these simple cat nutrition measures have on calming down an overactive immune system. We are not suggesting that all allergic cats have food allergies. We are suggesting that raw cat food can have an impact on reducing allergic tendencies.
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Rebalancing the immune system by providing raw food for cats and supporting the immune system in the gut with cat-specific probiotics and animal-derived essential fatty acids are the simple things that can make an enormous difference to a very frustrating problem.
Note: Feline Nutrition provides feline health and nutrition information as a public service. Diagnosis and treatment of specific conditions should always be in consultation with your own veterinarian. Feline Nutrition disclaims all warranties and liability related to the veterinary advice and information provided on this site.
Dr. Lyn Thomson trained at the University of Bristol in England and is studying with the Australasian College of Nutritional and Environmental Medicine. A dedicated and experienced advocate of bio-appropriate nutrition, Lyn practices in Auckland, New Zealand. HerRaw Essentialsstores have grown to eight retail locations, providing a variety of raw food products for cats and dogs.