We all know that cats can be finicky eaters. Some cats simply refuse to eat more novel proteins like lamb or venison. However, did you know that some cats get allergies to meats if fed the same thing over a long period of time? This is one reason why diversifying the diet is so important.
It’s rare that cats get allergies to ingredients in food other than proteins, which is why most “hypo-allergenic” cat foods contain very little animal protein in them. The problem with these foods, however, is that cats are obligate carnivores. This means that they must eat animal meat to thrive. If we take away their animal protein, we take away their quality of life. And that would be a terrible mistake.
Chicken and fish are two of the most common protein sources in commercial cat food. Why? Because these proteins are mass produced and inexpensive to buy. However, they are not the healthiest of protein options and can cause inflammation in your cat’s body. It shouldn’t surprise us then that fish and chicken are the two most common proteins that cats develop allergies to.
Kitties can have sensitivities to rendered ingredients and carbohydrates as well, simply because they are not biologically appropriate for their bodies. This usually happens when we feed our cats a commercially processed dry food diet. Because big brand pet foods use less-than-quality ingredients, our cats’ bodies can have reactions to them. While this may look like allergies, it’s really not.
Think of it like you, a human, eating nothing but bird food… you’re body would not be happy or feel healthy because you’re eating food made for a different species. Simple as that. Therefore, feeding a species appropriate, fresh food diet to your cats and rotating proteins often will not only help prevent the development of food allergies, it supports an overall happy, healthy body.
In addition, it’s good to know that removing the allergenic meat source from a cat’s diet for a few months (to a year) can often cure the allergy. Our cat was allergic to fish, so we took it out of his diet. We rotate many different proteins in his fresh food diet and now, and a year later, he no longer has a reaction to quality fish in his food.