PetMD Seal

Dietary Reactions in Cats



Cats with severe vomiting, diarrhea or other clinical symptoms may require hospitalization for intravenous fluid administration, antibiotics, and supportive care. In most cases, the cat does not need hospitalization.


The cornerstone of a successful treatment plan is in identifying the offending dietary component and excluding it from the diet. If the problematic dietary component cannot be identified, your veterinarian will suggest and help you plan a nutritionally complete exclusion diet. A trial and error method can be employed if a confirmatory diagnosis cannot be achieved. Your veterinarian will devise a plan to include or exclude a particular dietary component and monitor the response.


Living and Management


The prognosis of most patients is very good, especially if the offending dietary component has been identified. The major goal of therapy is to avoid the causative dietary component.


If your cat has been diagnosed with food sensitivities, you will need to avoid feeding your cat food scraps or adding new foodstuffs without first consulting with your veterinarian. If your veterinarian has prescribed a specific diet, adherence to the prescribed diet is of utmost importance.


Poor treatment response is commonly due to reduced owner compliance, such as when the cat's owner reverts to giving “treats.” Do not allow children or visitors to feed the cat without prior permission. Good owner compliance will ensure long-term improvement of the clinical symptoms.

Image: Sergey Peterman via Shutterstock


Related Articles

Acute Vomiting in Cats

Cats will commonly vomit from time to time, however, the condition becomes acute when the vomiting does not stop and when there is nothing left...

Chocolate Poisoning in Cats

Chocolate is derived from the roasted seeds of Theobroma cacao, which contains certain properties that can be toxic to cats: caffeine and theobromine....

Loss of Appetite in Cats

A cat will be diagnosed with anorexia when it is consistently refusing to eat and its food intake has decreased so much that drastic weight loss...

Black, Tarry Feces due to Presence of Blood in Cats

Melena, the term used to describe a black, tarry appearing feces, is typically seen due to bleeding in the upper portion of the gastrointestinal...