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Food allergies are quite common in cats. If your cat seems to be showing signs of a food allergy or intolerance, then hydrolyzed protein cat food may be the answer. However, with so many types of diets and foods available on the market, you might want to find out exactly what it is and whether it will be right for your cat.
Hydrolyzed protein cat food is food in which the proteins have been broken down to parts that are so small that the body does not recognize them as a threat.
Amino acids are linked together with a peptide or amide bond to create proteins. Some amino acid chains are long while others have only 2 links.
Protein hydrolysis refers to the process in which the proteins are broken down to smaller peptide units or individual amino acids.
Chemicals or enzymes can be used for this process. Although a higher level of hydrolysis can be achieved with chemicals, it can also cause the degradation of some amino acids. This results in the reduction of the nutritional value of the particular food.
Enzymes, on the other hand, are better able to preserve important nutritional compounds as high temperatures and/or pressure is not needed during hydrolysis.
Cats can develop food allergies or intolerances any time. Food allergies are reactions that occur when the cat’s body confuses dietary components as allergens or antigens even though they are not harmful. This triggers an immune response that results in an allergic reaction. For example, you may notice your cat overgrooming or scratching incessantly after eating a particular type of food.
On the other hand, food intolerances do not result in allergic reactions. It occurs when your cat has a hard time digesting and absorbing certain foods. Food intolerances often cause cats to vomit the food that it has eaten.
Because a large number of allergies in cats are caused by proteins, a hydrolyzed diet in which proteins are broken down to smaller units can help to reduce and manage allergies in cats.
For example, your cat is less likely to have an allergic reaction to hydrolyzed beef compared to when it is eating a piece of beef.
Hydrolyzed protein cat food, together with novel protein cat food, are hypoallergenic cat foods that can help allergic reactions in your cat to subside and heal as you find out the exact foods that it is allergic to.
If your cat has food allergies and sensitivities, giving it hydrolyzed protein cat food has quite a number of advantages.
While hydrolyzed protein cat food gives your cat a chance to heal from allergies and sensitivities, there are also several disadvantages to take note of.
It’s important to select the best hydrolyzed protein cat food for your pet to ensure that you do not make food allergies and intolerances worse than it already is. Here are some things that you should consider if you do decide on making the switch to a hydrolyzed diet.
Hydrolyzed protein cat food is also used in food elimination trials for cats who are presenting with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). IBD can be caused by infections as well as food allergies and intolerances. Cats with IBD often suffer from chronic vomiting and diarrhea.
Because IBD is related to food, vets sometimes prescribe hydrolyzed protein cat food to prevent the immune system from being stimulated by foods that are eaten. Many cats with IBD improve when they are put on a hydrolyzed protein diet. However, switching back to regular cat food can cause symptoms to flare up again.
Hydrolyzed proteins have been broken down into parts that are so small that it will not trigger any immune response in your cat’s body. As such, hydrolyzed protein cat food can help your cat if it is prone to food allergies. If you intend to put your cat on a hydrolyzed diet, do remember to check with your vet before you do so.
Besides managing your kitty’s allergies, you should do your best in keeping to its natural diet with our complete nutrition guide to the best cat food in Singapore.
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