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J Am Vet Med Assoc. 1989 Mar 1;194(5):692-5.

Food hypersensitivity in cats: 14 cases (1982-1987)

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  • 1Department of Medicine, School of Veterinary Medicine, Tufts University, North Grafton, MA 01536.


Food hypersensitivity was diagnosed in 14 cats. Clinical signs varied; pruritus (100%), alopecia (64%), and papules (21%) were the ones most commonly observed. Pruritus was localized principally to the head or to the neck or ear region in 42% of the cats. Diagnosis was made on the basis of resolution of clinical signs when cats were fed a restricted ("hypoallergenic") diet, and recurrence of signs when cats were fed their original diet or other food. The most common allergens (on the basis of dietary challenge exposure) were fish and dairy products. Age or sex predilection was not observed, and 9 (64%) of the cats were domestic shorthairs. Owners could not relate the onset of clinical signs with a recent change in diet. Three cats had concurrent flea bite, inhalant, or flea collar hypersensitivity.

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