Cat Asthma and Allergy  

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Dear Dr. Jan,

I have been looking for the cause of my eleven year-old cat's asthma and, for a while now, I have suspected that he is allergic to poultry. When I have reintroduced it into his diet, the asthma seems to flare. When it is kept to a minimum, he does much better. His asthma also seems to be somewhat seasonal (worse in the spring). He is a large, indoor cat and is overweight (which, I understand, is a contributing factor to the asthma), although we've made some good progress on that in the last year. You mentioned in one of your articles that you have successfully treated cat asthma with a special diet. Could you elaborate and/or recommend dry, weight-control, high-quality cat food that is (1) poultry free (if, in fact, that is the cause as I suspect) and (2) calorie-reduced and (3) non-constipating. Many Thanks,


Hi Wendy,

Asthma is an allergic disease. There are airborne allerigies, food allergies and others. If you eliminate any of them the asthma should improve as the allergic response adds up the more it gets exposed to the things that trigger it. There isn't any one diet that works for this as allergies are highly individual pet to pet. There are super low allergen (the things you are allergic to) diets you could try. They are all sold exclusively through veterinarians and are usually prescription. If you have a vet., they probably carry some. Otherwise, you need to do allergy testing to find out what specific foods your cat is allergic to-can be any protein or grain or even preservatives, etc.... If you have noticed it worsens with poultry, I would stay away from chicken and turkey 100%.

Let me know what you find out.


Dr. Jan

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