Diagnosis of Feline Food Sensitivity and Intolerance Using Saliva: 1000 Cases



This prospective study assessed the efficacy of a novel saliva-based immunoassay of IgA- and IgM-antibodies in predicting feline food sensitivities and intolerances. Clinical samples were obtained from 1000 cats proven or suspected to have food intolerances. Most were of domestic shorthair breed type, over 10 years of age, and weighed around 5 kg; they were equally distributed between spayed females and neutered males. Saliva was collected after at least an 8-h fast with a dental cotton rope, placed in a double-sleeved saliva collection tube, and sent to the laboratory. Salivary antibodies elicited by 24 common foods were measured with goat anti-canine IgA and IgM. Low reacting foods were lamb, cow milk, pork, turkey, wheat (lowest) and white-colored fish, whereas high reacting foods were millet, white potato, rice (highest) and salmon. Thus, the novel salivary-based food sensitivity and intolerance test, described previously for canines, also provided a reliable and clinically predictive alternative to food elimination trials, serum-based food allergy testing, and skin patch testing in cats. Manufacturers of commercial cat foods and treats, as well as those making homemade diets and treats for cats, should consider avoiding the more highly reactive foods as determined by the present study.

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