Q: Is it possible for a cat to have an allergic reaction to cat food (lumps and a rash) within 24 hours and can this be treated with antibiotics?

Original Question: "My 4 year old cat suddenly within only a couple of days developed 3 lumps above his left eye and a rash above his right eye. This also included some hair loss. This happened within 24 hours of him eating a canned cat food containing grilled chicken (he is used to a seafood diet of canned meat along with Hills Science Diet for dry food). He is 14.4 lbs and otherwise healthy. I took him to our vet who suggested allergies might be the cause and put him on Clavamox. My question, is it possible that this is an allergic reaction to the food change? If so, will the antibiotics solve the problem? We have resumed the seafood diet for the last 4 days.  The vet also suggested administering Benadryl twice daily at a dose of 12.5 mg or 5 ml. Could you please comment on this? Thanks (a worried cat-daddy)." - Robert

Vet Certified Answer | Answered: September 7, 2017

Hi Robert,

Any sudden changes can be worrisome and it's good that you had your cat checked out by your vet. Antibiotics themselves wouldn't be likely to help with any allergic bumps unless there was a secondary infection. It may be possible for the diet change to cause an allergic reaction but with something so sudden, an insect bite would be more likely. That dose of Benadryl appears to be appropriate for your cat's weight and I would follow your veterinarian's instructions. It's good to keep a log of incidences like this in case of future reactions.

I hope he's feeling better now.

Dr. Ryan Llera

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