Ask the Allergist
Should I Be Concerned About Cat Food with Fish Oil or Meal?
People with a fish allergy have allergic reactions to certain proteins (e.g., muscle proteins) in at least one type of fish. These allergic reactions typically happen after eating fish. It can also occur after skin contact or inhaling fish allergens. The best and safest form of treatment is eliminating fish. It is possible for certain fish oils to have allergens from fish in them. Also, fish meal is a commercial product that is made from fish and fish by-products. It could contain fish allergens. These products can be used in pet foods.
The concern here is contact with cat food containing fish allergens. If there is exposure through the skin, inhalation, and/or ingestion, an allergic reaction could potentially occur. Someone with a fish allergy should take precautions when dealing with this type of pet food. It would be best to find a cat food that does not have any potential fish allergens, such as fish oil and/or fish meal.
John M. James, MD, is a board-certified allergist. He is also President of Food Allergy Consulting and Education Services, LLC. He has worked as a medical specialist in the field of allergy, asthma, and immunology for over 30 years. Dr. James received his bachelor’s degree from the University of Arkansas and his Doctor of Medicine degree from the University of Tennessee. He is board certified by the American Board of Allergy and Immunology.