The situation

Our oldest cat (Persian, about 13 years) developed a pretty nasty allergy to almost all foods. So she's given enzymatically hydrolysed cat food. If she eats anything else, she'll quickly get diarrhea (usually the next day) and the skin around her face starts itching badly. If she continues to eat the wrong food, she'll start scratching her eyes and ears until they'll start bleeding. Also she'll start coughing badly.

We've taken her to the vet numerous times and they suggested to either treat her with cortisone/steroids until the end of her days /which works well, but then she's hungry all day and therefore stressed out) or use enzymatically hydrolysed wet cat food. The food actually works pretty well, if she's eating it. However she really doesn't like it and only nibbles on it. Usually she gets 3 portions a day of 45 to 50 g each (1.6 to 1.75 oz). Yesterday she didn't even finish one of her servings.

I can understand her: the texture is like pudding and it's pretty sticky. Also it smells bad. I wouldn't want to eat it, either. Unfortunately it's the only food we have that she can digest without facing the issues mentioned above.

What we've tried

Dry food

We also got a bag of enzymatically hydrolysed dry food, since she loves to run after pellets thrown across our apartment. Unfortunately even a small serving leads to diarrhea almost immediately (upon the next litter box session).

Mixing it with water

We mixed and mashed it with water. This changes the texture of the food. It worked for a few days, but she eventually figured it out and now refuses to eat this.

Mixing it with other hypoallergenic food

I've mixed the hydrolysed food with some other hypoallergenic food (she got that before) at the ratio of 8:1. Unfortunately there was diarrhea in the litter box afterwards.

Mixing it with malt paste

While she likes malt paste per se and she won't show any of the symptoms because of it, mixing it with the food didn't make her eat that, unfortunately.

The question

What else can we do to make that food palatable to her, without introducing the problems mentioned above?

  • And you see, as evidenced by the score, people love your question ^.^ I told you it's really unique and interesting. I'm happy for you that it turned out this way, I wish the best for your cat.
    – lila
    Sep 22, 2020 at 13:20

1 Answer 1


I'm not an expert, but having cats for many years, gives me some ideas you could try out:

  • Put small portions on her plate;
  • Don't leave the plate for a long time;
  • Vary the place where you feed her, without putting her in front of her plate. Let her discover the food somewhere she wouldn't expect.
  • Maybe serving it on something lese that is not her plate. Hope something helps!

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