Allergies in Cats

Types of allergies in Cats

Allergies develop when the immune system becomes sensitive to certain substances or allergens present in the environment.

There is a wide variety of allergens as cat allergies, but they are divided into 3 main types:

  • flea allergy
  • environmental allergy or atopic dermatitis
  • food allergy

Flea allergy and environmental allergy are the most common allergies that cause hay fever like symptoms as in humans. However, cats mostly have multiple allergies at one time so it is best to take your cat to the vet for a thorough examination.

Symptoms of Allergies in Cats

Symptoms in affected or allergic cats is they are often very itchy and have skin problems associated with allergic dermatitis.

They might have some of these symptoms like

  • sneezing
  • coughing
  • wheezing
  • itchy, runny eyes
  • ear infections
  • vomiting or diarrhea
  • snoring caused by an inflamed throat
  • paw chewing or swollen, sensitive paws

Causes of Allergies in Cats

There are a variety of allergens that cause these symptoms such as

  • pollen
  • grass
  • plants
  • mold
  • mildew
  • other organic substances
  • food
  • perfumes and colognes
  • fleas or flea control products
  • household cleaning products
  • prescription drugs
  • some cat litters

Gastrointestinal symptoms usually accompany a food allergy, so it is important to avoid food to which your cat has an allergic reaction. Allergies are mostly common in outdoor cats or stray cats as they are exposed to a wider range of allergens especially plants and organic matter.

Diagnosis of an ill or miserable looking cat can be done by a vet. They will do a complete physical examination and check the past medical history of the cat to find the source of the allergy. If the vet suspects the cat has allergies he might want to conduct blood tests or experiment with the cats diet to narrow down the cause for the allergy.

Treatment of Allergies in Cats

Treatment and prevention for allergies in cats is to remove the allergens from their environment.

  • If your cat has flea allergy, use products that kill fleas and ticks.
  • If it is the cat litter causing a problem, then try changing it for a dust free alternative. It could help.
  • If it is pollen, fungus, mold or dust, bathing your cat twice per week can help with itching.
  • Vets can recommend a shampoo to help avoid drying of the cat’s skin.
  • Food allergies may require you to feed your cat with prescription diet or home cooked meals free of the offending allergens.
  • It is possible your cat may need dietary supplements to ensure it gets all the important nutrients. A vet can help with the best plan of action.
  • Medication is prescribed for cats if certain allergens cannot be removed from the environment. Cortisone, steroids or allergy injections for air-based pollens, anti-histamine as a preventative, flea prevention products.
  • For environmental pollutants, medications that open your cats airway is short term based, and long term based solutions is corticosteroids. Cigarette smoke is bad for cats especially if it has asthma.

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