The bond you share with your cat is one of the most important and fulfilling relationships in your life. But if your kitty has a severe allergy or condition, caring for them can become overwhelming.
What you need is a comprehensive guide. So put your paws up and read on for everything you need to know about allergies in cats.
Let’s get started!
Cats Do Have Allergies
Cats do have allergies—just like humans and other animals! Like people, cats can be allergic to things in the environment around them, certain foods, and various bites and stings. Cats, like any pet, should be taken to their veterinarian if they start to display signs of allergies, such as:
If a cat develops an allergy, his or her immune system is triggered and releases a substance known as immunoglobulin E. These antibodies, along with other chemicals, attack the allergens that the cat has encountered, which can then lead to inflammation and the above-mentioned symptoms.
If the allergen isn’t removed, the cat’s allergies can become severe and cause serious health problems. So if you wonder if cats do have allergies, the answer is yes. With proper care and treatment, cats can lead happy and healthy lives.
Common Allergens in Cats
Common environmental allergens that can affect cats are pollen, dust, and mold. These allergens can cause them to have skin irritations or worsen existing skin conditions.
Food allergens can be found in certain cat foods or treats. These allergens will often cause vomiting, diarrhea, or even respiratory issues. Some cats are especially sensitive to bites and stings from insects like fleas, mosquitoes, ticks, and spiders, which can cause inflammation and itching.
Diagnosing Cat Allergies
Diagnosing allergies in cats can be challenging. Your vet may suggest that you do a test called an intradermal skin test, which involves injecting your cat with minute amounts of potential allergens and then observing its reaction. This procedure is performed under anesthesia so your cat won’t feel pain or discomfort.
Another possible method of diagnosing a cat allergy is to take a blood sample and send it to a laboratory for analysis. A blood test can reveal whether your pet is producing either IgE or IgG antibodies to particular allergens, allowing the veterinarian to determine what your cat’s allergic reaction might be triggered by. Depending on your budget, you may also want to consider allergy-elimination diets under the guidance of a board-certified veterinary dermatologist.
These tests will not only help determine what your pet might be allergic to but they’ll also help establish whether there are other factors such as fleas or other skin conditions causing the issue. Once an allergen has been identified, it’s important to avoid exposure as much as possible in order to prevent further reactions and discomfort in your furry friend.
Common Symptoms of Cat Allergies
Symptoms of cat allergies can vary from mild to severe and can include allergic rhinitis, asthma, atopic dermatitis (eczema), hives, rashes or swelling.
Rhinitis is a reaction that leads to sneezing, congestion, and itchy/watery eyes. Asthma is a reaction in the chest or lungs that leads to wheezing or shortness of breath. Atopic dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin causing itching, redness, and sometimes oozing. Hives are characterized by raised welts on the skin which will be itchy and may burn. The rash may be associated with itching, burning, or stinging. Allergic reactions can also lead to facial swelling which can cause difficulty breathing.
It’s important to seek medical help if you suspect your cat has an allergic reaction as symptoms can worsen without treatment and cause serious health issues down the line. It’s important for pet owners to be aware of the common symptoms of allergies in cats so they can recognize them quickly if their pet becomes affected by allergens in their environment.
Treatment Options for Allergies in Cats
Knowing what’s causing an allergic reaction in your cat can help you determine the best course of action for treating it. Treatment options for allergies in cats depend on the allergen, but may include:
- topical creams
- special shampoos
- allergy shots
If the allergens are environmental, such as dust mites, your vet may recommend switching to high-quality hypoallergenic cat food and limiting your cat’s exposure to dust and pollen. Some topical creams may help reduce inflammation and itching, but should not be used in place of medication recommended by your vet.
Allergy shots are also sometimes used to help desensitize the cat to the allergen and can be an effective way of treating allergies. Additionally, speaking to your vet about supplementing your cat’s diet with omega-3 fatty acid supplements may help reduce itching and inflammation.
Be sure to stay up to date on flea and heartworm prevention, as these can contribute to the development of allergies in cats. Inhalers also assist cats in accessing the medication they need to reduce allergic reactions. This type of treatment usually involves an anti-inflammatory drug, such as steroids or cromolyn.
These of which are administered through an aerosolized mist breathed in through the nose or mouth. You may read about cat inhalers.
Learn How to Treat Allergies in Cats
Cats’ allergies can be difficult to treat, but there are many ways to help your pet feel better. Keeping allergens out of your home, avoiding contact with allergens, and proper medical treatments will help alleviate symptoms and allow your pet to live a normal, healthy life. If you have more concerns about allergies in cats, consult your veterinarian for more advice.
For more reads aside from cat allergy treatment, visit our blog section.
When it comes to allergies in cats, it’s extremely important to be aware of the symptoms and possible causes. If your cat displays symptoms that could be consistent with allergies such as sneezing, itching, coughing, or loss of hair, contact your vet for an appointment as soon as possible. Ask about any other causes for these symptoms and also explore the possibility of an allergic reaction. With prompt treatment and appropriate care, your cat can continue to live a long and healthy life.