Published on November 22nd, 2022
A lot like humans, cats also suffer from allergies. These allergies occur as a result of the cat’s immune system overreacting or becoming hypersensitive to foreign substances, either from food or the environment.
What this essentially means is that certain foods, chemicals, and airborne irritants can trigger a reaction that will affect your cat’s skin, eyes, and gastrointestinal tract. While some of these allergic reactions cause mild discomfort, others can be deadly.
As a cat parent, it is crucial that you know the type of allergies cats can have, how to detect if your cat has any and how to deal with them the right way.
Below are the major types of allergies cats can have and their symptoms.
- Food Allergies- Some cats may be allergic to certain foods, and this can cause them to itch, vomit and have diarrhoea. There are also foods which universally cause problems to cats, as listed on Mellowed Cats.
- Environmental Allergies- This is especially common with outdoor cats since they are more exposed to a wider range of potential allergens (plants and organic matter). Some of the substances responsible for causing environmental allergies in your cat include grass, fungi, pollen, dust, and mould. Certain cats may also have allergies to specific cleaning products, perfumes, and even smoke from cigarettes.
- Flea Allergies- When a flea bites your cat, it can cause a very irritating allergic reaction. This is because the saliva from their bite doesn’t just affect the area that was bitten; it can affect the cat’s whole body.
- Atopic Dermatitis- This is a skin condition that results from a cat’s allergy. Some of its symptoms include sores on your cat’s skin, scabbing, redness and loss of hair.
Dealing With Cat Allergy Problems
Knowing the right way to deal with your cat’s allergy problems is crucial for ensuring their continued health and comfort. Below are the steps you should take when you suspect your cat might be suffering from an allergy.
Get A Diagnosis
Don’t ignore signs of discomfort in your cat. If it appears as though something is making them miserable, take them to your veterinarian immediately.
Your vet will perform a thorough physical exam to determine what the source of the discomfort could be.
If your vet suspects allergies, checking your cat’s diet and performing blood tests is usually the next course of action.
This is done to narrow down the possible sources of the allergy. In case of a skin allergy, your vet may refer your cat to a veterinary dermatologist.
Prevention And Treatment
There is no way of preventing your cat from developing an allergy; however, what you can do is treat the allergy by removing the allergens from their environment.
If your cat has a flea allergy, you can talk to your vet about recommending some flea and tick preventatives.
Bathing your cat few times a week using a vet-recommended shampoo can also help you reduce the itching that comes with them being exposed to dust, pollen, fungus, and mould.
As for food allergies, your veterinarian may recommend that you start your cat on a prescription diet and only feed him or her home-cooked meals that do not contain any allergens.
Your cat may also need to take some dietary supplements in order to get the required nutrients.
In a situation where the allergens cannot be removed from the environment, your vet may prescribe some medications for your cat. Some of the medications include; Antihistamines, steroids, cortisone, and products for flea prevention.
Allergies are quite common in cats, and in some cases, they can be life-threatening. As a responsible cat parent, it is important that you know how to identify and adequately deal with these allergies, so your furry friend can remain comfortable, healthy, and happy.
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