We’re sure you have heard of people that are allergic to cats, but have you considered that your cat may have allergies? If your cat is itchy, has watery eyes, or sneezes a lot, she may be experiencing symptoms of felines allergies!
Cats can be allergic to environmental irritants like dust or pollen, but they can also have allergic reactions to their diet. Learning more can help you spot the symptoms to help your cat feel better.
What are Feline Allergies or Cat Allergies?
Allergies, although very common, are considered a lifelong disease. Allergies arise when a cat is exposed to a certain substance. Her body sees this substance as harmful or dangerous and wants to stop it from causing harm. So, her immune system kicks into action (overreaction, in fact) and tries to neutralize the substance. Because the immune system reacts so dramatically by producing antibodies, there can be a negative outcome. The result ultimately is symptoms you see like sneezing, itchy, watery eyes, and itchy skin.
Feline Allergy Symptoms
If your cat has allergies you may notice the effects, first. These can come in a variety of reaction depending on the severity of the allergy and your cat’s immune system.
Some of the symptoms of mild allergies include:
- Chewing on her fur or paws
- Watery eyes
- Eye discharge
- Irritation or redness around the eyes, mouth, ears, chin
- Hair Loss or bald spots
Symptoms of Severe Allergies
- Chronic snoring
What Are Some Common Causes of Cat Allergies?
When it warms up or you decide to do your spring cleaning, you may notice your kitty sneezing or scratching more than usual. This could be a sign that she’s reacting to outdoor or seasonal irritants. Seasonal allergies mostly affect your cat’s respiratory system.
The most common seasonal allergen is pollen. Different plants like grass, weeds, and trees release pollen during the spring, summer, and sometimes fall. This can bother some cats and cause their eyes to water and their skin to feel itchy.
Mold and Mildew
In humid climates, mold is common all year round, but in other places, mold and mildew tend to be more prevalent during spring and summer. If you notice your cat has breathing issues and is wheezing a lot, it may be caused by mold.
Diet-related allergies can be quite odd because they can present a wide range of symptoms and appear or develop later in a cat’s life.
If your cat is allergic to one or more of the ingredients in her food, you may notice her scratching her head frequently, have tummy issues. You may want to have your cat allergy tested if you notice her vomiting or experiencing diarrhea after she eats.
Your cat’s plastic food bowl may also play a negative role in her life. Like other diet-related allergies, plastic allergy symptoms can be quite varied from ear infections to rashes to lethargy. Avoid this risk by feeding kitty from a nice ceramic bowl or dish. It is we found that some cats are allergic to plastics so Vivipet only produces ceramic products.
Environmental and Outdoor Allergies
Whether you’re in the middle of cleaning out the attic or you let your cat outside, she could be exposed to allergies that stem from her environment: your house or the outdoors.
Dust can cause cats to sneeze, experience runny noses, or have itchy eyes. This can be quite uncomfortable for your kitty, so make sure you clean your air conditioning filter regularly to avoid extra dust in the air.
Perfume or Room Spray
From litter box deodorizer to countertop cleaner or room spray, fragrances found in many household items can bother your kitty.
Fleas and mites are the most common insects that cats can be allergic to. Mites can be found in dust, but they can also be ear mites. While fleas can cause your cat to chew bald spots in her fur, she may also be allergic to certain flea medications.
How to Treat and Prevent Your Cat’s Allergies?
You can treat your cat’s allergies by not allowing her to come in contact with the substance she’s allergic to. Some allergies are easier to treat. For example, if your cat is allergic to plastic, you’ll want to replace her food and water bowls to reduce exposure to her allergen. For fleas, your vet can prescribe a preventative medicine, and for dust, you can try a dust-free litter.
Other allergies, like food allergies, can be more difficult to pinpoint and treat. If you notice your cat experiencing food allergies, you can consult with your vet to begin an elimination diet to help identify what your cat’s allergic to.
Seasonal allergies can be treated with baths and shampoos that your vet can recommend.
If you’re ever unsure about your cat’s allergies, you should always swing by the vet for help. Your vet may even prescribe medicine to help your kitty cope with unavoidable irritants.
Don’t let your kitty continue to scratch, sneeze, and wheeze. Figure out what your cat might be allergic to and help her feel better by eliminating it from her life. Your cat’s coat will return to its former glossy glory, and she’ll be a lot happier, too.
Modern Pet Lifestyle!
— Meow for now —