When we speak about cat allergies, most people assume we mean humans who are allergic to felines. However, your cat could also have allergic reactions to some substances. Like you, when your kitty is exposed to an allergen, it gets sick and feels unwell. And as any cat owner will tell you, an ill feline is an unhappy feline. And since your cat is indeed in charge, that means no rest for you until it feels better.
Here is a closer look at cat allergies and what you can do to treat them:
What are the symptoms of a cat allergy?
Much like humans, several allergens could affect your fabulous feline. The symptoms include sneezing, coughing, itching, vomiting, diarrhea, and inflammation. In extreme cases, a cat can develop a urinary tract infection from allergens. This is best treated with a healthy cat uti remedy or a visit to the vet.
Examples of cat allergies
Some cats have food allergies, and these are relatively easy to identify by the symptoms, which tend to be gastrointestinal. This includes vomiting and diarrhea. The cat might also scratch its neck and throat due to discomfort.
Felines can also experience adverse reactions to other allergens, such as cigarette smoke, fabrics, cleaning products, perfumes, and manufactured products like rubber and plastic. As they inhale these allergens, cats will respond to them by developing a wheezy cough and even asthma.
Your cat could additionally have an allergic reaction to trees, grass, seeds, pollens, dust, mold, and mildew. The feline will display respiratory difficulty, and there will be evidence of the allergy on the skin, such as a rash.
While fleas are a problem for every kitty, yours might be allergic to flea bites and flea-control products. You will see an outbreak on the skin, which is likely to be painful to the touch. The itching worsens, and bites take a lot longer to heal than they do in non-allergic cats.
Determining an allergy’s source
If you suspect your cat is experiencing an allergic reaction but remain unsure what triggered it, consult your veterinarian for advice. A vet will narrow down potential allergens based on the feline’s symptoms. From there, blood or skin scratch tests might follow, or a vet will advise you to try eliminating substances from the cat’s diet and presence to determine what causes the allergic reaction.
Sometimes, trial and error will be the best way to diagnose a feline allergy. It may take a little time to get to the bottom of the problem but is very effective.
A starting point for cat allergy treatment
As with most medical conditions, prevention is better than cure. Once the allergen plaguing your feline is identified, set about eliminating it from the cat’s environment. This might not be entirely possible. For example, if your cat has a grass allergy, it still needs to go outside and not live in a bubble where there will never be contact with grass again.
However, you can introduce measures like regular feline bathing and washing of its bedding to remove environmental allergens from the cat’s skin. While most cats do not like to bathe, your kitty will have to get used to it. Expect some resistance, which will hopefully be followed by acceptance. Use dust-free, unscented cat litter as these products might contain chemicals that irritate your kitty’s skin.
Take proactive treatment against fleas by consulting your veterinarian for a recommendation of the most suitable tick and flea control treatments for felines. A process of elimination might be required if your cat is allergic to these preventative products. However, if the cat has a history of skin complaints, the vet will prescribe products known to be gentle on the skin.
In most cases, it is virtually impossible to eliminate allergens from your cat’s environment. Therefore, you need a treatment regimen to follow when a feline experiences an allergic reaction.
Cortisone and steroids are ideal for managing an allergic reaction as they offer relief from swelling and itching. Cortisone ointment can make short work of an uncomfortable rash. However, your vet will caution you to use it sparingly. Antihistamines are also effective, although it is best to give them before an allergy attack, not after one. Therefore, if your cat is allergic to pollens, start a course of antihistamines before your kitty is exposed to them.
A vet will additionally prescribe corticosteroids to a kitty with asthma. These medicines are typically used as part of a chronic treatment regimen and should be administered daily.
Some cat owners dose their felines with human medications, such as antihistamines. While they will work, it is preferable to discuss this with a vet before administering it. Despite your best intentions, you could do more harm than good if you accidentally overdose your kitty.