Can Your Cat Have Allergies?

You’ve probably heard of people being allergic to cats, but do you know that cats themselves can develop allergies? Just like us, a cat’s immune system can be hypersensitive to certain substances, triggering allergic responses as a result. As part of Asthma and Allergy Awareness month, find out more below from a Walnut veterinarian.

What Are Cats Allergic to?

There are many things a cat could potentially react to. Some of the most common are pollen, dust, mold, fleas, flea-control medicine, prescription medications, smoke, cleaning solutions, perfumes, rubber, plastic, and even fabrics. Also note that cats can be allergic to various ingredients in their food, such as chicken or pork.

What Are the Symptoms of Allergic Reactions?

Many cats will exhibit increased itching and scratching, watery eyes, wheezing, sneezing, ear infections, snoring, and paw chewing as a response to allergies. Cats reacting to food allergies commonly paw at their head and necks, and may even exhibit vomiting and diarrhea as a way to get the allergen out of their systems.

I Suspect My Cat Has Allergies. What Should I Do?

If you see any of the above symptoms, take your cat to see your veterinarian as soon as possible. Your vet will perform various tests, including skin and blood samples, to determine the cause of the allergy in your cat. From there, you and your vet will work together to determine the best course of action for your feline friend.

How Are Allergies Treated or Managed?

Once skin or blood tests have determined the allergen that your cat reacts to, medications can be prescribed to reduce or eliminate the effects of the allergy in your pet. Antihistamines generally control the itching usually associated with topical allergies.

For food allergies, the treatment may be a bit more involved. Your cat may be put on a special diet, or go through an “elimination” diet, in which single ingredients are periodically reintroduced to see which might be causing the problem.

Ask your Walnut veterinarian for more information on food allergies, as well as any other questions you may have about springtime allergies affecting your four-legged companion.

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