Do cats get allergies?

Nothing can be more disappointing to a cat lover than knowing that the nasal congestion, the swollen watery eyes, the itchy skin and the coughing and wheezing is caused by the beloved pet. Are you one of the cat lovers with cat allergies? But are you aware that your pet can have allergies too? Yes, cats can have allergies too and can suffer from allergic symptoms just like you.

Humans are not the only ones troubled by allergies. Cats too are tormented by the allergic reactions that occur because the immune system overreacts to substances that are not actually harmful. These allergic reactions are suffered by cats of all ages but feline allergies are more common in young and in middle aged cats. Feline allergy symptoms are almost the same as the symptoms shown by allergic humans. Cats would suffer from immense itching, from sneezing and wheezing. Feline allergy symptoms would not only manifest in the cats respiratory system but also in the digestive system. Allergic reactions would also surface on the cat’s skin. Feline allergies can be caused by a wide variety of substances. Your cat can suffer from contact allergies, inhalant allergies and food allergies. Flea is a common octoparasites of cats. A cat that is infested by fleas can suffer from flea allergies.

Food allergies

A cat can have an allergic reaction to some of the ingredients in its pet food. The chicken or the beef in the diet could have caused the allergic reaction. It is also possible that the allergic symptoms are caused by the preservatives or the dyes in the cat’s commercially manufactured pet food. An owner would be puzzled why the pet that has been consuming the same food would suddenly itch, would have ear infections and suffer from digestive system distress so that it vomits and have diarrhea. Cats can develop sensitivities to foods that they have been eating for quite a while.

Inhalant allergies

The cat’s respiratory system can be affected by airborne particles. Cats can develop allergies to the same types of allergens that affect humans. Allergens that can be inhaled by the cat like pollen from flowers, grass and weeds, mildew, dust and molds would trigger sneezing, wheezing and coughing and cause intense itching. It is not uncommon for cats to have crusty and scabby lesions on the face, ears and neck. Due to the incessant scratching and gnawing, affected cat can suffer from alopecia. Allergies caused by inhaling pollens are generally seasonal.

Contact allergies

This type of allergy is the least common in cats. The cat would have an allergic reaction upon contact with some material like leather or plastic collar or wool and synthetic fiber beddings and substances like household cleaners. Contact with the offending substance will cause a localized itching. Contact allergy, unlike the other forms of feline allergy can be easily resolved as the cat would show skin irritations at the point of contact.

Flea allergies

It is not uncommon for cats to suffer from flea allergy given that fleas are one of the most common external parasites of cats. However, contrary to common knowledge, the allergic reaction of cats is not caused by flea bites. Flea bites would make the cat itch…and scratch a lot. The itching would be a minor irritation. The hair loss, the bleeding sores and the crusty scabs though result would result if the cat is hypersensitive to flea saliva. It is actually the flea’s saliva that comes in contact with the cat’s skin that would cause the allergic reaction and not the bite.

Treatment for feline allergy would depend on the type of allergy the cat has. Corticosteroid will relieve the symptoms but an allergy cannot be cured. The best solution is to remove the allergen or to limit the cat’s exposure to the causative agents that trigger an allergic reaction.

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