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Can Cats Have Allergies?

Allergies seem to strike everyone these days. They are inevitable and often very exhausting conditions which happen for sometimes unexplained reasons. They don’t need to be hereditary, and we can develop them overtime.

It is possible for cats to have allergies. They can be caused by food or by other substances, just like in humans. Many of the symptoms of feline allergies resemble the ones in human allergies, so we will be discussing possible them as well as possible treatments for this condition.

Symptoms of allergy

Allergies mostly occur when our immune system is weak, and substances from outside can then attack it and harm us in a certain way. Most of these outside attacks are caused by substances from our surroundings, and some of them are almost impossible to avoid.

To protect herself from these substances, your feline friend will show various symptoms that can include sneezing, coughing, runny eyes, diarrhea, vomiting and many others. They are all very similar to the ones that we experience when we are having an allergic reaction. They can also include paw chewing or swollen paws which are a good sign of your cat’s allergic reaction.

Since they are mostly obvious, you won’t have a hard time noticing them and contacting your vet.

Allergens or substances that are causing allergies

There are many sources of allergens. Just like in people, allergies can be caused by many different substances, but the most common one is food. Best way to determine whether your cat is allergic to something is to watch her after she eats something new that you have included in her daily meal plan. Allergies can also develop overtime, so there is no guarantee that your feline won’t become allergic to something that has been in her diet for a long time.

This is why it is important to watch over her and the symptoms that can occur. Other very common sources of allergens are smoke, cleaning products, perfumes, fabrics, tree, grass, rubber and many other.

Some of these allergens can be avoided by simply cleaning her diet but some of them are obviously harder to avoid around your household. But just like you would do for yourself, just make sure she stays away from threatening substances, or replace them with other safer choices.

Diagnosing and treatment

Allergies in cats are determined by tests. When you notice symptoms, which I have listed previously, it is important to notify your veterinarian so he can decide whether there is enough ground for an allergy test. They are mostly intradermal tests for all of the felines that have damaged skin, and for other symptoms a hydrolyzed protein diet is conducted for 12 weeks.

This diet includes foods that your feline hasn’t eaten before, and excludes all of the possible allergens. After this time period, your cat should be healed from the symptoms. This is how you will know which food or product is possibly dangerous for your cat.

In food allergies, it is important to know that cats need special treatment. You will probably have to cook her special meals containing only ingredients that are safe for your cat. This means that the best way to treat an allergy is by avoiding the allergens and not exposing your furry friend to them.

So, if the problem is food, home-made meals are required and all of the other allergens just exchange them with safer versions. Speaking of food, you can read here if cats can eat pasta.

For example, dust is a very common allergen both for people and for animals, so just try to keep the floors as clean as possible and clean her bedding more often than you are used to.

In allergy treatment, vet’s mostly recommend cortisone and steroids. You can also use injections if your cat suffers from airborne allergy. Benadryl is also very common medication for allergies, since he acts as prevention. This means your cat will be protected from the allergen. Skin can often be the biggest issue when allergies are involved, so food supplements and fatty acids might speed up the process of healing damaged skin and also prevent skin infections.

These supplements can also come as shampoos or conditioners which you can use topically on your pet’s skin and fur.

Corticosteroids are only used if your cat has breathing issues that are more serious. They can sometimes be related to asthma as well, so avoid exposing your feline to any allergens that can cause her to have an asthma attack.

Treatment can also include air purifiers especially if your cat suffers from a dust allergy or smoke allergy. Sometimes the particules can fly around in the air and there is nothing you can do about them. This is when air purifiers come in handy, and collect all of the flying particules from the air (this includes dust mites, pollen etc.). The elimination of these particles from your cat’s living environment also helps improve indoor air quality in your home, minimizing allergic reactions on your part as well.

All of the treatment measures should only be given to your pet if you have permission from your veterinarian. Although allergies might seem like a pretty clear picture, they can often cause much bigger problems if they are not treated properly.  So, always notify your vet and ask him for advice before trying something by yourself.

Prevention of cat allergies

There are also few helpful tips on how to prevent allergies in your cat’s and they include vacuuming frequently with a HEPA filter cleaner, bathing your feline more often or securing the air ventilation holes from which the allergens might come inside.

You can also practice washing your hands after handling the cat or perhaps throwing out rugs that are old.

In some cases avoiding allergens can be impossible, so if you care about your cat’s safety it is probably the best to give her away to a new home. This is, of course, recommended only if you are not able to stick to a strict regime that your vet has prescribed. Then you will not only be exposing your furry friend to allergens but also possibly putting her life in danger. This is a great sacrifice to make but you will be making the right choice for her health.