Seasonal Allergies in Cats: Symptoms and Prevention
April 1st, 2018
It’s springtime again with the world beginning to come alive. Flowers are starting to bloom, trees are budding, and grass is coming back to life. Did you know that your beloved feline friend can be susceptible to seasonal allergies just like humans? Airborne environmental allergens including pollen, mold and dust mites can affect cats too!
Seasonal Allergies in Cats
The immune system works to provide a defensive response in the body when any harmful material such as bacteria or parasites enter. Sometimes the immune system misidentifies non-harmful molecules such as pollens, thinking they are a threat to the body, so they release histamine and trigger a defensive response. The resulting inflammation is known as an allergic reaction. You and your cat can end up feeling miserable.
Unlike humans who usually experience respiratory issues, seasonal allergies typically manifest as a condition known as atopic dermatitis in felines. Your cat will likely not develop a runny nose, itchy eyes and watery sinuses like you would. Instead, you may see signs of allergies on the skin or coat. The longer your furry friend is exposed to the allergen, the worse the reaction becomes.
What Are the Symptoms of Seasonal Allergies?
Allergy symptoms may develop in different parts of the body, but the most common area it the skin. You may notice your cat excessively scratching, chewing or biting the skin. Your furry friend may have open sores, lesions, scabbing, hair loss, or redness on the chin, paws, anus or mouth. In some cases, your kitty may experience sneezing, head shaking, and may have a runny nose, red eyes, and coughing.
How Can I Help My Kitty?
There are supplements and medications your veterinarian may recommend that can help your cat overcome seasonal allergies. There are also different precautions you can take at home. Bathe your cat to wash all allergens out: however, take care not to bathe too often as this can lead to dry skin and increased irritation. Alternately, you can wipe your cat’s fur with a warm wet washcloth to remove surface irritants. Make sure to keep your home clean by vacuuming and washing your floors with non-toxic cleaners. Keep your windows shut to avoid allergy-causing molecules from entering your home.
You can also help your kitty by strengthening the immune system. Make sure you use a cat species-appropriate diet with no inflammatory foods to keep your cat’s immune system healthy. You can also add Omega-3 fatty acids and coconut oil to strengthen your cat’s immune system further.
When Should You See a Veterinarian?
If you have done all you could to reduce your cat’s exposure to seasonal allergies but continue to see signs of irritation, pay us a visit at All About Cats Veterinary Hospital in the Kirkland area. We may recommend a topical solution for itching, or in severe cases, prescription may be needed to lessen the inflammatory response caused by the histamine in your kitty’s body. We understand that it's hard to see your cat miserable and uncomfortable. We will work with you to make sure you have a cat that’s purr-fectly happy and healthy all year long!
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