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.
Can You Live With Someone Who Is Allergic To Cats
The thought of having to rehome your cat is traumatic and should only be considered as a last resort. Your cat is your family and best friend, and the right person for you will likely try everything to make it work to keep your cat and co-exist. Dont make the decision to rehome your cat and later regret it because you break up with your current partner. Not worth it!
Try the suggested items above. Where there is a will, there is a way. As always, look for someone who loves animals, too! In the very worst of situations, you might need to re-home your cat. Make sure you find someone who will love your cat and give them a forever home. This is not something to consider lightly and is certainly heartbreaking. There are many options to consider here and hopefully, a few of them work.
Dont give up on your cat.
What Causes Allergies To Cats
Its not the fur or hair of the cat that causes allergies, its the actual protein in the cats saliva, urine, and dander that triggers the reaction. Allergies are your bodys first line of defense when it identifies a foreign substance. Sometimes, something harmless like pet dander can trigger a reaction and activate your bodys defense, causing typical symptoms of allergies.
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Testing For Cat Food Allergies
If your cat is still itchy after treating their infection and using a monthly flea preventive, the next step is to test for a food allergy. Unlike people, there is no blood test for food allergies in cats. To figure out if your cat has an allergy to food, your veterinarian will prescribe either a novel protein diet or a hypoallergenic diet.
A novel protein diet is one with a protein source that your cat has never had before. Venison, rabbit, and duck are common novel protein sources.
A hypoallergenic diet is a food in which the protein source is broken down into small molecular pieces so that the body can no longer recognize it as a protein. Think of a puzzle that has an image of a pirate ship. When you take the puzzle apart, you can no longer see the pirate ship.
To diagnose a food allergy, your cat will need to be on the prescribed diet for a minimum of two months without eating anything but that diet. If the diet trial is effective, the next step is to add a new protein source to the food for one to two weeks.
If there is no reaction, we can assume that protein is not causing the allergy if there is a reaction, we know that your cat is allergic to that protein and it must be avoided. Occasionally, some cats must stay on the prescription diet for life to manage their food allergy.
Am I Allergic To Cat Hair
To help you understand how these new treatments would work, let me quickly break down cat allergies.
If you are amongst the 1 in 5 people worldwide who suffer a range of allergic symptoms when youre near a cator even near someone who has a catyour allergies are actually NOT caused by the animals fur.
This is why a short-haired cat likely invokes the same allergic response as a long-haired Persian cat.
The culprit behind your sneezing and wheezing and puffy eyes is a protein in a cats saliva and sebaceous glands . That glycoprotein is called Fel d1.
When cats groom themselves, some hairs break loose and become airborne. The offending protein in the salivathat Fel d1 allergenis carried on the hairs, so they become distribution vehicles for the potent allergen thats causing your inflammatory response.
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Scientists May Have Found Out How To Get Rid Of Cat Allergies
That sneezing, wheezing, congested, itchy eye, must-escape-this-room-because-I-cant-breathe-around-this-cat feeling can ruin even the best of daysespecially if you are a cat lover.
But now, you might be able to avoid the allergies altogether, instead of avoiding the furry feline.
You read that right. There have been some very promising scientific breakthroughs that can help alleviate the symptoms of cat allergies altogether. Breathing comfortably without red, itchy eyes could become the norm for allergy sufferers.
And we arent talking about allergy shots or desensitization therapy, either.
These new treatments for cat allergies arent for youtheyre actually administered to your cat. The goal is to help make them less likely to incite an inflammatory process in you.
Heres everything you need to know about the potential new cat allergy treatments.
Cat Allergy Treatments & Remedies
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Seasonal Allergies And Catssigns Treatments And Tips
Often we think of cats as being the cause of an allergy, rather than suffering from one. But like humans, cats experience seasonal allergies, and the effects can be uncomfortable and stressful for them. Here well quickly review the causes of seasonal allergies in cats, describe how these allergies present symptomatically, and offer some tips on how to minimize the effects of allergies on your cat.
What Are The Symptoms Of A Pet Allergy
Cat and dog allergens can land on the membranes that line the eyes and nose. Reactions include swelling and itching of the membranes, stuffy nose and inflamed eyes. A pet scratch or lick can cause the skin area to become red. It is common to get itchy eyes after petting an animal then touching your eyes.
If allergen levels are low or sensitivity is minor, symptoms may not appear until after several days of contact with the pet.
Many airborne particles are small enough to get into the lungs. For some, this exposure can cause severe breathing problems. Highly sensitive people can begin coughing, wheezing and have shortness of breath within 15 to 30 minutes of inhaling allergens. Sometimes highly sensitive people also get an intense rash on the face, neck and upper chest.
Contact with a cat can trigger a severe asthma episode in up to three in ten people with asthma. Cat allergies also can lead to chronic asthma.
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What Are Symptoms Of Cat Allergies
If you know what symptoms to look for, youll be able to help relieve a range ofcommon cat allergies. Keep an eye on yourcat with allergy symptomslike the following:
BitingandscratchingCatsmay bite and scratch at their skin when theyre feeling itchy. Pay attention to increased fur nibbling andtake a lookat your cats paws. If they look tender and your kitty keeps chewing them, it could be a sign of dermatitis. Tail chewing could also indicate allergies, especially a flea allergy.
RednessandirritationFlea bite allergies and atopic dermatitis can give cats the same swollen, red or crusty patches on their skin that are familiar to humans with dermatitis. Acat allergy skin reactionmight be harder to spot under all thatfur, buttake a look if your cat seems itchier than usual or while grooming.
Hair lossInflamed skinand the scratching and biting that goes along with itcan cause your cats fur to get thin in patches. Constantly irritated places may lead to bald spots.
Sneezing, wheezing and coughingRespiratory and nasal symptoms could be a sign that your cat is having an allergic reaction.
Itchy, runny eyes and noseYes, cats can have watery eyes and runny noses in response to allergies, too.
My Cat Is Allergic To Fleas: What Do I Do
- Fact Checked
You might not have guessed it, but cats can get fleas just as frequently as dogs do. In fact, flea bite hypersensitivity, or flea allergy dermatitis in cats, is the most common skin disease. There is even a specific species of flea called the cat flea, which is actually the flea that is most often responsible for the allergies found in dogs as well.
If a cat is allergic to fleas, he will scratch, bite, and lick at the bites that may be all over his body, which can be quite a bothersome condition, making life very uncomfortable for your furry feline friend. When cats are allergic, this incessant scratching and licking can lead to skin inflammation in cats, hair loss, and sores that make your pet more susceptible to developing secondary infections.
In order to provide your cat with some relief, you will have to take steps to remove the fleas from your cats environment, which may be easier said than done. This post is going to look into how to relieve the symptoms of a cat allergic to fleas and arm you with the right information you need to fight your cats flea infestation. Youll know what signs to look for as well as how to properly treat a flea allergy so you and your cat can go back to enjoying your lives together.
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How To Keep A Cat If You Are Allergic To Cats
This article was co-authored by Alan O. Khadavi, MD, FACAAI. Dr. Alan O. Khadavi is a Board Certified Allergist and a Pediatric Allergy Specialist based in Los Angeles, California. He holds a BS in biochemistry from the State University of New York at Stony Brook and an MD from the State University of New York Health Science Center at Brooklyn. Dr. Khadavi completed his pediatric residency at Schneider Childrens Hospital in New York, and then went on to complete his allergy and immunology fellowship and pediatric residency at Long Island College Hospital. He is board certified in adult and pediatric allergy/immunology. Dr. Khadavi is a Diplomate of the American Board of Allergy and Immunology, a Fellow of the American College of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology , and a member of the American Academy of Allergy, Asthma & Immunology . Dr. Khadavi’s honors include Castle Connollys list of Top Doctors 2013-2020, and Patient Choice Awards “Most Compassionate Doctor” in 2013 & 2014. This article has been viewed 16,939 times.
Cats make great pets, but if youre allergic to cats, keeping one is a bit more complicated. Allergies to cats are caused by proteins in the cats sloughed off skin cells, called dander, and its saliva. By maintaining an optimal environment that reduces your exposure to cat dander and saliva, as well as taking measures to keep your allergies under control, you can keep a cat successfully even if youre allergic to it.
Common Types Of Allergies In Cats
There are different kinds of allergies that cats can experience. Like people, cats can have allergies to foods, medications, plants, and more. These allergies generally come with symptoms such as:
- Excessive licking
- Pulling or biting out hair
- Chewing at paws or body
- Ear infections
- Red, dry and/or flaky skin
- Itchy, runny eyes
- Snoring due to inflammation in the throat
- Swollen, sensitive paws
The most common allergies in cats are either environmental, fleas, and/or food. Each of these allergens can cause the symptoms listed above.
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Checklist: Prepare These Answers Before You Visit Your Vet For The Pollen Allergy
Your vet will give your cat a thorough examination to rule out common colds and food allergies.
After excluding the possibility of food allergies, the vet will conduct a blood test to check for antibodies, just like in a human allergy test. As a result, the expert should be able to not only tell you if your cat has a pollen allergy but also what specific types of pollen your cat is allergic to.
Get Rid Of Rugs And Carpets
Even with regular vacuuming, rugs and carpets can harbor cat dander and contribute to allergy attacks. Rolling up rugs can be an immediate solution, and replacing carpets with options like hardwood, laminate or tile will cut down on the amount of dander in your home more permanently. If youre attached to soft flooring, try sticking to area rugs and having them cleaned on a regular basis. That way cat dander wont have an opportunity to build up too much in the carpet fibers.
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Is Your Cat Allergic To Litter A Vet’s Guide To Signs And Treatment
While litter allergies are relatively uncommon, they can and do occur
Cats can develop allergies to a wide variety of food allergens and airborne allergens, but is it possible to have a cat allergic to litter?
While litter allergies are not very common in cats, they can occur. And, like other allergies in cats, litter allergies can be a frustrating problem to manage. If you suspect your feline may have a litter allergy and you’re considering switching type of cat litter, read on to learn more about how to diagnose and manage this unusual problem.
Top 10 Ways To Decrease Your Allergies To Cats
The Spruce / Charlotte Engelsen
Naturally, if we were sane and rational about our allergies, we would stay away from anything that makes us sick. Many of us, however, are not sane and rational about pets, especially our cats. Although cat allergy symptoms may never go away completely, they are manageable.
Remember this basic fact about cat allergens. They need to be airborne and you need to breathe them in for you to have an allergic reaction to them. Cat allergen is very small so it remains suspended in the air longer. There is also a high rate of recontamination . Here are some recommended steps to decrease your cat allergies.
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Types And Causes Of Cat Allergies
There are 4 common allergies in cats: environmental, fleas, food, and seasonal. This section elaborates these types of allergies and the different ways in which they may affect your cat.
Environmental allergies. Substances that cause environmental allergies include pollen, grass, fungi, mold, and dust. Your cat may also have allergies to things like cigarette smoke, perfume, and some cleaning products.
Flea allergies. When a small insect known as a flea bites your cat, it causes an allergic reaction that can be very irritating. The saliva from a flea bite can affect a cats entire body, not just where the cat was bitten. Your veterinarian can help you choose the right flea prevention product to help protect your cat.
Food allergies. Some cats may have allergies to certain foods. This can cause skin itchiness, vomiting, or diarrhea. Your veterinarian can help you find out which foods are irritating your cat and create an appropriate diet.
Atopic dermatitis. When a cat experiences allergies, their bodies can often react with a skin condition called atopic dermatitis. With this condition, your cat may develop skin sores, scabbing, hair loss, and redness.
Environmental and flea allergies are usually treated by your veterinarian using the same meds, often including skin creams or a prescribed medication.
What Do Cat Allergy Symptoms Look Like
To understand allergy symptoms, its important to know what allergies are.
Allergies are an overreaction of your cats immune system. For example, if the immune system detects pollen or dust or an ingredient in your cats food, those substances get treated like a foreign invader as if they were a virus or bacteria.
Part of the immune systems response is to release histamine, which results in a lot of inflammation. This may show as symptoms in the upper respiratory system, digestive system, or the skin.
Inflammation causes redness and itchiness, and it disrupts the normal protective skin barrier. Between inflammation and trauma from your cats licking and scratching, wounds and secondary skin infections with bacteria or yeast are common.
Here are some of the most common allergy symptoms in cats:
Your pet may display several of the symptoms above, or just one or two. Any of these symptoms, especially if they happen frequently, are enough to consider allergies as a possible cause. And, it’s best to visit your vet to properly diagnose and treat your furry friend.
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