Did you know that cats can have allergies? It's true. Like people, cats develop allergies and in particular, seasonal allergies. There are specific symptoms of cat seasonal allergies, and the good news is that cat allergy symptoms can be managed effectively.
Symptoms of Cat Allergies
As is the case among people who have allergies, cats have some common allergy symptoms, including:
- runny nose
- watery eyes
Another very common sign that your cat may have allergies is irritated or itchy skin. Before looking for other causes of allergies, make sure to rule out fleas. Fleas can also cause cats to scratch and have skin that is irritated or itchy.
Cats may have itchy skin from spending time outside. Cats with allergies often suffer from dermatitis: their skin becomes irritated, they scratch and rub at it, and subsequently it can become inflamed. If left untreated, cats can develop several symptoms of seasonal allergies. Look for:
- redness in the eyes
- redness inside the ears
- redness on paws
- redness on the belly
- hair loss
How to Help Alleviate Cat Allergies
Managing allergies in cats can be a littler trickier than in dogs; however, there are several steps a pet owner can take to help reduce the inflammation associated with allergies and help repair the skin barrier. These include:
- Avoid spending time outdoors, especially during the times when pollen or mold counts are highest.
- Wipe your cat's paws when they come inside so that they don't bring pollen and other allergens in the home.
- Give your cat frequent baths or wipe downs with a disposable towelette designed specifically for pets. This will help remove the allergens from their bodies as well as soothe their sore skin.
- Ask your vet if your pet needs an oral or injectable steroid to treat your cat's skin irritation, or an antibiotic if lesions are present.
- Talk with your vet about using flea prevention to kill fleas and reduce the incidence of flea allergy dermatitis.
In addition to the steps you can take with your pet, it's important to think about how you can reduce allergens and irritants in the home environment, too. Some steps to take include:
- Keep windows closed.
- Wash bedding frequently.
- Treat your home for fleas with sprays or foggers.
- Refrain from putting cats in garages and basements, where molds and other irritants tend to collect.
- Use a flea preventive.
- Avoid spraying perfume or air fresheners around your cat.
Having a cat with allergies can be frustrating as it requires some extra steps in pet care, but managing your cat's allergy symptoms is very doable when you know the signs and appropriate actions to take.