If a cat has allergies her body will try and rid itself of the offending substances and her immune system overreacts and begins to identify them as dangerous. These substances-or allergens-are usually common in most environments and harmless to most animals
She may show a variety of symptoms:-
a) Sneezing, coughing, wheezing if the cat has asthma.
b) Skin itching and scratching more.
c) Runny, itchy eyes.
d) Back or base of tail itchy (more common in flea allergies).
e) Infections to and itchy ears.
h) Inflamed throat resulting in snoring.
i) Chewing Paw which could also be swollen.
Know types of allergies?
Four known types of allergies in a cat:-
Contact – Pollen, Tree, grass, weed, mold, mildew and dust.
Flea – The result of a flea allergy will often be loss of hair, open soars or scabs on the skin, allowing secondary bacterial infection to begin. A flea allergy only requires the bite of a single flea to trigger intense itchiness for 2 to 3 weeks and itch-producing reaction can result even when the flea’s saliva is deposited in the skin.
Food, food allergies cats usually develop then over time as cats are not likely to be born with them so they may show up in cats at any age.
Inhalant, Cats can be allergic to all of the same inhaled allergens as us, pollens (can be seasonal), perfumes, dust etc
How Can Cat Allergies Be Treated
Contact – this may seem easy but it could be a flea collar, wool bedding, and tray litter so requires some detective work to find and remove the contact irritant.
Flea – a strict ongoing flea control is essential, if this is not possible then your vet may prescribe steroids to block the allergic reaction, or the use of a hypoallergenic shampoo, or frequent bathing can help immensely
Food – Testing is done with a hypoallergenic diet and the cat must eat this special diet exclusively for a minimum of eight weeks, preferably more, until her symptoms go away. It takes about eight weeks for all other food products to get out of the system. Once the symptoms have stopped you’ll begin to reintroduce old foods to see which ones might be causing the allergic reaction or your vet will recommend specific food.
Inhalant – It may be the case that over time the cat’s immune system will see the allergy as less of a threat and reactions will become less severe. However, for now you should buy dust/scent free cat litter, clean bedding at least once a week and any other materials that gather dust. The itching may be relieved by using a hypoallergenic shampoo which can help by allowing a lower strength steroid to be used if prescribed. Your vet may prescribe steroids, if pollen related, which block the allergic reactions and therefore gives relief
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