Help Your Cat During Allergy Season!

cat allergy

Like humans, animals can experience allergies from time to time. In particular, domestic cats who spend most of their time indoors can experience seasonal allergies which can sometimes be difficult to diagnose, treat, and prevent.

As a veterinarian, many of my feline clients experience seasonal allergies and during their appointments, I talk with their parents about the causes and symptoms of cat allergies, how to avoid or prevent allergies in your cat, and how you can help relieve the allergies. So, here’s what you should know!

What are some common causes of cat allergies?

Allergies occur when the immune system is hypersensitive to commonplace and otherwise harmless substances in the environment, referred to as allergens. An allergic cat’s body recognizes these allergens as foreign substances and upregulates inflammation to attack and remove them, leading to the manifestation of symptoms.

In cats, allergies typically fall into one of three categories: flea, environmental, and food.

  • Flea allergies: Flea allergies are the most common reason for itchy skin in cats. People are often shocked to hear that scratching may mean fleas, especially if they haven’t seen one. Cats are notoriously good groomers and may have eaten the flea before you’ve had a chance to spot it. Additionally, fleas are tiny and fast making them hard to find.
  • Environmental allergies: The second most common reason cats experience allergies are from substances in the environment such as pollen, mold, dander, grass, dust, scented candles, perfume, fabric, etc.  
  • Food allergies: A bit less common, but cats can be allergic to foods, too. In almost all cases, it is the protein within the food that causes an allergic reaction. Beef, fish, chicken, and dairy products are the most common food allergens in cats.



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