Cat Allergy Signs, Symptoms, Reaction & Treatment

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When a cat's body gets sensitive to its environment, it develops allergies. So, if you notice that your cat is feeling unwell and is constantly sneezing or scratching itself, it could be due to cat allergy reactions. These allergens are unpleasant substances that may or may not irritate you, but when your cat's body tries to rid itself of them, it may exhibit a variety of symptoms. 

While it’s normal for cats to show different symptoms depending on the allergy, those that affect their breathing are the most serious ones. So, if your cat suffers from breathing issues due to allergies, it can take a life-threatening turn. Sometimes, the itchiness can also cause skin irritation leading your cat to chew on its paws or tail relentlessly. 

Fortunately, cat allergy is treatable once the allergen affecting your cat is identified. Therefore, knowing how to detect if your cat has allergies and what’s causing these allergies can help you prevent problems in the future.


What Causes Cat Allergies?

The first step toward treating your cat’s allergies is finding out what’s causing them. A visit to the veterinarian is the simplest way to identify your cat’s allergy stimulus. 

Causes of cat allergies could be due to several reasons, all of which fall under one of the three categories. These categories are, namely – flea allergy, food allergy, and environmental allergy (atopic dermatitis).

  • Flea allergy

One of the most common cat allergy signs is flea allergies. These allergies are generally caused by flea bites or flea treatment medicine. Excessive itching is the most predominant symptom of this type of allergy. It's likely that your cat is allergic to fleas if you find it scratching or frequently chewing on its fur, especially directly above the tail.

  • Food allergy

Food allergies in cats can cause vomiting, diarrhea, and even itchy skin, especially around the neck and head. This type of allergic response might cause your cat to shed patches of fur in severe circumstances. In such extreme cases, your vet can help you detect which foods are causing irritation and develop an appropriate diet for your cat.

  • Environmental allergy 

Environmental allergies may have different triggers, including plants, pollen, and mold. This type of allergy can also be induced by cleaning products, or the fragrance included in some types of cat litter. Another type of environmental allergy is feline atopy. It is commonly known as feline atopic dermatitis, a severe allergic reaction in cats that causes extreme itchiness in their skin. As a result of this condition, your cat may suffer from skin soreness, redness, scabbing, and even hair loss.


Symptoms Of Cat Allergies

Depending on the kind of allergy your cat has, symptoms can range from unpleasant to life-threatening. 

  • Diarrhea

Diarrhea is frequently related to staining of the fur around the hind end in some breeds. In normal cats, you can observe some variation in the consistency of their stool. Dietary changes can also cause temporary changes in their stool. But, if you notice frequent semi-liquid or liquid stools for more than two days, you should consult your vet. 

  • Wheezing

There are different causes to why a cat makes a wheezing sound. It could be due to a hairball stuck in its stomach or allergens like pollens, mold, or cigarette smoke. However, this wheezing sound can also be linked to discomfit or stress. Because each cat's triggers are unique, it's critical to be aware of the surroundings and activities in your cat's environment that could be causing stress-related wheezing.


  • Watery eyes

Watery or glossy-looking eyes are other prominent cat allergy signs. While a cat's moist eyes maybe caused by allergens such as mildew dust or household cleaning products, it could also indicate something more serious, such as a bacterial illness or virus. 

Watery eyes

  • Skin redness and itchiness

Itchiness or skin redness in cats is associated with a skin condition called cat dermatitis. When this happens, your cat’s skin becomes swollen, red, and irritated, often with small blisters, as a result of an external agent directly irritating the skin or causing an allergic reaction to it.

Skin redness and itchiness

How Are Cat Allergies Treated?

  • By using medicated shampoos

If your cat is suffering from moderate allergy symptoms with only limited itching, medicated shampoos or rinses can help.

  • By using anti-itch medications

Anti-itch and anti-inflammatory medicines such as corticosteroids are particularly effective in treating extreme itchiness in cats. When used correctly, they can be quite safe and effective in cats. Consult your vet to identify the best course of action.

  • By using flea preventatives

Treating your cat with flea preventatives will prevent your cat from being bitten by fleas. Plus, to lessen the chances of your cat being bitten, you should treat your home during the warmer months when fleas are more frequent. In fact, even cats who aren't allergic to fleas should use a flea preventative to avoid tapeworm and other flea-related illnesses.

  • By eliminating food that causes allergy

To figure out which food is causing your cat's allergies, you must first put it on an elimination diet. After that, gradually reintroduce food items until you find the problematic allergen. The top three allergenic protein sources are beef (18%), fish (17%), and chicken (5%). Avoiding these foods will enable your cat's allergic reaction to be less severe.


Signs Of Allergies In Cats

The most common allergy symptoms in cats are skin reactions, regardless of the cause, and they can appear at any age. Just because your cat didn’t have allergies as a kitten doesn’t mean she won’t have them as an adult. If your cat suffers from any of the following symptoms, take her to the vet for a consultation:

  • Persistent scratching, licking and skin chewing
  • Face and ear rubbing
  • Inflamed skin patches, hair loss and foul odor
  • Coughing, sneezing, watery eyes and runny nose
  • Frequent vomiting or diarrhea

Allergies can vary from cat to cat, so it is important that you work with your vet to make sure your cat gets the best possible treatment. You’ll both be happier as a result.


Does Your Cat Have Allergies?
Does Your Cat Have Allergies?

FAQ On Does Your Cat Have Allergies

  1. What Are The Most Common Cat Allergies?
  2. Cats are sensitive to a wide range of allergies. Cats, like people, can be allergic to a variety of foods, drugs, plants, and other things. However, flea, environmental, and/or food allergies are the most common allergies in cats.


  3. How Do You Get Rid Of Cat Allergies?
  4. Keeping your home clean, using dust-free and unscented cat litter, using flea preventatives regularly, avoiding excessive fragrances, and not smoking in the house can help keep your cat from being allergic.

  5. How Do I Know If My Cat Has Allergies?
  6. If your cat suffers from allergies, some of the most frequent allergic reactions will trigger certain behaviors, conditions, and even symptoms like:

    • Itchy and watery eyes
    • Runny nose
    • Itchy skin
    • Coughing
    • Vomiting or diarrhea

  7. Do Cat Allergies Go Away?
  8. It depends on whether your cat has skin or food allergies. If your cat eats nothing but novel food and water for eight to ten weeks, the allergic symptoms in its skin will fade away. But if it is related to food allergies, then you need to find a diet that works for your cat and stick to it.

  9. How Long Do Cat Allergies Last?
  10. Most cats with inhalant allergies are allergic to a variety of allergens. Itching may only persist just several weeks at a time during one or two seasons of the year if the number of allergens is low and seasonal. The cat may scratch frequently if there are a lot of allergens or if they are there all year round.

  • How to Take Care of a Kitten: 8 Tips on Raising a Kitten Into a Healthy Cat
    How to Take Care of a Kitten: 8 Tips on Raising a Kitten Into a Healthy Cat
    How To Take Care Of A Kitten

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    Bringing a kitten home is an experience full of joy and warmth. The internet is filled with kitten photos and videos, and you are soon going to find out why! However, these cute creatures are extremely delicate and need hands-on attention while growing up. If you bring home a kitten without a mother, you will have to be extra careful with it. Every cat parent should be well-informed about how to take care of newborn kittens or kittens in general.

    We have put together a few tips to get you started on your journey of raising a kitten. From vet visits and food selection to grooming and keeping it hydrated, this article will give you a basic understanding of how to take care of a kitten.

    Take your kitten for regular check-ups

    Routine check-ups are highly recommended for kittens. Once you get a kitten home, your responsibility as a caregiver is to take it to the vet for a basic health check-up. During this check-up, the veterinarian will check for any health concerns that need to be addressed immediately. They will also walk you through the vaccination and spaying/neutering process. If you are a first-time cat parent, do not hesitate from asking doubts and questions regarding your cat’s health and well-being.

    Keep your kitten hydrated

    Since a dehydrated kitten can be vulnerable to many diseases and infections, make sure that fresh water is easily accessible. In fact, place multiple water bowls around the house for it to drink from. Clean these bowls regularly and fill them up with fresh water. If the vet recommends, you can also give your kitten electrolyte water.

    Provide your kitten with balanced nutrition

    A newborn kitten should be fed by its mother for the first few weeks. However, kitties that find a new home generally get separated from their mother at an early age. If you have adopted a newborn pet, you probably do not know how to take care of a kitten without a mother. Start by visiting a vet to receive a comprehensive feeding guide. It will help you meet the kitty’s nutritional needs. You might also have to switch to a different type of food at different stages like teething.

    Cats are carnivores; hence, their food intake is majorly meat. Ensure that the dry food you give your cat is made with high-quality protein. Made with chicken as the main ingredient, IAMS Proactive Health Mother and Kitten is a protein-rich meal option for your kitten. This kitten food also contains Omega 3, Colostrum, and DHA to support healthy eye and brain development!

    Comfort and pamper your kitten

    Cats are independent creatures that enjoy their space. However, from time to time, they also like being cuddled and picked up. They will also show affection in their own unique ways. Give your kitten some time to settle in and gradually start introducing it to your touch. Gently hold it and pamper it. Bring a few fun toys for it to play with. Kittens generally love playing with bells, strings, or anything that they can chase.

    Help your kitten socialise with other family members

    Taking care of a kitten involves introducing it to its new family members – including other pets – from the day it is brought home. After all, your new kitten will be the newest addition to the clan! If you are worried about your dog and cat not getting along because of age-old assumptions, let us assure you, it is nothing but a myth. However, some dogs may not be able to differentiate a cat from a rabbit and their prey instincts could kick in. If this happens, you need to train your dog by familiarising it with your kitten’s scent. Most dog breeds are hostile in nature and can coexist with other pets easily. Socialising for your kitten will also include grooming days, check-up days, and more.

    Groom your kitten’s fur

    Cats love grooming themselves and are very particular about how they look. However, kittens may need some help, especially in cases where they dirty themselves. Your vet will educate you about ways in which you can give your delicate and tiny kitten a bath. Post that, brush your kitten’s fur coat. Now, brushing its coat does not only remove dirt and dead hair, but it also regulates blood circulation, giving your kitty a healthy glow!

    Litter train your kitten

    Litter training is one of the most important aspects of raising a kitten. Choose a litter box that is big enough for your kitten to do its business. Finding the right type of litter may take some experimenting, but you will soon get there! Fortunately, cats usually eliminate in sandy or granular places by nature. So, when you introduce it to a litter box, chances are that it will use it right away. If your feline friend doesn’t, give it some time to get comfortable. Keep cleaning the litter box periodically to ensure hygiene.

    Dedicate a comfortable sleeping space for your kitten

    As a cat parent, you must pay attention to your kitty’s sleeping space. Kittens and cats are heavy sleepers; kittens can even sleep for 20 hours a day! For the first few nights, make sure your kitten sleeps next to your bed. It is normal for these feline creatures to cry during the first few days as everything is new. However, your kitten will eventually start getting used to its new space and sleep for long hours. Once it starts doing that, you can set up a cosy corner for it to sleep in. If you are wondering how to take care of a newborn kitten, just make sure that you place it somewhere near your bed. This will help you hear any cries and come to their aid as soon as possible.