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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.
 

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.

  • Anti rabbies Vaccine
    Anti rabbies Vaccine
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    Anti rabbies Vaccine

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    Rabies is a dangerous virus that affects the warm-blooded animal kingdom. It spreads through the bite or starch of an infected animal, making the infection easily transmissible amongst animals and humans alike. Since there is no effective rabies treatment yet, the only solution to combat this fatal virus is through vaccination. Veterinarians recommend anti-rabies vaccine for pets to protect them and their humans from this deadly virus.
     

    Anti-rabies vaccine is one of the core vaccines for cats, in addition to the 4-in-1 cat vaccine. It helps prevent the cases of rabies in cats and kittens, contributing to the overall health of your feline friend. However, before getting your cat vaccinated with rabies injections, it is essential to know a few details about this disease and how to prevent it. So, let’s dive right into it.
     

    How does rabies spread?

    The rabies virus depends on the host body for survival. As the virus cannot survive outside of the host body, it spreads through open wounds and mucous membranes in the eye, mouth, and nose. The virus transmits through the saliva of the infected animal. If a rabies carrier bites or starches your pet, then it too becomes infected with the virus. Typically, the incubation for rabies in cats ranges from a few days to a few years.
     

    Since rabies is a deadly infection, it is imperative that you, as a cat parent, watch out for its symptoms. So, let’s take a look at a few signs of rabies in cats:

    1. Fever

    2. Lethargy

    3. Low appetite

    4. Difficulty breathing

    5. Hypersalivation

    6. Difficulty swallowing

    7. Abnormal behaviour

    Curing rabies is not an option post-incubation as there is no proper medication available in the market yet. Hence, keeping this fatal infection at bay is of paramount importance. And how can you do that? By ensuring that your cat is vaccinated with an anti-rabies injection.
     

    Do indoor cats need rabies vaccination?

    Anti-rabies vaccine for cats is a must. Veterinarians monitor rabies shots for both indoor and outdoor cats. While there is a misconception that rabies vastly affects dogs, it can find its way to cats and other warm-blooded animals as well. Cat’s rabies vaccination prepares your indoor kitty to fight the deadly virus. Hence, do not skip on annual booster shots for both indoor and outdoor cats.
     

    While you may think, your indoor cat is safe from the fatal disease, it is best to ensure complete healthcare for its overall well-being. Cats often socialise with outside cats by licking, sniffing, or starching each other. Indoor cats can get the rabies virus if they socialise in this manner with an infected outdoor or stray cat. Anti-rabies vaccination is the best way to avoid any remote possibility of your kitty getting infected. It builds antigens in the cat’s body, so your fur baby can tackle the rabies virus.
     

    How often should cats receive rabies vaccination?

    Various brands offer anti-rabies vaccines for cats in the market. Hence, it is best to seek a veterinarian’s advice regarding  vaccination. They will take multiple factors, such as your kitty’s age, breed, and lifestyle, into consideration before recommending a brand. Similarly, when it comes to the frequency of taking the anti-rabies vaccination, it all depends on the type of vaccine recommended for your pet. If your vet recommends an adjuvant vaccine, your cat might have to be inoculated once every year. On the other hand, if they suggest a non-adjuvant vaccine, you must note that these vaccines are generally administered once in three years. 
     

    When to schedule feline anti-rabies vaccination

    Anti-rabies vaccine is one of the core vaccinations for cats. It prepares your cat to fight the virus by boosting immunity. The first dose of the anti-rabies vaccine is administered once the kitty turns 12 weeks old. After the initial dose, depending on the type of vaccine, you will need to get your feline friend vaccinated either annually or once in three years.
     

    Side effects of the anti-rabies vaccine

    As a cat parent, you must know the potential side effects of this vaccine. So, let’s take a look at them:

    1. Low-grade fever

    2. Lethargy

    3. Low appetite

    4. Swelling and redness at the injected site

    Cat parents should monitor not only the anti-rabies vaccine but also other core vaccines like 4 in 1 cat vaccine, FeVac 5, and 3-in-1 cat vaccine. Regular vaccination and annual health check-ups ensure your kitty leads a healthy life. So, ascertain that you provide your fur baby with all the care it requires.