What Are Cats Allergic To?

Always licking itself?

What Are Cats Allergic To?

Allergies are on the rise and no one knows exactly why. Probably because we no longer have to continuously fight germs and parasites, which expose our immune system to overreact to possible allergens. Although we do not know if a similar process can occur in cats, it is safe to say that cat allergies are a serious problem for pets and owners! Here are some common allergies in cats.

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Flea Allergy

Generally known as flea allergy dermatitis, flea allergies are very uncomfortable for your cat. Not seeing fleas on the pet do not rule out the risk of flea allergy-causing your cat’s skin problems. A lot of cats are allergic to fleas, and they become incredibly itchy after getting bitten once or twice. It may be difficult to find any evidence of fleas on your cat because cats with flea allergies tend to clean themselves aggressively. Licking, biting or scratching especially around the neck, thighs, abdomen, flanks, and the base of the tail may be signs of flea allergy in cats.

Pollen

Allergies to tree, herbs, weed and grass pollen is common in cats. The affected cat may lick, chew and scratch all over their body and in severe cases, can cause significant skin damage. These allergies often begin as seasonal (happening only when the offending allergen is being produced), but can finally become more of a continuous issue since allergy cats tend to respond to more triggers as they age. The best way to determine what a cat can be allergic is to schedule a blood test for allergies with your veterinarian.

Home allergens

Cats may as well be allergic to indoor allergens, such as dust, mold, and household mites etc. Indoor allergies are impossible to differentiate from outdoor allergies, except that biting, licking, and scratching is often year-round, rather than seasonal from the beginning. Your veterinarian can determine if your cat has indoors allergies by conducting a blood test. To reduce your pet exposure to indoor allergens, take care of any mould issues in your home. Clean your home frequently with the use of air filters, and regularly bathe or clean your cat’s fur with a damp cloth.

Food Allergies

Allergies to certain ingredients in food are another type of cat allergy. Cats with food allergies often have itchy skin and can as well develop persistent skin or ear infections and have gastrointestinal signs such as diarrhea, vomiting, or increased gassiness. Cats can develop food allergies at any age. For the diagnosis of cat food allergies, your cat must be fed either a novel ingredient food like duck and potato or a hydrolyzed diet for six to eight weeks.

Plastic Food Bowls

Allergies to plastics have been documented in scientific literature, although similar studies have not been done in cats. Anecdotal reports seem to be related to drinking and eating from plastic dishes with a condition called feline chin acne that may be allergy related. Cats with chin acne have a pus-filled bump around the chin.

Perfumes

Various cats are extremely sensitive to perfumes that are often added to cat’s litters, air sprays, cleaning products, carpet powders, etc. If you notice your feline feeling itchy or sneezing after getting in contact with this sort of products, or may be attempting to avoid perfumed areas, it probably means the product is irritating your cat. Try to switch to unscented products and see if the cat symptoms will disappear.

Updated: September 21, 2017.

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