Any animal can develop allergies, which is usually indicative of an overly sensitive immune reaction to something. Though some allergies may not be serious in most instances, others can be fatal. Who knew that cats can be allergic to everyday substances? Now, you will!
Common Substances Cats can be Allergic to:
- Some tree species
- Grass, weed, mould, mildew, and dust
- Certain human foods like grapes, chocolate, cow’s milk, etc.
- Fleas as well as flea-control products
- Prescription medication
- Cleaning chemicals
- Certain textures and fabrics
- Rubber and plastic
- Second-hand smoke
- Bee stings
Cats are highly allergic to any lily plant. Lilies are actually entirely toxic to cats, from its stem and leaves to the flowers, pollen, and even the water in a vase. Though lilies are absolutely stunning flowers and can really light up a garden or room, it’s always better to be safe than sorry!
Cats can have allergic reactions to some tree species
Cat Food Allergies
Yes, you read right! Cats actually have really sensitive digestive tracts, which is why it’s easy for them to get allergic reactions to certain foods. Unfortunately for you, diarrhoea and vomiting are the first signs of such an occurrence or reaction. Contrary to popular belief – and Disney movies – cats can’t digest cow milk enzymes at all. There’s an entire list of human food cats should be kept away from entirely, including:
- Tea and coffee
- Grapes and raisins
- Onions and garlic
- Fat trimmings
- Raw eggs, meat, and fish
How do I know when my cat is having an allergic reaction?
If you think your beloved fur-baby is having an allergic reaction, the last thing you want to do is panic! Cats can sense trouble and anxious situations, so make sure you stay calm – even if it’s just to keep your kitty relaxed. Besides, you don’t want to make your cat panic and mistake anxiety for an allergic reaction…
Here are some general symptoms and signs that your cat is having an allergic reaction:
- Snoring sound caused by an inflamed throat
- Paw chewing/swollen paws
- Sneezing or coughing
- Itchy skin/increased scratching
- Itchy, runny eyes
- Itchy back, tail, or ears
These symptoms might not necessarily be caused by an allergic reaction, so it’s always best to either take your kitty to the vet or simply give the vet a call to hear what they recommend.
What should I do if I suspect my cat is having an allergic reaction?
Allergies don't generally disappear on their own and a trip to the vet may well be in order. If your vet suspects your cat has allergies, they might want to perform blood tests and urine analysis.
Dependent on the results of these tests, further diet related testing may be required and there's even the possibility that something in your home could be causing the issue, so a process of trial and elimination of potential allergens will be recommended.
A diagnosis of food allergies may require you to provide your cat with a prescription diet or even home-cooked meals free of the offending allergens. Your veterinarian will provide recommendations as to the best course of action. It is possible that your cat will need dietary supplements to ensure he gets all the vital nutrients he needs.
If your vet thinks your cat has a skin allergy, your cat might be referred to a veterinary dermatologist to identify and treat the cause of pesky skin rashes and sores.
When it comes to pollen, fungus, mold, or dust, bathing your cat a couple of times per week can help alleviate itching. Your veterinarian can recommend an appropriate shampoo to help you avoid drying out your cat’s skin.
Occasionally long term medications or allergy therapies may be indicated for your cat depending on the severity of symptoms and the cause of the allergy.
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