Allergies are common in cats. According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, approximately 15% of all cats have allergies. And unlike humans where allergies typically manifest themselves through respiratory issues, in cats, allergies almost always present through skin irritations, including itching, hives and swelling.
Causes of Cat Allergies
Cat allergies have many causes. The most common causes of cat, or feline allergy are:
- Fleas – All animals are bothered by flea bites, but some cats are allergic to a chemical in the saliva of fleas. The saliva causes intense itching and often swelling. This reaction is commonly known as flea allergy dermatitis.
- Airborne Allergens – Just like people, cats are susceptible to airborne allergens, including mold, pollen, and grasses. But unlike allergies in people, cat allergic reactions are typically skin related. Usually known as feline atopic dermatitis, these skin presentations can cause severe itching and discomfort.
- Food – Cats can be allergic to certain kinds of foods. Called cutaneous adverse food reaction, a food allergy can cause hives, swelling and severe itching.
Symptoms of Feline Allergy
Rather than sneezing and wheezing, cat allergies present themselves through skin irritations. Cats react to this irritation through excessive licking, self-biting, face rubbing and the like. Allergic reactions can present themselves as immediate, and others take time to develop. The treatment for allergic reaction is symptomatic treatment and removal of the allergen.
Kinds of Cat Allergic Skin Reactions
- Cat Hives: Raised, round bumps, itching found anywhere on the body.
- Cat Miliary Dermatitis: Clusters of red lesions on the skin that are usually found on the back.
- Feline Symmetrical Alopecia: Areas where the hair has fallen out or the hairs look like they have broken off in a specific area.
- Eosinophilic Granuloma Complex: A patch of itchy skin that can be found on the rear legs or the abdomen.
- Eosinophilic Granuloma: Allergic reaction on your cat's lips.
- Pruritus: Another term for itch that is usually on the face or neck. It is usually caused by food allergy.
Other Cat Allergic Reactions
Although most allergic reactions in cats are presented through skin, they also can result in:
- Nasal discharge
- Labored breathing
- Eye discharge
National Pet Pharmacy has a complete selection of products to care for your cat’s allergy symptoms, including Chlorphenaramine, Hill’s Prescription z/d Allergen- Free Feline Canned Food, and Tropiclean Allergy Relief Pet Wipes.
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