How To Diagnose Your Feline’s Allergies
Cats are no different from dogs in that they can receive allergies from simple things such as pollen and bad food.
These are just some few possible allergic triggers your cat could develop over time. Some are born with an instant allergic reaction to a certain thing, while others might develop symptoms after being of a certain age. Regardless, cats are known to develop allergies over time. An allergy is formed when their immune system becomes weak or sensitive to certain substances or chemicals that are in their current surroundings.
Those substances or chemicals are called the “allergens”. A person’s allergens can be completely different from a cat’s. However, there are also cases in which both the feline’s allergens and a human’s allergens would actually line up. But despite that, you would still need to keep a careful eye on your cat in case they start to show some symptoms
Because cats are so prone to receiving allergies in their lifespan, the type of cat allergies they experience is divided into 3 different categories: flea allergy, food allergy, and environmental allergies, otherwise known as atopic dermatitis. Both the flea allergy and the environmental allergies are the more common ones that could develop on your precious feline. And they are also commonly known as the ones that cause a “hay-fever” like reaction. Do note that cats have the tendency to receive more than one form of allergy in their entire lives. Thus, frequent visits to the veterinarian are advised to ensure the health and safety of your kitty.
The most common symptom your pet would definitely experience would be allergic dermatitis. This itchy and red skin would cause significant discomfort on your pet and could possibly resort to them being more grumpy or aggressive.
Some other common symptoms could involve the following:
- Constant vomiting or diarrhea
- Red, itchy, and runny eyes – watch if they seem like they are constantly crying
- Ear infections
- Snoring which could mean a damaged or inflamed throat
- Wheezing or coughing – this could be detrimental for cats with asthma
- Sensitive and sore paws
Those allergic reactions can derive from multiple different origins some of which are more common than others such as:
- Pollen from grass and flowers
- Fleas or anti-flea related product
- Unclean cat litters
- Prescription medications
- Household cleaning products
You might experience your cat go through some gastrointestinal symptoms that could cause food allergy. That is why you need to monitor your cat’s eating habits and isolate the ingredient that makes them sick.
The likelihood of cats developing allergies is more common to those wild or outdoor cats due to them being exposed to more kinds of outside environmental allergens. However, indoor cats are much more easily managed due to their nature of usually just lying about.
You should also know that depending on the breed, your cat will have higher chances to develop a disease. For instance, Persian and Exotic Shorthairs care are amongst the breeds which are most likely to suffer from an inherited disorder known as polycystic kidney disease (PKD).
If you want to know more about your cat, or how to test for various type of pets, visit our Cat DNA test page
Diagnosing The Problem
Cats are similar to humans in regard to feeling pain and strong emotions. Imagine yourself succumbing to constant allergies that could affect your daily lives, that is something your kitty is most likely going through at this very moment.
A trip to a professional veterinarian is the best thing you can do for your beloved pet. They conduct a full physical examination and do a full record history to help determine, or at least isolate, the allergens.
Once the veterinarian concludes that your pet has allergies, they can administer blood tests or even restrict certain diets to narrow down the cause of the allergies. In addition, these tests could potentially see through the extent of the severity of your cat’s allergies. You may also receive a recommendation for a veterinary dermatologist in case of skin-related allergies or issues.
Keep Your Kitty Safe and Secure
The best way for anyone or any creature from having an allergic reaction would be to isolate the source of the allergies completely from their environment. A cat who could be allergic to certain home products should be kept away from the substance or better yet, replace the home product with a cat-safe one. You can also use a veterinarian-recommended flea remover in the case of flea-based allergies.
You may also notice that your cat will give some signs from their behaviour when a certain allergen is present. Your cat could choose to not use their litter box for that very same reason. If that is the case, then consider switching to a dust-free alternative litter box.
However, not all allergens are simple enough to remove. Pollen-based allergies are an example of a hard to remove allergy. In cases like this, your veterinarian could prescribe you with a special formula for their skin that could help alleviate the itching and drying. Although that still would not technically remove the problem it can help ease the discomfort and pain that your cat could suffer.
And lastly, there are food-based allergies. These forms of allergies are best consulted with a professional as it could take a long time to isolate the specific ingredient. That being said, you can choose to get your cat a prescription diet or even start doing home-cooked meals to prevent any unwanted chemicals from canned foods. However, if their allergy is based on an ingredient that can be found on home-cooked meals then you would need to have a substitute meal for them. A dietary supplement might be needed in case your cat foregoes eating due to allergic reactions.
Medicating Your Cat
Allergies can be mild or severe depending on the cat. On severe reactions, they may be prescribed with medications to suppress the allergens down to a manageable level. Medications that are commonly used would be:
- Flea prevention products
- Antihistamines to prevent the aggravation of known allergens
- Cortisone or steroids to combat airborne allergens such as pollen
Allergies On Cats With Asthma
Cats can develop asthma, just as humans can. A cat that has been diagnosed with asthma is more at risk when they develop environmental allergies. Strong medications may be advised to ensure that your cat’s airways remain open enough for them to breathe. Do not smoke around cats with asthma as that could potentially damage their lungs to unrepairable ways.
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