Allergies in cats are one of the most common problems. It manifests itself as itching, sneezing, tearing, baldness. In severe cases, severe edema, coma, death is possible. Today we will talk about why an allergic reaction occurs in cats, how it manifests itself, how to treat it.
What is an animal allergy?
Do cats have allergies? Yes. Its main reason is a pathological malfunction of the immune system, which takes a harmless substance that has entered the body or on the skin for an enemy, and attacks, producing antibodies. The reaction can be mild or moderate. In some cases, anaphylactic shock occurs, which can result in the death of the animal.
Cat allergy causes
The reasons for the abnormal reaction of the body are not fully determined. It is known that the allergen awakens antibodies that activate inflammatory mediators (histamine, prostagin, etc.). These substances are released into the surrounding tissues, causing:
- dilation of blood vessels;
- irritation of nerve endings;
- secretion of mucus;
- contraction of smooth muscles of the bronchi.
This manifests itself in the form of itching, runny nose, diarrhea, shortness of breath, and other symptoms. In the place of contact of the allergen with the body, inflammatory processes occur.
Types of allergies in cats and cats
There are different classifications of allergic reactions. Depending on the reason, the method of penetration into the body, the following types of pathology are distinguished:
- contact (skin) – external influence;
- respiratory – entering the body through the nose, mouth;
- ecological (atopic, chemical) – caused by external irritants;
- epidermal – for wool;
- insect – on insects;
- food (alimentary).
The immune response arises to substances from the environment:
- cigarette smoke;
- household chemicals;
- cat litter allergy.
The ecological form is both contact and respiratory. Contact manifests itself in the form of skin irritation in the area to which the allergen has gotten. For example, if cats are allergic to litter, eczema may develop between the toes.
The only way out in this situation is to limit the contact of the cat with the irritant as much as possible. If he has a reaction to cleaning products, the drug must be replaced, if he is intolerant to cigarette smoke, do not smoke indoors. It is difficult to protect a cat from pollen, mold, dust. All that can be done is to give drugs that reduce reactions during an exacerbation.
Food allergies are often manifested by itching, diarrhea, and vomiting. The main reason is the wrong diet. A cat is a carnivore and other food can harm it.
If a reaction occurs to commercial feed, it must be changed. Prefer allergy-free cat food (super-premium or holistic).
When you feed your cat straight, it takes time to identify the irritant. Veterinarians recommend completely replacing the diet or gradually removing products from the menu, observing the cat’s reaction. Symptoms usually disappear within 1-2 days after the irritant disappears from the diet. But it takes several weeks for the foods that trigger the reaction to be completely eliminated from the body.
An epidermal reaction occurs to the fur of other animals and even its own during molting. All that the owner can do in this situation is to carefully comb out and remove the hair of the pets, remove the symptoms with antihistamines.
Allergy to fleas in cats is a type of insect form, which manifests itself mainly in skin reactions. Usually, this is an immune response to insect bites, themselves, or waste products. Less commonly, mites, wasps, bees, mosquitoes, spiders are the cause of pathology. Also, cats may have an allergic reaction to viruses, fungi, bacteria, worms.
How to treat cat allergies? Treat it with antiparasitic agents in time. To prevent the appearance of fleas, ticks, insecticidal drops, tablets will help. For worms, give anthelmintics at least quarterly.
A pathological reaction can occur to any medication, including:
- flea and tick remedy (drops, collar, tablets, solutions);
- anti-inflammatory drugs;
- anti-fungal agents.
A negative reaction to drugs occurs only with repeated administration of the drug. If the cat develops a rash, the drug should be stopped immediately and the veterinarian should be called. He must replace it with a medicine with a different active substance. Do not forget to ask your doctor what to give your cat for allergies.
Symptoms in felines with allergies
The main symptom of an allergic reaction is itching. It occurs more often than others and can manifest itself on any stimulus. This symptom is often confused with a reaction to fleas, so the allergen is determined by exclusion. The cat is treated with insecticidal preparations. If the itching continues, there is a reason to suspect an allergic reaction.
How to tell if a cat has allergies? In addition to itching, he has the following symptoms:
- sneezing, coughing, and wheezing;
- itchy, watery eyes, redness of the proteins;
- sore ears;
- vomiting or diarrhea;
- swollen, tender paws;
- excessive licking (grooming);
- red spots on the skin, peeling;
- scratches, open wounds;
- gnawing paws, tail, its base;
1. Food allergy in cats symptoms and treatment
Diarrhea, vomiting, constipation, bloating – this is how cat food allergies manifest. They are caused by irritation and inflammation of the gastrointestinal tract. If you do not know why cats are allergic to food, change the diet immediately and completely when symptoms appear.
If your cat is allergic to dry food, check the quality. What foods are cats allergic to? Economy-class products often cause reactions. If you love your pet, buy super premium or holistic food.
2. Skin symptoms
An allergic reaction is often manifested by skin lesions – redness, blistering, rash. The cat can actively itch, lick itself, comb the itchy area. This often leads to secondary infection, which worsens the cat’s condition. Purulent inflammation may develop, the wounds will not heal for a long time.
The most common skin lesions are:
- Rash, urticaria – red spots on the skin.
- Eosinophilic plaque – spots slightly protrude above the skin, have clearly grown boundaries, and are slightly damp. Usually located on the abdomen, on the inner thighs. The main reasons are a reaction to food, insect bites.
- Eosinophilic granulomas are small vesicles in the form of a line or cord. Often appears on the thighs, sides, abdomen, legs, chin.
- Indolent ulcer – occurs on the lips, cheeks, sometimes symmetrically. Usually, it doesn’t hurt or itch. Typical for food allergies, but can occur through contact with chemicals.
- A billion dermatitides is a skin rash in the form of crusty papules. Appears on the back, neck, inner thighs. The main reason is fleas and ticks, rich protein or dairy food.
3. Severe symptoms
In severe cases, swelling of the face, throat, nose appears. It is difficult for the cat to breathe, it suffocates, wheezes. Blood pressure is greatly reduced. If not quickly acted upon, she may fall into a coma and die.
Diagnostics in different conditions
If your cat develops symptoms of an allergic reaction, see your veterinarian. He will study the medical history, examine the cat. A blood test or scraping will help determine the pathology – the study of a skin sample.
Unfortunately, veterinary clinics often lack equipment that can accurately understand the cause of the pathology. If possible, contact a human laboratory. If not, you will have to determine the cause yourself:
- If your cat has watery eyes, chances are good that the food is to blame.
- When your pet itches, check for insects and remove the flea collar.
- If the cat lives or often sits in a damp basement, a reaction to mold is possible.
- If an allergy occurs at a certain time of the year, it is a reason to suspect a seasonal form.
Think about what the cat has been doing lately. Perhaps he recently came into contact with a chemical or you gave him medication that caused irritation.
If you have a pet cat that does not leave the apartment, the source of irritation is definitely nearby, you need to calculate it. Street animals are more difficult: it is difficult to track them.
Allergies in cats and cats: treatment
If allergy symptoms are found in cats, treatment is aimed at eliminating them. It is impossible to get rid of the allergic reaction itself. All you can do is relieve symptoms. It is also important to calculate the allergen, if possible, limit its contact with the pet. As soon as the irritant disappears from the cat’s life, the problem will go away.
If the cat is allergic, a doctor should prescribe medication for treatment. What can you give your cat for allergies:
- antihistamines (Gamavit, Ekzekan, Zodak for cats from allergies);
- cat allergy hormones (dexamethasone);
- lotions, ointments, sprays (Stop-Itching, Triosan);
- ear or eye drops that eliminate itching, tearing;
- pet shampoo designed to eliminate itching.
If a cat is allergic to food, it is necessary to treat it with a complete change of diet. Buy her industrial antiallergic food.
Prevention of allergies in cats
To prevent an allergic reaction in a cat, monitor its health, nutrition, cleanliness:
- Use the only veterinarian-approved products to control fleas and ticks.
- Give your cat worm medications regularly.
- Use dust-free kitty litter, preferably odorless.
- Clean the room regularly, wash the cat litter.
- Don’t smoke at home.
- Avoid harsh perfumes and deodorants.
- Treat diseases in time.
- Give preference to wet cleaning without household chemicals.
If your cat has a reaction to mold, do not let him walk in damp places. Do not forget that the fungus is dangerous for people, so if it hit the walls, you need to get rid of it and make repairs.
- What can a cat get from allergies, ask your doctor? Remember: self-medication often leads to complications.
- Buy medicines and pet food at zoo pharmacies and veterinary stores. Do not take them at the bazaars, where they can slip you a low-quality product, counterfeit, or a drug that has been stored improperly.
- Never bathe your cat with human shampoo. She can lick his remains from the wool and poison.
- Provide quality food for your cat. Never give moldy, old food.
- How to feed a cat with allergies? I need to buy a portion of special anti-allergic food.
- Buy bowls made of ceramic, metal, and high-quality plastic. Plastic containers made of toxic material can cause serious problems for your pet. This is especially true for water bowls.
- If your cat has a seasonal problem (for example, pollen), try not to let him out of the house at this time or keep him away from flowering grasses. If this is not possible, bathe him immediately after walking.