Diagnosing and Treating Cat Allergies
We often hear about people being allergic to cats, but what many pet owners never realized is that cats, themselves, can experience allergies. If you suspect your cat may be suffering from allergies, you likely turned to the internet for answers. We’re glad you found us! Here at GeniusVets, we firmly believe that petcare information should come directly from veterinarians, who are far too often sidelined in online conversations these days. That’s why we decided to send some of the most FAQs about cat allergies to veterinarians and compiled their responses to provide you with helpful information you can trust.
Though we sourced the cat allergies information below from leading veterinarians, we encourage you to speak with your veterinarian. If you don’t currently have a veterinarian, use the GeniusVets Directory to find a trusted vet near you.
What are some common cat allergies?
The most common cat allergy is a flea allergy. Even though your cat may be indoor-only, they can still have contact with fleas on clothes that you’ve worn outside, especially if you have a dog that goes outside. There are also food allergies, and then there are environmental allergies from exposure to dust mites, pollens, and other things like that.
How do allergies impact the health and wellbeing of my cat?
Allergies play a large part in the overall well-being of your cat. Your cat may have asthma, so they may not even be able to breathe well if they come into contact with these allergies. They can have some skin issues, so they'll be uncomfortable. They'll be scratching and irritated, which affects their quality of life. They may even have some GI issues, including diarrhea or vomiting. Allergies play a significant role in the problems we see in our cats.
What are some signs and symptoms that my cat may have allergies?
Cat allergy symptoms can vary from pet to pet, but there are some general signs that your cat may be suffering.
Some symptoms of cat allergies are:
- Hair loss
- Ear infections
Why is it important to avoid self-diagnosing allergies in my cat?
It's imperative not to self-diagnose allergies in your cat because many other issues can mimic the signs of allergies. So your cat could even have an underlying endocrine disorder or even something else. We want to make sure it is, indeed, allergies first before treating and going that route.
How will a veterinarian diagnose my cat's allergies?
We'll do some skin tests, possibly a skin cytology, and we may get a skin scraping to get an idea of what's going on with your cat’s skin. We may also take a look in the cat’s ears to figure out what allergies your cat is experiencing.
What types of treatments can be used to relieve the symptoms of a cat that is suffering from allergies?
There are many different treatments, including injectable antibiotics, steroids, and oral medications. It all depends on what type of allergies your veterinarian identifies as to what the treatment will be. That’s why it's important to avoid self-diagnosing and bring your cat in so we can figure exactly which treatment route we should take.
How effective are treatments for cats suffering from allergies?
Cat allergy treatments are thankfully very effective. Once we identify the allergy, the treatment path that we choose will be effective towards that allergy. It’s essential to bring your cat to the vet to figure out which type of allergy it is and do that treatment according to whatever it is.
The Pet Health Network also offers a comprehensive guide on the symptoms of and treatments for cat allergies. If you have further questions about cat allergies or would like to set an appointment to ease your faithful feline’s suffering, please reach out to your vet. If you don’t already have one, we can help you find a trusted local veterinarian.