When it comes to cats and seasonal allergies, our furry feline friends are typically thought of as the culprit of seasonal allergies in humans rather than the victims of seasonal allergies themselves.
Like dogs, cats can also experience discomfort from skin allergies, food allergies, and environmental allergies, with signs ranging from mild irritation to discomfort.
Signs of Seasonal Allergies in Cats
Common signs of a cat with seasonal allergies include:
- Hair loss
- Skin redness or discoloration
- Scabs and sores
- Swelling of the face, throat, and/or nose
- Difficulty breathing, often indicated by wheezing
- Sneezing and/or coughing
- Runny eyes and/or nose
- Vomiting or stomach issues
- Chewing at the paws and/or tail
You know your cat best, so keep a close eye on any significant changes in behavior or appearance. If anything seems out of the ordinary, it never hurts to contact your vet.
Causes of Seasonal and Environmental Allergies in Cats
The most common feline allergy is flea bites. Both indoor and outdoor cats are susceptible to flea bites, so it’s important to stay up-to-date with your kitty’s flea treatments.
Food allergies are another common cat issue. Most cats with food allergies tend to be allergic to the food’s protein, such as chicken or fish, rather than the grain. However, every cat is different, so pay special attention to any ingredients that may be triggering your cat’s food allergies.
Other potential causes include environmental allergens such as pollen, medications, and cleaning products. Some cats may also be allergic to various surfaces and substances such as cigarette smoke, certain fabrics, and perfumes.
The environmental allergy signs may show up in the skin, but this doesn’t necessarily mean your kitty is dealing with an external skin allergy. In fact, many food and environmental allergies result in itchy skin along with digestive or breathing issues.
How To Help Your Cat With Seasonal & Environmental Allergies
With all of the potential sources of seasonal and environmental allergies, it may be difficult to determine the exact cause of your cat’s discomfort. If your kitty starts showing signs of allergies soon after you introduce a new food or substance into her environment, there’s a good chance you’ve found the culprit.
However, it’s not always that simple. When it comes to food allergies, you may need to implement an elimination diet—a diet consisting only of food which has been approved by the vet, and gradually re-introducing old food while monitoring any food allergy signs.
You can try something similar with exposure to certain fabrics, medications, or other potential allergens. Ultimately, it’s best to consult with your vet to ensure a correct diagnosis. Your vet may also be able to identify some allergens through blood and skin tests, and prescribe a treatment plan accordingly.
Help Reduce Seasonal and Environmental Allergies
Once you’ve identified the source of your cat’s seasonal allergies, the first step is to remove the allergen from your furry friend’s environment. If this isn’t possible, your vet may prescribe long-term medications or therapies to help the issues they are experiencing.
If your cat is experiencing discomfort, try Pet Honesty’s Allergy Itch Relief Shampoo. This gentle-yet-strong shampoo can help to soothe your cat’s skin issues while also helping to eliminate odors.
The best way to help, however, is prevention. Limit exposure to known allergens as much as possible. Keep your home clean and dust-free, and avoid smoking indoors or using strong perfumes or colognes. Opt for unscented litter in favor of the scented varieties; after all, a well-maintained litter box shouldn’t be too smelly in the first place.
Stay up-to-date with your cat’s flea treatments in order to prevent flea-related skin allergies. Additionally, feed your kitty a consistent, high-quality diet. Cats are creatures of routine, so she shouldn’t mind predictable food… especially if there are no food allergies to worry about.
While some issues are unavoidable, healthy cats with strong immune systems are less susceptible. Along with a balanced, nutrient-rich diet, you can boost your cat’s immune system with supplements including vitamins, fatty acids, probiotics, and more.
Promote healthy skin and fur with Pet Honesty’s Omega-3 Fish Oil, which is safe for both dogs and cats.