An outdoor cat scratching his face.

Allergies are unquestionably irritating to pets and people alike. They have the potential to completely ruin a day, but if left alone, allergies can create long-term health complications. While they can be uncovered early on in life, cats can develop allergic reactions at any time and for many possible reasons. We’ll go into the most likely causes and the three best ways to treat your cat’s allergies.

Something’s In the Air

Spring is prime time for common allergens. Pollen from trees, grass, weeds, and various plants makes its way into your cat’s respiratory system. In contrast to human allergies, cat symptoms tend to focus on the skin. Itching, scratching, biting, and licking will take over their otherwise tranquil existence. You may see hair loss, slow-healing patches, and bumpy skin. Open wounds caused by excessive scratching can quickly get infected.

Something’s In the Food

Cat allergies can suddenly occur for no apparent reason at all. However, a quick look at your cat’s food may reveal a single ingredient (or combination of more than one) known to trigger an allergic response. Soy, wheat, certain meats or by-products, and dairy all have the potential to cause food allergies in cats. Symptoms of food allergies can be confused with those caused by airborne allergens, including skin reactions. You could also see vomiting, itchy ear infections, runny eyes, and sneezing.

An elimination diet could help you pinpoint the trigger, but can take some time to figure out. We’re happy to help you and your cat learn more about food allergies.

Flea Allergy Dermatitis

Flea bites are bad enough, but an allergy to flea saliva is the absolute worst. Flea allergy dermatitis is characterized by a severe allergic response to the saliva deposited into the bite. Non-stop skin irritation is followed up by obsessive licking and scratching until your cat is given some relief by way of medication, baths, and topical applications. 

Treat Your Cat’s Allergies

In order to forge a path toward healing problems associated with cat allergies, you must figure out what’s triggering an allergic reaction. Once we diagnose your cat’s allergies, we can work towards an effective treatment that may involve one or more of these strategies:

  1. Invest in a high-quality HEPA air filter for your cat’s space, and vacuum upholstery and carpeting as often as possible. This will reduce what your cat is exposed to, and can minimize their immune system’s response.
  2. Try a new diet that doesn’t contain the ingredient that you know or suspect is the culprit behind your cat’s allergies. We may recommend giving your cat Omega-3 fatty acids to soothe skin irritation and help your cat digest their food. 
  3. Keep your cat’s parasite prevention medication up to date. Even strictly indoor cats benefit from year-round protection from vector-borne illness. This proactive approach stops fleas in their tracks, impacting flea bites and flea allergies.

We’re Here to Help

It’s not always a straight shot to treat your cat’s allergies, but with patience, support, and time, you can help your cat feel better. If nothing else works, prescription medication, including corticosteroids, may be warranted. 

If we can assist you with questions about your cat’s health and well-being, please call us at (210) 681-1391. Our staff is always here for you at Leon Valley Veterinary Hospital