Cats can have allergies just like people. Today we find that our feline companions suffer from environmental allergies. A cat's immune system will responded and react to everyday allergens found in the environment. Felines can be allergic to pollen, grass, plants, ragweed, mold, and dust mites, house hold cleaners, carpet fibers, carpet deodorizers, insecticides, rubber, cigarette smoke, food, etc.
Your pet's immune system overreacts to these common non-harmful environmental substances. When the pet ingests, inhales or comes in direct contact with an allergen the immune system produces a protein, which binds to the skin causing the body defense system to release chemicals such as histamines. Felines can have food allergies, allergic asthma, allergic bronchitis and skin allergies.
Common symptoms include:
- Itching and scratching
- Red skin
Feline atopy is a skin allergy and occurs in about 10% of cat. Commonly seen in cat from the age range of one to eight year or older. This is a reaction to a substance in the environment that a cat may have inhaled or come in direct contact with. Symptoms include frequent and extreme itching, scratching, licking and sores, hair loss, inflammation and scaling.
Just like their pet parents cats can be allergic to wheat, beef, soya, chicken dairy, corn, gluten etc. The symptoms can be similar to skin allergies with the scratching and itching, however focused on the head and face. Signs of vomiting and diarrhea would also indicate an allergic reaction. Food allergies can show up in kittens as you as five months to older cats of age twelve. However the majority seems to be in the age range of two to six years. A food elimination diet is often used to determine the food culprit.
Never attempt to diagnose your pet on your own. Your vet will be able to perform the required tests and make the necessary suggestions. Ensure that your pet is not dealing with skin allergies due to food allergies. If you suspect this, try a different brand of food that is clean, holistic, and without preservatives. Bathing your pet is also an excellent way of helping your pet cope with environmental allergies. Bathing helps remove the allergens and also provides relief. Make sure you give your pet plenty of water, preferably filtered water.