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5 Common Allergies in Cats

Posted on: Nov 18 2022

Just like humans, cats can be prone to allergies. In fact, some breeds are more likely to be burdened with an allergy than others.

allergies in cats

Here is a list of symptoms that may indicate that your cat has an allergy.

  • Excessive licking
  • Hair loss
  • Excessive scratching
  • Chewing at paws or body
  • Recurring ear infections
  • Dry or flaky skin
  • Itchy, watery eyes or running nose
  • Vomiting or diarrhea
  • Snoring due to inflammation in the throat
  • Swollen, sensitive paws
  • Itchy or red skin, especially on the head, face, ears, neck, paws and belly
  • Hives, bumps, scabs, rashes or swellings of the skin
  • Skin wounds or infections
  • Coughing or wheezing
  • Lip or mouth ulcers
  • Anaphylactic reaction

There are many allergies that affect cats, yet there are 5 that are commonly seen in cats.

Environmental Allergies in Cats

It is hard to protect your cat against environmental allergies such as grass, fungi, mould, mildew, dust mites and dust.

That’s why a cat with an environmental allergy usually is treated with seasonal or long-term medication. Why? This is to prevent flare ups and to reduce ongoing symptoms that can affect your cat’s wellbeing.

Depending on how bad your cats’ symptoms are, you may consider injections to slowly build up tolerance. This is not a guaranteed solution and can take months to formulate.

Flea Allergies

A cat with a flea allergy can have a severe reaction from just one bite. The reaction is in response to proteins present in the flea’s saliva when it bites. These bites can create open sores or scabs when scratched, licked or bitten and can result in a skin infection.

To help avoid reactions to flea allergies, ask your veterinarian for flea prevention recommendations for use all year round.

Food Allergies

Cats can be allergic to a variety of different foods much like humans. The most common food allergies in cats are from artificial colouring, corn products, dairy products, meat by-products, preservatives and seafood.

Food allergies can be hard to diagnose yet cats with food allergies typically have itchy skin and may also develop recurrent skin or ear infections. This can sometimes be accompanied with vomiting, diarrhea or increased gassiness. Speak to your vet about testing for food allergies.

Contact Allergies in Cats

A contact allergy is the reaction on the skin from contact with an allergic substance. These may include reactions to shampoos, collars or bedding. If your cat has a contact allergic there will likely be skin irritation and itching at the points of contact.

Removal of the contact irritant usually solves the problem. However, identifying the allergen is useful but can be challenging.

alleries in cats

Inhaled Substances

Inhaled substances include perfume, scented cat litter, cleaning products, air sprays, carpet powders or smoke. If you find that your cat is sneezing, their mouth and lips become swollen or their skin is itchy after contact with these types of products, it may be an allergic reaction.

Try switching to unscented products or removing these products from the household and see if your cat’s symptoms disappear.

Karingal Vet Hospital

If you suspect your cat is suffering from allergies, it is important to have them assessed by a professional. Feel free to contact Karingal Vet Hospital to book an appointment today.

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328 Cranbourne Road, Frankston, VIC, 3199

P: (03) 9789 3444

The Karingal Veterinary Hospital is open 6 days a week.

Our hours are

- 8am-6pm Monday-Friday,
- 9am-5pm Saturday,
- Closed on Sundays,

* We are closed on public holidays.