Look For Other Allergens
Treehugger / Jordan Provost
Your cat could be allergic to other things besides pollen and flea saliva. Cats can have food allergies, and they can also be allergic to cigarette smoke and perfumes, as well as cleaning products, certain fabrics and scented litter. Talk to your vet. If she suspects a food allergy, you’ll likely be asked to feed a prescription or hydrolyzed protein diet. Switch to dust-free, unscented litter to see if that helps. Try unscented cleaning products and avoiding perfumes.
Bathe Your Cat Twice A Week
Try giving your cat a bath whenever there are signs of seasonal allergies.
Bathing your cat one or two times a week helps relieve itching and remove environmental allergens and pollens from the skin. Proper hygiene is also imperative to ensure your cats overall health and stave off additional diseases.
- If your cat spends time outside, it is highly recommended to rinse his or her feet daily.
- You can ask your veterinarian to recommend an appropriate hypoallergenic shampoo for your pet, as frequent bathing with a harsh cleanser can dry out your cats skin and lead to more irritation.
New Treatments For Cat Allergies In Humans
Cat allergies in humans are common, especially among people who have other allergies or asthma. According to the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America, as many as three in 10 Americans with allergies have allergic reactions to cats and dogs. Cat allergies are about twice as common as dog allergies, affecting about 10% of humans.
You might think a blog post on managing human allergies isbeyond the scope of a blog written by a veterinarian. However, in this blog post,Ill discuss two interventions under investigation that seek to decrease theallergy-causing allergen in cats, thereby providing relief to human allergysufferers.
Fel d 1 The Allergen
In 90% of humans with allergies to cats, Fel d 1 is the allergen responsible for the allergic reaction. Male cats produce more Fel d 1 than females, and neutering male cats decreases its production. Fel d 1 protein is produced in the salivary, skin, tear and perianal glands of cats. As cats groom, they distribute Fel d 1 on their skin and hair. When cats move around the home, they leave Fel d 1 wherever they shed or leave dander behind. An allergic reaction to Fel d 1 can range from mild, with runny eyes and nose, to a life-threatening asthma attack.
Proposed Treatment #1 A SpecialFeline Vaccine
Proposed Treatment #2 Special CatFood
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Recovery And Management For Allergies In Cats
With time, the commitment of loving pet parents, and a close relationship with a veterinarian, allergies can be managed, and your cat can enjoy a good quality of life. Allergies cannot typically be cured, but with monitoring and early intervention if flare-ups do occur, cats can quickly return to normal.
Risk factors, especially with cats with atopy, include environments with long allergy seasons and high pollen levels. Cats with multiple types of allergies are more difficult to diagnose, treat, and manage.
In addition, some allergies like flea allergies and contact dermatitis, become more severe and chronic as cats age. Work with your vet to determine the best treatments to manage your cats allergies, given the specific diagnosis and its personality.
Cat Flea Allergy Symptoms & Management
Fleas are annoying pests that bite our pets , feeding on blood. They carry diseases and the saliva in their bites often leads to a cat flea allergy symptoms developing. An allergy to flea bites causes Flea Allergy Dermatitis . This is a fancy term for the skin problems resulting from the allergic reaction to flea saliva.
Cats, dogs, and humans can all react, but the way it shows up on the skin looks different. The hallmark in all of them is that it creates a very itchy cat or dog. FAD is the most common skin disease in pets in the world.
Dont assume your cat cant have fleas because you live in a high-rise apartment and your kitty has never touched a paw on grass. Fleas have a way of hitchhiking on humans to reach your kitty inside. Anyone can have fleas in their home!
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How To Treat Your Cats Miliary Dermatitis
Miliary dermatitis can be distinguished from other skin conditions by a crusty rash that appears around the head, neck, and back. There are lesions in the plant that resemble millet seeds, which are what make it the name Mandiaria. The rash is frequently intense and itchy in the treatment of pruritis. To make the cat feel more at ease and reduce their constant itching, an anti-inflammatory drug treatment may be provided in a short period of time. Antihistamines, essential fatty acids, and cyclosporine can also be used as side effects. Fleas can cause flea-allergy dermatitis, so get rid of them and you should be fine. Infrequent flea infestations, particularly those caused by an itchy cat, should be addressed throughout the year.
Add Fish Oil To Your Cats Food
Fish oil can be added to your cats food, especially when suffering from allergy-related symptoms.
A 2018 study published in Environmental Health suggests that fish oil supplementation may protect against the proallergic sensitization effects of traffic-related air pollution exposure.
Fish oil is an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acid. Omega-3 helps bolster the skins defensive shield and staves off the risk of secondary infections. Omega-3 also works as an anti-inflammatory agent, which reduces itching and hot spots.
When it comes to supplements, it is recommended to consult a vet for the correct dosage.
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Pet Allergy: Are You Allergic To Dogs Cats Or Other Animals
About 7 out of 10 of households in the United States have a pet.1 But many people have animal allergies, especially people who have other allergies or asthma. Allergies to cats and dogs affect 10 to 20% of the worlds population.2
Allergies to pets with fur, such as cats and dogs, are common. Even rabbits, guinea pigs, hamsters, ferrets, and horses can cause allergy symptoms. People can also be allergic to animals with feathers .
When you have a pet allergy, you are not allergic to the pets hair, fur, or feathers. You are allergic to the protein that is found in the pets dander saliva, and urine. The hair, fur, or feathers collect the dander. It can also carry other allergens like dust mites, mold, and pollen. When those proteins get into your airways, eyes, nose, mouth, or on your skin, it triggers allergy symptoms.
What Does Miliary Dermatitis Look Like In Cats
Miliary dermatitis is a condition that causes the skin to become red and inflamed. The condition is often seen in cats who have a compromised immune system or are under stress. The most common symptom of miliary dermatitis is the presence of small, raised bumps on the skin that may be itchy or painful. The bumps are often seen on the back, belly, and legs. In severe cases, the bumps may become ulcerated and bleed. Treatment for miliary dermatitis typically involves the use of topical corticosteroids and antibiotics.
Some cats have a specific skin condition known as immunological dermatitis, which can be caused by a variety of factors. Despite the prevalence and treatment of this illness, there are many health problems that can cause it. Mast cell tumors are benign and do not require veterinary treatment, but they can be diagnosed and treated in animals. The underlying cause of this condition is treated in order to treat the symptoms of miliary dermatitis. If severe dermatitis is present and treatments are ineffective, a small piece of skin is removed. If your cat is allergic to something, you may want to perform an allergy test. Some treatments available include homeopathy, omega-3 fatty acids, and coconut oil.
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Dermatitis Caused By Disease
Apart from allergies, dermatitis in cats can be a symptom of underlying disease. Skin damage caused by sunburn is common in white cats. If you notice any crusty skin on your cats ears you need to get her seen by a vet. Skin cancer is frequently diagnosed in pure white or albino cats.
Arthritis is a common health problem in elderly cats just as it is with people. If your kitty is a senior, she may be finding it hard to groom herself. Poor mobility and painful joints can make it difficult for her to reach her back. Matted fur can cause skin irritation.
Clinical Findings Of Flea Allergy Dermatitis In Dogs And Cats
Clinical signs associated with FAD are variable and depend on frequency of flea exposure, duration of disease, presence of secondary or other concurrent skin disease, extent of hypersensitivity, and effects of previous or current treatment. Nonallergic animals may have few clinical signs other than occasional scratching due to annoyance caused by flea bites. Those patients that are allergic will typically have a dermatitis characterized by pruritus.
In dogs, the pruritus associated with FAD can be intense and may manifest over the entire body. Classic clinical signs are papulocrustous lesions distributed on the lower back, tailhead, and caudal and inner thighs. Dogs may be particularly sensitive in the flanks, caudal and medial thighs, ventral abdomen, lower back, neck, and ears. Affected dogs are likely to be restless and uncomfortable, spending much time scratching, licking, rubbing, chewing, and even nibbling at the skin. Hair may be stained brown from the licking and is often broken off. Common secondary lesions include areas of alopecia, erythema, hyperpigmented skin, scaling, papules, and broken papules covered with reddish brown crusts. The rump and tailhead areas are typically the first, most evident, areas affected. As FAD progresses and becomes chronic, the areas become alopecic, lichenified, and hyperpigmented, and secondary bacterial and yeast infections occur.
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Most Common Cat Allergens
Flea saliva is by far the most common cat allergen.
Cats can also have hypersensitivity reactions to mosquito and other insect bites, but this is less common than flea bite hypersensitivity.
The next most common allergy is environmental allergies.
In dogs, this is generally termed atopy or atopic dermatitis, but in cats its usually called non-food, non-flea hypersensitivity dermatitis.
This is an allergen to things in the environment- pollen, cleaning products, weeds, trees, dust mites, dander, and cigarette smoke are all possible allergens your cat might have a hypersensitivity reaction to.
Food allergies make up about 1-5% of skin disease cases in cats.
Food allergies are built up over time- a cat can have eaten chicken-based food his whole life and still develop an allergy to chicken!
The most common food allergies in cats are beef, chicken and fish- all of which are common in feline diets.
What Are Cats Allergic To
Not all felines with allergies have the same condition. Symptoms can range from mild to severe, and they may affect several different areas of the body.
There are many different types of allergens your pet can be sensitive to. Some cats may have just one type of allergy, while others may suffer from more than one.
Below are common types of cat allergies.
Maintain Monthly Flea And Tick Treatment
Treehugger / Jordan Provost
While pollen can be a pain, Carlson said that exposure to flea saliva is the primary cause for allergic reactions among cats. Consider spring and summer prime biting season for fleas, and take action.
Combing your cat frequently and treating your home for fleas on a regular basis will help, Carlson said. He also suggests applying topical flea treatments such as Advantage, which contain chemical pesticides that attack pesky parasites central nervous system.
Reports of adverse reactions from topical flea solutions have caused the Environmental Protection Agency to pursue more stringent testing and evaluation requirements as well as stronger warning labels. If you prefer a more natural option, Victoria Park of Park Pet Supply in Atlanta suggests Natural Chemistry’s DeFlea products. The line contains a surfactant that dissolves fleas waxy protective coating so they are more vulnerable to a lethal dose of diuretic .
For those who seek truly green remedies, Park recommends essential oils or diatomaceous earth a mineral-based pesticide that comes from fossilized water plants.
Symptoms Of Allergies In Cats
Allergic cats most often exhibit symptoms of skin irritation, showing scabbing, itchiness, and over-grooming.
Cats with allergies often have a skin reaction called miliary dermatitis. This causes hundreds of little rash-like, scabby lesions on your cats skin, especially along the back and neck.
They are also itchy- you may see them itching with their paws or grooming more often. Overgrooming their itchy skin can also lead to patches of hair loss. Some cats will be more prone to ear infections.
Cats that are allergic to airborne allergens such as pollen might also show allergy symptoms such as runny eyes, itchy eyes, sneezing, or even coughing and fast breathing.
Lastly, cats with allergies to their diet may have some gastrointestinal symptoms as well, such as loose stools, excessive gas, and occasional vomiting.
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Current Cat Allergy Treatments
If avoiding cats isnt possible, or you just really, really want a cat despite an allergy, Blaiss recommends at a minimum to never allow the cat inside your bedroom, where you spend about eight hours a day.
Products such as antihistamines, nasal steroids and asthma medications can provide some relief. But medications treat symptoms, not the cat allergy itself. To do that, you need immunotherapy, which is given as shots in an allergists office.
Immunotherapy retrains the immune system to tolerate more cat protein without reacting. Typically, patients go to an allergists office for weekly injections with small amounts of cat protein during a buildup phase that lasts for several months. Thats followed by monthly maintenance injections for three to five years.
Research shows that cat immunotherapy can reduce symptoms in many people, and that the results last. But some people react to the injections, while others quit because of the inconvenience of as many as 80 injections in all.
A lot of people quit before three years. There really is a need to get the duration of it down, says Dr. Harold Nelson, an allergist at National Jewish Health in Denver.
How Are Cat Allergies Treated
If you are trying to help your cat manage their allergies, the best thing you can do is to prevent them from entering your cat’s environment in the first place. For instance, you can:
- Use veterinarian approved flea and tick control
- Use dust-free cat litter
- Bathe your cat to relieve itching
- Keep your home clean of dirt and dust
- Wash your cat’s bedding regularly
- Provide your cat with a healthy diet
- Avoid smoking around your pets
In some cases, your vet may provide your cat with a daily prescription or dietary supplements.
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Environmental Allergies In Cats
Allergies due to flea bites are the most common cause of allergies in cats. Cats can also be allergic to food and to things in the environment. The techincal term for environmental allergies is atopy.
However, many people are referring to this when they talk about pet allergies. To make it easy, whenever the term allergy is used in this article it refers to atopy and not to flea allergy or food allergies in cats.
This used to be called inhalant allergy. We thought cats were breathing in the things causing allergies. Now its known that cats are absorbing allergens through their skin.
Humans with allergies tend to sneeze, have itchy eyes, and a runny nose. Cats scratch, but there are things besides allergies that cause itchiness. Your cat can also have more than one thing going on at the same time.
Pet allergies are a chronic and progressive disease. You cant cure it. Most of the time it can be managed well enough with cat allergy medicine to keep your cat reasonably comfortable.
Completely eliminating the itch may not be a reasonable goal, but improvement is.
Does Bathing A Cat Help With Allergies
Bathing a cat suffering from allergy-related skin irritations can help control the symptoms of the allergy, but its important to note that baths alone will not cure the allergy. Baths can help remove some of the allergens from your cats skin and help reduce its itching, as well as decrease smells if they are present.
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What foods reduce cat dander?
#1 Give your cat high-quality food Cats with poor diets shed dander more often. To improve your cats coat, make sure their diet is rich with omega-3 fatty acids. If your cats food doesnt already have this, you can also give them cat fish oil supplements.
How long do cat allergies Last? Most cats that have an inhalant allergy are allergic to several allergens. If the number of allergens is small and they are seasonal, itching may last for just a few weeks at a time during one or two periods of the year. If the number of allergens is large or they are present year-round, the cat may itch constantly.
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What Are Allergies In Cats
Food allergies are built up over time- a cat can have eaten chicken-based food his whole life and still develop an allergy to chicken!
Allergies are an abnormal immune response to a harmless stimulus. When your cats body contacts an allergen through their skin or after breathing it in, a chain reaction starts thats out of proportion to the danger your cat is ina hypersensitivity reaction.
Immune system sentinel cells release cell signals that cause itching, swelling, and redness.
Cats are not usually born with allergies- they develop as your cat ages. Cats are usually diagnosed between six months and three years, but as diagnosis is often difficult, cats have been diagnosed as old as 14 years!