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cat allergies

Health & Wellness

Cat allergies: symptoms and treatments

Get them relief with our tips

Allergies can affect cats in multiple ways — reactions to foods, environmental circumstances and even flea saliva can make our cats feel uncomfortable. Veterinarian and pet health advocate Dr. Aliya McCullough has the scoop on cat allergies and how to get your pet some much-needed relief. 

How can you tell if a cat has allergies?

There are signs to watch out for if you think your cat is experiencing allergies. Some of the most common symptoms are: 

  • Itching
  • Scratches on their face and neck
  • Secondary skin infections
  • Hair loss caused by itching
  • Skin redness
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea

What causes allergies in cats? 

Cat allergies can be caused by food, environmental circumstances (like airborne allergens) and fleas. Allergy attacks can happen from one or more of these causes at the same time. All cats, regardless of breed or age, can experience allergic reactions. 

What is the most common type of allergies in cats?

The most common cat allergy is a flea allergy caused by a cat’s reaction to flea saliva. 

Cat allergy treatment

Always talk to your vet to determine the best solution to your cat’s allergies. Some commonly recommended treatments are: 

  • Steroid medications
  • Antibiotics and antifungal medications for secondary skin infections
  • Omega fatty acids
  • Antihistamines (when added in with other therapies)
  • Immunosuppressive medications 
  • Veterinary prescription diets
  • Flea preventatives
  • Allergy shots

Talk to your vet about natural anti-allergy treatments like a home-cooked diet for your cat (with your veterinary nutritionist’s guidance), fish oil or Chinese herbs. 

How to prevent cat allergies

While there is no foolproof way to prevent your cat from having allergies, there are some small steps you can take to help make your cat a little more comfortable: 

  • Dust your home
  • Use scent-free cat litter 
  • Avoid strong perfumes or scents
  • Talk to your veterinarian about preventative measures
  • Avoiding the source of the allergies (like fleas or types of food)

We hope your cat doesn’t experience allergies. But if they do, you’ll be prepared to act fast to make sure your cat is comfortable. 

The Dig, Fetch's expert-backed editorial, answers all of the questions you forget to ask your vet or are too embarrassed to ask at the dog park. We help make sure you and your best friend have more good days, but we’re there on bad days, too.

Photo by Ludemeula Fernandes on Unsplash

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