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Allergies and Your Cat

May is Asthma and Allergy Awareness month, and as the spring rolls in there’s a possibility that your cat could be responding to something in her environment. Learn more about allergies and cats below from a Carmel vet.

What Causes Allergies in Cats?

An allergy-prone cat’s immune system is hypersensitive to certain substances in her environment. The immune system identifies these substances as harmful and takes steps to eradicate them, which leads to the symptoms you see.

What Are Cats Allergic to?

Cats can be allergic to a variety of substances. Some of the most common are pollen, dust, mold, fleas, flea-control products, smoke, perfumes, certain medications, rubber, plastic, and even ingredients in food. Your veterinarian will be able to pinpoint the substance your cat’s immune system reacts to.

What are the Symptoms?

Generally, symptoms of an allergic reaction in a cat include sneezing, coughing, wheezing, and itching. More severe reactions may lead to vomiting, diarrhea, and chewing of the fur and paws. If you see any of these symptoms in your feline friend, set up an appointment with your veterinarian as soon as possible. The sooner you have your cat checked out, the sooner she’ll be able to get back to feeling normal!

How Are Allergies Treated in Cats?

Your vet will use skin or blood tests to diagnose your cat’s allergy. The treatment for allergies will depend on what’s causing the reaction. Some can be managed with medications like antihistamines, and many allergies can be prevented or managed with regular cleaning of your cat’s environment. Food allergies will require specific treatment, including potential diet changes or special foods. Flea allergies are best prevented with a flea-control medication.

Your Carmel veterinarian will be able to tell you more about your specific pet’s allergy and how it can be treated and managed. Call the clinic with any further questions you may have!

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