Can Cats Get Seasonal Allergies?
Spring has sprung, and so begins the season of sneezing. Many people are affected each year when certain plants begin to bloom and release their pollen into the air. But people aren't the only mammals that can develop seasonal allergies. Some cats are affected too. Cats can be allergic to not just pollen. Grass and even dust can make your cat sneeze. Cats who frequently spend time outdoors are more susceptible to developing seasonal allergies than cats who remain indoors.
Below we will discuss what signs and symptoms you can look out for, how you can determine if your cat is affected by seasonal allergies, and we will get into the details of how you can help relieve your cat's allergy symptoms.
How to Determine if Your Cat is Suffering From Seasonal Allergies
Cats suffering from allergies, whether seasonal or not, tend to develop many similar symptoms as people. Symptoms such as sneezing, runny noses, coughing, and itchy, irritated eyes are common signs of an allergy. But there are a few things to look out for that you might not expect; these things may include:
Things You Can Do to Reduce Your Cats Reactions to Allergies
When you realize your cat is suffering from allergies to any degree, you want to do whatever you can to help alleviate the symptoms they have having. Some people won't hesitate to give them a new medication to help out. But I think it's important to take steps to reduce the amount of contact your cat has with whatever it may be allergic to before resorting to giving it a pill. Giving medication to many cats is a challenge, so here are some steps you can take to limit the exposure your cat has with its allergen.
1. Cut Back On Outside Time
It is wise to consider having your cat stay indoors, most especially when there is a high pollen count outside. There are many risks associated with allowing your cat to roam freely outside, but if you choose to allow your cat to spend more time outdoors, be sure to see below for helpful hints on how you can help keep your cat safe from what makes them sneeze.
2. Reduce Allergens Within Your Home
Keeping what aggravates your cat's allergies outside of your home can be accomplished
by creating new habits like:
3. Giving Your Cat A Bath
The idea of bathing your cat may seem foreign to some; after all, cats bathe themselves, right? Well, if your cat is allergic to things like pollen and spends time outdoors, it's imperative to keep its fur and skin clean. Regular grooming helps by removing any possible allergens.
If your cat tolerates it, you can give it a bath with a safe, kitty-approved shampoo. Or you can use a cat-friendly cleansing wipe to remove any possible allergy-inducing toxins that may have attached themselves to your cat's fur. One of the best things you can do for your outside cat is to wipe clean their feet daily as they reenter your home to help eliminate pollen, dust, and other environmental triggers from being tracked all throughout your home.
Read more about giving your cat a bath here: A Guide on How and When to Bathe Your Cat
4. Considering Other Potential Allergy Triggers
While dust and pollen and often the culprits to your cat's allergies, it's not always the answer to the problem. Sometimes the reason your cat is suffering has nothing to do with the more commonly thought of reasons. The possible irritants may include:
Food Allergies - It's not uncommon for cats to have food allergies. Foods typically associated with allergies in cats often include beef, chicken, fish, and dairy. Symptoms aren't just related to upset stomach but may also include skin irritation, hair loss, and even skin and ear infections. If you suspect your cat is allergic to a specific ingredient, consider an elimination diet and speak with your veterinarian.
Fleas - If your cat has an allergy towards fleas, they typically will experience intense itching and develop rashes each time they are bitten by a flea. So if you see your cat suffering from hair loss, rashes, skin infections, or if your cat is left constantly scratching, it, like many other cats, may suffer from a flea allergy.
Be sure to see your veterinarian if your cat is symptomatic, and use flea and tick preventatives regularly to avoid this problem.
Chemicals and Fragrances - Like people, some cats suffer allergies to certain scents found in fragrances and chemicals. One of the more common culprits may be surprising. Some cat litters contain things like dust, perfumes, chemicals, and even clay, which may cause problems for your cat.
Your cat has to use the litter box several times a day, and if there's something in the litter that irritates them, your cat may avoid using the litter box entirely and relieving themselves on your pile of laundry or the carpet in the kid's bedroom.
If you notice your cat is allergic to the cat litter being used, opt for a brand that is free of fragrances and minimalizes dust.
Knowing When to See Your Cat's Vet About Allergies
If you have tried everything to help your cat by reducing its exposure to allergies, but you're seeing that your cat is still suffering, it's time to call your vet and schedule an appointment so they can address the issue. They may run tests to determine the cause or help rule out other possible problems, such as infections or immune deficiencies. If necessary, your vet may prescribe a medication or prescription diet, depending on the diagnosis, to help your cat feel better.
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