Cats can have allergies, just like people. They might be allergic to a variety of things in their environment, such as their food, your laundry soap, or other pets in the home. Recognizing the signs of allergies in cats can help to ensure that you get them the care that they need to feel better as soon as possible. Cats can be a little secretive about how they are feeling. This means that cat owners need to be sure that they are always paying attention to subtle changes in their cat’s overall demeanor.
Cats who have allergies can show a wide array of symptoms which can make it hard to tell if your cat is struggling with allergies or another kind of health issue. Never feel bad about taking your cat to see the vet if you feel that you need some support to figure out why your cat is experiencing symptoms of allergies. In some cases, allergies are not the reason for your cat’s symptoms, which is why it can be a big help to have your veterinarian involved in the diagnostic process.
1. Itchy Skin
Cats that have allergies can groom excessively or might have dry or itchy skin that they are always scratching at. This can be the first sign that something is wrong for many cats with allergies. When food is the culprit for your pet’s allergic reaction, they might only seem itchy in the first few hours after they have eaten a meal. However, not every cat shows this clear causal link between food and their symptoms.
When your cat has seasonal allergies, they might only be itchy during the season when the plants they are allergic to are in bloom. Itchy skin can also be episodic, which can make it hard to figure out the reason for this problem that is impacting your cat’s health.
2. Sneezing and Coughing
Cats can sometimes cough and sneeze when they have allergies. Cats who cough and sneeze due to allergies might also have a snotty nose or weeping eyes. These kinds of symptoms can be mild or quite severe, depending on the cat. Make sure that you take your cat to the vet if you notice this set of symptoms, as your cat might also have a cold or an infection related to these symptoms.
Your vet will also be able to check on the condition of your cat’s lungs as well by listening to them with a stethoscope. Ruling out lung infections and things like pneumonia is also critical to your cat’s overall well-being.
3. Digestive Upset
When cats have severe allergies, or they are allergic to something that they are eating on a regular basis, they might show signs of digestive upset. Your cat might have diarrhea, or they might be vomiting, and they do not have to show these symptoms right after eating for them to be linked to an allergic reaction. Some cats with severe allergies might have blood in their vomit or their diarrhea as well.
Digestive upset can be really hard on cats as it can impact the health of their kidneys and the other organs of the body. Cats who become dehydrated or who are vomiting on a regular basis can suffer many secondary health issues that you will want your pet to avoid. Your cat might not be coughing, sneezing, or showing other signs of being allergic, but that does not mean that vomiting and diarrhea are not linked to an allergic process.
4. Losing Hair
When cats have been struggling with allergies for an extended period of time, they might start to show symptoms like baldness or losing large clumps of hair. This might be because of excessive grooming due to itchy skin, or it might be caused by the skin becoming so inflamed that the haircoat is negatively impacted.
Loss of hair can also be related to flea and tick allergies since these pests can cause a lot of skin irritation and excessive grooming. Your vet can take skin scrapings and do some other laboratory tests to help verify the reason for your pet’s hair loss. If allergies are the cause, they will be able to give your pet some medication that will help with skin inflammation and hopefully slow down your cat’s hair loss.
5. Anxiety and Grumpiness
Some cats with allergies can become very anxious or grouchy. This might be due to general poor health related to allergies, or it might be because your cat’s skin is so sensitive that they are unhappy with being touched or cared for. In some cats, anxiety and grumpiness or a change in personality are the only symptoms of an allergic reaction that pet owners notice.
Being sensitive to any changes in your cat’s overall demeanor can be helpful when it comes to getting them a diagnosis. While it might not be the most common set of symptoms associated with allergies, changes in temperament can be the only sign that your cat is allergic to something in their environment.
Cat Allergies Require Treatment and Attention to Detail
Cats that have allergies will almost always need to see the vet to make sure that you have access to all of the various medications that you need to help your cat feel better. Once you have the right medications on hand, you and your vet can work on figuring out the allergen that is causing your cat to feel sick. It can take time to figure out what is causing your cat’s allergies, but it is worth it to take the time to identify the cause. Your cat’s long-term health will be much better if you can identify what is causing their allergies.
Your vet can be a big help in getting allergies under control, and they can also provide you with some guidance to correctly identify the allergen causing your pet’s poor health. Often allergies are very easy to treat in cats once you know what is causing your cat to feel sick.
Welcome to Kryder & Harr Veterinary Clinic! Our animal hospital has been a fixture in the Granger community since 1981, practicing full-service veterinary medicine for all our pet parents and their furry family members. At KHVC, we pride ourselves on our history, of providing excellent customer service for our clients, along with dedicated, compassionate, and exceptional medical care for all of our patients.