ALLERGIES IN CATS By John Reynolds
INTRODUCTION Cats! Cats Everywhere! Some people prefer dogs over cats! But aren’t cats cute, too? After sharing my research on allergies that trouble dogs, I’ve been asked to explain some things about allergies that affect cats.
WHAT ARE CATS ALLERGIC TO? Cats can develop allergies from • Trees, grasses, weeds, mold, pollens, and dust • Fleas and flea-control products • Perfumes • Cleaning products • Cigarette smoke • Prescription drugs • Various rubber & plastic materials
SYMPTOMS OF ALLERGIES Itchy back or tail Ear Infections Sneezing & Coughing Snoring Diarrhea Itchy Skin Paw Chewing Vomiting
TYPES OF ALLERGIES Flea Allergies Food Allergies Contact Allergies Airborne Allergies
FLEA ALLERGY • A cat with a flea allergy will often bite, and may bite hard enough to break their own skin. • The cat may also remove large patches of their own hair. • Common areas affected by fleas are the rump (hindquarters), the head, and neck.
FOOD ALLERGY • A cat can develop allergies to beef, chicken, lamb, pork, seafood, corn, soy, dairy, and wheat gluten. • Food allergies can produce severe skin itchiness, gastrointestinal upset, or a respiratory allergy. • Dermatologic food reactions may occur as a result of one or more allergy caused by substances in food.
AIRBORNE ALLERGY • Allergies to particles your cat inhales is called Airborne Allergy (Atopy). • Airborne allergies are triggered by allergens like pollens, weeds, molds, and dust mites, and can cause the cat to feel itching on its entire body.
CONTACT ALLERGY • This is the least common type of allergy, and is typically caused by something your cat comes in contact with. • Your cat might suffer contact allergy itchiness when it comes in contact with wool or woolen carpets, certain carpet cleaning chemicals, or laundry detergent residue on its bedding.
SURVEY OF CAT ALLERGIES • Food Allergies are the most common allergies in cats. • In a recent US survey, the following foods cause the most allergies in cats:
DIAGNOSIS OF ALLERGIES • Flea allergy is diagnosed by seeing the characteristic lesions on the cat and ruling out other causes. • A biopsy of the affected area may be performed by a vet. • Skin scrapings and fungal cultures rule out other allergic causes. • Your vet may also perform an intra-dermal skin test. • He or she may also run blood tests to identify antibodies to specific antigens in the blood.
TREATMENT & PREVENTION • Give your cat a bath with a natural shampoo to help remove pollens and other allergens from the coat. • Some anti inflammatory medications may give immediate relief from skin irritation. Some treatments to give your cat relief during her most itchy times:
SOURCES • http://pets.webmd.com/cats/cat-allergy-symptoms-triggers • http://www.peteducation.com/article.cfm?c=1+2141&aid=142 • http://www.vet-organics.com/product/ecobalance-anti-allergy-liquid-concentrate-cats/ • http://www.halopets.com/pet-education/pet-articles/allergies-in-cats.html • http://www.animalbliss.com/seasonal-allergies-in-cats/ • http://www.pethealthnetwork.com/cat-health/cat-diseases-conditions-a-z/what-bothering-your-cat-it-could-be-feline-allergies • http://www.petmd.com/cat/conditions/skin/c_ct_food_reactions_dermatologic
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