A Common Health Problem in Cats is Allergy
Much like human beings a common health problem on pets are allergies in cats. It’s odd that we constantly fret about people being allergic to cats, but so rarely become aware that cats have allergies too! In this way, cats aren’t that much different from humans. Some foreign substance, typically referred to as an allergen or antigen, sets off a scenario where the feline’s body immune system goes into active drive and produces symptoms of an allergic condition.
When a feline is allergic to something, typical signs will be scratching, coughing and/or sneezing in the case of a breathing problem, or vomiting or diarrhea in the case of a digestion allergy.
Types of Allergies in Cats
Contact allergies normally lead to a fairly localized reaction on the skin. The kitty might scratch a lot and/or there might be an indicator of irritation at the location of contact. Most typical causes of contact allergies in cats would obviously be items with which they come in close contact such as flea collars, bed linen, toys, etc. The simplest treatment is to eliminate the contact. Take the collar off or alter the bed linen, for example. If the irritation persists, or if you still require effective flea control, consult with your veterinarian.
Some cats might likewise experience allergies to particular plastics and/or metals. If you suspect this in your cat, you may wish to change to a ceramic or glass feeding bowl. Another issue which might simulate a contact allergy can take place if you merely do not rinse your kitty carefully and completely after its bath. Residue from shampoo or soap on the skin can cause dermatitis which can be mistaken for an allergic reaction.
Contact allergies in cats are the least common type.
Flea allergies, on the other hand, are very common in cats. Any normal cat will commonly experience irritation from flea bites, however a cat with a genuine flea allergy will have a more extreme itching response to the flea’s saliva. A normal feline might just bite or scratch for a while and then go on to other things, however a cat with a flea allergy may scratch, chew, and fret at the spot until big amounts of fur are lost. This constant attempt to alleviate the infuriating itch or irritation might result in open sores which can include the threat of infection. In many cats, the most common area to be impacted is going to be on the back, just before the tail. The cat might also produce spots of sores or scabs on the neck and head.
Inhalant types of allergies (atopy) are even more common feline allergies than flea and contact allergies! In fact, this kind of allergy is probably the most common allergic issue in cats. It is possible that your cat might dislike the exact same allergens that you dislike! Tree pollens, grass pollens, and weed pollens together with the remainder of the products we people fear; mold, mildew, allergen, and dust itself can all activate allergic reactions in both cats and in people.
A huge distinction in between human beings and cats, nevertheless is that while human beings most commonly respond to inhaled irritants by sneezing or coughing, a cat will more commonly react by scratching an itch from those very same allergens. Unlike a contact allergy, the feline’s response to inhaled allergens will be a general itching of the skin as opposed to an extreme response at a particular spot. If your kitty seems to be scratching a lot and it doesn’t seem to be in one area, as in response to a flea collar for example, there is a good chance that she or he is experiencing a response to some breathed in substance.
As in people, true food allergies in cats can be very difficult to identify. One factor is that they frequently show many of the signs of distress seen in the other groups. Real food allergies in cats can trigger itching and/or breathing problems. In addition, real food allergies can cause digestion problems as can other health problems or poisonous substances. In cats, food allergies are generally not present from birth, but are developed after long direct exposure to foods that have actually been eaten for long periods. The majority of food allergies will focus around the kind of protein typical in the cat’s diet plan, such as beef, pork, poultry, or lamb. Simply removing that kind of protein by altering to another type of food will generally take care of the problem.
There are two main points for the cat owner when they begin to discover signs that lead them to believe that their kitty may have an allergy.
1. The cat might in fact be reacting to an irritant, rather than an allergen, and
2. The signs may be the result of some other condition, also potentially unsafe.
For instance, a flea infestation may trigger flea bites which might itch and the feline will scratch. This is normal. You would scratch too, and thoroughly, if fleas were chewing on you! However, if your cat is allergic to the flea’s saliva, they will in fact cause damage on themselves in an attempt to ease themselves of the magnified itch. Nevertheless, the itch could be, as explained, the result of a food allergy, a contact allergy, or some undiagnosed medical condition such as a fungal infection (possibly due to ringworm, for instance), mange, or some other type of skin infection which may have been caused by germs.
See Your Vet About Allergies in Cats
The vet will generally have the ability to decide for sure what the cause and effect might really be … and the best ways to best handle the scenario. Nevertheless, the vet does not live with your cat, so it is very important to keep in mind thoroughly what the signs are, when they started, how they have actually progressed, what steps you have currently taken, and what happened as a result of those steps. All these details might help your veterinarian in getting to the reality behind the obvious allergy in your cat. Your cat’s veterinarian will also have diagnostic devices at his or her disposal for getting at the cause of your pet’s obviously “allergic” reactions.