Seasonal allergies in cats
Seasonal allergies don't only affect humans, our feline friends can also suffer from them. They do, however, manifest differently in our cats. While we might have an embarrassingly runny nose, itchy eyes and endless sneezes you may spot signs of allergies on a cat’s skin or coat, instead.
So, if you've noticed your cat exhibiting different behaviour during certain times of the year, it's possible that they are experiencing an allergic reaction. Here's all you need to know about seasonal allergies from the experts at Joii Pet Care.
What are seasonal allergies?
Our immune systems are there to provide a defensive response to any foreign proteins, such as pollen, it finds in the body. The same can be said for our cats, with their immune systems overreacting and causing an allergic reaction to the non-harmful molecule it mistakes for a threat.
Causes of seasonal allergies in cats
The time of year has a big impact on which allergens are around your cat, but the main causes of irritation include:
Symptoms of a seasonal allergy in cats
The symptoms of seasonal allergies in cats can vary, but often include excessive scratching, sneezing, watery eyes, nasal congestion, and skin irritation. If you notice these signs in your cat during specific months of the year, it's likely that they’re suffering from a seasonal allergy.
Remember: Contact your vet as soon as you notice any signs of an allergy in your cat as it can be uncomfortable for them.
Which cats are at risk of seasonal allergies?
Cats of any age and breed can get irritated skin and suffer from seasonal allergies. Higher risk cats are those without protection against fleas and mites as they are likely to carry these parasites even if they stay indoors.
Diagnosing seasonal allergies in cats
If you think your cat is allergic to something, you will need to contact your vet so that the condition can be treated properly.
A veterinary examination can be done through a video call with a Joii vet to understand what could be causing your cat’s irritation. If possible, gather clear pictures and videos in advance to help the vet’s diagnosis.
Treating seasonal allergies in cats
When it comes to treating seasonal allergies in cats, it's important to consult with your vet for an accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment plan. Your cat might be prescribed antihistamines or steroids to alleviate the symptoms and provide relief. Or, in some cases, your vet may also suggest immunotherapy, a long-term treatment that aims to gradually expose your cat to small amounts of allergens to help desensitise their immune system.
How to prevent seasonal allergies
While complete prevention of seasonal allergies in cats may not be possible, there are things you can do to help minimise their exposure to certain allergens. These include:
- Keeping your cat indoors during peak allergy seasons (spring and summer)
- Regularly cleaning your home to reduce the presence of dust mites and mould
- Bathing your cat with a hypoallergenic shampoo to help remove pollen from their fur.
Seasonal allergies can be a source of discomfort for our cats but by recognising the signs, seeking veterinary care, and implementing the right preventive measures, we can provide our feline friends with a healthier and happier life.