Can My Cat Have Seasonal Allergies
Hay fever isnt just for humansas you may know if your cat gets wheezy in the spring.Cat allergiescan strike at any time, but they might worsen during the blooming season, when all those lovely trees, grasses and plants release their pollens.
If you notice that your cat comes inside after an outdoor frolic with seasonal allergy symptomsfor instance, a runny nose, wheezing breath, a persistent sneeze, swollen paws or increased instances of scratchingit might be time to look for acat allergy medicine. Consult a veterinarian and check out Petcos selection ofcat allergy relief medicineto find something that will help relieve your cats discomfort.
Reducing Your Exposure To Cat Allergens With Purina Pro Plan Liveclear
Did you know that you can reduce the amount of allergens released into your home with a specific cat food? PURINA® Pro Plan LiveClear is a new cat food designed to neutralise the Fel d 1 allergen in your cats saliva, reducing the amount of active allergen that they release into the environment.
The cat food has been proven to reduce the allergen on cat hair and dander by an average of 47%, from the third week of daily feeding*.
*A 10-week controlled study of 105 cats showed an average reduction of 47% starting from the third week of daily feeding
The food also offers delicious nutrition for your cat the key egg product ingredient, designed to neutralise the allergen once eaten, is digested like any other protein. Alongside other allergen reduction measures, using PURINA® Pro Plan LiveClear could help to keep a cat in their loving home.
What Are The Symptoms Of Allergies In Cats
An allergic reaction occurs when the cats immune system feels threatened by a particular substance . The cats immune system produces antibodies to fight off the threat, and its this overreaction that causes these symptoms:
- Itchiness and scratching
- Lethargy and loss of appetite
- Bloating, gas, vomiting, and diarrhea
You can predict what type of allergy your cat has by scrutinizing its symptoms. Itching, sneezing, and wheezing tend to occur in response to household/environmental allergies. However, bloating and diarrhea often indicate a food allergy. However, there can be some crossover between the two, and some cats may have multiple allergies.
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Home Remedies For Cat Allergies In Humans
- Nasal irrigation. You can fill a neti pot or specially designed squeeze bottle with saline solution, and use this to flush mucus and irritants from your sinuses6.
- Clean your cat. If you are a cat owner, try bathing your cat yourself. If a friend or relative has a cat and you are regularly spending time around their home, politely suggest this as well. This may reduce their need to self-groom, and cut down the amount of saliva and Fel d 1 you are exposed to6.
Common Allergic Reactions In Cats
We know that humans can be allergic to cats, but we often forget that cats have allergies, too. If your cat is wheezing, sneezing, or scratching incessantly, this could be due to an allergic reaction.
Allergens fall into 3 categories: food, household, and environmental. Food allergies cause bloating, vomiting, and diarrhea. Household and environmental allergies cause itchiness, wheezing, and lethargy. The most common allergens are beef, fragrances, and flea bites.
Allergies cannot be treated in the traditional sense, but they can be managed and controlled. One of the main challenges is figuring out what your cat is allergic to. Well identify the most common allergens in cats and show you how to keep them under control.
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How Are Cat Allergies Diagnosed
Treatment for cat allergies depends on your cats unique situation. The vet will review your cats medical history and complete a physical exam.
Cat allergy testing is done with either a blood test or skin test. For a blood test, the vet will take a sample of the cats blood and send it to a lab for evaluation. For a skin test, small injections are given to the cat just under the skin. If your cat is allergic to a particular substance, a hive will often appear on their body.
Neither test is necessarily better than the other. At times veterinarians will complete both tests to gain a better understanding of your cat’s allergies. After the vet determines whats causing the allergic reaction, they can then prescribe the right solution.
Natural Remedies For Allergic Reactions
Many traditional medicine systems use herbal supplements and extracts to both treat and prevent allergic reactions, especially seasonal allergies.
Though there is little scientific evidence to support the use of most alternative or natural remedies, some people may find that some can provide relief from their symptoms.
The American Association of Naturopathic Physicians recommend the following natural treatments for allergies:
- Dietary changes. A low-fat diet high in complex carbohydrates, such as beans, whole grains, and vegetables may reduce allergy reactions.
- Bioflavonoids. These plant-based chemicals found in citrus fruits and blackcurrants may act as natural antihistamines. These can also be taken as supplements.
- Supplements. Flaxseed oil, zinc, and vitamins A, C, and E are suggested to improve allergy symptoms.
- Acupuncture. Acupuncture treatments may help some people to find relief from their symptoms.
A very severe allergic reaction can lead to a condition called anaphylaxis, or anaphylactic shock.
Anaphylaxis occurs when the bodys immune response to an allergen is so severe and sudden that the body goes into a state of shock.
Anaphylaxis can impact multiple organs and if left untreated lead to coma, organ failure, and death.
The early symptoms of anaphylaxis can be fairly mild and similar to those of minor to moderate allergic reactions, but they often rapidly worsen.
Symptoms unique to anaphylaxis include:
First aid for anaphylaxis includes:
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What Are The Symptoms
If you’re allergic to a pet, your symptoms are similar to most allergies:
- Coughing and wheezing
- Skin reactions
Skin or blood tests called RAST may help narrow down the cause of your allergies. Itâs good to get tested, because you may be allergic to pollen or mold on the animal and not your furry friend. But the test may not be conclusive.
Are Any Cats Hypoallergenic
Despite popular belief, hypoallergenic cats dont exist. All cats produce allergens, no matter their breed, age or sex. Even hairless cats produce Fel d 1, the major cat allergen. The allergen that is produced in the cats saliva is spread onto skin and hair during grooming, and even hairless cats will shed dander with allergen on it.
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Treating Allergies On The Skin
For allergic reactions that cause skin symptoms, including those associated with allergens found in animal saliva, poisonous plants, drugs, chemicals and metals, additional treatment options include:
- Topical corticosteroid creams or tablets. Corticosteroids contain steroids that reduce inflammation and itching. Mild forms of these creams can be found online, and a doctor can prescribe stronger versions.
- Moisturizing creams. Emollient creams with soothing ingredients, such as calamine can treat skin reactions.
- Bite or sting medication. Medication targeted to reduce allergic reactions to insect bites or stings have a similar effect to other allergy medications.
- Ice pack. Applying an ice pack wrapped in cloth to the area for 10- to 15-minute intervals can reduce inflammation.
What Is Allergic Asthma
If you have allergic asthma, your airways are extra sensitive to certain allergens. Once they get into your body, your immune system overreacts. The muscles around your airways tighten. The airways become inflamed and over time are flooded with thick mucus.
Whether you have allergic asthma or non-allergic asthma, the symptoms are generally the same. Youâre likely to:
- Strong chemical odors or fumes
- Perfumes, air fresheners, or other scented products
- Dusty rooms
Your doctor can test you to see what causes your allergic asthma. The two most common methods are:
- Pricking your skin with a tiny amount of the allergen and measuring the size of the red bumps 20 minutes later
- A blood test known as a specific IgE or sIgE test
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Why Another Pet Can Be An Alternative
Other animal species, such as budgies or canaries, produce fewer allergens. According to Noemi Beuret, these also have allergenic potential, but can be an alternative if kept in the right conditions. Also ideal are animals that have no fur, such as fish or turtles. Certain breeds of horses are also often better tolerated. On the subject of dogs, long-haired breeds produce fewer allergens than short-haired ones.
What Causes Cat Allergy
Children with allergies have overly sensitive immune systems that mistake the protein from cat dander for something that will cause harm to their bodies. Your childs body attacks those proteins just as it would a bacteria or virus. In response, the body reacts with a wide variety of symptoms, including:
- Allergic shiners
- Itchy throat or roof of mouth
- Itchy, watery or red eyes
- Itchy rash if the cat scratched or licked the area
- Runny, stuffy or itchy nose
- Waking up in the night with nasal stuffiness, sneezing or coughing
These symptoms are usually noticeable immediately. If your childs allergy symptoms are present for more than two weeks and are not going away like a common cold or your child is having trouble breathing, then contact their doctor.
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Giving Injections To Cats
Certain medical conditions can be controlled by the use of drugs that are only available in an injectable format. In many cases, cat owners are willing and able to administer these medications at home. Most cats do not seem to mind routine injections which are given in the subcutaneous tissue. This handout provides step by step instructions. Dispose of the used needles and syringes properly.
Skin Dander Can Set You Off
It’s a common allergen that gets attached to your petâs hair. Then the hair falls out and lands on you, your clothes, or your furniture. Long-haired pooches are no more likely to trigger an allergy than their buddies with short ‘dos. Some breeds, like the Portuguese water dog, shed less. That may mean fewer sneezes and sniffles.
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What Is Flea Allergy And How Is It Treated
Flea allergy is the most common allergy in cats.
In spite of common belief, a normal cat experiences only minor skin irritation in response to fleabites. On the other hand, a cat with flea allergies has a severe reaction to even a single fleabite. This reaction is an allergic response to proteins or antigens present in the flea’s saliva. When a flea bites a cat to consume a blood meal, some of its saliva is injected into the skin. Just one fleabite may cause such intense itching that the cat may severely scratch or chew itself, leading to the removal of large amounts of hair. There will often be open sores or scabs on the skin, resulting in a secondary bacterial skin infection . The area most commonly involved is over the rump or base of the tail. In addition, the cat may have numerous small scabs around the head and neck. These scabs are often referred to as miliary dermatitis, a term that was coined because the scabs look like millet seeds .
“This reaction is an allergic response to proteins or antigens present in the flea’s saliva.”
Allerpet Removes Allergens & Reduces Dander
Recommended by Doctors for over 25 years
Since 1988, the Allerpet Company has been helping people with allergies live more comfortable, enjoyable and symptom-free lives. Allerpet was the first product of its kind to help pet-allergic individuals live comfortably with their pets rather than give them up for adoption due to allergic reactions.
Allerpet cleanses the hair of dander & other allergens – just moisten a cloth with Allerpet and rub back and forth gently on the fur. It is non-toxic and completely safe to use on animals over 10 weeks old. This is not a shampoo, so no rinsing is necessary – just wipe on and towel dry.
Allerpet has been recommended by allergists and veterinarians for years, and it’s efficacy is backed by a European university study sponsored by Bayer, A.G. Allerpet is made in the U.S.A.
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Cat Owners May Be Allergic To Their Feline Friends
To realize a cat allergy after living with a cat for a long period of time is not uncommon, according to Ronald Ferdman, MD, physician in the Division of Clinical Immunology and Allergy at Childrens Hospital Los Angeles. This is something we see very commonly. Certain people with allergic tendencies can get desensitized to their own pets. As soon as they stop contact for a prolonged time the desensitization wears off and they get significant allergy symptoms upon re-contact with the animal, Ferdman explains.
The allergic reaction is caused by the proteins in cat dander , saliva and urine. Allergies to cats are the most commonmore so than dogs and other small animals. Both long- and short-haired cats can cause allergies. If you are curious of hypoallergenic cats, unfortunately those do not exist. Children may react to some cats and not others, to the fallout from other peoples family pets, or even when pets aren’t around, as the allergen sticks to clothes.
What Is Cat Dander
Dander is invisible skin cells that cats naturally shed as a part of the normal growth cycle. Its different from cat dandruff, which is when shed skin cells build up, clump together, and become visible as they fall off.
Unlike hair, you cant see cat danderbut it can accumulate almost everywhere in your home. It can be on your walls, furniture, bedding, and even in the air.
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Is My Cat Allergic To Fleas
Youll never meet a cat who enjoys hosting a flea infestation, but fleas are even worse for felines with flea allergies. For these cats, flea bites are particularly unpleasant, as theyre dealing with the regular itch from the bites as well as their allergic reaction to the fleas saliva. If you think your cat might have a flea allergy, look at the fleabites. They may be especially inflamed, red or oozing. Pay attention to whether your cat is scratching more heavily around their tail and hind legs and whether theyre losing fur in these areas.
The best flea treatment for cats is preventive care. Its important toconsult your veterinarian andget yourcaton a good year-round flea medicine to help stop infestations before they start. And if you suspect your cat is allergic to fleas, its even more crucial to prevent irritation.
What Can You Do To Reduce Allergens
Reducing the allergens in the home starts with a few simple changes. Davis recommends investing in a quality HEPA air purifier, which will reduce the allergens floating around in the air. You may also want to regularly vacuum the furniture and the carpets. Vacuums like the Bissell Cleanview Swivel Pet Vacuum Cleaner are powerful enough to get up even the longest, thickest pet hair. Pet hair accumulation contributes to the allergens, so removing it helps to reduce allergens.
The other option is to remove carpet entirely. “Hardwood floors would be a better choice of flooring than carpet,” says Davis. Carpet fibers hold onto dirt, dust, dander, and hair. Regular vacuuming and seasonal shampooing are the only ways to deeply clean the carpet and remove allergens. But hardwood floors just need swept and mopped. And fur remains loose over the floor so that it is easy and quick to remove when cleaning.
And finally, regular grooming or baths for your cat will also help reduce allergens. Find a good brush and make it as fun and enjoyable as possible for your kitty during grooming time. Cats can groom themselves fairly well, but long-haired kitties need extra help to keep their fur smooth and mat-free. An occasional bath will also remove any dust or other grime found on their skin, but make sure to use safe and veterinarian-approved shampoo for your cat and don’t get any soap in their eyes or ears. Then,, wrap the cat in a towel to help them to dry off.
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Testing For Pet Allergies
If you ever experience severe allergic reactions to pets, including difficulty breathing, sleeping, or wheezing, it may be time to visit your doctor.
At an appointment, your doctor may examine your nose to see if there is any swelling or discoloration. If your doctor does suspect a pet allergy, they may refer you to an allergy specialist to determine exactly what type of animal you are allergic to. This could be done using a skin test where a small amount of purified allergen extract is applied to your skin to see if there is a reaction. Or, in some cases, your doctor may perform a blood test to see if there are any specific allergy-causing antibodies present.
Management And Treatment Options
If youâre allergic to cats, there are a number of options you can try to help manage your allergy. Steering clear of cats is the most effective approach, but thatâs not always possible orâletâs be honestâdesirable. If you do come into contact with a cat, be sure to wash your hands as soon as possible, and try not to touch your eyes or nose. You can also invest in a high-efficiency particulate air cleaner to reduce allergen levels and a high-efficiency vacuum cleaner to remove allergens from carpeting.
Nasal sprays, antihistamines, bronchodilators, and allergy shots may all help relieve symptoms. Shots can be an effective treatment for allergies, as they inject doses of an allergen to help build your tolerance to it over time.
If you think youâre experiencing an allergic reaction to cats and would like to find out more, consider our at-home allergy test kit.
Itâs an easy way to check your antibody response to both indoor and outdoor allergensâincluding allergens from trees, grasses, dust mites, and pets.
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