What Are the Symptoms, Causes, and Treatments for Feline Allergies? Be Cautious of Sneezing and Runny Noses!
As spring comes and temperatures rise, the sound of sneezing can be heard everywhere. If your cherished feline is experiencing repeated sneezing, they could have acquired hay fever, similar to humans. Hay fever in cats can lead to symptoms such as sneezing, a runny nose, swollen eyes, and skin inflammation. It can be a difficult condition for felines. This article will outline the causes of hay fever in cats, the signs to look out for, treatment options, and ways to prevent and protect your cat from getting hay fever.
✨Beware of cat allergies! What’s the cause?
❂What is an allergy?
An allergy is a form of immune response that triggers symptoms such as sneezing and a runny nose as the body attempts to get rid of allergens like pollen. Upon entry of pollen into the body and attachment to the nostrils, it adheres to antibody cells known as phagocytes. Subsequent entry of allergens results in the release of substances like histamine, leading to an allergic reaction.
❂What causes cat allergies?
Just like humans, cats can also experience allergy symptoms. While many humans experience allergies due to Japanese cedar or cypress, it appears that a significant number of cats are affected by allergies caused by ragweed.
❂Cats are more likely to develop allergies in the fall
Ragweed, a type of chrysanthemum plant, can reach a height of up to one meter and produces yellow flowers. With a high number of patients after Japanese cedar and cypress, it is considered a prevalent plant causing allergies. From July to October, ragweed blooms and releases pollen, making it a common cause of fall allergies. However, it should be noted that not all cat allergies are a result of ragweed and some cats may develop allergies from the pollen of Japanese cedar or cypress.
✨Could this be a symptom of cat allergies?
Allergies in humans are frequently caused by repeated exposure to allergens like pollen, leading to allergic reactions. Some individuals may exhibit symptoms even though they had not previously.
In a similar manner, adult cats are often the ones that display symptoms of allergies, while fewer kittens experience them.
Therefore, what symptoms can we anticipate from a feline with allergies? Let’s examine some of the symptoms that are comparable to those in humans.
❂Symptom 1: Sneezing
A sneeze in a cat with allergies, similar to humans, will result in a sneeze. The sound of a cat’s sneeze is comparable to a human sneeze, lacking the “hacksaw” sound but instead producing a “bushi” or “kusi.” The motion accompanying the sneeze, including a slight shaking of the head, is also similar in both species.
Occasional sneezing is considered normal and is a natural bodily function. A stuffy nose may occur due to the presence of dust in the air, but if frequent sneezing occurs during a specific time of year, it is advisable to pay attention.
❂Symptom 2: Runny nose
A runny nose is another symptom that is comparable to humans. Cats primarily breathe through their nose, so a runny nose can lead to discomfort and breathing difficulties. It is important to ensure that the runny nose is wiped with tissues or a similar material.
❂Symptom 3: Swelling and congestion in the eyes, giving the appearance of itching
Symptoms similar to those experienced by humans, such as droopy eyes, itching eyes, or swollen and congested eyes, can also be exhibited by cats. Eye discharge, a common symptom among humans with allergies, may also occur in cats. If a feline is observed rubbing its eyes, a visit to a veterinary clinic is recommended for eye cleansing and the provision of eye medication to reduce discomfort.
❂Symptom 4: Skin inflammation
Hay fever and skin rashes can also affect humans, but cats are particularly susceptible to skin rashes resulting from hay fever, which may result in self-inflicted injuries in accessible areas. External ear infections can also develop in cats, causing itching and inflammation in the external ear canal. The scratching caused by hay fever may lead to further injury, including external ear infections.
If a cat experiences itching in areas that they can reach with their paws or tongue, they may scratch or lick, leading to harm. If persistent scratching or licking in the same spot is observed, it is advised to wrap the area with an Elizabethan collar to prevent the condition from deteriorating. A visit to the veterinarian is also advisable.
❂Pay attention to when allergy symptoms appear!
The manifestations of feline allergies can differ from one feline to another. To establish if a feline has allergies, it is crucial to take into account not only the aforementioned symptoms but also the timing of their occurrence. For instance, if the feline exhibits symptoms after spending time outside, after exposure to laundry dried outdoors, or if the symptoms suddenly appear in the autumn, it could be indicative of pollen allergies. If the feline shows symptoms at the time pollen enters the home, it is feasible that the feline has allergies. This information can assist the veterinarian in making a diagnosis. Keeping track of when symptoms appear, as well as changes in symptoms based on time of day and weather conditions, is recommended.
✨What are the methods for testing and treating cat allergies?
❂An allergy check through a blood test.
A blood test for cat allergies, which examines 92 various allergy reactions including pollen, is available. However, it is not limited to just pollen allergies. The cost of the test is around $200, and determining if a cat has a pollen allergy can be challenging. If you are worried, it is recommended to undergo the test or consult a veterinarian.
❂Therapeutic methods using drugs like steroids and antihistamines are also available.
What should be done in the event that a feline exhibits symptoms of hay fever?
Should the symptoms of hay fever be present and confirmed through a blood test as an allergy, treatment may involve the use of steroids or antihistamines. However, it is recommended to avoid the prolonged use of steroids due to potential side effects, unless the symptoms are deemed extremely severe.
Recently, non-steroidal anti-itch drugs such as Atopika and Apoquel have become available.
With medication-based treatment, the symptoms that have arisen can be addressed, but the hay fever itself may not improve. Hence, it is crucial to take preventative measures against hay fever on a daily basis.
✨What can be done to prevent cat pollen allergies?
Diagnosing allergies in cats can be a difficult task and the treatment options are limited. Nevertheless, when our feline friends seem to be experiencing discomfort, we desire to provide assistance. For this reason, we will be presenting methods to prevent and control allergies in cats.
❂Operate an air purifier
For indoor cats, utilizing an air purifier has proven to be effective. Despite the room being closed, pollen from clothing or laundry dried outside can still attach and invade the interior when humans enter and exit. To eliminate such pollen from the air, utilizing an air purifier can have a positive impact on allergies.
❂Counter Hay Fever with Laundry Detergent
Laundry detergents that prevent pollen from adhering are available for human use. While air-drying clothes during pollen season may be effective, it is unavoidable for clothing to come into contact with pollen when leaving the house. By utilizing these types of detergents, the amount of pollen brought into the home can be controlled.
❂Keep the Cat Indoors
For cats that have a tendency to roam outside and may be suspected of having allergies to pollen, staying indoors is advisable. During pollen season, when symptoms are present, it is recommended to keep the cat inside, even if it may not be pleased with the situation. To keep them entertained, provide them with toys or indoor exercise opportunities.
❂Maintaining the Cat’s Cleanliness
Pollen in the air can cause sneezing and itchy eyes, and it can also attach to a cat’s fur. If the cat has a runny nose, wipe it clean, and for itchy eyes, use prescribed eye drops to wash away the pollen. Cleaning the cat’s body is also important. Although many cats dislike taking baths, using a cat body sheet instead of bathing them every day is suggested.
❂Cleaning the Cat’s Relaxation Areas
While cleaning the entire room during pollen season is crucial, another important aspect is to clean the cat’s favorite spots. If the cat uses a bed or blanket, make sure to wash them regularly. If they have been in use for a long time, consider purchasing new ones. When choosing a cat bed, select one that can be washed in a household washing machine. Additionally, cats have favorite places in human spaces, and it is recommended to frequently clean these areas as well. This is especially important for furniture such as sofas, as clothes worn outside can easily transfer pollen onto them.
❂Humans also take measures against pollen
It can be challenging to contain both humans and cats inside the house while also avoiding exposure to pollen during allergy season. This can result in pollen being brought into the home. To maintain a pollen-free environment and prevent the cat from coming into contact with it, wearing leather clothing that does not attract pollen is a simple solution. Upon returning home, hands should be washed prior to handling the cat. If the cat has severe allergies to pollen, it is advisable for humans to take a shower immediately after returning home during allergy season to reduce the amount of pollen brought into the house as it can easily adhere to hair.
The surprising fact that even cats can suffer from hay fever was introduced. Approximately 10 years ago, a severe case of hay fever was experienced, but after moving to a different area, the symptoms suddenly disappeared. The only way to cure hay fever was reported by the doctor who examined the individual to be avoiding exposure to pollen. Initially, the notion was thought to be crazy, but now it is believed that with advancements in air purifiers and pollen-preventing detergents, exposure to pollen can be reduced, even if not completely eradicated. Taking preventive measures for hay fever cannot be done by cats themselves, therefore, as owners, the well-being of the cats should be taken care of and hay fever prevented.