Cat Allergies: Understanding Feline Allergens and How to Minimise Them

If you have an inquisitive kitty who loves to explore, then you know that keeping them safe is your priority. Unfortunately, cats and kittens are just as susceptible to allergens in their environment as any other creature. These allergens can trigger allergies or sensitivities, which can cause your beloved pet to have negative reactions. So it’s important that you take steps to prevent any potential issues from developing.

Some of the most common allergens that may lead to sensitivities in cats include pollen, dust, and mould, as well as certain chemicals used in food, bedding and so on. To keep your cat safe and healthy, take the necessary precautions and provide a safe environment for them to live and explore.

Types of Feline Allergens

Environmental allergens (such as dust mites, mould, and pollen)

The environment is a common source of allergens that cause feline allergies. Dust mites are tiny bugs that thrive in warm and humid environments. They tend to live in carpets, mattresses, upholstered furniture, and animal bedding. Feline allergies caused by dust mites usually develop as a result of the cat repeatedly grooming itself and its fur against the item that is causing the allergy. Mould and pollen allergies are also common in cats. These allergens thrive in moist places, such as bathroom surfaces and spoiled food.

Food allergens

Food allergies are also the most common cause of feline allergies. These can be caused by a reaction to a specific ingredient in a cat’s diet. If you suspect that your cat has a food allergy, talk to your vet about what you’ve been feeding them. Your vet may be able to recommend a different food brand that does not contain the allergen.

Flea allergens

Fleas are small insects that feed on the blood of other animals and humans. They tend to thrive in close proximity to animals, especially pets. If you have a cat with allergies, you should keep it flea-free around the house. Your veterinarian can recommend a flea treatment to get rid of the fleas and reduce the amount of allergen your pet is exposed to.

Symptoms of Feline Allergies

Skin irritation

Skin irritation occurs when your pet becomes hypersensitive to its environment and starts reacting to things that were not previously a cause for concern. Your cat may show symptoms of excessive itching and scratching, and even scaling of the skin.

Sneezing and runny nose

Cats have a propensity for sneezing, whether they have allergies or not. This could be due to the fact that they groom themselves regularly, removing the excessive dander, mites, and other allergens from their fur. However, if your cat develops a runny nose as a result of allergies, it may experience a blocked nose or even a discharge of fluid from the nose. If your cat has a runny nose that lasts for more than a week, you should consult with a vet. This could be indicative of an underlying condition or an infection.

Gastrointestinal issues

Feline allergies can have a significant impact on the gastrointestinal system of cats. Symptoms can include vomiting, diarrhoea and abdominal pain. It is important to consult with your veterinarian to create a plan that can help manage symptoms and prevent further complications.

Minimising feline allergies at home

If you suspect your cat has a food allergy, consult your veterinarian about the foods you’ve been feeding them as well as the symptoms they’re exhibiting. Your vet can recommend hypoallergenic cat food depending on your cat’s age, breed, and health condition. To avoid dust allergies, it is a good idea to follow a cleaning regimen to remove allergens from carpets, upholstered furniture, and drapery, which may help to minimise allergic reactions.

Additionally, keeping your home free of flea allergies can also help reduce the risk of developing feline allergies. You can start by vacuuming your home frequently, as this will help remove flea eggs, pupae, and larvae from carpets and upholstered furniture. Additionally, regularly washing your pet’s bedding, brushes, and toys in hot water will help get rid of the allergens. It is also important to keep your pet well-groomed and regularly treated with flea-preventative medication.

When choosing a flea treatment, it is important to choose a product that is safe and effective for cats. Consult with your vet about the best type of flea treatment for your pet, as they will be able to advise you on the best option for your cat’s specific needs.

Final words

Cat owners can reduce the risks of their pets developing allergies by taking proactive steps to minimise allergens in the home. Allergic reactions can range from mild to severe, but in some cases, they can be life-threatening to your pets. Therefore, it’s a good idea to consider getting cat insurance in case your pet does develop serious conditions as a result of feline allergens. Getting some form of medical coverage can help protect your pet and provide peace of mind that it will receive the best possible care when needed.