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Does your kitty have allergies

Karla Kirby

Human beings aren’t the only living creatures afflicted with allergies. Cats, too can suffer from allergic reactions to many of thing, be it in the air, on his/her skin and in his/her food. Allergies must be identified and treated by your veterinarian, but first, you must know what to look for.

The most common signs and symptoms of allergies include face and ear rubbing, inflamed skin patches, hair loss and foul odor, persistent scratching, licking and skin chewing, frequent vomiting or diarrhea, coughing, sneezing, watery eyes and runny nose.

The most widespread allergy symptoms in cats are the skin reactions, regardless of the source. They can also emerge at any age. Just because kitty didn’t have allergies as a kitten, doesn’t mean your cat won’t have them now that he/she’s an adult. Four of the most common types of allergies that might affect your cat are food, inhalant, contact and flea allergies.

Inhalant allergies in cats are caused by the same common allergens that affect people: Grass, mold, dust, trees, pollen, ragweed and so forth... They can be seasonal or persistent and though some breeds may experience the same sneezing and sniffling symptoms humans suffer from, but skin reactions are the most common. Inhalant allergies can often be treated with the same medications people use, but never treat your cat’s allergies without veterinary supervision.

Food allergies can be the most difficult to make a diagnosis for and deal with. Treatment involves a random approach involving a restricted diet and the measured reintroduction of possible allergens to settle on the culprit. Skin reactions to food allergies are common in cats, but recurrent vomiting or diarrhea can also be a sign. Keep in mind that if there is a change in your cat’s diet, he/she may experience an occurrence of vomiting or diarrhea; but this doesn’t automatically mean your cat has an allergy. Keep a close vigil and see if it becomes a continual problem before scheduling an expensive trip to the veterinarian.

Contact and flea allergies by and large cause skin irritation and are treated topically. You might be surprised to know that most cats are only loosely bothered by fleas. But those that are allergic can suffer as can their owners. Cats with contact and flea allergies often chew their skin raw, leading to hair loss, infection and odor so flea control is a must.

Allergies can fluctuate from cat to cat, so it is imperative that you work with your veterinarian to make sure your feline gets the best possible treatment at all times.

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