Allergies in Cats – Types, Diagnosis and Treatment

An allergy in cat occurs when the immune system of your cat over-reacts to something which may be actually harmless. Symptoms may include skin irritation, scratching, hair loss and a crusty rash.

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Types of Cat Allergies

Fleas:In cats, the most commonly occurring allergy is flea allergy. Even though flea is not seen on your cat, it’s possible that his itching has been caused by fleas. The saliva of the flea causes an allergic reaction and even only a few bites of flea can cause problems. Often an itchy cat tends to over groom and removes several of the adult fleas due to which it becomes hard to find them.

Atopy: Another commonly occurring allergic condition in cats is atopy. This takes place when substances like pollens or dust is inhaled by the cat. It’s believed that the tendency to develop atopy in cats is inherited from their parents; however, it has not been proven yet.

Food: Third common type of allergy in cats is food allergy. They may develop an allergy to one of the food ingredients which they have been eating for a while, such as fish, wheat, chicken or corn.

To save your pet from allergies, you should know how to maintain their good health and a good veterinary hospital like Gordon Vet can help you in this. Just click here for more information on how they can help you.

Diagnosis

Your vet can guess about some type of allergy if your cat has skin irritation, loss of hair and crusty skin sores especially along his back and around his neck. On the other hand, some cats don’t show any of these symptoms; they only overgroom themselves, developing bald areas with short stubby hair.

Flea allergy can be detected by looking for fleas or flea droppings on the cat and using a trustworthy flea control product exactly as per the instructions. If that clears up the skin irritation, you can know that fleas were responsible for his problem.

It’s a bit tricky to identify food allergies. As your cat has developed sensitivity to a food he has been eating for some time, you can diagnose this condition in just one way and it is to feed him a food he has never had at least for the last 8 to 12 weeks. If his skin recovers, you can know that food was involved in his problem.

Diagnosis of atopy usually is based on ruling out all other sources of itching, including food and flea allergy, infection and mites. Atopy also tends to be seasonal initially and only happens at specific times of the year. However, as your cat grows old, it often becomes a year-round issue.

Treatment

In fact, there are only two ways of management of allergies in cats. Firstly, you can avoid whatever is causing the allergy and secondly treating the cat’s body so that it no longer suffers from the allergy.

The first method works well for food and flea allergies. A vet like that in the veterinary services in North Ryde with Gordon Vet may recommend a prescription diet. However, aversion is not so good for atopy. It’s difficult to keep your cat away from pollens and dust always; hence you need to treat him to stop developing allergic reactions.

This can be accomplished in several ways. Medications like antihistamines and corticosteroids can minimise allergies and may offer a lot of comfort to your cat. Some medications have side effects; therefore you should use them under the supervision of your vet. Along with having side effects, these drugs don’t also resolve the underlying issue; hence when the medication is stopped, the skin irritation will resume.

With intradermal skin tests, you can know exactly what your cat is allergic to. Then a desensitising injection is formulated for your cat. It contains a very small quantity of the substance he is allergic to. He will then be administered measured doses of this injection regularly. This will teach his body to tolerate that substance.

Other therapies are oatmeal shampoos and conditioners, topical creams with corticosteroids and fish oil containing omega fatty acids.

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