can my cat have allergies

Yes. There are four common types of allergies in the cat: insect (fleas), food allergy, atopic dermatitis (house dust, pollen, and molds), and contact. They share common physical expressions and signs in cats, and each has unique features.

Types and Causes of Cat Allergies

Cats typically suffer from four types of allergies: flea, food, seasonal, and environmental. These allergies are explained in detail in this section, along with the various ways in which they could impact your cat. Â.

Environmental allergies. Environmental allergies can be caused by various substances such as dust, mold, fungi, grass, and pollen. Additionally, your cat might be allergic to certain cleaning supplies, cigarette smoke, and perfume.

Flea allergies. Your cat may experience an extremely irritating allergic reaction when bitten by a flea, which is a tiny insect. A cat’s entire body, not just the area where it was bitten, can be affected by the saliva left behind by a flea bite. Your veterinarian can assist you in selecting the best flea prevention product to keep your cat safe.

Food allergies. Some cats may have allergies to certain foods. This can cause skin itchiness, vomiting, or diarrhea. Your veterinarian can assist you in determining which foods irritate your cat so that you can formulate a suitable diet for them. Â.

Atopic dermatitis. Cats with allergies frequently develop atopic dermatitis as a result of their bodies’ reactions. Your cat may experience redness, scabbing, hair loss, and skin sores as a result of this illness.

Your veterinarian will typically treat environmental and flea allergies with the same medications, which frequently include skin creams or prescription drugs.

What Should I Do if I Think My Cat Has Allergies?

Make an appointment with your veterinarian if you think your cat may have allergies. Considering the wide variety of cat allergies, your veterinarian can assist in identifying the underlying cause of your cat’s problems and the best course of action.

Symptoms of Allergies in Cats

In cats, allergies of all kinds can result in similar, overlapping clinical symptoms. These symptoms vary in intensity and may develop over years.

Food Allergy

Food allergies can look very similar to environmental allergies. Not every cat with a food allergy will exhibit symptoms of dyspepsia, vomiting, diarrhea, or hypersalivation. Many people will experience skin symptoms, such as itching, particularly in the areas of the face, head, and neck. Most food allergies are not seasonal, meaning they can happen at any time of year.

Atopic Dermatitis

Atopy, or environmental allergies, can mimic food allergies. The most common clinical sign is itchiness, followed by pustules, ear infections, hair loss, and skin plaques. Often, cats have relapsing secondary bacterial and yeast infections. Atopy can also cause asthma-like respiratory issues, and conjunctivitis.

Flea Allergy Dermatitis

Flea allergies only affect the skin. Traditionally, cats with allergies to fleas have either poor or nonexistent flea control. Most frequently, the abdomen, inner thighs, and head are impacted. Cats frequently experience excruciating itching, which leads to self-inflicted trauma from scratching, chewing, and massaging to ease the itch.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis

When a trigger like pollen, yeast, or mites is present, the skin develops lesions known as allergic contact dermatitis. The location is determined by direct contact. The majority of cats that have contact dermatitis exhibit crusts, pustules, redness, and swelling where they were exposed. Itching at these locations may be moderate or severe.

Cutaneous Drug Eruptions

Adverse reactions to any kind of medication are known as cutaneous drug eruptions. They vary in clinical signs, location, and severity. Itching, rashes, redness, swelling, inflammation, hives, and in extreme situations, cellular death and sloughing of the skin in sheets are the most common symptoms that cats encounter. This type of allergy is uncommon in cats.

Allergic Bronchitis

Allergic bronchitis is also known as asthma. Cats will typically wheeze, cough, and have labored breathing.


Can indoor cats have allergies?

Pollen can enter houses on our clothes and through open windows, making cats with a completely indoor lifestyle susceptible to pollen allergies in addition to cats that spend any amount of time outdoors.

What are the most common food allergies in cats?

The foods typically associated with food allergies in cats include beef, fish, chicken, and dairy. A cat must have been exposed to a food ingredient before developing an allergy to it. An ingredient a cat has consumed for a long time can still cause an allergy at some point in the cat’s life.