Do Cats Have Allergies
Just under 5% of domestic cats in the U.S. get allergies, which equates to around 4.5 million cats across America. Allergies may be due to genetic factors, nutritional status, or being over-exposed or under-exposed to certain substances at a young age. Almost anything can cause an allergic response.
Fast Facts About Cat Allergies:
- Most people experience mild to moderate symptoms.
- Some people who have allergies may be able to live with cats.
- Researchers do not fully understand why some people develop cat allergies and others do not.
The symptoms of cat allergies vary depending on the protein someone is allergic to and their exposure to that protein. For example, tiny allergens from cats can land in a persons nose or eyes, causing burning or itching.
The most common symptoms of a cat allergy include:
- itchy skin
- a rash on areas of the body that have come into contact with cat allergens
Very rarely, people with a cat allergy can develop a severe allergic reaction called anaphylaxis. Anaphylaxis makes it difficult to breathe, can lower blood pressure to dangerous levels, and can send the body into shock.
A person who has trouble breathing or feels like they are choking following contact with a cat should seek immediate emergency care. Anaphylaxis is a life-threatening reaction.
A person who is allergic to cats may continue to have symptoms even after the cat is no longer present. That happens because cat dander and other cat allergens can land on furniture and rugs, remain on unwashed clothes, and linger in linens.
People with allergies who want to live with cats or visit homes that have cats can do several things to manage their symptoms. Trying these can help alleviate the severity of allergies.
Allergies develop when the immune system overreacts to a usually harmless substance.
Chronic Diarrhea In Cats
Causes of chronic diarrhea include:
Poorly managed metabolic or endocrine disease
Chronic diarrhea is of particular concern because it can cause life-threatening complications. Long-lasting diarrhea that is resistant to treatment can often be multifactorial, with multiple treatments needed for complete resolution.
If no improvement is seen in your cats diarrhea within two to three days of initiating therapy, you should contact your veterinarian to check for potential complicating factors.
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Causes Of Greenies Allergy In Cats
An allergy to Greenies products can be indicative of a type of food allergy. Food allergy is caused by a hypersensitivity reaction to a food ingredient or additive such as corn, chicken meal, or poultry flavoring. If your cat is allergic to Greenies, it is likely an allergy to a specific ingredient within the product. Just like with any type of allergy in general, it is the immune system thinking something harmless is actually dangerous. In this case, your cats system thinks the Greenie is a threat and therefore the body responds in an attempt to protect itself.
Diagnosis Of Blue Buffalo Allergy In Cats
Diagnosis of Blue Buffalo allergies in cats can be challenging one for your veterinary professional. Your cats complete history will be needed which should include the food being fed, snacks being fed and the frequency the foods and snacks are being offered. The duration of this feeding regimen should also be noted along with any of the above symptoms which you have noted in your cat. Be sure to include any other unusual behaviors which you may have noticed in your cat especially those which apply to appetite, urinary and bowel habits and appearance and feel of the animals coat. Your vet will do a physical examination and, based upon his findings in this examination, he will likely order some tests on your cat.
There are many diseases in felines which can present with similar symptoms and physical appearance. It is for this reason that your vet will likely order blood tests, perhaps tissue samples, radiographic imaging and even CT imaging. It is necessary to utilize these testing modalities to rule out some of the other conditions and diseases which could be causing the symptoms and clinical signs found in your feline family member. He will also be assessing the overall condition of your pet to determine if emergent or urgent measures are needed.
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Common Allergic Reactions In Cats
We know that humans can be allergic to cats, but we often forget that cats have allergies, too. If your cat is wheezing, sneezing, or scratching incessantly, this could be due to an allergic reaction.
Allergens fall into 3 categories: food, household, and environmental. Food allergies cause bloating, vomiting, and diarrhea. Household and environmental allergies cause itchiness, wheezing, and lethargy. The most common allergens are beef, fragrances, and flea bites.
Allergies cannot be treated in the traditional sense, but they can be managed and controlled. One of the main challenges is figuring out what your cat is allergic to. Well identify the most common allergens in cats and show you how to keep them under control.
Symptoms Of Grain Allergy In Cats
A food allergy often appears out of nowhere, as cats can develop a sensitivity to something that is constantly in their diet. Intermittent or chronic digestive complaints, skin problems, and even respiratory issues can appear gradually over many months or years. Skin rashes and wounds can appear on any area of the body, but are seen most commonly on the face, neck, belly, and legs. Signs can include:
- Itchy, reddened and inflamed skin
- Excessive grooming
- Skin lesions, scabs and rashes
- Leathery patches of skin
- Miliary dermatitis, or little bumps and scabs commonly seen on the neck or rear areas
- Bacterial skin infections
- Scooting rear end on floor or carpets
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Common Types Of Allergies In Cats
There are different kinds of allergies that cats can experience. Like people, cats can have allergies to foods, medications, plants, and more. These allergies generally come with symptoms such as:
- Excessive licking
- Pulling or biting out hair
- Chewing at paws or body
- Ear infections
- Red, dry and/or flaky skin
- Itchy, runny eyes
- Snoring due to inflammation in the throat
- Swollen, sensitive paws
The most common allergies in cats are either environmental, fleas, and/or food. Each of these allergens can cause the symptoms listed above.
What’s The Best Dry Cat Food For Allergies What’s The Best Wet Cat Food For Allergiesshould I Start My Allergic Cat On A Homemade Diet
We’ve put these questions together because the answer is the same: Consult with your veterinarian. Don’t try to diagnose or treat food allergies on your own.
Whatever you do, be wary of homemade elimination diets. Yes, they can be used but you must do so under veterinary guidance and monitoring. It’s easy to get to the point of dangerous nutritional deficiencies with a homemade elimination diet. Your vet should be able to work with you to avoid that situation.
Has your cat been diagnosed with food allergies? Share your story in the comments below or start a thread in the cat health forum to share what you have learned during your battle with this frustrating condition.
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Diagnosis Of Cat Allergies
Diagnosing cat allergies is theoretically simple, but it can take a long time. Since flea allergy is the most common allergy, the first thing to do is to rule out flea allergy as a cause of your cats symptoms.
This means applying prescription-strength flea treatment to every animal in the house for at least 12 weeks without any break in cover. This is necessary to ensure that the flea life-cycle is broken. If, with good flea control, your cat improves, a flea allergy will be presumed- but not diagnosed, as it could be a coincidence.
If your cat doesnt improve despite flea control, the next rule-out is food. To diagnose a food allergy, a hypoallergenic exclusion diet must be fed.
This must either be a prescription hydrolysed diet or a novel protein diet. This diet needs to be fed exclusively for eight weeks to see whether your cat is going to respond- its usually necessary to shut them in for this time to ensure they arent eating at a neighbours house.
If your cat improves, food allergy is likely- feeding a bit of their old diet and watching for a return of the allergic symptoms is enough to be sure.
If food allergies have been ruled out, by definition your cat must be suffering from Non-Flea, Non-Food-Induced Hypersensitivity Dermatitis – in other words, some sort of environmental allergy. Determining exactly what your cat is allergic to can be done with blood tests or skin tests using subcutaneous injections to test for a response.
How To Know When Diarrhea Is A Medical Emergency
When in doubt, call your vet or an emergency hospital for advice.
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About Dr Sarah Wooten Dvm Cvj
A 2002 graduate of UC Davis School of Veterinary Medicine, Dr. Sarah Wooten is a well known international speaker in the veterinary and animal health care spaces. She has 10 years experience in public speaking and media work, and writes for a large number of online and printanimal health publications. Dr. Wooten is also a certified veterinary journalist, a member of the AVMA, and has 16 years experience insmall animal veterinary practice. To learn more, visit drsarahwooten.com.
Why Cats Get Diarrhea
There can be many causes of diarrhea in cats. Typically, cats will vomit or have diarrhea due to:
- Eating something toxic or a foreign object
- Too many table scraps or fatty foods can upset your cat’s stomach
- Food allergy
- Rapid food change
- Intussusception this is a type of intestinal blockage where one part of the intestines telescopes into itself
- Inflammatory bowel disease
- Metabolic disease: kidney disease, pancreatitis, thyroid disease, diabetes, and others
- Viral, fungal, or bacterial infections
- Reaction to medications
When fecal matter moves through the intestines faster than normal, and there is decreased absorption of water, nutrients, and electrolytes, the result is diarrhea. It is a symptom of diseases or other issues like toxins, foreign body ingestion, etc., that affect the small intestines, large intestines, or other organs outside the gastrointestinal tract.
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What To Do When Your Cat Has Diarrhea
Keep these easy dos and don’ts in mind as you try to figure out what’s causing your cat’s diarrhea:
- Keep a close check on your cat’s bowel movements.
- Allow your cat to eat small bits of food that you know they can easily digest.
- Keep cats away from unfamiliar items that aren’t safe to eat.
- To receive professional advice, speak with your veterinarian.
- Change your cat’s diet quickly .
- Allow your cat to roam free in the yard without your supervision.
- Do not wait until the last minute to contact your veterinarianand remember to bring a fresh stool sample with you so that your veterinarian can check for parasites.
Cat Diarrhea: An Overview
Diarrhea in cats is characterized by soft or liquid stool that results from infection or inflammation of the intestines.
During regular digestion, a cats intestines contract and relax in a specific sequence , which helps to pass partially digested food along the intestines until it is fully digested and the remains are ready to leave the body as feces.
When there is a problem in the intestines, these contractions often increase, leading to the cramping, discomfort, and the urgency of diarrhea. If your cat is sick or experiencing a gastrointestinal issue, her body does not have the time or capacity to absorb liquid and nutrients and it is all lost as diarrhea. As a result, your cat may not want to eat or may vomit any food she does take in. Diarrhea can quickly lead to dehydration in cats.
Cats can experience acute diarrhea or chronic diarrhea.
- Acute diarrhea comes on quickly and resolves within a few days. It is very rarely a serious medical concern.
- Chronic diarrhea, the kind that keeps coming back or wont resolve despite multiple trips to the veterinarian and medications, can be serious or even fatal for your cat. Chronic diarrhea in cats can lead to malnutrition.
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What Is Contact Allergy And How Is It Treated
Contact allergies are the least common of the four types of allergies in cats.
“They result in a local reaction on the skin from contact with an allergic substance.”
They result in a local reaction on the skin from contact with an allergic substance. Examples of contact allergy include reactions to shampoos, flea collars, or certain types of bedding, such as wool. If the cat is allergic to such substances, there will be skin irritation and itching at the points of contact. Removal of the contact irritant solves the problem. However, identifying the allergen can be challenging in many cases.
Cat Infections That Can Spread To Humans
Andy Miller, MD, is board-certified in internal medicine and infectious disease. He is an associate professor at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York City.
While cats are generally safe, contact with cats, including cat bites and scratches, can cause infections in humans. If you are exposed to a cat, it is important that you understand the potential infections and how to stay safe.
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What Are Food Allergies Or Food Intolerance
Food allergies / intolerance are caused by a reaction to a particular ingredient, which is usually a protein. Sometimes referred to as an adverse reaction to food, it is defined as an abnormal response to a food or food additive. There are two classes of adverse reactions: those in which the immune system is involved and those that occur without an immune component .
Allergies may last a lifetime so the ingredient must be permanently removed from your cats food.
How Can I Prevent Cat Diarrhea
There is no single way to prevent diarrhea in cats. However, there are certain things pet owners can do to keep their cats gut health at an optimal level, thus decreasing the risk of cat diarrhea.
- Making the Right Dietary Choices. By right choices, we mean feeding high-quality food made for cats, practicing gradual diet changes, and ensuring constant access to drinking water.
- Keeping a Close Eye on Cat Health. It is always a good idea to check your cats litter box for evidence of poop issues. Cats often mask signs of illness which is why it is important to be proactive.
- Regular Deworming and Vaccination. It is critical that you keep your cat up-to-date on its dewormers and vaccines. This can help prevent diarrhea as well as other more severe conditions.
Staying on top of your cats health and ensuring high-quality veterinary care can be costly. It would be helpful to have a good pet insurance plan. We recommend OneVet as it gives 24/7 access to online vets and $3.000 in emergency funds. Plus, the plan covers up to 6 pets and does not exclude pets with pre-existing conditions. All that is for $19.99 a month.
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What Tests Will My Vet Do To Find The Cause Of My Cats Diarrhea
Your veterinarian may run fecal tests that include fecal flotation, antigen testing, cytology, and culturing to screen for infectious or inflammatory disease.
Bloodwork evaluates for metabolic or systemic causes of diarrhea and assesses the consequences of cat diarrhea, such as dehydration or anemia.
Abdominal ultrasound, radiology, and endoscopy can be used to check for foreign body ingestion or cancer as causes of cat diarrhea.
Recovery Of Grain Allergy In Cats
A food allergy to grain is not curable, but keeping grain out of your cats diet will ensure that she will not suffer from any symptoms of an allergic response. Generally, after 2 to 3 months of a grain-free diet, symptoms should disappear, leaving your cat healthy and happy. If grain is fed to your cat again, you may see those symptoms reappear within a week or two.
While it is impossible to predict when a food allergy may develop, many experts suggest providing a rotating variety of foods for your cat that is appropriate to her needs. This can provide a balanced nutritional base while reducing the risk of developing a sensitivity.
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What Is Inhalant Allergy Or Atopy
Inhalant allergy or atopy is not well understood in cats. In dogs and humans, atopic dermatitis generally refers to allergic reactions to environmental allergens such as pollens, grasses, molds, mildew, and house dust mites).
“Most cats that have an inhalant allergy are allergic to several allergens.”
Many of these allergies occur seasonally, such as ragweed, cedar, and grass pollens. However, others are with us all the time, such as molds, mildew, and house dust mites. When humans inhale these allergens, we express the allergy as a respiratory problem. In humans, atopy is also sometimes called ‘hay fever’. The cat’s primary reaction to atopy is severe, generalized itching.
Most cats that have an inhalant allergy are allergic to several allergens. If the number of allergens is small and they are seasonal, itching may last for just a few weeks at a time during one or two periods of the year. If the number of allergens is large or they are present year-round, the cat may itch constantly.