Like humans, cats can experience environmental allergies. The reactions occur when their immune systems are especially sensitive to a substance, even a common one. Allergies in cats usually begin when a kitty is young and progressively become worse throughout a cat’s life. Let’s take a look at the causes of environmental allergies in cats and how they can be treated:
The most common environmental allergens that affect cats are:
Some of these irritants are seasonal and are more aggressive during certain times of the year. Many of us humans are familiar with the aggravating effects of seasonal allergies. They’re no fun for us or our cats.
As the feline body tries to reject the offending allergen, bothersome symptoms occur. The most common symptoms for environmental allergies in cats are skin-related ones and are a result of atopic dermatitis (atopy), which is skin inflammation and extreme itchiness due to allergens. Naturally, a cat scratches, bites or excessively grooms these uncomfortable areas, sometimes resulting in bald patches or wounds that could become infected if left untreated.
The areas on a cat’s body that are typically affected by atopy are:
If your cat is exhibiting atopic dermatitis symptoms due to environmental cat allergies, it’s important to consult your veterinarian. During an exam, the health professionals will review your cat’s complete medical history and discuss symptoms with you. If environmental allergies are suspected, the vet may recommend a course of action:
Because atopy in cats is a chronic condition, you’ll need to manage it for the rest of your cat’s life. There are, however, some ways you can help kitty stay comfortable:
Environmental allergies in cats are irritating and could result in pain and even infection. If you suspect your cat might be affected by environmental allergies, call your vet’s office for guidance.
Thumbnail: Photography by George Doyle/Thinkstock.
Read more about allergies in cats on Catster.com: