When a cat is allergic to something, it can make both your cat and you quite miserable. Common allergic reactions include itchy skin, coughing and sneezing — and, in the case of digestive allergies, even vomiting or diarrhea. Fleas, foods, airborne particles or something they have come in contact with are the most likely allergenic culprits.
Inhalant types of allergies are the most common in cats. Your cat can be allergic to the exact same allergens that you are, including pollen from trees, grass and weeds. Mold, mildew, dust mites and dust itself can also trigger allergic reactions in cats.
Flea allergies are likewise very common in cats. A normal cat may simply bite or scratch for a while and then go on to other things, but a cat with a flea allergy may scratch and chew at the spot until large amounts of fur are lost.
Contact allergies generally result in a fairly localized reaction on the skin. The cat may scratch a lot, or there may be an indication of irritation at the place of contact. Most common causes of contact allergies in cats would obviously be items with which they come in close contact such as flea collars, bedding or toys. The simplest cure is to remove the contact.
As in humans, food allergies in cats can be extremely difficult to pinpoint. One reason is that they commonly demonstrate many of the symptoms of distress seen in other allergic reactions. Food allergies in cats can cause itching and respiratory problems. Most food allergies will center on the type of protein common in the cat’s diet, such as beef, pork, poultry or lamb. Simply changing to another type of food without the offending protein will usually take care of the problem.
If you are concerned your cat may have allergies, contact your veterinarian for proper diagnosis and treatment.