Animals

How to know if my cat is allergic?

The easiest and most visible way to detect an allergy is by constantly scratching the animal.

Cat allergy is quite common in people, but did you know that the cats they can also have allergies? This pathology, which may be due to several causes, not only occurs in spring, but feline allergies persist throughout the year. Further, there is no definitive solution, that is, unfortunately, the allergic cat will be throughout his life.

Felines, like humans, can be allergic to many different things. Some of the causes can be: Certain foods, chemicals such as flea, flea bites or saliva, pollen or other environmental allergens, cleaning products, fungi, certain plants or tobacco smoke.

One of the most common allergies in cats is that caused by flea saliva.

Just as there are many types of allergies, there are many symptoms. The most common and visible to detect is the constant scratching, which is sometimes accentuated with heat and stress. Can also be seen redness in the skin. Other symptoms that may be: Tos, sneezing, nasal and ocular secretion, skin infections, vomiting and diarrhea. It should be remembered that if you observe any of these symptoms or more than one, you should take your kitten to the veterinarian to perform tests and offer a treatment.

How to treat allergies in cats

There is no medication that cures allergies in cats. The only solution to pamper feline allergy will be to administer the antiallergic appropriate according to the diagnosis and remove the causative object of allergy Some of the steps to follow regarding the treatment and solution of some allergies are in each case:

- If the allergy comes from food: The veterinarian will inject antihistamines that reduce your symptoms and recommend that we give you a special hypoallergenic meal.

- If the allergy is to flea saliva: The vet will give you the necessary medication to relieve the allergy. We will recommend removing all fleas from both the cat and its environment and giving it baths with special soap to soothe itching and help restore the health of its skin.

- If the allergy is to plastic materials with which the feeders and drinkers are made: We must remove these containers and provide some stainless steel, glass or porcelain that do not cause allergic reactions in our feline.

What kind of allergies exist in cats?

When cats they eat foods that cause allergies usually have gastrointestinal problems such as diarrhea or vomiting. This situation can appear in cats at any age. There are some substances that are usually sensitive to them. Some of these substances can be pollen dust, mold, cleaning products, medications, cigarette smoke or plastic, among many others. Symptoms can be seasonal or non-seasonal and often begin in young cats, getting worse with age.

Allergic flea dermatitis is also very common in cats. There are 15 different allergens in the saliva of that type of insects that can cause a reaction in the felines. Only one bite is enough to trigger such reactions.

If you think your cat is allergic, you should take it with your veterinarian. After performing an exam, the professional will determine the origin of the allergic reaction. Many animals diagnosed with a food allergy will require homemade meals, but this must be done in conjunction with a specialist, since it requires a special protein and the balance of food must be careful.

The best way to treat allergies is to eliminate offensive allergens from the environment.. In that sense it is important to avoid contact with chemicals and some plants that can be toxic.

Contact dermatitis is another form of allergy. It is caused by exposure to a material to which the animal has become hypersensitive or allergic. It arises a few hours after contact with the responsible material. Plants, wool or medications can be some of the causes.

Symptoms may be itching in areas where there is not much skin. Typical areas can be the chin, ears, toes, in the anus and under the belly. Usually, there is redness, pimples and blisters.

Food allergies account for 57% of the causes of itching in cats. They can appear after five months. Although the vast majority of cases occur between 2 and 6 years.

A distinction must be made between allergies and food intolerance. The latter can cause diarrhea or vomiting. Fortunately, they can be eliminated with a diet free of offensive agents.

Several studies have shown that there are some ingredients that are more likely to cause food allergies. In cats, the most common are beef, lamb, seafood, corn, soy, dairy products and wheat gluten. The main symptom is itchy skin And it can also include hair loss and excessive scratching.

On the other hand, sensitivity to environmental pollutants, pollen and stress can cause asthma attacks in cats. For short-term relief, A veterinarian may prescribe medications that will open your respiratory passages. For long-term treatment, however, corticosteroids can be used.

In relation to treatments the veterinarian can prescribe cortisone or steroids to help control pollen allergy. Antihistamines such as Benadryl can be used, but they work best as a preventive form.

In case of itchy skin you can use fatty acid supplements and some shampoo It can help prevent skin infection.

Feline flea bite allergy

Felines are very independent, but like any other animal we decide to adopt, require multiple care They are susceptible to multiple diseases, including allergy in cats.

Allergy is an alteration of the immune system that is started before an allergen (a substance that the body recognizes as allergic), causing an exaggerated reaction that usually manifests itself through the release of very high levels of histamine (inflammatory substance).

A cat allergic to flea bites has a immune system that is disturbed by the sucking of blood caused by a flea (specifically the allergen is the flea's saliva), starting up a complex physiological and pathological mechanism.

How does flea bite allergy manifest in cats?

Cats affected by this type of allergy, also known as flea bite allergic dermatitis, will begin to experience symptoms from the moment the peck occurs. The main symptoms of this allergic reaction are the following:

  • Excessive licking
  • Alopecia caused by excessive licking
  • Skin with scabs
  • Peeling zones
  • Intense itching

Alopecia usually appears when the allergic reaction has occurred several times. If you notice that your cat manifests these symptoms when he has fleas on his body you should not go to the veterinarian.

Diagnosis and treatment of feline flea allergy

Diagnosis of flea bite allergic dermatitis will be made primarily through medical history and physical examination of the symptoms and signs that occur. The veterinarian may decide to do a blood test to confirm the diagnosis, since the affected cats will have an abnormally large number of eosinophils, a type of white blood cells or defense cells.

The basis of the treatment will be to eliminate fleas from cats to reduce allergic reactions, however, a treatment will also be implemented. topical treatment with corticosteroids and / or antihistamines, intended to reduce the symptoms associated with the allergic reaction.

Immunomodulatory therapy is ineffective in cats, therefore, treatment focuses on relieving pruritus and preventing contact with the allergen.

It is important that you eliminate household fleas

If an exhaustive deworming of the cat is carried out but no attention is paid to the fleas that may have remained in our pet's environment, the infestation and the consequent allergic reaction will soon occur again.

To remove any flea from your home we recommend the following:

  • Make a thorough cleaning of the entire home, taking care that the products you use do not become toxic to your cat at the recommended doses
  • If you have a vacuum, this is the best way to clean the house, since it will not only eliminate fleas but also suck all the eggs
  • Clean all your cat's accessories, also including all its toys
  • If your cat has a bed, wash it using a program that uses hot water
  • To prevent the presence of fleas in your home again nothing better than having some lavender plants, whose smell acts as a repellent

Home cleaning it's as important as deworming the catTherefore, it should be understood as another phase of the treatment of feline allergy to flea bites.

This article is purely informative, at ExpertAnimal.com we have no power to prescribe veterinary treatments or make any kind of diagnosis. We invite you to take your pet to the veterinarian in case he presents any type of condition or discomfort.

If you want to read more articles similar to Flea bite allergy in cats, we recommend that you enter our Deworming section.

Fleas, the most frequent parasites of the cat

And the most frequent of all is the so-called cat flea, scientific name, Ctenocephalides felis, is the most abundant (this species of flea is, curiously, one of the most frequent parasites also of the dog).

"The flea of ​​the dog and the cat are very similar but it is the flea of ​​the cat the most abundant. Both can parasitize cats, dogs and people"

A flea is relentless when looking for an animal to feed, is strong and agile and can give thousands of jumps of about 30 cm away each of them to find their host. The distance you can travel is amazing.

The most normal thing is that a cat is infested with the fleas that are in the environment, in its environment, although it has been discovered that the flea of ​​the cat has a great capacity to transmit between our feline companions, taking advantage of the social behavior between cats that live in the neighborhood.

In addition, immature female fleas are the most likely to change hosts, surely seeking to form a new offspring.

What is the flea life cycle

When the female flea manages to reach a cat, it begins to itch almost immediately, feeding on its blood and in a day or two it is already able to lay eggs on its skin.

You can lay up to 50 eggs a day, which will continually fall to the ground.

We could say that the cat involuntarily contributes to the dissemination of fleas throughout the house and the places where it roams.

It only takes between one and ten days for the eggs to hatch and leave the tiny 1-2 mm larvae.

The larvae move until they find a place protected from light: carpets, carpets, cracks in wooden floors, under furniture ... these are your favorite places.

They feed primarily on the feces of adult fleas until they evolve and form a cocoon into which they will be transformed. Within three to five weeks they will become adult fleas and look for another host to feed and continue their cycle.

How to distinguish flea droppings

Many times it is easier to find flea droppings that fleas, both on the animal and on carpets or rugs.

Comb your cat and see if dark spots or pimples fall or stick to the comb. To find out if those "granites" are flea feces place them on a damp cloth. If they are flea droppings, they will be undone by staining the wipe red because of the blood they contain (remember that these droppings are digested blood and also serve as food for the larvae)

How to know if there are fleas at home

Keep in mind that for each adult flea that you discover there are almost 100 fleas in other stages of development, in the form of eggs, larvae or pupae (in the cocoon phase), so don't underestimate the finding of a flea, because there will be a whole population waiting to develop hidden in the carpets, on the covers of the bed or on the sofa, to parasitize your cat, and if they have occasion, the members of your family.

However, the recommendation is that you do not wait to discover the signs of presence of fleas in your cat. It is better to prevent its presence before suffering its annoying consequences.

You already know that most fleas are not on your cat, but in your house. Therefore to fight fleas choose a product that is especially suitable for cats and that acts so much about pets like home, eliminating immature forms that account for 95% of the flea population and are the source of future infestations.