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Help – My Cat has Allergies!
First, what exactly is an allergy? What happens with an allergy is the immune system is not functioning as it should, and is over-reacting to a particular substance.
The definition of the word allergy is ‘altered working’. An allergy is an over-reactive response in the body to any particular substance. The substance itself may not necessarily be harmful, but causes an immune response in any predisposed or immune compromised individual.
This immune reaction causes obvious symptoms and maybe even disease. Allergies can cause a great deal of inconvenience and misery in an afflicted person. An allergy aggravates the senses; smell, taste, sight and touch, and causes irritation, disability (sometimes extreme) and occasionally fatality.
Cats Can Have Allergies too!
If a cat has an allergy, they will usually show quite obvious allergic symptoms. These will probably be similar to those you may have witnessed in humans with an allergy. Indications may be a lot of itching and scratching, coughing, sniffling, sneezing, runny nose or even vomiting.
In the case of a digestive allergy, your cat may suffer from diarrhea. Allergies to fleas, things inhaled, different foods or even just something they have come into contact with are the most likely cause of your cat allergy.
What Causes Cat Allergies?
The most common cat allergy is a flea allergy. Ordinarily a cat will just bite or scratch a new flea bite for a small while, then will go on to other things. But, a cat that has a flea allergy will be show a lot more obvious discomfort. It will bite, itch and in general worry at the spot. It can be so terrible that large amounts of your cat’s fur will come out and raw spots appear.
Normally a contact allergy will result in a quite localized reaction directly on the contact spot the cat’s skin. The cat allergy may make your kitty scratch continually. There will most likely be signs of skin irritation at the point of actual contact.
The commonest causes of contact cat allergy would obviously be items that they come into close contact with. These can be such things as toys, flea collars, their bedding, household cleaners for the floor and so on.
Of course the very simplest way to remove the cat allergy is simply to stop you cat from coming into contact with the offending item.
Inhalant types of allergies are probably the most common cause of cat allergy. Your cat can be allergic to exactly the same allergens that you yourself are. Different pollens from trees, grass, flowers and weeds. Also the allergens that are common in us humans; mildew, mold, dust mites, and even dust itself. These can all trigger cat allergy reactions in felines.
Diagnosis of food allergies
Food is something else that can cause cat allergy symptoms. Depending on the severity of the allergy, food can cause itching, hot spots and even respiratory problems.
Like it is with humans, food allergies in cats can be very hard to pinpoint the cause. One reason for this is that they often demonstrate many of the symptoms of distress that are seen in the other allergy groups.
Most food allergies in the cat center around the type of protein that is common in the cat’s diet. This could be pork, beef, lamb or poultry. The cat allergy to food can usually be eliminated simply by removing that particular protein from the cat’s diet.
You can use an elimination diet to try and pinpoint the cause of the allergy. With the recommendation and help of your Vet, put your cat onto a very simple diet of a singular protein, lasting between 8-12 weeks.
During this period, don’t allow your cat to consume any other foods, including vitamins, minerals, other supplements or any chewable medications. Stick to only the prescribed elimination diet.
Once the diet period is over, don’t feed your cat as per normal – rather add back in just one protein type at a time. If after two weeks eating the new ingredient, there has been no allergic reaction then you can continue on to add another back in. This way you will be able to pinpoint what particular food is causing your cat allergy.
Sometimes a brand new food allergy will develop over time. If this occurs, then you will need to again re-evaluate your cat’s diet.
In closing, a cat allergy is usually fairly easy to control, once you know what is causing the allergic reaction. Take some simple elimination steps as above and you will not be saying “My Cat has Allergies” for much longer.
Recommended natural treatment: Cat Allergy Remedy