What are allergies and also how do they impact cats?

One of the most usual medical problems affecting cat is allergy. One allergy occurs as soon as the cat"s immune device overreacts or is hypersensitive to foreign substances dubbed allergens. Allergens space simply foreign proteins that the body"s immune device tries to remove. Instances of allergens common in people are pollens, dust, molds, and also pet hair. Hypersensitivity in cats deserve to manifest in one of three ways:


The most usual manifestation is itching the the skin, one of two people localized come one area or a generalized reaction everywhere the cat"s body. An additional manifestation entails the respiratory tract system and may an outcome in coughing, sneezing, and also wheezing. Sometimes, there may be an linked nasal or ocular (eye) discharge. The 3rd manifestation entails the cradle system and can an outcome in vomiting, flatulence, and/or diarrhea.

Does that average that there space several varieties of allergies?

Yes. Over there are four common varieties of allergies in the cat: insect (fleas), food, inhalant (house dust, pollen and molds), and contact. Every of these has actually some common physical indicators in cats, and each has some distinctive features.

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What is intended by the hatchet flea allergy?

In despite the of usual belief, a typical cat experiences just minor skin wake up in solution to fleabites. Even in the existence of dozens that fleas, over there will generally be very tiny itching. On the various other hand, a cat v flea allergies has actually a serious reaction to even a solitary fleabite. This reaction is an allergic an answer to proteins or antigens present in the flea"s saliva.

"In an allergic cat, simply one bite can an outcome in intense itching that deserve to last for days."

When a flea bites a cat come consume a blood meal, some of its saliva is injected into the skin. In an allergic cat, just one bite can result in intense itching that have the right to last because that days. Cats v flea allergy dermatitis (FAD) do not have to be infested with fleas; a solitary flea is sufficient to reason a problem.

What does this reaction to fleabites execute to the cat?

A cat through FAD experiences intense itching and subsequently chews, licks, or scratches the impacted site(s) nonstop. This reasons hair loss and also can bring about open sores or scabs top top the skin, enabling a second bacterial infection to develop.

The area most commonly affiliated in FAD is end the rump, simply in prior of the tail. Countless flea-allergic cat chew or lick the hair off their legs. Itching and hair loss approximately the tail base, neck, and head have to be thought about suspicious for flea allergy dermatitis. In addition, an influenced cat may have numerous, little scabs approximately the head and neck. These scabs are frequently referred to as miliary lesions, a term that was coined since the scabs look choose millet seed (see handout "Miliary Dermatitis in Cats" for much more information top top this skin condition).

How is flea allergy dermatitis diagnosed?

Clinical signs regularly give the an initial indication that your cat might suffer native FAD. Cats are such fastidious groomers that it is typically impossible come find any type of evidence of fleas or flea dirt on the coat, specifically if just one or 2 fleas are resulting in the problem. Intradermal allergy tests (skin tests similar to those perform in humans) or specialized blood tests (IgE tests) deserve to confirm flea allergy in her cat.

What is the therapy for flea allergy dermatitis?

Since the flea saliva reasons the reaction, the most vital treatment for flea allergy is to stop fleabites. Many flea infestations occur in the warmer weather, however can take place year round. Strict flea manage is the structure of effective treatment. Over there are many highly reliable flea control products, both for dealing with the cat and for managing fleas in the setting (for an ext details, watch handout "Flea manage in Cats"). Modern monthly flea preventives have actually made it easier and less expensive than ever before to prevent fleas native affecting her cat.

Speak to her veterinarian around the best preventive for her cat.

What about allergy shots?

Some cats deserve to be desensitized to the adverse effects of allergens through a series of distinct injections. However, flea allergy desensitization walk not often tend to be used for FAD in cats, as the success price is exceptionally variable.

What about steroids or various other drugs?

Corticosteroids (cortisone or steroids) have the right to be provided to block the allergic reaction and give immediate relief come a cat suffering from the intense itching of FAD. This is frequently a necessary component of dealing with flea allergy dermatitis, especially during the early stages. Some cats respond ideal to long-acting injections (e.g., glucocorticoids, brand name Depo-medrol®) and also others to oral medication (e.g., prednisone).

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"Your veterinarian will talk about the pros and also cons the the miscellaneous treatments because that FAD v you throughout the examination, and will recommend the safest and most efficient treatment arrangement for your pet"s individual needs."

While it is true that cats are an ext resistant to the negative side effects of steroids 보다 humans and dogs, significant side results of steroids can occur if not used properly (see handout "Steroid Treatment: effects in Cats" for much more information). Because that this reason, the goal is to administer the smallest amount that steroid necessary to save the cat comfortable. For part patients, combine corticosteroids through antihistamines and/or omega-fatty mountain supplements will provide the ideal kind of relief. If your cat establishes a second bacterial skin epidemic (pyoderma) due to the fact that of the scratching, antibiotics may also be necessary. Periodically topical treatments through shampoos and sprays might be considered.