Kitty allergies


Our furry angels love to keep themselves neat and clean but still sometimes, they can suffer from skin allergies. Here are some of the most common types of skin allergies.
Cats are not usually born with allergies but they can develop after prolonged exposure to whatever the irritant might be. They are allergic to flea saliva, which is the most common cause of skin allergy. It is therefore extremely important that cat owners endeavour to keep problems with fleas under control by taking responsible care of their animals at all times. Other causes of allergies include food, dust and various plant pollens. Mites and ticks can also be a serious problem with cats but again, if the pet parent is vigilant with their animal cleanliness, this concern can generally be avoided.
Dietary allergies
Causes: Skin diseases caused by feline diet are not common. However, cow’s milk can often create allergies and so can some meat, fishand eggs.
Symptoms: Often the problem appears as rashes on areas around the head and neck. It becomes worse because it is an area where the cat can continually scratch easily.
Solution: Sometimes wearing an Elizabethan Collar will help avoid the non-stop scratching. Cats who live indoors can easily be put on a restricted diet. Also, ask your vet to recommend cat foods which contain ingredients toassist in the control of hypersensitive items in the cat’s diet.
Inhalant allergies
Causes: Cats are sometimes allergic to the various sprays we use to clean our homes. Sometimes, for cats who live outside in breeding catteries or have the freedom of the garden, this problem can be caused by various plants when in flower – cats can re-act in the same way that humans do when suffering during the flowering season of many plants.
Symptoms: Symptoms include either asthma or hay fever, which causes the cat to cough and sneeze for a long period of time.
Solution: It is not always easy to isolate the problem but, again, your veterinarian can help you to determine the cause and the possible medication needed to help reduce the allergy.
Drug allergies
Causes: Sometimes, cats react strongly to various medications given orally or by either injections or the application of various skin creams that need to be applied.
Symptoms: Every cat reacts differently and pet parents need to consult their veterinarians to discuss this problem.
Dos and Don’ts
l The most important thing to remember is that pet parents must NEVER attempt to use home remedies or human medications when faced with feline allergies.
l Your veterinarian is the only one who can really help you and who will do your cat no harm as he endeavours to seek the necessary solution to the problem.
(Joan E Henderson is based in Australia and she has judged furry felines in many other countries including USA, Bermuda, Malaysia, South Africa, Hong Kong, Philippines and New Zealand.)