If your cat appears to get sick with the same symptoms over and over, he might not actually be sick. It's possible he has allergies to some substance inside or outside your house. Just like his human's, his immune system can react too strongly to these substances.
Look for respiratory, gastric or skin allergy symptoms in your little dude. These can include itchy eyes or goopy discharge in the corners of his eyes; sneezing, snoring when his throat is inflamed, and coughing or wheezing if he is developing asthma. He could have itchy ears or ear infections. If his symptoms are gastric, he could develop diarrhea or vomiting.
Skin allergies can cause itching skin and more scratching than usual. If the base of your cat's tail itches, he might have developed a flea allergy. He might also chew his paws. If they are swollen, he could have skin allergies. If you see red, crusty bumps on his head, back and neck, this is an indicator that your poor baby has an insect allergy.
Some Allergy-Causing Substances
Your poor baby could have an allergy to anything containing chicken fat or protein. If he likes chicken, you’ll need to withhold anything that has chicken or any chicken byproduct. Other foods to which your cat may develop allergies include turkey, beef and pork.
Airborne substance allergies are called “atopy.” These can include grass pollens; tree pollens such as oak, cedar and ash; and weed pollens including goldenrod and ragweed -- ahh-choo! Inside your house, he may be allergic to dust mites, mold and mildew.
Contact allergies are the least common; they can include bedding, carpet, wool and detergents. You’ll notice that he itches and has skin irritation on the areas of his body where he has made contact with these substances if he's allergic to them.
Your fur baby can become allergic to fleas. He will begin itching, scratching and licking at the fur on the base of his tail and in the backs of his thighs.
Miscellaneous Allergy-Causing Substances
Cigarette smoke can cause some allergy symptoms in your little guy, leading to respiratory symptoms and possible asthma. If you like to wear different scents, he may react with sneezing, coughing or wheezing. When he does this, he isn’t trying to hurt your feelings. His body just can’t tolerate the scent. He may also develop allergies to some of the cleaning products you use, meaning you’ll need to switch your cleaning allegiances. Rubbers and plastics can also become problematic for your cat. Just as with humans, prescription drugs can cause allergies in your little cat-dude. Let your vet know if she needs to prescribe a medication for him.
The first and best way of treating an allergy in your little guy is to remove the allergens from his living environment. Clean his bedding weekly and vacuum at least twice a week. Frequent baths can help to remove any environmental allergens from his skin, but use a shampoo that does not dry his skin. If he has food allergies, he’ll need to stick to a strict cat diet with prescribed food.
In many cases, a kitty can’t help but be exposed to some allergens. Remedies that can help relieve the resulting misery include corticosteroid injections, antihistamines, fatty acid supplements, itch-relieving sprays and monthly flea preventatives. If a skin allergy with itching and weepy lesions becomes infected, an antibiotic or anti-yeast application can be prescribed for your little boy.
Genevieve Van Wyden began writing in 2007. She has written for “Tu Revista Latina” and owns three blogs. She has worked as a CPS social worker, gaining experience in the mental-health system. Van Wyden earned her Bachelor of Arts in journalism from New Mexico State University in 2006.