Can My Cat Have Allergies?

CatChannel expert Jeanne Adlon, professional cat sitter, shares advice for people who suspect their cats have allergies.

By Jeanne Adlon | Posted: March 21, 2012, 12 p.m. EST

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Q: Do cats suffer from allergies?

A: Yes. None of my current cats have allergies but I have cared for some cats that suffer from allergies. One client had a cat named Lady who suffered from asthma, which made her much more susceptible to airborne allergens. My client had to keep the windows closed and have an air purifier running to make sure her cat was comfortable. It was worth it because this cat was extremely affectionate and in every way a “good girl.” I guess she knew she was being well taken care of.

Cat allergy symptoms could include severe licking and scratching. If untreated, this could lead to hair loss, skin sores and infection. If you suspect any problems, take your cat to the vet; he or she can steer you toward a diagnosis and treatment. Medications can help and you make some simple changes in the home.

Indoor allergens such as dust mites, mold spoors, disinfectants, deodorizers, cigarette smoke, powdered carpet fresheners and dusty cat litter can trouble cats in the same way they can trouble people. If your cat has allergies, buy top quality dust-free litter, vacuum floors and surfaces frequently and wash cat bedding in hot water every week.

Providing a clean living space will go a long way toward making your cat more comfortable. Like most feline issues, cat allergies can be addressed and problems lessened with patience and determination — and don’t forget the cat treats!

As always I welcome your stories and comments.

Cat Calls BookGood News! My new book, "Cat Calls: Wonderful Stories and Practical Advice from a Veteran Cat Sitter" with CAT FANCY editor Susan Logan is now available in stores and online. Please click here for more information.
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Reader Comments

Gary    Topeka, KS

4/9/2012 12:57:08 PM

My boy cat Buddy had an allergy. He would lick and lick and lick his under belly. His vet would give him an allergy shot that would help for a little while. My wife had celiac sprue disease (gluten intolerant). She could eat nothing with wheat, oats, barley, and rye in it. I suspected Buddy may have had the same problem since skin allergic reactions are a symptom of this problem. I started buying only cat food with none of the above ingredients in it and within a few months his problem went away. My wife was astounded that a cat could have the same problem she had.

Marie    Madisonville, KY

4/4/2012 3:06:04 PM

I have a cat who has allergies....she started pulling out her fur on her back, on her chest and on one of her back legs....she was getting red looking places on her stomach....the red places have occurred before, this was the first time for the eating her fur...both times took her to the vet and he gave her a shot which cleared it up quickly...I have to watch her for recurring problems.

Samantha    Mission, BC

3/24/2012 5:26:41 PM

Good article. I'm lucky that my last cat and now my kitten don't have allergies.

Marie Elizabeth    Oahu, HI

3/24/2012 6:59:05 AM

Our little boy is on prednisone for his allergies.

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