Just as with humans, our four-footed friends can have serious reactions to a wide range of allergens in their food and environment. Keeping your cat away from these is the best way to prevent nasty allergic reactions, but there are a variety of things you can do to help reduce the discomfort and associated conditions.
Signs your cat may have an allergic reaction to fleas or ticks include:
Adult ticks are often visible to the naked eye so you may spot them on short-haired cats. But with longer-haired cats, it’s best to do a thorough inspection with a flea comb.
While allergies can be an uncomfortable result of flea or tick bites, both parasites can cause a host of other problems for your cat including several fatal diseases. For more, see our Flea and Tick for Cats section.
Cats are highly allergic to flea saliva. Just one bite can start your cat scratching. With exceptional jumping skills, these insects are capable of leaping vertically up to seven inches to hop on a host to feed and lay their eggs. Females can lay up to 5,000 eggs (that’s a lot of fleas and lot of bites causing allergies) in a lifetime.
While the tick bite can be relatively painless, like with fleas, your cat can have an intense allergic reaction to tick saliva. And females can lay up to a 1,000 eggs at a time. Adult ticks lay in wait in grass or bushes seeking to attach themselves to a new host. Like fleas, they prefer warmer climates.
Intense allergic reactions to flea bites cause painful itching and scratching, and are just one of the problems these tiny insects can cause your cat. Fleas also transmit a variety of diseases, such as bartonella and typhus, as well as tapeworms.
Female ticks can consume more than a 100 times their body weight in your cat’s blood, which can lead to anemia in your cat. Even more dangerously, ticks can transmit cytauxzoonosis, tularemia, Hemobartonellosis. Lyme disease, Rocky Mountain spotted fever, erlichiosis, hepatozoonosis, and anaplasmosis, and some of these diseases can be fatal if not treated swiftly. For more on the dangers of these diseases, see our Flea and Tick for Cats section.
Taking steps to prevent your cat from getting fleas and ticks is the best thing you can do to avoid having him or her experience severe discomfort and suffer from some potentially fatal conditions. A regular monthly regimen using PetArmor® is a great way to keep your cat free from flea and tick infestations.
Signs that your cat has direct contact allergies include:
Your cat’s allergen receptors are located in his or her skin. So cats don’t get as bad a runny nose or congestion from allergies as we do. Instead, they develop skin conditions. Allergic reactions can occur when your pet comes into direct contact with mold spores, plant pollens, dust mites, lawn products, household cleaning products, certain fabrics, and some materials such as rubber and plastics.
Just as it is for humans, your cat’s allergies can be uncomfortable. And allergic cats tend to scratch a lot, which can lead to infections, lesions and hot spots or ear infections.
Preventing your cat from coming into contact with allergens is the best thing you do to avoid this uncomfortable condition. Should your cat become exposed, consult your veterinarian. However, you can ease your cat’s discomfort by treating affected areas with topical solutions.