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Cat allergies

Cat Allergy Causes

One of the commonest conditions that affect cats is allergies.

When in this allergic state, the immune system of the cat "overreacts" to foreign substances that is allergens or antigens to which it has been exposed. These overreactions can be manifested in three different ways. The commonest is itching of the cat’s skin; this can be either localized or generalized. Another manifestation occurs in the respiratory system and can lead to cat sneezing, coughing, or wheezing.

At times, there can be a nasal discharge or an ocular discharge. The third manifestation is in the digestive tract and can result in diarrhea or cat vomiting.

Common Allergies in Feline

There are four basically known allergies in cats like contact, food, flea and inhalant. Contact allergies are the least likely to occur among the four allergies types.

They cause a local reaction in the skin such as reactions to types of bedding, like wool or flea collars. If the cat has an allergy to these substances, then there will be indications like skin irritation and itching where the substance is making contact with the skin. Removal of these contact irritants can help solve the problem. But, to identify the allergen requires some amount of detective work. Flea allergy is fairly common among cats. Cats do not experience a major irritation to flea bites, and quite often there is no itching. However the cat that is flea allergic can have a severe itch-producing response to the deposit of flea's saliva on its skin. A single bite can cause a terrible itching such that the cat may severely chew or scratch itself, thus resulting in the removal of lots of its hair. It can also lead to open sores or even scabs forming on the skin, thus further leading to a secondary bacterial infection beginning. The location most commonly affected is the rump. Also the cat can have lots of little scabs near the head and neck. These are referred to as miliary lesions as the scabs tended to look like millet seeds. Another common allergy is the inhalant type or what is called as atopy. Cats can be allergic to tree pollens from ash, cedar, oak, etc or grass pollens, molds, weed pollens, mildew or dust mites found in houses. Many of these tend to occur seasonally and others from time to time. Humans inhaling these allergens refer to them as a respiratory problem or hay fever. The cat’s reaction to these allergens is severe itching. The final allergy is food allergies mostly to protein in foods like pork, beef, turkey or chicken. This also leads to itching, respiratory problems and digestive disorders.



  Submitted on May 11, 2010  

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