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Cat Allergies

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Picture of Dr. Rick Coufal, DVM

Dr. Rick Coufal, DVM

Dr. Rick Coufal is the founder and lead veterinarian for Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic. Coufal graduated from State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in May of 2000.

With the arrival of fall and the end to summer, the season of allergies is upon many residents of Colorado. Luckily, there are many ways to treat and diagnose allergies for humans, it is much more difficult for cats to vocalize their allergies and discomfort. Unfortunately, cats are just susceptible to the effects of a variety of allergens as we are, causing them discomfort, and preventing them from being happy and healthy.

At Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic in Colorado Springs, our experienced professionals have noted that it is common for cats to have seasonal and food allergies. Due to Colorado’s climate and everchanging weather patterns, we have treated a wide variety of allergy triggers affecting cats throughout Colorado Springs, Black Forest, Peyton, Falcon, and Monument. Similar to your doctor brings you relief from these nasty allergens, we also want to provide your cat with that same relief so you and your cat can return to enjoying our beautiful centennial state.

What Causes Pet Allergies?

Similar to human seasonal allergies, pets allergies can be caused by a wide range of factors depending on the specific pet. It is common for cats to be allergic to environmental triggers that can be found in outdoor environments. We love to be outside with our pets. In some cases, enjoying the outdoors can turn a fun afternoon into an evening of discomfort. Environmental allergy triggers can often include:

  • Grasses
  • Weeds
  • Mold spores
  • Dust mites
  • Shed skin cells (similar to pet allergies in humans)
  • Insect proteins such as flea saliva
  • Some medications.
  • Plants
  • Pollen
  • Chemicals used in the home and outdoors

Pet Allergy Symptoms

Allergy symptoms for cats may be similar to that of human allergies. If your pet experiences any of the following symptoms, contact your local veterinary clinic. Cat allergy symptoms may include, but are not restricted to:

  • Dermatitis: Redness, skin irritation, and excessive scratching which can lead to rubbing their face and body on the carpet in order to alleviate itchiness.
  • Excessive biting and chewing of legs and paws which can lead to open sores, scabs, and hair loss.
  • Fluid buildup in the ears which can lead to head shaking and scratching.
  • Itching of the skin, either localized (in one area) or generalized (all over the body)
  • Runny discharge from the eyes or nose
  • Digestive issues including vomiting or diarrhea
  • Respiratory system issues including coughing, sneezing, and/or wheezing 

How To Treat Cat Allergies

Impactful treatments will tipally involve allergy testing to identify the source of the allergens. Getting your pet tested for allergies will help to narrow down their triggers and determine the most effective method of treatment. It is important for your cat’s overall health to identify the allergens that are causing their allergies to prevent future damage and manage their discomfort. Once the allergens have been identified a qualified veterinarian can prescribe a medicine that can provide much-needed relief for your kitten. 

If an allergy testing can not be done immediately you can still help reduce their discomfort by making these easy changes to your pet’s routine. 

  • Vacuuming and cleaning regularly will reduce pollen that has settled in your home.
  • Cat food with anti-inflammatory ingredients will help to reduce skin irritation.
  • Changing and washing linens frequently; including Cat bed covers, bedsheets, and couch covers.
  • Giving your cat a bath after being outdoors, including a thorough cleaning of paws, will help remove dander and pollen.
  • Training your cat to wear boots on their paws will reduce the allergens that can get in between their paw pads.
  • Adding fatty acid supplements to your cat’s diet has been proven to assist in soothing itchy and irritated skin. 

Cat Food Allergies vs Seasonal Allergies 

Seasonal allergies in cats are commonly caused by environmental factors and increased outdoor activity throughout the spring, summer, and fall seasons. Alternatively, food allergies are caused by a different set of factors and can present themselves in similar ways as seasonal cat allergies. If a cat is allergic to a certain food, they can have symptoms such as itching, digestive disorders, and respiratory distress. It is possible for a cat to have more than one allergy type. 

Even though food allergies may have similar symptoms, they have a much different source and cause.  Similar to in humans food allergies or sensitivities can be developed at any age. The most common food allergies for cats are: 

  • Dairy products 
  • Beef
  • Wheat gluten 
  • Chicken 
  • Chicken eggs
  • Lamb
  • Soy 

When To Take Your Cat To The Vet For Allergies  

Because cat allergies can be caused by both food and environmental factors, it is important to seek professional help so that they can narrow down the possible causes. If you observe that your cat is experiencing any of the symptoms it’s a good idea to speak with your local veterinarian regarding the next steps. Seeking veterinary treatment allows you to understand what the cause of your cat allergies is and how to make them feel more comfortable. 

Treating Cat Allergies | How Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic Can Help

At Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic, we know how allergies affect the quality of life for both you and your cat. If you think your cat may be experiencing allergy symptoms or discomfort, contact us to schedule an exam. Our team of qualified veterinarians will check the condition of your pet’s skin, ears, nose, and eyes for signs of allergic reactions through our wellness exams. Additionally, we can perform additional allergy testing, including blood work, to narrow down your pet’s specific allergy triggers. Our loving staff at Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic in Colorado Springs will bring comfort to your cat’s allergies. Learn about Dog Allergies here!

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Ponderosa Veterinary Clinic is seeking an enthusiastic and caring veterinarian to work relief, part-time or full-time in our general practice. PVC is a full-service, 3+ doctor, small-animal veterinary hospital. We have established an excellent reputation for developing lasting relationships with our clients and for providing compassionate and quality care to our patients.