Cats, too, can experience allergies and dermatological issues. Typically, allergy and skin problems are not life threatening, but that does not mean they are not important. It is essential to address any issues with your cat to keep them happy and living as the royalty they are. Having a cat that is miserable due to an allergy or skin problem is no fun, that is where we come in!
The most common allergy symptoms include:
- Excessive itching
- Excessive sneezing
- Licking more than normal
- Loss of fur or excessively flaky skin
- Reverse sneezing
What Causes Feline Allergies?
Feline allergies have many sources, including food sensitivities, environmental allergens, underlying infection, or parasites they may come into contact with. When exposed to an allergen, your cat’s immune system will provoke an external response that indicates that something is not quite right. The first step in the treatment of many allergy or dermatology issues in cats is to uncover the source of the issue. Your veterinarian will be your best ally to discover what is causing all the fuss; they are practically medical detectives!
Diagnosing Allergies or Other Dermatological Issues
The first step to a diagnosis is to give your veterinarian a thorough history of your cat. They will need to know what kind of food they are on, what their normal indoor and/or environment is, if they have been on any adventures lately, etc. Oftentimes, your cat's history will be enough for your veterinarian to be able to diagnose the source of the allergy. However, when their history is not enough, further testing may be required. To further diagnose allergies, your veterinarian may recommend testing such as bloodwork, a simple skin scraping, or a cytology, among others.
The good news about allergies and dermatologic issues is that they are treatable! Thanks to fantastic advances in veterinary medicine, there are a wide variety of treatments available to help your cat and improve their quality of life. Some of the most popular treatments include a simple food switch, a change in environment, oral medications, and topical medications.
When To See A Specialist
Before seeing a specialist make sure you have gone to your cat’s primary care veterinarian first. If your cat’s primary vet has exhausted their depth of knowledge and your cat is still experiencing discomfort, it may be time for a referral to a veterinary allergy and dermatology specialist. A discussion with your cat’s primary veterinarian can guide you to know when it is time to seek further assistance.