A Cat Clinic

Allergies in Cats: Uh-oh, it’s allergy season!

Posted on: March 4th, 2016 by Dr. Dale Rubenstein

While watching the weather on the local news the other night, the weatherman mentioned the pollen counts for grasses and trees. And it’s only the beginning of March! So even though there may still be snow on the ground where you live (and we just had another dusting here last night), spring–and it’s associated allergy season–is coming. What does this mean to your cat? Allergies in cats are a very real problem, they just look a little different than allergies for you or me.

There are several differences in how allergens affect humans and cats. People have a lot of histamine-containing cells in our upper respiratory tract, so when we suffer allergies, we sneeze and have itchy eyes. Cats have fewer histamine-containing cells (which is why anti-histamines aren’t as effective in cats), and the ones they do have are located in their ears. When dust mites or pollens come in contact with a cat’s ears via grooming, this triggers inflammation, which results in itching and scratching.

What can I do to help my cat?
In the home:

If my cat goes outside:

Other possible treatments:

After a long winter, most of us look forward to spring. But if your cat suffer severe allergies, you might be dreading it’s arrival. Try some of these suggestions to see if you and your cat can learn to look forward to the warm, sunny days ahead!