Antihistamines for Cat Allergy Relief

Cats can sometimes suffer from allergies. Antihistamines are often prescribed for cat allergy relief, being effective in keeping allergies under control. An allergic cat’s immune system produces an increased amount of histamines when he come in contact with an allergen (such as dust, pollen or chemicals). The histamines will cause all of the allergy symptoms such as sneezing, itching, swelling or dermatitis. The antihistamines will block the production of histamines, so that the allergy symptoms will not occur.

Antihistamines and Allergies

Antihistamines are designed to sop the production of histamines that cause the allergic reactions.

The typical symptoms of allergies in cats include:

  • Sneezing
  • Itchiness
  • Face rubbing
  • Swelling
  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose
  • Excessive licking and scratching

The allergies may get worse as the cat advances in age.

Antihistamines can be effective in preventing the allergy symptoms, but after 3 months of administration, the cat’s body may build up immunity to the antihistamine components and may not respond, allowing the histamines to still be produced. This is why the antihistamines should be rotated every 3 months: the vet will recommend a different type of antihistamine that contains different components, to which the cat’s body is not immune.

Types of Antihistamines

There are several types of antihistamines that may be prescribed for felines. The most commonly used antihistamines in cats include:

  • Chlorpheniramine, which is available as tablets and should be administered 3 times per day
  • Clemastine, very similar to Tavist
  • Cyproheptadine, also efficient in asthma management
  • Diphenhydramine, similar to Benadryl

Antihistamine Side Effects

Even if antihistamines are effective in relieving the symptoms of allergies, there are a few side effects that need to be considered. The main side effects of antihistamines include:

  • Dizziness
  • Confusion
  • Lack of coordination
  • Irritability
  • Digestive problems
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • Dry mouth
  • Dry nose

The administration of antihistamines over a long period of time may cause:

  • Difficulty urinating
  • Vision problems
  • Behavior changes

Alternative Cat Allergy Treatment Options

Allergy symptoms in cats can also be controlled through the administration of steroids and steroid compounds. The steroids shouldn’t be administered for a long time, as they can cause kidney failure and have other serious side effects. Antihistamines may be administered in conjunction with steroids.

Allergy shots are also an alternative to antihistamines and can relieve the allergy symptoms (except for food allergies). The allergy shots are administered on a regular basis and contain a dose of the allergen. The cat will build immunity to the allergen and may be completely healed after a few years of treatment.

Holistic treatment options and supplements are also available and may be effective in relieving the allergy symptoms, without causing side effects.