Cat Skin Allergy Treatment

Skin allergy treatment in cats can involve simple solutions like anti-itch shampoos or more complex and expensive procedures such as immunotherapy and corticosteroids. Skin allergies in cats can rapidly develop into bacterial infections, especially if the cat scratches his skin continuously. Allergies can also be a sign of other health conditions, so you may have your cat examined by a veterinarian in order to find the causes and start treatment as soon as possible.

Causes of Skin Allergy in Cats

Depending on the causes, there are four types of allergies in cats:

  • Inhalant allergy is the most common in felines. This condition is similar to human hay fever. The allergens provoking inhalant allergies in cats are the same as in humans: pollen, dust, mold or chemicals. Most cats will have allergies during certain seasons, but in some cases cats show signs of allergy all year round. This type of allergy causes severe itching
  • Contact allergy occurs when allergens are absorbed through the skin.
  • Parasite allergy is mostly caused by fleas. While most cats do not react to the flea bites, some are allergic to the saliva the fleas inject when feeding on the blood.
  • Food allergy can be caused by preservatives in the food, additives or ingredients the cat grows intolerant to. The cat can become allergic to a certain type of food.

How to Tell Your Cat Needs Skin Allergy Treatment

There are several symptoms which could mean your cat suffers from a skin allergy. If you notice any of them, you should visit your veterinarian as soon as possible, to avoid aggravation.

  • The cat is scratching, licking, chewing or biting himself
  • Shaking of head
  • Red bumps, crusts or vesicles filled with puss appear on the skin
  • Skin is thickened in some areas
  • Skin changes color
  • Hair loss

Skin Allergy Treatment in Cats

The treatment for ski allergy will be established depending on the specific causes:

  • If you are dealing with an inhalant allergy, the first thing to do will be to avoid exposing the cat to the allergens.
  • Anti-itch and antibacterial shampoos are easy to use at home and will soothe the cat's pain
  • Bathing up to several times a week might be recommended
  • If the cat is allergic to something he is eating you will have to perform food trials and you will need to control everything your cat is eating.
  • Topical anti-inflammatory drugs can be prescribed
  • Antihistamines can be bought over the counter. Although they are rarely effective used without other treatments, they can relieve the itch. Antihistamines are usually combined with other types of medication.
  • Corticosteroid therapy is effective in food allergies. Due to the negative side-effects, this is a therapy that veterinarians try to avoid
  • Allergy shots (immunotherapy), but these won’t work in cats with food allergies
  • If the cat has developed a secondary infection, your veterinarian will prescribe antibiotics as well.