Feline Allergies to Litter

Feline allergies may be caused by different factors including substances cats inhale or litter. Diagnosing allergies can be problematic, as there are a lot of possible irritants and litter may be overlooked. However, you may test if your cat is allergic to litter by testing and switching to a different type of litter and monitoring if the allergy symptoms persist.

Causes of Feline Allergies to Litter

The feline allergies to litter are developed to the different ingredients used in the litter that may be inhaled by the cat.

The litter may contain bentonite, silica dust or clay, but there may also be certain fragrances or chemicals. Most typically, the cat develops allergies to the silica dust, the fragrances and the chemicals used.

The allergies are a response of the cat's immune system, so kittens or senior cats are more likely to develop litter allergies. Cats that are allergic to other irritants are more prone to have allergies to litter as well.

Symptoms of Litter Allergies

If your pet is allergic to litter, you may notice that he is sneezing, has a runny nose, watery and itchy eyes. The skin may also be itchy. The symptoms are more severe when the cat is near the litter box. These symptoms are permanent, as the cat is constantly exposed to the litter.

In some cases, the cat may develop acne and facial swelling and may start spraying around the house, to avoid the litter box.

If the allergies are severe, the cat may cough, as the lungs may also be involved.

Diagnosing Allergies to Litter

The allergies to litter may be diagnosed through a few blood tests or intradermal testing. The allergies may be detected in this manner if the cat is allergic to some common irritants.

You may need to perform a few elimination trials to establish if your cat is allergic to litter. You should check the label of the litter you use and detect the compounds and get a product that doesn't contain silica dust or fragrances. If the cat experiences the same symptoms, you may test a product that doesn't contain clay. Note that the symptoms may be present even 2 weeks after the product is gone, so be patient.

Treating and Managing Feline Allergies to Litter

The easiest way to manage feline allergies to litter is to eliminate the type of litter your cat is allergic to. You may also consider switching to a metal or ceramic litter box, as these accumulate less dust than litter boxes made of plastic.

However, if your cat seems to be allergic to all products that are available on the market, there are a few medications he may receive to manage the allergies.

The allergies cannot be treated, but the symptoms may be alleviated with antihistamines or cortisone.

A long term solution includes the allergy shots, provided your cat responds well to immunotherapy.