A Guide to Prescription Cat Allergy Medicine

If your cat experiences congestion, sneezing, runny nose or red and irritated skin, he may be suffering from feline allergies. Finding an appropriate cat allergy medicine to help reduce his symptoms requires that you know what he is allergic to. The first step toward treating your cat's allergies with a prescription cat allergy medicine is diagnosing him. If you suspect that your cat suffers from feline allergies, take him for a veterinary examination and allergy test to determine the source.

Recognizing and Diagnosing Feline Allergies

Feline allergies can be caused by particles in the air, by parasites or by certain foods. Depending upon the cause of the allergy, your pet may suffer from one or more of the following symptoms:

  • Cold-like symptoms (runny nose, sneezing, coughing or other related signs)
  • Excessive scratching
  • Irritated skin
  • Discolored mucous membranes
  • Rashes

If your pet displays any of these symptoms for more than a few days at a time, have him examined by a veterinarian. An allergy diagnosis is a process of elimination and will require tests against specific allergies to rule out possible affecting allergens. For food allergy diagnoses, your vet may ask you to alter your pet's diet in order to isolate the particular ingredient that causes the negative reaction.

Treating Allergies with Prescription Allergy Medications

The treatment for your cat's allergies is also dependent upon the nature of his reaction and the offending allergens. In some cases, such as food allergies, removal of the ingredient from your cat's diet may be sufficient to control his allergy symptoms. If he is allergic to fleas or other parasites, similarly removing these organisms from his environment will be helpful in reducing his allergic reaction.

For atopic allergies (allergies due to dust and particles in the air), your veterinarian may prescribe one or more medications to combat the effects of the allergen. Antihistamines like diphenhydramine or clemastine are commonly used to control allergic reactions and symptoms in both cats and dogs. Similarly, steroids and other allergy shots may be helpful to reducing the negative effects of a feline allergy.

Generally, antihistamines lose their effectiveness against allergies after a few months. Your pet's body builds up a resistance to the antihistamines, reducing their beneficial effects. Allergy shots tend to be longer lasting and overall more effective than antihistamines.

Other Considerations in Feline Allergy Treatment

Medicines like those listed above do not eliminate your pet's allergies. They are effective to some degree at controlling your pet's allergy symptoms, but the underlying allergic reaction itself cannot be treated. As such, there are other ways of helping to control your pet's allergies besides prescription medications. For instance, air purifiers and hypo-allergenic pillows and fabrics may help to control your pet's allergies.

Between environmental and lifestyle modifications and appropriate, vet-prescribed allergy medicines, most pet owners are able to reduce their pet's allergy symptoms dramatically. If your pet suffers from allergies, do not hesitate to speak with a veterinarian for advice specific to your situation.