Does your cat seem to get a cold every autumn or summer? Maybe both seasons tend to bring on a cold or congestion? If so, your cat may be suffering from seasonal allergies.
A cat that has seasonal allergies will exhibit symptoms much the same as people do. Even indoor cats that are prone to allergies can't seem to escape the outdoor elements that trigger them.
Seasonal allergies in cats tend to bring on symptoms such as:
- Watery eyes
- Skin inflammation
Some cats develop asthma as a result of their seasonal allergies.
The first few times your cat experiences a flare-up from his or her allergies, you may think they have a cold. Without doing extensive and sometimes expensive testing, your veterinarian may not be able to tell if your cat has a case of cold or allergies at first glance. One of the best ways to confirm allergies, again without testing, is that they reoccur year after year at the same time.
Wheezing and coughing aren't common allergy symptoms. If you think your cat is experiencing respiratory problems, don't wait to see the vet.
It is vital that you discuss a treatment plan with your veterinarian. Once you have determined that your cat has allergies and what the best course of treatment is, there's a good chance you won't have to make a trip to the vet every time the allergies flare.
There are some antihistamines that are safe for cats. However, no matter what you read or hear from someone else, please do not give your cat any over-the-counter medication without your vet's approval. Once you have the go-ahead to administer meds, you will be on the way to helping your cat feel much better.
If your cat suffers from skin irritation, you may want to try giving him or her baths. There are specially formulated cat shampoos that are hypoallergenic and soothing to irritated skin. If your cat has red, inflamed, or raw skin, sometimes referred to as "hot spots," hold off on that bath until you have seen the vet.
For a cat that suffers from asthma as a result of his or her allergies, your vet may want you to keep medication on hand in the case of an attack. Steroids or cortisone medications such as Prednisone are commonly used to help calm or ward off an attack.
Once you know that your cat suffers from seasonal allergies, you will be quick to notice symptoms and take the required action to make your feline friend feel better.