It is the time of year when the pollen counts run high, and many people suffer the annual effects of seasonal allergy syndrome. I’m sure you know many people who are allergic to either dogs or cats and cannot be around them without sneezing and feeling those bothersome physical effects that come from exposure to the animal’s dander which is found in their fur.
But what about Kitty? Can he be affected in similar ways? It turns out that your favorite feline can also suffer seasonal allergies from pollen and other irritants in the air. However, the way they display their symptoms is quite different from humans. First, they may experience the following topical symptoms:
- Excessive licking and grooming
- Itchy skin
- Red, dry, and/or irritated skin
Less common, they can also have these respiratory or digestive reactions:
- Red, itchy, and/or watery eyes
The best thing about seasonal allergies is that they are, in fact, seasonal. Though uncomfortable for Kitty, they will usually subside as the pollen count drops. Some pets will suffer these symptoms throughout the year as reactions to irritants in their environment, most commonly dust, mold, perfumes, or cigarette smoke. The best way to lower the recurrence of allergies is to pay close attention to your surroundings and try to remove any such triggers. Both you and they will be happier with a healthier environment in which allergies can not manifest.
Then following are a few ways we can help Kitty to suffer fewer allergy attacks:
Yes, You Can Bathe Cats! Bathing helps to remove excess dander from the cat’s skin. This will help discourage any human allergic reactions to your felines. If there are irritants in the air that are causing Kitty’s own allergies, a nice bath will help remove them, so he should feel much better après bath. Hopefully, you don’t have to fight with him to get him bathed. Some cats, contrary to popular opinion, absolutely love the water. Suffice it to say, some cats do not!
Wash Kitty’s Stuff. I am sure you know where Kitty likes to hang out. If he has a favorite bed or place he likes best, it’s time for spring cleaning! You can machine wash his Armarkat bed. If it is has a zip-off cover, remove the poly fill before washing. Scour favorite areas and vacuum. Do this throughout allergy season.
Out is Out! Your indoor cat can be exposed to pollen through open windows or via screen doors. You can even bring pollen inside on your hair or your clothes. For outdoor cats, it should go without saying that you may want to limit their access to the outdoors during these peak allergy weeks.
Dust Free Litter is In. Easy fix. ‘Nuff said!
Vet Visit if Needed. For severe or persistent symptoms, the vet will be your best bet. He can run tests to drill down to the source of the allergies and come up with a targeted treatment plan. Your cat may need a prescription for antihistamines, special diets, and more. Watch Kitty carefully as his symptoms begin to dissipate. When you see he is noticeably more comfortable, you too can relax and enjoy the beauty of the spring season.
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