Cat Allergy Symptoms

So what are the cat allergy symptoms – how does a cat show it is allergic to something?

Usually, when we think about allergy symptoms, runny noses and eyes come to mind, as well as sneezing and asthma.

In cats, however, allergy symptoms usually show in their skin. So, if you notice your cat begins to groom itself excessively, pay attention. If it starts to scratch itself, you should really be alert before the cat causes skin damage to itself.

Diagnosing the allergy can take a while because a symptom can be a sign of many allergies. Some symptoms are of course typical of a specific allergy.

Obviously these symptoms may cause a cat to lose its energy and have behavioral changes. That is quite logical – if you had a horrible itch all the time, you would certainly behave differently from normal.

There are three main ways allergy symptoms show in a cat.

Cat Allergy Symptoms:
Digestive Problems

Allergy may cause the cat to vomit. It may also have diarrhea and flatulence. Its stools may become very hard or very loose. There may be hair in the feces, caused by the excessive grooming. It is normal for a cat to vomit some fur balls, but if this begins to happen more frequently, you should observe your cat more closely. Also if the cat begins to vomit other than hair balls, she may be showing cat allergy symptoms.

Respiratory Problems

Cat allergy symptoms include problems in breathing. Respiratory problems include coughing, sneezing and wheezing – and a bit surprisingly also snoring (caused by the inflammation of the throat).

Sneezing is not as common a symptom of allergies in cats as it is in humans. Usually, if it is an allergy symptom, it appears in tandem with itchy skin. If it is the only symptom of an allergy, then the cat’s allergy is a mild one.

Respiratory allergy symptoms may cause shallow breathing – and at its worst the cat’s airways close up. This is called an anaphylactic reaction – and as everyone understands, that is an emergency situation.

Respiratory allergic reactions may have associated nasal or eye discharge. Allergic nasal discharge is watery. Allergic eye discharge is either milky white, yellowish or green.

Skin Reactions

The most common cat allergy symptoms are skin reactions.

The cat may chew itself, loose hair, have increased pigmentation and pustules on its skin. It clearly itches and the skin is irritated from all the grooming, chewing and licking. There can be scabs, lesions and scaly skin, as well as bumps when the cat’s autoimmune system attacks the skin. The skin may thicken too and be twitchy.

The coat can be dull, and the skin either excessively dry or oily.

The symptoms can be lozalized or all over the cat’s body. Often redness and itching is localized at the base of the cat’s tail.

The cat may scratch itself to the stage where it begins to bleed and this can cause even worse infections and inflammations. It may chew its paws which can become swollen.

Other Allergy Symptoms

Other symptoms of allergy may include head shaking and red, swollen tissue around the cat’s eyes. (The glands may be swollen as well.) If, in the case of the eyes, the irritation is more than minor and cleaning doesn’t help, the eyes are infected.

If your cat shows any of these symptoms, you are wise to contact your vet. And as you can imagine - treating feline allergies can be costly, so be wise and take a cat insurance first thing when you adopt a new cat.

Go back to Feline Allergies 
Go to Cat Allergy Treatment

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Disclaimer: This website is not intended to replace professional consultation, diagnosis, or treatment by a licensed veterinarian. If you require any veterinary related advice, contact your veterinarian promptly. Information at is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard veterinary advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site. 

Leena's Books


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