Feline Dermatitis
Diagnosing and Treating Cat Contact Allergy


feline dermatitis

As with all feline allergies, it may take some time to identify the allergen causing feline dermatitis. And as with all allergies, feline contact allergy cannot be cured. However, its symptoms can be alleviated.

Contact allergy can be prevented and treated. So even if you cat is feeling miserable as a result of feline contact allergy, you can reduce the symptoms and make its life good again.

But first you need to see the vet – you do want to be sure you are dealing with contact allergy so the treatment can be effective. This is especially important in cases of irritant contact dermatitis, as the substance causing the reaction may be so poisonous your cat may need immediate veterinary attention. If in doubt, at least call your vet, don’t wait till the next day.

Bring your cat’s medical history with you, and if you suspect some specific allergen, tell that.

The vet will do tests to rule out other skin diseases and allergies. These tests may include a biopsy, skin scraping and allergy blood tests.

Also reactant patch test is most likely done as it reveals allergic contact dermatitis (not the irritant contact dermatitis). In this test suspected allergens are rubbed on the cats skin. These patches are then bandaged (to stop the cat from licking them) and after a few days the bandage is taken away and the vet will check the patches. If there is redness and swelling in any given patch, it is a sign of contact allergy to that specific allergen.


The treatment of feline dermatitis caused by contact allergy is a combination of removing of the allergens from the cat’s surroundings and allergy medications.

Topical solutions may be used to help with the itching.

If the itching is severe, steroids shots can be used.

Antihistamines are also helpful in dealing with the feline dermatitis itch.

If the cat has so badly injured its skin by excessive grooming that a secondary bacterial infection has been caused, antibiotics are given to the cat.

And at home you have to prevent your cat’s exposure to the antigen (or antigens, as the cat may be allergic to many things).

If it is your rug that causes the allergy, you have to get rid of the rug.

If house dust or mold is the culprit, that means cleaning more often and using air purifiers.

If it is grass – well, no more outdoors for your cat if it can roam freely. You might consider building it a large outdoor cage with a scratching post and shelves your cat can perch on.

You can use fatty acids on your cat’s food (Omega3) together with biotin. Also you could use hypoallergenic shampoos to clean allergens from your cat’s coat, especially if it is not possible to completely limit your cat’s exposure to allergens. In such a case anti-inflammatory medication may also be necessary.

If your cat is allergic to something found outdoors, you also need to be careful not to bring the allergens into the house (like grass in your shoes).

If your cat is an expert in opening cupboards, be sure the ones containing household chemicals and cleaners are locked.

Change your cat’s bedding into hypoallergenic materials.

Change your cat’s food and water bowls from plastic to ceramic or metal ones.

It really is rather easy to get rid of your cats contact allergy symptoms. You simply remove the allergen. If this means some redecorating at home, it should not be a big thing if you love your cat - which I am certain you do.

feline dermatitis


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 cat-breeds-info.com is exclusively of a general reference nature. Do not disregard veterinary advice or delay treatment as a result of accessing information at this site.

The photographs are copyrighted by their photographers - do not copy.

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