Common Allergies and Infections in Cats

beautiful cat

Just like humans, pets are also prone to allergies and infections. If you have a cat who itches several times a day, you need to pay attention and consult your vet for treatment. Some breeds are more prone to allergies and infections. 

So pet owners with cats need to be vigilant of the signs and symptoms of allergies or infections. This post shares the most common allergies and infections in cats that cat owners should be aware of. 

What are Cat Allergies?

To understand the symptoms of allergies, it’s important to know what allergies are. An allergy is an overreaction of the immune system to bacteria, virus, or allergen like dust, pollen, or ingredient in food. Allergies can occur both in humans and animals. 

To understand the symptoms of allergies, it’s important to know what allergies are. An allergy is an overreaction of the immune system to bacteria, virus, or allergen like dust, pollen, or ingredient in food. Allergies can occur both in humans and animals. 

The immune system treats all these things like foreign invaders and tries to block them from entering the body and causing infection. The immune system also releases histamine, which leads to a lot of inflammation. This inflammation is a common symptom in the digestive system, the skin, and the upper respiratory system. 

Inflammation on the skin causes itchiness and redness, and it disrupts the protective barrier of the skin in cats. In addition to inflammation, scratching and licking wounds and secondary skin infections are also seen in cats. 

Common Allergies in Cats

Flea Allergies

While most cats experience itchiness when bitten by fleas, a flea allergy can make it highly sensitive to flea bites. Cats can experience the effect of flea bites all over their body, not only on the area of flea bite. It is always better to protect your cat from being bitten in the first place. 

Food Allergies

Another common allergy in cats are food allergies. Your cat may be allergic to some foods that cause an allergic reaction such as vomiting, diarrhea, or skin itchiness. If you find your cat allergic to some foods, consult your veterinarian to get a proper diet plan. 

Atopic dermatitis

Atopic dermatitis is a skin condition found in cats in which they may develop skin sores, redness, scabbing, and hair loss. 

Contact Allergies

Although contact allergy is less common, some cats are allergic to some materials such as plastic, cotton, wool, etc. As they come in contact with these materials, they may develop symptoms such as skin itching, and irritation of the eyes. A cat allergic to plastic may develop digestive issues when served food in plastic bowls. 

Environmental Allergies 

happy cat pet

In addition, there are environmental allergies that are challenging to avoid for your pets. It is usually tough to protect your cat from allergies like grass, fungi, mildew, dust, and dust mites. A cat with environmental allergies requires long-term treatment. This is to prevent flare-ups and reduce the ongoing systems. 

Common Infections in Cats

In addition to allergies cats also suffer from certain infections. Although it is not possible to write about all the infections in a single post, we have listed the most common infections in cats. 

Upper Respiratory Infections (URI)

If your cat is sneezing like a cartoon, it’s a classic sign of an Upper Respiratory Infection, or URI for short. It’s like the common cold for cats, and just as sneaky. A URI is often caused by viruses, and much like us humans, cats can catch it when they come into contact with an infected buddy. 

So, the next time you see your cat sneezing like crazy, don’t worry – it might just be an upper respiratory infection that can be easily treated with medications. 

Dental Infections

If your cat is trying to explain why they can’t chew their kibble, it can be a sign of dental infection!” Cats are prone to dental infections, and it’s no joke when their pearly whites start acting up. 

These infections often happen when plaque and tartar build-up on their teeth, causing gum inflammation and pain. So, maybe consider a kitty toothbrush in your next Amazon haul. Just don’t expect your cat to appreciate the gesture – they might give you the cold shoulder for a day or two.

Ear Infections

Ever seen your cat trying to rub their ears against the furniture or things that have edges or corners? That’s a sign they might have an ear infection. These can be caused by mites, bacteria, or yeast, and they can make your feline friend quite the drama queen. Ear infections are no fun for your cat, but hey, at least it gives them an excuse to act even more dramatic than usual!

Parasitic Infections

Fleas, ticks, and worms – oh my! These tiny terrors can wreak havoc on your cat’s health. While it’s not exactly a topic for polite conversation, knowing how to deal with these pests is crucial. Fleas can make your cat itch like they’re auditioning for a flea circus, while worms can cause tummy troubles. Ticks? Well, they’re just plain creepy. 

A parasite in the intestines or colon can also cause bleeding, which can be a serious issue. Cats with intestinal parasites can experience problems like digestive disorders or blood in stool. Although the infection is treatable, sick cats require proper treatment. So, if you see any such infection in your cat, consult your vet for proper medication and treatment. 

Urinary Tract Infections (UTIs)

Cats are known for their dignity, but when they get a urinary tract infection, that dignity can fly right out the window. UTIs are more common in male cats, and they can be downright uncomfortable. Your fur ball might start peeing in unusual places or act like they’re in a hurry to get out of the litter box – not exactly the poised behavior you’re used to. But don’t worry, with the right treatment, they’ll be back to their elegant selves in no time.

Fungal Infections

Fungal infections in cats can be quite challenging for them as well as pet owners. Ringworm, for example, isn’t a worm at all – it’s a fungus that can cause circular, itchy patches on your cat’s skin. Fungal infections are not fun but cause itching and discomfort. But with the right treatment, your cat can be back to their graceful self.

Summing Up

Cats may have nine lives, but they’re not invincible to infections. Allergies and infections are common and become severe with time, but they are treatable. As soon as you see any symptom of an allergy or infection, consult your vet immediately to get proper treatment for your cat. These common ailments can be a bit of a hiccup in your cat’s daily routine, but with a dose of love, a trip to the vet, and a hygienic environment, they’ll be back on their paws in no time.

Article edited and reviewed by Dr. Claudio Butticè, Pharm.D. (who also loves cats a lot)