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Pollen Allergy And Hay Fever In Cats

A pollen allergy can also affect cats – regardless of whether they are outdoors or indoor cats. You can find out how hay fever in cats manifests itself here.

Pollen begins to fly in spring. Not only many people, but also some cats are allergic to pollen. Read here how you can recognize hay fever in your cat and how you can help your pet.

Causes of Hay Fever

Especially in spring, there are many allergy-causing particles buzzing through the air. These so-called “allergens” can cause an overreaction of the body-insensitive cats.

In this case, harmless substances are classified as dangerous by the immune system and appropriate defense mechanisms are initiated, which are referred to as allergic reactions.

Symptoms of Hay Fever

Hay fever manifests itself differently in cats than in humans. Atopic dermatitis, i.e. allergic skin inflammation, usually occurs when the cat suffers from a pollen allergy.

These skin reactions cause severe itching. The cat licks itself intensively on the affected areas, especially on the face, limbs, and stomach. This damages the skin barrier: hair loss, inflammation, and scab formation occur.

The symptoms of a pollen allergy occur seasonally. The predisposition to such an allergy is largely inherited.

Watery eyes, frequent sneezing, and a runny nose in cats are not a sign of a pollen allergy! Have these symptoms been evaluated by a veterinarian?

Allergy Leads to Asthma

Cats are the only animals that, like humans, can suffer from allergic asthma. In asthma, allergens such as pollen trigger an immune system reaction that causes the bronchi to contract spasmodically.

There is increased mucus formation, coughing, and acute shortness of breath. Just like in humans, allergic asthma in cats is a chronic disease that requires lifelong treatment.

Therapy of Hay Fever

First, the veterinarian must rule out all other causes of itching (parasitic infestation) or respiratory problems (bronchitis, pneumonia) in order to confirm that it is a pollen allergy.

The search for the triggering allergen requires a lot of detective work, is time-consuming and expensive. A blood test measures the cat’s sensitization to certain allergen groups. This is usually followed by an individual allergen detection.

With hay fever, it is not so easy to keep the cat away from the allergens. In most cases, the veterinarian will therefore treat the symptoms, i.e. the skin inflammation. He does this with cortisone, for example, to relieve the itching.

So-called allergen-specific immunotherapy or hyposensitization is also possible: The cat is injected with the smallest amounts of the allergen at fixed intervals and the dose is slowly increased so that the body can get used to it.

The 3 Best Treatment Methods

If the cat suffers from hay fever, these three treatment methods can relieve the symptoms.

As little contact as possible with the triggering allergen

  • Do not let your cat outside when there is a high pollen count
  • Ventilate only when there is a low concentration of pollen (city: 7 p.m. to midnight, country: 6 a.m. to 8 a.m.)
  • frequent vacuuming and dusting with damp cloths

Hypersensitization by the veterinarian

  • the allergy-triggering substance is fed to the cat in small amounts
  • leads to hypersensitivity over time, so that the body no longer reacts to the allergen
  • Injections can also be given by the cat’s owner

Medication for pollen allergy in cats

In consultation with the veterinarian, cortisone and antihistamines can relieve the cat’s symptoms

Caution: Human hay fever medication should never be given to cats!

Dangerous Pollen

The pollen of some plants is particularly common in cats causing hay fever. We have listed alphabetically which ones are included.

Ambrosia

  • Low load: mid-June to early August; late September to late October
  • Medium load: mid-August; mid to late September
  • Heavy load: mid-August to mid-September

Mugwort

  • Low load: mid-June to early August; late September to late October
  • Medium load: mid-August; mid to late September
  • Heavy load: mid-August to mid-September

Birch

  • Low load: early February to late March; early June to late August
  • Medium load: late March to mid-April; late April to early June
  • Heavy load: mid to late April

Nettle

  • Low load: early April to mid-May; late September to late November
  • Medium load: mid-May to late June; late August to late September
  • Heavy load: late June to late August

Beech

  • Low load: early to late March; late May to mid-June
  • Medium load: early April; late April to mid-May
  • Heavy load: mid to late April

Oak

  • Low load: late January to mid-April; early June to mid-July
  • Medium load: mid to late April; mid-May to early June
  • Heavy load: late April to mid-May

Alder

  • Low load: mid-December to early February; late April to late June
  • Medium load: early to late February; Mid March to April
  • Heavy load: late February to mid-March

Ash

  • Low load: mid-January to mid-March; mid-May to mid-June
  • Medium load: mid-March; Early April; late April to mid-May
  • Heavy load: April

Grasses

  • Low load: early March to mid-April; late September to mid-November
  • Medium load: late April to late May; mid-July to late September
  • Heavy load: late May to mid-July

Hornbeam

  • Low load: early February to late March; mid-May to mid-June
  • Medium load: early April; late April to mid-May
  • Heavy load: April

Hazel

  • Low load: mid-December to mid-February; mid-April to mid-May
  • Medium load: mid-February to mid-April
  • Heavy load: late February to late March

Jaw

  • Low load: mid-March to late April; early June to mid-September
  • Medium load: late April to early May; late May to early June
  • Heavy load: mid to late May

Poplar

  • Low load: late January to mid-March; late April to late May
  • Medium load: mid-March; mid to late April
  • Heavy load: mid-March to mid-April

Rye

  • Low load: late April to late May; late June to mid-September
  • Medium load: late May and late June
  • Heavy load: late May to late June

Buckhorn

  • Low load: early April to mid-May; mid to late September
  • Medium load: mid to late May; early to mid-September
  • Heavy load: late May to mid-August

Pasture

  • Low load: late January to early March; late May to late June
  • Medium load: early to mid-March; late April to mid-May
  • Heavy load: mid-March to late April

React Early

 

It is important that you know the symptoms of hay fever in cats and recognizes them early as well. Severe itching is also very unpleasant for our cats, which is why treating the symptoms early saves the cat a lot of suffering.

Mary Allen

Written by Mary Allen

Hello, I'm Mary! I've cared for many pet species including dogs, cats, guinea pigs, fish, and bearded dragons. I also have ten pets of my own currently. I've written many topics in this space including how-tos, informational articles, care guides, breed guides, and more.

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