Herbal Remedies for Cat Allergies
Cats are a common cause of allergies in humans, but they also suffer from allergic conditions themselves. Just like in people, a cat’s immune system becomes overly sensitive to an otherwise innocent substance and identifies it as a threat. The body’s reaction to protecting itself against these threats is what causes the symptoms associated with allergies in cats. Common allergens for cats include pollen, food, fleas, cleaning products, rubber, perfumes, smoke, and medications.
Unfortunately, most prescription medications for cat allergies cause unwanted side effects, such as loss of appetite or drowsiness. For this reason, you might want to consider trying a few herbal remedies to address your feline baby’s allergies before resorting to stronger medications.
Symptoms of Allergies in Cats
Most general allergy symptoms in cats involve the skin, eyes, or digestive tract. Sneezing, coughing, wheezing, itchy skin or ears, runny eyes, vomiting, snoring, diarrhea, and paw chewing are all indicative of a potential allergic condition.
Food allergies cause slightly different symptoms, including head and neck scratching and more extreme gastrointestinal symptoms. These allergies can show up at any age, even if your cat has been eating for years the food you suspect is causing the allergic reaction.
Herbal Remedies for Cat Allergies
After visiting your veterinarian for a full examination and to rule out other causes of your kitty’s symptoms, and after eliminating any obvious source of allergic reaction, you can try one of the herbal remedies below to help your cat feel better:
- Fatty acid supplements can help relieve skin itching in cats suffering from an allergic condition and are a recommended addition to the diet of any cat with allergies.
- Sprays and shampoos containing oatmeal, aloe, and other natural ingredients are also beneficial when it comes to soothing itching skin.
- To help hot spots caused by itching, application of Epsom salts using a saturated, folded cloth can discourage infection and promote healing.
- Some cats show improvement after supplementation with Acidophilus, a form of good bacteria that balances the body’s immune system and eases gastrointestinal symptoms.
- Evening primrose oil relieves allergy symptoms in cats by acting as an anti-inflammatory and an anti-itch compound.
- Dandelion, licorice, and burdock also reduce inflammation and itchiness to help your cat feel better.
- Try bromelain and papain. “Bromelain and papain are proteolytic enzymes. Bromelain is derived from pineapple; papain comes from papaya. These enzymes do two things. First, they increase the absorption of quercetin, making it work more effectively. They also suppress histamine production,” according to Dr. Karen Becker, DVM.
When Herbal Remedies Don’t Ease Your Cat’s Symptoms
Severe allergies to airborne pollens may require treatment with cortisone or steroids, and antihistamines like Benadryl and Zyrtec can reduce symptoms of environmental and food allergies. Also, if your cat is allergic to fleas, a good flea-prevention medication can make a huge difference.
Other remedies include using dust-free unscented litter, cleaning your pet’s bedding weekly and vacuuming all rugs and carpeting every few days. Bathing your cat a couple times a week can remove environmental allergens from her coat and relieve itching, and a prescription or hydrolyzed protein diet can help control food allergy symptoms.
Never give your kitty a new medication or make any drastic dietary changes without first consulting your veterinarian.
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