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Published: Jan 04, 2012

You might have friends who are allergic to your cat, which should come as no surprise given that pet dander and saliva allergies are fairly common. However, did you know that your cat may have its own allergies?  VCA Animal Hospitals reports allergies as one of the most common conditions among cats and the most common allergens include fleas, food, and inhaled allergens.  The most common clinical signs of allergies include itching and scratching, skin rashes or breakouts, ear infections, hair loss, and digestive issues such as vomiting or cat diarrhea.

Cats affected by allergies often develop overly sensitive immune systems, which may leave cats more susceptible to having adverse reactions to environs that would normally not affect them, according to the ASPCA. If you suspect that your cat may be showing clinical signs of allergies, it is best to take them to a veterinarian and find out what's going on.

Flea allergies are the most common, according to VCA. Normally, a flea bite will cause minor irritation, but when a cat is allergic, the inflammation will be so itchy they may chew or scratch severely enough to remove patches of fur and even break the skin surface. Inhalant allergies are similar to those that people suffer from - pollen, mold, dust. However, their reaction is different and most often result in a cat constantly itching and often removing large patches of fur through excessive grooming.

Food allergies tend to develop over time in cats exposed to the same food chronically. While cats with food allergies may itch and scratch excessively, they will often exhibit some sign of digestive upset—such as vomiting or diarrhea.

See your veterinarian if you are concerned about allergies in your cat.  Most veterinarians will offer supportive care for immediate relief of a cat’s clinical signs and then start the elimination process to determine what your cat is allergic to for the best long term solution.