Can Cats Get Hay Fever? Spotting the signs of hayfever

Hay fever season is among us, and during the humid Summer months, it can cause all sorts of bother - from coughing and endless sneezing to itchy eyes and a nose like a leaky tap.

Did you know that our pets can also suffer from seasonal allergies?

 

cat hay fever meme

 

It has been reported that seasonal hay fever is set to be more severe this year, with sufferers of pollen allergies facing increased symptoms as a result of lockdown and isolating inside.

Doctors have even warned that those who haven't previously experienced hay fever could develop symptoms of the seasonal allergy for the first time - this is also a worry for our furry friends.

“Allergic rhinitis - most commonly known as hay fever - is effectively an allergic reaction to pollen; the fine powder from plants.
It’s usually experienced during the warmer months when the pollen count is high - predominantly between late March and into September.
With the pandemic leading to a nationwide pet boom, there are many young cats and dogs across the country who have spent a vast proportion of their formative years indoors, and as a result, won’t have been exposed to the great outdoors as much. Which makes them more vulnerable to hay fever - as they will have a lower tolerance to pollen.
As humans, we’re more likely to inhale pollen, but not only can our animals inhale it - their skin can also come into contact from being outdoors and walking through grass - causing severe discomfort to their skin. So dogs and outdoor cats can be very vulnerable. 
Pets can display different symptoms of hay fever than humans do, so it’s important to be aware of the signs to look out for.”

- Natusan resident vet Dr. Scott Miller 

 

cat sneezing

 

Signs of Hay Fever in Cats

Here are Dr. Scott's tell tale hay fever signs to look for:

  • Over grooming: Cats that are allergic to pollen are susceptible to skin irritation. As a result, your cat may be grooming and licking themselves more regularly - or more fiercely - in a bid to soothe themselves. 
  • Scratching: Like humans, cats can also get itchy symptoms - which they will reactively scratch at.
  • Bald patches & sores: Lots of scratching can mean visible sores on the skin and even bald patches of fur due to friction.
  • Sneezing and snoring: Listen out for sneezing, coughing, snoring or wheezing - as these could indicate inflammation in the throat caused by hay fever. 
  • Itchy or runny eyes: Cats can be prone to itchy and runny eyes - just like us - when afflicted with hay fever.
  • Paws: Cats can chew at their paws, so keep an eye out for irritation.  

 

cat sneezing allergies

 

How to Prevent Hay Fever in Your Cat

  • Keep an eye on the pollen count: Get into the habit of checking pollen forecasts daily. On days that are particularly high, try to keep your cat indoors or avoid grassy places. 

  • When the coast is clear: Cats like to roam, so keeping them locked up inside isn't really a practical solution. Try to be strategic when it comes to letting your cat out. The pollen count is usually at its lowest in the morning - so let them out earlier in the day. A really windy day will blow the pollen particles around and make symptoms worse. 
  • Wash your cat’s paws before they come inside: Cats can carry pollen into the home on their paws and fur. Try wiping down their pads to keep pollen particles from entering the home. 
  • Avoid flowers: Flowers can really cause havoc when it comes to allergies in pets! Try to avoid flowers in the house if your cat suffers from hay fever. 
  • Bust the dust: To stop pollen and dust building up in the home, try to hoover the floors regularly and wipe surfaces down where dust has collected. Washing your cats bedding regularly can help too.
  • Keep it trim: If you’re lucky enough to have a garden, try to keep on top of the weeds and cut the grass regularly to keep particles down.

 

cat hayfever allergies

 

How to Help Your Cat with Hay Fever

  • Go to your vet: If your pet is being suffering from allergies - or even if you think they might be - make sure that you talk to your vet straight away. Your vet can help with treatments to sooth hay fever symptoms. They can also rule out anything else - such as fleas.
  • Don’t give them human tablets: Self medicating your cat without veterinary advice can be very dangerous for your cat - even when similar medicines are used for animals and humans. Doses can vary massively between different species, so it is worth checking with your vet for suitable medications at the right dose for your cat.
  • Treatments: There are various options available which your vet might recommend or prescribe. These could vary from medical eye drops and nasal sprays to injections. There are also creams and shampoos which can help with skin irritation. 

 

 

At Natusan, we always look to help conscious pet parents, from working with Dr. Scott to provide informative guides - to offering our 100% natural and biodegradable tight-clumping cat litter, which is not only highly absorbent to eliminate odours but also works to reduce waste.

natusan cat litter

Try Natusan today! 

 

07/07/2021 by NatuTeam

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