Symptoms of allergies in cats

Symptoms of allergies in cats

Although more unusual than in other animals, cats can have allergies. The symptoms of an allergy can often be incredibly uncomfortable for the cat and upsetting to the owner, especially if there is no clear cause of the irritation.

The cause can be difficult to diagnose and it’s really important to seek advice from your vet if you suspect your cat has an allergy. Leaving any skin or ear inflammations can lead to serious infections if  untreated.

Symptoms of allergies

According to My Family Pets, common symptoms of allergies may include:

  • Itchy skin
  • Inflamed ears
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhoea
  • Swollen paws
  • Sneezing
  •  Weepy eyes
  • Fur loss

It’s important to note that your cat may not have all of these symptoms. If you feel that your cat is not behaving in their usual way, please seek medical advice from your vet. 

What could be the cause of an allergy?

There are many factors which could cause an allergic reaction in your cat. Common allergens include:

  • Fleas
  • Food
  • Pollen
  • Dust
  • Mould
  • Air fresheners
  • Some fabrics (like wool)

This list is not endless and there may be another cause of your cat’s allergy.

Diagnosing an allergy

As previously mentioned, it’s really important to get your cat checked over by a vet. Additionally, as recommended by PetPlan,  it’s always a good idea to think whether there has been any changes to food, litter, flea treatment or household cleaning products. This information should be passed onto your vet to help them with their consultation and diagnosis. 

Your vet may ask you to switch to a simple diet to run a food trial. This is so potential allergens can be identified once new food items/ingredients are reintroduced into their diet. They may also take blood and skin samples to run tests in the laboratory for further analysis. 

If an allergen is identified, your vet will come up with a treatment plan in order to alleviate the symptoms and prevent further reactions. This plan will be personalised for your cat.

Treating an allergy

Treatment for a specific allergy will depend on what the allergen is. Food for example, can be easily remedied with a  change to a hypoallergenic cat food. Other allergens may require medications which should be prescribed by your vet. You should always consult with your vet before considering administering medications such as antihistamines.  Blue Cross and the PDSA both recommend not administering antihistamines meant for humans as they can contain ingredients which are fatal to our four legged friends.


It’s really important to seek guidance from your vet if you suspect your cat has an allergy as leaving it untreated could potentially lead to serious complications.

If your cat is diagnosed with a food allergy, it’s a good idea to add that information onto a tag. This information can be vital should your cat wander off and be found by a kindly stranger. Or, as us cat owners know, your cat identifies another ‘feeder’ in the area! We can also engraved other important information, such as your contact details and any other medical information. 

If you’re in need of a high quality, deeply engraved cat tag, you can find our range here With over 25 years of experience, we’re leaders in the field for pet ID tags.