Allergy Medicine for Cats

cat yawning

Allergies in your furry feline companions can manifest in several ways: hair loss, itchy skin, sneezing, and ear and skin infections, amongst many others. None of these symptoms are comfortable for your adorable furry friend. Of course, when our cats suffer from skin or food allergies, it is almost impossible not to feel their pain. Seeing your cat sneeze and scratch will likely prompt you to search for the best allergy medicine for cats.

Luckily, there are many options for allergy relief in felines. This includes treatments from your vet, as well as simple home remedies. You can also try over-the-counter options to relieve these symptoms. All you have to do is visit your local drugstore.

Recognizing the Symptoms and Signs of Allergies in Cats

Did you know that the most prevalent types of allergies in kittens and cats are environmental allergies? These include airborne allergens, such as pollen and dust. Although your feline partner may not be able to tell you they are feeling unwell, their physical symptoms and behavior can provide clues. Keep an eye on them, and make sure to take note of any of the following signs and symptoms:

  • Excessive licking and scratching 
  • Coughing, sneezing, and wheezing
  • Ear infections or frequent batting at their ears
  • Sensitive or swollen paws
  • Snoring because of nasal congestion
  • Itchy eyes
  • Dry or red skin

If any of these symptoms are excessive or causing discomfort, then it may be due to an allergic reaction! In this case you might find yourself asking: “what is a good allergy medicine for cats?”

Understanding Different Types of Allergy Medicine for Cats

There are various allergy medicine options to help alleviate your cat’s allergy symptoms, allowing you to continue enjoying the company of your beloved feline friend. We can broadly divide cat allergy medicine into two categories: over-the-counter (OTC) and prescription options.

OTC Allergy Medicines

These options typically contain antihistamines, decongestants, or corticosteroids. Let’s talk about antihistamines. They work by blocking the effects of histamine: a substance released by the body in response to allergens. Antihistamines are available to cats as nasal spray solutions or oral tablets. Some OTC antihistamine tablets include:

  • Fexofenadine (Allegra Allergy) 
  • Cetirizine (Zyrtec Allergy)
  • Loratadine (Claritin, Alavert),

However, beware of drowsiness—cats might enjoy naps, but not at the expense of playtime!

You can also try decongestants. They help shrink swollen tissues in the nose and throat. Here’s the kicker, though: decongestants can have some side effects as well, such as increased heart rate and blood pressure!

Another option is corticosteroids. They can help treat cat allergies by reducing inflammation. However, like antihistamines and decongestants, corticosteroids can also have some side effects, including increased thirst and urination, general loss of energy, and increased hunger. 

Prescription Drugs

Prescription allergy medicines and treatments offer a more targeted approach to addressing your cat’s allergies. For instance, immunotherapeutics involves gradually exposing your feline friend to increasing amounts of the allergen, which ultimately helps their immune system develop tolerance over time. Fortunately, immunotherapy is a long-term treatment: it slowly desensitizes the immune system to the allergen and reduces the severity of various allergy symptoms, even for a long time after the treatment itself.

You may also consider monoclonal antibodies. This newer class of allergy medication works by blocking specific immune system cells involved in allergic reactions. These antibodies keep the allergen from binding to IgE and ameliorate IgE-mediated allergic responses. Monoclonal antibodies are both effective and safe. They’re also highly recommended due to the long-term relief they can offer.

As you can see, choosing the right allergy medicine for your feline companion involves a bit of detective work and a dash of trial and error. 

How Should You Choose the Best Allergy Medicine For Your Cat?

Selecting the most appropriate and safe allergy medicine for your feline friend depends on several factors. You have to consider the severity of their allergies and their age. It is also essential to account for any underlying health conditions. 

Consulting with your veterinarian is crucial to determine the best course of action for your furry friend. Just like the legendary detective Sherlock Holmes, your vet has the skills and expertise to assess your cat's health and well-being. They will help identify the specific allergens affecting your cat and recommend the most suitable medication or combination of therapies. Both your veterinarian and yourself will have to consider the following factors in choosing the correct allergy treatment:

Severity of Allergies

Does your four-legged sidekick have mild allergies? If so, OTC antihistamines or decongestants may be sufficient. Some of the common antihistamines that vets usually prescribe for cats include:

  • Benadryl 
  • Clemastine 
  • Chlorpheniramine 
  • Tavist
  • Cyproheptadine

But what about more severe cases? Your cat may need prescription medications like immunotherapeutics.

Your Cat’s Age and Breed

Older cats and kittens may have specific sensitivities to certain medications, such as Cetirizine (Zyrtec). Certain breeds, like Persians and Siamese cats, may also be more susceptible to developing respiratory issues and other side effects to medicines. Your veterinarian will consider your cat's age when recommending the most appropriate treatment plan.

Underlying Health Conditions

Does your feline partner have any pre-existing medical conditions? In that case, your vet will carefully evaluate the potential interactions between allergy medicine and their current medications. 

For example, let’s say that your cat has heart disease. In this case, certain decongestants like pseudoephedrine can exacerbate their condition by increasing their heart rate and blood pressure. These are the situations that veterinarians will try to avoid! 

Alternative Therapies for Cat Allergies

Besides allergy medicine, there are many non-medicinal approaches to manage your cat’s allergies. Here are some examples:

  • Regular cleaning, allergen-free bedding, and air filters can considerably lower the amount of airborne allergens in your home.
  • In the grooming department, cat allergy wipes and sprays come to the rescue. Designed to reduce dander and neutralize allergens, these handy sidekicks can be part of your cat's spa day routine.

Pacagen’s Solutions for Humans Who Are Allergic to Cats

Of course, this is a two-way street: just like cats, humans can also be allergic to certain things. Unfortunately, for many people, they may be allergic to their own cats! As such, this discussion wouldn't be complete without mentioning Pacagen's specialized cat allergy products, scientifically crafted to address our own allergies to our cats. Our Cat Allergen Neutralizing Spray is crafted with love and is designed to reduce Fel D1 (the cat allergen that humans may be allergic to) and create a harmonious environment for you and your whiskered companion.