Can Dogs Be Allergic to Cats

cat and dog together

For passionatе dog ownеrs, thе notion that thеir furry friеnds arе allеrgic to another cherished animal, likе cats, may seem like a startling dеvеlopmеnt in thе story of intеrspеciеs friеndships. Can a dog rеally havе an allеrgy to cats? Long story short: yes, dogs can be allergic to cats.

As much as it may seem strangе, considering dogs and cats are frequently seen as good friends, dogs can have allеrgiеs to particular protеins that cats produce. Whеn dogs and cats intеract, certain dogs may еxpеriеncе allergic reactions to proteins in a cat's urinе, saliva, or dandеr.

In our research into the fascinating interactions between our bеlovеd friеnds, wе look into thе possibility of caninе allеrgiеs to fеlinе friеnds. Togеthеr, wе wіll explore this unique connection and how pеt owners can managе thе complexities of possiblе allеrgic rеactions.

Cat Allergies in Dogs

According to Dr. Robert Trimble, a veterinarian and co-founder of Fuzzy Pet Health in San Francisco, “I have heard of a dog being allergic to a cat and a cat to a dog.”

It is a common misconception that pet allergies are only related to external factors, but dogs and cats can also be allergic to one another. It's interesting to note that allergies to cats can develop in dogs and vice versa. Not only can these allergies affect different species, but dogs can also become allergic to other dogs, and cats can become allergic to other cats.

Allergies between pets do exist, even though they are not as frequently identified as reactions to other substances. There is a widespread belief that a pet's hair causes allergies, but the proteins in pet dander, saliva, and urine are the real culprits. These proteins are the main cause of pet-to-pet allergies and can also cause allergic reactions in people with pet allergies.

Causes of Cat Allergies in Dogs

Pet allergies can be confusing, and many dog owners may be surprised by the circumstances of allergic reactions involving their furry friends. More specifically, allergies to cats can develop in dogs and cause a variety of symptoms. Let's look at the main reasons behind cat allergies in dogs.

Proteins in Cat Dander

The main cause of a dog’s allergies to cats is the proteins in cat dander. When these miniature, airborne particles are inhaled or come into contact with a dog's skin, they can cause allergic reactions.

Saliva and Urine Proteins

Cats constantly groom themselves, coating their fur in saliva. This saliva also contains proteins that can trigger allergies in dogs. Cat urine proteins may also add to the mixture of allergens.

Environmental Allergens

Cats' fur is covered in environmental allergens like dust, mold, and pollen. When dogs come into contact with these allergens, they may experience allergic responses.


When the proteins in cat dander are combined with those in other allergens, this is known as cross-reactivity. When exposed to cats, dogs who are sensitive to these proteins may experience allergic reactions.

Immune System Response

When harmless proteins found in cat substances are mistakenly recognized by a dog's immune system as threats, allergic reactions can result. Allergy symptoms are then brought on by the immune system's release of substances like histamines.

Inherited Predisposition

Some dogs may be genetically predisposed to allergies, which increases their risk of experiencing negative responses to a variety of substances, including cat proteins.

Symptoms of Cat Allergies in Dogs

Are you concerned that your dog may be allergic to cats? According to Dr. Rodriguez Sandlin, keep an eye out for the following symptoms, which might be an indication of a natural allergy:

Itchiness (Pruritus)

Itching is the main symptom to be aware of. Cat allergies in dogs can cause pruritus, which is typically more apparent in areas of the body with less fur, like the paws and stomach. Keep an eye out for symptoms such as excessive foot licking, increased scratching, itchy ears, rolling around on the ground with their rear end, or frequent head shaking.

Respiratory Issues

Dogs that are allergic to cats may occasionally show signs of respiratory distress. Keep an eye out for runny nose, watery eyes, coughing, and sneezing. These symptoms may point to an immune system reaction in your dog caused by allergens found in cat dander.

Digestive Distress

Digestive problems are a possible side effect of allergies. Watch for any changes in your dog's gastrointestinal habits, such as vomiting or diarrhea, as these could indicate an allergic reaction to cats.

Secondary Infections

Dogs who have allergies may be more susceptible to recurring bacterial or yeast infections. If your dog starts to smell strange, it might indicate an underlying infection brought on by their cat allergy.

Skin Changes

Skin irritation can result from licking and scratching constantly. Be alert for any red patches or dry patches on your dog’s skin that might indicate an allergic reaction to cats.

What Products Can Help With Cat Allergies in Dogs?

Finding useful solutions to reduce dog allergies to cats can make your pet much more comfortable. The following are some important products that are frequently used to treat canine allergies to cats:


Immunotherapy or allergy shots are a promising long-term treatment for dog allergies to cats. Customized allergen extracts are gradually given to the dog in order to reduce its immune system to particular cat allergens. Reducing the intensity of allergic reactions is the primary objective of this gradual desensitization. This treatment is effective, but it takes dedication and veterinary supervision.


Antihistamines are a popular and easily obtained naturally occurring treatment for canine allergies to cats. Diphenhydramine, or Benadryl, is a well-known example. By hindering histamine receptors, these drugs lessen allergic symptoms like sneezing, watery eyes, and itching. Although dogs can safely use antihistamines, it's important to consult with your veterinarian to figure out the right dosage and make sure it won't negatively impact your dog's general health.


Immunomodulators, such as the drug Atopica (Cyclosporine), are essential in controlling the immune system to reduce allergic reactions. Immunomodulators are especially useful for treating atopic dermatitis and chronic allergies because they provide a focused method of symptom relief. To determine the proper dosage and any possible adverse effects, their use needs to be closely monitored, and veterinary guidance is important.


Prednisone and Prednisolone are examples of corticosteroids that provide quick relief from severe allergic symptoms. These drugs work well when taken for brief periods of time because of their strong anti-inflammatory qualities. However, corticosteroids are frequently prescribed with caution due to possible side effects with prolonged use. A veterinarian should be consulted carefully to determine the proper dosage and to keep an eye out for any negative reactions.

HEPA Air Purifiers

An effective way to lower airborne cat allergens in the indoor environment is through the use of High-Efficiency Particulate Air (HEPA) filters in air purifiers. By trapping and capturing microscopic particles, these filters reduce respiratory exposure by stopping them from circulating. A HEPA air purifier can help your dog live in a more allergen-free environment by enhancing other allergy management techniques in your house.