allergy cat
June 22, 2009 3:36 PM   Subscribe

Do cats get hayfever?
posted by cameronfromedinburgh to Pets & Animals (12 answers total)
I don't know if cats get hayfever, you'll have to ask a vet. But I do know that in my experience a sneezy cat means the cat may have (the kitty version of) herpes. I've seen it five times now.
posted by dchrssyr at 3:58 PM on June 22, 2009

I know cats can get allergies that manifest as rashes and itchy spots.
posted by restless_nomad at 3:59 PM on June 22, 2009

Do you mean, do cats get sick so that they sneeze a lot? Or do you mean, do cats get runny noses? Sure. They get respiratory infections, too. Here's an article with accurate-enough information on cat sneezing, and one on cat rhinitis and sinusitis.

These symptoms, apparently, can be cause by much more serious things though, like cat chlamydia or dental problems.
posted by jabberjaw at 4:01 PM on June 22, 2009

I took one of my cats to the vet once because she suddenly developed a weepy eye. (I wouldn't normally have paid for a visit for something so minor, but we were flying the next day and I was afraid they wouldn't let her on the plane.) The doc shrugged it off and said it was "just allergies."

So there's at least one vet out there who would say yes, cats can get hayfever.
posted by mudpuppie at 4:36 PM on June 22, 2009

I too once took a kitty with weepy eyes to the vet only to have the vet shrug it off and say it's "just allergies."
posted by Ms. Saint at 5:27 PM on June 22, 2009

According to my former vet, yup.
posted by desuetude at 6:33 PM on June 22, 2009

One of my cats has seasonal allergies. Our vet advised us to give him a partial dosage of an OTC anti-histamine meant for us human folk when he needs it.
posted by divka at 6:36 PM on June 22, 2009

My cat has allergies. Not only does she sneeze but she gets rashes as well. I took her to the vet for this many times in the past, and got things like antibiotics and prednisone. It seemed a bit odd, because the issues always flared up at the same time of year. I switched vets and he told me that animals do, indeed, have the same sorts of allergies that we do. Both seasonal and general allergies. He showed me an allergy report from another client's file, and it showed allergies to ragweed, mold, all sorts of things.

He said that he didn't advise allergy testing because it was really expensive, and knowing the problem doesn't amount to much in terms of treatment (he said there really were no treatments for allergies). The client who did have their pet allergy tested just wanted it out of curiosity (money to burn, I guess).

I'd check with the vet or at least online before giving your cat human medicine. I've given dogs benedryl before, but cats have more sensitive systems. For instance, I don't know of any kitty asprin/tylenol while there are such products for dogs.
posted by necessitas at 6:55 PM on June 22, 2009

I once lived with a kitty who had severe allergies. She'd get weepy eyes, rashes, etc. She was miserable.

We had her tested to see what she was allergic to so that we could try to limit her exposure to those allergens. Turns out she was allergic to grass, palm trees, dogs, and humans, as well as a host of other things. Poor thing, every time she wanted attention from us, we were just making her allergies worse!

In the end, since her allergies were so bad, the vet created a serum to inoculate her. I've heard that there's something similar that doctors do for humans. Apparently the serum worked and that kitty is no longer so severely allergic to so many things (I moved out and the boyfriend kept custody of her, so my information on her is incomplete).
posted by LOLAttorney2009 at 8:27 PM on June 22, 2009

Not sure about hayfever, but cats do get something that's similar enough to human asthma that it responds to drugs like Ventolin (with a special kitty inhaler, natch). They also get emphysema and die :(.
posted by obiwanwasabi at 4:10 AM on June 23, 2009

One of my cats has allergies. Irritated/watery eyes, itchy spots (ears and chin (no, not mites.), etc.

It's apparently common enough that there are hypoallergenic pet foods available as well as small dose antihistamines for pets. (Though like the antibiotics I've been given by various vets, I'm guessing these are mostly normal human medications watered down.)
posted by Barmecide at 9:43 AM on June 23, 2009

Cats have an immune system that works on the same principles as ours (we're all mammals after all) and therefore it totally makes sense that they get allergies. All the mechanisms are in place. I've had it vet-confirmed in two of my cats (one had weepy eyes, one got wheezy and sneezy at certain times of the year). One of them was clearly allergic to the same pollen as me as we'd always be sneezy on the same day. I've never had to medicate it in my pets but have had friends who did.
posted by shelleycat at 5:55 PM on June 23, 2009

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