A cat plays with a dandelion, exposing itself to seasonal allergens.

Can Cats Have Seasonal Allergies?

When you think about cats and allergies, you probably think of them mostly as culprits. You’ve probably met “dog people” whose allergy symptoms helped determine their pet preferences. Maybe you’ve had to steer clear of cats yourself to avoid an unpleasant reaction.

Before you judge our feline friends too harshly, remember that they can suffer from allergies too. They’re often particularly vulnerable during “allergy seasons,” times of year when pollen and other irritants are prevalent.

Signs of Feline Seasonal Allergies

Human allergy sufferers tend to associate seasonal irritation with respiratory symptoms like sneezing and watery eyes. For cats, however, allergies more often result in nasty topical symptoms.

These include:

Less often, symptoms may include digestive and respiratory reactions, such as:

Other Types of Allergies

Seasonal allergies are identifiable by the relative briefness of their symptoms. Keep in mind that some pets will suffer from symptoms year-round, especially if they’re irritated by non-seasonal environmental factors like dust, mold, fragrances, or cigarette smoke. These may manifest in symptoms including the ones listed above. To whatever extent possible, try to identify triggers and limit your cat’s exposure to irritants.

Addressing Your Cat’s Allergies

When Should You Visit the Vet?

Take your cat on a trip to the vet’s office if their symptoms prove especially severe and/or persistent. In addition to conducting tests to identify the source of their symptoms, your vet may recommend supplements or additional precautions to take at home. Preventive and treatment methods may include prescription or over-the-counter antihistamines, specialty diets, ointments, and more. Always talk to your veterinarian before attempting to administer medications on your own and watch cats closely to observe the progression of their symptoms.