The Hervey Foundation for Cats
Summer Allergies in Cats: How to Spot the Symptoms

Summer Allergies in Cats: How to Spot the Symptoms

While summer brings warm weather and outdoor adventures, it can also bring about seasonal allergies – not just for humans but for our feline friends as well. Recognizing the symptoms of summer allergies in cats is essential to providing timely relief and ensuring their well-being through these hot days.

Excessive Scratching and Licking

One of the primary indicators of allergies in cats is excessive scratching and licking. If you notice your cat constantly grooming specific areas, such as the paws, face, or abdomen, it could be a response to allergic irritants. Persistent scratching may lead to hair loss, redness, or even open sores, and when it gets to this point a trip to the vet is usually in order. Some cats may require a device to prevent them from overgrooming these areas, such as a cone or special fabric garments designed to cover up areas most often licked in excess.

Skin Irritation and Inflammation

Allergies can cause various skin issues in cats. Look out for redness, inflammation, rashes, or small bumps on your cat’s skin. Hot spots, which are moist irritated areas, can also develop. While these are not going to be obvious at first glance, if you are frequently petting your cat and interacting with them, you might notice spots, that when touched, your cat reacts defensively to. Additionally, if you spend a lot of time with your cat, look through their fur to get an idea of the condition of their skin. 

Sneezing and Watery Eyes

Similar to human allergies, cats may experience sneezing fits and watery eyes when exposed to allergens. If your cat is sneezing frequently or has watery/red eyes, it could be a sign of an allergic reaction. A wet nose is not a bad sign on a cat, but regularly wet eyes are not normal. 

Respiratory Issues

In some cases, cats with summer allergies may exhibit respiratory problems. Wheezing, coughing, or difficulty breathing could indicate an allergic response. Some cats wheeze due to pre-existing conditions or a weight problem, but regardless of the reason, whether it is weight or allergies, you should seek veterinary attention.

Digestive Issues

Allergies can also affect a cat’s digestive system. Frequent vomiting, diarrhea, or changes in appetite may be signs of an allergic reaction. If you notice any gastrointestinal disturbances, consult your veterinarian to determine if allergies could be the underlying cause.

Ear Infections

Cats with summer allergies are prone to developing ear infections. This can result in frequent ear scratching, head shaking, redness, swelling, or even discharge from the ears. Luckily these are treatable. Never let an infection run longer than it must.

Behavioural Changes

In some cases, cats may exhibit behavioural changes when experiencing allergies. They may become more irritable, restless, or show signs of discomfort. Some might show sensitivity to certain parts of their bodies and engage in defensive aggressive behaviour when touched. Some cats might start avoiding certain people, places or things – they might not want to go by the windows anymore. Pay attention to shifts in your cat’s behaviour as some of them may just be a result of them struggling with allergies. 

Final Thoughts

Recognizing the symptoms of summer allergies in cats is crucial for early intervention and providing relief. If you notice any of the changes we just mentioned, assess and consider whether you might need to talk to your vet. They can help determine the underlying cause of the allergies and recommend appropriate treatment options to keep your kitty comfortable during the summer months. Just because they cannot speak to us in our own language does not mean they aren’t telling us something is wrong in other ways. Remain vigilant! 


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