a cat knocking over trees

Can Cats Have Allergies Too?

Last updated: October 2022

I was in my home office typing away and thought I was alone. Suddenly, I heard a tiny sneeze which startled me.

I whirled around and saw my cat looking as surprised as I was! Apparently, he sneezed and woke himself up. You know how cats are – they must sleep 23 hours a day or they are simply EXHAUSTED!

Our cat chose us

I hear all sorts of funny stories about how people get cats. We unconventionally got Le Cat too. Le Cat was our neighbor's pet for 10 years. Her husband was allergic to cats, and her kids were afraid of cats. So, the cat didn't receive much love or attention in their home.

We kept finding Le Cat in our house, garage, and cars. If we left a door open momentarily, we would see him staring back at us from our bed, kitchen counter, or amongst the bags of groceries in the car.

My family is allergic to cats

Eventually, Le Cat stopped going to our neighbor's house and decided to move in with us. This was a problem because my family of 5 is allergic to cats. And 4 of us have asthma. After we pet anyone's cat, we start sneezing, wheezing, get hives on our arms, and sometimes have an asthma attack.

But who can resist those adorable toe beans and that little nose? Le Cat has many facial expressions and attitudes; he keeps us laughing. In fact, when my kids come home from college to "visit us," they would walk right past me - and go snuggle our cat.

I guess he's an emotional support cat now?!

Adding another allergen into the mix

Since we have multiple environmental allergies, take medication, allergy nose spray, and have had allergy shots, we decided to let Le Cat stay with us. What's the harm of one more allergen to deal with? Our allergy doctor added cat allergens to my kids' serums for allergy shots.

Cats can have environmental allergies

It's not uncommon for people to be allergic to cats, but did you know that cats can also have allergies?

Allergy symptoms in cats

The pollen count is currently high, and my whole family is miserable. I also noticed Le Cat has been sneezing more often! We laughed and joked that maybe he's allergic to pollen too, but I think he truly is allergic! Allergy symptoms among cats are just like those for people:1

  • Sneezing
  • Runny nose
  • Discharge from eyes

Not only is Le Cat sneezing, but he has a slight discharge from his eye. During his check-up, the veterinarian gave us medicine for his eyes. Now we know he has allergies and how to treat him, but does he also have asthma?

Cats and asthma

Allergies and asthma often go hand in hand (in people and animals). So now I am worried about how often Le Cat has been sneezing. I watched his breathing and listened to him to see if there were any asthma signs. Just like people, cats will show signs of asthma, which include:2

  • Difficulty breathing
  • Wheezing
  • Rapid breathing
  • Coughing
  • Open-mouthed breathing
  • Vomiting

Did you know cats can have inhalers and spacers, just like people? How adorable is that? There are many photos and videos of cats online taking their allergy and asthma medicine.

If your cat is sneezing or has a runny nose or eyes, talk to your veterinarian and see what treatment they may need. And also have them checked for asthma!

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This article represents the opinions, thoughts, and experiences of the author; none of this content has been paid for by any advertiser. The Allergies.net team does not recommend or endorse any products or treatments discussed herein. Learn more about how we maintain editorial integrity here.

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