Have you recently added a cat to your household and noticed that your dog has been scratching or licking themselves more than usual?
While there are a couple of reasons why your dog may be having itches, there could be a possibility that your pup is allergic to this newly introduced cat.
Yes, while it might sound odd, dogs can be allergic to cats the same way that humans can.
If you’re curious as to whether or not this may be the case for your pup, we’ve got you covered!
Here, we’ll dive into the details of everything you need to know about whether or not your dog is allergic to cats, and even provide you with some tips on ensuring that your dog and cat can live together under one household harmoniously.
Read on to find out more!
Can Dogs be Allergic to Cats?
Yes, dogs can indeed be allergic to cats. In fact, several symptoms can be similar to what a human would experience when they’re dealing with allergies. One of the most common behaviours you’ll see from a dog that’s suffering from allergies is scratching until they’ve lost fur while causing trauma to the skin.
As a bonus fact, just as dogs can be allergic to cats, the same thing can happen the other way around! That’s right, cats can also be allergic to dogs. If you suspect that your cat or dog has allergies, it’s best to take them to the veterinarian for diagnosis and if necessary, allergy testing.
What are the symptoms?
As mentioned above, the symptoms can be quite similar to what humans would experience when they’re suffering from allergies. These symptoms include:
Even if your dog exhibits these symptoms, it doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re suffering from allergies. The best way to check is to get an official diagnosis.
If your vet thinks that your pup’s also allergic to something, they’ll then confirm it through either a skin allergy test or by doing a blood test.
Is There Treatment Available for a Dog That’s Allergic to Cats?
While there’s no specific cure or way to prevent your dog from developing allergies, there are some treatments out there that can help in managing the symptoms.
One treatment is known as ‘allergy drops’ – similar to allergy injections for people and essentially help with desensitizing the dog’s immune system to the allergen over a few months. The whole desensitisation process can take between 6-12 months. They usually help in targeting specific allergies in dogs and help to build up their tolerance to the allergen.
The good news is that these treatments are generally quite effective in almost 70% of dogs that suffer from allergies.
Other methods include oral allergy medicines that can help with itching such as antihistamines and Apoquel, as well as antibiotics and/or antifungals to help with any other secondary infections.
If you’re not keen on getting allergy drops for your pup, there are some ways that you can help with managing your pup’s allergies.
Read on to find out more!
Tips for Reducing Your Dog’s Allergies to Your Cat
Just because your dog may be allergic to your cat doesn’t mean that they can’t coexist in the same household. Here, we’ve curated some tips on how to keep your space as allergen-free as possible along with some tips for your pup.
Tip 1: Strengthen Your Dog’s Skin Barrier
The first thing you can do is to bathe your pup with shampoos that are specially designed to strengthen the skin barrier. Do this a few times a week to also remove allergens from your pup’s skin and fur. Wiping your dog with a cloth that’s slightly damp after they’ve been exposed to cat dander can also help with reducing itching.
Another tip is to have your dog ingest more fatty acid – particularly eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA), to strengthen their skin barrier. This can be added to their diet, or taken as a supplement.
Before going ahead with any of the above, it’s always a good idea to check with your vet beforehand and determine the best solution for your dog.
Tip 2: Maintain a Healthy Environment at Home
Since your dog is most likely allergic to your cat’s dander and fur, it’s a good idea to do what you can to minimise the cat dander and fur floating around your home.
A few things you can do include:
- Restricting your cat to a couple of rooms if possible.
- Avoid serving your cat the same food that your dog is eating.
- Serve your dog and cat’s food in separate bowls.
- Allow your pets to interact only when under your supervision.
- Invest in an air purifier with a HEPA filter to reduce allergen levels.
- Purchase a high-efficiency vacuum cleaner or central vacuum to help remove allergens from surfaces.
- Bath your cat at least once a week to reduce the amount of cat dander released into the air.
At the end of the day, it’s possible to live with both your furry feline and pup under the same household, you’ll just have to implement some measures to keep your space as allergen-free as possible so your dog’s allergies are kept at bay.