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how to treat cat allergies naturally;
How common are allergies to pets?
It is estimated that 30 to 40 percent of the world’s population suffers from one or more allergic disorders and the prevalence
of allergic disease has been rising worldwide. Among U.S. citizens of all ages, allergies are the fifth leading cause of
chronic diseases, and asthma (often triggered by allergies) is the third most common chronic disease in children under
eighteen years old. In addition, the Asthma and Allergy Foundation of America reports allergies to pets are very
common affecting millions of Americans.
Living with cat allergies
Pinpointing the cause of your allergies can be difficult when an animal lives in your home. That’s because homes contain other allergens, such as dust mites, which could cause similar symptoms. It’s important to see an allergist to confirm a pet allergy.
It can be hard to admit that the cat you love is causing health issues. Many people choose to endure symptoms rather than get rid of their pet. If you’re determined to live with Fluffy, you can take steps to minimize the symptoms of your allergy.
What causes seasonal Allergies in cats?
Allergies are often brought on by our seasonal changes where we have plants that come into bloom causing pollen and other inhaled allergens which in turn inflames our respiratory system. Most often the “weeds” and plants that cause these allergens can sometimes be the plants that help us heal from respiratory allergens.
There are a few ways to approach allergens. Many over the counter or prescription medications will suppress allergy symptoms making them disappear quickly but in turn, pushing symptoms further into the body. This may cause them to flare or worsen over time if the body never has a chance to repair and heal.
What Causes Cat Allergies?
About 10% of the U.S. population has pet allergies and cats are among the most common culprits. Cat allergies are twice as common as dog allergies. But contrary to what you might think, it’s not the fur or hair that’s the real problem. People with cat allergies are really allergic to proteins in the cat’s saliva, urine, and dander (dried flakes of skin).
How do these tiny proteins cause such a big allergic reaction in the body? People with allergies have oversensitive immune systems. Their bodies mistake harmless things — like cat dander — for dangerous invaders, and attack them as they would bacteria or viruses. The symptoms of the allergy are the side effects of your body’s assault on the allergen, or trigger.
Genetics appear to have a role in the development of allergies, meaning that you’re more likely to experience them if you have family members who are also allergic.
What Are the Symptoms of Cat Allergies?
Symptoms of cat allergies can include:
- coughing and wheezing
- hives or a rash on the chest and face
- red, itchy eyes
- redness of the skin where a cat has scratched, bitten, or licked you
- runny, itchy, stuffy nose
Symptoms of a cat allergy might develop in just a few minutes or take hours to appear. About 20% to 30% of people with allergic asthma have severe flare-ups after coming in contact with a cat.
10 Natural Remedies For Cats With Seasonal Allergies
These natural remedies can fight those symptoms while avoiding the harmful side effects of many medications. However, you MUST discuss them with your vet before making any changes.
Here are ten natural remedies for cats that can help provide relief from seasonal allergies.
1. Fish Oil
You can add fish oil can to your cat’s food, and it’s an excellent source of omega-3 fatty acid.
Omega-3 helps boost the skin’s immunity and reduces secondary infections. Omega-3 is also an anti-inflammatory that can reduce itching and hot spots.
Do not use cod liver oil, as it’s too high in vitamin A and D for your cat.
Quercetin is a bioflavanoid, or plant pigment found in many fruits and vegetables, that has a lot of benefits for cats. Its anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, and antihistamine properties make it great for fighting allergies.
Quercetin is often called “nature’s Benedryl” because it suppresses histamines that cause the symptoms of allergies. It can also inhibit bronchial constriction that causes coughing. Ask your vet about the appropriate dosage for your dog.
3. Bromelain And Papain
Bromelain and papain are natural enzymes found in pineapples and papayas, respectively. They are often used along with quercetin because they help the body absorb quercetin more quickly.
These enzymes also suppress histamines that cause inflammation and allergy symptoms. Bromelain and papain can reduce inflammation from irritated mucous membranes and body parts along with providing some pain relief.
4. Coconut Oil
Coconut oil contains lauric acid that fights the production of yeast, which can be a cause of inflammation.
The oil has antioxidant properties that prevent cell damage and help repair itchy or dry skin. It can be used topically as it is non-toxic if your cat decides to lick it, and you may want to put some in your cat’s food to help maintain a healthy coat and skin.
Chamomile contains apigenin, which acts like aspirin in that it inhibits chemicals that produce inflammation.
It also works as a mild antiseptic that can kill yeast and bacteria, and it helps promote healing of open wounds if your cat has scratched or chewed too much. It should be brewed, cooled, and used as a topical spray.
If your cat hates spray bottles, you can dip a comb and brush it in. A drop of vinegar can be added for an ear cleaner.
6. Cat’s Claw And Dandelion Root
Dandelion root contains natural cortisol, which can suppress the immune system response that causes itching from allergies, much like medical steroids.
Dandelion root helps with digestion and liver detoxification, and cat’s claw regulates immune system function. They can be brewed into a tea and applied topically to fight the itch.
Acidophilus is a good bacteria that helps regulate the immune and digestive systems. When these systems are in good shape, cats are less likely to develop allergies.
If your cat has allergies already, acidophilus can help prevent them from getting worse. Acidophilus can come as a supplement, and certain yogurts may also contain it.
8. Apple Cider Vinegar
Apple cider vinegar has antibacterial and mild antibiotic properties that make it great for a wash that can remove irritants from your cat’s skin. In addition to removing allergens, it treats acne, fleas, and ringworm.
Firstly, you should mix it with equal parts water, as it can be too strong for your cat’s skin undiluted, and apply it with a paper towel to areas you wish to clean. You can also use it as an ear wash.
If it’s at all possible to get your cat in a bath tub, an oatmeal soak will provide quick relief from itches. Oatmeal has anti-inflammatory properties, and cats may feel instant relief upon soaking.
The high mineral and vitamin content can also help skin heal, especially hot spots and irritated patches.
10. Licorice Root
Many cats love the taste of licorice root, and it’s also a natural cortisone that helps regulate the immune system in a similar way to a medicinal steroid. Furthermore, it soothes mucous membranes, detoxifies the liver, and has anti-inflammatory properties.
Licorice root has a host of other benefits for your cat and can soothe respiratory problems, as well as digestive issues and arthritis.