Humans aren’t the only ones who experience allergies from time to time. As a matter of fact, our furry friends can also be allergic to things like foods, cigarette smoke, fabrics, and more. Not just that, they can also be allergic to cat litter.
And just like humans, allergy in cats comes with almost similar symptoms, except for paw chewing.
Without mincing words, allergies can take a hit on your kitty’s whole mood. So if you notice that your cat’s behavior has been odd lately, it is a telltale sign that something is not right.
If you suspect that your cat litter is the likely cause of the problem, we would suggest you consider getting a suitable cat litter for allergies, and we will recommend some you can check out much later.
Identifying Your Kitty’s Allergies
We completely understand that allergies are annoying, and for your cat, they aren’t fun. But what exactly is an allergy? Well, read on to find everything you need to know about cat allergies and how to identify if your kitty is suffering from an allergy.
Like humans, some cats have a very sensitive immune system that treats harmless substances as though they are dangerous. These substances are what many refer to as allergens.
And for those who have no idea, an allergic reaction kicks in when your kitty’s body tries to fight back against allergens in her environment.
From food to prescription drugs to cigarette smoke to litter and fleas control products, our feline friends react to many substances that can trigger mild to severe allergies. And for sensitive cats, perfumes and cleaning products can also instantly trigger allergies.
For pet owners with an outdoor kitty, your feline friend will most likely show signs of discomfort near trees, grasses, and other plants, so it’s essential to watch your cat closely if you notice any weird behavior.
Spotting litter allergies in cats
But with so many common allergens in our environment, how can you tell for sure that your cat is allergic to cat litter or something else? Well, you’ll have to observe your cat closely for a couple of days. An important place to start is to figure out where and when your cat tends to display discomfort.
If your cat’s allergies don’t occur when she is in or close to her litter tray, then your feline friend is most likely suffering from another type of allergy.
Suppose you notice that your cat looks irritated when using her litter box, then there is a pretty good chance that the likely culprit for your cat’s allergies is her litter. Even though your cat may look unbothered by her litter dust, it’s best to pay close attention to how your cat acts when using her litter box.
Any slight irritations or symptoms could indicate that your cat is suffering from an allergy.
What are the symptoms of cat litter allergy?
There are many telltale symptoms of cat allergic reactions, and we will be showing you some top symptoms of cat litter allergies you should look out for, especially if you notice that your feline friend is acting odd or sickly.
To start with, your kitty may become itchy and chew her irritated paws. Other times, you may notice that your cat exhibits weird behaviors like snoring, which is most likely due to a scratchy, sore throat.
If your cat is suffering from litter allergies, there is a high possibility that this could make other health conditions like feline asthma or polydipsia even worse.
And for pet owners who suspect that there could be something wrong with their cat litter, it will make a lot of sense to monitor your cat’s health and get her the help she needs.
If peradventure your cat is allergic to her litter, you may notice some of the following symptoms:
- Coughing or wheezing
- Red or watery eyes
- Itchy skin with severe scratching
- Runny nose
- Puffy face
- Feline acne
- Toileting far away from their litter box
- Avoiding her litter box.
Allergies can be annoying even for our feline friends, so it’s best to keep a close eye on your cat if she starts displaying weird behaviors. If her symptoms are triggered while using her litter box, then it’s because your cat is stirring up the dust and fragrance in her litter while doing her business.
Any allergic reaction that kicks in, especially when your cat isn’t near her litter box, could indicate that your furry friend has litter particles stuck in between her fur or paws.
And if you don’t do anything to help your cat, her symptoms can worsen and put her life at risk, and we are sure you wouldn’t like that.
What are the causes of litter allergies in cats?
There isn’t an exact cause of litter allergies in cats. Plus, this can vary, especially as it concerns the affected cat.
Just like humans, our furry friends can develop allergies to things like fragrances and dust. So any cat litter that is dusty or has a decent amount of fragrance can cause allergies to your feline friend. This explains why a lot of people now favor fragrance-free litters, especially those with minimal dust.
The truth is, cat litters contain many chemicals, including bentonite, silica dust, clay, or fragrances, that can trigger instant allergies in your cat, forcing it to avoid using the litter box.
More so, felines that have already been diagnosed with other allergies are more likely to develop litter allergies.
Similarly, senior cats and kittens are also very likely to suffer litter allergy, especially considering that their immune system isn’t as robust as it used to be.
What is the diagnosis for litter allergy in cats?
If you suspect that your cat may be suffering from litter allergy, the right thing to do will be to visit your veterinarian to get your cat the help it deserves. Also, it would help if you go along with some samples of your current cat litter and the name of the brand.
If you have a list of ingredients included in your cat’s litter, that will help a great deal.
To begin diagnosis, your veterinarian will take a detailed look at your feline’s medical history. He may also examine your cat’s litter ingredients to see if there are any common allergens that your cat could be reacting to.
While performing a complete physical examination, your veterinarian may likely collect blood, hair, and skin samples for further investigations. Through blood tests and intramdal tests, your veterinarian will be able to detect the common allergens your cat is reacting to.
You may also be advised to perform some elimination traits; this will help verify if your cat’s litter is the reason for your kitty’s allergy.
Another thing you want to double-check when shopping for a cat litter is the product label. As a guide, any cat litter that contains silica dust or fragrance isn’t a great fit, especially if you have a cat that reacts to allergens.
Should you replace your current litter with something new and different, we suggest you pay close attention to your cat’s behavior. Observe your cat for a couple of days and see if symptoms subside.
While replacing your current cat litter will most likely help alleviate symptoms, keep in mind that it may take a couple of weeks for allergens to fizzle out of your cat’s system. To this end, you have to exercise patience when trying out a new litter.
Treating litter allergies in cats
To alleviate some of the annoying symptoms your cat is showing, your veterinarian may prescribe medications like cortisone or antihistamine to help ease your cat’s suffering.
In situations where your cat’s allergies are severe, your vet may administer allergy shots.
Similarly, immunotherapy may be recommended for cats with severe allergies.
If diagnosis shows that your cat is suffering from litter allergies, your veterinarian will recommend replacing your furry friend’s current litter with something that doesn’t contain offending allergens.
Also, we suggest changing your current litter box to ceramic or metal litter boxes as they are less likely to accumulate dust. As a rule of thumb, we will advise you to ditch cat litters that contain dyes, fragrances, or litters that are chemically treated.
Best cat litters to minimize cat allergies
There are many cat litters on the market today that it can be tricky to find one that works for your feline friend. And the truth is many of the litters available on the market today feature some not-so-great ingredients that can trigger severe allergic reactions in cats. That’s why opting for fragrance-free, and silica dust-free litter wouldn’t be such a bad idea.
Speaking of fragrance-free litters, options such as ground corn litters will do an incredible job as they provide the same clumping and odor absorbing properties you get from commercial cat litters. Only that this time, this one doesn’t include the nasty cloying fragrances that are designed to mask cat pee.
And even though there are many ground corn cat litters to choose from, they all perform the same way.
Benefits of ground corn
There are many compelling reasons to give ground corn litters a try, especially if you have a cat suffering from litter allergies. To start with, ground corn litters are natural and lack the annoying fragrances that can easily irritate your kitty. Additionally, this type of litter is designed in such a way that it absorbs and traps the ammonia in your cat’s urine.
As if that’s not enough, ground corn litters also minimize litter scent naturally. And because they readily absorb pee, they tend to clump easily, making cleaning a hassle-free experience.
Depending on the area you live in, you may be able to flush this type of cat litter down your toilet.
Your cat’s litter may not be the only thing that is causing her allergy. Things like plugged-in scented wall units, air fresheners, and carpet deodorizers, especially those not too far from your cat’s litter box, can trigger an allergy outbreak.
To this end, you want to make sure that your kitty’s environment is as natural as possible, and the best way to do that is to eliminate strongly scented items until you have fully figured out the root of the problem.
If you notice that your feline’s allergies are worsening, you should endeavor to get her the help she needs by visiting your veterinarian right away.
In severe cases, your veterinarian may have to administer some medications to get her allergies under control.
Frequently asked questions
Can a person be allergic to cat litter?
Without a doubt, humans can be allergic to cat litter. So if you notice that you’re experiencing symptoms of an allergic reaction, you may be reacting to the high dust or non-natural additives within the current cat litter you’re using. These symptoms are very glaring when cleaning or filling your cat’s litter box.
Can cat litter cause respiratory problems?
Not cleaning your feline’s litter box can encourage the buildup of urine and feces, triggering dangerous ammonia fumes, a kind of toxic gas that can cause severe breathing problems in cats. And from what we have come to learn, difficulty in breathing is one of the telltale symptoms of cat litter allergies.
Can cat litter allergies be treated?
Cat litter allergies aren’t a death sentence and can easily be treated if prompt actions are taken. From changing your cat’s litter to more natural and fragrance-free litters to visiting your veterinarian for prompt medical attention, you can easily treat cat litter allergies if you are quick to spot a change in your cat’s behavior before things spiral out of control.
Cat litter allergies are a genuine concern for many pet owners. Although they rarely happen, when they do, they can have you pretty much disturbed and looking for solutions to alleviate your cat’s suffering. Thankfully, today’s article has provided you with some exciting solutions you can explore, so read through once again to find tips to deal with cat litter allergies.