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Cat Resources

Allergies in Cats

What are allergies and how do they affect cats?

One of the most common conditions affecting cats is allergy. An allergy occurs when the cat's immune system "overreacts" to foreign substances called allergens or antigens. Those overreactions are manifested in one of three ways. The most common manifestation is itching of the skin, either localized in one area or a generalized reaction all over the cat’s body. Another manifestation involves the respiratory system and may result in coughing, sneezing, and wheezing. Sometimes, there may be an associated nasal or ocular (eye) discharge. The third manifestation involves the digestive system, resulting in vomiting, flatulence or diarrhea.

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Flea Control for Your Cat

Where does my cat get fleas?

The most common flea found on cats and dogs is the cat flea (Ctenocephalides felis). Rarely rabbit fleas or hedgehog fleas are also found on cats.

The most important source of cat fleas is newly emerged adult fleas from pupae in your house or yard.  Adult fleas live and feed on our pets but the female flea lays eggs, which fall off into the environment. Under favorable conditions, these eggs develop first into larvae and then into pupae. The pupae contain adult fleas that lie in wait for a suitable animal host. Modern carpeted centrally-heated homes provide ideal conditions for the year-round development of flea... Read More

Excessive Grooming by Frank Utchen, DVM

Question: Dr. Utchen my cat has groomed and groomed its stomach until there is no hair left. What does this mean? 


Most cats with this behavior have itchy skin causing them to groom excessively. Various causes include fleas, skin mites, environmental allergies (molds, dust mites, and pollens), and even allergies to food ingredients. If the problem can be identified (a particular matt, etc. that a cat sleeps on) and then avoided, that is the best solution.  However, often that is impossible. In that case, various medications can be used to treat the allergy.

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