Money Matters Team

Can cats get hay fever?

By Money Matters Team 17/05/2021

Itchy eyes, non-stop sneezing and a runny nose; sound familiar? Just like us, cats can get hay fever too. Unfortunately, it’s that time of year when hay fever bothers just about everyone and our feline friends are no exception. It’s important to notice when this occurs so you can make sure your cuddly cat gets the help they need.

If you notice these symptoms all year round, it could be that your cat has an allergy to something else other than pollen, so it’s important to try and get a diagnosis.

When will my cat get hay fever?

Hay fever will only affect your cat during certain seasons just like humans, and is often referred to by vets as a seasonal allergy. These seasons are most often spring and summer.

Your cat’s immune system reacts to pollen as if it were a foreign invader, so you’ll find the hay fever allergy will develop over a number of years. And each time your cat breathes in pollen, they will develop an even larger reaction.

What are the common symptoms of hay fever in cats?

Recognising when your little cat is developing a reaction to anything, especially hay fever, is important and here are the most common symptoms:

  1. Sneezing
  2. Coughing
  3. Itchy, runny eyes
  4. Snoring – normally due to an inflamed throat
  5. Paw chewing or sensitive paws

If you notice these symptoms all year round, it’s likely that your cat has an allergy to something else other than pollen.

Getting a diagnosis for your cat

It can be pretty difficult to get a diagnosis for your cat when they have hay fever, simply because the symptoms are similar to so many other allergies. And since your cat can’t actually tell you what’s going on with their body, it can often be a guessing game trying to figure out what’s causing the allergies.

If in doubt, take your beloved cat to your local vet and let them run an allergy test; this will highlight whether it is in fact pollen they are allergic to, or something else. Sometimes, allergies can be caused by a perfume which has been squirted nearby, cleaning products or even some types of food. It’s vital to find out exactly what’s causing such a reaction so that you can fix the problem and ensure your cat goes back to their happy, playful self.

The treatment for hay fever

In a perfect world, allergies to pollen would be easily treated for both us and cats, but it doesn’t quite work like that. Mostly, it is the case of removing whatever it is they are allergic to from their surroundings to help with the hay fever symptoms.

If you’ve found it is pollen your cat is allergic to, the best way to treat it is to simply keep them inside. This can be easier said than done, but it’s really important. Vacuuming and dusting on a regular basis will help to reduce the sniffles while they’re inside. And make sure to clean and dust their bed and toys.

If your feline friend still loves to head outside, try and limit their time in the garden and bring them in to clean and dust-free surroundings as often as possible. As well as keeping the house pollen-free, brushing your cat frequently to remove pollen from their fur could help with their hay fever symptoms.

Your vet may also be able to prescribe some antihistamines if your cat’s allergies are exceptionally bad. This can prove to be really beneficial and reduce their reaction to pollen over the long term.

Now you’ve got the answer to the question you’ve been asking yourself, make sure you remember to keep your cat protected with Sainsbury’s Bank Pet Insurance. Sainsbury's Bank Pet Insurance is provided by Pinnacle Insurance plc. Explore our cat insurance policies today.

This Money Matters post aims to be informative and engaging. Though it may include tips and information, it does not constitute advice and should not be used as a basis for any financial decisions. Sainsbury's Bank accepts no responsibility for the opinions and views of external contributors and the content of external websites included within this post. Some links may take you to another Sainsbury's Bank page. All information in this post was correct at date of publication.