Categories: allergy

Can cats get hayfever?

Yes, cats can get hayfever. Hayfever is also called allergic rhinitis (nasal allergies). Feline hay fever is caused by contact with environmental irritants and allergens. Pollen, dust and cigarette smoke are possible causes. Sometimes it might be a new carpet cleaner, deodorant powders or perhaps a new detergent for your laundry that might be the cause of nasal irritation.

Cat cats get hayfever? Yes. Photo in public domain.

It is thought that “true nasal allergies” are uncommon and that most often periodic bouts of sneezing and a clear watery discharge from the nose by your cat are caused by reactions to irritants such as dust.

Therefore, “feline hay fever” is probably quite rare but it is on the list of possible cat illnesses. The treatment is obvious, namely to remove the cause of the irritation which will require a bit of research probably.

Like humans, I’m told that cats respond well to antihistamines and steroids. You must consult your veterinarian before administering these medicines.

Where there is chronic inflammation it can lead to “an influx of lymphocytes into the nasal tissues”. Apparently this is quite common in cats. Once again see a veterinarian who will probably prescribe anti-inflammatory medications to control it. In worst-case scenarios chronic inflammatory conditions may contribute to the most common form of nasal cancer in cats, nasal lymphoma.

Note: I have spelled ‘hayfever’ in two ways but the strictly correct way is ‘hay fever’.

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Michael Broad

Hi, I'm a 71-year-old retired solicitor (attorney in the US). Before qualifying I worked in many jobs including professional photography. I have a girlfriend, Michelle. I love nature, cats and all animals. I am concerned about their welfare.

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