Just as humans can be allergic to their pets, dogs can be allergic to other animals too. If you own a kitty and a bow-wow, you may have wondered, ‘can dogs be allergic to cats?’
Yes, they can.
Dogs can be allergic to similar common allergens as their human owners. Food, the environment, and other animals — including felines.
In this article I’m going to share all the important facts to the question, can a dog be allergic to a cat? Keep reading to learn the signs and symptoms and what to do if you’re dealing with dog allergies to cats.
Can My Dog Be Allergic To Cats? — The Facts
Despite their cliche rivalry, cats and dogs can live happily together in the same home. However, even if your puss and pooch are the best of friends, allergies could still prevent your pets from living together in perfect harmony.
Dog allergies to cats can cause similar symptoms to human/cat allergies. If you have ever thought, ‘is my dog allergic to cats?’ your suspicions may be spot on. While it’s a rare condition, a canine/feline allergy is not out of the question.
Cats shed dander, which is often the main offender of pet allergies. Dander is dead skin that flakes away from an animal’s body and generally hitches a ride on the animal’s shedding fur.
Humans can be allergic to cat or dog dander, or both. Dogs can also be allergic to cat dander and may suffer from several symptoms.
Dog Allergic To Cats Symptoms
To know for certain if your dog has a cat allergy, you will need your veterinarian to screen your dog. However, there are many dog allergic to cat symptoms and signs to look out for, including:
- Excessive scratching/skin licking.
- Red/inflamed skin.
- Flakey/dry skin.
- Watery/red eyes.
If your dog is allergic to your cat, their skin may become sore or infected from all of the persistent scratching. Cat dander can trigger a reaction in your dog’s skin, making it feel itchy and uncomfortable.
Respiratory problems like coughing and sneezing aren’t as common in dogs allergic to cats but some will experience these symptoms.
7 Ways To Help Your Dog With Cat Allergies
- Vacuum daily — allergies are aggravated by cat dander lying in wait on the furniture, the floors, and all over your home. Hence, daily vacuuming will help prevent a build-up, reducing your dog’s exposure to the allergen.
- Wash your cat — regularly grooming and bathing your cat once a week should reduce the amount of dander they shed. The less cat dander the less severe your dog’s allergy symptoms will be.
- Use an air purifier — cat dander can float around in the air as well as settle on soft furnishings and hard surfaces. An air purifier can help remove cat dander and other allergen particles — meaning cleaner air for all to breathe. Many of these appliances arrive with specific filters to remove pet hair and dander from the air.
- Clean and shampoo your dog — If your pooch and your cat spend a lot of time with each other, they’re likely to transfer dander between them. Washing and shampooing your dog can reduce the risk of cat dander accumulation on their body.
There are also dog shampoos available specifically designed to build up the skin barrier, making it more difficult for allergens to irritate it. Ask your vet for advice on the best shampoo to use for a dog allergic to cats.
- Supplements and diet — you can also boost your dog’s skin barrier by adding certain supplements to their diet. Omega-3’s EPA is a fatty acid that can help to strengthen your dog’s skin, making their cat allergy more manageable. However, you may wish to discuss changing your dog’s diet with a vet beforehand.
- Speak to your vet — if you’re concerned that your dog is allergic to your cat, book an appointment to see your veterinarian. They will be able to diagnose your pooch and can suggest a treatment plan, if necessary, to manage your dog’s symptoms. Your dog may require oral allergy medication like antihistamines or Apoquel to alleviate skin itchiness and other symptoms.
Vets can also prescribe a course of allergy drops that are injected over several months. This treatment desensitizes the immune system to the allergen, making allergic reactions less severe in the future.
- Consider rehoming — While no animal lover wants to rehome their pet, if your dog’s allergy is severe and showing no signs of improvement, this may be an option you have to consider. This isn’t a decision you should make lightly — ensure you explore all avenues first. It would be the last resort for dealing with a dog allergic to cat symptoms when all other treatments have failed.
If your pooch and puss are close buddies, watch out for the red flags — itching, watery eyes, and sneezing.
Remember, if an allergy is confirmed, you can help to control and even eliminate the symptoms — reducing dander in your home isn’t difficult. Plus, you can always explore conventional medication, like antihistamines, to calm down reactions.
So, in answer to the question, ‘can dogs be allergic to cats?’ Most definitely, yes!
Can Dogs Be Allergic To Cats FAQs
“How Do I Know if My Dog Is Allergic to My Cat?”
There are a few signs and symptoms of a cat allergy that you may notice in your dog, such as:
- Runny nose.
- Excessive Itching.
“How Can I Stop My Dog Being Allergic to Cats?”
Unfortunately, there is no way that you can stop your dog from being allergic to cats. But you can help to ease their symptoms by doing the following:
- Vacuum regularly.
- Bathing your cat weekly.
- Provide your dog with antihistamines.
- Bath your dog.
“Are Dogs Allergic to Cats Rare?”
Yes, but it does happen. Remember, it’s the dander that dogs are allergic to — in the same way humans are. If you’re thinking ‘can my dog be allergic to my cat?’ seek advice from your vet.
“Is It Common for Dogs To Be Allergic to Cats? “
It is uncommon for dogs to be allergic to cats but it is perhaps not as rare as you may think. A group of small animal vets from across the country when interviewed estimated that 10-15 percent of dogs suffer from symptoms of cat allergies.
“Can Dogs Be Allergic To Cat Poop?”
Dogs often have very similar allergies to humans and can display the same symptoms. So, if you have a dog that is a little sensitive to kitty litter it’s not uncommon.