Just like their owners, cats can have allergic reactions too. Skin allergies in cats are only one form of allergic reaction that cats can suffer from. Cats can be allergic to a range of things, including fleas, certain types of food, and pollen. People are usually quite aware of their allergies and what causes them. Unfortunately, cats do not have this luxury. For them, it’s difficult to eliminate the underlying cause. This makes it challenging for the owner to treat and prevent their cat’s skin allergies.
It can be almost impossible to stop a cat from coming into contact with some type of allergens. The process of elimination can take weeks if not months. Sometimes this can have unsuccessful results leaving the owner with the task of figuring out a way to treat the symptoms.
A vet may prescribe antihistamines or corticosteroids to control itching. There are natural remedies, like Manuka honey as well, but these are not always effective. You might have heard that CBD oil can be used to treat skin allergies in cats. CBD oil is used to treat many feline health conditions, but will it work with your cat’s skin allergies?
To find out the truth about using CBD oil for skin allergies in cats, please read on…
What are Skin Allergies in Cats?
The immune system in cats works to rid the body of things like viruses, toxic substances, and parasites. Sometimes, the immune system gets it wrong and overreacts to a substance even if the substance is not harmful to the cat. This is what causes an allergic reaction.
Skin allergies occur when the immune system identifies something as dangerous. Often, though, these substances are harmless and occurs naturally in the cat’s environment.
When the immune system tries to remove the substance, it causes symptoms like inflammation and itching. Skin allergies are not usually a danger to the cat, but they are very uncomfortable.
Symptoms of Skin Allergies in Cats?
Skin allergies are called atopic dermatitis. It’s a condition that causes chronic inflammation of the skin. Skin allergies in cats can occur on any part of the body, but the most common areas are as follows:
- In and around the ears
- On the ankles
- The nose
- The groin area
- Around the eyes
- In between the toes
- On the underarms
The main symptoms of skin allergies in cats are scratching at the skin, signs of itching, and rubbing up against things. Your cat may also show signs of excessive grooming and licking. These symptoms will usually be focussed on the face, underarm and paws. However, skin allergies can appear anywhere on a cat.
When a cat has skin allergies the scratching and licking will be persistent and frantic. The skin will become inflamed, and it may become ulcerated. You may also notice that your cat’s skin looks either oily or very dry and scaly. Other symptoms include shaking the head, bald patches, and matted fur.
What Causes Skin Allergies in Cats?
There is a huge range of things that can cause skin allergies in cats. So many that it is often very difficult to identify what is causing the problem. Very often, skin allergies are caused by things that other cats have no reaction to. Everyday things in the environment that cannot be avoided. Here are some of the most common causes of skin allergies in cats:
- Airborne pollen
- Fleas and mites
- Tobacco smoke
- Fungal infections
- Poison ivy
- Household products
- Insect bites
- Food allergies
- House dust
- House mites
Genetics also plays a role in your pet’s allergies. The early onset of skin allergies is usually associated with a family history of the problem. Some cats are simply more prone to allergies than others.
How are Cat Skin Allergies Usually Treated?
Treating skin allergies in cats can be quite difficult. Sometimes the cause of the allergy can be identified and removed from the cat’s environment. Other times, though, this is not possible.
If the allergens can be identified, your vet may try hyposensitization therapy. This involves a series of injections of the allergens that are causing the problem. Increasingly large doses of the allergen will eventually desensitize the cat to that substance. When successful, hyposensitization therapy can reduce itchiness by up to 80%. However, the treatment can take six to twelve months to have an effect.
Your vet may also prescribe medications to stop the itching. These could be corticosteroids or antihistamines. In cases of long-term skin allergies, Cyclosporine can be very effective at controlling the irritation. For widespread skin allergies, there are medicated sprays.
Unfortunately, skin allergies in cats rarely resolve themselves. If hyposensitization therapy doesn’t work, the condition will require ongoing treatment. The itching can be controlled by medication and anti-itching shampoos. But, for many cats, skin allergies will be a lifelong problem.
CBD for Cats: How Can Cannabidiol Help My Cat’s Skin Allergies?
CDB (cannabidiol) is one of more than 60 cannabinoids that are found in the hemp plant. When cannabinoids interact with the endocannabinoid system in animals, it produces a wide range of beneficial effects.
Cannabinoid receptors exist in most parts of the body. They play a role in regulating processes like pain, inflammation, and mood. Some of those processes have a direct impact on the skin.
In 2009, a study was published in the journal Trends in Pharmaceutical Science. The study investigated the effects that CBD had on the skin. The study found that the endocannabinoid system played a role in maintaining skin homeostasis. Homeostasis is the balanced condition in the body that is needed for good health.
In a 2005 Finish study, researchers examined the effects of CBD hemp oil on dermatitis caused by allergies. The researchers found that CBD oil reduced itchiness, inflammation, and dry skin. A later study by University of Teramo, Italy also found CBD promotes the growth of new skin cells and helps the healing process.
Research is ongoing into the use of CBD to treat skin conditions like skin allergies in cats. However, anecdotal evidence and research to date suggest that CBD could be an effective treatment for other skin conditions as well.
If your cat has a severe skin condition, you should take your pet to a vet. It might be possible to isolate the allergen and resolve the problem. In cases of persistent skin allergies in cats, though, CBD may be an effective way to reduce the discomfort of your cat’s skin allergies.
How to use CBD for my Cat’s Allergies
There is a range of CBD products available for cats. These include CBD topical lotions, CBD cat treats, CBD oil drops, and CBD pet capsules. The CBD products that you choose will depend on how well your pet takes medicines. It will also depend on the severity of the allergy.
CBD has been shown to be effective for treating skin allergies in cats. It can be taken internally, and it can be applied topically. CBD lotions and CBD oil can be applied directly to the skin. You can do this to spot-treat outbreaks of skin irritation. CBD cat treats, CBD oil and CBD Capsules can be administered orally. This is useful for treating persistent chronic skin allergies in cats.
The dosage that will be required to treat your cat’s skin allergies will depend on the products you choose, the size of your pet, and the severity of the condition. All CBD Products should indicate clear Dosing Guidelines. Your vet may also be able to advise you on suitable dosage levels for your pet
Here are our recommended CBD products for Cats.