Atopy in cats is a genetic tendency in your pet to develop several types of allergic diseases and involves the capacity of their bodies to produce IgE in a response to common environmental proteins.
An environmental protein could involve dust mites, mold, pollen, grass pollen, or food allergies.
The term atopy is derived from the Greek word Atopos, which means out of place.
An atopic syndrome in your cat could be fatal is they experience a series of these reactions that could be triggered by the environment that they breath.
The term IgE stand for immunoglobulin E and it is involved in your cat’s immune system.
It is the primary mediator that will stimulate the release of inflammatory mast cells such as histamine.
However, it is also responsible for the triggering of most of the severe allergic reactions in your cats system.
Its primary role is to target and bind the protein that is on the surface of their skin.
When it does not function properly, it is considered atopy in cats, as it is out of kink or out of place.
A cat that is allergic to something will show you that they
are allergic to something either though their skin and by itching.
There are different types of allergies in cats.
Something that they have inhaled, which is atopy, something they have eaten, which is food allergies, or an allergic reaction to a bite or sting, which is hives.
But in the vast majority of cases, most of the allergic reactions that your cat will face will be from atopy.
Most of the causes are seasonal, depending of what type of allergen that it is.
However, as this out of place reaction in your cat’s body continues, they can become more than just seasonal.
Atopy in cats will show a wide range of symptoms in your pet, but in most every case it will involve itching to some degree as well as a runny nose.
As the itching intensifies, so will the symptoms. In one of the first symptoms, your cat may literally pull out tufts of their own hair.
Once this occurs, it may lead to Miliary dermatitis.
This is not a specific disease, but rather a set of symptoms, with the most common cause being atopy.
Once your cat has developed Miliary dermatitis, they will develop crusty papules.
This can be a very serious condition for your cat as it could develop into severe lesions if not treated and controlled.
Next your cat may experience Eosinophilic plagues, which is very similar to hot spots in dogs.
It will consist of a grouping of lesions that affect the skin, the mucus junctions, and your cat’s oral cavities.
Other symptoms of Atopy in cats will include massive hair loss and twitching skin that is also referred to as rippling skin disease that your cat may be self-inducing because of the itching.
Allergens are what triggers this condition and it could be caused by several types of agents.
Trees, grass, and weed pollens are some of the more common allergens, while dust mites and mold are some of the more severe.
However, Atopy is something that has been inhaled by your cat that is causing these allergic reactions.
It could also include reactions to certain fabrics such as wool or nylon, and well as rubber or plastic that is producing an odor.
Your cat’s litter from their litter box may also be producing this reaction as they inhale the fumes.
Atopy in cats does not necessarily happen as soon as your cat is exposed to these allergens which will make it very difficult to actually understand what your cat is allergic to.
It may take several episodes of inhaling the allergen before that allergy actually erupts.
Because this disease is a genetic reaction, it is also considered a learned phenomenon in your pet.
Their immune system is figuring out how to deal with it as it has been programmed by the previous generations and it may take some time before it reacts.
In most cases of this disease, the symptoms will start to appear at about three years of age.
Diagnosing atopy, as difficult as it may seem, can actually be very accurate.
The first thing your veterinarian will do is to run what is referred to as intra-dermal or blood testing.
Intra-dermal testing is a process where a possible allergen, such as specific regional pollen, is injected into your cat’s skin to test for its reaction and cellular immunity.
While other types of allergies will have to be done by process of elimination, this type of testing can usually produce very good results.
The reason for this is that it helps in identifying the actual culprit that is attacking your pets system.
Although it will not be all inclusive, once the offending allergen has been identified, helping your cat avoid this allergen will be a critical part to the treatment process.
Topical therapy will also be an important part of the treatment process, as it will consist of shampoos, rinses, and topical anti-itch solution.
However, this is an only a short term fix to the problem, and in many cases your cat will than lick off any type of an ointment or cream.
Omega-3 fatty acids have long been used in helping to protect your cat’s coat.
However there have been numerous studies that have proved that they can also be extremely effective in helping with allergies caused by atopy in cats.
These acids help the skin in reducing both the amounts as well as the affects that histamine has in the process.
Although it has proved to be effective in several cases, it does not work with every case and your cat may have to be on Omega-3 fatty acids for several weeks before they show any results.
It will also be important to use only supplements that are from fish oil as other types may actually aggravate the allergies.
Antihistamines will also be used as a treatment and although they are only mildly helpful with atopy in dogs, they have proved to be over 70 percent effective in cats.
However, they should only be used with direct supervision form a veterinarian as they can have several side effects.
There are also three vitamins that can help with atopy in cats, Vitamins A, C, and E.
Vitamin A helps to decrease skin inflammations as well as dryness in your cat’s skin, and Vitamin C helps with your cat’s production of steroid hormones, their natural defense against allergies.
Vitamin E assists in suppressing inflammation in the skin.
Atopy in cats, although it is strictly a genetically inherited disease, can be controlled by identifying it, avoiding it, treating it, and then supplementing to help prevent it.