We're all familiar with the agony that is being allergic to a beloved family pet, but is the reverse true — are cats and dogs allergic to humans? Though it's rare, some cats and dogs do develop allergies to human dander. Sometimes it's obvious when our furry friends are allergic to us, but other times allergy symptoms manifest in unexpected ways. Here's how to tell if your cat or dog is allergic to you.
When a pet is allergic to its owner, the animal is actually having a reaction to a person's dander, which is the hair and skin cells we shed every day. So, don't mistake your cat's sneezing as a sign that she loves you any less. There are a few telltale signs that an animal is allergic to something, but it may take further allergy testing at the veterinarian's office for a final diagnosis to be made. If you notice any of the below symptoms, it may be time to book an appointment for your pet to see an expert.
- Bald patches resulting from excessive scratching
- Excessive licking
- Moist or crusty skin
- Runny nose
- Snoring resulting from an inflamed throat
- Watery eyes
With cats specifically, miliary dermatitis is a common allergy symptom. This skin condition, which can look similar to cat acne, is essentially an extremely itchy rash that usually pops up along a cat's lower spine and around the base of its tail. Cats with this condition excessively lick and groom the infected area. In rare cases, the rash will progress to a more severe skin lesion that resembles a pimple.
As mentioned previously, veterinarians can perform skin allergy tests on dogs and cats, so we recommend making an appointment with yours to discuss further options if your pet is exhibiting any of the above symptoms. If your animal is indeed allergic to you, vets can treat the symptoms by administering shots or prescribing oral drops so you can feel good about snuggling up with your cuddle bugs on the couch without fear of provoking a sneezing fit.