Cat Litter Allergy Symptoms

Cat litter comes from a wide range of materials including clumping clay, granulated clay, cedar chips, pine shavings, wheat, corn cobs and recycled paper. Your cat, who is daily exposed to her cat litter, may develop allergies to the substance that creates it. Allergic reactions can arise, compromising your cat's immune system. Symptoms may affect your cat's respiratory tract, digestive system and more.

Cat Litter texture background
Close-up of cat litter
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Respiratory Symptoms

You may notice your cat sneezing when she uses the litter box. If this happens every time she comes in contact with the litter, she may be having an allergic reaction. Sneezing clears her air passages. In addition to sneezing, your cat may experience allergy symptoms such as panting, wheezing, coughing, snoring and wheezing due to an inflamed throat.

Digestive Symptoms

Your cat may accidentally consume small particles and dust from litter. After the use of the litter box, many cats groom themselves using their tongues. If your cat licks the bottom of her feet just after standing on the litter, the particles can affect the digestive system, and vomiting and diarrhea symptoms can arise.

Skin Symptoms

The skin can absorb airborne irritants that cause symptoms such as chewing of the paws, gnawing on random places on the body, itchy skin, increased scratching, rubbing, biting and licking. While many cats occasionally exhibit this behavior as a normal part of their self-grooming process, constant irritation and inability to stop scratching signify allergic reaction. Constant scratching, chewing and licking can cause your cat's skin to become irritated and bleed.

Physical Symptoms

Your cat may experience noticeable physical conditions, such as watery eyes and frequent ear infections. Usually, these symptoms disappear after you change the type of litter to one that does not cause allergic reactions in your cat. If you notice a serious reaction, such as swelling of the face, visit a veterinary clinic or local animal hospital immediately. Swelling of the face is a symptom that your cat may develop anaphylactic shock, experienced when the air passages are constricted to the point that they don't allow air to flow and completely restrict breathing. Immediate attention is essential to saving your cat's life.