As the springtime sniffles rear their heads, you might find yourself reaching out for the tissues…only to find your cat reaching out for them too! Turns out, it’s not too uncommon dealing with a cat pollen allergy – though unfortunately, there isn’t a permanent cure for it.

At the same time, there’s a lot you can do to help your cat enjoy the warmer days. So here are a couple of tips and tricks on how to deal with a cat pollen allergy – including tracking if your cat’s been wandering to any pollen-riddled spots around town – and handle it for good.

Understanding cat pollen allergies

It’s not entirely known why some of us get allergies while others don’t. But what’s certain is that an allergy causes the body to react to certain substances in the same way it reacts to diseases. (Applying to cats and humans alike.)

So when your cat comes in contact with an allergy-triggering substance, their immune system produces antibodies as a defensive reaction.

This includes a substance called histamine, which helps fight disease – but unfortunately, also might turn up as:

  • Swelling
  • Itching
  • Watery eyes
  • Runny nose

For some cats, you might find them sniffling and itching more often around springtime – when pollen is in the air. This fine, powdery substance gets secreted by seed-producing plants for reproduction around this time.

A cat licking its paw on a wooden table

What plants might trigger an allergic reaction in cats?

Cats do tend to be rather careful around plants – but that doesn’t stop them from nibbling on grass every so often either! Besides, any amount of pollen or even parts of certain plants might end up brushing against their fur or paws. (And can make them sick while grooming.)

Which is why it makes sense to stay aware of what plants are poisonous to cats – and keep them well away from your buddy. Some include:

  • Daffodils
  • Tulips
  • Lilies
  • Peonies
  • Ragwort
  • Foxglove
  • Chrysanthemums
  • Hyacinths

Read more: Signs of plant poisoning in cats

What areas have a higher pollen count than others?

In the US alone, different states may be more likely to be “allergy zones” – others less so. So it makes sense to check whether yours counts as a high-pollen zone or not.

High-pollen US statesLow-pollen US states
PennsylvaniaNew York
South CarolinaMichigan
North CarolinaNew Mexico

💡So if you’re planning on moving states or visiting one with your cat, keep an eye out for its pollen count this spring – and plan ahead how you’re going to prevent and/or treat it.

Does my cat have a pollen allergy?

Just like humans, a cat pollen allergy may also turn up with symptoms similar to ours. Get in touch with your vet, if your cat shows signs of:

  • Watery eyes
  • Running nose
  • Head shaking
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing
  • Hair loss due to overgrooming, or excessive rubbing or scratching at their fur, skin, or ears
  • Chewing on their paws
  • Vomiting or throwing up hairballs
  • Sores on their skin

Just remember: it’s important to give your vet a full history of these symptoms. So keep track of how long they’ve been persisting and whether it’s a seasonal occurrence.

What to expect at your vet

Now before you head over to your vet’s, you’ll find it helpful going prepared to answer:

  1. When did your cat’s symptoms first appear?
  2. Has your cat had them before?
  3. Did you make any changes to the cat’s food, outdoor privileges or other routines recently?

Besides thoroughly examining your cat to rule out pests like ticks or mites, your vet might also check for symptoms like a cold or food allergies.

Read more:

A vet examining a cat at a clinic

Once your vet has ruled out these causes, they might also conduct a blood test to check for antibodies, just like in a human allergy test. From this, they should be able to not only tell you if your cat has a pollen allergy but also what specific types of pollen your cat is allergic to.

Based on what’s causing your cat’s pollen allergy, your vet might prescribe you specific medications to help reduce the histamines in their body. (And reduce the itching, sneezing, and swelling.)

  • Make sure to follow their instructions to the T through the full course of medication (even if your cat seems to be getting better early on)
  • Avoid giving your cat any medication built for humans. These may contain harmful substances that might poison them instead.

Figure out what’s triggering your cat’s pollen allergy

Now you vet’s allergy test might show up some interesting results. Like, for example, if your cat is allergic to a plant that doesn’t grow anywhere near you – but your poor buddy is still sneezing up a storm.

💡Here’s where tracking your cat’s daily trips and adventures outdoors can be a lifesaver.

  • Your outdoor cat might be wandering in a mile-long radius – likely coming in contact with your neighbors’ pollen-riddled backyards, the local park, or even a patch of woodland nearby.
  • Even your indoor cat might come in contact with allergy-inducing pollen, ticks, or mites from your very own backyard!

Besides, not all places are safe for your cat – especially one that’s used to wandering (or sneaking) outdoors. Some may even put them in danger – including places where they might come in contact with:

A cat sniffing a field of spring flowers

💡Now rather than monitoring your cat’s wanderings 24/7, why not let a cat GPS tracker do all the work for you?

With a Tractive Cat MINI strapped to their collar, your cat can now wander past your neighborhood into the next one – or even further – and all you need to do is check where they’re at with a glance at your phone.

Because with a cat GPS tracker, you now have a whole sky full of satellites tracking your cat’s movements in real-time – plus over an unlimited range.

Tractive Trustpilot review

Discover Tractive GPS

Avoid contact with the main allergen sources

Now once you know for sure what kind of allergy your cat has, you know how to help them feel better.

Here are a few tips:

Prevent contact to allergen sourceJust like with humans, the most effective way to protect your cat from an allergic reaction is to prevent contact with the allergens in question.
Get informedCheck out your local pollen calendar to figure out what time of year which plants usually bloom.

Besides, many meteorological societies measure the pollen in the air daily and provide accurate live information on how much of which allergen is currently in the air at your location.

Make a choiceKnowing when your cat is in danger of an allergic reaction, you have the choice of:
  • Keeping your cat indoors during that time or
  • Using medication to alleviate their symptoms
Keep your cat insideIf you choose to keep your cat inside while the pollen they are allergic to is outside, take extra care when airing your home.
Get fresh airMost seed and pollen producing plants bloom during the day, so you can significantly help your cat by only opening windows after sunset.

⚠️ At the same time, keeping your cat indoors 24/7 might not be the best option.

Besides stressing them out (especially if they’re used to wandering outdoors), your cat might grow bored, restless, and anxious cooped up all day at home.

  • Which could look like shredded carpets, curtains, and endless yowling.
  • Stuck at home, your cat might grow less active than before. Which may lead to weight gain and other health problems down the line.
  • On top of that, most female cats tend to go into heat as early as February all the way through November! (So they’re more likely to escape to try and find a partner outdoors.)
A cat peeking through a white garden fence

💡 But with your trusty Tractive device, you could set up a “safe zone” around your home or backyard – and get an escape alert within minutes if your cat tries sneaking past it.

Or widen your safe zone, but mark out specific spots around town as “no go zones”. (Especially if you’ve noticed they’re high-pollen areas.) So you can intervene if your tracker alerts you they’re leaving a safe zone and entering a no go zone.

Peace of mind for you, one more extra layer of safety for your cat.

Tractive Trustpilot review

Set Up A Virtual Fence

How tracking your cat’s favorite spots can help you prevent an allergy

Besides real-time tracking or Virtual Fencing, your trusty Tractive device can actually help you understand your cat’s behavior that much better.

How? Well, much like us, cats also tend to have their favorite spots – to hide, hunt, or just hang out. Which could be:

  • That one patch of pollen-riddled woodland nearby
  • Your dandelion-infested local park
  • Your neighbors’ backyards, which may include plants poisonous to your cat

All of which you can track over 24 hours with your tracker’s Heat Map and Location History. (Or 365 days if you’re on a Premium subscription.)

Tractive CAT Mini Location History

Pictured here are the outdoor wanderings of Parsley the Maine Coon. Whose disappearing acts made his mom, Fiona Campbell-Smith, invest in a Tractive tracker.

Parsley the Maine Coon

“(It’s) a lifesaver – he goes everywhere! His confidence knows no bounds. He has been in lots of different shops…he visits pubs, hotels and even churches…”

“He regularly goes to other people’s houses, whether he knows them or not, and he doesn’t care if they have another cat. He just walks past and makes himself at home. He even crashed a party once

“Sometimes I’m at my wits’ end with him as he causes so much worry, not to mention them midnight visits dragging him out of a pub – sometimes in my pyjamas! But there’s no doubt he’s special. He’s completely abnormal, but in a good way.”

– Fiona & Parsley, UK

Read more: Why Parsley The Maine Coon Needs His Own Adventure Tracker

So why take a risk not knowing where your cat’s off wandering – and possibly picking up something infectious?

Rather, with a Tractive device, you now have peace of mind at your fingertips – and your cat’s safety just a glance at your phone away.

Know everywhere your cat goes

See where they are in real-time, no matter how far they go. Get alerts if they roam too far home. Find out where they’ve been and discover their favorite spots. Let others track with you.

Discover Cat GPS Trackers

Still wondering how seasonal allergies in cats might show up? Here’s Dr. Christian Broadhurst from the Clay Humane Society sharing his take:

And if you’ve liked this post, share it with a friend or a loved one – and let’s help build a safer, kinder world for our furry friends together.