Dear VetBabble: Why does my indoor cat shake his head a lot even though there are no mites?
Firstly, let me begin by saying I understand your concern! It can be quite distressing to see your beloved feline friend in discomfort or irritation. We, as veterinarians, appreciate your vigilance and care towards your cat’s well-being. Although your concern is specific to your situation, pet owners can probably relate to your concerns. We all want our cats to be healthy and happy!
As you’ve mentioned, your veterinarian didn’t find any sign of ear mites which is great. However, this still leaves us with the question: Why is your cat shaking its head? This article will aim to answer this question, and provide possible solutions as well as exploring the causes of head shaking in cats in general. We will cover three main topics: allergies in cats, ear infections, and food allergies. Feel free to click the links for a deeper understanding of each topic.
Allergies in Cats
Allergies are quite prevalent in cats but not always evident. In the case of your cat, it might be suffering from an allergy that is causing the head shaking. Cat allergies can manifest in many different ways, including excessive scratching, sneezing, and paw-chewing. Furthermore, allergies might be in response to various environmental factors, including pollen, mold, and even dust mites.
To determine if your cat is suffering from allergies, a visit to the vet would be helpful. They can perform tests to identify potential allergens and offer treatment accordingly, possibly including antihistamines, corticosteroids, or even immunotherapy in some cases.
Ear Infections in Cats
Although your cat was checked for mites, it’s worth considering the possibility of an ear infection. An ear infection could be causing your cat’s head shaking, especially if the infection hasn’t been identified yet or is due to another reason. Ear infections in cats can occur for a multitude of reasons and often require a visit to the vet for examination and treatment. Your vet can perform an ear cytology or otoscopic exam to identify the cause.
If an infection is detected, your veterinarian may prescribe topical, oral medication, or even recommend a professional ear cleaning. Remember that even though your cat doesn’t have mites, an ear infection shouldn’t be ruled out.
Pet Food Allergies: Symptoms and Treatments
Another feasible explanation for your cat’s head shaking could be a food allergy. Many pet owners might not be aware that food allergies can manifest in the form of skin irritations and even ear issues. The common culprits for food allergies include corn, chicken, and certain types of grains. It might be beneficial to try switching your cat to a grain-free diet or a diet with a different protein source, such as duck.
For an in-depth exploration of food allergies and their treatment, check out this article on pet food allergies. If you suspect a food allergy, consult your veterinarian for a definitive diagnosis and recommendations on dietary changes. Remember that during the transition, it is crucial to stick to the new diet exclusively and not mix it with the old food or any additional treats.
If the issue persists despite trying these solutions, it might be worthwhile to investigate further with your vet, including performing an allergy test to pinpoint the specific allergen and tailor the treatment plan.
Hopefully, with these tips and insights, you can work together with your veterinarian to alleviate your cat’s head shaking and improve their overall well-being. Good luck, and remember, communication with your veterinarian is key!