What is Termite Treatment Allergy?

Even the least harmful product used for termite eradication may still be harmful to your cat if it is inhaled or licked. When chemicals are sprayed around the home to kill termites that may have invaded, your cat may inhale the treatment, or lick somewhere that the chemical has been sprayed, causing a reaction that could involve coughing, diarrhea or skin irritation. This reaction is known as an inhalant/contact allergy. Other allergies known to affect felines are flea bite allergies and food allergies.

In most cases, it is not the termite that causes a problem to your cat, it’s the chemicals used to rid them from your home that can cause an allergic, or even toxic, reaction.

Symptoms of Termite Treatment Allergy in Cats

  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea 
  • Itchy skin
  • Self-biting
  • Continuous grooming or itching causing broken irritated skin 
  • Secondary bacterial infections to the broken skin
  • Sneezing
  • Coughing or having a hard time breathing 
  • Snoring or wheezing due to an inflamed throat 
  • Depression 
  • Itchy weeping eyes 

Types  

Food Allergy – Your cat reacts to a particular food in its diet 

Flea Bite Allergy – Your cat reacts to the saliva of the flea when it bites and your cat’s system and reacts to it 

Inhalant Allergy or Atopy - Your cat reacts to something it has inhaled or come into contact with such as a pollen, perfume, mildew and especially chemicals

Causes of Termite Treatment Allergy in Cats

  • An allergy is caused when your cat’s immune system over reacts to a substance that your cat has eaten or inhaled and it mounts a defensive reaction against that substance 
  • Even the mildest chemical can affect your cat, and while it may be safe for humans, your cat is so small that it can harm your pet 
  • Chemical inhalants seem to produce almost immediate allergic responses, irritating the respiratory system 
  • Licking areas that have been sprayed with the termite chemical (such as the floor) can also produce a harmful reaction
  • Exposure to outdoor areas where the treatment spray is not yet dried, if your feline gets it on her fur or chews the grass that has been sprayed it may affect her system

Diagnosis of Termite Treatment Allergy in Cats

First of all, if you are going to have your house treated for termites, especially inside the house, make sure you make arrangements to take your cat away from the home until it is safe to return. Cats have a very sensitive sense of smell, and they are susceptible to poisoning, so they may need a longer time away than you do. Perhaps boarding your cat for a day or two may be advisable. If your cat has any of the above symptoms, it is advisable to take your pet to be checked over. If the symptoms arose from having your house treated for termites, and your cat has never had these symptoms before, it is safe to assume that your cat has been affected by the chemicals either through inhaling or licking the substance.  

Your cat specialist will be able to provide medication to stop your cat itching and to soothe infected skin if your feline seems particularly uncomfortable during the evaluation . The veterinarian may take blood samples to determine the amount of poison in your cat’s system. In the case of termite treatment, remember your cat is right down there at ground level with the termites, and they can lick around areas that have been sprayed, or even find a termite or two and lick or eat those which will produce an unpleasant allergic result. Ensuring your home is safe before kitty returns is the safest prevention of all.

Treatment of Termite Treatment Allergy in Cats

Prevention is the best course of action. If your home is to be termite treated, take the precaution and remove your cat to avoid him being poisoned by chemical inhalation. But even in the most careful circumstances, cats can get into trouble through their inquisitive nature, and your cat may still find an area where the treatment is still active once he is home again. If symptoms arise, take your cat to your veterinarian for a full check-up. He will be able to prescribe an antihistamine to control the itching, drops for your cat’s eyes if they are weeping and can advise of further treatment needed to enable your cat to regain his health. Your cat may need topical creams for any infected broken skin as a result of the allergy. If your cat is experiencing severe symptoms such as diarrhea or vomiting, the veterinarian may suggest further therapy in the form of intravenous fluids for dehydration that may occur. 

Termite control can take many forms with a wide variety of treatments available, so it is advisable to ask your termite control manager about the treatment they are going to be using and get a time frame for when it is safe to bring your cat back to the home after treatment. Small things like removing pet dishes and pet toys so they are not sprayed with the chemicals will help.  Removing bedding and blankets will also help prevent chemical contact with your cat.

Recovery of Termite Treatment Allergy in Cats

Recovery of your cat depends on how severely he was affected by the chemicals. Some cats are very sensitive to chemicals and can react quite severely. Time to rest and recover, and following your veterinarian’s advice will ensure your cat has the best treatment it requires. If the home has been treated inside and out, check with the termite control person as to what you can do to ensure your cat is not harmed any further. If your cat likes to go outside, remember the treatment out in the yard is probably stronger than inside, so check when it is safe for kitty to explore. Keeping your cat confined to the indoors may be best until the all clear is given. Wash all drinking vessels to ensure they are not contaminated is an easy and practical way to ensure the safety of your cat.