Cat Allergies How to Cope

English: Young male tabby cat

English: Young male tabby cat (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Our feline friends can sometimes be closer to us than many people yet if you suffer from cat allergies this relationship can be challenging. How do you cope? Pets have become such a great part of our lives. They provide comfort in times of loneliness and a hobby that helps to pass the time. Though the typical household pets are cats and dogs, pets can be any animal like rabbits, fish, and birds. Some people even like snakes and lizards. All that said cats are one of the most popular which can cause problems for household members that suffer from cat allergies.

Allergic reactions to cats can range from mild to severe so before you buy one you should definitely assess whether you might have any cat allergies. Unfortunately many people find out about their allergies after the fact. Asthma has been found to be a determining factor in how allergic you may be. 4 out of 10 asthma sufferers have cat allergies. On top of that they experience more symptoms when exposed to cats than to dogs.

What causes such an allergic reaction? A protein that is found in the cat skin and saliva seems to be the driver. When cleaning themselves cat lick their fur, depositing the protein on their fur. This allergen will produce a reaction to those that are sensitive similar to reactions to other allergens like pollen, dust or dander. When the protein becomes airborne and the allergy sufferer comes into contact with it the symptoms begin.

While there appear to be dog breads that are somewhat hypo allergenic (produce fewer allergic reactions), male cats cause more allergic reactions than female because of the testosterone level in the male cat’s glands. This testosterone in turn increases the protein. The cat allergen is found mainly in homes where cats live but due to the nature of it can be found wherever a cat owner may go. The protein allergen is quite sticky and can be carried on people’s clothing from place to place. The protein particles which cause the cat allergies can remain in the air for long periods of time.

If you are allergic you will more than likely have a rapid reaction as soon as you enter the room. If there is a cat or multiple cats in a room the reaction can be severe. The most common symptom of cat allergies is wheezing and can begin by just entering a room with cats. However, there are more subtle, delayed reactions as well that may last longer. If you are continually exposed you may experience chronic asthma. Eczema or hives are other possible symptoms.

The safest bet for coping with cat allergies is to avoid these animals as much as you can. Sometimes that is not a practical option and you may want to try to manage your symptoms for the sake of others in your household. In this case it is recommended that you try to confine your cat to certain areas of the house. Keep them out of your bed and bedroom for sure. Also purchasing a hepa air purifier and cleaning regularly will help in managing your cat allergies.



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3 Responses to “Cat Allergies How to Cope”

  1. […] Marilyn Franklin writes for where you can find more info on cat allergies. […]

  2. Peggy Rose says:

    question: I am moving into a new apartment. my daughter has bad cat allergy. the people moving out have 2 cats. The apartment is all hardwood floors & tile–no carpet. Can you recommend what kind of cleaning plan I should follow? The landlord will do a basic landlord cleaning. What should I do in addition to get at dander?
    I see recommendations on the internet for washing ceilings, painting every surface, is there any science behind these suggestions?
    Also, how long does cat dander stay around and stay allergy-provoking? is there a time frame?

  3. Alisa says:

    Also, please consider adopting a cat rather than buying one! It will cost you less money and will save a life.

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