What Are The Symptoms
Symptoms of a cat allergy might develop in just a few minutes or take hours to appear. They include:
- Coughing and wheezing
- Hives or a rash on the chest and face
- Red, itchy eyes
- Redness of the skin where a cat has scratched, bitten or licked
- Runny, itchy, stuffy nose
If you are not sure you are suffering from an allergy to cats, you can request an allergy test. This involves either a skin patch test or a blood test.
Other Things Your Cat Could Be Reacting To
While its rather rare for cats to have allergic reactions to humans, its less rare for them to have reactions to things we wear or use. For instance, that smelly soap you love to use in the shower is full of fragrances and perfumes that could cause a reaction in your cat. Even the laundry detergent you use has the same potential. Similarly, most cleaning products contain preservatives that can also cause reactions in cats.
Ironically, cats can even be allergic to other pets. If you have multiple cats in the house, they could be allergic to each others dander and saliva. More likely, your cat could be allergic to dogs in the same household or other animals that they come in contact with.
Why Are Human Allergies Less Common Than Pet Allergies
Most people probably never even give thought to the possibility of animals being allergic to people, even though loads of people are allergic to animals. Granted, its far less common for animals to be allergic to us than for us to be allergic to them. But, why is that the case?
Well, for one thing, we dont have fur like many of the animals were allergic to. Its not that were allergic to fur though. People tend to be allergic to pet dander and saliva. Think of how many times youve watched your cat bathe itself with its tongue. Well, all of that saliva dries on its fur, leaving behind large amounts of the allergen found within saliva that causes people with cat allergies to react.
Its not just your cats saliva though thats to blame. Pet dander comes from their skin, and it also collects on your cats hair. When you touch your cat, all of the allergens from the dander and saliva are then catapulted into the air around, leaving airborne allergens everywhere. Soon, those allergens will settle on the floor and furniture, waiting for you to kick them up again.
As your cat sheds, its leaving behind allergens on every hair that comes off. We tend not to shed hair the way that cats do, so were not constantly ejecting allergens into the atmosphere at the same rate as cats, dogs, and other furry mammals. And since we bathe so much more frequently than other furry mammal species, we dont shed dead skin at the same rate either.
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Owning A Cat When You Have Allergies
Before deciding you cannot have a cat, check with your doctor first and pinpoint exactly what causes your allergy.
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If you or someone you live with is allergic to cats, you may think that you can never own one; however, this is far from the truth. The benefits of having a pet usually outweigh the drawbacks of pet allergies for many people. You’d be surprised to know how many people, with non-life-threatening allergies, live with pets despite having allergies to them! There are several ways to manage your cat allergies and if you, like many other people, prefer not to be tied down to a regimen of drugs and sprays, it is still possible to own your very own furry companion.
Any and all cats and dogs may cause reactions for people who are allergic to animals. Cats tend to cause more reactions than dogs for allergic people, although some people are more sensitive to dogs than cats. Contrary to popular belief, there are no “non-allergenic” breeds of dogs or cats; even hairless breeds may cause symptoms.
How Do Antihistamines Work For Cat Allergies
In people with a cat allergy, when the body detects the Fel d 1 protein it produces histamine. This is normally only released when the body detects something harmful, such as an infection, but if you are allergic to cats then the usually harmless Fel d 1 protein can be mistaken for a threat.
To try to protect your body from the allergen, the histamine causes your blood vessels to expand and your skin to swell, which results in the typical allergy symptoms of itchy eyes, a running or blocked nose and sneezing.
Antihistamines are a type of medication that block the receptors in your cells that histamine binds to, preventing your symptoms before they occur or reducing their severity.
To find out more about antihistamines, visit the NHS website.
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What About Cats Can Cause Allergies
More than 90 percent of people allergic to cats have a sensitivity to a protein known as Fel d1, which is found in cat saliva, feces, and urine.;When people with cat allergies are exposed to Fel d1, their immune system creates Y-shaped proteins called antibodies. Antibodies stick to these pet proteins, neutralizing them and labeling them for destruction and removal.
If you’re allergic to Fel d1, your immune system will produce an antibody called IgE when it detects it, which can trigger an allergic reaction.
There are several other known cat allergies found in cat saliva, dander, urine, blood, feces, and hair, including Fel d2, Fel d3, Fel d4, and Fel d5. But most people with allergies are sensitive to Fel d1. And many people are only allergic to Fel d1.
Keeping The Allergies Under Control
Recent advances in the treatment of human asthma are helping sick pets. We now do exactly what we do for infants and children, explains Dr Padrid, veterinarian for the Family Pet Animal Hospital in Chicago. Inhaled anti-inflammatory medication similar to human inhalers can be delivered to pets through an aerosol chamber with a facemask.
Some research in the field of human asthma has also been transferrable to felines. The work suggested in humans a link between bacterial infections and the worsening of asthmatic symptoms. The same bacteria were then later found in 1/5 of all lung fluid samples taken from asthmatic cats.
Like allergies in humans, affected pets tend to become more sensitive as time goes by. Today prognosis for the control of the disease is excellent, with most pets living happy and normal lives. Although there is no cure for allergies for now, medication such as allergy injections, antihistamines or even cortisone,; can be used to sooth the symptoms of the disease.;
But overall, the best way to keep your animal from developing the symptoms is identifying the allergens and making sure your pets stays as far away as possible from them, be they fleas or chicken wings.;
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What Causes People To Be Allergic To Cats
Many people think that a cat’s fur is what causes allergic reactions in people, but it is actually proteins in the saliva, urine, and dander of a cat that causes them. These triggers are called allergens. The protein that is the most widely known allergen produced by cats is Fel D 1, and it is in cat saliva and skin secretions.
When cats groom themselves, they spread Fel D 1 throughout their fur, and when they shed or dander falls off them, the allergen is deposited into the environment. Allergic humans then contact the allergen when they touch things in the environment, pet the cat, or even breathe the air.
Every cat produces a different amount of Fel D 1 or the other cat allergens known to affect humans. Therefore, people who are allergic to cats might react more or less severely to specific felines.
Your Face Feels Swollen & Slightly Painful
Another sign of allergies that you might overlook is your face feeling kind of swollen, puffy, and sightly painful. This can happen when you’re very congested. Sometimes that congestion doesn’t come out as a sniffly nose; instead it just causes head congestion that leaves you feeling swollen, foggy, and kind of odd.
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Fyi: Could My Cat Be Allergic To Me
Cats get seasonal allergies to pollen and grass, and some have year-round allergies to fleas and dust mites. Sandy Willis, Continued
ByLizzie Schiffman | Published Aug 27, 2013 7:35 PM
Cats get seasonal allergies to pollen and grass, and some have year-round allergies to fleas and dust mites. Sandy Willis, a veterinary internist who advises the American Veterinary Medical Association, says that when cats interact with an allergen, their body sends immunoglobulin E antibodies to link with it, triggering the release of histamine and other chemicals that cause itchy eyes, runny noses, sneezing, hives and rashes.
The same process happens in other pets and humans. In rare cases, cats can even be allergic to people. People allergies are uncommon, since we bathe more often than most other species and dont shed as much hair and dead skinwhich trigger our own allergies to pets. When cats do have a bad reaction to us, its usually caused by residue from our perfume, soap or laundry detergent. Any water-based cleaning product usually contains some preservatives. Cats tend to be more sensitive to chemicals than dogs. Specific chemical allergies are difficult to isolate and diagnose, so pets cant be vaccinated for them or build up their tolerance with exposure like they can for organic allergies.
Cats can even be allergic to other pets. Vets offer antihistamines for dogs to treat cat, horse and bird allergies. Cat antihistamines recently hit the market too.
Pets Can Be Allergic To Humans Among Others
There are three main types of allergies that affect your cats and dogs, food allergies, allergies to flea bites and environmental allergies.
Adverse reactions to food affect less than 10% of all cats and dogs and can show up at any age. When they are allergic to food, cats are mostly allergic to beef, dairy, chicken or fish and dogs are allergic to beef, dairy wheat, lamb, chicken, chicken eggs or soy .
Flea Allergy Dermatitis is an allergic skin reaction to flea saliva that rarely happens before the age of six months in pets. The saliva causes irritations way out of proportion to the actual numbers of fleas on the pet.
Environmental allergies can be provoked by outdoor allergens such as grass or pollen or indoor ones like mold, dust mites or fabrics. Environmental allergies can be genetically inherited. Some pets even go on to develop asthma, also known as allergic bronchitis.House pets have long been blamed for breathing problems in humans, but the problem goes both way, since humans more specifically, human dandruff can also trigger asthma attacks in both cats and dogs.
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Cat Fur Is Not The Reason Youre Allergic
Contrary to popular belief, your cats fur;or hair;is not the real reason you are allergic. Though your cats beautiful coat can be instrumental in the transmission of what is actually causing your allergies to flare, its not the hairs themselves that your body is rejecting. The secret that explains your cat allergy actually lies even deeper.
Cat Allergies: Why Are So Many People Allergic
There may be no single thing as irritating and aggravating as pet allergies. Of the 10 percent of the U.S. population allergic to pets, about one-third of those people just cant stop themselves and actually keep kitties as pets. Why, oh why, must it be our feline friends, our precious little kitties, who wreak the most havoc on our temperamental immune systems? The answer to this question is actually simpler than you may think. Its just science.
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Can Cats Consume Egg Yolk
- Eggs are a high-nutritional-value food for your cat.;
- However, because of the high-fat content of the yolk, they may add too many calories to your cats diet, resulting in weight gain.;
- Furthermore, too much fat in your cats diet may cause gastric distress.
- Because the yolk contains the majority of the fat in eggs, it is best to minimize the quantity of yolk you feed your cat.;
- A little amount of yolk cant harm, but its better to be cautious.
- If your cat is overweight or has renal problems, it is generally better not to feed the yolk at all.
Can Your Dog Or Cat Be Allergic To You
Our pets can suffer from many of the same allergens that make humans miserable, including pollen, veterinarians say.
Spring has sprung,;and with it the return of warmer weather, longer days, and one decidedly unwelcome guest: allergies.
It’s also the perfect season to turn the tables and look at allergies from our pets’ point of view. So for Weird Animal Question of the Week, we’re responding to National Geographic’s own Emily Tye, who asks: “Can cats be allergic to dogs, or vice versa?”
We also wondercan they be allergic to us?
“The answer to all of these is yes,” says;Raelynn Farnsworth, of Washington State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine.
“It’s rare, but dogs can be allergic to cat dander and people dander and vice versa. For everything.”
Dander is made up of tiny cells shed from hair, fur, or feathersand though you mostly hear it in relation to pets, humans produce it, too. Other common pet allergies include flea saliva and certain foods.
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Immune To The Allergen
Bachmann is among the scientists who are targeting Fel d 1 in cats themselves. If the animals did not produce the protein, this should prevent allergic reactions in most people. But researchers are unsure how thoroughly the protein needs to be eliminated to have the desired effect, as well as what happens to a cat without Fel d 1.
No one knows what Fel d 1 does for felines. Some cats have a little and some have a lot, so large amounts dont seem to be necessary. And the cats breed doesnt seem to make much difference; even hairless Sphynx cats make Fel d 1. On average, unneutered males have the most and females the least, suggesting the protein might carry hormones or phero-mones. But it has also been hypothesized to protect cats skin.
In 2013, Bachmann co-founded HypoPet, a spin-off company from the University of Zurich in Switzerland. The firm aims to create hypoallergenic cats by vaccinating them against their own Fel d 1, so that the cats IgG antibodies block the protein before it is sniffed up by a human.
Bachmann built the vaccine out of recombinant Fel d 1, a bit of tetanus toxin peptide and the coat from a plant virus. The immune system thinks its a virus, he says, and accordingly responds with IgG . In an early test, the level of Fel d 1 in the tears of 18 cats fell by more than half 42 days after vaccination. Every cat makes a good IgG response, he says, and the vaccine doesnt seem to cause them any problems.
Many People With Cat Allergies Have Kitties Anyway
About 10 percent of people are allergic to household pets. For that selfless section of the population;who love on pet;cats despite being allergic, theres good news and bad news about managing those allergies.
Contrary to popular belief, every cat produces Fel d 1, so no breed is totally hypoallergenic. That said, it is known that non-neutered male cats produce higher levels of the pesky Fel d 1 protein. Female and neutered male cats produce a lower amount of the allergen. For this reason, researchers hypothesize that the Fel d 1 protein may be involved in pheromone signaling, but the purpose of the protein is unknown.
When it comes to hypoallergenic cat breeds, its now easier to see the underlying mechanism. Instead of it being a breed that doesnt produce the allergen, its a breed that produces lower levels of it;and one that;doesnt have the fur or hair to easily transmit the allergen to the air, environment, and, ultimately, you. According to petMD, Siberian and Balinese breeds;top the hypoallergenic cat breed list, since they produce lower levels of Fel d 1. This is followed by breeds like the Sphynx and shorthairs that create less dander and fur to transmit Fel d 1.
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Best Cat Breeds For People With Allergies
If you’re a cat lover with mild cat allergies, it still might be possible for you to have a cat in your home. Although no cat breed is scientifically hypoallergenic, anecdotal reports claim some breeds might be less likely to trigger allergies. This is potentially because of their shedding level or because they produce less of the Fel d 1 protein, a common allergen. The cat breeds that are supposedly good for allergies vary in appearance and temperament. Some are related breeds while others are more unique. Moreover, it’s important to note that individual cats within these breeds still might trigger allergies, as each cat will have slightly different allergens.
Here are 10 cat breeds that might work for people with allergies.
Are There Hypoallergenic Cats 7 Allergy
Most people have heard about hypoallergenic cats, or cats that cannot cause allergies.;But the truth is, no breed of cat or dog can truly be allergen free. Hypoallergenic means that something is less likely to cause an allergic reactionbut it could still happen.
“There is no such thing as a truly hypoallergenic breed of cat or dog,” says Maggie Brown-Bury, DVM, an emergency and critical care veterinarian and representative of the Canadian Veterinary Medical Association.;The misconception comes from a misunderstanding about pet allergies.;”An allergy is a reaction to a protein,” she says. “So while people think they are allergic to pet fur, in fact they are allergic to pet dander, which contains proteins found in the saliva, which is all over the pet because they lick themselves.”
Dander is the dead skin cells that fall off of an animal and into the environment.;No animal can go without licking themselves. And any cat will drop dander when they shed. Because of this, even hairless cats can cause problems for people with allergies.;But some breeds may be a better fit for people with allergy than others. Here’s what you need to know about so-called hypoallergenic cats.
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