Why Am I Only Allergic To Some Cats
An allergy to one cat means that you have an allergy to all cats. In theory, less fur and shedding means a reduced likelihood of noticeable allergic reactions, but this is not actually the case.
Longhaired cats actually release less dander, not more. This is because longhaired cats hold proteins against their skin more effectively. A Maine Coon, for example, will shed more fur than a Chartreux. This does not necessarily make it likelier to provoke allergies.
Also, female cats usually release less Fel d 1 than males. Unfixed males, in particular, release sizable amounts of dander. The presence of testosterone increases the potency of glandular secretions.
Some scientists believe that cats with lighter fur release less fel d 1 than darker cats. This suggests that a female Persian with white fur is less likely to provoke allergies. A black, male American Shorthair, meanwhile, could be more of an issue. However, these findings are disputed by different experts.
Are There Hypoallergenic Cat Breeds?
Some cat breeds are considered hypoallergenic, meaning that they should not provoke allergies. Unfortunately, there is no science to bear out this theory. All cats will cause an allergic reaction to some extent. The best an allergy sufferer can hope for is a mild response that goes unnoticed.
The following cat breeds are considered hypoallergenic and should not provoke extreme allergic reactions:
- Devon or Cornish Rex
- Russian Blue
Keep Your Cats Favorite Sleeping Spots Off
Felines are creatures of habit and usually have a couple of favorite spots where they groom the most, right before taking a nice nap. When cats groom, they transfer allergens from their saliva to their skin, which dries and creates dander that can settle on fabric or become airborne.
Needless to say, if youre allergic, your cats nap area of choice is not the best place for you to lounge. Throw a washable blanket over her favorite sleeping spots to easily clean away the allergens. Another strategy: Make the cats bedroom the same room you used to transition her when you brought her home, says Kate Stryker, a Siberian cat breeder from Buffalo, New York.
How Can I Prevent Allergies From Cats
There are common strategies to help you reduce allergens from cats, such as the following tips:
- Dont let cats in your bedroom. Its better to keep this space as dander-free as possible.
- Wash your hands after touching cats to make sure you dont transfer allergens onto yourself.
- Remove carpets and clean walls frequently. It is easier to keep wooden or tile flooring dander-free. Regular cleaning of walls will help reduce allergens.
- Cover heating and air vents with a filtering material, such as cheesecloth, so that cat hair doesnt get into the vents.
- Install a whole-house air filter, preferably a high-efficiency particulate absorbing filter.
- Change filters on air conditioning units and furnaces frequently.
- Keep the humidity level in your home at about 40 percent. This makes it difficult for allergens to travel in the air.
- Vacuum weekly with a HEPA filter vacuum.
- Use a face mask while dusting or cleaning to prevent allergens from traveling to your lungs.
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What Are Allergies In Cats
Allergies are an abnormal immune response to a harmless stimulus. When your cats body contacts an allergen through their skin or after breathing it in, a chain reaction starts thats out of proportion to the danger your cat is ina hypersensitivity reaction.
Immune system sentinel cells release cell signals that cause itching, swelling, and redness.
Cats are not usually born with allergies- they develop as your cat ages. Cats are usually diagnosed between six months and three years, but as diagnosis is often difficult, cats have been diagnosed as old as 14 years!
Do This If You Suspect You Have A Cat Allergy
Mop Instead of Sweep
Actually, a Swiffer is easier to use and works just as good. It catches and holds onto dust and dander. Sweeping is a really bad idea because it pushes dust and dander airborne.
Cat dander is one of the most lightweight allergens and itcan remain suspended in air for days, yes days.
HEPA refers to the filter in the vacuum. Many vacuums dont use a HEPA filter andtruth-be-told they are worthless when it comes to helping reduce allergysymptoms.
If you think you may be allergic to cats, double check the brand and model vacuum you are using. On your next vacuum purchase make sure to invest in a HEPA vac.
I have a few favorite vacs that I reviewed.
Strong HVAC Filter
One of the most underestimated things you can do to improve the air quality in your home is to use a strong filter in your HVAC.
The most inexpensive options will not filter most allergy-causingsubstances . If yourun the heater or air conditioner a lot, Id make sure to use a filter with ahigh MERV rating.
These filters can really help people suffering fromallergies.
Have cats and carpets? I hate to say it, but this is aterrible combination. Carpets are reallycomfortable, yet they catch and hold onto allergens.
Even with regular vacuuming, cat allergens will find theirway deep in a carpet and the strongest vacuums wont be able to remove them.
If youve ever removed an old carpet youll understand. Oldcarpets are heavy and packed with dirt and dust.
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Keep Your Cat Out Of Your Bedroom
You might be accustomed to snuggling with your kitty in bed, but sleeping with your cat when youre allergic will definitely cause problems. Keeping your cat out of your bedroom wont eliminate allergens from the room, but it will cut down on them drastically and should allow you to breathe comfortably.
Can Being Allergic To Pets Kill You
Anaphylaxis is a rare but life-threatening allergic reaction, usually caused by things such as insect stings or food items and even pets. It is a sudden and severe allergic reaction that occurs within minutes of exposure and requires immediate medical attention. Without treatment, anaphylaxis can get worse very quickly and lead to death within 15 minutes.
When someone comes into contact with an allergen capable of causing anaphylaxis, they might experience symptoms such as:
- Face swelling
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Get Rid Of Rugs And Carpets
Even with regular vacuuming, rugs and carpets can harbor cat dander and contribute to allergy attacks. Rolling up rugs can be an immediate solution, and replacing carpets with options like hardwood, laminate or tile will cut down on the amount of dander in your home more permanently. If youre attached to soft flooring, try sticking to area rugs and having them cleaned on a regular basis. That way cat dander wont have an opportunity to build up too much in the carpet fibers.
How To Reduce Cat Allergies
If you are a cat lover, allergies can be really frustrating and upsetting. This irritation will be magnified if you are only allergic to certain cats that you really like. The good news is that this suggests that your allergy is not as serious. An allergy does not mean you can never approach cats again. You will not need to rehome a family cat either.
While you are waiting for HypoCat, you can minimize the effects of cat allergies. Use this approach with every feline you encounter, as you wont know how you will react to a cat until the allergic reaction takes hold.
Prepare to Be Approached
A curious quirk of feline behavior dictates that cats will often approach somebody with an allergy. As explained by Animal Behavior and Welfare, cats understand human facial expressions. This means a cat will recognize the smile of a cat lover. Experience teaches the cat that petting and handling will quickly follow.
Some cats will welcome this, but most will proceed with caution. Until a bond of trust has been forged, the cat will be wary of human contact. The cat wants to remain in control and transfer its scent to a new human.
This is why cats are attracted to those with allergies. Such a person is unlikely to touch the cat. If anything, it will keep its distance. In the cats mind, this makes the person safe to approach. The cat will rub itself on the persons legs, claiming this non-intrusive human as its own.
Handle with Care
Purify the Air
Keep the Home Clean
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Cat Allergies In Infants
There is ongoing debate among scientists whether infants who are exposed to animals at a very young age are destined to develop allergies, or if the opposite is true. Recent studies have come to conflicting conclusions. A 2015 study found that exposing infants to cats and dogs at home is associated with a higher risk of developing allergies during the first four years of the childs life.
On the other hand, a 2011 study found that babies who live with cats, especially during the first year of life, develop antibodies to the pet and were less likely to acquire an allergy later.
A 2017 study found that cats and dogs may provide a benefit by exposing babies to certain healthy bacteria early in life. The study concluded that babies exposed to a cat or dog in the home during pregnancy may have fewer problems with allergies in the future than babies who werent exposed.
Your doctor will be able to answer questions you may have about your baby and your cat. For children who are allergic, removing fabric toys and stuffed animals and replacing them with plastic or washable ones may help relieve symptoms.
Avoidance is best to prevent the allergies in the first place. But if you discover youre allergic to your cat, there are other options than getting rid of your pet. Consider these strategies for reducing your symptoms.
See An Allergy Specialist
These doctors have an arsenal of weapons, such as medication and immunotherapy, to help you in your battle against allergens. Holistic allergy remedies acupuncture, for example also can provide relief. An allergy specialist can pinpoint exactly what you are allergic to, which can help you to avoid or minimize the allergen.
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How To Diagnose A Cat Allergy
There are only two ways to know, for certain, if you have cat allergies. First, you must live without your cat for a few months and see if your allergies go away. This might work if you just happen to have a kind-hearted relative that is willing to “adopt” your cat for a while. If so, go for it! For the rest of us, we have to rely on less-than-perfect methods to determine if we have cat allergies.
The second method is simply to get an allergy test from your doctor. Does this mean that you still have to get a bunch of needles stuck in you? Yes. The test can be done via a skin prick or blood draw.
How To Have A Cat If You Have Cat Allergies
The Spruce / Hilary Allison
Although some people avoid cats because they fear or dislike them, there is some hope for those who avoid cats because of fear of allergic reactions. A lot will depend on the nature of your allergies. If yours are of the sneezing, watery eyes, and running nose variety, you may be able to slowly and gradually build up your tolerance to cats.
However, before getting a cat, you should undergo allergy testing first, particularly if you suffer from asthma. For example, about 30 percent of people with allergies are allergic to cats and dogs, but studies show the rate of cat allergies is actually far higher than that.
Here are tips to help you gain control over your cat allergy symptoms while enjoying the lifelong companionship of a feline.
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Best Cat Breeds For People With Allergies
Franny Syufy is a cat expert with over two decades of experience writing about feline anatomy and medical conditions. She is a professional member of the Cat Writers’ Association, won the prestigious PurinaOne Health Award for her writing, and authored two books on cat care.
The Spruce / Kristie Lee
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.
Vacuum And Dust Regularly
Vacuuming and dusting will help keep cat dander in your living space to a minimum and they dont have to be time-consuming chores! Try dusting methods that trap particles and use a HEPA filter on your vacuum cleaner and replace it appropriately. Otherwise, cleaning can kick up cat dander into the air and make your allergies worse.
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Cat Allergy: What It Is And How To Solve It
A cat allergy is annoying, especially if you love cats. Do you think you are allergic? Or was your allergy test positive? Then your cat really doesnt need to go to a shelter. Cleaning, medication and air purifiers can do a lot for you!
What is a cat allergy?
Lots of people have allergies: to dust mites, pollen and nuts, for example. And also to cats. Why one person becomes allergic and another does not, is not clear. What we do know is that predisposition to allergies is hereditary. So if your father or mother has an allergy, there is a good chance that you will also become allergic to something.
You can be born and be allergic right away. But you can also develop an allergy slowly. This means that you react a little more each time to certain substances and that you only develop more symptoms later in life.
Are you allergic to cats? Then your immune system reacts to the cats dander or saliva. Your body sees these substances as dangerous when they are not and therefore your body reacts incorrectly.
How do you notice that you are allergic to cats?
Stinging and watering eyes, itchy skin, a runny nose or shortness of breath are all symptoms that you may experience if you are allergic to cats. But because a person can have many different types of allergies, it is wise to find out exactly what substance you are allergic to. You can ask your family doctor about this.
How does a cat allergy test work?
Is the cat allergy test result positive?
Helpful Tips For People With Cat Allergies
- Cats no longer in the bedroom
Most cats love to sleep on the bed with their owners. But no matter how cozy that is, if you are allergic, it is better not to allow it. Because then you have at least one room in the house that is allergen-free and your body can catch its breath.
Cleaning your home properly on a regular basis is a second important one. Ideally, vacuum every day and dust furniture and the your cat tree at least twice a week once with a duster or swiffer duster and once with a damp cloth and all-purpose cleaner.
- Vacuum cleaner with HEPA filter
A HEPA filter ensures that your vacuum cleaner traps fine dust particles and allergens. HEPA filters have codes that indicate how effectively the filter traps fine particles. The higher the number, the better the filter works against allergies. So if you are allergic, it is best to choose a HEPA filter with code 14.
- Air purifier with HEPA filter
If you are allergic to cats, it is important that the air in your home is clean. Regular airing is healthy anyway, but you can make the air in your home even cleaner by using an air purifier with a HEPA filter. This filters a large proportion of all allergens from the air, which means that you inhale fewer of these particles. And therefore you will have fewer complaints.
- Washing baskets and rugs
- Steaming is also effective against allergens
- Medicines and pills for allergy
- Anti-allergenic / hypoallergenic cat
- Cross-reaction cat allergy and pork
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Rid Your Home Of Other Allergens
If you’re considering bringing a new pet into your home, first rid your home of as many other allergens as possible such as mites, dust, and mold. Most airborne allergens cling to soft material such as curtains and drapes, upholstery, and floor coverings. Here are common ways to clear your home of allergens:
- Substitute blinds for window coverings. If you rent, and can’t get permission to switch them, keep the curtains washed and frequently vacuum the drapes.
- If possible, replace overstuffed upholstered furniture with leather.
- Eliminate decorative scented candles, potpourri, and plug-in air fresheners, all of which can exacerbate allergy symptoms.
- Consider replacing wall-to-wall carpeting with wood or tile floors. Otherwise, thoroughly vacuum carpeting regularly.
How Cat Allergies Are Diagnosed
There are two ways to test for any allergy, including to cats: skin testing and blood tests. There are two types of skin allergy tests. A skin prick test and an intradermal skin test. Both tests give fast results and tend to cost less than blood tests.
Certain medications can interfere with skin testing, so talk to your doctor about which test is best for you. Skin testing is usually done by an allergist due to the possibility of severe reactions during testing.
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